Category Archives: Shop News

Le Col at Cycle Art

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 Open Pro UST rims and Yksion Pro UST tyres

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.

Reilly Gradient. Our new favourite bike?

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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.

Look Bikes demo evening 27th April

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.DSC_0106

Sale!

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.sale

More than just a bike shop.

Here at Cycle Art cycling is more than just our job, it is our way of life. Cycling is not something that we do, it makes us what we are. Both Tony and Chris at Cycle art are deeply involved in the sport at grass roots level with their  local clubs. We are often asked why we don’t have a shop team and maybe we should.  Plenty of other shops do and good luck to them but we have always preferred to do things differently. We have always preferred to support the great work done by local Go Ride clubs such as Derwentside Cycling Club which Tony belongs to and Tyneside Vagabonds of which Chris is a member.

So What does that support involve? Tony organises several races throughout the season including the popular summer cross series and also some of the key events in the local CXNE league. Tony can often be found in the pits helping other riders out when he is not racing himself and he takes some of the racers on training rides after work. He also took some of the talented young riders from the club on an unforgettable trip to the home of cyclo cross-Belgium-to race at the famous Koppenberg cross. Koppenberg Tony loves nothing more than helping to inspire and drive on some of the talented young riders from the region. He even finds the time to race himself winning the recent CXNE round at Penrith.

Chris does his bit for the sport too. When not helping his clubmates get round a Sunday ride he is often to be found at tracks all around the country coaching and supporting riders from some of the local Go Ride clubs. Chris was the coach for the North East team at the 2015 Inter Regional Track Championships that were part of the prestigious Sainburys Schools Games.  He has also helped coach sessions at the new Middlesbrough Velodrome, helps out at the Regional School of Racing sessions at Glasgow and is looking forward to helping a new generation of riders develop as the track program is established at Middlesbrough. Schools games

So why do we do it? We do it because we love it. We dont get paid for it nor do we want to be. Helping others enjoy the sport that has given us so much pleasure over the years and seeing others enjoy it is more than enough incentive. Hopefully many of those people will enjoy the sport for life and go on to do the same for others. Maybe they will remember some little nugget of advice given or tip offered. Maybe they will remember the person who offered that advice. That is all the reward we need.

Mavic Winter Clothing

The nights are drawing in and the days are getting colder so its time for the winter warmers to come out.
DSC_0007We have an extensive range of winter clothing in from Mavic to keep you warm and dry form head to toe. Perhaps the biggest development in technology over the last 20 years has been in the technical fabrics we use. Those of us that have ridden for long enough will remember wool tights to keep warm, nylon fronted jackets to keep the wind off and having to wear so many layers that we looked like michelin men when we set off for a bike ride. Thankfully today’s breathable waterproof fabrics, merino infused base layers and DWR coatings means those days are behind us.
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Good winter clothing can turn a grim experience into an enjoyable ride. Warm hands mean you can still feel your gear and brake levers, warm feet mean you can still feel your pedals. A good gilet can do wonders to keep your torso warm. An often forgotten area is the base layer but this can make or break a winter outfit. A good base layer such as Mavic WarmRide range can help to wick moisture away from the skin keeping you dry and trap pockets of air close to the body which provide insulation. Layering is the key. Layers or even sleeves can be added or removed as the temperature dictates. DSC_0017
We have a range of garments for men and women so come along and try some for yourself. Winter miles mean summer smiles.

Cervelo S5 MTN Qhubeka Team Bike

DSC_0839 Here at Cycle Art we get to play with some very nice bikes so it takes something very special to stop us in our tracks. Cervelo have released a very limited number of these S5 team bikes in the striking MTN Qhubeka team colours. Every item on this bike is as used by the pros, the only exception being clincher rather than tubular tyres as a concession to practicality. The bike has Ceramic Speed bearings at the headset and bottom bracket and also includes Rotors Inpower chainset to monitor your progress. The finishing kit is from 3T and the saddle is the popular SLR from Selle Italia. This really is one of the very finest bikes you will ever see. There are only 30 of these bikes released across Europe, we have one.