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. @wiscot

    @mulebeatsdrums

    @MangoDave

    Nice! The early 90’s wasn’t that long ago, though. Oh, wait…

    Yeahhhh, hate to break it to you but my VMH and I were born in the early ’90s and we are expecting a Future Pedalwan (read “baby”) in the next 2 weeks. I’m afraid it was that long ago…

    If it helps, here’s a photo of yours truly on his first bike, circa 1996 (ish?):

    0

    Early 90s? I think I have about 30 years on you! (The year I was born Jacques Anquetil won his fourth Tour . . . )

    Best wishes for the upcoming family addition.

    0

    27 by my reckoning. LeMond won his third Tour just before I entered the scene. Sorry!

    And thank you very much. I’ll get the kid on two wheels ASAP and post some photos!

  2. @mulebeatsdrums

    @wiscot

    @mulebeatsdrums

    @MangoDave

    Nice! The early 90’s wasn’t that long ago, though. Oh, wait…

    Yeahhhh, hate to break it to you but my VMH and I were born in the early ’90s and we are expecting a Future Pedalwan (read “baby”) in the next 2 weeks. I’m afraid it was that long ago…

    If it helps, here’s a photo of yours truly on his first bike, circa 1996 (ish?):

    0

    Early 90s? I think I have about 30 years on you! (The year I was born Jacques Anquetil won his fourth Tour . . . )

    Best wishes for the upcoming family addition.

    0

    27 by my reckoning. LeMond won his third Tour just before I entered the scene. Sorry!

    And thank you very much. I’ll get the kid on two wheels ASAP and post some photos!

    0

    @wiscot

    @mulebeatsdrums

    @MangoDave

    Nice! The early 90’s wasn’t that long ago, though. Oh, wait…

    Yeahhhh, hate to break it to you but my VMH and I were born in the early ’90s and we are expecting a Future Pedalwan (read “baby”) in the next 2 weeks. I’m afraid it was that long ago…

    If it helps, here’s a photo of yours truly on his first bike, circa 1996 (ish?):

    0

    Early 90s? I think I have about 30 years on you! (The year I was born Jacques Anquetil won his fourth Tour . . . )

    Best wishes for the upcoming family addition.

    0

    Indeed, very best of wishes.

    On the other front I’m keeping very quiet.

  3. Sent my bike off to Carbon Bike Repairs here in the UK.  Even though the damage was only to the top surface  I’m really pleased with the result.  Before and after below.

    Before repair

    After

  4. @Teocalli

    Sent my bike off to Carbon Bike Repairs here in the UK. Even though the damage was only to the top surface I’m really pleased with the result. Before and after below.

    Before repair

    After

    0

    Impressive result! And BTW, that’s a nifty wee trick with the front derailleur cable. Where did you learn that one?

  5. @wiscot

    Good spot!  I couldn’t find my black ones – of course having hunted for 30 mins and only come up with a red one in small size 5 mins after I put it on I found the rest!  I was musing how to keep the tail out of the way as on Gruppo they have a habit of catching the pedal and came up with it when rebuilding the bike yesterday.  Kinda triggered by building up new Group San bikes this week with their new FD that has a clip on the top to keep the cable tail tidy.  Be interesting to see how quickly Gruppo comes up with something similar.

    Had a trial day as a Wrench in my LBS a couple of weeks ago and had my first official day as a part time Wrench last week.  Sooo much more fun than IT & Telecomms!  A couple of days a week will fit in nicely with my retirement.  So far been building new bikes from Kids Frog Bikes to Spesh and Trek MTB and Road bikes.  Loads to learn.

  6. @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    Impressive result! And BTW, that’s a nifty wee trick with the front derailleur cable. Where did you learn that one?

    0

    I’m not quite sure what you’re looking at, I can’t make it out with my (semi-old) eyes.

  7. @mulebeatsdrums

    @MangoDave

    Nice! The early 90’s wasn’t that long ago, though. Oh, wait…

    Yeahhhh, hate to break it to you but my VMH and I were born in the early ’90s and we are expecting a Future Pedalwan (read “baby”) in the next 2 weeks. I’m afraid it was that long ago…

    If it helps, here’s a photo of yours truly on his first bike, circa 1996 (ish?):

    0

    Cool!  I was doing a lot of racing in the mid 90’s, my heyday of riding really strong.  Mostly NORBA cross country, with lots of road training rides.  I don’t really have pics of me on road bikes, but several of me goofing off with mountain bikes.  Here’s one I happen to have on the computer, me jumping a sidewalk (~15 feet wide) – circa 1990.

  8. @MangoDave

    @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    Impressive result! And BTW, that’s a nifty wee trick with the front derailleur cable. Where did you learn that one?

    0

    I’m not quite sure what you’re looking at, I can’t make it out with my (semi-old) eyes.

    0

    This help?

  9. Don’t overnighted the zip tie though! Using the plastic outer tube helps – note that with a through frame routing if you use the plastic tube run through a suitable grommet you can reduce the amount of crap that finds it’s way into the BB as that hole in the frame is in the direct line of all the crap thrown round by the back wheel.

  10. @Teocalli

    Clevers.

    I recabled my alloy Felt and on the first fettling ride outdoors I noticed a clicking noise when riding in the little ring.

    After ten minutes of panic I realised it was the crank hitting the FD cable end. Tidying it like that never occurred to me!

  11. @MangoDave

    On another note, RIP, Dario Pegoretti. Very sad. We’ll miss you!

    0

    terrible news.  who among the old guard are left?  Koichi Yamaguchi?  Koshiaki Nagasawa?  who else?

  12. A snap of my bike after doing some general refurbishments. Went basic black on everything I changed, so housings and bar tape – but kept the red ferrules (not sure they show up in this photo).

    Neither the saddle or wheels came with the bike but I was just struck by how good a colour match they are.

    52/36 crankset and connoisseur’s 10 speed cassette choice for varied terrain – 12-27.

     

    Oh and yes, I do have my bike in the office with me.

  13. @RobSandy

    https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/day-one-thought-not-good-idea-adam-blythe-slams-one-bike-demise-aqua-blue-sport-392905

    Adam Blythe agrees with me – single chainring drive trains for road bikes is a really stupid idea.

    The only idea that would have been worse, would have been unicycles. I’m sure their fellow riders looked at them with pity for having to ride that shit. I mean, we all know the pros always big-ring it, but that extra, smaller ring is handy sometimes.

  14. @wiscot

    @RobSandy

    https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/racing/day-one-thought-not-good-idea-adam-blythe-slams-one-bike-demise-aqua-blue-sport-392905

    Adam Blythe agrees with me – single chainring drive trains for road bikes is a really stupid idea.

    The only idea that would have been worse, would have been unicycles. I’m sure their fellow riders looked at them with pity for having to ride that shit. I mean, we all know the pros always big-ring it, but that extra, smaller ring is handy sometimes.

    Notwithstanding the chain-dropping issues…

     

    Oh, and also but more importantly, they look shit. The V-sapping power of the cassette alone must have cost them a few race wins.

  15. I’d also imagine it ht two ways – basically in having fewer ears even though you have the range you don’t have enough “right” gears so sometimes they would be overspilling and sometimes over grinding. While that may not be a problem for us mortals the %age impact in the pro pellet would be a disaster. The opposite of marginal gains.

  16. The bike is ready to hit the boards at the Geraint Thomas Velodrome…the rider may be.

    Weird to do so much preparation for a race that will take me ~20 seconds.

  17. @RobSandy

    The bike is ready to hit the boards at the Geraint Thomas Velodrome…the rider may be.

    Weird to do so much preparation for a race that will take me ~20 seconds.

    And another try with the picture compressed…

  18. @fignons barber

    @Cary

    @MangoDave

    On another note, RIP, Dario Pegoretti. Very sad. We’ll miss you!

    0

    terrible news. who among the old guard are left? Koichi Yamaguchi? Koshiaki Nagasawa? who else?

    Doriano DeRosa.

    True.  I’m in no hurry, but eventually want to have another frame built.  I’ve been looking into BIXXS and Jaegher (among a couple of others).  I’ll be in Italy next year, I hope to stop by Doriano’s workshop.

  19. @bovary1031

    I’m seriously considering having them redo mine too.  Be a good excuse to have to go to Turin to pick it back up as they apparently can’t ship them back out of Italy.

  20. @Teocalli

    @bovary1031

    I’m seriously considering having them redo mine too. Be a good excuse to have to go to Turin to pick it back up as they apparently can’t ship them back out of Italy.

    I believe that’s the result of the rights to the Gios name being owned by a Japanese company.  The bikes from Italy are marketed as Original Gios Torino exclusively in Italy.

  21. They say that there are Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics.  Statistically speaking the Triangular Wheel is an improvement on the Square Wheel as it eliminates one bump per revolution.  However, as we know that does not take into account ride quality which dictates that the more bumps per revolution the smoother the ride until eventually with sufficient marginal gains you end up with a near round wheel.  The point being that sometimes more really is better.  Happen 3T have realised that and have joined the Round Wheel Club?

  22. @Teocalli

    Well it was either a bit shit or Aqua Blue had already succumbed to the injuries inflicted by the 1x version

    3T has confirmed that this new 2x compatible frame will be used by the Aqua Blue Sport team in ‘select races’.

  23. @davidlhill

    I was riding my new (to me) TT bike on Sunday. Thought I’d share, keep some activity going.

    Chapeau!

    I couple of years ago, I spoke to some guy who got a yellow jersey on TdF stage 20 in 2011 about his ride that day. He said he “enjoyed it!”

    Just an observation from first seeing pic, sitting way too forward.

    Please allow me to throw to you, (to keep some activity going) a pictorial analysis;

  24. I like the analysis!

    I don’t currently own an aero helment. Budget is stretched as it is – any suggestions under £100?

    The back pocket stuff. I can’t abide EPMS – do TT bikes get a pass to be more aero? I doubt it.

    I do have some Zipp 808 wheels that will be on it shortly.

    And in a few weeks I’m having a proper bike fit. Once that is done I’ll try to post a before and after shot. I have to say I did feel comfortable, though the steering was twitchy to say the least.

  25. Hi,

    Interesting analysis going on. For the sake of argument – because I’m 100% sure I’m far from being an expert on the subject – I remember the golden rule for TT racing to be sitting almost directly above the pedals and the rest is just a question of adapting the bike to get the ideal position for the rest of the body.

    I found a photo of Wiggins and tried to do the same lines, adding one with the position compared to the pedals. Let me know what you think of the comparison between the 3.

     

     

     

     

  26. @sthilzy, @davidlhill

    In the interest of keeping some activity going.

    How important is the difference in position over the front of the bike taking to account that the two riders may have very different levels of flexibility and upper body and arm length ratios? Judging by the difference in bar height I’d say Cuddles is clearly more flexible or that the trend for a super low TT position has passed (I have read that somewhere).

    A slightly lower bar position might help to drop the shoulders and pull them in a bit to reduce frontal area.

    I’d have thought the position of the body relative to the BB is more important. It’s hard to comment on saddle height with the cranks at 3pm and 9pm but if you draw a line from where the femoral head should be, both riders are in roughly the same position.

    Disclaimer, I’ve no experience of bike fitting other than my own and I haven’t draw any lines on my screen. I did hold a straight edge up to it though.

  27. @A.Hill

    You’ve beaten me to it!

    Looking at Cadel and Wiggo, Cadel never had a chance!

    @davidlhill

    Nice looking bike BTW. It’ll be interesting to see how much of a difference your fitting makes to your position.

  28. There you go, cranks at 6 and 12.

    It looks to me that Cuddles is simply sitting up more. Wiggo and I’s (never thought I’d write those words together) arms are bent at 90 degrees, whereas his look more like 110.

    An yes, I did nothing to the bike other than move the saddle hieght to where it felt natural. So no fore and aft adjustment, the aero bars were untouched. The bike came with lots of spacers, so there is a lot of adjustment that can be done. I think I’m booked in in about three weeks time – I will post asap another picture of the revised position. See how different, or not, it’ll end up being.

  29. I think a lot of this relates to spine shape.  Look at Cadel’s back and it’s an even curve whereas Wiggo has a distinct hinge then a straight back.  David is similar to Wiggo.  Net I’d suggest Wiggo and David will end up more forward in respect to the front wheel axle for a given set of bike frame parameters.

    Then there is the RAR factor – if anyone read my attempt at a humorous post with an underlying factual argument a month or two back……….

  30. There’s something about that top tube I can’t get along with and the colour wouldn’t be for me but Ridleys in general are lovely bikes.

  31. @davidlhill

    I’m messing with Rule #20 as using a large frame, I call it my “Meghan the Grand Fondue” steed to commute daily. It allows me to sit higher to check out traffic betterer. (It’s got a 205mm HT!)

    BTW who else gives their steeds names? I have Meghan “the” Trainor, as she is/was strapped to a indoor fixed trainer – now unleashed as my Grand Fondue steed.

    Scarlet – aka Black Widow racing steed.

    Moser for muscle, heavy ass Al frame, great geometry. Will become crit bike.

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