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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Andrew's Z5SL

Andrew had a Z4 previously, and this year moved up to a lovely new Z5SL
Most of the build came off the old bike, and why not given its quality; 3T carbon cockpit, Enve Wheels and DA gruppo

Flooring with a PRO twist

We are currently building the Performance Lab, which will eventually host bike fitting, biomechanical correction, a physio and metabolic assessments.
To keep the cycling theme we went with Quick Step flooring. How says advertising does not work !

Monday, 30 January 2012

Cycling Plus bike fitting session

Cycling Plus's bike editor came in for a bike fitting session with Ben last week
The link is here:

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Parlee Z1 custom Tourer

This is a very special bike indeed. Its a present from a husband to his wife, and the design brief was a touring bike that would be a delight to ride and also have the ability to take some light loads when they were riding in the Pyrenees.

The frame is a Z1 custom tourer and has the Kandy red tint to the carbon clearcoat. The graphics are a new font to us, and hand-painted cream decals. The gruppo is an Ultegra triple with a TA crankset (to help with those mountains!).
Matt hand-built some wheels around a SON dynamo front and rear. The wiring for the dynamo is incredibly neat - Matt bought some different coloured heat shrink so he could attach it to other cables to minimise any clutter. The saddle is a cream colour, so we had to find a way to get bar tape to match. Our solution was to get our favourite white Arundel tape and then leave it in a coloured brown dye. It took a couple of rolls of tape to get the time we left it there right (so yes we do have some dark brown bar tape if anyone wants it!).

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Gerald's Kent Eriksen MTB with Yeti rear end

Gerald picked this up from us last year but I realized we never took a picture of it all built up. So here it is in all its glory!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Marc's Trek Madone Project One

This is Marc's Project One with custom finish - its a pearl blue with black outline decals. Looks immense in the flesh!
The build is Ultegra with the Ultegra tubeless wheels.

Some more builds

This is Aidan's Z2 with gloss finish and Race decals with a false Red panel
The build is Campy Chorus with Zipp 101s and 3T parts

This is Alan's Z3 with a wax finish and etched decals. The build is Super Record with Fulcrum 1s

And this is for a new cyclist, Caroline, who is doing London 2 Paris with her husband. She currently has a hybrid but came in for a fitting with Ben to choose her first road bike. So here is her new Specialized Ruby

Sunday, 22 January 2012

S-Works Prevail helmet (quick) review

I have historically been either a Giro or a Specialized helmet man and my last 3 helmets have been (in reverse order) the Giro Ionos, Specialized 2D and Giro Atmos.
I am currently riding the Ionos and am really liking it - its crazy light and fits very well (far better than the Atmos did on me).
However this morning I realised I had left my helmet at work, but my riding partner Dean said he would lent me his Prevail. He likes his so much he bought two - one is in 'race' mode and the other has all his extra commuting lights attached to it. Clever.....

Thus this is a review based on only one ride but I have to say I was very impressed. The Prevail retails for £159.99, so is £40 less than the Ionos, and whilst its 20 gms heavier, it is still a substantial 70 gms less than the Atmos. I also much prefer the Specialized retention mechaninism - it is far more granular than the Giro's. Specialized also claims it is extremely aero (this was the helmet Cav won the Worlds with where the covered all the vents up). Specialized claim that at a steady 250 watts for an hr you would be 250m up the road if you were wearing the Prevail vs the Giro. Of course these are manufacturer statements and need to be taken as such but it just goes to show how the criteria for a top helmet has changed. Safety and ventilation are now taken as a given, the new battlefield is ever decreasing weight and ever improving aerodynamics.
Over 4 hrs of riding I did not think about the helmet once, which to me is the acid test.
Will I buy one to replace my Ionos.?
Probably, but am afraid I am vain enough to first ask my friends which looks better on me !

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Best bike of the year....

It may not be flash, but it has a story
This is the Trek Cocoa that my sister has ordered. She has not had a bike since she was a little kid but has suddenly got the itch, and fancies this bike to nip down to the shops and gentle rides around the park. The basket is a nice touch and as you can imagine Matt loved building this up!

Gerald's Firefly with Ui2

This bike completes Geralds fleet. He has a carbon Parlee Z1, a Ti Kent Eriksen Full Sus MTB and now he has a epic all roads Stainless steel Firefly. 3 masters, in 3 materials for 3 different purposes.
This bike is all noteworthy as its the first Ui2 build that we have built up. Matt says it went together beautifully and was far simpler than Di2. We await a detailed ride report from Gerald.
It does look stunning which helps - the polished decals with the stainless frame really does look subtle but very striking up close.

We went for the Belgian pro vibe with the wheels; they are Dura Ace hubs laced to Ambrosio Excellence rims and shod with Vittoria Pave 27mm tyres.
The bike should be an absolute blast to ride!!

Monday, 16 January 2012

First Tri bike of 2012...

...and its a cracker. This is Tom B's Trek Speed Concept 9.9 with Di2 'Lite' - that means it has Di2 shifting with Ultegra chain and crank. Tom has some deep carbon race wheels, so its now set up with his training wheels.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Brett's Accelerade review

I am a huge fan of Accelerade, and have been using it regularly since November. I managed to convince my man Brett to try some and here is his review


Just wanted to contribute to your reader reviews…

I started using Accelerade in my build to Kona this year, there were two things that drew me to it. The first was the 4:1 carb \ protein ratio, now the jury still seem to be out on protein boosting performance within a session but the experts do seem to agree that taking protein in during a session does aid recovery.. So, with that in mind, in the final build I thought it worth a shot based on this alone, I was tiring towards then end of the build and very much looking forward to the taper so I could ease back again…

One of my very last key sessions was 5 hours which consisted of 1:00 power build on bike then 15 minute race pace run x 4, nice uh ? This session went well I believe in no small part due to accelerade drink and gels. First thing that strikes are the flavours, think I had orange gels and bubble-gum drink? Both tasted great, to the extent I drank more than normal each time I remembered to drink that is. I used 2 gels through this period and about 3 bottles, each time I got off the bike to run, I found I had the energy to do so. I also felt a little energy surge from each gel, the last two intervals pushing the higher watts is a struggle especially for 20 minutes at a time but the gels genuinely seemed to help.

I didn’t use the products during the race in Kona as I believe firmly in being able to race off of what is available on the course. However, I have used the product since my return and throughout the winter so far. I am still using them, and seem to be able to go further on less, having completed a few 4+ hour rides on two bottles only, I mix them slightly higher than recommended, as this seems to still give me the energy feed I need.

One comment I heard from a friend who I gave some too was that it didn’t seem to quench her thirst, I hadn’t noticed this before but now it does feel like that sometimes, but the energy is still there, strange, but that’s how it feels. I continue to use it in training incl some harder turbo sets, I think it’s one of the best products out there, and as you know, I have tried most of them..


Suzanne's Trek WSD

And very nice it is too!

Chris's Parlee Z5SLi

This is Chris's Di2 bike. Chris actually had the Di2 gruppo, saddle and wheels already on his old bike. So we were able to take that off and build onto a lovely new Parlee Z5Sli.
The wheels are the Shimano CL24 tubeless which we have put Hutchison Fusion 3s and Caffe latex sealant. Should offer great ride comfort and lots of winter puncture resistance.

Paul K's Parlee Z5SLi

Paul picked this up before Christmas but we finally got round to taking some pictures.
Its full Di2 with Enve cockpit, Romin saddle and Shimano Carbon pedals
The wheels are the brand new Enve/Powertap G3 wheels which look really nice
Training tyres are on for now as this bike will lead a busy life, and later in the year Paul will switch out to some lovely supple race tyres which will improve the ride and performance even more

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Andy's Firefly winter bike

To go with Andy's Z1 he also picked up his new Ti Firefly (lucky boy!)
Its full Di2 with the satellite bar shifters DA CL24 tubeless wheels and sealant
The cockpit is full Enve and he is using his favourite Antares carbon saddle

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Richard's Z5 SLi

Richard has already picked up his Parlee TT bike, and now here is his SLi
Its build with Di2 and Lightweight Standard Clinchers
The battery is hidden in the seatpost so its even more stealth and Parlee finished it off by sanding down a complete Ritchey Superlogic cockpit so that it matches the frame finish.

Andy's Parlee Z1 with Di2

Just a lovely, lovely build
Di2 with Enve cockpit and Mavic SLR wheels

Some shop pictures

We have been busy here - I thought I would take the time to update you of our progress.

This is part of upstairs. The main table in the middle is meant to showcase seasonal items and things we think are cool. Behind the table you can see the flags flying which show what is downstairs

We created a bike park based on the Col markers you get on some of the classic climbs. We thought we would add to it with the time of the fastest ascent.

This is where it gets serious..... the main bike studio downstairs. As we progress we will build out different 'brand sections' and do some cool things.

Here is a close up of a Parlee Z1 on the new bike stands we had make. They are wooden frames with light boxes in them, They look really cool !

Come and see the shop for yourself, and hopefully we will have more developments in the days, weeks and months !

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Chrissie Wellington in the house

We had the huge privilege of hosting Chrissie Wellington and the team from Audiofuel last night. It was a full day affair with the media (including Sky News) in the afternoon and then a general public meet and greet later on. It was enormous fun, though I did not spend much time listening as I was like a mother hen running around making sure it all went smoothly. As such it was great to read Rich's blog.

Thanks to everyone involved and all those who came to the event. I hope you enjoyed it!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

2012 Trek team bike is HOT

This thing is sweet !

Specialized Venge 'Cav' World Championship Edition

Here is our size 52 (a suitably "pro" size!)
Its only one of 200 in the world, and 40 in the UK and given its size we think there must only be a hand-ful in this size in the country.
It looks great in the flesh - very stealth, with silver highlights on the chainstay and some cool World Champion bands on the underside of the downtube. Its the same price as the regular Vange (£2500) and given the amount of international interest we have already had in the frame we have been told its actually selling for more than list on the second hand market.
Bikes that appreciate - who would have thought !

Anthony's Firefly winter bike

This is one of four Firefly 'winter' bikes that are coming our way in the next couple of weeks. Though to call them winter bikes is to do them a total dis-service. Although they have full mud-guards they use normal 47mm racing brakes (in this case Dura-Ace). They also use the normal Enve road fork, but what the clever folk at Parlee do is bond on some carbon mud-guard eyelets for Firefly. Thus come the spring, these mud-guards can come off and you have a race bike for the summer season. Two bikes in one - with no compromises.

Anthony went to town on this build:

-Full Dura Ace and Di2 including the hidden battery in the Ti Firelfy seatpost
- Chris King Gold BB and R45 hubs laced to Open Pro Ceramic rims
-Enve bar and stem

The frame is of course the star of the show, and features internal Di2 wiring and internal brake cabling. Perfect for winter!
The frame is brushed Ti with polished and anodized decals

Its simply an amazing bike!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New years resolutions

Its that time of year again!

I told my wife last night that I was hoping 2012 was a quieter year than the craziness of 2011. Opening the new shop space and the birth of our second baby boy has knocked me for six a bit to be honest!

I said at the start of last year that I had no real cycling goals and that if the shop was a success and I became fat as a result that would be a good year. As such I only entered one main event for the whole year (and even that was half baked with the inevitable painful consequences).
So this year I want to have my cake and eat it....and given my current appetite that is a pretty god analogy.
I am the heaviest I have been since Uni and that coupled with my steel bike with mud guards has made the Kent hills a real slog this winter.
But the fightback starts now!
I have entered a number of UK sportives and the big European one for us will be Quebrantos in Spain - a bunch of us are doing it and would love more people to joing for the inaugural Bespoke club championships!

On the Ironman side I am planning to give Roth another good go- its such a quick course that it would be rude not to

To get me in shape I will be using all the toys we have the shop - including biomechanical sessions with Ben, regular testing with our new Vo2 machine and even using our hypoxia altitude machine closer to the time.

I will keep updating this blog with progress (or lack thereof). I am hoping the fear of humiliation will keep me hitting the turbo and sticking away from the chocolate muffins.
Wishing you all the very best in your personal, professional and cycling aspirations in 2012.
All the very best