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. @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.

    Yes, tricolour 600.

  2. Looks similar to the Colnago Master I posted in the bike section 2 months ago.

    This frame is in better shape though

  3. @wilburrox

    Such a great Colnago only to be spoiled by the front tire with the directional tread mounted in the wrong direction!

  4. I love my old Master, rebuilt it a couple of years ago with new Ultegra which gave it a new lease on life. Fortunate really, as the rear drop out on my C50 snapped two months later making it my only road bike….boo…They’re great bikes even if they do flex a bit changing direction on the really fast descents. Love the paint job, mine’s much more boring!

  5. Very cool story, can’t believe your VMH spotted it for ya! Take your time on the build, do it right the first time.

    And oh boy, yes, Italian steel bikes are meant to have insane paint jobs. Sometimes I ponder the insane paint on my Tommasini, is it too busy? Nah, just gotta love the craziness.

  6. So after huge delays due only partially to fraudulent internet sellers (remember Rule Nr 58 is there for a reason) and also due to my unhappiness with the setup with the fit of the modern quill and stem to the bike and a subsequent change to NOS Deda quill stem I finally found the setup I wanted. Then I saw that the seatpost (Ritchey) did not match the completely Deda quill stem and handlebars, so had to get a new seatpost….. Well now its finished, it rides beautifully and love the looks of it. Hope you all like it too… but if not then thats ok too.

    Groupset: Campagnolo Chorus

    Deda Quill Stem, Steerer and Seatpost

    SQLab Seat

    Tires: Continental GP 4000 S II


  7. @1860

    Looks very nice.  The stem certainly looks right for the bike!

    The only critical observation I would make is that the chain rings look a bit wee for a frame of this vintage.  I think that a 53/39 setup is almost required for a bike like this.  It’s hard to tell but I’m thinking that’s a compact you’ve got on there?

    Other than that I would commit serious crimes to make this bike mine own.

    It’s a beaut!

  8. @kixsand

    yup its a compact. I live near and cycle in the alps ok? I need something to make up for my non-climber body.

  9. @1860

    Personally I’d have gone silver seat post and bars but it’s stunning nonetheless.  Nice one.

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