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. @Teocalli

    As is a lot of music from that era theirs is timeless. I can’t tell you what a proud papa I was when my teen aged daughter asked: “Dad, do you have any Hendrix?” That’s my girl!!!!!

    I thought the bad moon rising would be a good code name for worn out bibs. It pretty much sums the situation up.




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  2. @Ron

    @richardplondon

    @Ron

    I’ve seen a product advertised – “Mane” – a spray-on last-ditch disguise goop to bulk up thinning hair.

    Wonder if someone should develop a similar product for Lycra, to delay the ‘crack of doom’ for favourite bibs?

    Looks as if “cya.com” is available…

    Also: an awkward subject to raise with fellow riders, yet vital. A code phrase is needed – suggestions?

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    Ha, I feel that 8 years is a worthy run, especially as I put a ton of KMs into those bibs. Plus, aside from the thinning, the compression has gone as well. If you find Assos on sale, they really aren’t that wildly priced either.

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    Seems that your Assos have turned into AssShows bibs.




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  3. I have nothing to say, but I get sprint points for Post #15,000.




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  4. @Teocalli

    @Rick

    I still listen to Creedence. There was a great Creedence tribute band playing at L’eroica Limburg, really good evening.

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    I shouldn’t mention it on this site, but I do regularly go for runs. If I’m on my own CCR is one of my go bands as a running soundtrack………




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  5. @davidlhill

    @Teocalli

    @Rick

    I still listen to Creedence. There was a great Creedence tribute band playing at L’eroica Limburg, really good evening.

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    I shouldn’t mention it on this site, but I do regularly go for runs. If I’m on my own CCR is one of my go bands as a running soundtrack………

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    https://soundcloud.com/alt9999/i-heard-it-trough-the




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  6. n+1




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  7. Damn, before the Photo Rule Panel get after me…….




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  8. @Teocalli

    Damn, before the Photo Rule Panel get after me…….

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    Who made that? It’s very cool.




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  9. @wiscot

    They are custom so he can do pretty much anything i.e. club kits, I guess from a photo and I think has TT models etc too.




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  10. Not quite n + 1 as she’ll be dressed in lightly used clothes. She’s so fucking BEAUTIFUL in the skin.

    Mrs @chris even said she’s amazing.




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  11. @Teocalli

    @wiscot

    They are custom so he can do pretty much anything i.e. club kits, I guess from a photo and I think has TT models etc too.

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    They’re pretty goofy, but kinda fun.




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  12. @chris

    CAAD12 yes?




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  13. @Randy C

    Yes. CAAD12, with proper brakes, no discs. It’s a nice mix of gloss black with a gentle sparkle effect on the top of the top tube and logos and matt black everywhere else apart from the white to inside of the forks and back of the seat and chain stays.

    At some point in the next couple of weeks it’ll get built up with 10 speed SRAM Red, a Cannondale SISL2 crank and 35mm Vision carbon tubulars.

    It would be sooner but there’s a massive work deadline looming and a move to Qatar to organise. This is the bike that will be going with me.




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  14. @chris CAADs ! Just an all around great bike. A good ol’ good ol’ so to speak. Classic. And I love mine. An original Blank Inc from more than a few years back. Cheers




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  15. @chris

    Did the Carbon repair work out OK on #1?




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  16. @Randy C

    They’re stunningly good value as well.

    @Teocalli

    It’s not that it didn’t work out, I just haven’t got round to sorting it yet.

    Should be good once it’s done although there was something said about getting it fixed and selling it being part of the deal with the new frame.

    I wanted an aluminium frame for the move to the desert. All the commuting time that I’m going to be forced to miss out on will become turbo based training properly and I’m not convinced that it’s any good for carbon. Probably not good for aluminium but less bad. And Caad12 frames are a lot more budget friendly than SuperSixes.




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  18. @frank

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    Very nice Frank, can’t wait to see it built up.




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  19. @Teocalli

    n+1

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    Even in clay, RdV makes this much cooler than I ever could.




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  20. @Oski Bear

    @Teocalli

    n+1

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    Even in clay, RdV makes this much cooler than I ever could.

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  21. my bike was stolen last night. a 2012 Masi Gran Criterium. i knew the first time i sat on it, it was made for me. not only is it my sole means of transportation (urban folks will understand this), this bike has saved my life. i’ve customised this bike to fit me like a glove, and i’ve had some of the best times of my life on it. to some, this would be just another bike in a long list, but this relatively unremarkable bike meant a great deal. 25t kilometers. recovery from diabetes. a passport to a previous me that i had missed for so long. the fool that swiped it has no idea what he has, likely. i regard this as insult to injury.




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  22. Gutted for you.




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  23. @Cary

    Why have we not seen pic’s of this beauty before ? And keep us posted on updates or good news. Hate to think a bike like this is in hands of someone with no idea. Best of luck getting it returned.

    Randy C




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  24. i’ve posted a couple, at various times. if i get it back, i’ll do a full centerfold layout! lol i’m optimistic. i learned who took it today, because he rode it to work, in a neighborhood i’ve lived in for 15 years, where everybody is looking for my bike. lol i was right about one thing, an idiot stole it!




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  25. it’s IS a nice looking bike, no? reminds me of a mid-80s Moser San Cristobal. the chrome is BLINDING in the sunlight.




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  26. @Cary

    i’ve posted a couple, at various times. if i get it back, i’ll do a full centerfold layout! lol i’m optimistic. i learned who took it today, because he rode it to work, in a neighborhood i’ve lived in for 15 years, where everybody is looking for my bike. lol i was right about one thing, an idiot stole it!

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    That is awesome news! Hope you get it back soon.




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  27. Bikes thieves have their own room in hell. I’ve had bikes stolen, it is not fun. Best of luck getting it back. I had my chrome Bianchi (I know, shoulda been celeste) stolen…and caught the a-hole riding it a few days later. A potential kiss from my u-lock was enough to convince him to get the hell off it and leave the area.




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  28. mine, all mine! 2016 Masi Gran Criterium frame. i’m building it up with a new 10 speed Ultegra groupset i’ve had laying around for years. King headset/bottom bracket, Nitto crystal post, Ritchey bars/stem, Prologo saddle, Shimano RS80 wheelset. i cannot wait!




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  29. @Cary

    Wow, that’s beautiful! Keep the pictures coming as the build progresses. Does this mean you weren’t able to recover your stolen one?




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  30. @MangoDave

    @Cary

    Wow, that’s beautiful! Keep the pictures coming as the build progresses. Does this mean you weren’t able to recover your stolen one?

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    not yet, but having only one bike has been a problem. i got in a wreck on the other bike before it was stolen, and it took me a few weeks to fix it. now that it’s gone, i haven’t ridden for almost two months. if i get it back, i won’t be in this position again. if i don’t get it back, i’ll build another bike when this one is done.




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  31. Superb blue color on the new one! Two months?! I feel bonkers if I’m off a bike for two days. Glad you’re putting a second one together!




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  32. @Cary

    Simply stunning




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  33. @Ron

    Superb blue color on the new one! Two months?! I feel bonkers if I’m off a bike for two days. Glad you’re putting a second one together!

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    the color struck me as well. i am very happy with this, and excited to get the build underway.




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  34. @Teocalli

    @Cary

    Simply stunning




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    even better than appearance, is how the bike rides. the only way i can describe it is that it positively SINGS underneath you. possessing a Gios Torino, i know you understand well this dynamic. the road feel of steel is simply unparalleled, and we are lucky men indeed.




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  35. Walmart heirs buy Rapha

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40856267




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  36. @Teocalli

    Walmart heirs buy Rapha

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40856267

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    seems they’re quite involved in cycling and promotion, and with the capital they possess, this seems like a good deal for cycling in general. i like rapha kit a lot, though i don’t own a single stitch.




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  37. @Cary. i like rapha kit a lot, though i don’t own a single stitch.

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    That’s a pretty exclusive group. Not owning Rapha seems to be an essential qualification for those who hate on it.




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  38. how can you hate it? would that everybody looked so good on a bike.




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  39. @Cary

    @Teocalli

    Walmart heirs buy Rapha

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40856267

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    seems they’re quite involved in cycling and promotion, and with the capital they possess, this seems like a good deal for cycling in general. i like rapha kit a lot, though i don’t own a single stitch.

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    I love me some Rapha kit. Just look at Sky in 2016 vs 2017 to see how they took a step down in looking fantastic.

    I don’t understand the fuss. When a company is doing really well, taking on investment usually means they can make investments to grow the company faster then they would organically. Firms don’t meddle unless they see the company faltering financially, and Rapha is doing great.

    The problem people seem to have is that their (our?) “luxury” brand wasn’t bought by the right investors with the right name. Pinarello is now owned by L Catterton and you can see that not all of those brands are “luxury”:

    http://www.lcatterton.com/Brands.html#!/current

    Example #2: My favorite local craft brewery sold to Budweiser a few years ago. Lots of “sellout” talk. What they got was a better supply chain (i.e. aluminum can supply was constrained) and a gift shop and now I can find my favorite beer in more stores. Same quality. Bud doesn’t even do any manufacturing. This was a brand acquisition and a few years in, the product is the same, there are more great products (beer!) and the founders (who spent every dime they had to create a business they were passionate about) made a bunch of money. Sound familiar? :)




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  40. @Cary

    I agree, but plenty of people like to knock it because of the marketing I guess. They do lay it on a bit thick with the epic shots of hipsterish guys on cobbled murs, and of course some of their notorious products like expensive shaving kits and leather-bound ride journals are just ammunition for the splenetics.

    Personally I’ve always forgiven them for that side because their stuff not only looked good but it was good – as good as anything else you could get without looking like something Mario Cipollini and Jackson Pollock put together on a cocaine binge.

    Which brings me to @BacklashJack‘s point. I do hope some of the money goes into putting Rapha’s R&D back on track.

    Sky may not have looked as fantastic in Castelli but there’s no doubt that 5 years ago Rapha was technically the best stuff you could get but I feel they haven’t really moved on. Castelli brought out the Gabba and have had several iterations and spinoffs, and look at the speedsuits they made for the Tour with the built-in dimples. Others like BioRacer and NoPinz have made big gains in specialised areas. I think Rapha only managed to bring out a Gabba-equivalent last year at a much higher price and it didn’t set the world alight. I suspect that was a factor in their parting company with Sky who probably demanded more advances than Rapha could manage.

    They still look great but without a technical edge there’s not a lot to justify the premium price, so I hope the new owners realise it isn’t just about looks.




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  41. If you want to get on peoples case in the UK , just point at their Rapha gear and say ‘oh, you get your bike gear from Asda?’. Works every time :)

    Personally I don’t care what people wear as long as it is smart, clean, matching and functional.




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  42. @edster99

    If you want to get on peoples case in the UK , just point at their Rapha gear and say ‘oh, you get your bike gear from Asda?’. Works every time :)

    Personally I don’t care what people wear as long as it is smart, clean, matching and functional.

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    Rapha by George at Asda………………




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  43. @chriso

    You’re not kidding about the Gabba iterations and spin offs. Every time i get a “discounted Castelli” email from one supplier or another, there’s a type of jersey or jacket that I’ve never heard of. They must have the most cluttered catalogue of any cycle clothing manufacturer.




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  44. as good as Rapha looks, the Post/Raas era Raleigh jersey will never be beat for pure class. the current Belgium Champion jersey even mimics its layout.




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  45. this one isn’t bad, either.




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  46. trying again..




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  47. some more pics of the new Masi.

    luggs:

    headtube and downtube detail:

    box crown fork:

    the box crown fork is the first thing that really made this bike attractive. so rare on modern steel bikes, and usually an expensive custom option if offered at all.

    this frame is the cat’s ass.




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  48. @Cary

    Dang that is stunning. Worst think is, it look like it’s about my size…………




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  49. New arrivals…….note the cleats for clips.




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