Is your bike male or female?


Cevelio, Eddy and Claudette. That’s what mine are called. We all have pet names for our bikes right?…. right? But how do we decide which gender they are? Mine have nearly always been male, all but one. My current ride is a Cervelo SLC, nicknamed “Cevelio“. My mental rider image of Cevelio is kind of a cross between Oscar Feriere and Francesco Moser, a little chunky, but looks fast standing still. I have no idea why this Canadian has become a Spanish male sprinter, but it just feels right. Maybe it is all that muscle up front and that big fat down tube?

I couldn’t help thinking while riding next to my friend Wai the other night that his old purple steel frame Colnago was female. Well, it is purple, and has lovely delicate little chrome lugs and some nice linear paint decoration. It kind of looks all dressed up and ready to go out. The sort of dressed up that most men don’t particularly care to do (You know “what T-shirt graphic will I wear this evening?” isn’t really dressing up right).

However my first ride was an old steel Holdsworth under the brand of Claud Butler. She (see it just feels right to say “she”) was a gorgeous royal blue and in the way that a lot of frames from the 80s look now, looked a little delicate. Hence Claudette. Despite the fact the frame is British I always thought of her as being from Belgium. Kind of like a female version of Claude Criquielion.

The side effect of this is I can’t give them up. This isn’t just a build. It is Claudette. How could I ever sell Claudette? Hence I have a bike from each period of my riding, apart from the Merckx I crumpled into the back of a car. You know this cold weather riding does funny things to your brain….

Categories: Classic / Rides

  1. I always “Ernesto” was a male name. =)

  2. Bicycles are female. La bicicleta.

    Luis Diaz
  3. My bikes kind of have describing names.
    Right now I have a aluminium frame road bike which I use for training and racing and call it my warhorse. An old steel frame in purple which I use for riding in the city and shopping is my city slut. she has to take all the shit like cobblestones, there are a lot here, sherds, rain, snow and salt. I’m quite abusive with her and she gets less love than the other bikes. And I got a mtb which I call my mud serf, since that is his primary function, being beaten off-road through the dirt.

  4. PS: De fiets(Dutch) is male as is le vélo(French) and das Fahrrad(German) is neuter


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