The Bikes

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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 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, it ...
  • 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 This 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 As 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 Everyone 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 ...
  1. Vive la France.





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  2. Oops, blame the cat for dulicate downtube pictures




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  3. Some help needed – I went to readjust the FD on my ‘new’ road bike. I noticed a bit of lateral play in the FD which led me to discover one of the pivot bolts wasn’t tight. I went to tighten it and discovered it was more or less stripped – I did what I could to get it tight enough to hold the thing together then went to the LBS for a replacement.

    They didn’t have one. I’ve looked on the interwebs and no simple source of spares can be found. Can anyone here help?

    It’s a Shimano FD-R443 and it’s the lower of the two pivot bolts (the one what is obviously stripped in the picture below).




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  4. This morning, in Koblenz, Germany, someone turned up for work and found a ticket to assemble my new bike and pack it for shipping. I have no idea how I’m supposed to stay sane until it arrives…




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  5. @Oski Bear

    Vive la France.

    Be still my beating heart. Gorgeous!




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  6. @RobSandy

    Try using an appropriately sized easy-out in the top cap bolt and exerting upward force as you try to wind the bolt out.




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  7. @RobSandy

    For the time being try:

    1. using a fine hacksaw blade carefully a slot for a flat head screw driver in the head of the bolt Best not to use a standard blade, you want one that is typically sold in a coping saw kit.
    2. Force a torx bit into the hex wrench whole (this can be used to remove the offending bolt for the procedure above.
    3. Once bolt is removed you’ll probably be able to size it and find a good replacement at a specialty fastner supplier or online.

    Good luck




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  8. @Oski Bear

    What a beauty! Nice further options resting in the background!




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  9. @Quasar

    This morning, in Koblenz, Germany, someone turned up for work and found a ticket to assemble my new bike and pack it for shipping. I have no idea how I’m supposed to stay sane until it arrives…

    You are not. How long will it take to ship? I suggest you take that amount of time off from work, or inform everyone who expects a deliverable from you that they will have to expect decreased productivity until such time that you are able to ride yourself stupid on the new steed.




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  10. @RobSandy

    As @Chris says kinda like this…..




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  11. @RobSandy

    ……but go easier on the hammer!




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  12. @RobSandy

    Wouldn’t have happened if you cleaned your bike first.

    It places you both in the right frame of mind for such tasks as adjusting derailleurs.




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  13. @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    As @Chris says kinda like this…..

    He may be an imposter but it sounds like this other @Chris might know what he’s doing…




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  14. @chris

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    As @Chris says kinda like this…..

    He may be an imposter but it sounds like this other @Chris might know what he’s doing…

    Crikey this place is case sensitive. That could be confusing!




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  15. Very pretty color on that Mercier!

    Frank – NICE new steed. No complaints outta me, it looks great!




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  16. @frank

    @Quasar

    This morning, in Koblenz, Germany, someone turned up for work and found a ticket to assemble my new bike and pack it for shipping. I have no idea how I’m supposed to stay sane until it arrives…

    You are not. How long will it take to ship? I suggest you take that amount of time off from work, or inform everyone who expects a deliverable from you that they will have to expect decreased productivity until such time that you are able to ride yourself stupid on the new steed.

    Sounds like a plan! So that will be about two weeks off then…




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  17. Okay, so my wife has a nicer car than mine. That’s cool because she deserves it and then some.

    With my daughter’s recent upsize she ends up on a nicer bike than mine. That’s fine. She’s doing more racing than I am. And we had a plan all along to help make that happen as she grew. So, that leaves my son. And he’s been training and racing on my old mtn bike. It’s a great bike just well used as any respectable mtn bike should be. But the BB developed a crack. Lifetime frame warranty replacement and that means new frame, and that means upgraded sworks frame gets sent. It’s being built up now. And so, now, my son has a nicer bike than I.

    That all just goes to show where I stand on the totem pole at my house.

    One of these days !! Cheers all




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  18. @Randy C

    Nicer bike or not, it’s awesome that your family are all into riding!




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  19. @Ron

    Very pretty color on that Mercier!

    Frank – NICE new steed. No complaints outta me, it looks great!

    The old Merciers were originally a Pepto Bismol pink, which never achieved the revered status of Bianchi Celeste or Gios Blue. This color was inspired by a 2010 Dodge Challenger or He’ll cat as marketed in the UK.




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  20. Cheers @chris

    I’m a lucky dude for sure. And really, the more I think about it, it’s not that the bikes are nicer so much as they are just newer. After all, a cool bike is a cool bike and I dig my old bikes.




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  21. @frank

    What a phenomenal paint scheme. Wow. More and more the the painted stems on custom bikes to match up with frame are really making for that extra special touch. Wasn’t there an article on that not long ago? That whole push button shifting and having to plug your bike in with usb to charge up? A person can get over that fast given the ultimate performance. Such a beauty! Cheers




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  22. @frank

    New steed is up and running finally, after a small mishap with a too-short seat pin. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m loving the Super Record EPS so far.

    wow. i remember seeing a pic of this bike with David Millar in the frame, and you sporting a Sagan beard. these sunlight pics do it even better justice than the fluoro shop lighting in the Millar pic! the orange almost glows, here. very nice indeed, man!




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  23. @frank

    @Teocalli

    @frank

    Dang, I was thinking of working a Mondrian scheme into my planned custom build in some way too.

    The paint is “candy” which means it has sparkles in it. The white is pearlescent. The Vondrian thing had to be painted by hand. The whole bike was a gift for my 40th last September from Hedrick and Campagnolo. It is outrageous.

    I ALMOST managed to overlook that little bit of information there. Many (belated) congrats on turning this particular corner and many happy returns (and needless to say, I suppose, that you don’t seem to look a day over thirty. Guess cycling does that to a person)

    During the present year (2017) I can still pretend that nothing serious is looming on the horizon, age-wise – but next year it’s the big six-oh for yours truly. I was hardly bothered crossing the 40 and 50 lines as I recall it (or at least; didn’t fret too much about them) but this next one seems a tad more serious for some reason. Ah well; I’m still riding my bike like a maniac, so things could have been a lot worse, I reckon.

    And yes: gorgeous bike. Good ol’ Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan is still a source of inspiration every time.




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  24. @frank

    That is one beautiful bike. The best possible reason to turn 40!




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  25. @chris

    @Teocalli

    For that bike, that is clean. Oddly, I tried again with a star-ended screwdriver bit and it tightened easy as.

    I’ve also ordered a replacement FD from the ebays, as that model is now obsolete so I have a full suite of spares now.

    I’ve also finally got the FD properly adjusted, what a joy. However, trying and failing has damaged the cable so I am going to do it again. I think I can repeat the last adjustment though.

    I have learned much on this quest.




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  26. @Cary

    @frank

    New steed is up and running finally, after a small mishap with a too-short seat pin. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m loving the Super Record EPS so far.

    wow. i remember seeing a pic of this bike with David Millar in the frame, and you sporting a Sagan beard. these sunlight pics do it even better justice than the fluoro shop lighting in the Millar pic! the orange almost glows, here. very nice indeed, man!

    I spy with my little eye-two rules violations! She is a beauty Frank, congrats and enjoy.




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  27. @Rick

    @Cary

    @frank

    New steed is up and running finally, after a small mishap with a too-short seat pin. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m loving the Super Record EPS so far.

    wow. i remember seeing a pic of this bike with David Millar in the frame, and you sporting a Sagan beard. these sunlight pics do it even better justice than the fluoro shop lighting in the Millar pic! the orange almost glows, here. very nice indeed, man!

    I spy with my little eye-two rules violations! She is a beauty Frank, congrats and enjoy.

    I do like a bit of I spy but I’m struggling with this one unless it’s one of the discretionary parts of Rule #26 and possibly Rule #45 – I can’t tell if there’s a space above the stem or not.




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  28. @RobSandy

    Rob, I’m confused. Surely cleanliness is binary; it either is or it isn’t.

    Good to hear you’ve got it working although tightening something with the wrong tool sounds like a guaranteed way of not being able to loosen it in the future.




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  29. @chris

    Yeah I’m thinking Bidons. Does that make the 2?

    (Remembering that Frohnk runs Tubs and noting that the pedal strap matches the orange though I question the flappy end. Attention to detail and all that……)




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  30. @chris

    One is a discretionary part of Rule #26, but I hold our leader to a high standard. I was counting a Rule #40 violation but now realize that those are tubular tires and are therefore granted an exception.




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  31. @Teocalli

    I hadn’t spotted the flappy bit, or is it something in the background. @Fronk can’t be that sloppy.

    @Rick

    I’d discounted the Rule #40 violation and associated Rule #29 violation. Confusing his tubs for clinchers is almost as bad as calling him out for a ridiculous bike fit.




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  32. @chris

    @Teocalli

    I hadn’t spotted the flappy bit, or is it something in the background. @Fronk can’t be that sloppy.

    It’s defo a flappy bit.




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  33. @Teocalli

    @chris

    @Teocalli

    I hadn’t spotted the flappy bit, or is it something in the background. @Fronk can’t be that sloppy.

    It’s defo a flappy bit.

    Think of the drag that flappy bit must create.




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  34. @Teocalli

    @chris

    @Teocalli

    I hadn’t spotted the flappy bit, or is it something in the background. @Fronk can’t be that sloppy.

    It’s defo a flappy bit.

    I’m not sure, it doesn’t look like it’s in focus despite everything else on that plane being in focus




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  35. @chris

    @Teocalli

    @chris

    @Teocalli

    I hadn’t spotted the flappy bit, or is it something in the background. @Fronk can’t be that sloppy.

    It’s defo a flappy bit.

    I’m not sure, it doesn’t look like it’s in focus despite everything else on that plane being in focus

    You can see the colour just at the end. The worrying part here is realising that Frauhnck has a limp, dangling, orange, flappy thing blowing in the wind.




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  36. @Teocalli

    @chris

    @Teocalli

    @chris

    @Teocalli

    I hadn’t spotted the flappy bit, or is it something in the background. @Fronk can’t be that sloppy.

    It’s defo a flappy bit.

    I’m not sure, it doesn’t look like it’s in focus despite everything else on that plane being in focus

    You can see the colour just at the end. The worrying part here is realising that Frauhnck has a limp, dangling, orange, flappy thing blowing in the wind.

    Lexicon Entry // Dutch Floppy/Frhonk’s Dutch Dangle




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  37. @chris

    @RobSandy

    Rob, I’m confused. Surely cleanliness is binary; it either is or it isn’t.

    Shades of grey are par for the course on a commuter. Of course, now it’s become a proper Nr.2 it will remain much cleaner and looked after than when it was just a commuter.

    Good to hear you’ve got it working although tightening something with the wrong tool sounds like a guaranteed way of not being able to loosen it in the future.

    I think it will be ok.




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  38. @Rick

    Valve stem and tire labels ? Though admittedly in this circumstance it works given the the tire, wheel, valve stem combo going on.

    @chris

    Oh man… that’s a good reminder that nothing needs be dangling off a bike.




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  39. @Randy C

    ….and the fact that he rides tubs!




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  40. @frank

    When did this place turn into facebook? Are we getting emojiis too?




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  41. My TIE-fighter’s here! I’m off to chase some Rebels up hills!




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  42. @Quasar

    My TIE-fighter’s here! I’m off to chase some Rebels up hills!

    Sweet. None more black.




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  43. @RobSandy

    @Quasar

    My TIE-fighter’s here! I’m off to chase some Rebels up hills!

    Sweet. None more black.

    Wow. I thought my #1 and #2 were black, both that’s a black bike! Nice!




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  44. @wiscot

    It looks like death!

    Oh, and slam your stem.




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  45. @wiscot

    @RobSandy

    @Quasar

    My TIE-fighter’s here! I’m off to chase some Rebels up hills!

    Sweet. None more black.

    Wow. I thought my #1 and #2 were black, both that’s a black bike! Nice!

    Cheers guys! I like to think of it as Sith black, with (six) Sith yellow eyes…




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  46. @RobSandy

    @wiscot

    It looks like death!

    Oh, and slam your stem.

    The stem will come down gradually. In this position the saddle to bars drop is almost exactly what a professional bike fit recommended on my other bike a couple of years ago. With quite a lot of riding (and some massage sessions) since then I’m sure I will be fine at least 5-8mm lower, maybe more, but I have to work up the courage to pull hard enough to loosen the stem first…




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  47. @Quasar

    You know I was only teasing.

    I’m working up the courage to cut 10mm off my steerer tonight. I had to drill out a top cap bolt (which was bad enough) to get the nut out (which had come loose). Next I have to take a hacksaw to my steed.

    Somehow, I only realised last night my bike has a carbon steerer. I was sure it was alloy.




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  48. @RobSandy

    @Quasar

    You know I was only teasing.

    Of course. That’s what we do here! But since this was the plan anyway I saw no reason not to answer it.

    As for cutting the steerer if the stem goes down far enough to warrant it, there is no way in Hell (or any other unpleasant place) I’m doing that myself. When there is any chance of permanent damage I getting pros to do it…




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  49. WTF!!!! It’s Thursday. The Giro starts on Saturday. Why can’t we post our picks?




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  50. @Quasar

    @Quasar

    You know I was only teasing.

    As for cutting the steerer if the stem goes down far enough to warrant it, there is no way in Hell (or any other unpleasant place) I’m doing that myself. When there is any chance of permanent damage I getting pros to do it…

    I used to think like that but I’ve started going for it more. I stripped all the cables off my commuter and re-cabled the lot (and fit some drop bars and brifters while I was at it), then set up the brakes and drive train myself. Nothing went disastrously wrong. I’ll post a pic because even though in the scheme of things it’s a piece of shit bike, I’m inordinately proud and love riding the thing.

    As for the steerer, it’s all fairly simple and I’m not cutting it down to remove all the spacers (I currently have about 20mm above the stem and that feels like too much). I think my chances of completely fucking it up are low. I’ll report back.




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