The Machines

Velominati rule #4 It’s all about the bike…

“It is, absolutely, without question, unequivocally, about the bike. Anyone who says otherwise is obviously a twatwaffle.”

Lets start with my TCRNo6 machine – Bianchi Intenso 2016

Size 59, know by some as the “Relaxo”. A beauty isn’t she?
It’s an endurance-racing geometry, and it took me few years to tweak it to perfection.
Now she’s 7.7Kg, great for climbing, but can hold her own in a criterium. Well, when the rider has the legs for it!

I’ve always been of the opinion that an Italian bike wears nothing else than Campagnolo.

Coherent with my beliefs, the Intenso sports a full Potenza groupset with a Compact (50-34) chain set and a 11-32 cassette.
Also the wheels are Campagnolo, Zonda to be precise, with a couple of Vittoria Rubino Pro tires.
Seat post and stem are Deda elementi Superleggero, while the handlebar is Bianchi Reparto Corse.
The saddle is a Fizik Antares, with a nasty bruise on the right side, reminding me of the day I’ve kissed the ground in Den Helder (Netherlands), dislocating my shoulder. Finally, the only non-Italian bit of kit on board (apart for the bike computer) are the pedals:  Look Keo Classic, from France with love. Cages and bottles are Elite. Climbing like an angel and descending like a daredevil!

My Bianchi Intenso brought me from Belgium to Greece, during the TCRNo6.

My fastest machine – Bianchi Oltre XR2 Team edition (Lotto NL-Jumbo)

She’s also size 59, but way more aggressive then the Intenso. The only thing they share is the colour scheme.

The XR2 is built for Pro riders (the frame was ridden by the Lotto NL Jumbo team) and I don’t think I’m able to appreciate fully her potentials, as I’m just an average amateur, but I’ve ridden the bike long enough to say that is phenomenal. Super stiff, very fast and requiring maximum concentration at all times.

The XR2 is an aero bike, which can climb pretty well, despite its weight (7.2Kg).

I’ve purchased the frame in 2018 and, before it could enter service in the “Onefortheroad scuderia”, It took me some time to find the right components, matching the quality of the frame…

The current configuration is as follows:

Gear: Campagnolo Potenza (shifters, front/rear derailleur, chain, brakes, cassette), 11-27T cassette.

Crankset: Campagnolo Record, 172.5 53/39T

Wheels: Campagnolo Bora One 50, full carbon.

Tyres: Vittoria Corsa Speed 25mm G2

Saddle: Fizik Antares.

Finishing kit: Deda Superleggero stem, FSA Orbit headset, FSA compact handlebar

Pedals: Favero Assioma with power meter

Bottle cages: Elite Rocko

It would be no point for me to race this bike during the TCRNo8, as it is not a very comfortable ride for 250km a day, but any road race or criterium, this is the right tool for the job! Indeed the fastest bike I’ve ever owned.

My Pub bike – Bianchi Pista Steel

I simply love this bike, I cannot stop to look at her and I must admit, she’s a real head-turner. Bianchi Pista is my choice for a pub appearance, she will always get me home safe!

I’ve purchased the Pista second hand and slowly changed few pieces. After more than a year, I cannot wait to ride this Bianchi on a track.

Those spotty rims are Velocity deep-V and very high-end, while the only part which is from the original stock bike is the frame.

TCRNo8 – The new long-distance machine

I’ve named this one Arturo, like an old friend of mine. I know I can always trust Arturo!

In 2021 I’ve picked up this Titanium frame from a marketplace in Australia. It was made in the US by McMahon, a defunct frame builder, sometimes in the late 80s. It was sold to me complete with a Columbus Muscle fork.

After some clean up, Ive installed a Shimano 105 groupset, a pair of Mavic wheels and a FSA finishing kit….et voila’ here it is: simple, functional and comfortable to ride.

Velominati rule #13

“The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.

While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner”