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Chris Akrigg-CHRISCROSS 2 (Revenge of the curly wurly bars)

Chris Akrigg presents Chriscross 2, the revenge of the curly wurly bars. Chris can just ride anywhere on any bike. I just love to watch him ride. Enjoy!

“Well here we go again, the second instalment of riding the bike with the curly whirly bars and skinny tyres. We are currently at the hight of the Cyclocross season so i thought it was about time i dug the cyclocross bike out for another spin. I read somewhere that Cyclocross originated for roadies back in the day trying to spice up their winter training. They would race from point to point using whatever means possible, racing down farm track and running across fields with the bike on there back etc. That was their spin. My back ground is Trials, and this is my spin!”

Stuart Dangerfield UK TT powerhouse – Hero

Stuart Dangerfield Image from www.skegnesswheelers.co.uk

For some this will be an obscure hero, for others it will come as no surprise, Stuart Dangerfield was a UK TT talent. During the 90′s and early 2000′s Stuart, along with a few other names (will post on them at a later date) ruled the UK Time Trial scene. I had the chance to witness how fast he could ride outside Truro, Cornwall when he took the course record for the S6/10, I can’t remember the exact time but, it was about five minutes faster than me! From my short experience of meeting him he is an unassuming chap of good nature. How the hell you ride a bike that fast I do not know.

Image © Jim Henderson Image © Jim Henderson (chap on the left). Stuart is the one in the middle.

Dangerfield really is little known outside club cycling circles in Britain, having grown up in the shadow of firstly Chris Boardman and then David Millar. However, Millar’s admission to using the illegal drug EPO and consequent expulsion from the Great Britain squad for the 2004 Summer Olympics meant that Dangerfield was called up into the Olympic squad to race the time trial. He finished 30th but, I can be dam sure he was dope free. So for me his result is impressive against a lot of riders that have subsequently been caught, more so than Millar. 

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Interestingly or coincidentally Dangerfield rode on Royce and Argos equipment, both companies we admire and have visited. For further info on Stuart Dangerfield, check Wiki.

Prendas meraklon SE arm warmers – Mini Review

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Thought it was about time to do a mini review on the Prendas Arm warmers. I was lucky to receive these and some other products to review some time ago. What transpired was, a back operation and moving across the planet, you know small things and I ended up stalling these reviews. I always thought that I would just do a mini review on these and some other items and a proper review on another item or two. That out of the way let me begin…

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These arm warmers are old skool, in looks and material. Meraklon has been a ‘thermal’ fabric for a very long time and I’ve owned many a cycling garment made from this. That ain’t no bad thing, whilst it might be a man made fabric prone to getting stinky, arm warmers rarely get that funky so they make for a perfect material for this use. Very light, good wicking and nice n’ stretchy. If I was asked for three things to say about them. I would recommend Medium (the size I tested) or small unless you’re a proper big bloke like Dolph Lundgren or that Gladiators Wolf dude.

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What I really like is the Brit appeal of these special edition version. Again, old skool. Mod if you like. With the right attire you’re going to be as sharp as Sir Bradley of Wigginton on his retro Pinarello. I know I did, well I thought I did. Seriously though they look great. Now you might say, but they’re white and they won’t stay that way. They might not but, at just under £8 you’re not going to find anything else of this quality so cheap and other colours are available (can buy two pairs for £15). I think they make great stocking fillers, just don’t use them as stockings, you will fail if you do.

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So in a nutshell these are cheap, light. So quality is perhaps compromised, maybe. Most arm warmers I’ve owned failed after a few seasons. The way I see it, they last a season or two, then turn into bike cleaning rags. Another way of looking at it is, if you loose them it’s not £30 down the loo. Highly recommended in my opinion.

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PRENDAS MERAKLON SPECIAL EDITION ARMWARMERS > BUY HERE.

Up Up Up

Up Up Up is a great introduction to Hill Climbing from Bristol by Cyclist creator, Thom Heald. Once the road racing season is over, racers run ride to the hills to make the most of the form they honed over the season. Expect cake, rain and lots of noise.

“Hill climbing is a niche within a niche. It was one of the original tests of a cyclists skill, the proving ground before time-trials and road races. Now somewhat forgotten, a hardcore band of thin-limbed riders spend their Autumn sacrificing beer and cake for a shot at amateur bike racing glory.”

Jeremiah’s Ti Road Caletti

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This Caletti bike was recently brought to our attention by photographer, Peter Thomsen. I believe it has already been posted on the ever popular Radavist. Just in case you missed that or want to see a few more pics we have it here too. The frame was built with a mixture of Ti tubes. I asked john Caletti to elaborate on this and he told us;

“…mostly from Dedacciai with oversized butted top and down tubes, the down tube being a bi-ovalized shape. The chainstays are oversized, tapered and mate to compact and lightweight Paragon dropouts. Dedacciai light seatstays that I custom S bend. 

The paint work by Spectrum Powderworks reflects Jeremiah Kille’s work as an artist, geometric patterns and colours suggesting sea, sun and sand. Looks like a fast race car to me and I love that. Race bikes should look fast. The build is slick, based around Shimano DA and Industry Nine wheels (nice choice). It’s always a pleasure to show bikes like this.

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Steve Hed an aero genius – Hero

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There must be many a pro and amateur out there that Steve Hed made that bit faster through his products and research. It’s a great loss. I recently drew a picture of the iconic HED3 tri-spoke wheel, I never intended for it to pay tribute to the mans life but here we are. Headset Press are saddened and offer our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. We hope his legacy long continues and that pros and amateurs alike continue to be that bit faster because of Steve.

Victory Chimp Cycling Prints

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These two prints are by Victory Chimp. On the left is John Boyd Dunlop, the inventor of the modern bicycle tyre and owner of a magnificent beard. The famous El Diablo is on the right. Didi ‘The Devil’ Senft aka El Diablo is known for running and jumping around in his devil costume equipped with a trident as the peloton passed by. Brilliant illustrations. There is a limited number of 50, if you want one head to the Victory Chimp shopRyan, the creator of Victory Chimp is a bike-riding designer and illustrator based in Northern Ireland. He has quite a few other prints which are really worth a look. Can’t wait to see what he produces over the next year.

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Portugal was a cruel mistress

It was at the point I lost all feeling in my fingers and feet that I questioned my own sanity for agreeing to take part in a five-day, 360-mile charity ride across the hilliest bits of Portugal.

Fortunately, organiser Simon Ekless had anticipated such low points amongst his team of 30 riders and had suggested we all carry a picture of one of the children we were raising money for. I thrust my numb digits into my rear pocket looking to be inspired, but all I found was a damp clump of photographic paper rendered into gristle by the rain that had been bucketing down upon us since leaving Lisbon three days earlier.

We’d arrived in the town of Manteigas in wet, shivering dribs and drabs after a hyperthermic descent through the rain from the highest road in Portugal. It was early September, and few of us had thought to pack our thermals. One of our number had improvised with EIGHT layers of jerseys and jackets, but the rest of us had largely made do with just the bare minimum of waterproof plus kneewarmers and overshoes. We arrived at the café trembling, pale and probably wondering what on earth we were doing at the bottom of a remote valley in the middle of Portugal miles away from our loved ones and central heating.

Fortunately, support vehicle driver Andy Boffin was on hand to encourage us, not just with the offer of cups of coffee from the café we had taken refuge in, but with a story that warmed our hearts as much as the coffee was warming other bodily parts. His son, Charlie, who suffers from muscular dystrophy, had been a student at the PACE Centre in Ayelsbury, which was the charity we were doing this ride for.

By the time we’d heard Andy’s story, about how wheelchair-bound Charlie had humbled a carriageful of commuters on the Tube by repeating his favourite word “Hello” louder and louder until he finally received a greeting in return, or how his mum described herself as Charlie’s “personal assistant” rather than full-time carer, we were all set to climb back on our bikes and rip up the next 50 miles as if it was a baking hot sun rather than a relentless deluge pounding the cobbled square outside.

Sometimes you find inspiration in the unlikeliest places.
For more information about the PACE Centre and its 2015 Charity Rides to Andalucia and Transylvania, visit: www.thepacecentre.org

Words by Trevor Ward (@willwrite4cake) and photography by Matthew Stone (www.stoneshoots.com)

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Jaegher Bikes – fresh builds

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Jaegher bikes just sent us news of two new builds to leave the workshop in Ruiselede, Belgium. We had to share with you. Testament to them, they are turning out gorgeous bicycles and these two are creme da la creme, which is standard for them. High Standards. You might think the output is high? But this is what they say about the bicycles they produce to the quality they do;

“Just like the best fashion designers don’t do ready-to-wear, Luc and Diel are not tempted by mass production. Every single frame corresponds to the exact needs of its owner. In our workshop, the client is meticulously measured. It can take up to an hour to do this exactly right. Every tube of the frame is then cut and mitered exactly according to those measures. There is no such thing as ‘kind of right’.  

A Jaegher bicycle is pure craftsmanship. Every frame is welded or brazed in our workshop in Ruiselede, Belgium. Only highly specialised welders can handle this kind of ultra-light, thin-walled tubes. Diel Vaneenooghe takes very special care of the TIG welded frames (Ascender and Interceptor). His father Luc brazes the frames with lugs (Raptor Pistier and Phantom). Their experience in precision steel manufacturing is passed on from generation to generation.” 

The two builds are, an Interceptor and an Ascender check out the details on their site.

Orange & Grey Interceptor – Bespoke build.

Jaegher Bikes – Interceptor – Bespoke build
Jaegher Bikes – Interceptor – Bespoke build

Jaegher Bikes – Interceptor – Bespoke build

Grey & Black Ascender.

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Jaegher Bikes – Ascender

Jaegher Bikes – Ascender

Chapeau launches new coffee range

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Makers of some very nice cycling gear Chapeau! impressed us earlier this year when we saw their summer collection. We really like what they’ve been doing and now Chapeau! have launched a new coffee range. Crank, Watts, Fixed are three blends created with the help of their neighbours RoastWorks Coffee Co. Crank is an all rounder, Watts has a bit of a kick to get you going before a ride and Fixed is for the connoisseur. We have some on the way to try so will let you know what we think. It’s available on the Chapeau! site for £5.50 a bag and buying four bags will get you a free Tiamo Drip Filter.