Sometimes you meet people and just click. I’m incredibly proud to be able to tell you that WyndyMilla will be supporting me this year! The kings of custom performance creating made to measure beautiful bicycles; we have been chatting for a while and are developing a few exciting new bikes measured for me and I’m letting their paint studio, WM Paintworks turn one of my TT bikes into a piece of art. I can’t wait to be able to show you more as we progress with each project. Let the love affair begin
So time for part 2 of building up the ultimate crit bike. A massive thank you to the legends at SBC Cycles, as always for helping building the beast up. SBC Cycles, a shop based in East London are an independent (metal lovers) bike shop who offer some of the best custom builds and servicing I have ever received. They also happen to be right behind my flat.
I thought it would be right to run through the spec of the bike below. For the crit bike, I have opted to build up a Cannondale CAAD10 Black Inc frameset with some of the latest Shimano components.
FRAME: Cannondale CAAD10 Black Inc
STEM: Fi'zi:k Cryano R1 110mm
HANDLEBARS: PRO Vibe Alloy Handlebar (with Di2 bar end junction box)
FRONT BRAKE: Shimano Ultegra R8000
REAR BRAKE: Shimano Ultegra R8000
FRONT DERAILLEUR: Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8050
REAR DERAILLEUR: Shimano Ultegra Di2 R8050
SHIFTERS: Shimano Dura Ace Di2 R9150 (with sprint shifters)
CASSETTE: Shimano Ultegra R8000 11/28
CRANKSET: Shimano Dura Ace R9100 53/39
FRONT WHEEL: Shimano Dura Ace R9100 C60
REAR WHEEL: Shimano Dura Ace R9100 C60
FRONT TYRE: Continental GP4000 25
REAR TYRE: Continental GP4000 25
SADDLE: fi'zi:k Antares R1 Carbon Rails
SEATPOST: Fi'zi:k Cyrano R1
Looking forward to getting some races in on this!
As I have started getting back into criterium racing towards the end of 2017 and going into 2018 I thought it would be a wise idea to build something up specifically for it.
My criteria was simple. Lightweight aluminium frame, deep section wheelset, electronic groupset. The reasons for each of these I will explain below:
Lightweight aluminium frame
Take centre stage this:
So I started hunting around online for something that I thought would work as a great frame. I instantly knew what I was after. The key component here being aluminium. I wanted to use an aluminium frame as the technology now days making these frame sets means that they are often as light and stiffer then carbon frames. Aluminium also dents, it doesn't tend to crack like carbon would, something which in London's criterium racing scene could be vital as crashes are a regular occurrence.
I found this frame online for a steal of a price (thank you Howard). It is the Cannondale CAAD10 Black Inc edition which is specifically a Di2 frameset. Perfect. The CAAD10 is well known and highly regarded as one of the all time best aluminium frames you can buy, the Black Inc edition is black (obviously) and gold, a nod to the Cannondale black lightning released in 1989 (my birth year which made a nod to getting this frame)
Deep section wheelset
To be honest, this is pretty simple. It's all to do with AERO GAINZZZZ. Deeper wheels are more aerodynamic meaning you can cut through the wind more efficiently. For me having an aluminium break surface was pretty important, it means that there is much better stopping during wet and rainy conditions. Step in the Shimano Dura Ace R9100 C60 Carbon Clincher Wheelset.
These wheels feature a wider rim to increase ride stability, provide increased cornering ability, on wider tyres, and greater aerodynamic properties. The Shimano Dura-Ace C60 Carbon Clincher Wheelset's wider rim is 50 mm deep with an alloy braking surface to create an incredibly fast, straight line, wheelset with trusted braking power.
The Shimano Dura-Ace C60 Carbon Clincher Wheelset uses stainless steel butted straight pull bladed spokes with aluminium hub shell and oversized 7075 alloy axle to improve the rigidity on previous years. The increased ridgity in the wheel makes for a more responsive ride. Combine the improved rigidity with the titanium freehub, which engages every 10 degrees, the Shimano Dura-Ace C60 Carbon Clincher Wheelset produces instant, explosive acceleration, and straight line speed.
In 2008, Dura-Ace 7900 was launched, which was a radical redesign and new aesthetic direction over the previous version, gunmetal grey replacing polished metal. A year later Shimano went electronic, introducing its first Di2 (Digital Integrated Intelligence) groupset with Dura- Ace 7970.
Met with initial scepticism by some more traditional cyclists, it nethertheless went on to mark a new chapter in the history of the groupset. Now, almost every pro team on Shimano uses Di2. 15 of the 18 World Tour teams use Shimano Di2 and every stage and every jersey of the 2017 TdF was won with Shimano (Dura Ace) Di2 components. Shimano's bold decision creating Di2 created much hype at it's launch and has simply dominated the cycling component market.
Jump forward to the present day. Shimano has now created 3 generations of Di2, which the current and previous generations have been compatible with both rim brake and disc brake bikes meaning it has truly captured the market.
Shimano bills the latest Dura-Ace as "the most advanced system of road cycling components in Shimano's 95-year history," which is certainly bold talk.
It's still an 11-speed groupset but introduced a number of new features and refinements. Synchronised shifting is now available with Di2, which lets the system control both derailleurs.
For me electronic shifting is a no brainer for a crit bike. It shifts flawlessly, never missing a beat, plus the addition of sprint shifters means that you can keep racing on the drops and flick through the gears.
So the line up of the bike is the following:
- Cannondale CAAD10 Black Inc Frameset
- Shimano Dura Ace C60 Carbon Clincher Wheelset
- Pro Vibe Aluminium bars
- Fizik stem, saddle and seatpost
- Shimano Dura Ace Di2 Shifters (with sprint shifters)
- Shimano Dura Ace Crankset (non power meter but when racing a power meter will be fitted to the bike)
- Shimano Ultegra Di2 Rear Derailleur
- Shimano Ultegra Di2 Front Derailleur
- Shimano Ultegra Brake Calipers
Come back to see the progress on the build!
Being supported by a fantastic cycling clothing brand has always been important to me. I'm quire particular about the styling, aesthetics and quality of the kit that I wear. What started out as an agreement to wear the kit soon evolved into a firm friendship with Jimmi and Emily, founders of Attacus, who have been with me pretty much from the start of my adventures.
Attacus have just recently released their winter collection
The collection consists of 3 major pieces and a redefined Dark Dagger Vest.
The thermal winter tights have:
Windproof, showerproof thermal stretch fabric that’s soft and comfortable. It’ll keep you warm on the coldest of days and dry in light showers
Double-layered knee panels specially designed to move effortlessly with your natural riding motion and keep your joints extra toasty
High-waisted bibs to keep your core warm
High-performance endurance chamois provides lasting comfort over long rides
Reflective 'Attacus' logo and chevron bands for visibility in the road
Silicone leg grippers that’ll slide over even the biggest feet and keep your tights in place without the discomfortable of rigid ankle zips
Tailor-cut for cyclists so you’re comfortable and have full protection against the elements when you’re in a riding position
I remember when Jimmi first showed me the Cold Weather Jacket. I think my first reaction was basically 'YES' I fell in love with the prototype before I had even seen the final design. The blue colour, is pretty much my favourite shade. The inside of the jacket has a bold peacock pattern to it and the jacket features rear pockets, reflective logos and a waterproof front pocket, perfect to keep your cards and cash in.
The jacket has:
Windproof, showerproof, stretch fabric that’ll keep you warm in strong wind and dry in light showers
Insulated materials that can withstand the coldest days
Soft, breathable lining for added warmth and comfort
3 back pockets
100% waterproof, zipped chest pocket
Two reflective logos, plus reflective pocket and wrist strips for extra visibility in the road
Tailor-cut for cyclists so you’re comfortable and have full protection against the elements when you’re in a riding position
Silicon gripper waist band - because the only thing riding up should be you
Having your friend build and design you a bike is pretty special; especially when it ends up in making what becomes not just any bike, but a total dream. Rob has been somewhat prolific this year and he shows no sign of slowing down in his production.
With the backing of Jam Cycling, we went ahead to start to build up what would become my perfect cyclocross racer/ all road tourer. Firstly we started by working on the geometry of the bike. I have quite a unique position which allowed us to really make the bike appear quite aggressive (for a cyclocross bike) whilst still following traditions of a longer wheelbase, wide clearance and a higher bottom bracket. The ideal geometry was tried and tested from a bike fit with James Thomas at Sigma Sports. The beauty of a custom bike is you can literally do what you like.
The spec of the bike is as follows:
- Custom Quirk Cycles frame painted by Cole Coatings
- Kinesis Tripster fork
- Verve Infocrank powermeter with Praxis Works chainrings
- Kogel ceramic BB and Jockey Wheels
- Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset
- Zipp 303 Tubs fitted with Vittoria Terreno Mix G+ tyres
- Fizik finishing kit
- Hope headset
- TRP Sypre cable brakes
The bike has been magestically painted by Cole Coatings (If you don't know them, check them out!) Wording from Cole Coatings:
'Inspired by modern NJS style paint and a taking cues from some high-end cars, this design features a 'top-down' (or a 'bottom-up'!) fade arranged in such a way that almost every tube has it's own gradient or 'colour junction'.
We've taken the customer's colour suggestions and gone one step further by utilising House of Kolor 'Kandy Basecoats'; specialist pearls which offer much the of depth and dynamics associated with traditional candy products but are a little more straightforward to apply. The Quirk and Columbus branding has been picked out in a flat black (an essential groundcoat colour for this type of paint) which is crisp and clean against the playful metallic effects in the blue and purple.
One final point of note that we wouldn't tend to mention is the sheen; a crisp, clean and lustrous gloss is something we aim for on every project... but the candy base colours are brought to life once under a well polished clearcoat.'
I think we can all agree, what Rob and Cole Coatings have produced is a complete work of art which I can't wait to smash around on some proper winter miles and at local CX races. Keep an eye out for her, shes pretty special.
Photos by the ever so talented Nikoo Hamzavi
I've been spending some time time trailing again on my Planet X Exorcet 2. I purchased this bike on a bit of a whim. I bought it on Cycle to Work (obviously to cycle to work) to see how I liked time trailing. I can confirm I love it. Racing against the clock, its a pure form of racing where your own strength, positioning and style make all the benefits or errors.
With that in mind and after setting some competitive 10, 25 and 100 mile time trials, it was time to change the bike to try and get myself as aerodynamic as possible.
Initial changes were wheelset. I am currently riding on a set of Zipp 60s with an older Zipp disc wheel. I opted for the older disc wheel as it was firstly a good price, secondly can be converted to use on a track bike and lastly had an aluminium break surface. (ie. it stops in the rain, something that massively helped in the last 100 mile TT I did.)
The saddle was upgraded to a Fizik Tritone. A slightly older TT saddle that I have found, through trial and error to be incredibly comfortable. I also fitted a Verve Infocrank. Knowing your data numbers is key, especially for the longer distance TTs, but equally to go back and access the shorter distance races.
Next was aerodynamics...
Enter Stage Centre Ken Buckley, my coach and friend who holds the British Land Speed Record and is in the all time top 40 best 25 mile TT times. Ken is a master of aerodynamic positioning and wanted to help tweak and change the bike as much as possible. So we started stripping..(The bike I mean.)
The key, in Ken's eyes was to create a bullet shape to the front end of the human body and to flatten my back out. To do this you raise your hands up, lower your pads (so you rest on your elbows as opposed to your forearms. You then need to pull in the elbows as much as possible to create an aerodynamic front end (one object hitting the wind as opposed to multiple objects which creates drag.) The back if flattened by slightly lowering the saddle and pulling it back (brings in more power ironically for me). The key is making sure that all the contact points are correctly touching everything in the best possible way. This bullet shape, becomes much more aerodynamic to allow you to push air around the body. Below are the results:
Side by side you can see the before and after. We changed the front end completely with some new 3T Mistral bars and USE 40 degree extensions. The front end was lowered but the pads stayed at the same height. The elbows are another major difference between the two.
Side on you can see how the stem has been lowered and the elbow is firmly on the pad. One of the noticeable differences is my back. It is much flatter, thus causing more comfort when taking out some of the longer time trials. Its easy to see how this 'bullet' front end comes into play, by creating less of a point for the wind to have to travel around, becoming more aerodynamic.
I can't wait to see the results of this. If you would like help with getting more slippery on your TT bike, please contact Ken at http://buckleyperformancecoaching.co.uk/
Every now and then something absolutely amazing comes along. After 107 I decided I needed to find something to keep me riding. Step front and centre, my dream bike.
I have always been a huge admirer of FOCUS, their simplistic tubing, strong graphic style and the fact that they do not over-do the colour on the bikes greatly has always appealed to me. More than the style and look of them is that they simply fit me perfectly. I am yet to find another bike brand that I can feel so comfortable on, weather that is riding extra long distance, racing or mucking about with a few friends. It all makes a guge difference in what becomes the ultimate bike.
I have one major change to my Izalco Max, installing the Verve Infocrank powermeter. The Infocrank is known to be one of the most accurate power meters on the market, used and trusted by British Cycling and the UCI as well as athletes such as Elinor Barker.
Some spec details of the bike below:
FRAME: Izalco Max, carbon size medium
FORK: Izalco MAX, 9 mm QR, carbon
STEM ZIPP SC-SL-B1 110mm
HANDLEBARS: Zipp SC-SL70
FRONT BRAKE: SRAM RED-B2
REAR BRAKE: SRAM RED-B2
FRONT DERAILLEUR: SRAM RED eTAP
REAR DERAILLEUR: SRAM RED eTAP
SHIFTERS: SRAM RED eTAP
BOTTOM BRACKET: PRAXIS WORKS Pressfit
CASSETTE: SRAM XG-1190
CRANKSET: VERVE INFOCRANK
FRONT WHEEL: DT SWISS RC38 622/15 Front:QR 100
REAR WHEEL: DT SWISS RC38 622/15 Rear:QR 130
FRONT TYRE: Schwalbe ONE, 25-622
REAR TYRE: Schwalbe ONE, 25-622
SADDLE: fi'zi:k Antares R1 Carbon Rails
SEATPOST: Concept CPX, 27.2x 340 mm
We all have a dream bike that we have always wanted. I finally finished building mine up now.
She was bought off a close friend's dad a few years ago and I have not looked back since. Having always had a soft spot for Focus, primarily because of their Cyclocross bikes and their founder Michael Kluge, a former 3x cyclocross world champion was a bit of a hero of mine.
This bike was the first road Focus I had ever seen and I instantly fell in love with her. For me the geometry fits perfectly, they are twitchy and always want to go fast making them great fun but also their heritage in cyclocross means that they handle incredibly well. I've done some amazing things on this bike from riding around Richmond Park for 24 hours to cycling across Romania. We have racked up a few stories. Nothing on this bike is original. I have built her up exactly how I want her.
She's a fantastic piece of kit to ride and it is always a joy, she's compact, light and nippy. A bike that I really don't do justice to and always wants to go faster and faster - it holds the speed incredibly well and handles like a joy. In contrast she's also one of the comfiest bikes I have ever ridden. I remember earlier this year I let my friend take her out for a ride in Mallorca, he had a smile on his face from cheek to cheek the whole time. Exactly how I feel riding her.
Thanks to SBC Cycles for tuning her in and Lawrence Carpenter for the great photos
Having a spin on the Wahoo KICKR was a genuine pleasure. Here is a short film shot my the chaps at AttacusCC.
Turbo training is tough. It'll never quite beat cycling out on the roads but when you're trying to put in the serious training miles, sometimes needs must. But the Wahoo KICKR's made turbo training more fun and structured. Direct mount means no concerns about wearing out tyres, while providing the best transfer of power to gain accurate data. I team the KICKR up with Zwift and the Verve Infocrank power meter. It lets me create structured training plans close to real world cycling. Zwift's ability to work with the KICKR and increase the tension on elevations in the virtual reality world is a massive leap in cycling technology. It's not the same as riding outdoors, but the KICKR allows serious cyclists to get the highest quality session they're ever going to get.
Howard and James, two good friends of mine started Massif Central a few years back to illustrate your achievements in the most beautiful of ways. The brand has grown from strength to strength, creating more and more beautiful pieces.
There are some fantastic rewards from 3D printed achievements, shirts, challenges such as cycling up Mount Ventoux or spending a day in the studio with the team.
Here is some information from the boys themselves:
WHAT WE DO - We design beautiful memento artworks of sporting and other achievements.
THE AIM - Help us build an online portal - 'The Massifier' - for people to create their own bespoke artworks of their achievements.
WHAT THEY SAY - Chris Froome - Winner of the 2013, 2015 & 2016 Tour de France "The MassifCentral Limited Edition 100th Tour de France print is awesome."
WHAT WE DO
MassifCentral (MaCe) illustrate achievements; turning your life-changing challenges, unforgettable holidays and great journeys into sophisticated infographic artworks that also tell the story behind the effort and the enjoyment.
MassifCentral was set up two years ago. After completing a long distance cycle adventure with a bunch of friends, we wanted to create a different kind of memento to give to each member of the group. Instead of the usual photos, medals or certificate, we wanted something that was beautiful in its own right and that could tell the story of the experience at the same time.
That first design quickly led us to start producing similar artworks for other people. Whether the achievement be cycling, running, triathlon, skiing, hiking, sailing or something else, we've always worked to produce prints that remain true to those early principles of beauty and story-telling. And the reaction we've had to our designs has been brilliant.
Initially this work was all done pretty much by hand. We manually traced route profiles and worked out angles using the most basic of tools. Each artwork took weeks, if not months, to produce. Over the course of time we have refined our techniques, streamlined our processes and expanded the possibilities. But, even with some initial software that we developed last year, building each artwork is still a very labour intensive process that stops us from reaching more people.
We want to develop an intuitive, user-controlled online portal that allows people to create their own bespoke Massif Central artworks; easily pulling in their own GPX data, making choices about look and size from our carefully curated designs, and adding their own thoughts and memories to an automatically populated geography. We will still print everything individually, and pack and ship with the same love and care we do now.
The initial software we have developed so far is great. But it's only the seed of what we need. It's not an outward facing item and it needs expanding and testing on all platforms. It needs to interface with Strava and Google Maps. It needs to help customers make decisions about what to include and what to exclude. It needs to be simple and clever at the same time, allowing people to create, preview, save and order their own memento artworks.
We know what we need to do to achieve this. We have the skilled people lined up to do it. What we don’t have is the funding to put the wheels in motion. That is what we are looking for here..
May 2014 - Massif Central Launched
May 2015 - Initial Software Development Started
November 2015 - Initial Software Delivered
November 2016 - Kickstarter
December 2016 - Developed Software Development To Begin
January 2017 - First Rewards Delivered
March 2017 - Developed Software Completion
April-May 2017 - Developed Software Testing / Soft launch
May 2017 - Developed Software Launch
Thanks for reading. We hope you will join with us on our next great adventure.
James & Howard
I recently spent a few days riding around Italy with the tour company Traverse Aravis. Here is a few words from Michael Winterton about the trip:
For the second time this year we made the trip across to Bormio in Italy which is fast becoming a second home to us. It should not be a long trip, a few hours to Milan and then up into the mountains. However, that final 100km is slow going with single lane roads and local traffic along with miles of tunnels. It can be a little frustrating but when you emerge from the last tunnel and are greeted with the expanse of mountains and the old town of Bormio, you know it’s worth it.
It is impossible not to get excited with the weekend ahead as there is a buzz of cyclists around the town. You know that you are where it is at, for those who like two wheels. It is pretty special. Checking in and getting the accommodation ready with the welcome packs and goodies (a special thanks to Moma Porridge) was smooth and gave us a few hours to wait for the arrival of our group, the infamous Ripcor Cycling Club.
Arriving in time for dinner, which was up to the usual high standard that we come to expect from our base in Bormio, gave everyone the opportunity to discuss the weekend ahead and what was in store for them. They were uncharacteristically quiet and it became apparent that they were a little nervous about taking on the might of the Passo del Stelvio – understandable.
Our first day loops around this magnificent mountain, famed for cycling but equally important as a summer training base for skiers from across the Alps, showing just how high it is! It is a long climb of 26km and the plan was to drop down into German speaking Italy and across into Switzerland before climbing back up to the Umbrail pass which rejoins the Stelvio just 5km from the summit. For some though, the Stelvio is an amazing achievement in itself and there was no shame in returning back to Bormio having crested its summit. Everyone made it.
It is undoubtedly the middle part of the Stelvio which is the most stunning, it is here where the straight road that clings to the side of the mountain side is forced into the infamous switch backs as it comes head on with the face of the mountain. I parked up the support van to get some shots of the group coming up and they all actually seemed to be enjoying it. The spread of the group was not that big and they were all showing their strength. As the per the Ripcor motto: It’s all good.
The cluster of cafes and tourist stalls at the top of the Stelvio means that it is a good place to regroup, take in a coffee or two and revitalize. Everyone was in good spirits and thinking that they had made it, however, just because a pass is not famous, does not mean that it is not difficult. The Umbrail Pass was still to come. But first a 30 km descent. Speed Steve turns out not to be speedy and has a dislike for going downhill! His squeaking brakes reverberating around the mountains, surely confusing a marmotte or two. As I passed him, he asked for more water to help him cool the wheels down! It did the trick and they held out.
We set out lunch when we got into Switzerland. With just the Umbrail Pass to come, the day was nearing an end but this required a huge effort, lunch was certainly necessary.
The Umbrail Pass completes the triangle around the Stelvio, it is less well known and in turn less busy with fewer cyclists and cars on the road. This combined with the lack of kilometre markers creates a sense of true wilderness. That and “when will this end?!” It is though breathtaking. Once in a rhythm, it is just a case of keep plodding on. It was a little bit too much for Phil so he jumped in the van (the beauty of doing this with a support vehicle) for the last few km’s – not bad going though considering some turned back after the Stelvio. I will never forget John’s face when he arrived at the top – one of total pleasure yet total pain. Ripcor had earned their beer and cakes today.
Saturday was an all-together easier day, it is necessary to recuperate! It was a switchback ascent up towards Lake Cancano, they call it the mini-Stelvio around these parts and you can see why. Very, very steep to start with and then it eases off. Standing at the top, it was amazing to see everyone on the bends below, a fantastic view that you normally would only get from a helicopter.
Sunday was the attempt to complete the trilogy of big climbs in the area (and Italy in fact). The Mortirolo follow by the Gavia. A huge day. An early start was required. Dropping down from Bormio to the start of the Mortirolo is a gentle but fun 30km of freewheeling! The beams of sunrays breaking through the mountain tops gave me the impression that I was in a crystal, mountains in the mornings!
There is a tiny turning to the start of the Mortirolo, easily missed and for that reason, it is hard to imagine why it is so famous. Quoted by many as their hardest climb, including the drugged up Armstrong, it seems so innocuous. We do have a confession and say that there are two routes up that join for the last ascent, we went up the “easier” part. You tell that to the guys!
Just as you get to a little church, the road ramps up and really kicks in, I guess for the first time in the weekend, you realise why the Giro maybe regarded as a little tougher than the Tour. It was all a bit too much for Leigh but he took great pleasure in cheering everyone else on from the comfort of the van. Again just to get up to that point was an achievement that most cannot say that they have done.
The hot chocolate just after the summit makes it worth it.
Next stop the Gavia. Dieter was banging on about how he just wanted to do the Mortirolo, that was the famous climb of the two. What is all the fuss about this Gavia? Well, Dieter, its steep and long. It’s bloody hard. You think that you are cycling up to the doors of hell. But when you get to the top, it is magical. High, and unlike the Stelvio with all its hotels and skiers, it’s wild. You have certainly left the normal hustle and bustle of everyday life behind. Rewarding.
Just after a long, dark tunnel with about 2km to go, I found Alastair and Phil pondering their next move. The others were just finishing up. I told them in no uncertain terms that they were not getting in the van. They pushed on and shortly after made it to the top of this monster. Tears of joy (or pain) rolling down Phil’s cheeks, they, like everyone else had achieved something special. Chapeau as you would say in France. I was expecting a raucous evening of celebration but everyone was happy to relax and contemplate their achievements over a glass or two.
It is always a real pleasure heading into Richmond Park, especially early doors in the morning. Today a group of us headed out for a few pre work laps then a cheeky coffee in Dynamo in Putney. Well worth a stop.
Noun1. An Outcast. A person who is rejected or cast out, as from home or society: In the beginning the area was settled by outcasts, adventurers and felons.
Given the above, we would imagine you asking what it is the connection to cycling?
Paria have always had a passion for the irreverent and alternative, whether this be design, attitude or even out look. They have prided themselves on this, but it means sometimes ended up feeling like the odd one out.
Take this raison d’etre, and twin it with a keen eye for design and all things unconventional then you have the makings of Paria.
Their aim was borne out of a desire to deliver something fresh into the cycling market taking urban influences and attitude, coupled with the grit and fervor driven out of the Yorkshire countryside.
They want to design apparel which will deliver exceptional performance with no compromises in either technical ability or durability. Paria have made it their mission to design and manufacture top class apparel and kit which will take some stick and still look good.
How are they doing this? Rather than get a sweat shop of creatives and bespectacled hipsters, they are working with up and coming designers and artists from a range of disciplines; illustrators, digital specialists and bamboo tattoo artists.
The brand's ethos and attitude is something that sits well with many cyclists out there, as generally we are extroverts in our own ways. Paria and Ripcor have collaborated on two kits so far, the Richmond24 Jersey and the Gran Fondo Great Britain Ripcor kit. Both of these are availible to order for a limited time on the Paria website.
Infocrank have supported me for several months since Richmond24. Currently I have been using the double sided power meter on my Focus Izalco Pro 3.0 and bike computer across my bikes. The chain rings are Praxis Works which are installed onto my Focus Izalco Team.
InfoCrank is loved by the pros and Institutes, but in reality it was designed for normal cyclists who want to improve their cycling performance.
InfoCrank is a highly complex scientific unit, but its easy to install, setup and beautiful to ride. From start to finish of your ride, an InfoCrank bike power meter records true Left and Right power balance, Pedal Smoothness, Torque Effectiveness and Cadence – all without skipping a beat. All in all a fantastic device providing you with accurate data to train to.
The device is used by the UCI, British Cycling, One ProCycling and Dame Sarah Storey to name a few people who use the infocrank.
For more information click here
Jamie (left) and Mark (right) the two owners of SBC both come with a wealth of experience, knowledge and love of all things bike (and Zuber)
SBC Cycles is a truly independent bike shop in the heart of East London, situated a stones throw from Old Street Station and sit right in between Shoreditch, Hoxton, Hackney and Islington
They are just two mechanics with near debilitating bicycle addictions. They love all types of bikes from Carbon Road to Vintage Choppers to Full Sus MTB's and have a special passion for the rare and interesting parts of bicycle history.
They believe that riding bikes is not only the best transport and great exercise, its also FUN! and they think that going to a bike shop should be too.
The two met whilst working at Tokyo Fixed back in 2010 and realised they had a somewhat compulsive love of bikes, bicycle modification, riding everything and heavy music… With the seed planted they started working on the idea of opening our own space. These things never go as quickly as you think, but in 2015 launching our own bespoke workshop.
Having worked in a fair few bike shops in the past 10 years, they've taken all of the best bits from their previous jobs to create a destination store for cyclists, created by cyclists. The shop was designed and fitted out solely by them. Nearly all of the furniture and fixtures have been handcrafted and built from scratch using recycled and found materials.
They have a fully equipped professional workshop that can cater for any servicing and repairs. Along side that they specialise in custom bicycles and hand built wheels. They have the capacity to fix absolutely any mechanical issue that you may have, regardless of what type of bike you own. SBC stock a variety of parts for builds, along with componentry and upgrades across all cycling disciplines.
Their ideology behind the shop is based around adventures on bikes, whatever shape or form. Whether it’s shredding trails in a forest, riding track bikes on the street, day long road rides or touring the mountainous landscapes of the world. As long as it’s with a good group of friends."
Pop in. You have to make this your local bike shop.
I have been privileged to help test and collaborate with Tom and Peter for a while now, both on the 24, racing in Perth and out in Italy. We will also be collaborating on another exciting project in the near future. To give you some information on the brand:
WHY - The bike wheelsets we want to buy aren't easily available so we've made them. Peter and Tom Marchment, are avid cyclists and have years of experience in the UK bike industry sourcing and marketing bike components from around the world. Tom has worked with several leading performance wheel brands. This knowledge means HuntBikeWheels bring you the latest practical technology and thinking in all things round. Their hubs, spokes, rims, bearings and quick-releases are manufactured by leaders in each field and are then lovingly hand-built into outstanding wheels by experts with thousands of builds to their names.
THE CHASE - Most of their rides are currently on the road so that's where they began. The wheels used for the vast majority of road miles need to be fast, light weight, suitable for wider road tyres, durable, easily serviceable and provide excellent braking performance. They have become strong advocates for tubeless technology. Having tested tubeless extensively on and off road they know it provides you with noticeably improved ride quality, grip and puncture protection. All their wheels come tubeless ready, but work perfectly with standard tyres and tubes, and provide excellent specs and low weight. Plus you're future-proofed if you want to go tubeless later. Of course, the wheels have to look stunning yet sophisticated too. They don't spec down to a price point we just create the best wheels for each type of riding.
THE PLAN - Their wheels are available to order through your local bike shop (just ask them to contact them) or purchase directly here at HuntBikeWheels.com, with international shipping available free of charge. They invest more in the details and significantly increase the specification of each component so Hunt wheels provide maximum performance to the rider. Their direct customer service means you will always be able to speak to a person and access the parts and servicing you need fast. Above all they want to create wheels and provide service you depend on, and allow you to perform to the highest level day-in day-out. They would love to hear how we can help you ride further and faster.
A key thing about being able to plough down more and more miles adding further and further distances are making sure you comfortable.
Fizik has always been a brand that I have used with saddles due to finding the range comfy, flexible, light and strong. I rode the 24 hours around Richmond Park on an Arione R3 and Antares R5 which allowed for different positions on two different bicycles and had slightly different sit bone resting points. Crossing between the two on the two different bikes allowed for a change in positioning and flexibility.
Currently, Fizik and myself are collaborating to work out what is the best saddle for myself for long distance ultra endurance. They have kindly provided me 3 different saddles to use:
Each of these saddles I will be putting through their paces and seeing how my body reacts and responds to each of them, so far I have put a few miles down on the Kurve and the strength and flexibility in the saddle feels great. Lets see how it goes over a longer distance. This weekend will be the first real test for the Arione K1, being used on a cycle from one coast to the other.
Cycling and coffee. Two things that go hand in hand. Before, after or during a ride, it all works. That wake up caffeine hit, mid ride motivational boost or a means to an end to cause an excuse to talk about the bike, off the bike. Workshop Coffee had been a regular on my list of breakfast after training places, have a look at this little video done by the lovely chaps at Let's Talk Films.
As Berkshire’s premier cycling collective In Ripcor and down right good folk, we are celebrating our 10th Anniversary this year by aiming to raise £20,000 for our friends at The PACE Centre.
To date we have cycled over 3,500 miles and helped raise in excess of £500,000 for them. Whilst our team continues to grow our commitment to our charity remains as strong as ever and is an integral part of our DNA.
Please feel free to sponsor us here and in doing so, help the children who are a constant source of inspiration for us.
It's all good.