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English Cycles Project Right 29er

English Cycles Project Right 29er

The English Cycles Project Right 29er Mtb is nuts. There are just so many things on it that make you gawp and say either, how, wow or why? Just so many things, from the attention to detail, to innovative solutions to deal with the single-sided frame design. Yes that’s right, single sided. Nuts. I could go on about it, like I knew what I was talking about but it’s best you head over the the English Cycles website and read it straight from the builders mouth. For now you can just gawp at the pictures of this stunning bike.

English Cycles Project Right 29er

English Cycles Project Right 29er

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Café Du Cycliste Spring Summer 2016

Café Du Cycliste Spring Summer 2016

The Café Du Cycliste Spring Summer 2016 range has been released. As always they’ve put together a lovely lookbook that is well worth the look. We really admire what Café Du Cycliste do and the Spring Summer 2016 collection is no different. Blending innovative materials with distinctive designs that are a pleasure to wear, use and just plain look at.

Café Du Cycliste Spring Summer 2016

I spoke to Oliver, at Café Du Cycliste and he had this to say; We’ve extended our range once more, with new pieces added for both men and women. Each one originally imagined, painstakingly developed, rigorously tested and finished off with signature styling. The palette includes hues of blue, red and violet alongside stronger greens and greys and simple black and white. The collection was documented in the Canaries, against a backdrop not so different to our own, where winter can be shaken off, the sun felt again on the face and warmer miles put into the legs. By pros and amateurs alike.

New highlights for Café Du Cycliste Spring Summer 2016 season include:

Georgette

Georgette

A mid-weight merino jersey constructed from a high performance and super soft blend. Featuring a rear mesh panel and unique mesh sleeves to provide supreme temperature control across a wider range of conditions. Styled with a one piece ‘chiminey’ collar and available for both men and women.

Jaqueline

Jaqueline

A packable gilet which fits easily into a jersey pocket but provides hard core protection whenever needed. The windproof fabric is allied to a rear mesh panel for core thermoregulation and it features rear pockets, a reflective safety strip and added stretch for a perfect fit.

Georgette

Jaqueline

An extremely technical ultra lightweight jersey featuring two different types of premium mesh and designed for hot weather riding. With vertical mesh sleeves, adiamond mesh body panel and geometric design details, the styling is classic Café du Cycliste. Available for both men and women.

Blandine

Blandine

Lightweight bib shorts built for warm weather riding. Constructed using two types of premium grade lycra for the perfect balance of compression and support, they feature perforated panels for temperature control, an innovative single piece bib section and the latest top of therange pad from CyTech.

Other new introductions include merino and ultralight base layers, stainless steel thermos flasks and leather backed riding mitts for warmer weather.

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Ride of the week: Keep Riding On

I was staring at Claire’s wheel, transfixed on its every movement. Gem was on the front with her head down, pushing the pace and the limits we thought we had. Every stone, pebble or hole presenting a moment somewhere between control and disaster. When each thought and muscle is focused on keeping the speed and remaining safe for both yourself and the group, there’s little room for any other complications in life. Never are you more aware of what every part of your body is doing, or the speed at which every car is approaching. Everything was on hyper alert and with the pace continuing to increase and the road we were on seemingly never ending, I felt more alive than ever.

‘When I’m not riding, I feel like I’m missing out on life’ – unknown.

This weekend, we decided to ride over 140km to Henley-on-Thames and back. It was inspiring, challenging and wonderful. During the 5 hours 50 minutes of cycling, I noticed that with every moment that came and went so did a different emotion. As well as shifting the gears to deal with the change in gradient, I was constantly shifting my focus and experience.

From the buzz of chatter when riding next to each other on the quiet country lanes, to the forced silence that riding fast and focused in a peloton brings.

From starting to feel hungry and empty as the miles make their way through your calories, to the contentment after a halloumi sandwich at the half way stop.

From mentally and physically coping with the 13% gradient hill burn (that you’ve experienced so many times but always forget how painful it is), to the rush and freedom descending brings, to the relaxed and contentment of sitting down with a post ride shandy that tastes of reward.

From sitting in the middle of the group when the pedals almost feel like they are turning themselves to searching for that extra strength when your lower back starts to cry out for a seat which isn’t a saddle.

From experiencing the feeling of self doubt and concern bubble away in your mind, to the overwhelming excitement and gratitude when the team reassure you of your ability.

From losing all feeling in your hands as you ride through the cold fog to pulling over on the side of the road, with the sun beating down on your winter outfit, to take off additional layers and catch some Spring freckles.

From a lightness and laughter amongst friends to the serious conversations which always feel easier to share whilst riding. There’s no guards and there’s no judgment on the road. We discuss topics that don’t get airtime during our busy lives or worries that often stay trapped in the ’too vulnerable to discuss’ folder of our mind.

‘This too shall pass’

A life lesson that we continually get taught on the bike: to know that nothing is permanent, is to know we can keep going. Whether that’s the lactic acid in your legs half way up the hill or being surrounded by boxes that need unpacking when moving into a new home, the discomfort is only but a single mile in a 100 mile journey. Your gears (and experience) will shift again soon. And if that journey is even half as fun as our adventure to Henley this weekend, you’re in for one hell of a ride.

KEEP RIDING ON. 

Camera used: MJU II 35mm
Route: 141km, 615m Elevation

London > Henley Loop

Nolan’s Reynolds 853 Pro Team Donhou

Reynolds 853
Nolan’s Reynolds 853 Pro Team Donhou is a bit tasty, a bit mean, very black and reminds me of The Equalizer. Not the Denzil version but, the Edward Woodward series, which started like this. I’m sure Nolan didn’t have that in mind and I’m pretty sure it was Star Wars inspired but, sorry Nolan you’re wrong. Anyway that aside…

There is a very good reason for the ace red lines, Nolan plans to travel with his bike a lot so he asked Donhou to add a little detail in the paint scheme that’d help him with rebuilding it exactly right after it has been in transit and there you have it the Equaliser. The paint scheme comprises of gunmetal and black (both with a pearl effect), plus a translucent red fade in key areas that serves to both highlight and break up the two darker colours.

Paint aside, the bike is built with Reynolds 853 Pro Team tubing, with interchangeable dropouts. Adorned with Shimano’s Ultegra Di2, a Chris King headset coupled to a Whiskey No. 9 thru axle road fork and Pacenti rims with White Industry hubs. Solid choices we say.

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Strava Launches New Cycling Kits and Web Store

Strava Cycling Kits

Strava, the social network for athletes, have launched new and redesigned Strava cycling kits, manufactured by Cuore, racewear provider to IAM Cycling and Team USA. The new kits are available in both men’s and women’s versions.

The new cycling range includes the Strava jersey, bib shorts, jacket and arm and knee warmers. In addition, for Premium members only, Strava Premium jersey, bib shorts and arm warmers. The all-black Premium kit features a gradient of reflective dots to augment rider safety and style.

The jerseys feature a sweatproof zippered pocket for mobile devices, textured stretch fabric on the sleeves and side panels for enhanced fit and aerodynamics. The bibs feature high-quality, comfortable chamois, built to last, as well as laser-cut grippers and a lightweight, comfortable and breathable fabric.

The Strava Cycling Kit will cost £86 for a jersey and £106 for bib shorts. The Strava Premium Cycling Kit will cost £90 for a jersey and £110 for bib shorts. Available on the brand new Strava Store, which features more gear, localised pricing, greatly reduced shipping costs and no import fees. Delivery to UK-based customers will be 2-5 days.

Introducing Galibier – Fine bike wear.

Galibier – Fine bike wear

It’s our pleasure to introduce, Galibier – Fine bike wear. A range of cycle clothing inspired by The Col du Galibier, made with passion and commitment. They offer excellent bike wear and customer service. We got a chance to check out some of their offerings and are suitably impressed to post on them here. I think the stuff they make and sell is premium on a budget, not the cheapest but the best value for your money. Stylish too.

Élysée Leather Glove £28.55

Galibier – Fine bike wear

Élysée Leather Glove detail

Fantastic glove with old school feel, made from leather with a fleece lining. These gloves are exceptionally comfortable and offer natural wind resistance. Perfect for early spring rides where the temps are not quite ready for gloveless rides. For the price you will be hard pushed to find better. These gloves were a real surprise, I didn’t think they would be warm enough but on a 5ºC ride I was nice and toasty. I have funny shaped hands and the large fits me width wise but a little long in the finger but, still enough dexterity to get the straps done up. Nice cuff length too so can tuck under the jacket sleeve for a cosy fit. Only downside to leather is they take a while to dry out once wet. The price is a huge upside for this quality and come in a neat bag (pictured).

Pro Lite Socks £7 or 2 pairs for £12

Pro Lite Socks

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Sock game is important. These lightweight socks have got game. Looking forward to breaking these out proper in the summer, for now they’ve just been hiding under overshoes. First impressions are a very comfy sock good for all day use with the reinforced footbed. £12 for two pairs is good. The running theme hear is quality at a decent price. Well worth adding to your sock collection.

Windstop Skull Cap £8.94

Windstop Skull Cap

An absolute must item to own. This one is no exception and like all their products the quality to price is bang on. This has seen my head good in freezing conditions and keep my brain from freezing up! It has a windproof material on the forehead and the rest is a fleece lined fabric. The panel construction fits the head nice and snug but is comfy. It covers the ears and is very low bulk and fits easily under the helmet. A must item. Comes in medium and large.

Mistral toe covers £8.90

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Last but not least, toe covers. Spring gear you need to have, light and easy to stow but offers those toes warmth on a cold start. Also good for doubling up with full overshoes in extreme cold. True to the value of Galibier these are great quality and price. The 2016 toe warmers are 2cm longer than any other toe warmers on the market. Covering more shoe and offering more protection – ideal.


Head over the galibier.cc to get some fine bike wear

Introducing the Isadore Apparel Climbers Bibs

Isadore Apparel Climbers Bibs

The new Isadore Apparel Climbers Bibs shorts will keep you in comfort even if you are spending hours in a saddle or racing heavily. Strategically placed overlock seams increase maximum comfort and performance. And they’re suitable for all seasons – in winter and autumn under tights, in summer or spring days on its own.

The Climbers bibs feature ColdBlack UV Sun protection and rather special chamois from TMF. Made in Italy from Airmesh; 100% recycled material rather than multi-layer foam. Making it the world’s first totally ecological chamois. The bibs contain special antibacterial material and a perforated pad that wicks away sweat. Legs feature a light silicone tape so your bibs don’t move while you are on the move.

Find out more about the men’s Isadore Apparel Climbers bibs here, or women’s here.

Isadore Apparel Climbers Bibs

Isadore Apparel Climbers Bibs

Isadore Apparel Climbers Bibs

Orlowski CX by negaatio

Orlowski CX

Today I stumbled across this rather intriguing Orlowski CX. The frame has dropouts from Paragon Machine Works, a custom painted ENVE fork to match the frame. Finished off with a modifed SRAM 1x setup, Selle SMP Composite saddle, Hope headset and Rotor S3x stem. Overall the bike looks pretty cool and with the Paragon Machine Work dropouts, can be built up to run as a single speed, fixed or whatever you like and has been in the past, check out negaatio’s Flickr.

We don’t know much about the frame or Orlowski, if you know more about the company please comment and share some detail.

Orlowski CX

Orlowski CX

A day at the races

Inspiration can be found anywhere. This weekend it was discovered at the CycloPark in Gravesend, as we watched a group of men and women invest all their emotional and physical energy into racing around a track.

From dragging your turbo to the car each week to waiting on the start line managing your shivers and butterflies, I wondered why they did it. After spending an hour at the races, the question was answered.

1. Routine.
Gem began unpacking her bag in the car park and set up the turbo. She’d done this before. There was a natural, not having to think, way about her warm up routine. It was all considered, organised and quite a spectacle to watch. No questions or decisions had to be made. You begin on auto pilot and don’t stop until the start line calls. No distractions apart from your thoughts. Thoughts that Gem soon silenced as she put her headphones on.

Womens Racing

2. Team.
As Kati and I sat down with our third caffeine drink of the morning, we noticed two riders warming up on their rollers near the window. With complete effortlessness, they hopped on their bike and balanced with enviable ease. As one of them headed off, they gave each other a mini fist pump. A small act which gave a huge insight into the camaraderie that racing provides.

Womens Racing

3. Purpose.
Having a purpose gives you focus. A focused mind is often the most forgiving. Constant check-points of a Saturday race, gives everyday leading up to it a clear reason. It’s not just another groundhog day, it’s an additional 24 hours worth of preparation that is often thought out with the military precision cyclists are known for.

Womens Racing

4. Improvement.
Anyone who rides wants to feel like they are improving. I asked Kati over breakfast how she got stronger and she said ‘Ride hard with strong riders’. I was kind of hoping she’d give me an easier option than that. If you’re racing each week, pushing yourself harder than any usual ride would allow, you give yourself ease of mind that you are becoming stronger. That’s contentment. An inner acceptance that whether you’re racing hard or on a rest day, you’re doing the right thing.

Womens Racing

5. Life Skillz
Some of most rewarding gifts given to us by the sport, are the emotional life skills it forces you to learn. During the race, Gem’s Di2 broke which resulted in her having to finish after 10 minutes. Dealing with moments you can’t control and having the emotional ability to let go, builds your self belief that you can handle things. The disappointment will alway be there but, similar to physical fitness, the ability to recover is where true stars are born.

Womens Racing

Looking at these five insights, you quickly realise that they are not only the driving forces behind why people race, but why we ride in general. Whether it be the adrenaline, the want to be better or the desire to have a purpose, these emotional drugs are addictive and soon become our ‘norm’. It’s normal for me to wake up at 0600 to fit in a morning ride at Regents Park. Just like it’s now normal for Gem to wake up on a Saturday and race. Like caffeine addiction, everyone’s preferences differ but we’ll all be back for our hit tomorrow.

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