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15 DECEMBER 2011

Merry Christmas.

A festive coloured bicycle for the Christmas season. Leonora collected her red Raleigh this morning and pedalled away in the crispy cold. It is a 1960's Raleigh refurbished frame, fitted with new and new-old-stock components; like for example a gorgeous San Marco Concor saddle (hand-made in Italy), GB-Biba stem (made in UK), Continental Gatorskin tyres (hand-made in Germany) and Weinmann Type 730 brakes (made in Switzerland, new-old-stock!).

The small frame (48 x 50) fits her petite size perfectly and the 650c wheels (slightly smaller than standard 700c) provide her with a comfortable standover height. Like many petite sized ladies, Leonora was so used to riding with the wrong size bike (too big) that she will find this bike incredibly nippy and responsive. More importantly, a ride that is finally in proportion with the power generated by her body will result in a great efficiency in the long run, without energy waste and body aches. Happy cycling Leonora!

Now back to Christmas: after over a year and a half working non-stop every day and weekends, designing and building bespoke projects for hundreds of cyclists, we will shut Racer Rosa doors for a few days and go for a holiday, these are the opening times over the festive period:

Friday 23 December: 10am - 3pm

24 December to 6 January: CLOSED

Re-open on Saturday 7 January: 11am - 5pm

Thereafter back as usual, please call, email or text for an appointment.


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5 NOVEMBER 2011

Back to steel.

This is the norm for us: many of our clients are road cyclists who either convert back to steel from their carbon / aluminium rides, or want a steel racing bike for commuting / training. And the reasons are always the same: comfort, handling, durability, aesthetics.

Paul, for example, owned two aluminium Bianchi Reparto Corse over the last 25 years (you can see the latest one below). They both cracked after 10 years of intense riding - well, that's aluminium for you. He knocked on our door with his broken Bianchi and said: "I've had enough of aluminium, I want to go back to steel".

So we made Paul the perfect made to measure steel beauty: in Columbus Zona, silver-fillet-brazed. All the Campagnolo Chorus components from his Bianchi were swapped onto his new frame, apart from a new Selle Italia Flite saddle and Campagnolo cables.

The result speaks for itself: a gorgeous hand-made "steel" that will last Paul a lifetime. It weighs in at just 8.7 kg. - a mere 300g more than his old aluminium Bianchi... Who said steel is heavy?

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17 OCTOBER 2011

50 years old and looking great.

I got myself a new bike, well, not exactly new, it's a 1961 "Raleigh Trent Tourist", an old fashioned roadster with 26" wheels. I paid just £27 for it. What's fascinating is that it came with all its original documents and manuals; as you can see in the photos below, it belonged to Mr. W.Chapman, who lived in Chelsea at the time. In fact, on the original invoice you can see he bought it for £21, from Harrods with his staff discount.

As I have a little daughter, Anna, I wanted to revamp this bike and use it as an easy cruiser to carry her around town (I don't own a car) so I kept the set-up similar to the original, with comfy 26" 1' 3/8 wheels and north road bars.

I went for a colour theme that respected the original, but I'm not a collector and didn't want to do a strict restoration, so i got rid of all the clanky components and replaced them with better ones; still vintage and charming, but a little higher-end. I chose a light and simple singlespeed transmission, as I don't need gears in town; hand-made wheelset with gorgeous Maillard hubs (new old stock, made in France, dated 1985); Hendrik 26" 1' 3/8 aluminium rims; Sapim 'Strong' spokes (made in Belgium) - strong wheels in order to carry the weight of a baby plus shopping - Brooks saddle, aluminium north-road bars with vintage Weinmann brake-levers and Raleigh old-school grips.

You can see that, although this is an all-rounder utility bike, it ended up with some very good quality components, even the tyres: Michelin City - as I am not keen on heavy, low-end, deep treaded white-walls ones that are often associated with vintage town-bikes. I have never understood why, whenever you see a city-cruiser in shops, it comes with horrible quality heavy specs.... do the riders who want a simple city-cruiser deserve less quality components? Are these riders second class cyclists?! No, so why should they have to compromise in quality and lightness? Ok, I better stop here and, after this statement, I declare: "Roadsters are back!"... well at least they're back at Racer Rosa. This roadster is back in shape, it looks great, weighs just 10.5 kg and is ready to hit the road for another 50 years.

Diego Lombardi, Racer Rosa's co-founder

Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1
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29 SEPTEMBER 2011

5 speed racers.

Who says 5 speed racers don't exist any more?! We still do them and we think they're very modern. Ben, for example, ordered his made to measure racer for commuting and city cruising and opted for this set-up. In fact, if you live in a hilly part of town, but refuse to carry around the weight of millions of speeds, typical of modern off-the-peg bikes (or clanky heavy internal hubs), then the 5-speed rear derailleur is the best option for the city.

We sourced a glorious new-old-stock Regina screw-on freewheel - fantastic quality bearings, made in Italy - and a lightly used Campagnolo New Victory derailleur in perfect state. The drive train was then completed with a Miche single chainset (made in Italy) and a Stronglight 3/32 chainring (made in France). The total personalization of this project extends to every single detail, for example: Ben wanted a simple and beautiful down-tube shifter - vintage Campagnolo - and we placed the brazed-on stud only on the right side of the frame, as you can see in the photos below.

With a relaxed road geometry with clearances and eyelets to accommodate our beautiful slim aluminium mudguards and a rear rack, this bike was then finished with a Brooks saddle (hand made in Birmingham) and a hand-made wheelset: Miche hubs (made in Italy), Rigida rims (made in Holland) and Aci Alpina stainless steel, double-butted spokes (made in Italy).... and the final result is a gorgeous 9.5 Kg. bike that will last a lifetime!

Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1
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4 AUGUST 2011

Made to measure for Arup.

We normally build wheels by hand and
Arup Sen has been part of our team for quite a while now. It was about time he decided to replace his frame with one made-to-measure for him. He was on a bike that was slightly the wrong size for him and he was always suffering with lower back pain and aching arms and wrists. After a week riding his brand new frame, the pain was gone as if by magic...but that came as no surprise to us!

The surprise and shock to our ears came when he was swapping the components from the old to the new frame, looking at his wheels, he said with nonchalance: "Wow, my wheels are still true... not bad I'd say, as I built them 5 years ago and never touched since then". Now you need to know that Arup does a commute of over 5,000 miles per year...(!) This says a lot about his wheel-building skills, but, after all, there is a reason why his reputation comes second to no one in town and we are very happy to have him on board!

The result of this bespoke build was a frame made for him in Columbus Thron tubes, lightweight but solid, ideal for commuting. Beautifully silver-fillet-brazed, with chromed track-ends / fork-dropouts and powder-coated in a subtle graphite grey. It has track-ends to use with fixed-wheel, but with a relaxed road geometry, clearance for slick aluminium mudguards and eyelets for a rear rack. As you can see in the photos below, an interesting peculiarity of this frame is that the rear bridge has the hole for fitting a mudguard but not for the brake... you don't see this level of personalization very often around!

Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1
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22 JUNE 2011

Traditions. Innovations.

Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1

We're happy to announce the launch of a new design. This unique project is Racer Rosa's answer to the increasing demand of heavy load cargo bikes: The Lombardi Porter.

Either for personal use (shopping, babies, carrying items, touring, etc.) or for small business (deliveries, parcels, collections, gardening, etc.) the bicycle is becoming the cool alternative to the car, especially in heavy traffic towns.

The Lombardi Porter is the natural evolution of those old fashioned bakery / milkman cargo bikes with integrated racks. But although that was the inspiration, instead of replicating a shape from the past our frame builders used the original concept and developed it according to modern techniques and materials.

The result is a hi-tech utility vehicle that doesn't compromise in quality and without that clanky / heavy feel typical of cargo bikes. The very long wheelbase allows carriage of heavy loads (up to 50kg) on the integrated long rear rack without affecting the handling. The low centre of balance is also very effective for great stability when loaded. Because of its very long rear rack, the Porter can be loaded with a long and not too wide baggage so it can squeeze through traffic very easily! You can also attach a side panel with your company name and info.

Hand-made from strong aluminium - Dedacciai 7020, very tidily tig-welded and hand-polished - but with some steel elements. The beautiful fork is the celebre heavy duty double-crown Dedacciai steel. Fitted with strong Mavic touring rims, Miche large flange hubs, chunky 700x40c tyres and Brooks saddle.

Needless to say that this is now our official "company vehicle" which we use for carrying bike frames, boxes full of parts, post-office trips, parcels, etc. We think it's gorgeous and solid as a rock, very pleasant to ride either loaded or unloaded, as a tourer. You are very welcome to come to our studio to admire it... load it up and test-ride it: cases of water, crates of fruit, one baby, two babies, etc. (We can even lend you a baby if you don't have one - a little Lombardi newly born!).

Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1
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16 JUNE 2011

Good old chrome.

Yesterday Rich picked up his fixed wheel bike - track geometry, made to measure for him, in Columbus Thron tubing. He opted for chromed lugs and stays, properly done in the old-fashioned way.


Fitted with Miche Xpress Pista cranks, Deda Velocitá CrMo steel track handlebars, vintage San Marco Girardi seatpost and hand-made wheelset: Mavic Openpro rims laced on Miche Pistard track hubs, with Aci Alpina double-butted stainless steel spokes.

The frame was chromed and polished by hand, then powder coated and lacquered. Looks like a Bianchi from 30 years ago? Nope: it's a Racer Rosa from 2011...!!

Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1
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8 APRIL 2011

London Cyclist Bike Review

Good to see one of our bikes reviewed by the London Cyclist Magazine, April-May issue. It's the magazine run by the London Cycling Campaign, which circulates to its 11000 members and is always a very interesting read.

The article is a review of four single-speed bikes and they (obviously!) chose our bike for the photo-shoot.... the green bike you see on the front cover and in the inside spread is one of our little Lombardi made-to-measure, bespoke projects.


Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1
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29 MARCH 2011

Pick your tubes.... create your own bike.

Guy really did it all by himself, well, almost. We helped him decide what tubeset was best for him.  He wanted to build a durable and lightweight steel bike for triathlon racing, but also for the occasional touring and a bit of commuting / training. We directed him to a professional bike-fitting session with Giuseppe Giannecchini at
Velosolutions. After they designed the perfect geometry for his needs, we built a made-to-measure frame based on it, made of "Columbus Zona" seat-tube, top-tube and down-tube, but with "Columbus Thron" fork and "Columbus Life" stays; partly silver-fillet-brazed and partly lugged and also with eyelets / clearances for mudguards and rear rack.
We had the frame powder coated in black and Guy then collected it and shopped around meticulously to select the components he wanted for his project.  After a few days of mechanical challenges and an exciting learning process - with the necessary TV breaks! - Guy was the proud owner of a bicycle that he had entirely put together by himself.
As he runs the
Eyeball magazine, he's going to write about this exhilarating experience, also perhaps with an interview of one of Racer Rosa co-founders... watch this space!
Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1
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23 MARCH 2011

Postcard from Zurich

After an icy winter, in Switzerland the sun is finally coming out and Sarah can swap skiing the Alpine slopes for cycling her recent Racer Rosa purchase on the streets of Zurich. A few months back, she commissioned this custom built project; a small refurbished frame with Campagnolo dropouts, converted into single-speed / fixed-wheel with a flip-flop rear hub. It is finished with San Marco vintage seatpost, Mavic Openpro rims hand-laced on Miche Pistard hubs and painted in her favourite colour: a striking apple green. Here are a few photos that she kindly sent us, taken over the weekend by photographer Oliver Knoll.

Cheers Sarah, happy cycling!
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12 MARCH 2011

Milan Spring collection... now in London

We're very happy to announce that from March 2011 we are the exclusive retailer in the UK and Ireland for Orco Cicli Milano, Italy. They hand-craft beautiful retro style bicycles built on demand with made to measure frames, using traditional methods,
with the same tools, passion and care that once were only typical of top of the range racing bicycles. Orco Cicli range varies from elegant lady cruisers with baskets, to men’s cruisers with traditional rod brakes, rear racks and dynamo lights. To know more about their prototypes and models, see OUR BIKES, or visit their website: www.orcocicli.com
Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1
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8 FEBRUARY 2011

Triathlon revamp.

Chris loved his old steel Peugeot 525 Comp. He regularly used it for triathlons, but it was showing signs of age so he brought it to us. The lightweight frame certainly deserved a revamp and now, after a fresh powder coating, replacement headset, stem and brakeset it looks like new again. As requested by Chris, we also changed the drop-handlebar to a proper triathlon set-up, with a pursuit bullhorn bar and clip-on time-trial bars with some vintage Campagnolo bar-ends shifters. In this case, the bright blue colour makes it strategically easier to spot the bike in the triathlon transition stations!
Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1
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25 JANUARY 2011

Clearance for mudguards and racks? ...Oh yes.

Mudguards and racks are becoming increasingly more popular, especially on racing bikes for commuting and winter training. As our frames are entirely built on demand we are always more than happy to customize them to meet our clients' needs. Below you can see two different examples of custom cut dropouts, with eyelets for mudguards and racks stays, even on horizontal track-ends for single speed. You can see that in these two frames - which have chromed lugs / dropouts and are ready to be painted - have different width forks to accommodate the different sizes of mudguards chosen by each one of our clients (one for 36mm. mudguards to use with a 700 x 23c tyres - and the other one for 45mm. mudguards, to be used with 700 x 32c tyres).
Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1
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8 JANUARY 2011

2011... The return of gears

We think it's quite significant that the first bike to leave Racer Rosa's doors in 2011 is a bike with gears. In fact, there is a definite increase in the demand for bicycles with gears, perhaps only 4 or 5 speeds on the rear and a single chainring crankset, for comfy all-round versatility in town. Today Kate collected her bespoke bike and was very happy with the set-up she'd chosen: a commuting lightweight racer with metal mudguards, Brooks saddle, vintage components, top-mounted brake levers and 5 speed gear set... And not just any gears. That is a gorgeous vintage Campagnolo Super Record derailleur, dated 1984, in perfect condition!
Racer Rosa Bicycles News 4


Racer Rosa Bicycles News

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CONTACT / OPENING HOURS

STUDIO 17

HILTONGROVE
HATHERLEY MEWS
LONDON, E17 4QP
+44 (0) 12798 41162
+44 (0) 77 7293 1543
HELLO@RACERROSABICYCLES.CO.UK

OUR STUDIO IS CURRENTLY OPEN ON:

MONDAY TO FRIDAY: 10.00 to 19.00
SATURDAY & SUNDAY: 11.00 to 17.00

Visits: please call, text or email to arrange an appointment

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RACER ROSA: 6-10 CENTRAL PARADE, 137 HOE STREET, LONDON E17 4RT - COMPANY REG. NO. 7171143
TEL. + 44 (0) 02071 937047 - MOB. +44(0) 77 7293 1543
HELLO@RACERROSABICYCLES.CO.UK