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Bikes of 2017: Canyon Endurance CF SLX Disc

Canyon Endurance CF SLX Disc
In the first of our bikes of 2017 is the Canyon Endurance CF SLX Disc. We all love bikes right? We might not be able to buy or ride them all but every year a raft of wonderful production machines are on offer, some rad, some bad. We are going to take our pic, based on what looks rad. Be it some nifty feature, overall look, or potential purpose.

With the Canyon Endurance CF SLX Disc it’s basically the overall appearance that has us. Especially the red 8.0 version fitted with Ultegra Di2 giving it some very clean lines, with all internal cabling. But most of all the vibrant red.  At an eye watering £4,499 price tag, it’s probably only dentists and lawyers buying these machines but, we can only admire that dentist zipping along on his jazzy red carbon beauty.

Canyon Endurance CF SLX Disc

Love or hate discs on road bikes, they give a certain look to a bike, clearing the stays and fork bridges of clutter and distributing it at the centre of the wheel, personally I dig it. And there is no denying, they stop well.

Canyon Endurance CF SLX Disc

Canyon have done well to market the bike with it’s online presence and it’s worth having an explore of the landing page for the Endurance range with it’s videos and marketing talk.

The range as a whole is worth considering, as the lower CF models, whilst not having disc, offer much better bang for the buck. Or you could look at the AL options, one being in the lovely vibrant red, same as the CF SLX disc.

Overall an impressive machine, even at the price (which is much the same across the competitor’s line ups this year).

Condor: A contemporary take on heritage

Condor

You can dispense an awful lot of cycling wisdom in the near 70 years that Condor has maintained a retail presence on the busy London thoroughfare of Gray’s Inn Road. Sales associate Mindi Mickevicius talks through the company’s heritage, how the purchasing process works and why customer satisfaction is the secret to success in such a competitive market.

Is there a typical Condor customer?

Not so much typical but what tends to unite them all is a need for quality, longevity, good service and a great fitting bicycle. All important aspects of our business model as word of mouth recommendations bring a lot of new customers to Condor.

Are the steel frames you offer still relevant in an era of carbon fibre?

Condor designs and manufactures the most amazing carbon frames but we also recognise that custom shaped steel tubing enables our designers to tailor a superb ride. As good quality carbon frames are expensive –  and not everybody can afford a £3-5k bicycle – steel frames like our popular Fratello and Acciaio models are great alternatives and ride much better than cheap carbon.

Condor

Can you explain how the ordering process works?

It starts with a consultation where an individual customer’s needs are determined. Then the components and aesthetics are discussed. This is followed by a bike fitting session on our jig where we can replicate the geometry of a particular size frame. That’s when we can discuss whether a custom frame is more appropriate. The waiting times are determined by the amount of bikes in the build queue or if an order is full custom or a custom colour.

Do you view this waiting time as a necessary evil or an important aspect in the sense that it builds expectation on the part of the customer?

As each frame is built by hand in Italy there’s an inevitable element of waiting between the ordering process and your bike being delivered. But quality takes time – it’s embedded in the company’s DNA – and our customers are investing in a product that will last many years.

Do people have certain perceptions, real or imagined, of Condor as a brand?

The big manufacturers average things out. By that I mean a large size bicycle will come with a certain bar width and stem length. As a buyer you have no control over what components will end up on your new bike. The result is that you either ride the bike with these unsuitable components and a fit that is compromised or you start to replace items after getting a bike fit. The cost quickly adds up. They also tend to cut corners by fitting basic brakes, wheels, tyres, and cranks. When you get a Condor bike it’s already set up for you in terms of the correct saddle height, an appropriate handlebar width and stem length – all the variables are considered. As a customer you don’t need to compromise – you can pick and choose what’s going onto your bike. All that’s left is to ride it, enjoy it and maintain it.

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Condor has a long-standing involvement in bike racing?

For more than ten years we’ve supporting pro cycling team JLT Condor and they enjoyed a very successful 2016 season riding the Condor Leggero. It’s nice seeing a handmade carbon fibre frame being raced in the pro peloton. And we’ve recently re-launched the Condor Italia RC that’s fabricated with a race tuned aluminium frame. It’s focused on riders wanting to compete, say, in criterium racing. Light, stiff and very fast.

As a family business, Condor can trace its history back to 1948. In your opinion, how does this heritage impact on the customer experience?

I think it’s easier for customers to trust a company which is family owned and has been trading for so long. You see Condor’s history everywhere in the shop from the founder’s original wheel jig to a display of frames representing each decade. But that’s not say we don’t forget the importance of staying current and fresh.

Condor

What’s the most enjoyable aspect of working at Condor?

I represent a family run business with a rich history and a successful professional cycling team. I get to work with all the latest cycling components and kit but also the longstanding customers with their ‘older’ Condor steel bikes; kept in perfect condition and fitted with vintage Campagnolo. But I suppose, basically, it’s about the interaction I enjoy between my colleagues, the mechanics and the customers. About learning something new every day.

For more information, visit Condor Cycles

Images by @openautograph

Peter Sagan Wheelies 2017 – Bora Hansgrohe

So, Peter Sagan Wheelies in 2017 for Bora Hansgrohe! The new team, the new bikes, new everything but still doing tricks. To be honest you can’t beat a bit of showboating. We love most of Sagan’s antics on the bike, if not the podium. Can’t wait to see what the prince of the peloton gets up to this year. With the new team around him after so good times with Oleg Tinkov, it would seem a new chapter. Perhaps. I hope we get to see more tomfoolery and excellent riding from him.

You can find a little history on Bora Hansgrohe on Wikipedia. Also the Bora Hansgrohe team website for race calendar and more.

TCR No 5 – Transcontinental Race 2017

Transcontinental Race 2017

The Transcontinental Race 2017 is ready to go this July and has a full start sheet of riders. We have followed this race since the first time and have loved it, especially seeing what riders do and take.

It’s probably the closest thing to the Tour de France, in it’s earliest editions, without the brutal sabotaging, ciggies and brandy that a rider can get – and we can follow. Watching #171 The Transcontinental Race journey is a marvellous insight to the race and what the riders can expect this year.

Chris Akrigg – As it lies


Chris Akrigg – As it lies, came out in-between Christmas and New Year and really shouldn’t be missed, unlike that quiet time of the year. Chris really is the master of the unseen line, carving his way through natural paths and making his own track through it. It all looks effortless but, I’m pretty sure it took a lot of hard work to make it happen. Sit back and watch some radness to motivate you in 2017. Happy new year all.
Chris Akrigg - As it lies

Curbar Cycling Winter Collection

Curbar Cycling Winter Collection

Curbar Cycling Winter Collection is looking good. We are loving the blue especially and always goo to see some black kit for practical winter garbs.

Featuring the, LS Puncher Jersey; A classic all round winter jersey offering comfort and warmth for even the hardest of cyclists. The LS Endurance Jersey, A jersey thats perfect for an epic adventure during the coldest and wettest winter days. And last but not least, Classic Bib Tights, A highly insulated pair of bib tights that won’t leave you in the cold.

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If you’re not familiar with Curbar… they are, designed in Sheffield by James Clarkson and David McLeavy, taking inspiration from a number of art, design and cultural references their designs articulate their interest in combining cycling culture past and present with new, more creative ideas.

See the Curbar Cycling Winter Collection here.

Bespoked 2017 Dates & Exhibitors Announced

Bespoked 2017 Dates & Exhibitors Announced
Bespoked have the dates & exhibitors announced for 2017 and we can’t wait. Every year we go and every year we are blown away. 2017 is exciting for us as one of our all-time favourite builders (I think many would agree) is going to be there. None other than English Cycles.

Europe’s biggest showcase of handmade bicycles and their makers, will be taking place from 7th to 9th April 2017 at Brunel’s Old Station in Bristol, UK.

Over 100 of the world’s best handmade bicycle makers and bicycle goods designers will come together for a weekend dedicated to the world of handmade bicycles, bringing with them exquisite and innovative handmade bicycles and fine cycling components, apparel and accessories, many unveiled for the first time.

Check it all out at the Bespoked 2017 website.

JLT Condor partners with PEdAL ED

JLT Condor partners with PEdAL ED

PEdAL ED and JLT Condor are proud to announce a partnership for the next two seasons. The collaboration heralds a change in livery for Britain’s longest running UCI squad.

The Japanese born clothing brand will outfit the riders in a complete range of racing, training and casual cycling apparel from 1 January. The apparel, all made in Italy, will be complemented with custom Kask helmets and Fizik shoes, which will bring an all-Italian flavour to the team.

Luca Mathia Bertoncello, Brand Director at PEdAL ED, said: “PEdAL ED is an innovative brand focused on pushing cycling boundaries; with one eye to innovation and one eye to tradition we decided to celebrate Britain’s longest standing UCI team with a new look inspired by British colours.

In the last few years we have been working closely with Transcontinental Race riders to develop tough functional equipment for long journeys, we now look to push the development of performance and aero clothing forward in collaboration with a team that has always stood out in the peloton. We want to bring a new aesthetic standard to the continental peloton.”

The new 2017 JLT Condor team kit designed by PEdAL ED features a navy blue and burgundy red palette. The team will first use the equipment on 1 January at the Bay Crits Series in Melbourne, Australia.

JLT Condor partners with PEdAL ED

JLT Condor partners with PEdAL ED

A morning with Legend Bicycles

On Saturday morning we visited Bike Science in Bristol for an introduction to Legend Bicycles and to see a few different models from their custom Italian-built range. Legend was created in 2009 by Marco Bertoletti, a frame-builder with 38 years of experience building bicycles in Italy. Marco started out designing and developing bikes for some of the Europe’s most famous cycle brands in 1989. Working his way up from apprentice to head builder at a famous Italian brand.

Legend Bicycles make bespoke bicycles from carbon, titanium and steel by hand in their Bergamo factory. Built to your measurements and requirements, these frames are truly unique. The attention to detail and finish on these frames are a testament to Marco’s experience and passion. The titanium frames are so smooth, it’s hard to believe they were constructed from individual tubes.

Legend Venticinquesimo Titanium

Legend Venticinquesimo

The Legend ‘Venticinquesimo’ which translates to ’25th’ is a work of art, a celebration of frame building. This frameset features Marco Bertoletti’s signature smooth welds combined with hand built 3K carbon custom tube set for the main triangle.

The grade 9 titanium is welded in an inert gas chamber before each weld is lovingly hand finished until almost invisible. When you’re not admiring the Venticinquesimo, it also performs remarkably well, offering a rigid and responsive yet very comfortable frame, perfect for long days in the saddle.

Legend IL Re Titanium

Legend IL Re Titanium

The Legend IL Re is the ‘King’ of the Legend range. It’s built using the same methods of welding as the Venticinquesimo but made entirely from grade 9 Titanium. The IL Re is rigid and responsive yet very comfortable, perfect for long days in the saddle, racing, sportive/grand fondo’s or just enjoying the bike.

Legend Bicycles HT 9.5

Legend HT 9.5

The Legend HT 9.5 is at the top end of their carbon range, second only to the 10.5. A very reactive and responsive frame with optimal rigidity. Perfect stability on fast descents, built to race under the most demanding environments. The frameset is constructed from a custom carbon tube set, 3K multi-axis carbon with UD carbon, individually moulded in high pressure autoclave in Italy to each customer’s requirement and Legend’s design. Internally moulded “tubes” for cable routing.

You can find out more about Legend Bicycles on their website or head over to Bike Science to find out more about the fitting process.

TIC – À bloc long sleeve jersey launch

TIC – À bloc long sleeve jersey launch

This is Cambridge (TIC) keep upping their game, back in May the launched their matching kit range and have now added the long sleeve.

The Àbloc long sleeve jersey is made from a mid weight, high wicking, quick drying fabric. It’s aggressive cut is perfect for intense riding/ racing in cooler conditions. The arms have been specially shaped to provide a snug, yet comfortable fit when in the riding position. This jersey is now available to pre-order via the TIC website. Orders will ship approximately from 12.12.16.

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Key features:
Unisex
Aggressive race cut
Fast drying, breathable Italian fabrics
4-way stretch fabric for freedom of movement
Shaped arms for an improved fit
Side mesh panels for breathability
Flatlock seams for riding comfort
An easy access waterproof valuables pocket
3 rear low profile cut pockets
Silicon gripper
Functions well under a jacket

The jersey retails at £105.

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