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. It was Musket that suggested the Elite Ciussi cages and he was spot on. Someone was able to source a yellow V-Badge for me too.

  2. @Dexter

    I tried Speedplays once and I felt like I was trying to stand on ice cubes.


    Thanks, Ron.


    I have a riding buddy that has a Campy Record Wilier that looks pretty much just like that. Nice bike.

  3. A little thing I ride around…

    The bars were too far down in that photo – I promise they are now regulation.

    I am so totally unworthy of it.

    It’s like having a drop-dead gorgeous girlfriend and thinking that at some point you’re going to wake up and find it was all a dream and there’s a Dawes Galaxy in your bed. (No disrespect to the Galaxy but they’re for marrying, which is much the same as audaxing).

  4. My cross bike. And by “cross” I mean gravelling. Not much of a C-X community around here to speak of but there’s a fun group of gravellers.

  5. Pardon my ignorance of all things code-y, but what button do I use to post a pic of my ride?

  6. A few dodgy bar/shifter angles out there and some saddles not level. But on the whole I am impressed at the compliance levels, although Oli deserves a trashing for even considering posting a picture of a bike with a saddlebag to be acceptable behaviour.

    At the same time a little baffled at the size of frames out there. I’m 6’3″ (190cm), so only 10cm shorter than @xyxax, yet I wouldn’t even be able to straddle the top-tube of his Gunnar, let alone ride it. The LOOK that I just got rid of was a 57cm and the Giant I have now is only a Medium/Large (so…errr…something around 58cm) and I’ve had to cut the seat tube down by a few cm.

    I will post a picture of my bike, but at the moment it is work in progress ie. I don’t have shifters or a rear mech, or wheels.

  7. Jarvis:
    I will post a picture of my bike, but at the moment it is work in progress ie. I don’t have shifters or a rear mech, or wheels.

    I dunno: maybe now is the ideal time to post a pic, reducing the potential number of rule non-compliances…

  8. @Pedale.Forchetta

    It’s uncapped, I assure you.


    Speedplays are da bomb. And thx.


    I’m 6’0″ (183cm) with a 32″ (82 cm) inseam (yeah, long torso, short legs, not ideal for my chosen avocation), and the Izoard’s a L (56 tt)… we obviously have some big dudes around here. Nice bikes, tho.

  9. @Zoncolan
    I’m still waiting for the right zoom lens.

    @all: having started the theme, I love my Speedplays; I never thought pedals could make that much difference, but my knees like the float, and I like the feel of the pedals.

  10. @Jarvis


    This was my first road bike and thought that I would need a tall frame; Gunnar was recommended, I had a fitting, and 66cm came out. Apparently, I am a “leggy” 6’7″.

    But then I am (at least) one bike (and a couple thousand dollars)short of Rule #12 compliance, and I have learned some lessons, so….off with their head(post)s!

  11. @Brett
    While I can appreciate your love for the Bozzie and return to steel and traditional geometry, “missed” seems like a strong word. Those are fabulous machines.

  12. Wow, lots of big dudes around here. Cycling is the first sport I’ve been involved in where I’m quite thankful to be not so big. Growing up I also had to worry about getting hammered by the big boys…now I sit in and draft them and love hearing them grunt and groan up the hills. I can’t imagine towing around all that weight.

    As for Speedplays…I’d love to try them but I’m scared I’d like them. That would mean swapping out pedals on all my road bikes, which could get expensive. Alas, I think, for now, I’ll stick with Looks. Going to have to try the Speedplays someday soon though.

  13. @Dan O
    That bike is every bit the class I expected from you. LOVE the red bars/saddle. There was a guy in a breakaway int the ’89 Tour who rode a bike with orange bars and saddle. I instantly fell in love with the look of the bars and saddle – unified in their color, swaying back and forth as the rider rode out of the saddle. And so Rule #8 was born.

  14. @Jarvis
    Hey mate, still waiting for your theory on bike fitting; you seem to be a man after my own heart; always going for the smallest frame I can manage, just so I get enough reach and saddle height. It just seems to work much better for me.

    But, you have to be flexible to ride a low front end like I do – it’s definitely not for everyone.

  15. Here is one of my rides..the other one? Yah, well fuk that…no way I am showing it to you again. I posted a pic of it (cross bike) the other day and got my ass handed to me cuz it wasn’t “dirty”…bastards!

  16. At the risk of screwing up the coding, here’s my #1 ride. It has a lot in common with @sgt’s.

  17. frank:
    That Ridley is incredibly cool looking. We need an updated Rule-Compliant shot, STAT.

    Yes I’ve been meaning to do one for a while – will take some more on the weekend.

    On the red, black and white thing… it’s wheels as well – they’re almost all red and black which would have looked awful with my frame. I spent hours painstakingly scraping nearly all the decals off the rims to avoid colour clash. Unfortunately our team kit is… red, black and white.

  18. @frank

    My VMH thunders a Cervelo as well. It is the smallest frame Cervelo makes in a 700, and it strictly conforms to Rule #8. She looks So Damn Hot on it too. Too bad I only see her ass on it for a short while as she drops mine on any climb. I spin a compact, and she pushes a full racing double. Well, I climb well for my weight. In a couple months, I’ll be about 2 months from peaking.

  19. I’m only 183cm (6ft) tall, yet I need a 61cm frame as I have looooong legs. Lucky the Italians like short top-tubes or I’d be screwed…

    Sorry about the seat bag – I will try harder next time.

  20. @Oli Brooke-White
    Frame geometry is voodoo. My ALAN c-x bike (all Italian all the time) is a 61 and has a shorter top tube than my BMC (swiss) which is a 57. There’s 1cm more reach on my BMC with the same length stem and bars. Yes, I could make them the same by slamming the saddle back on the ALAN but for gravelling I like to be less splayed out/more compact. Yet the longer wheelbase on the ALAN smooths out washboard. I’m 6’2″ (186 cm +/-). Frame size may be a starting point but certainly is no hard and fast rule, eh?

  21. @chunt

    Love the Lynskey, but get all that crap off it!

    A-Merckx; is that a fucking reflector? Saddlebag (or should we call it an Oli-bag?) What’s that thing on your bars? Such a cool bike, but all that crap on there is making it hard to see it!

  22. @Oli Brooke-White
    It’s funny you say that; my 61cm TSX has a 14cm stem on there to match the length of my 61cm R3. On the other hand, my VMH rides a 53cm in both her Bianchi and R3SL, but had to go up from a 12cm on the Bianchi to a 13cm on the R3. The small frames appear to have the opposite problem.


    My VMH thunders a Cervelo as well. It is the smallest frame Cervelo makes in a 700, and it strictly conforms to Rule #8. She looks So Damn Hot on it too. Too bad I only see her ass on it for a short while as she drops mine on any climb.

    Yeah, I have the same problem. I got a great look at how the V-Kit looks from behind as she repeatedly and handily drops me as soon as the road goes uphill.

  23. @frank
    I notice that you and your Vhottie ride the same bikes. Ahhh cute. Do you also wear the same track suits? Seriously?

  24. @frank
    Sharp eye, sir. It is something I worry about on an existential level, but I can’t detect any weirdness. When I got this steed I switched from Shimano to Campy on everything else, but I had a decent investment in Shimano pedals and was worried that if I switched I might get knee trouble. My ex-No. 1 and current rain bike is Shimano and a closely-matched fit to this bike and I can’t be troubled to reinvest in two sets of pedals plus the effort to re-tune my cleat position. The Wilier bike came with a Retul fit gratis, and the first step was re-positioning the cleats. I find the fit sublime from the cleats up, so now I worry about changing anything. Although I am pining after some 3T Rotundos and every time I see a Fizik Anteres my nether-regions have happy thoughts.

  25. @Nate

    Sharp bike. I’ll trade you one Antares and one Rotundo for your campy drivetrain!

    I’ve been using those shimano pedals for years now and absolutely love them. When I purchased new pedals this season for #1 I wanted something similar but thought I’d move away from the shimanos just to try something else. I ended up with the Mavic Race SL Ti. In the end I really like the Mavics but must say for the same amount of float as the shimano cleats they feel much floatier. I like the tighter feel of the shimanos better. They’re great pedals.

  26. Marko :
    Sharp bike. I’ll trade you one Antares and one Rotundo for your campy drivetrain!

    Not sure that’s an even trade!

    I don’t think I’d want any more float than I have on the pedals. As it is the rain bike is driving me nuts — the pedals on it seem to float more than Bike One. I think I need to replace those crappy plastic shims over the pedal axle, which are the weak link of the genearation of Shimanos I’m running.

  27. It’s great to see that the (beautiful) bikes there are more or less the same of here in Milano :)

  28. My rain bike/commuter – about bike #4 in the collection of 8. Beautiful to ride – Nos columbus SL Motta 2001 Personal model I had built up – wheels are a pair of white industries hubs to 32h open pros with other campy (strada cranks)/cinelli bits and nos campy monoplaner brakes – (I’ll go out on a limb and say that I think they are sexier than deltas).

    Will post up others from the ‘collection’ soon.

  29. One of my track bikes – regularly raced until about a month ago when I moved on to another bike that’s much stiffer – reynolds 531 Falcon – originally owned by Shane Sutton (Aussie who coaches the british track team), full resto on the frame, campy cranks, cinelli pista bars, record 28h hubs laced to nos wolber 18 profil 19mm rims.

    My old casati – frame since moved on (too flexy) – columbus brain, cinelli bars & stem, 10 spd alloy record, 8spd shamal clinchers converted to 10speed. Love these wheels – now my spare set for flatter rides on my max Merckx – pics to come.

  30. Bike no.2 – nos columbus max corsa extra in weinmann livery. Seat position now corrected. Raced this one a bit – beautiful ride.

  31. Bike no.1 – my race bike (first carbon bike in 2 years) – what can I say about this? Like the others I sourced the parts and had it built up earlier this year – hand built set of wheels – 20/24 twe wheelset laced to 30mm kinlin rims – these build up pretty light and nice and stiff. Easton post stem and slx carbon bars, campy 10spd drivetrain. Rides just how I like it.

  32. @Kiwicyclist

    A very nice diverse collection.


    Bike no.2 – nos columbus max corsa extra in weinmann livery. Seat position now corrected. Raced this one a bit – beautiful ride.

    ^^^ I’m guessing you mean corrected from what it looks like in this photo! Cos that looks weird!

  33. @Kiwicyclist
    As a Velominati member, I commend you Kiwicyclist for a fine array of steeds.

    As a fellow who rides with you too often every week, all I can say is that I am sick of hearing about your array of fucking bikes and your latest news (which isn’t interesting by the way) on your world wide search for the last remaining 1970 NOS Campy thingamijig.

    And by the way, when a bike has been used by a pro, it generally means they have fucked it.

    See you tomorrow.

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