Here at Cycle Art we have always sought out brands that stand out from the crowd and offer some of the very best quality in their sectors. Le Col is one of those brands. This is their story in their own words.
“After over 20,000 thousand hours in the saddle as a professional cyclist and rider for team GB, Yanto Barker founded Le Col in 2009. We are a team of performance, design and cycling specialists united by a desire to create a cycling apparel brand with a single-minded focus on performance. We take real pride in what we do and our purpose is simple but enduring: We deliver the best possible technical products to help you to achieve your potential on every ride.
And because it’s aimed at supporting you through toughest hours in the saddle – our brand is named after some of toughest climbs around the world: Le Col.
At Le Col, we’re determined to design and manufacture the best technical kit in the world. That means we’re continually searching for ways to make to improve our products. It’s why we bought our own factory in Treviso, Italy – an area with renowned expertise in high performance sporting apparel and the latest technical materials. We believe whole heartedly in investing in expertise, which is why we bought the factory at a time when many other cycling brands were abandoning the area in search of cheaper alternatives.
Thousands of hours of ‘road testing’ in the pro peloton have gone into each one of our products, and no detail is ever too small. Everything we do is informed by rider experience, market research, and technical development, which is why we support a number of professional cycling teams in their bid to be the best too.”
Mavic appear to be late comers to the tubeless party but Mavic established to UST standard way back in the 1990s. Only recently have new materials and greater accuracy in manufacturing allowed the UST rim and tyre standard to be brought to the road. Mavic claim that UST is the only true tubeless standard and the dimensions of the rim and tyre must meet very strict standards to be branded UST. Bold claims like this are one thing but it is what happens out here in the real world that really counts.
So how good is UST road? Very good is the answer. These are by some distance the easiest road tubeless wheels and tyres to set up. Anyone who has struggled to get their tubeless tyres on the rim and then inflated will know how difficult this can be for some combinations of rims and tyres. The Yksion UST tyres are reassuringly snug but not frustratingly tight. The go onto the Ksyrium Pro UST rims easily with no need to resort to tyre levers and take just a little more persuading onto the new Open Pro UST rims, probably due to the rim tape needed to seal the rims. The trick for those of you new to tubeless is to push the tyre into the well in the middle of the rim where it will become slacker making the tyre much easier to fir and remove. Once inflated, which is easily achieved with a standard track pup or even a mini pump the tyre will pop over the step in the rim and seal. Just add about 30-40mm of sealant and you are good to go.
So what happens if you puncture? Well you probably wont as pinch flats are eliminated and the sealant in the tyre will deal with most small punctures before you even notice you had one. If the tyres dont seal just add an inner tube in the normal way-its that easy. Just carefully check for thorns and debris as there may be more than one. Living with tubeless is a bit like living with latex tubes in my experience, they will need topping up with air more often and once in a blue moon the sealant will need a top up. This can be done through the valve once the valve core is removed or the even simpler way is to just pop a little bit of the tyre bead off the rim and pour some in.
Right our tyres are on, sealant in and we are ready to ride. What are they like? If these tyres could be summed up in one word it would be smooth, or even smoooooth. Tubeless tyres can be run at lower pressures and the wider internal width of the excellent Open Pro rims supports the 25mm tyres tested-24.8mm measured-very well. I ran them at around 70psi according the the pump gauge and they felt sublime. There was an instant difference compared with the 25mm Clement LCVs on Ksyriums that they replaced. Grip levels were also improved with no slip at all on damp autumnal roads. The only criticism I could find was that they dont make that delightful “singing” sound that you get with many high end tyres, more of a low hum.
The Open Pro UST rims are also an excellent update to the Mavic range. Slightly wider than previous Mavic offerings with causing any clearance issues, much stiffer than previous Open Pros and of course tubeless ready these rims built into a 1450g wheelset using 24 DT Super Comp spokes on superb DT 240hubs. The 2 cross spoke pattern enhances the smooth ride from the tyres and make a wheelset that should last many years. Indeed these hubs have covered many thousands of miles wearing Stans rims until the rims wore out-the hubs have had zero maintenance and feel great.
The future is tubeless. If you want to see for yourself how easy tubeless can be or feel the benefits on your own bike come and see us. We have test wheels from Mavic and if your bike is compatible you can try my hand-built wheels. Just bring them back for 5pm so I can ride home on them.
We always strive to offer some of the finest cycling brands and products here at Cycle Art so to that end we recently built this beautiful Sarto Seta. The frame is bespoke with stunning chrome effect paint and to complete the project we had a custom finish seat post, bar and stem complete with a custom Sarto saddle. The frame is Sram Etap specific with no holes or guides for gear cables so the finish is super clean. Sarto produce an small number of frames a year so if you want something unique, dont mind waiting for your dream bike and have the means then come and talk to us.
Reilly Bikes based in Suffolk are producing some very fine bikes indeed and their latest creation is one of the best yet. The Gradient was launched to glowing reviews and since we built a frame up has been one of the most admired bikes in the shop, and their is plenty of competition. It may be a cliche but the pictures really dont do it justice.
The Reilly Gradient built with butted titanium tubing could be one bike for almost everything. There is plenty of tyre clearance for off road adventures, it is light enough for the club run, tough enough to tour on and pretty enough to admire for many years. The rear features direct mount brake fittings and bolt through axles, cables are mostly internal with some very neat fittings to take the brake hoses through the frame. The bottom bracket is a user Frame prices start from £1400 and within reason we can build you anything you want around one of these frames. Custom finishes and custom geometry are also possible if you wish.
So just how good are the latest generation of carbon wheels? Rather than take our word for it or rely on reviews you can find out for yourself. We have a set of the excellent Knight Composites 35 and a set of the new Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon SL wheels available to demo. For a fee of £50 we will fit these wheels to your bike, fit the appropriate brake pads and set your gears up then you can go and ride them all day. If you decide to buy some we will knock the fee of whatever you buy. The Knights retail at £1650 and the Mavics retail at £1350. Both sets of wheels come with excellent warranty back up, both sets are very well put together and both are wheels that we would be happy to recommend. Give us a call to book your test ride on 01661 835603.
So what is a gravel bike? Is it a cross bike with a smoother tyre? Is it a road bike with a bigger tyre? The answer is both and neither. Gravel bikes could be the one bike to rule them all with the longer more stable wheelbase of an endurance road bike, a lower bottom bracket than most CX bikes for a lower centre of gravity, disc brakes for stopping in all conditions plus other features they make excellent all rounders. The massive tyre clearance means you can ride on a bigger cushion of air and most come with a slim 27.2mm seat post to help take the sting out of the bumps.
Prices start from around £699 for a Giant Revolt and go up to £7500 for the super light Cervelo C5 featuring the lightest frame in its class and hydraulic Di2 running gear. Ridley also have a comprehensive range of gravel bikes in the X-Trail range starting from £1100 on aluminium frames and carbon bikes starting from £2299. We have probably the best range gravel bikes in the north east across our two shops so why not come along and see what gravel bikes are all about.
On April 27th we will be hosting a demo evening in partnership with Look bikes. These exclusive machines are only available in a select number of dealers around the country so this will be a great opportunity to try some of the most cutting edge bikes on the market today. Everyone who attends will also have the chance to enter a prize draw to win a GoPro Hero action cam so we can see you exploits on your new Look bike! There will be a selection of models available to see and ride in addition to the bikes we carry in stock across a range of sizes within expert staff form Look UK on hand to answer any of your questions.
January is sale time and there are plenty of deals to be had in store. We have at least 20% off all Mavic winter clothing is stock, 20% off Castelli Cervelo clothing and a selection of 2015 bikes in stock to clear from Ridley and Cervelo. So whether you are looking for something warm for the winter or a new TT bike for the season come and see us.