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Fifty One An Post Rás bike

Fifty One An Post Rás bike

An Post Rás bike by Fifty One is another stunner. We featured some of their fantastic bikes in Our 2017 Bespoked gallery and we can say this one is just as good. The An Post Rás race in Ireland has a very interesting history and this is celebrated in the bike’s paintwork.

Fifty One said; We teamed up with Aqua Blue rider Ronan McLaughlin to build him a bike for this year’s 2017 An Post Rás. FiftyOne Bikes handcrafts luxury carbon fibre racing bikes for its clients, building every frame from a blank canvas to ensure every bike it builds is totally unique and offers clients their dream bike. McLaughlin raced internationally for six years and represented Ireland at the 2012 Elite World Championships. He was a member of the An Post-Sean Kelly Team. During the fourth stage of the 2012 An Post Rás, McLaughlin broke away from the peloton and stayed out on his own for over 70 kilometres but was caught with 100 metres to go.

Fifty One An Post Rás bike

FiftyOne founder Aidan Duff met with McLaughlin at the Rás launch earlier this year. McLaughlin told Aidan about his past bikes and what aspects of those bikes he preferred. McLaughlin preferred the cornering from his Dolan, that he rode during his time with An Post-CRC. He favoured the responsiveness of his Pinarello but struggled with the shortness of the top tube. His S-Works Tarmac was the best for comfort but he couldn’t get low enough on the bike.

“Not only did we incorporate the measurements from the bike fit report but we ensured the bike would incorporate all of Ronan’s favourite characteristics. To top it all off, Ronan and I designed a frame that would stand out and be totally unique to him” – Aidan Duff
Following a bike fit report and conducting research into those bikes, FiftyOne went to work incorporating McLaughlin’s favourite attributes to his new bike. He wanted to run slightly wider tyres, which other bikes didn’t allow. In particular, Ronan wanted a super-rigid front end. FiftyOne developed a new lay-up to ensure maximum stiffness.

As the build started, attentions were turned to the paint job. Ronan provided Aidan with a photo of the Northern Lights which can be seen at Malin Head, Co. Donegal, McLaughlin’s home county. They agreed to introduce the colours subtly and include the names of the past Irish Ras winners, resulting in the bike you see today.

The An Post Rás is an annual, eight-day, stage race around Ireland that began in 1953. It’s Ireland’s most prestigious race. The An Post Rás will be starting in Dublin Castle for the second consecutive year and will return to the hills of Donegal for the first time in five years, home of Ronan McLaughlin. FiftyOne hopes that providing McLaughlin with a handmade frame built exactly to his specifications will bring about the success he deserved back in 2012.

Fifty One An Post Rás bike

Images by www.deanella.com

Pre-order sale on the new Zig Zag kits from DL

Pre-order sale on the new Zig Zag kits from DL

Pre-order sale on the new Zig Zag kits from DL. Pre-orders open NOW for $125 a pop. (Reg. $155) Limited quantities and a limited time prior to them being in-stock and shipping (1st week in June). We know DL and are still very proud of our co-lab a while back.

Pre-order sale on the new Zig Zag kits from DL

This latest kit is like all the others, hand stitched in the USA. It’s also part of their Hell Riders series. Check out more here.

Condor design unique track framesets for London Nocturne

Condor design unique track frameset

The London-based bicycle manufacturer will create two unique Condor Lavoro track bikes as the grand prize for both the men’s and women’s event. Each frame will be hand illustrated and painted by Condor’s lead designer, Ben Spurrier.

Spurrier is utilising the London skyline as his inspiration. “The Nocturne takes place in the shadow of London’s greatest buildings. As a Londoner I wanted to celebrate the capital and the muddle of historic and modern architecture that we ride beneath every day.”

Spurrier has begun working on the frames, ready for the event on 10th June. The final element will be the winners’ names, which will be painted onto the bikes on the night.

Condor, whose pro team have won the elite race two years running, was a founder of the Nocturne back in 2007.

“We are delighted to be part of the Nocturne and to support both the men’s and women’s fixed gear criterium. Our roots are embedded in track cycling, and fixed gear criteriums—although relatively new—are born out of the sport. The racing is exciting. It’s fast and evolving so rapidly. The unique racing deserves a unique prize.”, explained Condor’s managing director, Grant Young.

Tony’s TT bike – English Cycles

Tony’s TT bike - English Cycles

Tony’s TT bike by English Cycles is clearly a no expensive spared TT dream machine. Built up with SRAM eTap, a carefully selected Vision TFA aerobar to match the dropped headtube, customised Bentley Components track dropouts and TriRig Omega brakes front and rear. There is an aero downtube and a custom ovalised seattube, which features an adjustable cap for the saddle and a cutout for the rear wheel. To allow for tucking different size tires up to the cutout. Finished off with some matchy matchy satin black and chrome paint by Colorworks, and the final weight comes in at 17.7lbs as shown.

Tony’s TT bike - English Cycles

Tony’s TT bike - English Cycles

Tony’s TT bike - English Cycles

Tony’s TT bike - English Cycles

Fairlight Cycles Faran

Fairlight Cycles Faran

The Fairlight Cycles Faran is a disc brake equipped frame designed around 42c tyres and uses a steel fork to take on some adventure touring. Reynolds 631 and reliable 4130 steel is used for the frame with similar shapes to the Strael. The fork uses tapered legs and offset forward facing dropouts for disc brake compatibility. Not only is the Faran designed to take large tyres it will accept the 650×47/50 road plus standard. The Faran is available in 10 sizes, 3 colours and 3 builds starting from £599.

Fairlight Cycles was created between Dom from Wold Cycles and Jon from Swift Cycles to build elegant, thoughtfully conceived bicycles, designed for real world riding. Their debut range currently consists of two steel bikes, the Strael and the Faran.

The Faran and the Strael were developed using Fairlight’s ‘proportional geometry’ concept. They are designed to account for differences in body proportions not just overall height. Fairlight offer all of their frame sizes in (R)egular and (T)all versions so that you can find your perfect fit.

Fairlight work in collaboration with Reynolds to create custom shaped and butted tubing to optimise the performance of the Faran frame. The tubes are made in Birmingham and then shipped to mainland Europe where each and every Faran frameset is hand built by craftsmen.

We have been riding the Faran Ultegra Hydro through winter and spring, taking in all sorts of bizarre weather and terrain. The Faran is a versatile bike that is designed to perform across a broad range of riding environments. We’ve used the Faran to commute, keep up the winter mileage and venture off the beaten track. It never felt like I was taking the Faran outside of its comfort zone, it performed just as well down gravel tracks/bridleways as it did on the road.

Both the Faran and the Strael benefit from the custom bi-oval tubes that start life as Renyolds 631, the only difference being that the Strael tubes then go through heat treatment and annealing processes to become Renyolds 853. This means that the Faran shares a similar ride quality on the road making it a fantastic winter trainer or fast commuter.

For touring and exploring the Faran has a full set of mudguard and rack mounts with a hole in the fork crown for a dynamo or a randonneur rack. It will run up to 35c tyres with full-length mudguards. Fairlight have opted for external cable routing by default but the frame also includes DI2 holes on the downtube, seat tube and chainstay. They have also decided to stick to QR’s over a thru axle system to keep the Faran as versatile as possible. All of these decisions have been made to keep the Faran as touring friendly as possible. For ease of access, maintenance or to replace parts entirely, all these factors just add to the Faran’s versatility.

Fairlight Cycles Faran

Verdict

The Fairlight Cycles Faran is a versatile touring bike with a road pedigree. With a price as modest as the bike itself. You can buy the Faran frameset for £599 and the Ultegra Hydro for £1,899.To find out more about Fairlight Cycles and the Faran, visit the website at www.fairlightcycles.com

Donhou Bicycles – DSS2

Donhou Bicycles - DSS2

The Donhou Signature Steel DSS2 is the second model in award-winning Donhou Bicycles acclaimed Signature Steel series. This model is more ‘all-road’ than the previous DSS1 which was a sleek road machine built for speed. The DSS2 is more of an adventure machine. Built to take you from the daily commute to the back roads of any far-flung corner you can think of, all in impeccable style and quality build. The bike pricing measures up to top end bicycles but you’re getting hand-built (in England) steel pedigree and beautiful paintwork designed by talented textile and print designer Suzanne Antonelli.

Donhou Bicycles is a multi award winning frame building workshop based in east London, England. We have featured much of Tom’s work on the site, with many appearances in our yearly Bespoked coverage. Most recently the Kibosh Racing team machines. Tom has an eye for detail and it truly shows in his work.

The ‘Signature Steel’ series of bikes come in a range of stock sizes, paint and geometry for those who are not looking for a bespoke bike and the wait that comes with it. With custom sizing is also now available. The DSS1 and DSS2 are TIG welded as opposed to the fillet brazing of the custom builds. The stock frame sizes also have the option to ensure optimum component choice with rider-tuned crank length, bar width, stem length and gear ratios.

Donhou Bicycles - DSS2

The frame is built from Reynolds 853 steel, which is heat-treated to give high strength and damage resistance, and the steel properties allow thin walls to be used, so that lower weight can be achieved. Coupled with a Wound Up carbon gravel fork, it has a filament wound carbon fiber construction, offering stability, vibration dampening and torsional stiffness. I cannot fault the function of the fork, it performed without fault and added the overall comfort of the DSS2 but it definitely split opinions in terms of it’s looks.

The DSS2 has been built up using Shimano Ultegra with TRP Spyre SLC cable operated brake callipers. Allowing the brakes to be maintained or adjusted with ease should you wish you take the DSS2 on an adventure. A Shimano hydraulic option is also available. The wheels are hand built by August Wheelworks using Hope hubs and the excellent Pacenti SL25 disc specific rim. The bike is then finished off with a combination of Fizik handlebars/saddle and Thompson stem/seatpost with a Chris King headset as your cherry on top. The DSS2 I rode for the test was a custom component build, for those who spot the Chris King hubs.

Donhou Bicycles - DSS2

Our time with the DSS2 coincided with some events that put the bike through its paces. First was the Rapha Prestige West Country which is a team ride that seeks out the roads less travelled. A great day on the bike through a mixed array of terrain. The DSS2 was in it’s element here, fast and responsive on the road and inspires confidence off road. My sand riding skills were not quite as inspiring though.. Second was bikepacking the West Country Way from Plymouth to Minehead, a coast to coast route that takes you through the heart of Dartmoor and Exmoor with plenty of hills in between. For this trip I loaded the bike up with enough equipment to get us through two days of riding and a night outside on Dartmoor. Despite being noticeably heavier, the bike handling remained much the same.

Donhou Bicycles - DSS2

Donhou Bicycles - DSS2

Verdict

The Donhou Bicycles DSS2 is a versatile road bike with a wild side, it will adapt well to most riding environments and leave you smilling when you reach your destination. The price may be a little to high for some with the complete build available at £3,985 but for those looking to own a truly unique, bike for life you cannot go wrong with a DSS2.To find out more about Donhou Bicycles, Signature Steel or the DSS2, visit the website at www.donhoubicycles.com

HUNT VI – Deux North

It’s been exactly two years since we published Deux North’s last Hunt video. It’s great to see them back on the bike and producing more stuff. Let’s hope it continues. In their sixth video, the group share their experiences ‘everesting’ in the east of Los Angeles.

“The story of 220 miles, 26 hours, and 32,000ft through the San Gabriel Mountains as a group of hunters ride the equivalent elevation gain to Mt. Everest and then some.”

Condor Bivio – handmade all-road adventure

Condor Bivio Gravel

The Condor Bivio – Gravel is the latest model to join the range. Like all Condor’s that have been built since 1948, it was developed in London and of course, it is made by hand from a custom Columbus steel.

Built by Condor in Italy, the frameset—designed for mixed terrain and surfaces—uses custom Columbus triple-butted steel, similar to that used for Condor’s UCI-approved Super Acciaio race model. The frameset, priced at £1,199.99, features a melon and grey colour scheme. There is clearance for 40mm tyres with guards fitted, and upfront a 44mm head tube provides handling stability on twisty paths.

The Condor Bivio Gravel’s first public appearance was at Bespoked last month, which is where we took these photos. Just wheeling the bike through the centre of the show turned a lot of heads, which considering we were at the UK Handmade Bike Show can only be a great sign. The ‘melon’ colour scheme is really stunning. The bike is remarkably light and nimble and with clearance for up to 40mm tyres (with guards!), you could ride the Bivio anywhere.

Condor Bivio Gravel

The British brand recruited former JLT Condor professional rider, Luke Mellor, to put the R&D model through its paces.

“Luke recently rode an entire lap of Britain. He started in Shropshire and headed clockwise around the coast. Luke is a tall rider with a natural ability to ride fast. He was an ideal candidate for the frameset because ride quality and feedback are amplified on his large 61cm size frame.”

The Bivio Gravel is an evolution of the Bivio-X, an all-rounder aluminium cyclo-cross frameset. Two fork options are available within the frameset price: TRP’s full carbon thru-axle fork with mudguard eyelets, or Columbus’ full carbon Mud Disk fork with quick release.

Condor Bivio Gravel

A 100 Giro d’Italia’s

100 Giro d'Italia

A 100 Giro d’Italia ‘s is on us. This year celebrates 100 editions of this amazing race. The first edition was held in 1909. Pictured in our tribute is the first ever winner, Luigi Ganna. He was born in Induno Olona, near Varese, in Lombardy. Before becoming a professional cyclist, he worked as a bricklayer, commuting up to 100 km to work by bike. Hard.

This 100th edition started on 5 May in Alghero on the island of Sardinia and ends on 28 May in Milan. If you’re a UK reader you can watch the highlights on Freeview channel Quest.

We will drop some fun posts during the race with facts and iconic images from historic editions.

Mercredi Sausage Camo is dog friendly

Sausage Camo

Mercredi Sausage Camo is a very cool CX bike from frame builder Adeline O’Moreau. Mercredi is her bike building business, that has a take on how she believes things should be done. “I make bikes to be ridden, not show bikes. That’s why I will never file my filets. But don’t worry, I make very good looking joints straight off the torch. If I spent time smoothing out the joints, the feeling of the ride wouldn’t change. But the bike would become a ton more expensive. If it becomes a ton more expensive, you are a lot less likely to ride it very hard. And that would be a real shame.” and that my friends is a good thing. In case you missed, she was at Bespoked 2017 and some of her work can been seen here.

The Sausage Camo bike came about to be a; long and low, fast and responsive, innocent looking but absolutely unstoppable CX machine. Then something mad happened. In Adeline’s own words; “So when we started designing the paint, I asked Robin – “do you trust me? I’ve got an idea, but I don’t think I can explain it”

And he did trust me.

So I got in touch with friend and amazing illustrator Thomas Slater who was immediately seduced by the idea. I think he is, like Robin and I are, a little bit Sausage Dog in spirit.

The last ingredient we needed was paint. The guys at Cole Coatings came up with a clever twist on your usual candy, and used the different amount of paint to bring depth to the #sausagedogcamo. 87 dogs. On such a small bike.The reasult – a great racing bike capable to handle entire days off road too.

Robin’s got mad plan for this bike: Dirty Reiver, 3Peaks and Griduro, the local CX leagues as well as the gruelling Echapée Escapades, brought to you by London’s nicest bunch: Sunday Echapée.It’s made of Columbus Zona tubes with Columbus MUD forks. In fact, it also features a super special Sausage Dove logo, a flying dog tribute to Columbus’ iconic Dove. I loved designing that one so much that I also turned it into a pin badge. It’s kitted out with Hope’s XC 29er hoops and headset, Sram Rival group set and Fizik finishing kit.Same again, innocent looking but meanly determined.

We took those photos with Giles Smith and the help of Phil from Sausage Dog Hotel.

100 Years of Le Tour Prints - Visit the shop

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