Is Your Bike Super Nice?

Is Your Bike Super Nice?

August 12, 2019 96 By William Morgan


(cowbell clanging)
– We ring the bell!
(logo whistling)
– Reading through the
comments underneath the GCN’s
Tech show, there is often discussion,
sometimes heated, on
exactly what classifies
as a super-nice in the bike vault.
– Now some of you may be asking,
“What is the bike vault?”
– What’s the bike vault?
– Where’ve you been, under a rock?
It’s the part of the GCN Tech show
where viewers submit
pictures of their bikes,
and myself and Jon judge
them to either be nice,
or super nice.
– Yeah that’s right, and
today we’re gonna run through
our top secrets, but they’re
not gonna be secret any more,
but bits of advice, snippets and tips
so that you can firstly,
get into the bike vault
and secondly, get that all
important bell ringing.
(cowbell ringing)
Now the bike of course
has to be the focus point
of the photo that you take.
Ah, of course not always,
however it is your pride
and joy after all.
– This is my bike, there are many like it,
but this one is mine.
My bike is my best friend, it is my life.
– Ollie stop, stop, actually
no stay like that for a minute,
work out those guns,
but what Ollie’s saying
is actually quite true.
After all, your bike needs
to be in tip top condition,
so if you’re gonna submit a photo,
make sure that it is absolutely spotless.
We don’t want any grime on it whatsoever,
don’t do a five-minute bike wash.
You want to make sure
that bike is so good,
you could even do your hair in it.
So it needs to be
show-n-shine style condition.
Unless of course it’s
got a matte paint finish,
then we want it to be nice and flat.
– Can I get up now (mumbles)
– Yeah you can
put it down now (mumbles).
(Ollie exhales)
(Jon laughs)
– Bike specifics then.
If your bike looks like it’s
been covered in superglue
and then dragged through
a bike jumble sale
and somehow got every
single bike accessory
available to humanity festooned upon it,
then it probably isn’t
gonna get a super nice.
Minimalism is key here, even if you found
a really beautiful spot mid-ride,
we recommend temporarily removing some
of your accessories as these
can detract from the beauty
and simplicity of your frame.
They can draw the eye and
they just don’t look as good.
So things to include are:
saddlebags, lights, and bottles.
Although bear in mind bikes
with GCN water bottles,
that’s the exception, they often get
automatic super nices, especially
if they’re the red ones.
Anything else, frame
bags, whatever, pumps,
temporarily remove it for the photo.
– Now we are joking, but
I’m sure you’ll agree
that this bike now looks
absolutely fantastic
now that it’s uncluttered.
Something to consider
here is also the angle
in which you shoot your bike from.
It needs to be side on, doesn’t it Ollie?
That way we can really
scrutinise all of the componentry
as well as positioning
of key items such as:
your crank set, that needs to be in the
– [Both] three o’clock position.
– As well as your valves, they need to be
in the what o’clock position, Ollie?
– Six.
– Six o’clock, that’s right.
And if you’re using clincher
tyres you need to make sure
that the manufacturer’s logo,
or even the actual model
of those tyres need to match perfectly
with those valve stems.
Of course there are exceptions
if you’re using tubular tyres,
sometimes the manufacturer
doesn’t stamp their logo on
it in exactly the right place,
but you are excused for
that error on their part,
if you like.
– Also, Biggie Smalls.
Biggie Smalls.
We’ve got Biggie Smalls.
– Yeah we’ve got Biggie Smalls
is in the house.
– [Oliver] Biggie Smalls again.
– [Jon] I was waiting
for you to bring him up.
– No, not Christopher
George Latore Wallace
and his seminal album “Ready to Die”,
Biggie Smalls as in
the ideal gear to be in
to make your bike photogenic.
The big chain ring at the front
and the smallest sprocket at the back.
– [Jon] It looks absolutely
perfect doesn’t it
when you do that.
– Yeah it has Biggie Smalls.
– Yeah, I see where you’ve gone with that.
Now one of the reasons behind this is
that it has the derailleur in
a really fantastic position.
If you’re gonna have biggie big,
we don’t know anyone Biggie Big do we?
– He never had any good albums.
– No.
Well then the derailleur
pulley and the arms,
they’re gonna be extended so far forward
it’s just not gonna be
visually appealing is it?
– No, neither is small smalls.
– No, droopy chains.
No one ever got a super
nice for a droopy chain.
Sticking with the drive
train then momentarily,
nothing screams super nice as
much as a little bit of bling.
When I say bling, I mean a gold chain.
– Good chain though, yeah he’s
got a gold chain on there.
– Now unfortunately here,
Ollie has let me down,
but we are gonna do
a little fixing up–
– It’s on order,
it’s on order.
– Good, because after
all a bit of gold chain
that adds just that extra
dimension to your bike,
doesn’t it?
– Oh, it does.
– And while nobody laughed
at Mr. T, aka B. A. Baracus did they?
– Pity the fool.
– Precisely.
Right, let’s move on then.
Handlebar tape and saddle.
In an ideal world, that needs to match.
Now I do understand it’s
not always possible,
but if you’re going for a
light-colored handlebar tape
make sure that those photos you submit,
the bar tape is not
filthy, it’s not grubby,
there’s no grubby hand prints on it,
there’s only room for one
grubby guy around here
and that’s me, okay?
So moving on from that
then Ollie, what’s up next?
– Well sticking with
the front of the bike,
the steerer tube.
Now, controversial?
Slamming your stem is all well and good,
it’s likely to get you a super nice.
But we don’t want you to slam your stem
if it means it’s gonna make
the bike uncomfortable to ride
for you and you’re not gonna
want to ride it as much
or it’ll give you back pains.
The one thing we don’t
like is excess steerer tube
above the stem.
– No, that’s right.
So you are allowed to have up
to 15 millimetres protruding
above that stem.
Now the reason for that
can sometimes give you
a better clamping force (mumbles)
from your actual stem–
– Yeah, I’ve left five
mil for that reason here.
– Exactly, Ollie’s done a very
good job of that, and also
for the fact if you want
to resell the bike afterwards,
well you have a little bit
of room there for a prospective
buyer to actually be able
to raise their bars a little bit.
However as we have mentioned a few times,
15 millimetres is the
absolute maximum permitted
in the bike vault.
(upbeat electronic music)
(camera shutter clicks)
(camera shutter clicks)
(camera shutter clicks)
– Background now, and this is important.
It can make or break your photo.
Do you go and try and get
lots of nice depth and field
to really make your bike
pop or do you just go
a bit more basic and a bit
of a more flat background?
Well if you get depth of field wrong,
it can make the picture look garbage
and you often need specialist
photography equipment
to be able to do it.
But the main take home
message is that you pick
a background that enables
your bike to pop and stand out
and isn’t too cluttered.
If you’ve got an epic background
or something really beautiful,
then by all means you can include it
just make sure that if
you do, do it in a way
that we can see it so
that we can identify it
and also ask yourself is it worthy
of being in the background?
– Actually, we’ve got a
vast knowledge outside
of cycling haven’t we?
We can identify most vehicles?
– Yes.
Speeds of up to 30 miles an hour
from that legendary air-cooled V12 engine,
29 litre petrol engine,
(Jon laughing)
810 brake horsepower
and 1,950 newton litres of torque.
– Most aeroplanes .
– True.
That appears to be a VA-97 A-7
Corsair II on the left there,
a carrier capable of subsonic
light attack, aircraft.
– Military vehicles too.
– Indeed.
And the RAF Hunter F Mk 6s entered service
in October 1956.
Just be careful though
that there’s nothing rude
or naughty in the background.
We get many submissions to the bike vault
which we can never show you
because there’s inadvertently
offensive things
in the background.
This is often done by mistake.
It might be a nude
reflection of the person
taking the photo, or it might
be a dog in the background
relieving itself, or it may
be some offensive graffiti.
– Yeah that’s right, and what if we talk
about graffiti actually?
There is some notable
exceptions, isn’t there?
Or certainly of artwork.
First thing, Banksy because
his work is priceless,
he’s fairly local to us here in the UK,
and also that artwork
in (mumbles), in Belgium
and also at the bottom
of the outer (mumbles)
which was produced by Nestor
that is cycling specific.
– Yes, cycling specific
road graffiti, that’s good.
Above all though, it’s
important to remember
that these very stringent
rules can change daily
on a bike by bike basis
depending on how we feel.
– Yeah, really this is
just a light-hearted take
on exactly what you could do to get inside
of the bike vault, but you
don’t have to actually follow,
do you?
Because let’s face it, we
get so many submissions,
and without you there would
be no bike vault, would there?
– No, you guys are the
best viewers in the world
so keep them coming,
because we love getting
your submissions to bike vault
and rules are made to be broken, Jon.
– That’s right.
– They certainly are.
So, we hope you’ve enjoyed this video,
and if you have then
please give it a thumbs up
and share it with your
friends to help them
get their bikes in the bike vault.
And so watch the latest
episode of the GCN Tech show,
click down here.
– Give it a super nice.