Guest Article: Testing Rule #12

If Rule #12 does not smolder deep in your soul, you might not be a Velominatus. I’ll still be riffling through bike magazine porn, from the inevitable wheelchair, in the old folks home. Some of us have hidden new bikes from our better halves. Every known bit of subterfuge has been employed to downplay the addition of another bike to the stable. It’s what we do. @1860 has his own story, with no subterfuge involved.

VLVV, Gianni

Last weekend I don’t know what was going on, call it fate, call it alignment of some fucking planets, call it whatever the hell you want, it was surreal. As a committed Velominatus, I know all the Rules very well especially Rule #12, but after buying a nice road bike recently and with a tight budget situation, I was planning to let a deliberately casual amount of time pass until Rule #25 and especially s-1 was closely tested. On Friday, my wife, who is addicted to a website where people sell used furniture and stuff, which was always ugly new or used, ended up buying a sofa and I was more or less drafted into helping her carry it. It turned out to be ugly, uncomfortable, but most of all extremely fucking heavy. Carrying it was torture. Finally I sat down on the abomination and ended up slamming some piece of wood and I thought my curse was complete. Apparently during this whole ordeal my level of enthusiasm was registered by the wife, and I was in the doghouse.

Then on Sunday, she showed me, for reasons which I will never understand, a search on aforementioned website, a search for a Colnago Master which turned up a beautiful frame in my size. This woman who had just put me through this ordeal said to me “Hey look, you always wanted a Colnago, doesn’t this one look nice?” In fact, it was absolutely the coolest art-deco painted frame I had ever seen, and I was already imagining the awesomeness of this frame with a new Campagnolo Super Record group and modern wheels. So I, in a deliberately casual way, tried to work out the Rules of Engagement with my wife, all of which I ended up ignoring (“Just reserve it and think about it overnight”, “Maybe he will take one of your other bikes in trade”…).

I went over to see the guy on Sunday and I encountered a veritable bike coolness museum with more than 40 bikes. He had everything, from a Colnago C40 to Pinarello this and that to a gold plated fork to a Gios Steel Frame.

The Colnago Master Olympic was beautiful, it was amazing and in great condition. I had no choice, with some guilt and difficulty, I realised I was hooked and had to get it. So I bought the frame and started hoping that this was the n+1 part of Rule #12, and not exceeding the s-1 variant.

Due to some crazy turn of fate, planets, cows farts or something or other, I am now in possession of bike #4. When I got home, there were further probing questions from aforementioned darling wife, “How much will it cost to build up the bike”, “Can you do this by yourself”? It was extremely hard to avoid the money question, so I tried hard to avoid being pinned down on a figure all the while trying to imagine a Campagnolo 80th Anniversary Super Record groupset on this frame. The “can you do this” question is a classic, I am trusted at work to build, manage and run power plants worth hundreds of millions, but at home every time I take a tool in my hands my abilities are ruthlessly questioned.

So now the plan is to build it up in a modern, classic mix that I will like, many won’t but big deal. And in the end, I am feeling pretty ok with the world and looking forward to finally taking it out for a ride, but also agonizing over the wheelset (Shamal Ultra or Vento?). I am also very thankful for the awful sofa which may probably more than cow farts in China or alignment of planets led me to getting an awesome classic frame. Of course my beautiful wife played a huge role in this, but if I am starting to be honest about this, I might have to admit what my bikes really cost.

The Chamber  of Dreams
The Chamber of Dreams

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66 Replies to “Guest Article: Testing Rule #12”

  1. Well fucking done.  I wish my wife searched for cool old bikes for me every time she sent me out on a damn fool crusade to buy some crap furniture on Craigslist.

    What a cool bike — that paint job inspired the paint on my custom rig.

    If funds are an issue, get Chorus instead of SR.

  2. seems a fairly straightforward penance…and more likely that you and your known weaknesses were played against you. Not on an unholy level like some nameless twat waffle ex-cyclist convicted of doping who used yellow cock rings as cache. No, more like LeMan finishing atop Alpe d’Huez alongside the Badger in a show of unity…for which the Badger took a few extra pedals to cross first.

    “How can I dupe this fool into moving, accepting, and not asking how much I spent on this couch that no man would appreciate?” “And how can I maintain a level of control so as this is not an equal transaction?”

    “I’ll let him get a frame, but only a frame, and make him build it up himself!”

    I’ve V’d that hellingen many times my friend. Although, conversely, I’m trying to find a way to make n+1 actually n+2. I’ll come into some money in October and a new bike was always a given. But then I decided on a blue Lemond Washoe, and the price exceeded my initial estimate for a CAAD10. Unfortunately, at the same time, I decided I needed a SS frame on hand for track work and what not. So the total cost has nearly doubled. And I have to figure out just how much I’m willing to pay (figuratively) to get both with my breadwinner/accountant wife…

  3. Nice looking frame. Well done.

    Am, sure I have seen some resto mods done with old frames with current 10 sp Campy with alloy ahifters etc, Centaur I think it is and it looks suitable retro with modern functionality.

    And I think we need a pic of that couch please.

  4. @anotherdownunder

    Nice looking frame. Well done.

    Am, sure I have seen some resto mods done with old frames with current 10 sp Campy with alloy ahifters etc, Centaur I think it is and it looks suitable retro with modern functionality.

    And I think we need a pic of that couch please.

    Athena is the best Gruppo shiny 11 Sp groupset per my Pina in Bikes a while back.  Personally I like to stay with shiny and conventional spokes vs carbon and black wheels but it’s all down to preference.  The result is a great ride with the character of the original but the slickness of a modern groupset – and brakes that actually stop you.

  5. After reading this, I think I’ll go get the Colnago I have hidden in the storage unit out, and rude it this weekend. I’ll have to put it back Sunday, yiu know, because the wife’s coming back in town.

  6. Word.

    I just spotted an Athena EPS gruppo at the local distributor’s for a crazy price, which means only one thing; I need to build a bike around it. Calling Jaegher, calling Jaegher, come in Diel…

  7. Congrats! I love old colnago’s.

    I’m in the same boat and will be building this up very soon.

  8. Nice. Congrats on a good find. I am always confused between a Colnago Master and Jaegher Interceptor as my dream bike, but if it’s a vintage Master, it will win hands down.

  9. I just don’t get it with these older Colnagos with the wacked crisp line to fade paint highlights all over the frames but dang, when people love them they truly love them. And can’t have enough chrome too. My buddy digs his like no other of his bikes I guess and he has a pile of other bikes. Most of his bikes are steel, from Italy and have grupo. In all kinds of colors (except no black ?!?) and it’s the Colnago he rides the most. I couldn’t help but snap this photo

  10. We came across this one a few months back, ex Rabobank frame with ‘Rabobank Karsten Kroon Wielerploeg’ sticker behind the Art Decor logo.  Tatty at the time but a nice touch-up / restoration job by Atlantic Boulevard here in the UK. Just looking out for the right 9sp Dura Ace groupsan to stick on it and we are away!

  11. @Bespoke

    @Teocalli

    What is your opinion (and this is open to the wisdom of the collective) on Daytona 10 speed (shiny) for vintage or retro builds?

    I think it would look stunning.

  12. @wilburrox

    Colnagos are meant to have wild paint jobs. The gods of Mt Velomis gave Ernesto the skill and vision to paint his bike up all crazy-like.

    A riding buddy of mine got a C60 this summer. It is black.  I give him shit for it. I think he has started looking for someone to paint it up properly.

  13. @Nate

    Nice bike… in fact, I ended up with Chorus for budget reasons. Still not finished with the build…. waiting for a quill stem…

  14. @Bespoke

    wait a second as Guest Contributor, I have the final say… I say Colnago Veloce silver. Daytona has that strange writing on the brake levers…

  15. @Nate

    I agree.. I love the C60, but somehow can not agree with a black Colnago. I miss the Art-Decor (why not Deco? …) which they have phased out somewhat, in the end you can get everything custom from Colnago but who knows when you actually get the bike.

    I kind of like the Red C60, and am not secure enough to get the Pink one… it’s all a moot point, since I will never have enough money for one of those.

  16. @1860

    Just trying to stay faithful to the Rabobank build. My Master Extra Light is of course on full Record Ti

  17. @Bespoke

    @Teocalli

    @Teocalli

    @Bespoke

    @Teocalli

    What is your opinion (and this is open to the wisdom of the collective) on Daytona 10 speed (shiny) for vintage or retro builds?

    I think it would look stunning.

    Thank you sensei and sorry @1860 if this is equivalent to a threadjack. Lovely bike!

    Crikey – don’t stick me on a pedestal.  I just have my opinion.

  18. @Nate

    Why is the lead pic upside down?

    Ha! Good question. Word Press turned it upside down when I was trying to put it in the article. So I had to put it in upside down to get it to be right side up. Now it changed its mind, for you. Mysteries.

  19. @1860

    @Bespoke

    wait a second as Guest Contributor, I have the final say… I say Colnago Veloce silver. Daytona has that strange writing on the brake levers…

    Well, I think Mr. Frank might have an issue with who has the final say. Don’t they all have writing on the brake levers?

    @Teocalli

    @Bespoke

    Crikey – don’t stick me on a pedestal.  I just have my opinion.

    It’s just that opinions are so hard to come by on this site!

  20. @Nate

    @wilburrox

    Colnagos are meant to have wild paint jobs. The gods of Mt Velomis gave Ernesto the skill and vision to paint his bike up all crazy-like.

    A riding buddy of mine got a C60 this summer. It is black.  I give him shit for it. I think he has started looking for someone to paint it up properly.

    I appreciate that point. Thank you. I note that my buddy states he always wanted one many moons ago when he was racing but… and now today he has ’em… this is the bike below. When he wants to ride fast it’s his C Merckx bike he’s on but he rides this one often. Not really showing up is the beautiful one piece Ti stem. Its a real piece of work.

  21. @1860 let me introduce you to wife pound conversion. Rate can fluctuate between taking the piss and what you can get away with but as an example I recently purchased a set of Mavic Ksyrium SL’s rrp £750 which after WP conversion became £275. I don’t feel bad because the wife does it all the time. How many instances of “is that a new dress love?” …”what this, I’ve had it ages” have you experienced?

  22. @gilly

    @1860 let me introduce you to wife pound conversion. Rate can fluctuate between taking the piss and what you can get away with but as an example I recently purchased a set of Mavic Ksyrium SL’s rrp £750 which after WP conversion became £275. I don’t feel bad because the wife does it all the time. How many instances of “is that a new dress love?” …”what this, I’ve had it ages” have you experienced?

    Mine is “Is that a new dress?”  “Yes I got it from a charity shop”.  Thing is, she does mostly.

    So this starts me thinking, surely a second hand bike sale is the equivalent of a charity shop?  “Is that a new frame?” “Oh it’s nothing, it’s quite old, I picked it up at that bazaar last week”.  Wonder whether I’d survive if I tried it……..

  23. @1860

    @Alex Ek

    That is exactly my frame… beauty… shame about your sacrilege with a Group-san.

    Shimano is entirely appropriate – both Rabobank and Mapei team Colnagos were only ever equipped with Dura-Ace.

  24. Appropriate is a word sounding like a compromise and indeed Shimano is a compromise with the likes of Campagnolo being a groupset choice …

  25. @steelhead

    Appropriate is a word sounding like a compromise and indeed Shimano is a compromise with the likes of Campagnolo being a groupset choice …

    Imagine the reaction if your wife asked how her new dress looks and you say “It’s very appropriate” instead of “Que Bella mi Amore!” that is the perfect comparison between Group-san and Gruppo.

  26. @Teocalli

    @gilly

    @gilly

    @1860 let me introduce you to wife pound conversion. Rate can fluctuate between taking the piss and what you can get away with but as an example I recently purchased a set of Mavic Ksyrium SL’s rrp £750 which after WP conversion became £275. I don’t feel bad because the wife does it all the time. How many instances of “is that a new dress love?” …”what this, I’ve had it ages” have you experienced?

    Mine is “Is that a new dress?”  “Yes I got it from a charity shop”.  Thing is, she does mostly.

    So this starts me thinking, surely a second hand bike sale is the equivalent of a charity shop?  “Is that a new frame?” “Oh it’s nothing, it’s quite old, I picked it up at that bazaar last week”.  Wonder whether I’d survive if I tried it……..

    I have thought about it, but am worried about the arms race type escalation that may occur, in the end I think unrestricted shopping would be worse for my budget than the odd Colnago Master. Of course the guy with the toughest situation is @Stephen who’s wife is the accountant….

  27. @steelhead

    What a bunch of arse. Perhaps instead of saying appropriate I should have said perfect. I’m a Campagnolo guy from way back but if I was building a Rabo Master Olympic I’d be reaching for the Group San first. Just because I love Campa doesn’t mean I can’t also appreciate some fine Japanese engineering.

  28. @1860

    @Teocalli

    @gilly

    @gilly

    @1860 let me introduce you to wife pound conversion. Rate can fluctuate between taking the piss and what you can get away with but as an example I recently purchased a set of Mavic Ksyrium SL’s rrp £750 which after WP conversion became £275. I don’t feel bad because the wife does it all the time. How many instances of “is that a new dress love?” …”what this, I’ve had it ages” have you experienced?

    Mine is “Is that a new dress?”  “Yes I got it from a charity shop”.  Thing is, she does mostly.

    So this starts me thinking, surely a second hand bike sale is the equivalent of a charity shop?  “Is that a new frame?” “Oh it’s nothing, it’s quite old, I picked it up at that bazaar last week”.  Wonder whether I’d survive if I tried it……..

    I have thought about it, but am worried about the arms race type escalation that may occur, in the end I think unrestricted shopping would be worse for my budget than the odd Colnago Master. Of course the guy with the toughest situation is @Stephen who’s wife is the accountant….

    Wouldn’t even attempt WPC if Mrs Gilly was an accountant.

  29. @1860

    @anotherdownunder

    No joke the sofa weighs 2.5 tons

    I think you got the better of the two purchases! That is an ugly sofa.

    Looking forward to the pics of the frame when built up.

  30. @steelhead

    Appropriate is a word sounding like a compromise and indeed Shimano is a compromise with the likes of Campagnolo being a groupset choice …

    There is a better mech front derailleur than Shimano’s ?

  31. @wilburrox

    Um yeah! Try a SRAM Yaw… no trim = awesomenes

    My older bikes give me the shits now;

    “What’s that rubbing noise?” panic sets in that I have a new noise to sort..

    “Oh… trim the front mech FFS”

  32. @Puffy

    How about we all just agree that all the groupsets are awesome even though in the back of our little bike filled minds we all know deep down inside which one is the King of Bling hands down …

  33. @Puffy

    @wilburrox

    Um yeah! Try a SRAM Yaw… no trim = awesomenes

    My older bikes give me the shits now;

    “What’s that rubbing noise?” panic sets in that I have a new noise to sort..

    “Oh… trim the front mech FFS”

    Older bike = previous gen by chance? I gladly swapped out my 7900 DA for Ultegra Di2 when went 11 sp. But, can’t say I’d do same if DA9000 had been available or I’d tried it. With the longer lever arm and the action you have to wonder why they didn’t do it long time ago. It works really well. Anyways, I hear ya on the SRAM and the yaw but regret I’ve not had it on a bike I’ve owned. One of these days I will.

  34. IMO Go for a Campy Neutron wheelset. Classic looks fits classic frames. Shamal look a bit out of place in steel Nagos

    Enjoy the bike … Love the couch

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