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HOY Vulpine Launches Palmarès Collection

HOY Vulpine Palmarès Collection

HOY Vulpine launches their limited edition Palmarès collection today. The collection was created to celebrate Sir Chris Hoy’s achievements and consists of an aero jersey and cap.

The black aero jersey features six gold bands and a single silver band, representing Hoy’s unrivalled successes on the track. Gold foil HOY Vulpine logos and a gold authenticity tab complete the Palmarès’ modernist design.

Sir Chris Hoy said: “This is a performance aero jersey without the in your face logos and brash colours. Both myself and Nick wanted this to be a classy celebration of my Palmarès and I think we’ve definitely achieved this. Having retired from competitive cycling three years ago and with 2016 being such a big year for sport, we thought it would be fun and timely to look back at my career and put all the results together into a piece I hope cycling fans will enjoy owning and wearing.”

HOY Vulpine Palmarès Collection

Sir Chris Hoy took to the boards of the eponymous Glasgow velodrome to shoot the range. Nick Hussey, founder of Vulpine, was directing on the shoot. “It was breathtaking for both me and photographer, Alexander Rhind to stand on the track as Sir Chris came hammering past only inches away. He’s still built like the proverbials, and yet still gets incredibly low and aero. It was spine chilling to be that close to him in full attack, and so appropriate to shoot it on ‘his’ velodrome.”

Hoy also wore his original competition helmet and visor, and rode his own custom made steel HOY track machine, built as a one off by Scottish frame builder Shand. Handbuilt by Steven Shand from Columbus Max tubing, this too sports the 6 gold, 1 silver bands motif.

HOY Vulpine Palmarès Collection

HOY Vulpine Palmarès Collection

HOY Vulpine Palmarès Collection

HOY Vulpine Palmarès Collection

The limited edition male and female Palmarès Jerseys are priced at £115, with the Palmarès Cap costing £15. Both items are only available as limited edition items from vulpine.cc, until sold out.

Pas Normal Studios – Spring Summer 2016

Pas Normal Studios Spring Summer 2016

The new Pas Normal Studios Spring Summer 2016 collection launched this month. The new collection consists of a newly developed approach to the aero-suit, technical bibs and a high summer kit. But above all, they have developed and enhanced the details on all the styles to make it adhere even more to the Pas Normal Studios aesthetics: Understated perfection.

“Spring and Summer most often bring us the best conditions to ride in, but it also demands a lot of flexibility in what we wear and what we bring along for longer trips: From the earliest mornings to the late evenings on the road. Most riders do the bulk of their season kilometers in these next months and we wanted support and highlight that in our styles.

We have developed a range that basically covers most conditions you would find from the colder descents to the blistering heat of high Summer with a distinct Pas Normal Studios look and feel.”

For more information on Pas Normal Studios and to find out more about their new Spring Summer 2016 collection, click here.

Pas Normal Studios Spring Summer 2016

Pas Normal Studios Spring Summer 2016

Pas Normal Studios Spring Summer 2016

Pas Normal Studios Spring Summer 2016

Based in Scandinavia, but with a specific international element, Pas Normal Studios can now be found throughout Europe, parts of Asia and the United States. Founded in 2014 by Karl Oskar Olsen (Wood Wood), Brian Nygaard (Orica-Greenedge, former CEO of Leopard-Trek) amongst others.

Chasing the sun – Riding in Girona with Bikecat

Climbing

So, I was eating lunch in a square in Girona with Ryder Hesjedal sitting at the next table. Not a bad opener when recounting a holiday story?

I’d flown south with a friend for an extended weekend with Bikecat, a company founded by Jaume Cabruja that’s recently celebrated its 10th birthday and offers bespoke guided cycle tours from its shop located a stone’s throw from the city’s cathedral. After a long, dark British winter, I desperately felt the need for some spring sunshine and Bikecat’s 3 night, 3 ride package seemed the perfect fit. Offering 4 star accommodation in the medieval heart of Girona’s historic old town together with a choice of Canyon Ultimate CF SLX or an ex team-issue road bike included in the price; coming in at a little over £500 per person, I felt this was right on the money in terms of value.

Cobbled streets of Girona

Especially when you consider that Rapha Travel are offering their own 3 day Girona ‘Pro Team Camp’ for £1300 with another £300 needed for bike hire. As a member of the Rapha Cycling Club I’m a big fan of their products and appreciate that they offer a level of service that is second to none. But not everyone, myself included, can afford to spend such a considerable amount of money on what is essentially a weekend away. Which brings me right back to Bikecat.

Flights to the nearby airport are available through Ryanair with my own costing a little over £80 for a return ticket. After a 20 minute transfer by taxi to drop our bags at the hotel and the aforementioned lunch with the 2012 Giro d’Italia winner (I like to think we had lunch together rather than coincidentally choosing the same cafe), we readied ourselves for our first ride.

A quick change into our cycling gear, a warm welcome from Jaume who’d already prepared our bikes using the measurements we’d provided during the booking process, a brief explanation that the brakes were switched front-to-back continental style and we were off.

Road to Rocacorba

Nothing quite prepares you for cycling outside the UK. The roads are quiet, drivers respectful, the scenery spectacular. But it was when Jaume occasionally called out a warning or pointed at the road surface that it really hit home. What justified a word of caution from Jaume would barely register to a regular UK based club cyclist. My friend and I speculated that if he were to join us on the busy main roads and country lanes that we ride in and around Manchester, he would spend the whole time pointing and gesticulating at the potholes, sunken manhole covers and general detritus that we take for granted.

Rocacorba backdrop

Amongst fields edged with wind sown poppies, through groves of olive trees and ancient, dust covered oaks, the road took us on an extended loop to the base of our first climb before descending in graceful bends and banked turns to a cafe halt. All the time Jaume indicating local points of interest and offering advice on descending at speed before he disappeared down the road as if shot from a cannon; hands low on the drops, knee out at an angle to help with his balance.

Mare de Deu del Mont

Next morning, after a sound night’s sleep and hearty breakfast, our ‘Queen stage’ took us up the Mare de Deu del Mont in the delightful company of Albert, another Bikecat guide and possessor of possibly the widest, most infectious smile you’d ever hope to encounter. Over lunch in the medieval walled town of Besalu he explained how the local region has now become host to over 70 members of the pro-peloton. And it’s not just at the numerous cafes and bars that you can name check the current crop of professional cyclists calling Girona home. The year-round good weather makes training less arduous than in northern Europe and the quiet roads and local climbs offer varied and picturesque training routes. On our rides we were frequently passed by riders sporting team-issue kit; leaving us under no illusion that their bike handling is second to none.

Jaume and Albert, Bikecat

Our weekend drawing to a close, we reflected on Jaume and Albert’s good natured and knowledgeable company, on the beautiful city of Girona with its cobbled streets and pavement cafes, on the smooth roads and towering climbs with views of snow-capped Pyrennean peaks, on the 24km climb to Sant Hilari that we rode on our final day. Deciding when, rather than if, we would return again.

By Chris Hargreaves (@openautograph)

Ride of the Week: Cancun, Mexico by Doug Depies

Ride of the Week: Cancun, Mexico

One of the biggest issues with riding in Mexico in the spring/summer is the heat.  It’s horrible, hot, humid and gross, to combat that we usually ride super early, road rides leave at 6 am, MTB tours usually have 7 am pick-ups.

We pick up the clients and head towards Puerto Morelos and the Ruta de los Cenotes. An area here with tons of cenotes and natural parks.  Here in the peninsula we don’t have above ground rivers, there is a system of underground rivers which over time have created sinkholes that are now beautiful swimming holes for us. Today we’ll visit 3 cenotes during our ride on mostly double-track trails. We pack up our gear and head out for 4 km on the road and then into the jungle.

Once we jump into the jungle we hit a first bit of technical “single track,” the peninsula is as flat as can be but full of rocks and roots. So while we don’t have any actual climbs the rocks and roots will eat you up and slow you down.

Ride of the Week: Cancun, Mexico

After about 2 km of the technical stuff we head out onto a gravel road and bust out 5 k quickly. Our first stop in the tour is to Cenote la Noria.

Ride of the Week: Cancun, Mexico

Ride of the Week: Cancun, Mexico

Cenote la Noria is a rather unknown centoe and most days we have the cenote and park to ourselves. Today was no exception. Our first activity is to fly through the jungle on the zip-line system.

Ride of the Week: Cancun, Mexico

From there we take our first swim in a cenote, the water is a bit cold so the best way in is just to jump right in.

Ride of the Week: Cancun, Mexico

After a quick swim we head off to cenote number two, Kin-ha, it’s a quick 5 minute ride over there and the cenote is fairly similar in size and design but still an amazing sight to see.

Ride of the Week: Cancun, Mexico

My trusty ride

My trusty ride

After another great swim we head off to our final cenote, it’s a bit longer of a ride to get there, about 25 minutes. Once again the trail is mostly double track with rocks and roots littered everywhere to keep it interesting.

Ride of the Week: Cancun, Mexico

Blanca Flor is our third cenote, it’s an open cenote with zip-lines criss-crossing the cenote allowing you to fly over and drop down into the water.

Ride of the Week: Cancun, Mexico

The only good thing about the heat is that it allows you to dry off almost instantly once you get out of the water. The ride back to the vehicle is a bit easier, 3 km double track, 8 km gravel road and 4 more on the road to get back to the vehicle.

Ride of the Week: Cancun, Mexico

Ride of the Week: Cancun, Mexico

Overall it’s a great ride, not super technical or demanding but the views, the swims and the time on the bike is more than enjoyable and we always end the day with smiles on everyone’s face.

Route: 30.8 km

Doug Depies is a tour guide for Elite Cyclery Tours based in Cancun, Mexico. They offer road and off-road rides for riders of all levels visiting the Cancun/Playa del Carmen area.

Josh’s Cannondale Super Six Evo

Josh's Cannondale Super Six Evo

Josh’s Cannondale Super Six Evo is the happy ending to a story that involves a trashed Caad10 but luckily an unscathed Josh. It is also the second Cannondale we have seen recently with custom paint work. Painted by the talented @_brendanmurphy_.

Josh races for Kibosh Racing and needed a replacement for his Caad10 after an unfortunate incident involving a van and some awful weather. With identical geometry the Super Six Evo made perfect sense.

Josh's Cannondale Super Six Evo

Josh's Cannondale Super Six Evo

The Super Six Evo has been built with an Ultegra groupset, blacked out 3T finishing kit and a pair of Edco Pillon 35C wheels. Build by Complete Cycle Works.

Josh's Cannondale Super Six Evo

Josh's Cannondale Super Six Evo

Full spec list:

Cannondale Supersix Evo frameset 56cm
Ultegra 6800 Groupset
Edco Prosport Pillon 35C Wheelset
3T Ergonova II Bars 42cm
3T Team Stem 130mm Nitromorsed
3T Team seatpost Blacked out
Supacaz Super Sticky Kush bar tape
Continental GP4000II
Fabric Scoop Saddle

Announcing the 2016 Rapha + Liberty Women’s Collection

2016 Rapha + Liberty Women’s Collection

The 2016 Rapha + Liberty Women’s Collection.

Today Rapha launched the second part of a two season collaboration with Liberty, London’s famous department store and fabric and pattern creators. Rapha + Liberty Spring/Summer 2016 features a 1970’s fabric chosen for its bold style and movement. Rapha and Liberty Art Fabrics worked together to choose the pattern from the Liberty archive of 40,000 prints, and Rapha designers then finessed the pattern onto Rapha’s existing 2016 Souplesse collection design.

2016 Rapha + Liberty Women’s Collection

Designed to be both highly technical and aesthetically beautiful, Rapha Souplesse is intended for training and racing and has a streamlined, supportive fit. The collection is performance focused and includes a Souplesse Jersey, Souplesse Base Layer, Souplesse Bib Shorts, Silk
Scarf and Cap.

To support the collection, award-winning frame builder Tom Donhou has once again created a custom paint scheme and executed it on one of his road bikes. The bike will be on display at the Rapha Cycle Club in Soho and will also be available to buy directly from Tom
at donhoubicycles.com.

2016 Rapha + Liberty Women’s Collection

2016 Rapha + Liberty Women’s Collection

The Rapha Liberty launch page is now live with an interview with Canyon//SRAM rider Tiffany Cromwell, rapha.cc/liberty. To launch the collection, Rapha also created a ride and feature on the silk trade in London, of which Liberty was a key part, available as a route for London-based riders.

2016 Rapha + Liberty Women’s Collection

Ride of the week: A cobbled classic tribute by Chris Hargreaves

Ride of the week: A cobbled classic tribute

I’ll be honest, as my wheels hit the first section of cobbles, I did wonder whether joining this ride was a decision I was going to regret. The road (and that’s a very loose description) seemed to stretch vertically into the sky. Twin potholed, pavé pathways bearing the impression of the farm tractors the track served and a slippery, domed centre that set your back wheel skittering. Not that these conditions seemed to lessen the pace of the ride leaders and the more accomplished bike handlers. They were soon disappearing round the corner ahead leaving me to simultaneously process the following thoughts: What if I fall off, make a fool of myself, break my bike, break ‘me’?

Finally joining the group at the top – some riders taking a moment to eat and drink, others breathing heavily over their bars – I noticed that although I’d come to a stand-still, my legs had not. Adrenaline was coursing through my body, producing a trembling of the knees and a gentle quiver of leg muscles. It was then I heard Lee, who’d planned the route and never seems unfazed by whatever conditions we find ourselves riding, quietly comment that it would do as an appetiser but there was plenty more to come later. Too late to back out? Or time to test whether pride does indeed come before a fall?

By way of providing some context, this was the Manchester Rapha Cycling Club’s tribute to the iconic Tour of Flanders. The idea was to seek out cobbled climbs and dirt tracks to the north of Manchester before returning to the club house to watch how the professionals do it. The club, having just celebrated its first birthday, provides a range of rides and routes to suit all abilities and appetites. I’d recently enjoyed a ride inspired by Milan – San Remo that perfectly honoured the classic route over 123 miles from Manchester to Cleethorpes on the east coast. We had a suitably hilly start and our own version of the Poggio before racing down the seafront where, after refuelling on fish and chips, we caught the train back over the Pennines. This was a ride that, although long, I felt confident in clicking the ‘Yes, I’m attending’ button on the RCC forum.

Ride of the week: A cobbled classic tribute

But cobbles? My initial reaction was a resounding ‘NO’. As I read the forum thread, however – other members discussing the route and sharing their enthusiasm – it dawned on me that this was why I joined the club in the first place. To ride with an inspiring bunch of people, all sharing a love of cycling, from different and varied backgrounds, many stronger and faster riders than myself. And, above all, to take me out of my comfort zone. To ride with individuals that will support, challenge and encourage me to take a risk.

I’m not for one moment going to suggest that I suddenly discovered my inner Flandrian ‘mojo’ on the later sections of cobbled climbs we rode. Unfortunately I never found enlightenment on the road to Saddleworth Moor. I bounced, shook, even on occasion walked. What I was left with, however, was a true sense of achievement. Of facing up to apprehension and not simply accepting that, because a ride is difficult, I should choose an easier route.

Ride of the week: A cobbled classic tribute

I’ll finish with an observation. I understand that television can lessen aspects of the climbs we see the professional teams tackling but the Belgium pavé seemed rather tame compared to the brutal surfaces we’d ridden earlier in the day. Maybe even the great Peter Sagan, if riding the climbs I’d struggled up, might have had second thoughts?

Then again, perhaps not.

Ride of the week: A cobbled classic tribute

Instagram: @openautograph

Firefly Titanium Road SRAM eTAP

Firefly Titanium Road SRAM eTAP
Oh my gosh, Firefly Titanium Road SRAM eTAP is just about the best thing I’ve ever seen, apart from the time I saw Roger Moore leave his house in a soft top Mercedes with a attractive blonde in the passenger seat, but it’s up there. Firefly are well known for their ridiculously nice Ti bikes and this Firefly Titanium Road SRAM eTAP is no exception. Just look at the clean lines, that only using eTap could bring about. The welds, the simple finish and HED wheels. It’s the sort of bike you can just stare at for hours…

Firefly Titanium Road SRAM eTAP\

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Firefly Titanium Road SRAM eTAP

Andy’s Cannondale Super Six Evo

Andy's Cannondale Super Six Evo

Andy’s Cannondale Super Six Evo with beautiful custom paint work by @doktorbobby. Andy works at Muddock Cycleworks in Bristol and built this bike to go fast, explore and ride with friends. To add a lightweight bike to his collection, without comprise. The components are super fancy but also practical, well made and serviceable..

The Super Six rolls on a pair of HED Belgium Plus’s laced to Chris King R45’s. Andy went all out on this build and boy does it show. Finished off with ENVE Composites Road stem, bars and seat post.

Andy's Cannondale Super Six Evo

Andy's Cannondale Super Six Evo

Andy's Cannondale Super Six Evo

Andy's Cannondale Super Six Evo

Andy's Cannondale Super Six Evo

Andy's Cannondale Super Six Evo

Andy's Cannondale Super Six Evo

Andy's Cannondale Super Six Evo

Full spec list:

F-F 2016 Super Six Evo
ENVE Road Compact Bars
ENVE Road Stem
ENVE 2 Bolt Seat Post
Fabric Scoop Saddle
Ultegra 6800 Drivetrain and brakes
Dura Ace 9000 Cassette
Chris King PF 30 Bottom Bracket

HED Belgium +
Chris King R45 Hubs
24 F 28 R
DT Swiss Competition Spokes
Vittoria Corsa Tyres
Ultegra 6800 Skewers

La Primavera Cycle Show

La Primavera Cycle Show

We recently attended the La Primavera Cycle Show. A new bike show which aims to showcase some of the world’s premium road bicycles, components and clothing and to bring something different to the road bike market. The event was hosted at Barnsley House in the Cotswold’s by Bike Science.

The show was a great chance to meet and chat to the exhibitors about their products and share cycling stories. The exhibitors included Legend, Lightweight, Boardman Elite, Campagnolo and many more. There were two classic themed cycling documentaries – A Sunday in Hell and The Road to Roubaix shown during the show at the Barnsley House private cinema.

The evening included a 2 course buffet style meal and a talk from Ultra Endurance cyclist Lee Fancourt about his incredible past adventures on the bike and a preview of what he has planned for 2016.

La Primavera Cycle Show

La Primavera Cycle Show

Andy’s beautiful Legend HT9.5

La Primavera Cycle Show

laLa Primavera Cycle Show61

La Primavera Cycle Show

La Primavera Cycle Show

Engineered Bicycles Zondag with custom pearlescent paint

La Primavera Cycle Show

La Primavera Cycle Show

The new Engineered Bicycles Blits

La Primavera Cycle Show

La Primavera Cycle Show

A mesmerizing set of Lightweight Fernweg’s

La Primavera Cycle Show

La Primavera Cycle Show

IL Re Titanium. “King” of the LEGEND range

La Primavera Cycle Show

La Primavera Cycle Show

La Primavera Cycle Show

La Primavera Cycle Show

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