Wednesday, January 11, 2017

FAVALORO - artisan carbon continued

Above: Our new bike in tricolore livery

We just received these photos from Michele Favaloro in Italy via our friends at Albabici. We can only say BELLISSIMA, but of course we would say that, no? You can see her in the nude by clicking HERE

Above: Michele Favaloro's signature

After all, we did ask for a tricolore paint scheme similar to our current rental fleet. It's hard to see in the photo but they tell us the FAVALORO names on the frame were created by masking the clear-coated carbon (kind of a stencil in reverse) before painting, allowing the carbon fiber to show through. Pretty clever!

Above: Yes, a threaded (no creaks!) BB shell

We're thrilled so far and also thrilled to know that this bike will be debuted at an upcoming bike industry "Press Camp" as well as being featured at the 2017 North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show in Salt Lake City, UT.

The bike should be on its way soon to Albabici where the Campagnolo Potenza 11 groupset we ordered for it will be waiting. The components will be black, again to look similar to the groupsets on our current rental fleet. 

Larry will be attending the NAHBS 2017 to help present FAVALORO to the USA market and where this bike will be entered in the Best Campagnolo-equipped Bike category.

This project looks like it'll come close enough to our budget that (once we see it in-person and get a chance to ride it) we'll order more sizes with the idea of having them available for YOU to ride this season. Contact us for more details on prices, sizes, etc.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to have FAVALORO handcraft a bike for you, click HERE for more details.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Arrivederci Southern California!

All that's left of our Southern California vacation is the kilometers in our legs (around 600) and a slight amount of suntan + this blurry photo (but the bike's pretty clean, right?) of Larry on the part of Palos Verdes peninsula not owned by Donald Trump.
2017 reservations are coming in, so don't hesitate if you have plans to enjoy la dolce vita  in bicicletta with us. We should have some photos of our new full-carbon bike to share soon.

Best wishes for a great 2017!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year 2017!

Heather & Larry pause on Mountain Drive in Santa Barabara, CA

Best Wishes for a great 2017!!!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Cross-chaining? Why not?

"Cross-chaining" (whether it's using the big-big or small-small) has always been one of those things frowned upon by experienced cyclists.  But more and more, component makers are saying their groupsets will allow this, despite the negative effects.

Click HERE for a great explanation of why you don't want to do it even if it IS possible!
Especially with the development of compact cranksets, "cross-chaining" has become popular, particularly in the case of "big-big". Beyond the negative effects described in the linked article, far too many (even pros!) ride along in the big ring (in this case 50 teeth, which is not so big) and change their gears solely in the rear, clicking up and down an 11-speed cassette, perhaps with a large cog of 29 or even 32 in some cases.

As the climb steepens, they'll continue working their way up to the largest (inner-most) cog, still in the big-ring solely using the rear derailleur until...

...they need a still lower ratio. What happens now? There is only ONE shift that can result in a lower ratio - shifting down to the small (usually 34) chainring. In some ways this is the equivalent of jamming your car into 1st gear at highway speeds. To equal this with a rear shift you'd go instantly from a 12 tooth cog in back up to a 28 with one single shift!

In addition to a way-too-big step, with the big-big combination the chain is maxed out with the most extreme spring tension from the rear derailleur. Suddenly, with this shift you release all that tension instantly. BAM! You push the chain off the big ring under all the torque of pedaling in a too-high gear combined with that spring tension and ...

..quite often, even to the pros, right after BAM! is the feeling of pedaling against no resistance (or worse, a jammed chain) as the chain falls inwards so violently it misses the small chainring and ends up around your bottom bracket shell, leaving you without any forward momentum. OOOooops!

At best (like the pros) you stop, dismount and manually pick the chain up and put it back on the chainring while at worst, the chain jams and you fall over!

Don't let this happen to you or your bicycle! Take the advice of the website and use your compact (or triple for that matter) the way it was designed to work by using the smaller cogs with the larger chainring and vice-versa, avoiding cross-chaining except in an emergency.

Buona pedalata!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Don't miss out!

This just in from our friends at SOIGNEUR --

Order your Christmas jerseys now to make sure you receive them in time!.

We will be closing down for Christmas on 11th of December! Yes 11th of December so if you want to give one of our awesome merino cycling jerseys as a Christmas present your order needs to be made by next week Monday 5th December.

Happy Holidays!

New at CycleItalia - lower gears!

Above: "Baldini" one of our standard rental bikes

Campagnolo's new POTENZA (yes, the video IS rather corny) groupset offers a low gear of 34 X 32 and will be spec'd on our prototype full-carbon FAVALORO bike.

But what about the rest of our fleet you ask? We've already increased the cog size on our "classic" all-steel fleet to offer a low gear of 30 X 28 but the "standard" aluminum/carbon bikes had only 34 X 29, the lowest gearing available at the time.

"Uncle Larry" has ordered new 11-32 10-speed cogsets for these bikes for 2017. These are NOT from Campagnolo our official supplier, but from IRD. 

These have been available for awhile, but as most of you know Larry's not keen on jumping into the newest-latest development, no matter what it is. First we ordered an 11-speed version (which is now available from Campagnolo with the Potenza groupset) for Heather to try on her Athena 11 triple equipped bike. Once we knew those worked well, it was time to try the 10-speed version.

We're happy to report that in our tests the 10-speed version worked just fine, so the cassettes have been ordered and will be installed on all of our "standard" rental bikes for 2017.

Including our new prototype, which we'll add to our rental fleet along with some other sizes if things go to plan, our entire rental fleet will offer very close to 1 to 1 gearing to help you make it up even the steepest climb.

Adding a rental bike to your vacation is inexpensive at only $299 ("classic" or "standard" your choice) for the duration of your CycleItalia vacation. Just bring your pedals and (optional) saddle.

If you're spec'ing out your own bike for a CycleItalia tour, we suggest you do the same. Fitting the lowest gearing you can on your bike is worth the effort and expense. In almost 3 decades of challenging cycling in Italy we have yet to meet a single person who regretted fitting low gears. On the other hand, we have met plenty of folks who regretted NOT taking our advice!

The right attitude combined with the right gearing will get you up any hill or mountain, no matter how long or how steep.