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Thursday, 29 August 2013

The Evolution of Elbow Width in Time Trialling

I've been noticing a trend with time trial positions in the last few years with the elbow position getting narrower. Here are a few good examples:

This is Brad from back in his Cofidis days: Elbows and hands quite wide.

And here he is in all conquering Sky set up: Elbows and hand very narrow.

Tony Martin during the early days of HTC: Elbows wide, hands narrow.

Tony Martin now: Super narrow.

David Millar in 2003.

David Millar more recently.

It's also interesting to see how Matt Bottrill's position has changed from his days before his involvement with Simon Smart:

To that after hours of wind tunnel testing:

The original theory used to be that having the elbows wider meant that your knees came up into a low pressure point behind the elbows. However, for the majority of the pedal stroke, your knees are out of the low pressure anyway.

I believe we're seeing more a trend towards this kind of a position as more and more information is coming from wind tunnel testing. A journal published last year ( stated that "Data statistical analysis clearly shows that the hands positioning on shifters and the elbows joined together are significantly reducing the cyclist drag force.". Narrow elbows presents as small a frontal area to the wind as possible and allows less air to get between your legs where it can get disturbed.

There will always be exceptions to the rule: Cadel Evans has always ridden a very wide and open TT position

But what are the down sides? Well, flexibility for one. Not everyone can just drop into a super narrow position and maintain it. Another aspect is whether a narrow elbow position detrimentally effects your breathing. Therefore, I think elbow position is something you should experiment with. Start reducing the width in stages and find where it starts to feel uncomfortable. Try riding a few weeks in that position and see if your body can adapt to it with increased flexibility. Time your self over a set route a number of times and average out the results. 

Narrow looks like it's the current theme in the professional peleton, let us know if it works for you? 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Tim's Parlee Z-Zero with ISP

We recently had the pleasure of building up this Z-Zero for Tim, complete with integrated seatpost. Strong, light and super-stealthy. Di2 groupset and an equally subtle set of ENVEs complete the package. Lovely.

Santa Cruz at Bespoke - First Look

How was your bank holiday weekend? Plenty of good riding, I hope. Alasdair and Mark, our "front of shop" guys, enjoyed a trip to Wales for a spot of mountain bike testing.

Many thanks to our friends at Santa Cruz, who sorted out an awesome Bronson carbon 29er and a super-versatile alu Blur TR for the weekend. The lads are writing a bit of a review for us, but in the meantime here are some studio shots - before they got them all dirty!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Garmin Vector Power Meter Pedals

Power measurement from your pedals:

The long-awaited Garmin Vector pedals have just launched, and we're pleased to announce we've been selected as an authorised Vector dealer.
Power is the best possible training tool - giving reliable, accurate feedback on your performance and progression regardless of the weather and how you feel on a particular day.
Power measurement just got a whole lot easier. No need to rebuild wheels or replace cranks - Vector are fitted like any other pedals, in just moments, with no special tools required.
  • Measure left and right leg power independently and combined.
  • Measure power right at the pedal, at the point where it's applied.
  • Swap easily between bikes with no adjustment or recalibration required.
  • Compatible with Garmin Edge GPS range and other ANT+ head units.
  • No significant weight penalty, just 46g more than a standard pair of Keo compatible pedals.
  • Compatible with Look Keo cleats.


Pop into the shop or call us on 020 7837 0647 for more information. First stock arriving soon, in strictly limited quantities. Pre-order now to be sure of reserving a pair, we know these are going to be hugely popular.

Tech Spec:

Measures total power and cadence, including the following power metrics:
  • Left/right balance: average at various time intervals
  • Power: average at various time intervals
  • Training Stress Score (TSS)
  • Normalized Power (NP)
  • Intensity Factor (IF)
  • Total power in watts
  • Overall kilojoules
  • Power zones

Further information:

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Trois Etapes look back

Well the dust is starting to settle and we're taking a look back at the fantastic Trois Etapes. Over $2.2 Million raised for charity so far from this year's event (and over $4 Million in the last 12 months). What an incredible amount, and we had as great a time supporting it as the riders did taking part!
Hats off to Cosaveli for their great organisation of such a massive event. You'd never think this was only the second time round. Here's everyone starting to arrive, in blazing Alpine sunshine:

Most of our mechanic team flew out via Geneva, but Jaguar were kind enough to loan us an XF Sportbrake (yep, same as Team Sky use), and so a couple of us got to cruise down through France in ultimate comfort (and from Calais to the heart of the Alps on a single tank of fuel!)

Here's the workshop set up for the next few days:

And I don't think the mechanics were complaining about the change of scene from central London - here's the view from the back of the "workshop":

It wasn't all views and sunshine, though - the lads worked long into the night to keep everyone's bikes running smoothly. Here they are working by the light of the car headlights:

The assembled support cars made for a pretty impressive lineup, each team had their own dedicated follower car...

...and a team leader borrowed from the ranks of past and present pro cycling, including big names such as Carlos Sastre and a certain Mr Bobby Julich:

It was great to see the teams working so well together, their dedication and determination was awe inspiring:

Here's a few more random images to give a bit of a flavour of the event. Check out for some proper professional photos (we were too busy working to take many ourselves!) and look out for highlights of the event coming to Channel 4 TV in the not too distant future...

Look forward to 2014!

Look what we've got!

Trek have extended their Project One range to include mountain bikes. As long-established Project One specialists how could we resist? So here's the first to reach the store - this lovely Superfly SL, with custom paint and build kit.

In the market for an extra special MTB or road bike, with your choice of paint scheme and components? Give us a call...