Friday, 17 February 2012

The Perfect Bottle Cage

A bottle cage is just a bottle cage. It's holds your bottle, that's what it's there for. True, but a bad cage won't hold your bottle particularly well - ejecting it at the first sign of any sudden undulation, bump or hop. Eject your bottle and that's you thirsty for the rest of your ride. Especially if you lose both.

Don't forget a bad bottle cage can also make a good bike look awful! When you've spent a good portion of your hard-earned on the bike of your dreams the last thing you want is to ruin it with bad looking bottle cages.

How to avoid both of these situations though? The answer is simple: Arundel.

No, not the small town in Sussex with the castle and cathedral - this Arundel is a small, boutique American company pumping out some of the highest quality bike accessories on the market. In their range are a number of bottle cages which include the budget 'Sport' model and the high end 'Mandible', both of which are in stock now at our Sheen shop.

Mandible Bottle Cage

The Sport cage is made of plastic and comes moulded in black or white, whilst the Mandible is carbon and is available in a painted white or a matt carbon finish. We also have their 'Stainless' model which is based on the design of the Mandible but is made of stainless steel tubing for a more classic look.

So what? Well, the Mandible will grip your bottle so well it is the bottle cage of choice for the Garmin pro team, even for events like Paris-Roubaix - if any event is going to shake your bottle loose then that is it.

Thor Hushovd's Cervelo S5

The Arundel range also includes a good range of very neat saddle bags - one of which is even designed to carry a folded tubular tyre. Ideal if you're that way inclined. There's also bar tape options, triathlon water bottle mounts and aerodynamic frame-mounted time trail water bottles available at the Sheen store.

Words by Rich - Brain Farts of a Bike Tart

Monday, 13 February 2012

Enve wheels

So, carbon wheels. Only for racing because they're weak - you break them really easily if you used them for every day riding, or perhaps a sportive, right?...

Wrong. Watch:

So, now that myth has been laid to rest, let's talk Enve.

Why pick Enve from the (rather extensive) bunch? Well, part of the reason the Enve wheels are strong enough to do the stuff shown in that clip - or more to the point, to survive the stuff in the clip - is that the spoke holes in an Enve rim are moulded when the wheel is made, rather than drilled after the event. Moulding the spoke holes means that the hole becomes part of the structure as opposed to making a nice strong carbon hoop and then weakening it by removing some of that integrity.

Enve develop wheels in 25, 45 and 65 formats - the numbers referring to their rim depth in millimetres. The 25 is available as tubular only, whilst the 45 and 65 are available as tubular and clincher, and with Chris King or DT Swiss' DT240 hubs (the latter of which are set to be discontinued as a hub option and are currently on special offer).

The Enve wheels being used in the clip are Enve Smart 6.7s. You might wonder what the 'Smart 6.7' moniker is all about? The 'Smart' bit is a man called Simon: Simon Smart is a British aerodynamicist with an extensive background in Formula 1 who Enve took on board to help develop a road bike wheel set. The '6.7' bit refers to the fact that the front wheel is a 60mm rim depth and the rear is a 70mm. This is a feature that carries across the Enve Smart range as the 3.4 (30mm front, 40mm rear) is available now as a tubular and is set to arrive soon in clincher format, and the 8.9 (you guessed it, 80mm front and 90mm rear) is also on its way - and will quite possibly be the ultimate triathlon wheel.

Enve Smart Wheels

In case you're wondering, the rear wheel is deeper in each case because it is more stable than the front and less affected by crosswinds It's also slightly narrower to reduce drag. For the same reason, the front wheel is also slightly wider and shallower so as to improve stability and handle more predictably. That's where Simon Smart proved his worth, and is why you'll feel such benefit from running them.

We have the full range of Enve wheels in stock at the Sheen store, along with some of the other Enve components (they produce handlebars, stems and seatposts too). Come along and see their quality for yourself.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Your Dream Bike

So you've had your CycleFit (you have had your CycleFit, haven't you?) and your bike now fits you like a glove. Perfect. Or is it? No, not quite - it's still not YOUR bike, made just for YOU, finished the way YOU want it.

You see, when your bike fits like a glove and is a dream to ride, the next step is to make it a dream to own - that's the point where something 'off-the-peg' doesn't quite cut it, and that's where Guru come in.

Guru you say? Yes, not only "one who is regarded as having great knowledge, wisdom, and authority in a certain area, and who uses it to guide others" (thanks Wikipedia), but also a Canadian custom bicycle specialist turning out handmade steel, titanium and carbon bicycle frames of the highest calibre.

Your New Bike

Let's take our Sheen shop Guru 'Photon' show bike for starters - ten thousand pounds worth of bike with the highest level componentry. Without even trying to make it light it weighs in at only 5.8kg (just shy of 13lb in old money) yet it carries no weight limit, nor is it considered to be even remotely flexible. Change the £2000 Enve wheelset for something a bit cheaper, and lower the component level down to Force or Ultegra and for £6500 you could have an incredible bike that's still not UCI legal. Granted, that's still not 'cheap' per se, but considering that's with a full custom handmade carbon dream bike finished to your own geometry and colour scheme, it's great value - particularly when weighed up against the competition (think Cervelo, Parlee, Serotta and Seven). That is cheaper as a complete bike than the similarly-weighted Cervelo R5ca costs as a frameset alone!

Ti Perfection

But let's not forget there's also the steel 'Sidero' and titanium 'Praemio' options. Sure, they're not quite the featherweights that the Photon is, but then they're a different proposition anyway. Steel and Titanium offer very individual, special ride qualities; and treated well are both likely to serve as bikes for life. A price tag in the region of £4500 would get you a Praemio with an Ultegra or SRAM Force build running classy, classic handbuilt wheels - for full custom titanium of this quality that is beyond impressive. Somewhere around £3500 will get you a similar level of quality on the Sidero, and that's a full custom bike (again, to your geometry and colour) for the price of many high-end carbon framesets alone.

If you want to challenge the quality, style or passion of the Guru frames, just take a look at the elegant dropouts that the steel and Ti versions are endowed with...

It's a drop out

What's even more impressive is that Guru lead times are discussed in weeks, not months.

Full custom needn't be unobtainable - come and see our Guru range at the Sheen store and talk to us about getting your dream bike under way.

Words: Rich (The Bike Tart)