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Racer Rosa News

20 DECEMBER 2016

Have a super Christmas

Here are some dates and useful info for Christmas and the new year.

Over Christmas we will be open as normal, but closed for a few days in the new year, as follows:
SAT 24 DEC, 1000 > 1600
SUN 25 DEC, Closed
MON 26 DEC, Closed
TUE 27 DEC to FRI 30 DEC, 0930 > 1730
SAT 31 DEC to TUE 10 JAN 2017, Closed
……from WED 11 JAN 2017 onwards, open again as normal.

From January we will resume our monthly bike fitting clinic, calendar below, places are limited so please book well in advance:
SAT 14 / SUN 15 JAN 2017
SAT 11 / SUN 12 FEB 2017
SAT 11 / SUN 12 MAR 2017
SAT 8 / SUN 9 APR 2017
SAT 6 / SUN 7 MAY 2017
SAT 10 / SUN 11 JUN 2017

Since we moved to our new premises in Walthamstow, 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.
FULL 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).
GOLD 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.

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.

That's it, Merry Christmas from the Racer Rosa Team!


12 OCTOBER 2016

Big news.... WE'RE BACK IN LONDON!

Hey hey..... we are opening a new store in Walthamstow, E17.

We've missed London town and we're very happy to be back in the Stow, offering our bespoke bicycles and fitting services again to all Londoners in a more accessible way, with a brand new high street shop, very close to Walthamstow Central Tube Station. It is part of the "Central Parade", recently renovated into a new exciting hub buzzing with creatives, local start-ups and artisans.

Now, some imminent dates for your diaries:

18 November 2016, from 5pm onwards: You're invited! Please do come in for a beer, to see the new set up and to celebrate with us the opening. Please RSVP by email or phone to put your name on the guest list. New address below.

19 - 20 November 2016: We will be doing bio-mechanical fitting sessions with Giuseppe Giannecchini at the new premises, on the Saturday and Sunday following the Opening Do. Please book your follow-up session, if it is due, or a new bike-fit, via email or phone. More dates, for the end of the year / new year, will follow.

To all our clients from our sojourn in the Herts countryside - a warm thank you for your custom. We are sorry to leave you and those beautiful surroundings, but we hope you will stick with us.... East London is only 25 miles from Much Hadham.

Looking forward to see you all at the new shop!

6-10 Central Parade
137 Hoe Street
London E17 4RT
Tel 020 7193 7047


3 JUNE 2016

Giuseppe's bike fit, featured in Cycling Weekly

In last week's Cycling Weekly, there was a very nice 4-page feature about our Giuseppe and his bike fitting method. Hope you enjoyed the read... and if you have missed it, you can have a look at the images below (click on the pics to enlarge).

Please get in touch at anytime to book your bike fit session - and remember, it is the best investment in cycling you can ever do, far more important than an expensive bike!


14 APRIL 2016

Racer Rosa Carbon - Intro offer: £2K frameset!

As many of you know already, we have recently widened our range to offer our own carbon fibre model. The ethos is the same as for as our steel and aluminium ranges: the carbon frames are made to measure and hand crafted in Italy by master frame builders who have built competition frames for over 60 years.

The frame builder is Valentino Stocchero and he personally develops and tests all his carbon tubing (and it’s Italian carbon tubes). When we tested them, we were totally blown away by their performance and comfort capabilities. 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.

Well, we are really proud of what we achieved with this Racer Rosa Carbon frameset and to celebrate we're offering it, for a limited time until the end of summer 2016, at an introductory price of £2,000 (frame and fork). It's an amazing price, for a made to measure, top-end, carbon frameset totally hand crafted in Italy!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. This is why we confidently offer only a few carbon products: Epoca, Racer Rosa and Tommasini. These are the absolute best we have ever ridden, they make other brands ride like vintage bikes, by comparison. All our feedback confirms this.

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

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.

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 test ride one of our bikes.

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 Artisan team is committed to giving the best possible bike for your budget.

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!”

Order yours now for early Summer delivery. Current lead time is 6 weeks.

Happy cycling!


12 MARCH 2016

04. Ordering with us: the experience.
Jonathan Edwards Q&A series

Jonathan talks about his experience of ordering one of our bikes, the type of face to face service we offer, the attention to our clients' needs and ultimately the quality and unicity of our made to measure product.


9 MARCH 2016

03. The importance of bike fitting.
Jonathan Edwards Q&A series

Interesting conversation with Jonathan Edwards about the importance of a GOOD bike fit, in the third of our series about Jonathan and his made to measure bike project.


25 FEBRUARY 2016

02. Why made to measure?
Jonathan Edwards Q&A series

Some people dismiss a 'made to measure' bicycle because they think it'll be too expensive or unnecessary. But the reality is that it doesn't cost much more than any high-end good quality bike, it rides better than off-the peg ones, it is a long term investment (so you'll get your money back) and it only takes 4-6 weeks to produce. This is the second of a series of questions we asked Jonathan Edwards about what made him opt for a made to measure bike:


18 FEBRUARY 2016

01. Why steel?
Jonathan Edwards Q&A series

We built a made to measure bike for Olympic Medallist and Triple Jump World Record Holder, Jonathan Edwards. He opted for 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 the first question we asked: "Why did you decide to go for a steel framed bike?".


30 JANUARY 2016

1987 Dawes Milk Race

A couple of years back, we restored this beautiful Dawes, we sorted out the frame and fork that were damaged in a crash, re-painted the original colour scheme and sourced some great new-old-stock components: 8-speed Campagnolo square taper groupset with downtube shifters, threaded quill stem and classic handlebars. Our client Colin was extremely happy about the outcome, as that was the very first new bike he has ever bought, in the Eighties. He even did the beautiful write-up below which, in a way, represents a little piece of cycling history. Colin has ridden his bike ever since and rode the
Milk Race and this year he is going to ride the Eroica Britannia, next June.

MY , by Colin Harper:

"In early 1987 I had my bike stolen. It wasn’t a very good bike (I’m a not a very good cyclist). But I needed another bike.
At the time, the company I was working for was supporting the Milk Race and a few of the WaterTech Dawes team turned up at one of our sites for a photo opportunity. I’d been to see the Milk Race as a youngster – seen stage finishes at South Sheilds, so was already more than interested.

Dawes was founded in 1906 in Birmingham, originally making both motorcycles and bicycles. In 1926 the Dawes Cycles Ltd was formed in it’s own right, and they’ve been making bikes ever since. In the 1980s they were making decent racing bikes (for UK Pro teams) and still turn out decent audax and training bicycles. They were never the biggest manufacturer in the UK (Raliegh in Nottingham were that) but were considered to be one of the best volume manufacturers with a reputation for quality, a cut above the average.

So off I went to a local bike shop recommended by the Dawes people from the racing team, and there was my bike. A Dawes Milk Race with 12 Speed Weinmann parts, all white (frame, bar tape, seat, whitewall tyres), very much on trend in the 1980s, with smart multicolour stripes. The frame was a little too big, but not ridiculous so the deal was done and away I rode.

Over the years I rode miles – all year round and in all weathers but mainly in the summer. Living in South Notts helped, I go for miles to the east into the aptly named Vale of Belvoir, through the home of Stilton cheese, north into Notts towards Southwark, west towards Derbyshire, and south to the hills of Charnwood. One memorable ride was Coventry (and back) for a sponsored something or other in biblical pouring rain. Other times I’ve had frost under wheels and quiet foggy Sunday mornings. I love how the seasons change the scenery – my favourite rides are never the same. I fitted clipless pedals in stead of the toe-straps and a little computer – about 1000 miles a year mostly.

As the miles accumulated, things started to wear out. Both wheels were changed at different times. I had a smaller chain ring fitted - I planned to go to Wales where I reckoned the hills were too big and my legs too weak for the original small chain-ring. The original white seat was plastic and uncomfortable on longer rides, so a San Marco Rolls turned up, more for comfort than speed. Black bar tape was added due to a shortage of white in my local bike shop.

Eventually I ended up living in Greenwich and working in the City of London during the week and Notts at the weekend. Commuting by bike started to become more practical, once the numbers of cyclists in London increased. I started that on my mountain bike, but eventually, when the Olympics came and for a reason I can’t remember, my Dawes came to town. It is not quite as agile as my Orange Clockwork MTB but had a magic gear for all parts of my trip and it seemed to have some cachet amongst a few who know; nods at the traffic lights. I once bumped into John Snow from Channel 4 News outside St Paul’s and we chatted bikes. He has a similar vintage Condor, but he’s a London boy so that’s OK. Cycling London is as wonderful as the south Notts wolds, but different. All that history just rolls by, once you get used to the terror traffic.

But by now the frame had definitely seen better days. It was not straight (London pot holes…), there was a patch of rust on the bottom bracket and chips and scuffs everywhere. The wheels were not round, (London pot holes again) and the brakes, tired.

So what to do? I couldn’t bear scrapping it altogether; It’s not any old bike, it’s my bike and has been for years. I reckoned on three options, all with a frame refurbish:
• Single speed / fixie
• Pimp my ride
• Restore to it’s former glory

There are now a lot of old frames with single speed or fixed gears in town. I’m never one to follow the crowd and in any case, I might well want ride it out of town too – and there’s a reason gears were introduced.

Pimp my ride – giving it a wild paint job was a reasonably attractive option. But then it would be just another unrecognisable old frame amongst all the others. It’d still be my bike though and unique too. But…

Then I remembered it’s all about the bike! Restoring seemed the right idea – but how? Dawes have long stopped manufacturing steel frame road bikes like mine, they don’t reply to emails for geometry or patterns for the decals (I was going to need to get decals from somewhere). Much googling and chin scratching later I found Racer Rosa, then based in Walthamstow. A few emails on and I was set for a visit, a cup of tea and a chat, to see what the options were.

A couple of days before the visit, the inevitable happened. There are only two sorts of cyclist in London: Cyclists who have been knocked off their bikes, and cyclists who are going to be knocked off their bikes. I joined the former group from the latter, thanks to a white van who pulled out in front of me with no warning. I missed him but ran into the back of another van. I was largely OK, but my dear old Dawes was now broken. The steerer had bent back just at the crowns, bleeding grease and there was not enough clearance between my toes and the front wheel. I was committed. Racer Rosa would either be able to make a repair or my Dawes was mortally wounded.

So after a timid ride to see Diego at Racer Rosa, we decided my Dawes is not the best bike in the world, or the lightest. The frame is Reynolds but cooking 500 not the much vaunted 531 tubes. So we decided new old parts, within reason to keep to a budget, and make everything ‘in keeping’ with the 1980s frame. Go better than the original (budget) spec, but within reason. I left it with him to see if the frame was repairable…

First the frame was shipped to his frame-builder. He decided ‘there is a lot of steel left in this old frame’ so he went to work. He straightened the damaged forks, re-jigged the frame, widened the distance between the dropouts, fitted a new bridge between the seat stays to allow for better brakes and braised on bosses for a bottle cage on the seat tube. One bottle is never enough over two hours. The pictures were shocking at this point, with blistered paint where the heat had been applied, but the job was underway.

Then it went to the paint shop, where it was stripped to the metal and re-sprayed. Decals were re-manufactured, applied and the whole thing clear coated.

Then Diego and his men went to work putting on the most gorgeous set of parts, Campagnolo for the most part, an 8-speed groupset with handmade wheels (new-old-stock Camagnolo hubs). The brakes were upgraded to dual pivot Veloce with wonderful ‘new old’ drilled levers in gum hoods. The frame was completed with San Marco Concor Super Corsa seat, and TA cages. My old Look delta pedals have been retained (whilst my supply of cleats lasts out). The brake cables have been nicely taped in to the bars (much tidier), but no ergo shifters – they’re on the down tube, where they belong.

All that’s left of the original is the frame and the bars (there’s some lovely Dawes scrolled engraving on the bar tops).

I can’t thank Diego and the Racer Rosa team enough – they’ve been great despite a few little diversions along the way. They’ve done the right thing on every occasion, and have been delightful to be around, and drink Colombian coffee next door with. Love and Pace, Diego. If you have the opportunity, check out the Lombardi steel frames he builds from top quality Columbus tubes… the welding and butting is truly amazing and the finished frames, things of beauty.

After a few years off, the Milk Race is back (since the demise of the Milk Marketing Board, it became the Tour of Britain), resurrected last year as a criterion race in Nottingham city centre. This year my bike is back as well. There’s no stopping us now!

Personally I think it looks stunning, almost a shame to take it out. But it is a bike, and it’s my bike, and I can’t wait to get on it and ride! The only decision is where? London, or should I return it to it’s familiar south Notts lanes with maybe a jaunt or two up to Yorkshire in the summer to watch the Grand Boucle come through? Maybe I’ll do both!" (Colin Harper, 2014)

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23 JANUARY 2016

Fantastic Victory Francesca!

Francesca Baroni, age 16, has just won the Italian Cyclocross Junior Championship 2016 and over the last 10 days or so, her story has been all over the Italian newspapers.

Francesca said: "I would like to dedicate this victory to my team...to all the technical staff at Cicli Maggi, to my bio-mechanic Giuseppe Giannecchini and to all those who last Sunday gave me huge support".

Francesca has since been selected for the Italian National Team and she's going to the next World Cup. Giuseppe Giannecchini fits many junior teams and has been Francesca's bio-mechanic since she started competing, age 12.

Giuseppe does bike fitting in the UK, for adults and young riders, of all levels, at Artisan Cycles, one weekend every month. You can book your session by calling: 014389 40600, or email: info@artisancycles.co.uk

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20 JANUARY 2016

Cycling Holidays

Here we have something nice to look forward to for the New Year, which can be appealing to many riders and non-riders.

Our sister company called "Volata Tours" periodically organises tailored cycling holidays for small groups, aimed at riders - with the most fantastic cycling routes in Italy - but also for families (even those not interested in cycling).

For example, this is what's in the pipeline so far for 2016:

- A long weekend watching the Giro stage passing by in Tuscany.
- Staying in countryside "Agriturismo" hotels.
- Riding gorgeous Tuscany and Umbria routes.
- Possible visits to Tommasini Bikes and Parentini Cycling Clothes factories.
- Potential bike fitting session scheduled, in the home premises of bio-mechanic Giuseppe Giannecchini.
- Potential metabolic test with threshold determination and training program provided.

- Long weekend based in the centre of Cortina D'Ampezzo.
- Ride on top of the best mountains in the world. many of the famous routes (i.e. Passo Giau and 'Sellaronda').
- Visits to Venice.
- Potential visits to our frame builders' factories near Venice (Padova and Rosà).
- Potential visits to Miche, made in Italy bike components factory, in Treviso.

- Based in Casale Marittimo, near Volterra, in a rural 'Agriturismo'.
- Rides in the Tuscan countryside, Argentario seaside (the famous 'Donoratico' route).
- Visits to Pisa, Florence, Bolgheri (famous viniards).
- Possible visits to Tommasini Bikes and Parentini Cycling Clothes factories.
- Potential bike fitting session scheduled, in the home premises of bio-mechanic Giuseppe Giannecchini.
- Potential metabolic test with threshold determination and training program provided.

If interested, please get in touch asap with your preferences, numbers are limited - but any of the above can be customised for different times of the year.

Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1..............................................................................................

4 JANUARY 2016

Happy 2016 - Bike Fitting dates

Happy New Year to you all and let's talk about new year resolutions! …"Do more hours on my bike" I bet it's the one for many of you and what better way to start the New Year pedalling in the correct position? This is the calendar for bike fitting dates, for the first half of 2016:

FRI 15 / SAT 16 JAN
FRI 15 / SAT 16 APR
FRI 14 / SAT 15 MAY
FRI 17 / SAT 18 JUN

As usual, to book, please get in touch by phone or email, as places are limited.

Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1

Racer Rosa Bicycles News



6-10 Central Parade
137 Hoe Street
London E17 4RT

+44 (0) 20 7193 7047
+44 (0) 77729 31543


TUE TO FRI: 10.00 to 17.00
SAT: 10.00 to 16.00

Evenings / Sundays by appointment



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TEL. + 44 (0) 02071 937047 - MOB. +44(0) 77 7293 1543