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Racer Rosa News

11 DECEMBER 2015

Christmas closures and... stocking fillers!

It's that festive time of the year again and we will be close for a few days for a well deserved break:

SAT 19 DEC 2015 - open 9am to 2pm
SUN 20 DEC 2015 > SUN 3 JAN 2016 - closed
MON 4 JAN 2016 - reopen normal hours

During this closure, we will still be occasionally replying to emails, booking appointments for January, answering enquiries and so on. We wish all of our clients and suppliers a super festive period, and before that, have a look at our selection of gifts, below.

We selected four items that make absolutely amazing presents for bicycle lovers. As usual, these items share a common ground: quality craftsmanship and great value for money, at a further reduced price for orders placed before Christmas.

Designed for the winter months, bad weather and poor daylight. Sturdy, durable, yet great quality and with white high visibility rims. These wheels are hand made in Italy, with sealed bearings Miche hubs - Shimano or Campagnolo compatible (8-9-10-11 speed) - Sapim aero spokes, Miche aluminium rims. At unbeatable value for money: Christmas offer £100 (instead of normal RRP of £127).

Forget about those overshoes that never work, no more cold feet in soggy winter boots. The Artica is the high-tech performing shoe that we’ve all been waiting for. Very lightweight (270g) and very comfortable, hand made in Italy by 40 years experience craftmen, with an in-built cover made of windtex membrane, 100% waterproof and windproof. Christmas offer £120 (instead of normal RRP of £146).

Probably the best present you could give someone who spends hours on a bicycle. A bike fitting session is for cyclists of all levels. The big questions are: do you have any pain or discomfort? Are you sitting in the right position? Is your frame right for you? Are you comfortable on long distances? Are you performing at your best? Christmas offer £169 (instead of nomal RRP of £199).

Dress like the summer, in winter; The Mossa will revolutionise your cycle-wear. Made in Italy, lightweight, windproof, waterproof and breathable. Manufactured from Windtex elastic membrane, it’s designed for a snug fit, with just one base layer underneath. It feels like a second-skin summer layer, it is the best performance jacket for all weathers. Christmas offer £150 (instead of nomal RRP of £180).

Email or call anytime to secure one of these offers.


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Finally here - Crono Artica Winter shoes

Forget about those overshoes that never work... and no more cold feet in soggy winter boots!

Here's the high-tech performing winter shoe that we've all been waiting for, perfect for the UK roads in winter. Designed and hand-made in Italy with the highest level of technical materials and attention to details, such as the Windtex lining and the external Lycra cover to keep the foot warm and dry. They also feature an ergonomic ankle height, designed to avoid the problematic friction, typical of some winter boots. The new fastening system is easy and quick and the nylon sole is reinforced with carbon.

Durability and strength are also often an issue with winter cycling boots, but Crono have manage to tackle this as well, the Artica are very sturdy, but without compromise the weight. At 270g they are just a few grams more than many summery shoes in the market.

They arrived in stock last week and are now available, in road version, in black at our premises in Much Hadham, or to buy online. Place your orders soon, as these are now starting to fly out of the door… also, they make the perfect Christmas gift for a beloved rider!

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14 AUGUST 2015

Climbing High

Classic climbing on a Lombardi Blue Racer Rosa, by Marc Woodhead:

"During the last two summers of inspiring cycling up the classic high mountain passes of the Tour de France, including: the Col du Madeleine, the Col du Croix de Fer, the Glandon, the Col du Galibier, the Alpe d’Huez, and the Mont Ventoux, the thought manifested in my mind that I should look into replacing my far from lightweight 25 year old steel touring bike and return to the big mountains in 2015 with a lighter racing bike.

I spent a fair while researching the market. My criteria for my new bike were; lightness (compared to my tourer), longevity (that it should be built to last as long as my touring bike, I have had 2 aluminium mountain bike frames crack in the past), competitive pricewise; and beauty (that it should have a classic look). The frame builder that ticked all the boxes for me was Racer Rosa.

After a trip to Diego’s stunning workshop in the Hertfordshire village of Much Hadham, and after plenty of help and advice from him, I was measured up, and I ordered a Racer Rosa Columbus Zona steel frame with round profile tubeset in Lombardi Blue, and Campagnolo Veloce groupset. I ordered a set of mavic rimmed, miche wheels for general riding, and a set of beautiful Campagnolo Scirocco wheels for sportives (more on these later).

I knew, as soon as I first saw the Racer Rosa frames online, that they had the classic look I loved, and when I visited the workshop I was even more impressed when I saw the quality of the welding first hand. The simplicity of the welding on the round tube, un-lugged joints, and the Lombardi blue paint finish, gives these classic steel frames a very minimal contemporary look.

The bike felt right as soon as I turned the wheels for the first time. It felt light and responsive, and it only started to reveal how good it was over time, and on longer rides, and especially with the Campagnolo Scirocco wheels. I was very lucky that these wheels were in Diego’s workshop when I arrived. 10 years old, unused, the wide silver rims working aesthetically with the Campagnolo Veloce groupset. They seem to also work mechanically well with the frame to enhance and echo the feel of the ride, and seem springy when pedaling, and to race away and gather speed efficiently. Descending the Alpe d’Huez in July I experienced the quality of the Veloce brakes and wheels together. Leaning into the 21 hairpin bends, slowly releasing the brakes, the wheels seemed to be charging to get away like those powerful restrained horses in the famous Ben Hur chariot race scene.

Whenever I have ridden my Racer Rosa bike this year; in the Dartmoor Classic; and through Alpine passes in France, people have approached me to ask me about the bike, to express their delight in the beauty of its design. This July I visited the French Pyrenees for the first time, and on a small campsite in Argeles-Gazost all of the passionate (often moustacioed) French cyclists gathered round to look closely, and pick up my Racer Rosa, exclaiming “acier” . . . and linking to the memories of their hero “Jacques Anquetil” . . . their surprise that here was a brand new beautiful light old school bike made of steel.

The trip back to the high mountains on lombardi blue this summer has been inspirational. I pretty much experienced all weathers in the Pyrenees. I arrived in to an electric storm in the campsite at Argeles Gazost. The next morning I cycled up into the mists of the Col du Soulor, and along a high pass on the way to the Col du Aubisque visibility improved and I realized I was cycling alongside a soaring eagle with 6 foot wingspan, who was gliding a few feet from me, above a ravine. I had great weather for the Col du Tourmalet and a hailstorm on Hautacam, and a climb up Mont Ventoux at sunrise into 42 degrees of heat. It is such a wonderful feeling climbing into the blue on a Lombardi blue frame, and such a sense of achievement arriving at the top of a mountain on two wheels! I love my Racer Rosa!" (Marc Woodhead, Summer 2015)
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3 AUGUST 2015

The tallest and the smallest; two of our best made to measure projects.

Over the last few months, we have had the pleasure of building two very interesting made to measure projects. These two projects, in their opposite and extreme extents, are two examples to perfectly highlight the importance of the 'made to measure'.

STUART: The tallest rider we've ever fitted on a bike. Stuart is not only very tall - 6ft 7" - he also has a very high centre of balance (very long legs). This made the selection of tubes challenging, as the seat-tube and head-tube of the frame needed to be longer than most manufacturers produce. But it was not only a matter of building a big enough frame; the frame also has to perform and offer the perfect handling, with no vibrations and no flections (loss of power). In the end, we opted for some wonderful oversized aluminium tubes, with 'tandem' style rear triangle and dropouts, in order to cope with the stress of the big size. This frame fits perfectly and handles like a dream.

JHINUK: By complete contrast, Jhinuk is a petite woman, at 4ft 9", who had always commuted on heavy kids' mountain bikes because she had never found an off-the-peg bike to fit her. We designed this very small frame to suit her height and build perfectly. It has 650c wheels and 145mm cranks - in fact everything about this bike is tiny but beautifully proportioned. The personalised geometry and the lightweight materials chosen make it manageable to handle and perform at its best. Flat handlebars with 10-speed groupset, mudguards and rear rack were details specifically chosen by Jhinuk, to finish off her own custom project.

Both these riders had never experienced real cycling before and this makes us very proud of what we do. We're all different and humans don't come in standard sizes.... Happy cycling everybody!

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1 JULY 2015

Happy summer of cycling

A few 'postcards' from around the world. This summer our clients are enjoying going places on their Racer Rosa bikes:

CAROLINE AND ANDY are riding USA coast-to-coast on the Racer Rosa tourers we built for them earlier this year. Columbus Zona steel frame and fork, Ritchey classic finishing kit, Shimano 105 / Ultegra groupsets, handmade wheelset with SON dynamo front hub. Follow their blog here:

Pedal like the Clappers

EMILY is travelling through Europe this summer with her beautiful steel tourer. Setting off from Devon, she’s pedalled around France, Italy and Austria… Columbus Zona frameset with Campagnolo Veloce groupset, Ritchey Classic finishing kit, Tubus racks and hand-built wheels. You can read all about her fab trip here in her Blog:
Emily's European Cycle Adventure

Thank you for your photos guys, we're very proud of you all!

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27 MAY 2015

Bike Fitting in Procycling Magazine

Here's a nice piece on our bike fitter Giuseppe Giannecchini, in a Procycling feature, by the Deputy Editor Jamie Wilkins.

Jamie had been fitted by Giuseppe a few years ago and since then he’d been very happy with his position on the bike, but the need to regularly change and test bikes for editorial purposes doesn’t help him maintain a consistent optimum position.

As soon as Jamie started his check-up session, Giuseppe could see there was something wrong. His pelvis tended to slip out of position on the saddle, and while pedalling he felt the need to adjust his sitting position on the saddle, every now and then.

After analysing everything, Giuseppe spotted that Jamie's brake levers had been fitted a few millimetres too high and the handlebars were slightly rotated upwards too. After fine tuning everything back into place, Jamie’s body fell back into the correct position again, in just a matter of minutes.

This is a typical example of how a tiny error can have quite a significant knock-on effect; altering the rotation of the wrists by just a few millimetres can cause everything from the shoulders and pelvis to the knees and ankles to become misaligned

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23 MAY 2015
Bike Fitting: busting the myths
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 Artisan Cycles 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 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 8 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

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19 MAY 2015

Cycling in the Lakes is great...
but it's even better on a Racer Rosa bike!

Jonathan Edwards tells the Telegraph about a few fantastic and relatively undiscovered cycling routes in the Lake District. We recently built him a made to measure racing bike in Columbus Spirit steel, which he's thoroughly enjoying for its performance and comfort.

We are very fond of these roads too, especially the Honister Pass climb! Click here to read the article.

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Racer Rosa Bicycles News




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