The Bikes

The Bike. It is the central tool in pursuit of our craft. A Velominatus meticulously maintains their bicycles and adorns them with the essential, yet minimal, accoutrement. The Rules specify the principles of good taste in configuration and setup of our machines, but within those principles lies almost infinite room for personal taste.

It seems in some ways like a kind of Stockholm Syndrome, the way we honor our machines. We love them to a point that lies well beyond obsession. Upon these machines upon we endure endless suffering, but also find an unending pleasure. The rhythm, the harmony between rider and machine, the outdoors, the wind in our faces and air in our lungs.

The Bikes is devoted entirely to our machines. Ours, The Keepers, and yours, the Community. It features articles devoted to our bikes, and proves a forum for uploading photos of your own machines for discussion. We will be harsh, but fair; this is a place to enforce and enhance our observation of The Rules.

If you’d like to submit an article about your own beloved bike, please feel free to send it to us and we’ll do our best to work with you to include it.

  • Rule #12 and the Cascade Effect Rule #12 and the Cascade Effect That is a very reasonable opening salvo for the Rule about bike ownership. Three is good and certainly a minimum, and we are talking road bikes here, if there was any doubt. They naturally become ordered: the #1 is ichi-ban, top dog, go-to bike for every and all rides. #2 was the old #1, ...
  • Guest Article: Black Is Not The New Black Guest Article: Black Is Not The New Black @kogalover is singing my song here. Bikes are beautiful. ’nuff said. VLVV, Gianni With all those posts on riding in winter and being visible, either by putting Eyes of Sauron or other car melting devices on one’s steed, or by even considering a YJA instead of donning plain black kit, it was about time to finally get ...
  • Dialing in the Stable Dialing in the StableThis was going to be an article about Rule #45. It is amazing how much time is wasted and matches burned when professionals stop for that second bike change to get back on their #1. With all the jigs available to team mechanics it would seem they could set up five bikes exactly the same. And ...
  • Matching the drapes to the rug Matching the drapes to the rugAs a longtime titanium bike owner, I’ve always been jealous of a beautiful painted frame but Ti and carbon frames don’t need paint like a steel frame needs paint. But I want some painted beauty. It’s like buying a white car; I can’t do white, need some color. So between a Ti frame and a ...
  • Festum Prophetae: Waiting for the Hour Festum Prophetae: Waiting for the HourEveryone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. – Mike Tyson The one thing everyone should always plan for is that however well-conceived a program might be, things will never go to plan. The high level plan for my Festum Prophetae Hour Ride was as follows: Have a custom Hour Bike built by Don Walker. Because reasons. Reasons like custom ...

15,871 Replies to “The Bikes”

  1. The Velominati have inspired me to add my Ride to the collection. My Seven Alaris just had its first birthday. Ours is a beautiful friendship that I expect to last for many, many years. I went with Titanium for just this reason: while carbon is all the rage, the weight savings in not as important to me. Steel is the Real Deal, but I don’t trust myself enough to keep it from suffering the fates of corrosion and rust. So Ti it was for me.

    With strict adherence to Rule #25, I had to face the fact that cost was an issue. I sunk as much as I could afford (actually, somewhat more than what I could afford, but Rule #4 is a player here) into the frame itself, opting for a budget gruppo. Plans to update later are being made, but I am actually very satisfied with performance of the chosen SRAM Rival set. I’m a big guy at 6’4″³ so this is a Big Bike. It adheres strictly to Rule #65 at all times. I discovered an “achilles heel” to the frame design, in that the rear derailleur drop out is integral to the frame. Thus, any incorrect force on that part results in frame damage, requires return to the factory repairs, and not just a simple replacement of the hanger (as is the case with my wife’s Cervelo.) Still, once known, it is a simple matter to treat the machine with the respect due.

    I recommend the Seven brand and my local retail guy at Cascade Bicycle Studio to all I come across. While I am not as hard a guy as I aspire to be, one thing is sure: I look like a fookin’ rock star on this classic bike. And of course, the original custom label from the factory: “Owner/Pilot: R.A.Glover ’80″²” has been replaced with my customized Velominati badge.

    Merckx be with you.

  2. eightzero:
    @Geoffrey Grosenbach
    We could meet up at the starbucks.

    We definitely need a Rule that prohibits mention of this purveyor of coffee anywhere on these pages. The coffee’s fine, but with so many good small coffee shops everywhere, surely the aesthetic of the Velominati would tend away from a corporate chain.

  3. @eightzero
    Nice looking ride, man. Way to start things off. I really like the aesthetic of those SEVEN frames. Too bad about the derailleur hanger, seems weird for a modern bike. But like you say, you can be uber-careful with it. Are those Neuvation wheels? I’ve been curious about the value of those wheels and how they compare.

  4. @eightzero


    Finally, a headtube I can relate to. In keeping with tall people bikes (I am a Frankian 2 meters tall) made of metal, I share my 4-month old 66 cm steel Gunnar Roadie:

    Rule breakage is rife, including 26, 44, and 45. There should probably be a rule as well against photographing bikes in the vicinity of potted plants.
    That said, I will create a new band named “Big Headtube Dave and the Violations”.

  5. @Steampunk
    My mom is visiting this weekend. Loves coffee. Asked me to pick up some MJB or Folgers for her.

    Sorry, Mom. I can’t do that. This is Seattle after all! I’m not taking you to SB and I can’t fill the house with the odor of canned coffee when better beans are readily available.

  6. Steampunk:

    @Geoffrey Grosenbach
    We could meet up at the starbucks.

    We definitely need a Rule that prohibits mention of this purveyor of coffee anywhere on these pages. The coffee’s fine, but with so many good small coffee shops everywhere, surely the aesthetic of the Velominati would tend away from a corporate chain.

    Agreed. I feel great shame, and will self-inforce this rule until the Velominati pass it in final form.

  7. @Marko
    Those are Neuvation’s R28Aero4 wheels. I had a set on my prior bike, and they are bomb-proof. Great value, and I liked the look of the deeper rim and aero spokes. The build kit came with Shimano RS20s. Fine wheels, but I liked these better. Seven calls this a 60cm frame, but it is bigger than my 63cm Trek frame. It just barely fits in my travel case.

  8. My Number 1. Sadly, as you can see from the pic, it won’t be seeing any duty for quite some time. What started this spring with Ultegra gruppo, Bonti seat post, Ultegra pedals, and K-Wing bars morphed into this:


  9. I like your bike the most Marko, not that the others are less beautiful
    I think it’s a question of size :)

  10. @eightzero
    I’ve read many positive reviews on those wheels. The Velominatus Budgetatus in me asks the question, why not try those out for knock-a-bout hoops? I’ve been skewered (pun intended) here before for throwing the Bonti race lites on Il Gruppo Progetto but feel the same way you do. They were a good value, work well, and easily have 7500k on them and have never needed truing, as you say, bombproof.

    P.s. Time to take the valve stem caps off.

  11. @Marko
    I’ve had a pair of Neuvations for a few years. They are on the rain bike now. Excellent value, lighter than a boat anchor (you can’t ask for more at the price point), and, as others have noted, bombproof. Having said that the rain bike is an alu jackhammer compared to #1 bike and I have recently borrowed a pair of 32h Open Pros laced to Ultegra so I can assess how the jackhammer does with some proper handbuilts.

  12. My number 1. I know this bike will always be better than me, but it’s all about Rule #4. Also the wheels have been upgraded for those nice summer rides in the Alps.

    Apologies for the poor picture quality, was taken on a mobile.

  13. Nate:
    @Marko I have recently borrowed a pair of 32h Open Pros laced to Ultegra so I can assess how the jackhammer does with some proper handbuilts.

    Which is exactly the direction I plan to take with the Serotta (#3) when funds permit. Ditch the Bontis to use exclusively on the rollers and put some silver Open Pro 32h 3 cross on it. Steezy. Let us know what you think of the ride of the Mavics.

    … for those nice summer rides in the Alps.

    Okay, I’m officially envious now.

  14. As Marko said before,
    make your Pinarello even more lighter
    take off the valve stem caps :)

  15. My daily whip, a 1997 TSX-UL with a mish-mash of 9 and 10 speed Campagnolo Record, Chorus and Centaur. A celeste Arione, a pair of 32h OPs and a superb FSA bar/stem combo and she’s rolling. I’ve ridden a LOT of nice bikes over the years but the handling and feel of this old girl are so far unmatched in my eye. With my Neutrons on it only weighs 18lb…

  16. Moots FTW! That is beautiful.

    I was at my mates place yesterday, and he said “come have a look at the old bike in the shed.” It is a beautiful Atala, Columbus SLX and full Dura Ace 8 speed. Then he says, “oh, there’s a Bianchi over there…” we didn’t get it out from behind all the other bikes, but it’s steel, full Veloce. I told him they need to be ridden NOW…

  17. @michael
    Yep; and to make matters worse, even at 5’10”, I could still be the heaviest member of a Velominati group ride.

  18. @Pedale.Forchetta at last someone with appropriately angled handlebars. @Marko is the standard ‘though fellas. Forgive me but i get quite animated on the topic.

    I am 6 foot 2 but slammed the front down low from an early age so find raised bars and overly upward pointing hoods palpitation inducing.

    As i seem to be permanently skint, sadly my effort is low rent compared to some, but allows me to deliver large helpings of V and give the impression of climbing well for my weight. For that reason it is my one and only. Just need to forgive the crashed and repaired (and therefore affordable) Tr$k Madone frame it is based around. We all have to satisfy our Carbone eventually. I still have a handbuilt alu Italian frame by Ciocc ‘in storage’ under the house so fear not for my Velominatiness.

    The image remains unpublished until i feel she is ready to meet you all and i have a photo that depicts her well.

  19. @Steampunk
    Don’t go there. Last thing we want is a thread (or, Heaven forbid, a new site “feature”) involving postings / comparisons of the weights and other physical dimensions of the Velominati. We all (strive to) climb well for our (generally undisclosed) weights. That’s all we need to know. Rule #4. Rule #4. Rule #4.

  20. @michael
    It’s funny, being tall, I think smaller bikes, like @Pedale.Forchetta are the schiznit. So much cooler looking. I’ll get a shot of my VMH’s 53cm R3SL up. RAD.

    What a beauty, though I expected a non-American brand out of you. Very nice photo. After I take over the world, I’ll have to hire you to photograph my bikes.

  21. @frank
    Ah, correct! Unfortunately my Pegoretti Marcelo is still a shy bicicletta :)
    Dario told me about this (Moots) bike, that’s actually a replica of the Marcelo in another different material.

    As an (amateur) photographer I’d love to take some photos of Velominati with their biciclette!

  22. My seat tube is only marginally longer than the head tube on that Gunnar.

    Nice Moots. I think the Moots are making the best looking Ti frames at present (this from an Axiom owner).

  23. @Oli Brooke-White
    Forgive me now (and in the future) please, I’m Italian living in Italy and sometimes my comments instead of sound funny, sounds like as made by a douchebag…
    (note to self: study more the English language)

  24. My Velocipede:
    Cannodale Carbon Six
    SRAM Force with S-Works BB30 Compact Crank
    Easton EA90sl wheelset.
    Easton EC90 bars
    Look Keo Carbon pedals
    Custom V-Saddle

  25. How are we feeling about BB30/BBRight/BBWhatever bottom bracket technology? The upgrade from a spindle to outboard bearings was one of the single best improvements I noticed when upgrading from Shimano 9spd DA to Campy Record 10.

    Same jump in improvement, incremental change, or gimmick?

  26. My “nice weather” bike – even though it does get ridden in the rain fairly often. I’ve always been an Ibis fan, this is a modern Ibis, the Silk Carbon model, from ’07 or so. I also have ’97 steel Ibis Hakkalugi ‘cross bike for rain and even the very occasional ‘cross race.

    Nothing crazy on the carbon Ibis – Ultegra level stuff with compact crankset, Ibis branded stem and ‘bars, Ritchey carbon seatpost, old school Flite saddle, Easton wheelset and Michelin tires. I’m sure I’m breaking some rules running the mountain bike pedals – but that’s how I roll.

  27. This is my #1 bike. Due to the current ‘inclement’ weather I’m not sure when I’ll get my first outing but it certainly gives me something to train for to enjoy even more once the better weather arrives. Hope I haven’t broken any rules with my set up. The Rules were my main source of info when designing!

  28. @Dexter
    Until now, there seems to be a distinct shortage of Speedplay pedals on the bikes posted here, which I added to my bike earlier this summer. I’m hooked””best pedals I’ve ever used. Light, easy, comfortable.

    And I’ll save Frank getting crucified for the comment I know he wants to make: what’s with all the red, white, and black frames? Cervélo envy?

  29. Most probably a little Cervélo envy! I would never use anything else other than Speedplay now. Everyone should be on them!

  30. Cyclops – I like that Cannondale. The “raw” carbon is slick looking. I think a black frame with black wheels and white saddle/tape is the way to go on a modern rig.

    Dan O – Nice bike! I don’t normally like black/red but the frame has understated paint and the red saddle/tape/tires are sharp.

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