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 trend in TT at the moment is to get the arms close to the chest and head, even it means bringing them up and to some extent back.

    If you look at front-on photos of the people winning the top TTs they aren’t scooping up air between the head, arms and hands. Everything is as close together as possible.

    The ideal is to do that in as low a position as possible, but if lower means more space then it’s better to be higher and closer.

  2. @sthilzy

    @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;

    @davidlhill

    FWIW, in those pics Cadel Evans is riding the fucking weirdest TT position I’ve ever seen.

    I’d use Wiggins as a model for position. But yours looks fine.

    Here’s mine!

  3. @robsandy

    what throws me is that Cadel Evan’s knees seem to be going inside the arms. It just looks all scrunched up to me.

    However, I’m loath to criticize because he’s Cadel Evans and I’m……… not!

    My fitting is the 13/10.

  4. @davidlhill

    @robsandy

    what throws me is that Cadel Evan’s knees seem to be going inside the arms. It just looks all scrunched up to me.

    However, I’m loath to criticize because he’s Cadel Evans and I’m……… not!

    My fitting is the 13/10.

    Head to high, arms too low, it’s just fucked up. Don’t copy Cadel!

    Your fitting should give you a good place to start – but something simple you can do is practice hunching your shoulders and dropping your head down.

    What is throwing me about modern TT positions is that guys (and gals) seem to have their saddles pretty low. I was watching the Vuelta ITT and most people seemed to have their legs much more bent than I’d think normal at the extension of their pedal stroke.

    Anyone got any insight on the reasons for this?

  5. @RobSandy

     

    What is throwing me about modern TT positions is that guys (and gals) seem to have their saddles pretty low. I was watching the Vuelta ITT and most people seemed to have their legs much more bent than I’d think normal at the extension of their pedal stroke.

    Anyone got any insight on the reasons for this?

    That does seem counter productive as it also means the hip angle will be more closed at the top of the stroke.  For most people (amateurs) it will be hard to produce maximum power with a very closed hip angle.  I’d surmise that if they are lowering their saddle to get more aero it’s more than offset by loss of power in closing their hip angle.

    But what do I know.

  6. @davidlhill

    re aero helmets: As I need one I have been researching and seen these two:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B06XCWDMLF/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&psc=1

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B018XXH8ZK/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A16J4O44X54MX5&psc=1

    Does anyone have any views on these? Or indeed another suggestion at around £100?

    No experience with them, but please share your experience if you go for one.

    Caveat emptor etc. etc., and I’m sure you’re a smart guy, but make sure there’s relevant safety stickers inside (CE and such) – probably fine, but the Amazon listings look potentially a bit sketchy.

  7. @RobSandy

    @davidlhill

    @robsandy

    what throws me is that Cadel Evan’s knees seem to be going inside the arms. It just looks all scrunched up to me.

    However, I’m loath to criticize because he’s Cadel Evans and I’m……… not!

    My fitting is the 13/10.

    Head to high, arms too low, it’s just fucked up. Don’t copy Cadel!

    Your fitting should give you a good place to start – but something simple you can do is practice hunching your shoulders and dropping your head down.

    What is throwing me about modern TT positions is that guys (and gals) seem to have their saddles pretty low. I was watching the Vuelta ITT and most people seemed to have their legs much more bent than I’d think normal at the extension of their pedal stroke.

    Anyone got any insight on the reasons for this?

    Saddle further forward?

  8. In the 80s I had a classic Cinelli aero helmet – a la Hinault. No vents, hot and sweaty – but stylish! No safety validation/testing cert anywhere in sight.

  9. Lowe

    @Teocalli

    @RobSandy

    What is throwing me about modern TT positions is that guys (and gals) seem to have their saddles pretty low. I was watching the Vuelta ITT and most people seemed to have their legs much more bent than I’d think normal at the extension of their pedal stroke.

    Anyone got any insight on the reasons for this?

    That does seem counter productive as it also means the hip angle will be more closed at the top of the stroke. For most people (amateurs) it will be hard to produce maximum power with a very closed hip angle. I’d surmise that if they are lowering their saddle to get more aero it’s more than offset by loss of power in closing their hip angle.

    But what do I know.

    Sometimes longer cranks change the regular fit and create issues for the hip angle at the top of the stroke. This is straight guess work though, might explain the lower saddles.

  10. @minion

    Though as I understand it the Pros are going more for shorter cranks to open up the hip angle but otherwise you are correct re longer cranks.

  11. @davidlhill

    @robsandy

    what throws me is that Cadel Evan’s knees seem to be going inside the arms. It just looks all scrunched up to me.

    However, I’m loath to criticize because he’s Cadel Evans and I’m……… not!

    My fitting is the 13/10.

    1

    How did this go?  Any update?

  12. @Teocalli

    @davidlhill

    @robsandy

    what throws me is that Cadel Evan’s knees seem to be going inside the arms. It just looks all scrunched up to me.

    However, I’m loath to criticize because he’s Cadel Evans and I’m……… not!

    My fitting is the 13/10.

    1

    How did this go? Any update?

    @davidlhill

    Can I add something? There is some talk (it was in Cycling Weekly) that CTT will add a distinct road bike category to time trials in the UK.

    I’d be really keen for this – messing about with aerobars is quite irritating especially when I don’t have a TT bike, and it’s impossible to be sure the position you’ve achieved is efficient without access to a wind tunnel.

    It’d simplify TTing a lot for me.

  13. @Teocalli

    @davidlhill

    @robsandy

    what throws me is that Cadel Evan’s knees seem to be going inside the arms. It just looks all scrunched up to me.

    However, I’m loath to criticize because he’s Cadel Evans and I’m……… not!

    My fitting is the 13/10.

    1

    How did this go? Any update?

    My fitting is 13/10!!

  14. @davidlhill

    @

    My fitting is 13/10!!

    For reasons utterly boring I had to postpose my fitting. I know, I know – a crushing disappointment. However, it is erely postponed, not cancelled.

    Looks like OnTheRIvet.net will get the ‘after’ pics!

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