La Vie Velominatus, Part II: In Pursuit of Silence

We all have our obsessions, and principle among mine is the pursuit of silence when it comes to my machines. Not every sound is a bad sound, mind you; the hum from the tires, the growl of a carbon wheel under acceleration, the crisp click of a shift – these are sounds that set my heart alight. But sounds such as a lazy creak or metallic click – particularly one emitting in time with the pedal stroke – these sounds creep into a dark corner of my psyche to stir an anxiety usually reserved for lonely thoughts in the dead of night.

The sounds characterized as those that require silencing have a variety of causes, some minor and some critical. The minor causes generally spring from an ungreased, loosened, or dirty part; a bolt hiding somewhere on the frame perhaps, a quick-release skewer, maybe a spoke. A more serious cause might be a tear somewhere in the frame or rim, or perhaps a worn bearing. What these sounds have in common is that they can be incredibly difficult to pinpoint; the most elusive sounds are rarely reproducible in the workshop and thus can only be identified while riding. The worst are those that only emit from the machine during an intense effort, with oxygen debt providing an unwelcome distraction to trying to debug a sound.

The causes of these noises are difficult to isolate because bicycles are made of long tubes and most modern bikes also often have large-diameter tubes of irregular circumference. The problem with long, irregularly shaped tubes is that sound loves to travel down them like it does a megaphone, allowing it to amp up and amplify along the way, emitting from a point far from it’s origin.

Because of this, one is forced to take a methodical approach to isolating the cause, starting with the most likely and working up to the most remote, testing only one remedy at a time until the offending source is found. This means the process is often too detailed and lengthy for the mechanic at your favorite local bike shop to pinpoint. Not for lack of skill, mind you, but for the simple fact that it would be too costly in terms of labor, and the shop mechanic likely has better things to do than listen to you prattle on about a tiny creak that emits from somewhere between your front and back wheel only while going up the steepest grade in town. It also has the associated problem that, assuming you’re insistent enough, they will wind up moving, changing their phone numbers, and travelling through water so you can’t track them. Believe me.

You’re left to your own devices in this matter, which means you’ll need to learn to maintain your bicycle. Which is just as well, since as a Velominatus, it is your duty to love and respect your machine and there is no better way to do this than to maintain it yourself. As with everything thing, the best way to learn is to find a Cycling Sensei who is willing to guide you. They will likely start by putting your bike on the stand, strip everything down to the bare frame, and build it back up. And then do it again, this time with you leading, not them. And again. And maybe one more time. In fact, lets make it an even V times.

At this point, you should have a basic understanding of the art of bicycle maintenance, and the rest will come from experience. By “experience” in this case, I mean mostly the bad ones, punctuated by glorious success. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll strip the delicate threads from your gorgeous aluminum derailleur. (That’s just an example, I did not strip the threads out of my dad’s brand new Campy* Euclid front mech when I was 13.) But experience, assuming you learn from all those mistakes, will feed your knowledge and serve as an excellent way of understanding empirically the right way to do things. And when you get it right, and the sound disappears, it will be all the more rewarding.

In the end, you’ll also build a lexicon of sounds and their causes, allowing you to apply a remedy quickly to a sound that previously may have taken several weeks to identify. One of the most challenging (and infuriating) creaks I’ve wrestled with was one that only ever produced itself when I was climbing out of the saddle. I immediately identified the sound as likely being that of my front skewer creaking. I cleaned it, applied some lube, and tightened it up, fully expecting the sound to disappear. But it didn’t. On and on I wrestled, becoming increasingly frustrated with the sound until finally I discovered that the bolts in my downtube cables stops had loosened slightly. In the end, a quarter-turn from an allen wrench was all it took to vanquish the sound, and with it several weeks of frustration.

On the rare occasion that your knowledge and experience fail to isolate the sound, take your machine your most trusted shop mechanic. At this stage, you should have a working understanding of the various conditions that cause the sound to reveal itself, and armed with this knowledge, your much more experienced and skilled mechanic should be able to identify the sound for you in no time. Watch how they work, and learn from them. After switching to Campa a few years back, my drivetrain started making a sound I’d never heard before, only when I was riding in particular gears. I spent ages trying to find the cause to no avail, finally bringing it in to Speedy Reedy. Within minutes, Gerick found that the lockring on my cassette had loosened; a quick twist of a wrench, and I was on my way, pedaling happily in silence. (And always leave a tip for them in the shop tip jar. If the shop doesn’t have one, bring a jar and put a tip in it and leave it there. Or bring a growler of your favorite beer, empty it together with the mechanic, and use the empty vessel as a tip jar.)

One of the most enjoyable and rewarding aspects of La Vie Velominatus is wrenching on your machine; learn to do this skillfully, and you’ll open the door to a world of silently-running and impeccably shifting machines. A greater joy can scarce be found.

*Since I’m talking about a MTB group, I thought it best to refer to Campagnolo by the more Americanized “Campy” rather than the Euro “Campa”.

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95 Replies to “La Vie Velominatus, Part II: In Pursuit of Silence”

  1. Good information, but I wonder if some sounds one hears from bicycles are simply normal, especially based on gruppo, wheel set, and frame materials. For example, the sound disc wheels make on any surface but particularly rougher asphalt. Or the sound of carbon wheels, in general. The first time I rode my all carbon TT frame with carbon wheels was a quite different sonic experience (I would say a “loud cluster of sonic delight”) than when I rode my titanium road bike with a non-carbon wheel set. And then one factors in a PowerTap (which I also have on the TT and, yes, I know it breaks Rule #74, but I’m into these quantifiable details, PRE, and any and all forms of analytical data I can’s the engineer in me) and one’s ride or bicycle is certainly not what I would call “silent”.

  2. Nice work Frank. I’m also a fan of cycling silence. Noise = problems (usually).
    But WTF is a growler of beer? In NZ, you wouldn’t leave a growler on a counter in a bike shop. There would be hygiene issues after a while. And the apprentice mechanic wouldn’t be able to focus on his work.

  3. @Bianchi Denti

    Nice work Frank. I’m also a fan of cycling silence. Noise = problems (usually).
    But WTF is a growler of beer? In NZ, you wouldn’t leave a growler on a counter in a bike shop. There would be hygiene issues after a while. And the apprentice mechanic wouldn’t be able to focus on his work.

    I’m not sure what a NZ growler is, but here in the States it’s like a bottle of beer, but more awesome in that it hold a load of it.

  4. @drsoul
    Totally with you – especially on the carbon wheels…nary a sound that is more intoxicating than climbing with a disc wheel along a concrete wall. Those types of sounds are the “good” sounds – the ones that the bad sounds (like @Bianchi Denti said, noise = problem) are keeping you from hearing. You have to learn to discern the difference, which is not always easy. Generally, a metallic sound, or a creaking of any kind is trouble. And, chain noise from a poorly-adjusted drive train, which is particularly hard to tell apart from chain noise that’s inherent in the workings of a chain moving over cogs.

    Great point, thanks.

  5. A guy I ride with has a Felt F1 and he has something that sounds like a wheel magnet hitting a sensor and he just ignores it. It drives me crazy.

    As far as mechanics go, there is no greater joy than to fix a problem that has been driving somebody nuts. Once a guy came into the shop and said his cranks were creaking. Any mechanic worth his salt knows that simply taking the cranks/BB apart and cleaning/regreasing the parts will usually take care of it. I quickly did this and he took the bike out, came back in and paid his bill and then came back to my bench and slapped a twenty on my bench and walked away.

    Quiet bike definitely go faster too.

  6. @Bianchi Denti

    Great article, Frank!

    Knowing what sounds are normal and what ones aren’t is a vital skill too – it helps with identifying whether or not it’s work you are competent and/or tooled up enough to deal with, as well as identifying if it’s a potentially dangerous and/or expensive problem…

  7. I just spent weeks nailing down a creak; lubing skewers, removing, lubing and re-torquing chain ring bolts, cleaning and relubing the chain, etc. Finally a buddy on a ride determined that the offending noise was definitely coming from the front wheel, so we switched wheels to confirm his assessment and, lo! No noise when he put my wheel on his bike! WTF indeed!

    Turns out the creak was caused by my QR being too tight. Loosened it up, and voila, no more creak.

    Lessons learned: 1) have a fellow cyclist listen to your bike while riding alongside; they can often hear where a sound is coming from better than you, and 2) start with the simple fixes first. Occam’s Razor and all that.

    Good post, Frank!

  8. Noises. Drive me effin mad. Just found the source of a horrendous creak on my Wilier after months of head scratching. Only hear it when honking out of the saddle, so I strip and lube the BB but no improvement. Freehub? Spokes? Let’s change the wheels to sort both out. Still there. Right – it’s the pedals. Change those – creak-creak. Shoes? I’m now shod with a new pair of Sidis and cleats but the noise is still there. WHAT IS IT?!!

    It’s the only non-Euro component on the bike: the fucking Ritchey headset it came with. A poxy spacer/washer in the top race has split and is shouting out to be replaced every time I bury it up hill or in a sprint. New Campag Record headset on order and normal silent service should resume.

    My 18 year-old Vitus winter bike does not make a sound. Not a whisper. Pure silent stealth, even though it gets beaten to death in the shitty English weather. Why is that?

  9. @Cyclops

    “…Quiet bikes definitely go faster”

    That’s for sure! I think this is directly correlated with the fact that with a silent bike, one is able to better hear The Sound of the V (can I copyright that?!?) rather than be distracted by any of those “bad” sounds.

  10. Ah, the old energy sapping creaks – it is amazing how tiring a small click or squeak can be – I reckon this is because it goes deep into your psyche and disrupts your natural rhythm, which is massively off putting to your concentration

    As Oli says, knowing the right sounds and the wrong ones is key

    I had an annoying noise for weeks on my MTB, to the extent I didn’t want to stand out of the saddle – my LBS took it in twice and “fixed it” – not, charged me plenty, and eventually said it was just the nature of the bike….

    Only when I got two of my experienced cycling mates to ride it, did they both say, within seconds, your BB bearing has gone – replaced it and the nature of the bike was returned to silence, and concentration/ pain was restored – no substitute for actually riding the thing to make a diagnosis…..

  11. A loose bidon cage bolt drove me batshit nuts for about two weeks once. The loose cleat mounts in the bottom of certain shoes can be the work of the devil if a) cleats aren’t snug or b) you don’t use something to keep them from moving around.

    I get a little cable rattle from time to time on the internally routed cables of my BMC but very rarely. The cross-over helps that out.

    Currently, a spoke on my front Open Pro creaks when I’m out of the saddle.

    And for as much as I like my SRAM gruppo, the “double click” is too loud. I prefer the more muffled clicks of my Shimano gruppos.

    What’s interesting though is normal drive train sounds like freewheels and chains running over cogs are like bad breath. You never notice you’re own but everyone else has it bad. I’m not sure why other than we’re upwind so to speak of our own drivetrains and so the noises aren’t as noticeable.

  12. A riding buddy refers to my Campy freewheel as the loudest freewheel he’s ever heard. I think he is just jealous.

  13. I have this annoying noise that comes from my crank/bb after a while. its more of a creaking noise. This is where knowing how to wrench your own bike is important cause I don’t know how to take that apart and I don’t have the tools I need. So I live with it till I can get it fixed.

    BTW I am in the market for some used(but working) 9 speed Shimano shifters if any one want to unload a pair.

  14. That reminds me that I need to take advantage of my local Cycling Sensei who offered me some carbon grease for my creaky seatpost. At least I hope that’s what’s making that noise.

    Out on a group ride this evening in the V-Kit, two different people yelled “Velominati!” with a hopeful gasp as I rode by (too far gone to stop and chat…maybe next time). I felt like a celebrity.

  15. Nice timing – I literally dropped off the steed this morning to my LBS due to a misplaced creaking when out of the saddle. I’ve tried all the usual remedies but to no avail. The creak is driving me nuts (A guy walks into his doctor’s surgery with a steering wheel down his pants…) to the point where I’m imagining the sound through the music of my iPod. Hopefully it’s nothing too sinister but I am a bit scared since I ride a Cannondale and, yeah… well…

    I swear this sport is just like that girl in high school – you know the one. You give her everything and she’s like “m’eh” to the point where you end up lying awake at night (or in my case sitting at my computer at work) softly sobbing to yourself “why wont you love me back! Why? WHY!!!”. Then you manage to suck face with her at Dave Hanson’s party and you think “YES! This is really happening” only for her to go back to “M’eh” the next morning. Vicious.

  16. Nasty creak coming from my front end when I pin it out of the saddle. I’m thinking it’s either where the rear brake cable hits the front stop on my internally routed top tube, or the headset. Honestly the headset would be an easier (although more expensive) fix: just replace the bastard. If it really is due to the brake cable, cable stop interface I’m damned if I know what to do.

  17. My ride is making some noised but I’m currently obsessed with getting a new pair of White Ladies dialed in. The left cleat placement is driving me nuts. I just installed a new chain and a lot of noise went away with the old chain but there is an odd click when I am pedaling on climbs. I think cleat and/or pedal need a bit of lube but who knows from whence the noise emanates.

    That rear mech in the photo is obviously well cared for. Love the hub especially.

    This should be near the top of the list of things to check when you have a creak.

    @Vitus 992
    I’ll have to file this bit of info away in the memory banks as I have a similar if not the same set up. Drives me nuts when it needs to be tightened. So far no noises though. As far as I know.

  18. This is all too true. Having recently set out upon the Path of the Velominati, I have found that I can feel the presence of Merckx in my soul when all is quiet on the machine, and the only the rumblings of proper mechanisms can be heard. The zip of the chain upon the cogs, the sizzle of the tyres upon the ground. And yes, the reassuring chain-slap when riding the pave. Some time ago, my deep meditations were interrupted by a sacrilegious syncopated pinging from the machine, and only with some research did it become clear that it was due to my keeping by wheels too clean. A drop of lube on the cross of the spokes, upon the nipples and hub attach points made me one with the Prophet again. And my insistence on the Rule of Silence has extended to my Velomohottie’s Cervelo as well – it uses internal cable routing, and the cable housings rest upon the sides of the frame. Thus, when catching a bit of rough road, they slap against the frame. A disturbing sound that takes me away from feeling the true presence of Merckx in my soul. Some simple finishing tape solves the problem easily. Mmmm…honey, that’s so exciting, I want to just stop and do you right now.

    But I am never ceased to be amazed at how many blasphemers there are in the annual Seattle to Portland double Century. A fun and flat 200 mile ride with 10,000 of your closest friends brings out some real kooks. Yes, the occasional Pinarello Prince goes past me (yes, goes past me) under the thrust of a Cognoscenti with the legs to match, and even I can say a few hail Merckxes and not be too ashamed. But Eddy H Merckx, some of these fucktards are riding shit that doesn’t even qualify for Frank’s parts bin. Have some respect for the art, will you please? 200 miles on a creak creak creak is just heartbreaking. Some have some real classic stuff on their hands, but can’t even take the time to wipe the grime from its whirling bits. There outta be a law. I’d really love to beat the shit out of them with their own fucking frame pump – likely it only functions as a club anyway. I take solace only in that they will be doomed to burn in the fires of Mt. Velomis when they meet the end they so richly deserve.

  19. sounds like we are victims of the dreaded noises

    Regarding my bottom bracket, the noise was actually a very subtle click, just about audible, but deafening at the same time

    Key to its diagnosis
    – timed with pedal stroke
    – only when giving it some V on a hill (when you need your rhythm most!)
    – only present when stroking, not on descending

    Maybe that’ll help someone, as I never thought it could be a bearing issue, as it sounded like the front deraill cable end tapping against the pedal – drove me crackers!

  20. @Oli
    ah, proper maintenance you mean….

    all part of the learning curve – my LBS only offered to sell me a new BB and replace it – I wish in retrospect I had asked for the original back so I could have taken it apart and rebuilt it, as I am still none the wiser about BBs

    That said, I’ve now re-cabled and replaced a mangled rear deraill and full recabling of brakes and front de-raill, so I’m getting there

    Ask me anything you like about doing similar to racing sailboats and I’ll know, but loving my bike rather than trashing it is a new affair for me – at least I am tapped into the V-oracle now, I feel a bit more like attacking these things

  21. @Bianchi Denti @frank

    Sounds like we need a section in The Lexicon for regional variance to keep Frank out of trouble abroad!

    My own aural nightmare took months to track down, cranks and bottom bracket out, chainring bolts off, re-lubed and torqued, it was definitely coming from down there. It was only when I took the bike off the roof rack for a long weekend away that I heard something run down the down tube. The last time I had replaced the headset bearings, a ball had escaped unnoticed into the frame!

  22. @rufio

    Nasty creak coming from my front end when I pin it out of the saddle.

    You might need to see a doctor about that…

  23. Nice one frank and relative to us all.

    Those phantom sounds emanating from, as you wrote, somewhere between the front and back wheels, are the bane of many a cyclist. One can go nuts trying to determine the source.

    If memory serves me well, didn’t one of the Velominati end up having a spill while riding, trying to diagnose, whilst looking down, a mystery sound from somewhere near the BB? G’phant was it? Proof that these sounds be a curse on a poor Velominatus!

    My pet annoyance is the squeaky/rusty chain on the yeti’s bike (even worse is that sound as it passes ones fat arse and disappears up the road) which is so easily remedied.

  24. Oh! God! I am so there!

    Maybe it’s the SRAM chain over DA cogs and FSA rings.
    Maybe it is the Wipperman quick link I used instead of the SRAM QuickCOnnect.
    Maybe it is worn rear DA pulleys.
    Maybe it is something in BB30 land!

    I am not sure how far I can ride uphill with my trunk bent over to hear the chain roll over the small ring.

    Maybe it is the pedals…

    Modern psycho-pharmacologic therapy may be warranted after-all!

  25. Creaks emanating from the bike are one of the very few things I do not like about cycling. They can indeed drive a man looney. Even if you keep your gear in top-notch form, it can still happen.

    I’m happy to report that as of today, 22 June 2011, none of my bikes is making any oddball noises. What tomorrow holds no one knows…

    Nice one, Frank!

  26. Creaking noises? Tell me about it. Several weeks or irritating creaks from the rear wheel (I think). Tried taking just about everything apart, re-lubing, checking tightness of bolts, skewers, lockrings, chain wear. No luck. Got caught in a thunderstorm on Sunday. As soon as my bike and I were soaked, the noise disappeared. Gave the bike a good clearing and lubing afterwards. Rode Monday and Tuesday (narrowly missing another thunderstorm) and the noise is still gone. Good but WTF?

  27. @Vitus 992
    it’s funny you should say that. I’m a Londoner and my ’92 gazelle is tighter than a gnat’s chuff; it’s the paragon of silence. Yet my #1 bike has this feckin creak that only appeared after HOTN2. I wonder if there’s a connection?

  28. So dead on Frank. I’m climbing the carbon fiber frame learning curve – got more creaks, groans and drivetrain noises than I ever have on my 30 year old beauty of a steel club racer (lovingly rehab’d). I slay them one by one. Working on noises 6 & 7 at the moment. Should the celestial bodies align, they may be vanquished in time for the weekend.

  29. @frank
    I’m pretty sure (after much debate with fellow VM) that the sexiest ‘silence’ coming from any bike I have owned was my Campa C-Record 8 speed hubs on Zipp 440’s circa 1993ish. Those bearings, sweet! But it was offset at the time by the incompatibility of a ti spindle combined with the great looking, but horrible ‘self extracting’ C-Record cranks. It was like having 100 mice in my bottom bracket until (and this musta happened 5 times till I chucked the whole thing) the drive side crank would ‘self extract’, usually 30+ miles from home.

  30. @Ron

    I’m happy to report that as of today, 22 June 2011, none of my bikes is making any oddball noises.

    Saying that is like talking about how long you’ve gone without a flat. Be careful!

  31. Go figure. The 586 was making all kinds of creaking noises when climbing last night. Time to yank out the BB and see what’s going on in there.

  32. wiscot – I had a rear wheel issue I could not figure out either. Do you have a compatible rear wheel to swap onto it? That might isolate the sound to the wheel. I did this & it turned out to be in the freehub body.

    Nate – I know! I was feeling bold today. We’ll see about tomorrow;)

  33. @RedRanger
    Good luck finding 9 speed shifters. When putting together Bike #2, I used some old Ultegra 9 speed shifters I had before moving to 10 speed. The right shifter was broken, and my LBS guys said it’s pretty much impossible to replace with anything but a new Tiagra 9 speed shifter, which is what I did. If this is going on Bike #1, not sure Tiagra would be confidence inspiring.

  34. My Spesh Roubaix Compact is completely silent…..Mmmm

    Off to give it an inappropriate non-sportif type 25K TT lash now, in silence

  35. I enjoy working on my bike and do as much of it as I can. I’ve felt the highs of a full bike overhaul completed with the help of my father. I’ve also felt the lows of buggering a right 105 shifter by not shifting to the proper position to get the cable head removed. Oh, my naivete!

    I try to never bring my bike to the shop for a creaking noise; I know this isn’t a fun thing to sort out at all. It’s my last resort, and I always bring beer.

    I’m also alarmed by the number of cyclists with very nice machines who don’t clean, lube, or otherwise maintain them. Such a shame. Or, what about people who pony up a $1000 for a decent road bike, ride it a bit, then let it go to hell in the shed. Then you see them at the shop one day, they need to do a charity ride that weekend, need the bike asap, and they let it go so much that it’ll take nearly half the original cost to make it road worthy?

    If Merckx is God, then there surely is a spot in VeloHell for these sorts.

  36. That’s funny. I am having the same issue with my machine. As soon as I get home, I’m checking the downtube cables.

  37. @Collin
    My bike # 1(only bike) is what most people would have as a bike # 3 so I dont know going with new shifters of any kind to replace shifters that work would be worth it. I really should be working on getting a new bike # 1.

  38. @Ron
    A couple of months ago, I was racing the state RR champs. About 10 miles in I flatted, pulled back to get my spare wheel set, and it wasn’t in the follow car (later found out officials loaded it in the wrong field follow car). Anyhoo, after digging around awhile, and watching the field disappear ahead of me, we find a SRAM rear that I can ‘borrow’. I click in and start pedaling like mad. I get all but 30ish seconds back as the course goes down a big decent. I stop pedaling, tuck up, and CLACK! chain pops off. I spin it back on, CLACK! pops off again. I stop to see what the problem is: close inspection shows that the hub has NEVER been serviced. The pawls won’t disengage, so it’s like having a fixie. Race over for me, and while I didn’t do it, I considered chucking that loaner into the creek below………..Have pride in your machine, is that too much to ask?

  39. @mouse


    Nasty creak coming from my front end when I pin it out of the saddle.

    You might need to see a doctor about that…

    Now that you mention it, perhaps I could have phrased that a little better… Nonetheless, and undiagnosed creak is enough to drive someone (me) crazy, just hopefully not doctor necessary crazy.

  40. scaler – you should have Millar-coptered it into that creek!

    Speaking of fixies, I just saw an awesome fixie couple. Jogging my ill dog to the vet this morning, she’s fast as, but being sick, I was rolling along. I hear a squeaky chain coming up behind me. A couple goes by, both on fixies, one set of pink rims, one set of neon green rims, unwrapped metal bars, both in tight denim, neither wearing a helmet, with matching messenger bags. Oh boy.

    I always wonder if couples like that met because they are twins or morphed into twins after spending time together. Flummoxed on that one.

  41. @Ron
    There are so many of those where I live, that I don’t really notice anymore (Portland, OR). As a matter of fact, if you are ‘rolling easy’ on carbon, kit immaculate, ‘following the rules’, YOU are likely to get mocked by them. Fuckin’ hipsters (said lovingly as some of them are my friends).

  42. Great conversation all!

    Currently, bike #1 (knock on the carbon fork…) is noise free. When I first got her last year she’d make a weird creak/tink/plink when I would climb out of the saddle, but that has gone away and she’s silent except for the sound of the chain and wheels whirring. I love it. The hubs are nice and quiet too. I know some people get off on their loud Chris King hubs, but I like my bike to roll quietly.


    Or, what about people who pony up a $1000 for a decent road bike, ride it a bit, then let it go to hell in the shed. Then you see them at the shop one day, they need to do a charity ride that weekend, need the bike asap, and they let it go so much that it’ll take nearly half the original cost to make it road worthy?
    If Merckx is God, then there surely is a spot in VeloHell for these sorts.

    Or, what is with every apartment building in the world being required to have at least one (but usually more) shitty “mountain” bikes or hybrids locked up that never gets ridden? They sit behind units, or up on balconies and never move. The get rained on, snowed on, and just generally look lonely and sad.

    A few months back I moved into a cool old house that was converted into a duplex. What do I find in the shared basement next to the stairs? A pair of old mountain bikes, with wheels missing.


    A couple goes by, both on fixies, one set of pink rims, one set of neon green rims, unwrapped metal bars, both in tight denim, neither wearing a helmet, with matching messenger bags. Oh boy.
    I always wonder if couples like that met because they are twins or morphed into twins after spending time together. Flummoxed on that one.

    That’s the new, young, hipster version of the cute 80-year-old couple you see at the grocery store that wear the same windbreakers.

  43. First, great conversation indeed! I’ve enjoied all the stories.
    I’m a lover of the aorodynamic sound of my bike and nothing more and I’m very lucky because my dear friend Roberto of Cicli Motta take this problems as a personal offence and is so devoted that he don’t need more than a few minutes to understand where the noise came from.
    I can imagine how beautiful is wrenching on your machine, unfortunately my imprinting establishes a behavior pattern that drive me to Roberto as soon a problem arise.
    To my defence I can say that these are highy rare events.

  44. mcsqueak – Ah ha ha, perfect! I’ll just think of them as 30 going on 80…

    scaler – Thought #1 “Why are they twins?” ; Thought #2 “They probably laugh at roadies in full kit on carbon.” ; Thought #3 “Well, at least they are cyclocommuting.”

    Let them have their helmet & gear-free fun!

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