Revanche bicycles

“A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars… A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.” — Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socio-economic unfairness

I build frames, I also repair bikes in the bikeshop.

Very pretty brazing torch

Very pretty brazing torch

Some of the bikes that come in are very good, some are decent.

Some were good, some will be good.

Some are terrible. Unrepairable.

Or nearly.

Very nearly in perfect order

Very nearly in perfect order

I send each one out the door only when they are safe enough to be used, sometimes the bill goes up, often I prefer to give away labour to make the bike fit for purpose.

Some bikes will never be good bikes,

some bikes were good bikes but have slipped down into bad bikes.

Most of my clients are great, and really do understand that we’re both working to the same goal;

get them cycling and improving that experience.

Like most things in life, there is a minimum investment in time and money to have a well fitting bicycle that works.

This often only seems expensive before, not after the Goal has been reached.

I can draw on my own experience.

I’ve had terrible bikes, good bikes and excellent bikes.

I’ve also had excellent, good and bad service from bike shops in three countries in these twenty five years cycling.

The best bike shops were those few that made me feel like my bike was as important to them as it was to me.

That’s what I do.

Because it is.

Because I know how much you need your bike, it’s not an indulgence, even when it is.

You, I need it, either to commute, so you can go to school or work.

Or to have a bit of time and space to yourself.

Cycling got me through some pretty hard times, it’s also given me wonderful memories and great friends.

Bikes can be more or less expensive, money, well, I can relate.

By making good choices you can have an excellent bicycle that will do what you ask of it for a long time with minimal maintenance.

An investment.

In yourself.

Steel is particularly good for that, but it’s the project as a whole that’s important.

Material alone is no substitute for thought. Neither is Money.

A good bike is not an accessory, it’s part of you and your life.

A sacrifice, often, but worth it in the long run like most sacrifices.

As my friend Mario used to say:

‘la bicicletta e’ una cosa seria’

Tricks of the trade

Very neat Trick of the tradeĀ 

He was right. a bicycle is damned important.

You can follow me here for daily updates

Work, a sense of belonging. Purpose.

I’ve started doing films on Wednesdays, for those that are local.

I’ve got a lot of Mtb, bmx and some road dvds.

I’ll be proyecting one of them every wednesday at nine pm.

I have some great clients, and I wanted to make them meet, swap numbers, find new riding partners, new routes.

It works and Y’all welcome.

A sense of belonging.

I’ve looked for that for a long time.

I found it in cycling, I now find it in offering what I know to help others.

In these thirty five years I’ve Crashed and ridden bicycles, motorbikes, both on and off road, tractors, go karts, horses, buggys, cars, excavators.

Sat on the pilot’s lap when I was six.always wanted to sit in the train driver’s cabin.

And bicycles.

I’ve immersed myself in Road riding, Mtb and commuting for the last 18 years, I started with Bmx over 25 years ago.

In riding I found my sense of belonging. I was quite good at it, it seemed to come naturally.

The sense of wonder and joy I get from vehicles has been with me all my life.

Each one is special,in a different way.

The sense of power and possibility you have operating a tracked excavator.

The sense of absolute calm when riding a road motorcycle at speed.

The sense of absolute chaos when riding an off road motorbike.

The sense of boredom in driving a car, the sense of concentration when driving the same car considerably faster.

The sense of purpose driving a tractor.

I really do love them all.

But my sense of belonging is on a bicycle, the most perfect vehicle.

Silent, economical to buy and even more so to run, durable, efficient, reliable and the only vehicle that can be made to measure affordably.

Only a bicycle will give you all that.

And look good as well.

As hard as this is, as tired as I am, each day is a blessing.

To be able to pass this passion on, to share, to learn and to meet people with whom you only have cycling in common,

and therefore have everything in common.

That’s the reason and the reward for all this.

Each of us is unique, differerent yet so similar.

Just like we are all made of the same elements just rearranged in a slightly different way.

So we are all cyclists, just with slightly different tastes and experiences.

To my frame clients:

I’m catching up with the backlog of work and orders.

I apologize for the delay.

It is not enough to do your best, you must succeed in doing what is necessary.

Winston Churchill.

in the meantime, you can see what I’m up to everyday on instagram

This is a nice film that will appeal to those who have an interest in or memories of 70s road cycling.

Or cyclists in general.

It’s in French, but it’s a simple storyline, so you don’t need to understand it perfectly to get the message.

It rings familiar to the cycling I grew up with in Italy, and talking to those older and much older than I, I’d say it was a fair and honest peek at what amateur cycling was like not so long ago.

It’s set in a specific time, it talks about something very specific, but as most human activity, the story is timeless.

Hope you enjoy it.

more info at http://

nice bike, cool jersey.

There’s a good article in one of the Cervelo White papers, you can find it here

For mtb saddles there are other considerations, such as the need to move behind your saddle, or to pinch it between your legs.

It therefore can’t be much wider than necessary otherwise movement is compromised.
The nose and tail need to be padded differently to a road saddle as you will hit your saddle with your arse or legs occasionally.
More nose padding is useful, as you’re going to be sitting on it on steep climbs.
Cordura/fabric padded sides are nice, as the saddle tears there in falls, or laying your bike down.

These however are not waterproof.

I like SLR saddles, one of the two you see here was bought 15 years ago, and has been recovered three times now.
Padding in shorts makes more difference than you think in saddle selection.

Both need to work, together.

Width is important. More so than padding.

Brooks are a case in point.

Pressing your finger into a saddle won’t tell you that much, unless you’ve tried dozens of saddles and have reached the point where you know exactly what you are looking for.

Try pressing your knuckle into the saddle, it’s a more realistic simulation.

Measure your sitbones with some corrugated cardboard, sit down, lean forward and measure the indentations.

Make your own informed decision.

The two rules of saddles are.

You’re the one who’ll be sitting on it.
You can’t see it when you’re using it.

click http:// here for daily pictures of what I’m up to.

Sorry for my delay in posting, life gets in the way. As you can see, I’m recovering.

Saddle recovering is pretty easy, after you've done it a few times.

Saddle recovering is pretty easy, after you’ve done it a few times.

thick leather is heavier than stock, but more comfortable.

thick leather is heavier than stock, but more comfortable.



stretch is key

stretch is key

Love you long time.

Love you long time.

I’ve still got two frames that are ready to be built up, so all’s not lost after the break in last week.

I’m missing some components to finish building them up. so they’re not quite ready yet.


I’m busy working on the replacements to those bikes that have been stolen.

Not quite finished working out the details, but the plan is for:


a road singlespeed, it’s a perfect commuting bike I think. It’s cheap to build up as a show bike. Nice and light as well.

another Randonneur, intended for gravel, the other was biased to asphalt. so 650b, not 700c. Not sure if IGH or 2×10.

a cruiser, my green 1963 cruiser will be brought bang up to date,by going on a serious diet and increasing torsional resistance, hopefully without losing the style.SS most probl.

another 29er, the bags Scott from porcelain rocket made for me were off the bikes as I was working on them, so the 27.5 backpacker and the 29er will morph into something that is much more versatile. The system works, and I’ll be able to refine it after having ridden the other.

an extreme mtb, I’ve been thinking about this for a while, it’s clear in my head.

A 24″ cruiser,Either race or park bike. probably a mix of the two. I think it makes sense for what I can do in steel.

longer away, but have some ideas for a mixed medium TT bike.

road signature bike.



I remember the first bike I bought here in Barcelona, it got stolen after two weeks.

All my coworkers sucked their teeth and said I was stupid for having spent ‘so much money’ about 450e, all in, ten years ago nearly, on a bicycle.

I don’t like that kind of thinking. I don’t like living in fear.

So I went out and bought another bike, it cost twice as much. I cut down on everything I could to pay for it.

second folder I bought, a dahon full suspension, the shop said it was good for mtb trails, so I took it up and down the mountain. I rode trails I'd later only really get the hang of with 2.4 downhill tyres and 150mm of suspension front and rear. I was on 20" slicks, with about 15mm suspension. Virtus probata florescit.

second folder I bought, a dahon full suspension, the shop said it was good for mtb trails, so I took it up and down the mountain. I rode trails I’d later only really get the hang of with 2.4 downhill tyres and 150mm of suspension front and rear. I was on 20″ slicks, with about 15mm suspension. Just get on with it.

It was better, but not good.

I sold it and bought another, brought my road bike from Italy, bought another, then another, sold one, went on to own ten bikes.

mine, all mine, actually, they've all been sold. the memories remain.

mine, all mine, actually, they’ve all been sold. the memories remain.

Now I’m a framebuilder, and I have a bikeshop.

I’ve had four bikes stolen.

Great, I’m going to build eight.

And they’ll be twice as fucking good. At least.

So, yes, delays. so yes, even more overtime on the overtime I’m already working.


Virtus probata florescit.

That’s latin for, through trials, your virtue flourishes.


I find comfort in quotes, it’s other’s experience and hope, and faith and valour.

Those few words that have been repeated by men and women for a long time.

People that have gone through just as much shit as I have, probably more.

I say these things to myself because I believe in them.


I say these things because it helps me hold on when the world turns dark.

Because it does. It turns black, very black indeed.


I accept the darkness. It’s no stranger.


When you’ve given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.

That’s how Henry Miller, in Tropic of capricorn says the same thing.

It’s like picking a line, on a mtb, dedication is half the strategy. or seeing a gap in traffic, jumping to draft a lorry on the road bike.Hitting a berm, a wheelie drop off a wall. It’s not hard. What’s hard is believing you can.

Dedication. Commitment.


That’s all it is.


And when, not if, when it goes wrong, getting up again.

And again.


Because this is Revanche, not Unicorns and Rainbows (bike co).

If something goes wrong I won’t sit down and cry.


When something goes wrong I have to get up and get back on ASAP.


So I’ll get on with gettin on.

No complaints, just work.

No more blogging quotas, if I’ve got something to say it, I’ll say it, but for the day to day look at my instagram,no more funny bikes, no more fucking about.

Work, good work and lots of it.

Or as Jason says;

If there’s a way out it’s step by step through the dark.

That’s my Revanche.


Happy Sunday.


ps. please follow me on instagram, it’s a preview on what will later be developed into blog posts;