The Real Diel

Europe is full of history, ancient buildings filled with original masterpieces of art that you can spend days discovering. Looking at these artworks lasts but a moment, the only way to retain their majesty by memory or memory card. Other works of art take different forms, and some of these can be taken with you. For a price.

No amount of dollar value can be put on the experience of meeting the master who created your own piece of art. You can buy a Matisse print, but you’ll never get to have him paint your portrait or invite you in for lunch. I feel privileged to have had the chance to commission a work, see its progress, and finally take delivery of it from the very artisan who created it. From the moment I met Diel and Steven at Ateliers Jaegher in Ruiselede a lifetime bond was forged. These guys live La Vie Velominatus, and enhance LvV of many others who are lucky enough to have a bicycle crafted by them.

It felt almost like stealing a baby from its parent when I wheeled my machine out the door. I could sense that Diel is like the surrogate who offers his services happily, but feels a tinge of regret when he finally has to let go. And as the benefactor, one has an unspoken pact to take extra good care and report back on the progress of the relationship at frequent intervals. As we prepared to tackle Roubaix together, Diel cast a long look over my bike, no doubt making sure the wet baptism that it received on its initial rides around Kemmel and crashing on the slippery Roubaix pavé hadn’t scarred it in any way. I was relieved when he finally smiled and wheeled his own grey beast away towards the milling riders.

The difference between a bicycle and a painting or sculpture is that the bicycle isn’t just great to look at. You wouldn’t pour the dinner wine from the Portland Vase, or use the corner of Les Poissons Rouges to write your shopping list on, but you can ride the bike. You can cover it in mud until it’s unrecognisable, but appreciate the visual beauty still. You can drop it on the ground and it won’t disintegrate, you can change the way it looks, and be in love all over again. You can’t repaint a van Gogh every couple of years, but you can a Jaegher.

*Many thanks to everyone who helped make this dream come true for me: Steven at Jaegher for all his patient answering of my questions and helping decide on colours etc, and the precision build; Diel at Jaegher for crafting my masterpiece which I am so happy with; Nicolo at fizik for his continued support of Velominati and supplying the beautiful cockpit components; Joshua at Campagnolo for his support and recommendation/supply of the Shamal wheels; Kyle at Chris King for the outstanding headset; Dave and Alex at Worralls NZ for the help with the Super Record gruppo; Graeme at CycleSport NZ for the outstanding Vittoria Pavé CG tyres; Jonny at Bikes International NZ for the Time Xpresso pedals. All your contributions are much appreciated and your products essential to completing this amazing and satisfying project. Chapeau.

Also thanks to the supporters of Keepers Tour 2015: Brett at Handlebar Mustache for the BTFU musettes; Martin at Isadore Apparel for the styling caps; Nicolo at fizik for the rolls of bar tape; and of course our ever-awesome partners William and Alex at Pavé Cycling Classics for being the best guides around and great lifelong friends. Our fantastic guests, a pleasure to ride with you all and call you friends. You all made this the best KT yet.

Full Spec:

Frame: Jaegher Interceptor, 57cm, Columbus Spirit tubing, Gritty Grey/Jaegher Orange. Columbus carbon fork, carbon steerer.

Groupset: Campagnolo Super Record 11, 175mm cranks 53/39, 11-27 cassette.

Wheels: Campagnolo Shamal Mille clinchers.

Tyres: Vittoria Pavé CG 27mm.

Bars/stem: fizik Cyrano R1 carbon 44mm c-c, Cyrano R1 120mm (custom painted), fizik 3mm Soft Touch tape.

Headset: Chris King NoThreadset, external 1 1/8″.

Saddle/post: fizik Aliante R3 carbon braided, Cyrano R1 carbon 27.2.

Pedals: Time Xpresso 4.

Cages: King Cage titanium.

Extras: V-Cufflinks (bar plugs).

 

 

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79 Replies to “The Real Diel”

  1. The headbadge on my Casati came loose when I was cleaning it. Argh. It’s metal and was tacked on at three points, now only two.

    Any ideas on who might be able to fix this? A framebuilder? I’m not going to ship it to Italy…

  2. @brett

    @1860

    @brett

    @1860

    so why not a Super Record 80th anniversary?

    $$$

    Brett- well that’s the same reason I didn’t take it… What I like is that the no-compromise bike turned into a one tiny compromise, makes it more realistic. At the danger of repeating myself… beautiful bike, wonderful setup and very classy.

    Na no compromise, I chose this group because I like the crank design better than tyhe new stuff, and am not very taken with the 80th groupset’s graphics. And my NZ distributor was clearing the gruppo below cost so win/win.

    Ok, I also chose the 2014 model because I also prefer the 5 arm crank and it was an awesome price. Being a mere mortal, I had to go for the Chorus instead of the Super Record….

  3. Wow lovely bike and you can’t beat steel for the ride (actually the only thing I’ve ridden!). I’ve been looking at a set of Shamals but I can quite justify it at the moment.

  4. @Chris

    @brett

    It’s turned out to be an absolute stunner. Not just the frame but the way in which everything else hangs off it.

    I did the Sunday Club Run with a mate who rode his Rourke because he hadn’t finished fettling the Look 795 Aerolight he’s just built up. Both are beautiful bikes but I couldn’t help but covert the Rourke a little bit more than the Look. Clear coat with black lettering on red background panels.

    The Columbus tubes that Jaegher use aren’t seam welded, just rolled, Steven told me. Reynolds tubes (which they also work with for other projects) are welded however.

    Forgive the ignorance of someone whose last steel frame was a cro-mo BMX in the eighties, but what does that mean in terms of its characteristics and what’s the difference between the two?

    I know of two ways to make steel tube: seamless tube from a billet and seam welded tube from flat stock. High quality seam welded tube after it has been fully processed, in this case drawn and redrawn along with final heat treat, is going to be fully homogenous and comparable to a seamless product in its consistent properties.

    Just me, my personal opinion, the real difference in the bike and the ride characteristics is going to mostly be a function of the frame builder knowing his craft. High quality, double and triple butted steel tubing, is available from Columbus, Reynolds, True Temper and Tange. Yea, there’s variation of a theme involving the mnfg of the tube and chemistries of the steel. But if the builder knows the tubes he’s working with, has more than a little skill in understanding geometry and relationship to ride characteristics, and is expert in the prep and welding of the frame, you’ll get something special.

  5. @brett

    Thanks Brett for the #73 explanation. My new bike also does not have the crossing cables as it has the same cablestops but with your example, I feel now much more relaxed about the non-crossing myself! Was worried about pump-beating…

  6. @wilburrox

    Thanks for the explanation but if there is very little difference between the different tubesets/types, why do people get their knickers in such a twist over them?

    Or is that just some sort of elitist shit to spout when you’ve spent a bomb on a steel frame with super record and you find yourself sat next to someone at the lights on an aluminium frame with a mix of 105 and ultegra?

  7. @Chris

    @wilburrox

    Thanks for the explanation but if there is very little difference between the different tubesets/types, why do people get their knickers in such a twist over them?

    Or is that just some sort of elitist shit to spout when you’ve spent a bomb on a steel frame with super record and you find yourself sat next to someone at the lights on an aluminium frame with a mix of 105 and ultegra?

    Why? Ahhh man… for no good reason other than that’s half the fun obsessing over the details yes ?!? Though admittedly I haven’t compared the carbon fibre diff between my Ferrari and Lamborghini … just jokes… But I sure don’t want an aluminum Ford pickup truck if I can get a steel Chevy ! Speaking of mix of 105 and Ultegra I finally buttoned up my latest n+1 with the right saddle. A modern steel frame bike with exactly that mix of group san. Mr. Ritchey calls his tubes Ritchey Logic. Beats me what they really are as I can presume he’s not making the tubes but buying ’em from one of the tubers. Says they’re triple butted. Riding the bike this summer in advance of cross season I’m running 30c Challenge tires at low pressure. I’m guessing with 30c tires at low pressure I couldn’t even begin to discern a difference between tubes. But I do love the bike. And I still lust for a custom steel frame creation for which I can obsess for months about the desired tube set in add’n to the color and group set and wheels etc… all good fun, cheers

  8. Ditch the red saddle and bar tape ,go to black . Don,t forget also to adjust your bar to be level while your at it . Fellow readers will be thankful for the corrections to follow this note as will you .

  9. @sir

    Ditch the red saddle and bar tape ,go to black . Don,t forget also to adjust your bar to be level while your at it . Fellow readers will be thankful for the corrections to follow this note as will you .

    Don’t forget to ensure your punctuation is correct when you’re giving advice on corrections.

  10. @sir

    Ditch the red saddle and bar tape ,go to black . Don,t forget also to adjust your bar to be level while your at it . Fellow readers will be thankful for the corrections to follow this note as will you .

    Well I figured was cross bike and good enough fun to add some color. I dig the red for some reason. And have wanted this particular red saddle on a bike for a long time. Black, yes would be classic and look good agree.  And you noticed the bars hey? That is a good spot and in fact I turned ’em up just a bit to try and dial in a little better position when out on the hoods. If you’ll note the levers are friggen massive. Like bullhorns out in front of the bike. These are the Shimano branded mech shifters combined with the hydro braking. This is not a flyweight bike and levers are big part. I think I can ride thru garage doors with these things leading the way. But, anyways, again, it’s ultimately a cross bike so I was actually aiming for a little more upright position. Plus, I’m suspecting it’ll be the “road” bike my son’s gonna be riding over the summer. And he’s no way ready to stretch out. The bottle cages will go. Not sure yet what will replace. Probably the King Ti but we’ll see. Saw some inexpensive red AL cages that well matched the I9 hubs. Cheers

  11. @Ron

    The headbadge on my Casati came loose when I was cleaning it. Argh. It’s metal and was tacked on at three points, now only two.

    Any ideas on who might be able to fix this? A framebuilder? I’m not going to ship it to Italy…

    Was it tack welded? or riveted?  In any case, a local or local-ish framebuilder, if there is one, sounds like the right idea.

  12. Nate – don’t think it was riveted, since I can’t see any (what a diagnostic master I am!) so I’m gonna say tack welded. It came free from only very light rubbing, I was trying to clean in the space under the “C”. That’s what I was thinking, a local builder.

    Until then, Scotch tape!

  13. @Ron

    Nate – don’t think it was riveted, since I can’t see any (what a diagnostic master I am!) so I’m gonna say tack welded. It came free from only very light rubbing, I was trying to clean in the space under the “C”. That’s what I was thinking, a local builder.

    Until then, Scotch tape!

    I assume it is painted underneath?  Can you see a spot from a tack weld?  I’m no expert but I’d have thought they would not tack weld over paint as it needs a good electrical contact.  Maybe it was spot glued originally.  A tack weld would surely deface the top surface of the head badge too?

  14. @wilburrox

    From the photo it looks like the red adds just the right amount of colour. All black and you might end up with the bike developing its own gravity field… with the resultant density increasing the weight.

    But if we’re going to be pedantic about the quality of the photo – your valve stems aren’t at 6 o’clock.

  15. @wilburrox

    @sir

    Ditch the red saddle and bar tape ,go to black . Don,t forget also to adjust your bar to be level while your at it . Fellow readers will be thankful for the corrections to follow this note as will you .

    Well I figured was cross bike and good enough fun to add some color. I dig the red for some reason. And have wanted this particular red saddle on a bike for a long time. Black, yes would be classic and look good agree.  And you noticed the bars hey? That is a good spot and in fact I turned ‘em up just a bit to try and dial in a little better position when out on the hoods. If you’ll note the levers are friggen massive. Like bullhorns out in front of the bike. These are the Shimano branded mech shifters combined with the hydro braking. This is not a flyweight bike and levers are big part. I think I can ride thru garage doors with these things leading the way. But, anyways, again, it’s ultimately a cross bike so I was actually aiming for a little more upright position. Plus, I’m suspecting it’ll be the “road” bike my son’s gonna be riding over the summer. And he’s no way ready to stretch out. The bottle cages will go. Not sure yet what will replace. Probably the King Ti but we’ll see. Saw some inexpensive red AL cages that well matched the I9 hubs. Cheers

    Take no notice of him, it looks great. Nice work and it needs no justification whatsoever.

  16. @vazzwells

    What drove you to choose the Interceptor, did you consider the Ascender?

    My question as well!  I am late to this thread but I am dreaming/seriously thinking of a custom steel build in the next one to two years and this thread has it all.  I was originally thinking of either Hampsten or Marinoni and now Don Walker and Jaegher have entered the mix!  I have to admit that Ti frames have been creeping into my mind as well (esp Kent Erisksen’s builds) but that would set me back a few more years on the money saving.

    But, for the Jaegher, I love their bikes and the two that I would be trying to figure out between would be the Interceptor and the Ascender.  Maybe it is purely an Aussie thing as Max drove the “last of the V8 Interceptors” did he not?  Or maybe it was the price!

    Marinoni has always been on my mind as I am from northern Vermont and they were always a thing of beauty when I would see them at races in the ’80’s and ’90’s.  Curious if there are any other Marinoni owners out there with opinions?

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