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.
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.
Images by www.deanella.com