Happy New Year! …we’ve started the new year running, today with some TT work in our workshop, in preparation for 13th January fitting sessions… and while we’re at it, we’d like to highlight a few important points on this tricky subject.
Unlike the Triathlon position, which is a less extreme set-up, the Time-Trial position – or TT – is difficult to master. We often use the word “develop” because both Triathlon and TT positions are not easily achievable from day one, during a bike fitting session…. but they are the result of education and adaptation; it takes long term team work, a close relationship between rider, bio-mechanic and potentially coach / personal trainer.
Most importantly, the foundation of a good TT set-up is a specific frame geometry, different from the road one, with very specific angles… and bear in mind that a good TT position, although extreme, doesn’t have to be as uncomfortable as people usually expect it to be.
We follow closely the development of our clients, during the fitting sessions, set-up of the bike, throughout their future physical adaptation and performances… This personal relationship with the rider is vital and the results are always outstanding. The efficiency, comfort and performance improvements shave MINUTES from their PBs.
An important factor to consider is the choice of right bike for you. For example, if a standard size, off-the-peg frame / bike is your choice, you may want to consider one that offers you adjustment options of stem / headset / bars / TT extensions / seatpost, rather than integrated cockpits and seatposts… otherwise you may get stuck with some settings that are not good for your body.
For example the Dedacciai Flash 2 is a generally good standard sized frame, for quality, geometry and price (£3,400). We can order it in on demand and custom build it to any specs:
If your budget can stretch to the absolutely perfect fit of a made to measure frame, then we have no hesitation in recommending the best: Sarto Ferox, totally hand made in Italy – again, we can measure you up, design the right geometry and have it made for you:
Whether off-the-peg or made-to-measure, our bio-mechanic Giuseppe Giannecchini is completely independent and will always advise which brand, model and size is good for each client – depending on their choices and budgets. In an ideal scenario, the best way forward is to come in for a fitting first and afterwards order the bike / frame recommended for you.
This quiet moment of the year – if you’re considering a change, looking to improve / correct things – is the perfect time to sort out your position for the new season.
This year we’ll be open as normal until Saturday 23rd December, then we’ll be around over the festivities period to catch up with the backlog of work we’ve got, but shut to the public until 4th January; Please see our opening hours below:
– SAT 23 DEC, open 10am to 4pm
– SUN 24 DEC closed
– MON 25 DEC closed
– From TUE 26 DEC to WED 3 JAN closed
– Open as usual from THU 4 JAN
In January, the New Year will start super fast again, straight away with the bike fitting sessions, on SAT 13 // SUN 14 JAN… it is now fully booked for the Saturday, but we still have a couple of slots for the Sunday, if you’d like a last minute booking.
We also have this new blog, just launched – part of a new website we’re about to launch in the new year – this blog has lots of informative reads and info, which discuss our views on the industry, what we’re up to and what we’re all about… stay tuned!
Our workshop is constantly busy and if you wish to book in your bike in for a quick turnaround service or repair, please do so by telephone on 020719 37047 in our opening hours, or anytime by email – Remember that if you are a Racer Rosa Bike owner, you always get a 20% discount on any mechanical work, service, upgrade or repair.
Okay then… all of Racer Rosa Team wish you to enjoy a fun, but also restful and peaceful Christmas Time!
If you fancy knowing a bit more about our fitting method, you may find the following Q&A interesting:
Q. What is Bike Fitting?
A. The art and science of placing riders correctly on their bicycles by adjusting their contact points, the saddle and handlebars. Within the correct technical parameters for their frame design. Therefore, if the frame is the wrong size/geometry then it may not be possible to obtain the correct fit.
Q. Will my fitting session take a long time?
A. The initial session will take from 1 to 1.5hrs.
Q. Setting up and fitting my bike seems easy, can anyone do it?
A. No, it seem easy but it takes years of experience to be able to set up a rider correctly on their bike. For example, as soon as you move one contact point it changes all the other parameters.
Q. After my initial fit am I then set for life?
A. No, your body needs time to adapt to your new position, you will need a follow up fitting session 6 to 12 weeks [ideally having ridden 1000 to 3000km in your new position] after you first session. If you have also brought a new frame or bike, then the follow up should be done on the new bike. Please note, as you develop as a cyclist your fitness and therefore your optimal bike fit will also change.
Q. How much will my follow up session cost?
A. Your first follow up is Free of Charge. As long as it is carried out within 6 months of your initial fitting.
Q. If you provide the “perfect fit” why would I ever need to come back for re-assessment?
A. The human body adapts to the changes your new position brings, we all get a little older each day, our bodies change, when we are young we are growing, as we get older we start to shrink! As we get fitter… or maybe not quite so fit, after a lay off the bike. All of these complex factors will affect “your ideal position” on the bike.
Q. I am the same height and build as my friend, so we must both have the same fit?
A. Not necessarily so, two persons of identical height and morphology can have two completely different fits. Bike fitting is very much a personal one to one requirement. Our bodies are very individual, we all work to different degrees of efficiency within different ranges.
Q. The position or condition of my shoe plates does not really matter, as my pedals allow my feet to “float” to the right position.
A. The position of your shoe plates is very important! In fact fundamental for a correct position on the bike. Poor cleat position and or damaged / worn shoe plates, pedals and shoes is one of the greatest factors contributing to feet and knee problems in cyclists.
NOTE: For clients arriving for a fitting with the wrong size shoes [if more than 1/2 a size too big.. we never normally see anyone with shoes that are too small!] we may not be able to complete their fit.
Q. How can you say your method of bike fitting is an art and a science?
A. Through many years of study, we have looked at thousands of cyclists, and used Mathematics to provide the scientific answers to the many questions of the art form of bike fitting. We can now demonstrate the science behind the optimal bike fit. There is a real “Art” in being able to evaluate every client fully, being able to interpret their current position, their physical characteristics, their adaptation to an incorrect position on their existing bike. After analysing all of this we provide every customer with their own pathway to their ideal fit, this is where our experience and expertise really counts.
Q. What is the difference between frame size & bike fit?
A. The correct “frame size” and design is calculated from your personal morphology, your body size and shape. The correct “bike fit” is how you are then “fitted” to the frame and all its components. Please note that if the frame is the wrong size or design, you will not be able to achieve the correct bike fit. The frame/bike you ride should be made to fit you, not the other way around, of you having to try and fit the bike.
Q. Why do I need to bring my existing bike to my fitting if I wish to buy a new bike, to which you will fit me?
A. It is very important for us to see how the rider has been conditioned by their existing bike. If you have more than one bike please bring the one which you currently use most of all. If you wish to be fitted on more than one bike we need to know in advance, you need to book multi bike set up session. If it is not possible for you to bring your existing bike[s] to the fitting session, then please email us in advance a photo of the said bike. [side on photo please] Either way do not forget your cycle shoes and your bib shorts [bib shorts are always better than normal shorts]
Q. Does my frame size really need to be an exact size or design?
A. The correct design and size of frame for your personal body size will allow a “range” of adjustments to create the correct bike fit. Therefore the correct bike fit can be achieved on two different size frames. However there are technical limitations as to how these adjustments can carried out by changing the bikes components. Some bikes of the same size with have different geometry and therefore may not be suitable for your correct fit. We offer impartial and independent advice on frame/bike sizing of all bicycle manufactures.
Q. I am not able to attend one of your fitting locations, what can I do?
A. We are also experienced at offering a fitting at distance service, we have fitted customers all around the world who we have never actually meet in person. We are also able to offer our custom frame design service at distance. Please contact us for more information.
Q. I am looking to buy a hand built made to measure frame, can you help with the frame design.
A. Yes! All customers that are fitted by us are supplied with a scale frame design of your ideal frame geometry. We know and work with many frame builders. We also take into account not only your fit when designing your frame, also the material[s] you will use, the profiles of the tubing and the desired ride qualities of the bicycle. Ensuring your dream bike is perfect for you.
As many of you already know, the big news for 2018 will be the choice of Campagnolo Groupset equipped with hydraulic disc brakes. As a Campagnolo Pro-Shop, we have attended the product training and seen all these new products extensively. Our opinion is that, if disc brakes is your choice, Campagnolo ones will make you very happy… Yes, they have entered the market quite late comparing with their competitors but this ended up to be at their advantage, coming out with a superior product, which also looks great. One very good point is that Campagnolo is the only manufacturer who addressed the different chainline (due to the wider standard rear end), accordingly re-designing all the chainsets, in order to keep the shifting as perfect is it can be. Absolutely top stuff… you can see more here in the Campagnolo website…. or browse the Campagnolo products availability from the official UK distributor: Chicken Cycle Kit.
We built a couple of made to measure bikes for Olympic Medallist and Triple Jump World Record Holder, Jonathan Edwards. The first one was a Columbus Spirit steel Racer Rosa ‘Sport’, with carbon fork, Miche Supertype carbon crankset and wheels, Shimano Dura Ace groupset and Deda Superleggero finishing kit. We then met up with Jonathan in his favourite cycling spot – in the northern part of the Lake district for a ride and to ask him a few questions about his experience of choosing one of our bikes and riding it…. here’s a bunch of little vids with the questions we asked:
Our carbon frames are made to measure and hand crafted in Italy by master frame builders who have built competition frames for over 60 years.
Made of Italian carbon tubes, our frames handle and perform like a dream, but we also wanted to design a frameset that has a minimal, classic and elegant look, in keeping with the style that has always distinguished Racer Rosa products. We’re very happy with the result and, at £2,900 for a made to measure carbon frame and fork, it is selling very well.
Now, there is an FAQ – why should you go for a ‘made to measure’ carbon product over a standard sized frame, given there are a lot of affordable carbon frames in the market? We’ve tried to nail down some answers for you:
01 / THE FIT
It’s true, if you’re not an odd shape you can fit a standard frame. However, a standard size is always going to be a compromise. Have you ever compared a made to measure tailored suit with one off the rail, from the high street? The analogy is appropriate: even if you can find a nice suit in a shop, the suit made by a skilled tailor will look and feel completely different and it will fit impeccably.
It’s simple: a frame that is built around your body will ride better. The geometry will be designed for your body type and size, with the right tube angles and lengths and visually it will be beautifully proportioned. It will handle like no standard sized frame; the weight balance will be perfectly distributed on the two wheels affording you ideal, stable lines, especially for cornering and downhill, even when braking suddenly (also safer). There’s no vibrations, no twitching, no nervous handling – the typical behaviours of monocoque, standard moulded frames.
02 / THE PERFORMANCE
The bike with the best fit offers the best, uncompromised performance. It allows all the rider’s muscles to work harmoniously and efficiently, the way they should. This typically shaves minutes off our clients’ PBs.
03 / THE COMFORT
Let’s bust another myth here; comfort and performance go together. A well constructed made to measure frame doesn’t compromise on performance, responsiveness and stiffness – typical aspects of carbon fibre – but it also offers a supremely comfortable ride, due to the wrapped carbon technology on the lugs areas (where the tubes are joined together). This is a big contrast with harsh monocoque (one piece moulded frame) technology.
04 / THE FITNESS
If you ride a comfortable bike, you can easily spend more hours on it. You can get back on day after day with no stiffness and no pain. You can perform better, with more motivation and derive more pleasure from your training. As a result you cycle more, clock up higher mileage over the year and this pushes you to a higher level of fitness. Not least, the lower risk of injury makes it a long term investment too, as you spend less money on physiotherapy and so on.
05 / HERITAGE AND EXPERTISE MADE IN ITALY
Some standard monocoque frames (mass produced in the far east) can be well made, but our frames are superior. They are hand made one by one, by master frame builders who have been constructing competition frames since the 1940’s. They are based in the heart of what has traditionally been Italy’s most productive region in the cycling industry. They test and develop their own carbon tubes (the carbon tubes are made in Italy too). Obviously made to measure frames standards vary (and not all artisan frame builders make a great product) but our selection of frame builders and brands come with 20 years’ experience of testing frames in the market.
06 / MADE TO MEASURE!…NOT JUST “BESPOKE” OR “CUSTOM”
Note: there are a number of bike shops and online companies that offer the ‘bespoke build’. This is just a ‘dimensionally correct’ fit, meaning they fit you onto the standard size that is correct enough for your body (mainly considering just 2 measurements: the top-tube length and the seat-tube height) and they let you select a limited range of components and colours. This should not be confused with our Made to Measure approach, or ‘geometrically correct’ – where a frame is designed and built specifically to your body, taking into consideration ALL of the following points, down the mm for length and 0.1 degree for angles:
– Head tube height- Saddle / handlebars drop
– Top tube length- Seat tube angle
– Seat tube height- Saddle setback
– Headtube angle
– Fork rake
– Wheelbase length
– Front wheelbase
– Rear triangle type
– Stem length to top tube length proportion
– Tube profiles / diametres
07 / THE EXCLUSIVITY FACTOR
The well known multinational bike brands invest hugely in marketing and Pro Team sponsorship, to create aspirations. If you’re not fooled by the hype you will see your made to measure bike as a unique thing of beauty. Even the paint finish will be exclusively made for you. We are proud to represent a niche alternative to the above mass-production.
08 / THE PRICE
If you’re interested in a high quality bike then it makes sense. Our prices are actually similar to any high end, off the peg bike and we’re even cheaper than many (i.e. Pinarello, S-Works, Cipollini, De Rosa). But, when you do your research and price comparisons, please don’t compare our products to £1K Canyon, Merckx, Fondriest and the like. Yes, they may look sexy, but we are talking about a different league here, and you will absolutely feel that, when you ride one of our bikes.
09 / A 360 DEGREE PURCHASE
We’ll have a face to face relationship with you, which makes the purchasing process unique. You will see a number of qualified professionals who will take into careful consideration your needs, before and after purchasing. There’s the (world leading) bio-mechanic to design your geometry and fine-tune your position, the graphic designer who will help you create your unique colour-scheme, the project manager who will discuss your project specs in detail with you, the artisan frame builders / painters (factory visits can be accommodated at any time of the process) and the mechanic to assemble and test your bike. The whole team is committed to giving the best possible bike for your budget.
10 / THE FEEDBACK
It is difficult to find online reviews of made to measure frames, it is a niche market after all, but the feedback from our clients speaks for itself, have a look here:
AMIT: “I found myself pushing my limits and I noticed that I didn’t feel I was losing my front when the road conditions were bad. The balance was perfect and makes me push harder. The frame does not flex. I have immediately achieved a personal best and, compared to my previous sportives, the result brings a smile and a great sense of achievement.”
RICHARD: “I used to ride a Ford Escort turbo judderingly quick up the hills and terrifying down. Now I¹m in a Bentley smooth, beautiful to look at and deceptively quick. A brilliant package.”
BRYN: “I feel the urge to pedal faster, as it gets more enjoyable. The ride quality is magical, I just never imagined that it could be this comfortable and this light. BB power transmission is superb. The front end is super stiff and responsive. And there is zero road chatter. It makes me want to ride this cycle exclusively and retire all the others.”
ADRIAN: “Light for the steepest climbs, agile on descents and comfortable for long rides that you still feel fresh after a long day in the saddle.”
RICH: “This bike is so bloody good I find it hard to ride gently. I always end up in the big ring, mashing along, not pushing it too hard but nevertheless, going along at a fair speed. And how stiff the bottom bracket and down tube are!”
We’re about to launch a brand new website and this new blog will be part of it. Therefore we will be migrating and revitalizing some of the old posts we have written in almost 8 years of Racer Rosa history, those which we think still represent an interesting and relevant read…. so, stay tuned!
In the meantime, let us remind you some useful info for the start of the New Year:
Our still have a few time-slots available for bike fitting sessions in January 2018, call 020719 37047 to book:
SAT 13 / SUN 14 JAN 2018
…..more dates do be published soon.
WORKSHOP – REPAIRS & SERVICES AT RACER ROSA
It’s been just over an year since we moved to our new premises in Walthamstow – yes, it’s still feel quite new somehow! – our workshop has been serving the local (and not so local) community with services and repairs, so we’d like to remind everyone our highly specialised services, with fully trained mechanics – we’re an officially recognised Campagnolo Pro-Shop:
BASIC SERVICE, £40 // Wipe down and inspect frame / forks, adjust gears and brakes, true wheels, lubricate components, general inspection and adjustment for functionality / wear / damage / safety – no parts replaced but advise and quote for extra work if needed, short term / long term.
STANDARD SERVICE, £75 // Overall check-up, gears and brakes tuned, wheels checked and trued (hubs serviced), tyres inspected, brake pads checked / fitted. Drivetrain checked, cleaned and lubricated (replaced chain / cassette if needed – parts not included), headset and bottom bracket inspected and adjusted. Seatpost inspected and re-greased. Replace cables and brake pads as necessary (parts not included).
FULL SERVICE, £150 // All the above plus headset, bottom bracket and drivetrain serviced, stripped bike to frame, cleaned and re-greased. Bike washed and valeted.
PUNCTURE REPAIR, £18 // Includes inner tube.
OTHER // Any other work will be quoted on demand, based on our labour rate of £35 per hour. Minimum charge: £15.
BIKE BUILD, £150 // For internal routing / electronic shifting, an extra £50 fee applies.
STRIP DOWN BIKE TO FRAME, £50.
We offer top-notch factory made wheels in aluminium or carbon, but also the versatile beauty of hand built wheels; they allow choice of preferred components and offer the best possible handling and durability, as they’re designed according to client’s weight, style and use. We are proud to have Arup Sen as part of our team. He is one of the top wheel builders in the UK and he also runs workshops to teach this skilled craft. You can enquire by email or phone about the workshops or any hand-built wheelset.
This feature about our bike fitting sessions, published in Cycling Weekly a while ago is still very good, we think. Forget about 3D motion capture and laser beams and come to see the real bike fitting master – he will sort you out and that will be the best money you will ever spend in your cycling life.
When researching online to select a fitter, it can be difficult to separate the “wheat from the chaff’ especially because being “keyed in” or not to the correct fit is measured in millimetres. Not something you can do at distance.
At Racer Rosa we don’t profess to be bike fitters. We leave this to the professionals and that’s why we collaborate with Giuseppe Giannecchini of Velosolutions, a professional Bio-Mechanic / Bike Fitter. He has over 15 years experience of fitting pros, amateurs and junior riders. Giuseppe is not brand-led and he doesn’t only work with ‘made-to-measure’, he also advises on what stock sizes / geometry will suit a rider best. Included in his service is a scale ideal custom frame / bike design. There is no one else who can offer this professional frame design service in the UK market.
We have been running a monthly fitting clinic in the UK for 10 years. In this time we have only seen two riders who have been fitted correctly, both riders are ex pros who have kept their fits (and general physical condition!) from when they had been fitted by Eddy Merckx and Eddie Soens. Some riders we have seen have had up to four fits from different UK fitters, all different.. and all wrong.
Giuseppe works with riders of all levels, from new cyclists to seasoned Pro Tour professionals. Just because we also work with “racing cyclists” does not mean our work is not valid for recreational cyclists; this is a common question we are asked.
People often ask about the duration of the fitting session too. Fact: you do not need 3 hours to fit a rider (this is just smoke and mirrors to hide the lack of knowledge – often a tactic of those who call themselves ‘fitters’ after a 3-week crash course). Giuseppe is able to fit most people in under one hour. Some take longer, some less.
Giuseppe works with all disciplines; Track, Road, TRI, TT, MTB etc. and he has lots of experience in working with many pro riders on developing their TT positions – note we used the term ‘develop’: this is particularly relevant for TT position, your ideal position may not be physically achievable from day one.
Another important factor are the shoes, which are the foundation of the fit. We see so many riders who have wrong size shoes and with their cleats set incorrectly.
A few other important points:
– Giuseppe’s fitting system is both scientific (using his own mathematical formula) and subjective, i.e. he uses his eye to analyse you and your riding.
– He doesn’t use “number crunching” systems (they do not work) or unnecessarily elaborate “tools”.
– Apart from setting up your shoes, Giuseppe advises on what are the correct shoes for you and also sets up the accessories on your existing bike. We see so many bike shops that do not even know how to fit handlebars correctly.
– Experience is the key. We have fitted over 15,000 riders now and counting.
– Value for money: we offer the very best professional service at a fantastic price. Included in your fitting is also a free follow-up session (very important) after your body has gone through the ‘adaptation period’ (normally 2,000km). We are so confident in the skills of the service we offer that we uniquely promise a full money back guarantee, if you are not happy with your fit…. It’s never yet happened to a client of ours.
Last, but not least, one of the true tests of a bike fitter is when he knows the rider is already in the correct position and he doesn’t need to change anything. See a recent client’s comments below:
Deep in Bike Fit Course research-land at the moment, coughing from all the smoke, trying to figure out where all the mirrors are – good grief there is some first class, fur-lined, copper-bottomed BS out there!
First-hand experience is sometimes a poor guide, we know – but seven bike fits over the years, and the first (by Eddy Merckx himself) and the last (by Giuseppe Giannecchini) are the closest to each other & are the closest to my “actual” riding position – in fact Giuseppe barely moved me from where Eddy set me nearly 30 years ago – and yet neither of them used lasers, coloured dots, 3D motion capture or my mother’s second cousin’s dog’s breeders maiden name … they just “looked”. The fits in between have been done by a variety of systems and saddle height has varied by over 1 cm, setback by 3 cm, relative bar / saddle height by 4 cm … the one that was closest to where I actually ride was a colleague at Bianchi who worked at the time with all the teams that Bianchi sponsored – and to be fair, he did have me against the wall with a tape measure and a variety of other measuring tools – but he generated a position, set me on the bike & then changed it to suit what “looked right” >>
Velotech Cycling Ltd
Modular Cycle Mechanics Training to Nationally Recognised Standards
Campagnolo Main UK Service Centree