Monthly Archives: September 2013

Cycle Art – Meet the Staff

At Cycle Art, we’re all cyclists. Sounds obvious, but in order to best advise and serve customers, it’s important that we understand the sport, our products, and the needs of our customers. So who are the people behind Cycle Art?

Tony GloverTony Glover
Tony has been riding for 28 years, and for 21 of those years he has been racing. He is a local legend on the bcross scene having notched up over 50 bcross podiums, over 20 mountain bike wins, and has won the senior CXNE league. He has even competed in the 3 Peaks b the toughest bcross race in the world (it is essentially a fell race with a bike). He is also quite handy on the road having covered 417 miles in the National 24 hour TT, been a road race winner, and a regular top 5 finisher in TTs in the past. He has worked in the bike industry for nearly 20 years after earning a degree in mechanical engineering. Along with Mark, he has built up Bicycle Repair Man from a tiny shop in Prudhoe into the biggest bike shop in the North East by some considerable margin. When it comes to bcross bikes and bcross racing, there isnbt much he doesnbt know. Tony is also regarded as the North Eastbs best wheel builder. He currently races on 2 superlight custom Ridley X-Nights and trains on the road on a Ridley Helium SL. He also competes from time to time on his Giant XTC Advanced 29er mountain bike.
Club: Derwentside CC
Dream bike: Thomas Frischknechtbs Ritchey Swiss Cross
Interesting fact: While Tony was at university, he designed and built the first ever bVb brake

Chris BushChris Bush
Hanging up in behind the Cycle Art counter is a British National Champion jersey. This isnbt a gift or a charity auction special b this belongs to our very own track champion, Chris. Chris has been riding for over 30 years with 25 years bike industry experience and has an impressive palmares. He has 2 gold medals in the Great Britain masters points race, a silver medal in the European Masters points race, a bronze medal in the British Open Team Pursuit championship and has shared the podium with Sir Bradley Wiggins when he was part of a team that won bronze in the 1998 National Madison Championship. He is also a Level 2 British Cycling road and time trial coach, rides into work every day regardless of the weather, and is Cycle Artbs bike fit expert having carried out hundreds of successful bike fits. Chris races on the track on a Ridley Arena, time trials on a Cervelo P2, trains and commutes on a Sabbath September and a Giant Bowery fixed 64b gear, and for fun has a Giant XTC mountain bike and a tandem called George. He also trains and occasionally races on a stunning Sabbath Mondays Child.
Club: VC St Raphael
Dream bike: 80s Cineli Laser track bike
Interesting fact: Chris used to be a Samaritan volunteer

James AshberryJames Ashberry
Jamesb journey into road cycling is very different to that of Mark and Tony. Despite having been fit and active in his youth, playing rugby at schoolboy, club and county level and an avid mountain biker (he actually bought his 2nd mountain bike from a young Chris Bush in the 90s) by July 2008, James weighed over 22 stone (140kg). He was morbidly obese, struggled to walk up stairs without losing breath, and admits himself that he was heading for a life of heart problems, diabetes and quite probably an early grave. A medical problem in July of 2008 convinced James to make a life-changing decision and he bought a cheap road bike and a turbo trainer. Now 7 stone lighter, James is a regular on the North East time trial scene, he is the club secretary of a cycling club, a massive follower of pro cycling, and is a British Cycling Sky Ride Leader. He rides into work every day that he possibly can, leads his club runs on a Sunday, and is currently trying to break the 22 minute barrier in a ten mile 10. James is also trained as a barista and is a freelance graphic designer. James races on a Ridley Dean time trial bike, commutes on a fully winterized Ridley X-Bow and trains on a Burls titanium road bike. When the sun comes out, his pride and joy is a custom Cervelo R3.
Club: ClC!sico CC (was Stay Classy / Well Handled RT)
Dream bike: Colnago C59 Italia with Super Record
Interesting fact: James once chased Sir Bradley Wiggins down the Col de Femenia in Mallorca. He didnbt catch him.

Pam GloverPam Glover
An important part of the Cycle Art ethos is the cafC), and without Pam, there would be no cafC). Pam is qualified in hotel management, and has worked as a catering assistant in a country hotel, ran a restaurant in Rothbury for 7 years, has been a catering manager for 2 schools and a day nursery before becoming the cafC) manager at Cycle Art. Away from baking the best cakes in the North East, Pam is also a passionate cyclist, racing in time trials and bcross, as well as club runs and offers a unique perspective from the female point of view of cycling, which is almost unique in the North East bike shops. Pam races on a Giant TCR Advanced and races cross on a Ridley X-Fire (when it arrives).
Club: Derwentside CC
Dream bike: bSomething that will make me winb
Interesting fact: Pam originally wanted to an air hostess

In the spotlight: The Colnago C59 Italia

In a series of “In the spotlight” articles, we’ll lift the lid on some of the bikes and components we stock, providing an insight into the brands, the manufacturing techniques used, and unique features they offer. In the first of our “In the spotlight” articles, we look at one of the most respected names in cycling and their signature offering – Colnago and their beautifully hand crafted C59 Italia.

Colnago C59 Italia

Why Italy?
Italian brands are renowned for their style, tradition, heritage and of course, their price tag. Ferrari, Ducati, Gucci, Maserati, Prada, Versace, Alessi – the list goes on. In cycling, this is no different. There are literally hundreds of Italian cycling brands but if there is one name in cycling that epitomises the style, history and tradition of Italian frame building it is Colnago, and specifically it’s founder, Ernesto Colnago.

10 Via Garibaldi - the birthplace of Colnago B) Colnago Luckily for us, a young Ernesto elected not to follow in his father’s footsteps and join the family business, instead choosing to work in the cycle trade. As a young teenager he worked as an apprentice with Gloria Bicycles of Milan, before taking up road racing himself. An accident prematurely ended his racing career, and in 1952 he opened a workshop on Via Garibaldi in Cambiago, just outside of Milan. In 1954 he built his first ever steel frame, and as a highly respected mechanic, he eventually became the head mechanic of the Molteni team, home of legendary racing cyclist Eddy Merckx. Colnago quickly became respected for his frames, and a legend was born.

The C59 Italia
The C59 was 4 years in the making, with over 40 prototypes produced before Colnago settled on the C59 we have in Cycle Art. It’s bloodline is clear – from the Master through the C40, C50 and EPS, the C59 is instantly recognisable as a Colnago. Named in honour of 59 years of Colnago frame building, the C59 is the company’s signature model and is still made in Ernesto’s basement in Cambiago. The lugged construction allows for a massive selection of 22 sizes, 14 traditional and 8 sloping, with various paint finishes available.

Breaking with the new tradition
In a time where carbon fibre frames are manufactured predominantly in the far east, the Colnago C59 remains faithful to Ernesto Colnago’s roots and the tradition of Italian frame building. On a busy day, Colnago’s Cambiago factory can produce just 16 of these framesets, such is the extensive process of producing the C59. This not only ensures that each frame is perfect, but helps retain an air of mystique and desirability to the C59. Indeed, the only other frame still made in Cambiago alongside the C59 is the steel tubed Master.

The manufacture of the C59 starts, predictably though, in the Far East. Carbon fibre for bicycle manufacture is sourced from a handful of producers of raw carbon fibre, and Japanese company Toray are renowned as being the best. Extensively used by Giant (who are widely accepted as being the industry leader in carbon fibre manufacture) and by Boeing in aircraft manufacture, Toray is the largest manufacturer of carbon fibre composites in the world.

Omega process lugsHand built in Italy
The raw carbon fibre is shipped to Italy, where it is hand moulded by the company that produces the Ferrari F1 car chassis into the tubes and lugs that form the basis for Colnago’s Omega carbon lugged construction process, a process that was developed in conjuction with Ferrari Engineering. Ferrari and Colnago’s relationship runs deep, with Ernesto Colnago and Enzo Ferrari, two of the biggest names in Italian sporting history, first meeting in 1986. Key to the Omega process are the lugs, which are made up of 12 individual layers of carbon fibre, consisting of both woven and uni-directional fibre sheets. The custom top tube and down tube of the C59 are internally ribbed, to increase torsional stiffness compared to round or oval tubes, and are filament wound around a stainless steel mandrel. Furthermore, the down tube features a proprietary technology Colnago call “I-Beam”, which features an vertical beam of carbon fibre reinforced with tiny steel rods. This again is designed to increase stiffness with little overall effect on the frame weight.

Carbon tubes waiting to be turned into C59 ItaliasThe tubes are mitred by hand to ensure they fit into the lugs providing maximum overlay. The tubes are then cut to size, depending on the frame size they are for, again by hand. The opposite end of the tube is then also mitred. Tubes and lugs are then inspected and prepared for the bonding process before being bonded together by hand using Colnago’s special resin on a precise, custom steel alignment jig that doubles up as part of the curing oven. Each stage of the frame construction is clamped down onto the jig, ensuring perfect alignment. Once fully constructed, the C59 frame is cleaned, removing any excess resin, and is then cured in the oven and then left to cool in the jig. Once cool, the frame is finished by hand, and placed into smaller jigs to have holes drilled for fittings. The headset fitting is then machined, and finally the frame is once again checked for alignment. Once complete, the frame is sent to Tuscany for painting, once again by hand. Why Tuscany? Colnago say that’s where the artists live, and judging by the finish on the C59 Italia, who are we to argue?

Such a frame is an investment, and Colnago know this, so the C59 is designed to last. For that very reason, unlike most super bikes, Colnago choose to use aluminium parts in the frame instead of carbon. Weight isn’t the critical factor for Colnago, instead concentrating on stiffness, ride and build quality. The headset is a proprietary semi-integrated aluminium affair, so that the cups can be replaced. The dropouts are also aluminium, as is the threaded bottom bracket shell. The front fork is double walled, to protect against crashes. This method of building means the C59 Italia frame weighs over a kilo, but Colnago aren’t worried by this – and neither was Thomas Voeckler as he rode the C59 to the polka dot jersey of the mountains classification in the 2012 Tour de France.

All this heritage, design, attention to detail and Italian craftsmanship comes at a price. Far from being overpriced, the C59 Italia fits into the “reassuringly expensive” category. The frame and forks costs B#3500.

In a shop full of exotic carbon fibre and titanium bicycles, the C59 regularly attracts the most attention, especially from those with an eye for the Italians, and remains many people’s dream bike. For some, it is also the closest they will come to owning a Ferrari.

Turbo Trainers

Tacx FlowTo some, the turbo trainer represents the most evil of all contraptions, a daily reminder of how winter prevents some of us from training outside. To others, it is a important weapon in their training arsenal, key to allowing specific targeted training sessions without having to worry about road conditions, traffic and weather. The turbo is ideal for working on pedaling technique, using as a warm up tool, and for training during the winter avoiding dangerous, slippy roads or riding at dusk or in dark conditions.

We don’t recommend you spend all winter couped up in the garage on the turbo trainer – far from it. Riding outside is good for the soul and improves road handling. However, we are also aware that the turbo trainer has it’s uses and is a necessary evil.

At Cycle Art, we stock Tacx turbo trainers and rollers. Tacx offer a range of trainers and rollers to suit all budgets, and is one of the industry innovators that allows riders to train with power for very little money.

Flow ComputerTacx Flow
There is no doubt that training with power is the most accurate way of improving your ability on the bike. It allows a targeted, specific and consistent method of measuring your ability and progression. However, power meters are expensive, complicated and require lots of attention and calibration. The Flow, marketed as what Tacx call an “ergotrainer”, is a fantastic way of getting into training with power, providing a reasonably accurate baseline and the ability to train within set parameters with little fuss and no real technical know how. The Flow uses an electro brake system with 6 magnets that provides a maximum resistance of 800 watts. For training purposes, you can set the Flow to a set power output and depending on your effort the Flow adjusts the resistance accordingly. A handlebar mounted computer displays various readings including speed, power, heart rate, distance and cadence and allows you to adjust the resistance. The Tacx Flow retails at B#380 and is in stock now at Cycle Art. We also have one out on the shop floor for customers to try out.

Tacx Booster being used to warm up onTacx Booster
The Booster is something you will have already seen, but not realised. It is the turbo trainer of choice for many Pro Tour teams and can usually be seen being used by riders as they warm up and warm down for races. It is also the official warming-up trainer of the Olympic Games and the UCI World Championships. At B#260.00, the Booster is the ideal turbo trainer for a long winter of preparation for racing and features sturdy frame construction and a handlebar mounted resistance selector with 10 settings. The magnet on the Booster is so strong so it offers more resistance (1050 watts) than most trainers at this price point.

Tacx Blue Motion
The “Blue” range is Tacx’s entry level trainers, with the Blue Motion being the top of that range. The Blue Motion has many of the features of more expensive trainers including a handlebar mounted resistance selector, sturdy construction and a powerful Neodymium magnet brake system capable of 950 watts resistance but for a very affordable B#200.

Whilst we recommend you get out on your bike as much as you can over the winter, when the need arises for a new turbo trainer, we can advise you on which turbo is most suitable for your needs.

Lezyne LED Demo Suitase

Lezyne SuitcaseThose nice people at Lezyne have given us a suitcase full of beautifully made LED lights to demonstrate to anyone wanting to stay safe and visible on the roads this winter. The suitcase contains the full range of Lezyne LED lights, from their B#13 Femto lights up to their B#165 1200 lumen Mega Drive.

Lezynebs range of LED lights are extremely well made, as youbd expect from a German company, manufactured using aluminum casings to both dissipate heat and provide a more robust unit. In particular, the higher end Mega Drive and Deca Drive lights have extruded casings, which not only look good, but also help keep the heat down so the high capacity LEDs do not overheat.

Lezyne Deca Drive & Mega DriveRegardless of what type of riding you do, Lezyne have a suitable light. For occasional use, the cute and compact Femto drive is the perfect unit for visibility. For commuting, the Zecto Drive, Micro Drive and Hecto Drive lights are the perfect solution, and for those wanting to go off road or on unlit country roads the Super Drive XL, Mega Drive and Deca Drive front lights will light the way.

The full range in the suitcase for demonstration purposes includes:

b” Zecto Drive Pro Font
b” Zecto Drive Front & Rear
b” Femto Drive Front & Rear
b” Femto Drive Front & Rear
b” Hecto Drive Front & Rear
b” Micro Drive Front & Rear
b” Mini Drive XL Front
b” Super Drive XL Front
b” Power Drive XL Loaded Kit
b” Mega Drive
b” Deca Drive

At Cycle Art, we want to ensure you get the right kit. So, if you want to test any of the lights in the Lezyne suitcase, leave a B#10 deposit per light and you can test it. If you then choose to buy a light, webll knock that B#10 off your purchase.

Autumn Riding – the crossover between Summer and Winter

Autumn LeavesWe all know winter is on the way. You donbt need a fancy iPhone app to see that the nights are drawing in, the temperatures are dropping, and the weather is changing. However, it isnbt actually winter yet b so what do you do differently in Autumn to Winter?

This time of year the temperatures are still reasonably mild, especially in the middle of the day. We donbt need Winter clothes just yet. Winter clothes tend to be heavily insulated, extremely thick, and actually far too warm for this time of year. In particular, winter gloves are bulky and heavily insulated.

Dress Accordingly
We call this btemperature managementb. Just because winter is coming, doesnbt mean you need to leave the house dressed like a cycling yeti every day. Similarly, just because yesterday was mild, it doesnbt mean today will be too. Top tips:

b” Dress to be slightly chilly as you leave and youbll be warm after 10-15 minutes
b” Check the weather forecast the night before
b” Get your kit ready the night before
b” Check the weather forecast again in the morning
b” Use an external thermometer and check it before setting off
b” Have a wide range of cycling clothing for all eventualities
b” Look after your Autumn kit and you can use it in Spring
b” If you are riding to work and there is no where to dry your cycling gear, consider a second set for riding home in

The ideal set up for this time of year would be:

b” Long sleeve base layer
b” Long sleeve windproof layer
b” A gilet
b” Tights
b” Underhelmet Cap
b” Socks & Overshoes
b” Long finger gloves

Base Layer
Base Layers
This time of year, layers are key. As the temperature is changeable, you remove or add layers depending on the weather. A good base layer is a fantastic place to start as this keeps you warm but also wicks away the sweat. It will also act as the foundation to rest of your kit.

Long Sleeves & Tights
Unless youbve booked a training camp to Mallorca, itbs definitely time to put the short sleeve jerseys and bib shorts away until next year. Keeping your arms and legs warm is key to avoiding injury. Cold legs will result in pulled muscles and unpleasant riding. According to Doctor Andy Pruitt of the Boulder Centre of Sports Medicine b bbelow 18 degrees cover your kneesb. See what he did there?

Leg, Arm and Knee Warmers
As winter tights might be too warm and shorts too cold, a good set of leg warmers or knee warmers is probably a good idea. You may also be riding with a jersey and a gilet, in which case arm warmers would be a good idea too.

Socks and overshoes
Socks alone will not keep your feet completely warm, especially if you are prone to poor circulation or cold extremities in the first place. Something like a Mavic Thermo sock is a good starting place, with a good knitted overshoe such as the Castelli Belgium Booties.

Long finger. No question. Riding without gloves does not make you hard. Nor do is make you bEurob. Nor is it clever. As the bodybs temperate drops, it reduces circulation to your extremities in order to keep blood flowing to your major organs. If you fall off (which is more likely on slippery roads) your hand will have nothing to protect it. Webd recommend a good Autumn/Spring glove such as the Mavic Spring Race glove or the Castelli Lightness glove.

Pronounced bjeelayb (French for bvestb), this is one of the most useful pieces of clothing in the cyclistbs kit bag. On milder days, the gilet is perfect for the start of the ride until it warms up, and then it can be removed and put in the jersey pocket. It is also good for putting on when descending after a long climb. Mavic and Castelli both offer a good range of gilets but the pick of the bunch has to be the Castelli Gabba. If itbs good enough for Dan Martin and David Millarb&

Underhelmet Cap
Keeping your head warm is important b cold ears and head can leave you in pain all day, and the peak will keep the rain, low sun and sweat out of your eyes. It is also easily removed if you get too warm. Speaking of the low sun b be careful as it hampers drivers visibility.

Lightweight Jacket
At this time of year, jackets donbt need to be warm enough to go snowboarding in. They do have to be windproof, and preferably waterproof. It is also a good idea to carry a waterproof shell that can be packed away into a jersey pocket.

Be safe b be seen
If you are commuting, this time of year still requires a high vis jacket in a bright colour such as yellow or orange. By Winter, it will probably be dark for your commute and a night vision jacket will be more appropriate. These tend to have more reflective panels on that a standard high vis, and light up in driverbs headlights.

Lezyne Zecto Drive
It might not be dark yet, but it can get overcast, misty and dull, and if you have a puncture or mechanical, which delays your ride, it may start to get dark. Ensure your bike has at least some lights on just in case. We have the full range of Lezyne LED lights in stock, of which the Zecto Drive rear light is proving most popular.

Tyre Pressures
Drop them b more rubber on the road means more grip. Watch out for slippery leaves. Look where you WANT to go rather than where you DONbT want to go.

As you can see, far from being an extension of Winter, Autumn has itbs own very important set of riding conditions and considerations. If you have any questions, or need to kit yourself out for Autumn (and indeed Winter), please pop up and see us at Cycle Art. Webll be only too happy to help.

Castelli clothing at the Tour of Britain

Honister Pass in the Tour of BritainNow in itbs 10th year (in it’s current guise) the Tour of Britain has gradually become more and more popular and grown in stature. The caliber of teams and indeed riders have improved year on year to the point where the 2013 edition, which kicked off in Peebles at the weekend, has the strongest ever field for the UCI 2.1 Europe Tour race. This year sees Pro Tour riders Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish, Nairo Quintana, Dan Martin, Giovanni Visconti (who has unfortunately crashed out of the race), Alex Dowsett, and Jose Joaquin Rojas line up on the start line as well as a host of domestic talent such as Kristian House, Richard Handley, Mathew Cronshaw, Evan Oliphant and local lad James Moss.

Castelli Sottile Due JacketYesterday saw the riders leave Carlisle and climb over the cat 1 climb of Honister Pass and the cat 2 climbs of Fangs Brow and Chestnut Hill, before a rolling run in to a uphill dig at Beast Banks in Kendal. The weather was typically British b it rained pretty much from start to finish b making the conditions wet, cold and slippery. Ideal for an eventful stage, then.

As the riders climbed Honister Pass they battled with the inclement weather, streams of water flooding down the road, and what seemed like Tour de France levels of spectators lining the road.
Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 10.56.00
Two teams in the Tour of Britain peleton where wearing the same kit to protect themselves from the elements b the Garmin Sharp and IG Sigma Sport teams where both showcasing highly technical Castelli clothing that helped keep them dry and warm in the harsh British weather.

Castelli Gabba Jacket4 particular Castelli garments were widely used by the teams yesterday. When the rain began to lash down, riders not already wearing waterproofs quickly reached for their Castelli Sottile Due jacket, a lightweight showerproof shell that can be compacted to fit into a jersey pocket. Dan Martin, who attacked up Honister Pass with 2nd place Tour de France finisher Nairo Quintana, opted for the Castelli Pocket Liner, a full waterproof shell that also packs away neatly. For those who wanted rain protection from the outset found themselves riding with the Castelli Muur jacket, a heavier weight waterproof designed to be worn all day – probably the ultimate waterproof jacket available. One item of clothing that most of the riders opted to wear was Castellibs awesome Gabba jacket. This jacket is a premium technical outer layer designed to keep the warmth in and the elements out. Constructed from Gore Windstopper fabric, this race fit jacket is the probs choice not only for racing in cold stages but with being breathable, it also finds its way into the kit bag during milder conditions.

Not only that, a certain Mark Cavendish was spotted wearing the Gabba jacket to keep himself warm and dry pre and post stage b and Omega Pharma Quickstep arenbt even sponsored by Castelli!

The Gabba jacket retails for B#185, the Muur jacket is B#200, and the Sottile Due jacket is B#75.00 and are in stock at Cycle Art now.

Cycle Art – The North East's Cyclo-Cross Experts

Tony Glover - local 'cross legend

Itbs cold, itbs wet and itbs windy. That can mean only one thing b the weather has changed in readiness for the cyclo-cross season. To the uninitiated, bcross appears to be an utterly crazy way to spend a Sunday b romping around a muddy field on what looks like a road bike, leaping on and off and jumping over all sorts of obstacles. To those who race, it is one of the most appealing forms of cycling, tough but rewarding, and with one of the biggest and friendliest scenes of all cycle sport.

At Cycle Art, webre kind of lucky. Tony, who runs the shop, is a bit of a local legend on the bcross scene. He has notched up over 50 bcross podiums, over 20 mountain bike wins and has won the senior CXNE league, and been North East mountain bike champion. With over 20 years of bcross racing experience, having tried and tested bikes, components, wheels, tyres, and more importantly tyre pressures, Tonybs knowledge of bcross and bcross bikes is unsurpassed in the North East.

Ridley Cross BikesArmed with that knowledge, Tony has selected to stock Ridley bcross bikes (because no one does bcross better than the Belgians). Tony himself races on a pair of ultralight Ridley X-Nights, which he has uniquely customized himself. He is also an expert wheel builder and can build wheels that are perfectly suited to rider, bike and this type of racing.

All this means one thing b Cycle Art is THE specialist for bcross in the North East. It is uniquely positioned to advise and equip bcross racers of all levels, from beginner to those competing at the highest level. If youbre serious about bcross and getting the most out of your bcross bike and equipment, there really no where else to consider.

The only thing we would ask is this b please leave Tony to warm up at the start of a race as hebs not at work when hebs racing!

Cycle Art's Winter Bike Buying Guide

Webve already published a winter guide but with this second guide, we look at winter bikes in a little more detail. At Cycle Art, we have one or two great solutions for a riding in the winter.

Ridley Xbow Winter Bike

Ridley X-Bow
The first option is currently our most popular winter bike, the Ridley X-bow. Ridleybs X-Bow is actually a bcross bike, but those clever people from Belgium have fitted all sorts of rack mounts to make it a thoroughly practical machine for winter riding and commuting. It has the clearance required for fat tyres and mudguards, and a frame that is built for off road so you can ride the trails and cycle paths as well as on the road. The X-Bow comes in several versions b the B#870 Sora equipped v-brake X-Bow 20, the B#1095 105 disc brake X-Bow 10 Disc, or the non disc X-Bow 10 for the same price. For winter riding and commuting, we recommend the Sora disc model (unless you are planning on racing some ‘cross in which case the V brake model may be more suitable) with Tortec reflector mudguards (B#35), a set of 28mm Scwhalbe Marathon Plus tyres (B#33 each) or Durano Plus tyres (B#38 each) and a really good set of lights. Ordinarily, if you buy a bcross bike and wish to swap the bcross tyres for road tyres we would simply swap the tyres with no charge.

Sabbath SeptemberSabbath September & Sabbath Silk Route
Another option we would recommend is one of our titanium Sabbath winter ready bicycles such as the Sabbath September or the Sabbath Silk Route. Both have mudguard mounts and both have good tyre clearance. There are several differences between the Silk Route and September that are worth considering. The September is fitted with M5 pannier mounts for loads of up to 25kg and has enough clearance to comfortably accommodate 28mm tyres with mudguards fitted. The Silk Route takes things one step further with M6 pannier mounts for loads of up to 35kg, and can accommodate 38mm tyres with mudguards fitted. Another couple of important differences are that the September comes fitted with a carbon fork (better for pure road riding) whereas the Silk Route has a Surly fork for carrying front pannier luggage, and whilst the September has calliper brake mounts for standard road brakes the Silk Route has cantilever mounts for more clearance. A typical September build with Shimano 105 would start from B#1999 and a Silk Route with Deore LX would be a similar price. However, as with all Cycle Art bikes, your budget and imagination is the only limit as to what we can build for you.

Giant Defy
The Giant Defy is a multi-test winning road bike that with a little adjustment can also make a good winter bike, albeit with 23mm tyres only. The Defy can be fitted with either Giantbs own Defy mudguards or Tortecbs Reflector guards. If you were to take this route, webd recommend putting Clementbs excellent Strada tyres on or a set of 23mm Duranos.

If you have any questions regarding buying a winter bike, or indeed making your current bike winter-proof, please do not hesitate to get in touch on 01661 835 603 or email

Cycle Art's Winter Guide

Benjamin Franklin famously said, bBy failing to prepare, you preparing to fail.b Winter is around the corner and if you want to commute by bike, train through the winter, or join your friends on club runs, you need to be prepared for the winter months. And remember, winter miles equals summer smiles. Cycle Art has put together a brief but helpful winter guide to help prepare you for the shorter days, longer nights and colder weather.

Ridley Xbow Winter Bike

Get a Winter Bike
If you don’t already have a winter bike, it might be worth while getting one. Whilst it is possible to “winterise” your bike, it’s useful to have a bicycle that is set up to do the job. This prevents unnecessary wear and tear on your “good” bike, and allows you to hang up the carbon race bike until the summer keeping it dry and safe. We’d recommend a Ridley Xbow. Although the Xbow is a cyclo-cross bike, it has mounts for mudguards, plenty of clearance and is ideal for our British winter weather and road conditions. It can also go off road if your commute needs to.

Therebs a common misconception that mudguards arenbt cool and are noisy. However, being wet, cold and miserable or covering your mates with spray and mud is definitely not cool and well fitting mudguards are not noisy. Mudguards are important for several reasons. Firstly, youbll keep your legs and backside dryer, which will make rides a lot more comfortable and reduces the chance of muscular injury. Secondly, mudguards keep your bike cleaner, and can help increase the lifespan of your bicycle and itbs components. Thirdly, your riding companions will thank you for using them b riding in a group without mudguards is selfish! If your bike already has mounts and sufficient clearance, we have a range of Tortec reflector mudguards. If your bike doesnbt have mounts, this isnbt a problem, as clip on mudguards such as SKS Raceblades or Raceblades long in various sizes will suit most bikes.

Durano TyreTyres
Punctures are a pain at the best of times. Itbs even worse trying to change a tube at the side of the road in winter. Unfortunately, you are more likely to puncture in the winter, so now would be a good time to hang up your 23mm race tyres and swap them for some serious winter rubber. We recommend the Clement Strada, the Schwable Durano and Durano Plus, or the bombproof Schwable Marathon. Webd recommend at least a 25mm, and if your frame has the clearance, a 28mm. Continental Gatorskins are also pretty tough, and we have those in stock too.

Saddle Bag & Tools
You should be carrying tubes, tyre levers, a pump and multi-tool anyway, but in the winter it really is essential. With the bad weather there is a higher possibility of a mechanical issue, so a couple of good quality spare tubes, tyre levers, a pump capable inflating to a high pressure, and a multi-tool with a chain breaker is a very good idea. Make life easier by putting them into a saddlebag and store it on your winter bike permanently and donbt leave home without it. Webd recommend the range of Lezyne saddlebags, tools and tyre levers, and multi-tools from either Lezyne or Fat Spanner. Webd also recommend carrying some gaffer tape and a tyre boot for fixing slashes or any manner of mishaps.

Mini pumps look cool and are lightweight, but in the winter you might not be so happy at the roadside working away frantically with a tiny pump. Webd recommend a frame pump if it fits, as it will inflate your tyres quicker. CO2 canisters are also a very good option.

Lights are important for 2 reasons b firstly to see where you are going and secondly, so you are visible to other road users. Even if you are not planning on riding in the dark, the winter in the UK can bring with it some gloomy, overcast days where visibility will be poor. Not only that, if you do have a mechanical, you might get caught out. There are two main types of lights b those that help you see and those that make you visible. Webd recommend:

b” a good quality rechargeable light on the front such as the Lezyne Deca Drive (800 lumens) or Cateye Volt 1200 (1200 lumens)
b” a back up LED light on the front such as a Lezyne Micro Drive or Cateye Uno
b” a good quality rear light such as the Lezyne Micro Drive or Cateye Volt 50
b” a back up rear LED light such as the Femto Drive or Cateye Nima
b” a helmet mounted light

For urban riding webd also recommend a side facing LED to increase visibility at junctions and roundabouts such as Cateye loop light.

Castelli High VisHigh Vis
If you donbt think high vis can be stylish b think again. Mavic and Castelli have some fantastic looking high vis clothing. Regardless, webd prefer to be alive and look silly than be dead and well dressed. The more visible your clothing, the more visible to other road users you are. Webd recommend at the very least a jacket in bright colours with reflective detailing. If you have a ruck sack, itbs a good idea to get hold of a high vis ruck sack cover.

Keep Warm
Sounds silly but youbd be amazed how many people go out riding in the winter in shorts, with no gloves and nothing under their helmet. Itbs not big, itbs not clever and itbs not cool. Actually, it is cool b very cold in fact. Ensure you have a good set of winter base layers, outer clothes, jackets, warmers, gloves, buffs, under helmet headwear, socks, overshoes, glasses and suitable shoes for the winter. It will keep you warmer, dryer, safer and make your winter riding far more enjoyable. We have a wide range of winter clothing from Mavic and Castelli that will help you get geared up for the cold and wet. Hypothermia is not funny.

Keep it clean
A clean bike lasts longer. Why? Riding in the winter places stress on the moving parts because grit and grime damages components. Ideally, you should clean your bike after every ride. That way you will prevent parts rusting and the next time you ride you will not have grit and grime in the components. You can use a bucket and hot water with washing up liquid but we do offer a range of specialist cleaning products from Fenwicks, Muc-Off and Hope. Little and often is the key b especially when roads are gritted.

Fenwicks LubeLube It
Cleaning it is fine, but cleaning products will strip the grease and lubrication off the bike that is required to keep moving parts from seizing or wearing prematurely. We would recommend a wet lube during the winter, although if you are prepared to regularly clean and relube then a good quality dry lube would also suffice. We stock a range of good quality wet and dry lubricants from Fenwicks.

Check your chain
Your chain will naturally stretch with riding but in the winter this can be worse. Itbs a good idea to use 2 chains and swap them over every 1000km. Why? The cassette (your rear cogs) wear at the same rate as your chain, so leaving it until your chain wears out you will probably need to replace the cassette (and sometimes the front chainrings too), which can be a very expensive proposition. If you swap your chains over regularly it will massively increase the life of your cassette and chainrings. Buy a chain checker and regularly check your chain wear.

Keep on top of your bike
In the winter, your bike parts wear quicker. Keep an eye on your brake pads and tyres to ensure they are not worn. If you do puncture, check the tyre isnbt ripped or worn, as getting stuck miles from home in the dark isnbt pleasant.

Take a phone and some cash with you
Sounds silly, but if your bike does break down and a road side repair is not possible, you will need to consider firstly how you will get home and secondly you will need to let loved ones know you are safe. Keep spare money in your saddlebag at all times and always take a mobile phone with you.

Monthly Newsletter – September

Cycle Art will soon be introducing a monthly newsletter that you will be able to sign up for. You will be able to receive all the latest exciting shop news, offers and industry tidbits to your mailbox. In the meantime (whilst we’re waiting on the techy people to do their thing), we’re posting the September issue here on the website. Enjoy!

Cervelo R3 Dark2014 Cervelos
Cervelo has always made some of the most desirable road bikes available, and for a short time only they have made them cheaper too. To make way for exciting new R3 and R5 models, Cervelo have introduced a limited “Dark Edition” version of their R3. “What’s so great about that?” we hear you ask. It’s not an R3. It’s an R5 disguised as an R3. Whilst the 105 equipped bike is already out of stock, you can still get hold of a SRAM Force 22 equipped Cervelo R3 (an R5 frame with an R3 sticker on) for B#2999. Bearing in mind last year’s R5 frame was B#3499, the R3 Dark is B#500 less as a full bike! Be warned though – they are selling fast and are only available in limited sizes so if you are interested, get in touch as soon as you can.

We also have a limited supply of 105 equipped Cervelo R3 bikes using last year’s R3 frameset – these are available for B#1999.

Yellow Ticket SaleYellow Ticket Sale
It’s that time of year where all the shiny new bikes are coming through, so we have a glut of 2013 bicycles to sell. Why not get yourself a bargain whilst you can! We have a range of bikes including a high end Colnago C59 Italia with a Campagnolo Record groupset and a Giant TCR Advanced SL2 with full SRAM Red. We have a range of Ridley bikes including 2 lightweight Helium road bikes both with Ultegra groupsets. We also have a few pairs of 2012 Fi’zi:k shoes on sale including some R1 Uomo down from B#299 to B#255. For more information on our yellow ticket sale and the bikes available for sale, please visit our Yellow Ticket Sale page.

Vuelta CookiesLa Vuelta a Espana 2013
With the Giro d’Italia and Le Tour de France out of the way, only 1 grand tour remains unsettled – La Vuelta a Espana. Often seen as the poorer sibling of the Italian and French offerings, with it’s sun scorched mountain climbs and white villages La Vuelta is unique and beautiful in it’s own way. It is also usually the most exciting and demanding. More often than not it is contested mainly by Spanish GC contenders but this year, American Chris Horner and Irishman Nicholas Roche are in the running for a good position as well as the usual suspects such as Purito, Valverde and company. We’d obviously prefer if either Garmin Sharp or Lotto Belisol had a GC contender so advertising our bikes would be easier but such is life!

So, why not pop up to Cycle Art, have a freshly ground Caffe Praego coffee and home baked cake and watch the race live on our widescreen TV? Even better, why not try one of our home made Vuelta cookies which are hand decorated in either the leader’s red jersey, climber’s blue polka dot jersey or sprinter’s green jersey!

Parts Bin
Lots of exciting bits and pieces have come in including:

Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40

  • Mavic Cosmic Carbon 40 full carbon clincher wheels – B#1800 pair
  • Custom carbon fibre chainrings – starting at B#45.00 each
  • Arte Selle titanium saddles, super light and very comfortable – B#80
  • Token anodised parts in various colours including skewers, head caps & adjuster barrels – starting at B#5
  • Clement Strada tyres back in stock at B#30 each
  • ISM saddles – starting at B#85
  • SRAM Red and Force 22 drivetrains

Castelli winter clothingGet ready for winter with Cycle Art
No one wants to hear it, but the sad fact is winter is looming large. If you are planning on commuting by bike, training, or riding through the winter months you need to be able to see and be seen, keep warm and dry, and have the right bike for the conditions.

Cycle Art has a range of winter ready clothes from Castelli and Mavic and a large range of lights from Lezyne to ensure you are safe and comfortable when the nights draw in and weather deteriorates.

If you’re looking for the ideal winter training bike we can build up a Sabbath September or Silk Route based on your exact requirements. If you’d prefer something that can go anywhere and do anything then we have a great range of cross bikes from Ridley including the 2014 Xbow and a few 2013 models in limited sizes. If you are needing luggage, we can take you across the road to Bicycle Repair Man!