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18 DECEMBER 2010

Merry Christmas from Racer Rosa

Hope Santa brings you many cranks, spokes and saddles...
Over the Christmas period we will be open on:
24 December 11am - 1pm.
29, 30 December 11am - 5pm.
31 December 11am - 1pm.
4 January 11am - 5pm.
As usual, please call, email or text for an appointment.

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7 DECEMBER 2010

It's going to be a Blue Christmas

And this is good news because this Christmas you can treat your cycle enthusiast loved one to a Racer Rosa gift voucher. From £50 upwards, they are available now online here (in the PARTS section), directly at our studio in Walthamstow or via email (by bank transfer or Paypal), these can be redeemed against parts, frames, services, whole bikes and revamps or just a sum towards a new bike project or revamp.

Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1
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27 NOVEMBER 2010

The story of the little Berma

Stefano Fusaro inherited this little racing bike in the early '70s at the age of 14. The bike had been made to measure by Berma for his uncle in 1967, with Campagnolo drop-outs, nice bits fitted on and all that; Stefano competed in a few local races in the early '70s, in Padova, northern Italy - as you can see in the photos below, in one of which he's even receiving the 2nd place cup!

Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1
After 1975, Stefano moved on to bigger bikes and the little Berma was forgotten and left in a loft for over thirty years until..... now, it comes to life again, at Racer Rosa, London, 2010!
Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1
Converted into a lightweight and very charming single-speed racer, Alison is now using it as a city commuter in the streets of London and she is very proud of her little bike's 'documented' Italian history.
Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1
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25 NOVEMBER 2010

Terribly sorry mate. You can't steal this one.

Since the police are too busy with student revolts, it's about time that we all unite and do something concrete to stop the pain of bicycle theft. Racer Rosa has now joined the Bike-Revolution. They offer great help and it's free! Registering your bike’s serial number is your first line of defence in protecting your bike. If your bike gets stolen, a serial number makes it traceable and increases your chances of recovery from 2% to 20-40%.

Bike-Revolution also offer a Pulse ID tag to stick on your bike. Pulse ID tags are tamper-resistant, weatherproof and scannable. If your bike is tagged and gets stolen, the police (maybe), Good Samaritans and Bike-Revolution's army of Bike Detectives can scan and report your bike if they find it. You can purchase Pulse ID tag packs (3 tags to put in 3 different places of your frame) directly from us or online and all our new and refurbished Racer Rosa bicycles are registered with Bike-Revolution before leaving our studio. We offer the option of the Pulse ID tag to all of our clients.

More info here: www.bikerevolution.org
Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1
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2 NOVEMBER 2010

Cycle scheme - tax free bikes for work.

We're very pleased to announce that Racer Rosa is now officially part of the "Cyclescheme". Great savings on new bicycles for employees, through the government’s cycle to work initiative.
Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1
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2 OCTOBER 2010

For all of you Retro Heroes.

Yes, yes, we also do bicycles for those who love retro things: matching colour metal mudguards, tan saddles and bar-tape, rear racks, touring wheels, side-stands, etc.

This is our latest example of this kind of project: an elegant bike, with a refurbished Motobecane frame, but without compromising on good quality components and weight.... this beautiful city-cruiser weighs 13 Kg.
Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1
Matt, another satisfied customer:
"13 kilos is a fraction of a Pashley Roadster. So you've ticked all my boxes - same price, sensible weight, but bespoke and unique, not to mention the great quality components. And it does look very pretty. That's brilliant."

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1 SEPTEMBER 2010

Shiny bits.

Beautiful touches for customised paint-jobs. Our frames can also have shining chrome track fork ends and drop outs. In fact, they can also have just the lugs chromed (the joints between tubes), like the olden-day bicycles. On demand, we can chrome the whole fork as well, or any other part of the frame.
Racer Rosa Bicycles News 1 ..............................................................................................


14 JUNE 2010

New studio and a new website too...

We've moved to our new little studio in Walthamstow, and we've just launched this website with integrated e-shop. Hope you like the site, please give us some feedback... and if you pay a visit to our studio this summer, we promise you our complete attention, plenty of bike chat, good coffee and cookies (perhaps even a small beer).
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19 MAY 2010

The ethical research continues...

We're happy to publish here the current results of our ethical bike components research - so that everybody can benefit from it (for the sake of our old and not so ethical planet).

Frames: we couldn't be happier with our Lombardi frames, made with double-butted steel Columbus tubings.
Hand-crafted in Italy by a small family business that has been building frames for many companies for over 60 years (many of their frames raced for the ‘Giro d'Italia’ and the ‘Tour de France’). Antonio and his father weld all their frames by hand and are two of the few left who still use the 'silver-filled-brazed' method - very skilful, expensive and time consuming. How does this compare with TIG welded frames which are mass produced in India or China (like the majority of bikes in the market - yes, even Bianchi and Colnago are made in the far-East)?

Racer Rosa Bicycles
Columbus Tubing: steel frames are back in fashion and not only because of their classic look. Producing steel is less polluting than aluminium and cheaper (and, nowadays, almost as light). In the past few years, tubing market leaders like Columbus have become more and more environmentally aware. For example, the new material XCR was originally a substitute for Cadmium plated steels which caused pollution (cadmium plating was used to protect the steels from environmental degradation, i.e. rusting).
These new materials developed also last longer and will not degrade - as ordinary (ferrous) steels do - therefore they can be re-used.

Saddles Selle San Marco: the UK sales representative Thomas Brandolini turns out to be a nice and helpful chap.
He told us that although they do produce a small proportion of their stuff in Taiwan, the collections Concor, Regale and Rolls are entirely manufactured in Vicenza, Italy.
They're also launching a new environmentally friendly product soon, also made in Italy and with no leather - it's about time and we can't wait.

Saddles Selle Italia: the customer service replied to our enquiry stating that all of their saddles are made in Italy under a Tuv certification. A few years ago they established their own ethical and environmental regulations (that every employee has to sign).
This is reassuring.

Deda Elementi: up to now, we liked to fit our bikes with beautiful Deda handlebars (i.e. Deda 'Velocitá' and 'Dritto'), classic Deda quill stems, and even Deda Grinta tyres, but: the Italian Managing director Fulvio Acquati recently told us that they ‘produce bicycles components’(!) and he will only talk to us about the products, not about where or how they are made. He wouldn't disclose any info about their production and to our further attempt to explain why we are after this info, he ignored us.
Uh oh....... this sounds suspect, we don't think we'll buy Deda stuff any more.
But hey, we may have just found a great alternative track steel handlebars: excellent quality and made in UK, but... we're still investigating.

Miche: we love to fit our bikes with most of Miche’s components, not only because of the top notch quality with great Italian tradition (they've been around as long as Campagnolo), but also because most of their stuff is still produced in Italy.
In fact, as they state on their website, they design and produce their products entirely in Italy to guarantee the ‘constant pursuit of absolute quality’.
However, although it's true that the most of their stuff is made in Italy (all their top ranges at least), we found out that they do outsource the production of a few of their components to Slovakia (which is at least in the European community, it is a democracy and a lot closer than China!) and some to Taiwan (i.e. their freewheels and chains). Well, this is better than nothing for us, and we try to buy from them only those products that are indeed made in Italy.

Racer Rosa Bicycles News 3 Basil, accessories: this Dutch company is great. They produce very cool and trendy baskets and panniers. But the best thing about them is that they have, amongst their beautiful range, 100% organic cotton panniers and we're going to stock them very soon.
Their customer service have promised that they will let us know where their factories are, hopefully next week.

Bontrager: the technical service representative, Chris Long, kindly replied to our enquiry, few months ago, saying that: at this time they do not have any information to give out on the ethical issues, however they are working on creating a section of their website addressing such issues and while they don't have a firm ETA on that, it is something that they hope to have available in the very near future. We're still waiting.

Saddles Selle Royal: Matteo Paccagnella, from Selle Royal, replied enthusiastically about our ethical initiative, and said that his company is very careful to respect the environment and human rights. But they do not have any ‘information that they can spread’ regarding these issues. He could only say that they're working very hard in this direction and soon they'll be able to give us better answers to our requests(!).
It all sounds good but we're still chasing our answers.

...and we're still talking and / or waiting responses from companies like ITM, 3TTT, Continental, Campagnolo, Ambrosio.
Please give us a shout if you have any tips / suggestions / criticisms, etc. as we're always happy to hear from anybody.

At the moment, we're looking for the most ethical tyres, inner-tubes, brake cables, pedals, freewheels, sprockets and chains.

ETHICAL@RACERROSABICYCLES.CO.UK

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26 FEBRUARY 2010

Racer Rosa is born

After 25 years of building bikes for ourselves, family and friends, the London bicycle boom inspired us to transform our passion into a business.
As a start, because our business must reflect the people we are, we think we'll do things in a small, independent and green way.

The first thing we notice is: oh dear, although cycling is so environmentally friendly, the bikes industry is really super 'dirty'. It's all about performance, high-tech, with no ethic, no conscience... very similar to the cars and motorcycle industries.
This is a striking contrast.
Right... let's start the clean up then.

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