My Dream Stable of Road Bikes

Pinarello Prince, Dogma 60.1 and Dogma FPX

One of the reasons that I started Asterisk*Cycles is because I love bicycles. I really do. By being involved with bikes this way, I am assured that I will be able to get my dream stable of bikes this year, which is no mean feat, I might add.

Without further ado, here is my dream stable. For a long time, I was thinking about the TIME RXR Ulteam as my preferred lugged carbon fiber frame, but feedback from some serious enthusiasts as well as some comments that I’ve read, leads me to believe that the Colnago EPS would be better suited.

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Velocite Price List

Velocite Bikes has just released their updated price list. Now that they offer SRAM, I’ll deck out my Magnus with Red. It will be followed by a Millennium shortly after.

Velocite Magnus & Flux

Velocite Magnus

The new frames from Velocite have arrived. The Magnus is an aggressive sprinter/climber road bike, while the Flux is an aggro hardtail MTB. The Helios has also arrived. It’s geometry is more conventional. I was going for the Helios, but Victor’s description of the Magnus make me question my initial thoughts. I might just get the Millennium (titanium) as my training bike and the Magnus as my carbon fiber bike.

Velocite Flux

50 KM Night Bike Ride

Velocite Millennium titanium frame

I wanted to go out on a bike ride yesterday, but was busy with work. So today, after coming home, I went out on a ride. It was about 5:30PM. I came back at around 7PM. It felt really good. I was a bit slower than a few weeks ago, but it was still a good time.

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Differentiable Manifolds

Morin surface as a sphere, via wikipedia
Morin surface as a sphere, via Wikipedia

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Things got abstract very quickly in complex analysis. We are constructing differentiable manifolds in the complex plane, to see the topology of  holomorphic domains. It blends together quite a few algebraic notions, as well as some beautiful topology, and it’s extremely interesting. The prof told us that this would fit neatly into a Riemann manifold or Riemann surfaces class.

Why is this so interesting? It explains exactly why derivatives and integrals actually work in the complex plane. Well, that’s not really true. It’s more than that. Applying calculus to complex functions is certainly richer than for real functions. We delve into the differential k-forms and their construction⁷. It’s quite elegant, I have to say. Some of my classmates were a bit dismayed by the abstract nature of this week’s lectures, but it had my full attention⁴.

I also noticed that we started using Berenstein & Gay’s book, Complex Variables¹. We’re about 5 weeks into the semester and we are on page 10 or so⁵. The level of difficulty in this class just went up a notch. Also, the level of complexity went up. That’s why they call it complex analysis!

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OEM Taiwanese Carbon Fiber Bike Companies

Sweet looking aero frame by Tank Cycles, called the Matrix F-35

Other than looking really nice, the Matrix F-35 is one interesting looking bike. I don’t know anything about the manufacturer, but I might visit the factory and check out this bike.

I’ve spent a bit of time researching Taiwanese OEM bike companies in order to find a great deal. I’ve actually found a 860 gr frame from Neo Cycles that would be a great training bike. It costs about $1,300 and is designed by the same people who made the Fascenario for Storck. It improves on that model with a thicker downtube for more stiffness and stability. The Fascenario 0.7 is a top-end bike. Pinarellos were also made there. Unlike most OEM bike frames, it’s BB30 and the owner of the “brand” will give me other deals on second-hand parts, like Fulcrum Racing Zeros and an ’08 Campagnolo Record 10 speed gruppo. He told me that his frame works better with 10 speeds than 11. The second-hand Record is cheaper than a new or second-hand SRAM Red gruppo, which is the one that I’d want to get. Unless I find a better deal on components in the second-hand market, I’ll just get Record. I’ll wait about a week before ordering it. This frame hasn’t been reviewed by others yet, but the lower-end frame, the Neo Exile, has been. It’s received great comments from bike riders. I’m also getting a bunch of stuff extra for almost nothing, which is really cool.

I want to get this frame in raw carbon fiber with a clear coat. The decals will be black, so they won’t show. It makes this a kind of stealth frame, which is what I want. I don’t want anything flashy. Good carbon fiber frames can be had new in Taiwan for about $700.

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