July 2015

Good Things in July - Cycling & Bikes Round-up

Here's an eclectic mix of our best cycling spots from around the internet this month. The Inner Ring Once again the Tour de France coverage over on the INRNG pro cycling blog has been superb. Witty, insightful insider coverage with lively debate amongst the comments - if you're not following this site you should add it to your favourites immediately. To support the site Mr. Inrng recently collaborated with Prendas to produce a limited edition jersey. Grab one while you can. Wheelset Search After our short feature on compatible forks for our steel frames we asked a few recent customers about the wheelsets they selected for their new builds. Whist most opted for Campag, Fulcrum and Mavic, a couple of lesser known brands also cropped up. Hunt produce high quality hand-built wheels from top spec'ed components sourced from well respected Asian manufacturers (an approach we certainly appreciate). They look the business and are well priced too. Swiss Side wheels have a focus on aerodynamics and with a combined 50 years of Formula 1 experience in their design team they should be good at it too. Any brand with line graphs on their product pages get my vote. West Coast Jerseys & Bags While on the look out for a new short sleeve jersey, I came across Ornot Apparel. As they are based in sunny San Francisco they offer nothing in merino - but will make a nice change from the obligatory Rapha Classics Jersey visible on every Saturday morning club run. Portland based Tanner Goods are high-end producers of traditional leather work. Their new outdoor collection includes a range of waxed cotton handlebar and saddlebags. The Excursion Frame Bag is our favourite. A waxed canvas workhorse, designed to carry a working days worth of gear without getting overstuffed. Its dimensions will fit a laptop, a light jacket, a notebook and some lunch safely, without worrying about your legs hitting it while pedalling. North East Caps A little closer to home is D By Design Cycling Caps. With a custom design service for cycling clubs for orders of 15 caps I'm sure this new brand will prove popular. They also offer some bold stock caps from just £12 - a small investment to vastly improve your coffee stop look. Finding & Building Vintage Bicycles Finally, My Ten Speeds, a retro website about vintage bikes. I don't know what I was doing when I found this, but I love it. Posts run from 2008 to 2013 and feature a range of articles about the joys and pitfalls of vintage bike building. The site also features a gallery of the authors own salvaged builds sourced from all over America, Europe and Asia. Here's a few favourites from Legnano, Torpado and Tomassini to skim the surface of the the Italian section.

#tdf2015 GoPro Action

There are quite a few GoPro cameras inside the peleton at this years tour. Here's some of the best action from the first week: Experience @letour like never before! Here’s a look back at stages 1-7 from the #GoPro perspective. #GoPro #TDF2015 https://t.co/L1b3SrGKwm— #HERO4Session (@GoPro) July 12, 2015 Inside the chase car with @Etixx_QuickStep & @tonymartin85 as they go for the Yellow Jersey during Stage 4! #TDF2015 https://t.co/4CM36Y1vaN— #HERO4Session (@GoPro) July 8, 2015 Go behind the scenes at @letour as @ORICA_GreenEDGE mechanic, Fausto Oppici rushes to a major crash! #TDF2015 #GoPro https://t.co/Qx0o4JyN8C— #HERO4Session (@GoPro) July 7, 2015 See more over on the GoPro twitter feed.

Carbon Forks for our Steel Bike Frames

One of the most common questions we're asked is which carbon forks are compatible with our steel frames. The short answer is for our Reynolds 931 and Reynolds 953 frames you can can use ANY fork with a straight 1-1/8" steerer. You will also need a 1-1/8" external headset. Some carbon forks are labelled as specifically for an external (or non-intergrated) headset, such as a the Columbus Minimal below. However, the only thing that makes these forks different is the styling around the crown, where they are likely to have a rounder shoulder, compared to other designs. Just to repeat, ANY fork with a straight 1-1/8" steerer will be compatible. Here's the Columbus Minimal on one of our prototype builds. These forks get consistently good reviews and are available from a number of online bike stores for about £170. Planet-X are well known for really good kit at great prices. Their Pro Carbon Road Forks come in a 1-1/8" option and will do a great job at under 400 grams and £100. They are available in a number of colours including white, black and pink. Another option is the Ritchey Comp - a nice looking fork in one-piece monocoque high-modulus carbon construction. Available from about £150. Finally, our favourite - the Enve 2.0. We're big fans of the Enve range - take a look at Mark's Stainless in Seattle build, which features a full Enve finishing kit of forks, seat post, stem and bars. Enve 2.0 forks are around £350, but a top quality product and well worth the investment. There are plenty of options out there. You'll also find carbon forks for our steel bikes from 3T, Deda, Kenesis and Easton. Please feel free to get in touch if you need any advice. Why don't you use internal headsets? We decided to to use the 1-1/8" external headset size for a number of reasons. Most importantly, there are a huge number of internal, semi-integrated, tapered and other variations on the humble headset now. The bike industry has a nasty habit of throwing out dozens of new specs, only to make them obsolete a few years down the line. Do you really think you'll be able to find replacement headsets for all those standards? That means if we'd happen to buy into the latest and greatest spec that no one supports in five years then a worn-out headset or cracked fork could mean your frame becomes a paperweight. That's not what we're about. We want to make heirloom worthy frames to last a lifetime - component specification is part of that. The 1-1/8" size is so well established headsets in this size will always be available. The move to tapered steerer tubes with 1.5" or larger diameter is also puzzling. I'm sure you've heard this is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but seriously - when is the last time any of us had any problems with an "undersize" 1-1/8" head tube? Also, have you noticed that the bike industry recently "improved" the bottom bracket area by moving the cups outside the BB shell (essentially, adopting the same design as a 1-1/8" external headset)? How can moving some bearings into one tube, and moving other bearings out of a tube both lead to a great improvement?