It is that time of year again when the temperatures are starting to drop and the air is getting a bit damper. We are always on the lookout for quality brands at Cycle Art that are hard to find and that is where Parentini fit in. Their flagship garment is the Mossa jacket. The Mossa has a tailored cut made from four way stretch Windtex Stormshield fabric in a range of weights and colours, long and short sleeves. Highly breathable, water repellent and an excellent fit this is the garment that the Gabba strives to be. Sizing is on the small side like a lot of Italian kit but not quite as small as some. We have been testing these ourselves and they are excellent. come and choose yours today.
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We are always on the lookout for exclusive products and brands that are hard to find at the on-line behemoths or on the high street. Parentini is one of those brands. Parentini are a small family firm based in Italy and they produce all their own kit in house. We have been testing some of the kit ourselves including the Gabba beating Mossa jacket and we have been very impressed. The Mossa offers superior water proofing, market leading breath-ability and an excellent fit all at a lower price than the competition. We will also be part of the Parentini test programme so if you want to find out more come and try the kit for yourself.
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.
We have some more new arrivals here at Cycle Art, this time it is something a little different. We all remember our first proper bike and the taste of freedom and exhilaration that it gave us. Indeed for many getting a bike became a life changing experience and set us on the path that made us the cyclists that we are today. Getting that first bike right is essential for the future development of the rider and that is why we are now stocking the very fine Frog bikes.
Frog Bikes is a small British company supporing independent retailers like ourselves who saw a need for quality kids bikes designed from the ground up rather then the afterthought they often become in many manufacturers ranges. They set out to create lightweight machines using components to fit smaller riders. So no stiff budget gripshifts, no heavy over built frames, no cumbersome suspension, just good quality bikes built for smaller people. They have even made sizing easy to work out. Take the inside leg measurement in centimetres and look for the corresponding model number-easy.
We have a selection of the hybrid type bikes in stock with the Team Sky drop bar bikes on the way soon. If you want to know more come and see us for a test ride or head to the Frog website.http://www.frogbikes.com/about-frog.aspx
Here at Cycle Art we have always strived to offer the very finest that the world of cycling has to offer. When it comes to carbon wheels and frames there is one company that stands head and shoulders above the rest-Lightweight. Part of the Carbonsports group in Germany Lightweight have built a reputation for no compromise highly engineered carbon wheels and frames. Such is their reputation that when the world’s pros want to use these wheels they buy them just like you or I do. If you look closely at many of the disc wheels used by the top Pro Tour riders you will see the distinctive profile of a Lightweight Autobahn wheel despite what the decals say. These wheels are astonishingly light, beautifully made and in stock now at Cycle Art.
We also have the rare Urgestalt frameset in stock. These frames have a reputation for stiffness beyond that of almost anything else on the market. Urgestalt translates roughly as prototype or one of a kind. There will be very few of these frames imported into the UK so if you are looking to build your dream bike and would like to ride the like of which you are unlikely to see anyone else on then come and take a look at the Lightweight Urgestalt frameset.
One of the great things about cycling is the diversity of disciplines there are. From BMX to downhill mountain biking, from road racing to hill climbing, from XC racing to time trials, there is literally something for everyone to pin a number on for.
One of the most popular forms of the sport is ‘cross. Whilst it’s certainly not for everyone (as it involves running), one man who lives and breathes ‘cross is Cycle Art owner Tony Glover. When he’s not in the workshop building lovely hand-built wheels or helping customers build their dream ‘cross bike, he’ll be found fueling himself up on Pam’s cakes whilst watching re-runs of World Cup cross races in the Cycle Art cafe, in preparation for an evening of training.
Tony has always been extremely competitive on the local scene (and regularly places top 20 in National races too) but the last time he won the CXNE series was 1995. However, in his first season as a vet, after a season-long battle with Kenny Johnson and James Anderson, Tony confirmed himself as the 2014 CXNE vet champion with a win this Sunday in the final round in Whitby.
Despite being ill midway through the season which led to 2 DNFs, Tony won 5 races out of the 9 he finished, and with it all coming down to the wire on Sunday, Tony snatched victory from the jaws of defeat enduring some awful conditions (and some suspect gear changes on the second lap).
Tony has raced season long on a pair of custom Ridley X-Nights, which will no doubt be receiving a thorough strip down and clean (and a re-index) before Tony puts his feet up for another year.
A special mention must be given to Tony’s long suffering wife, Pam – as without her cake, Tony might not have won the series. Tony’s secret nutrition of choice is of course available to all racers, in Cycle Art’s cafe.
Whilst everyone at Bicycle Repairman/Giant Newcastle and Cycle Art would like to congratulate Tony on his series win, Chris and James would ask him kindly if no more ‘cross videos be shown in the cafe until next season.
We’re sure Santa brought you all the cycling gear you can ever need. However, if you found your stocking to be slightly lacking, or the January weather is leaving you with a lack of motivation for riding outside, Cycle Art have the answer with a massive clothing sale.
We aren’t just selling off unwanted stock – we are discounting some current season Castelli and Mavic clothing, including selected winter clothing.
With up to 50% off, and at least 20% off all sale items, it’s a chance to kit yourself out for the rest of the winter or grab a Sprinng/Summer bargain for all those Spring Mallorca training camps!
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.
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.
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.
Hand 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.
The 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.
So just how good are electronic gears? Shimano have lent us one of their demo bikes equipped with Ultegra Di2 for you to try. We have it set up in the shop on a turbo trainer ready for any test pilots who want to have a go. The multi shift function has been activated using the Di2 custom software that allows the rider to change how the shifters work so you can try this option for yourself too. We have the bike for a limited time so come on down for a test ride.