rapha pro team gloves

rapha pro team gloves

hard men such as the mighty dave t and brian smith seem perfectly at ease wearing either regular short finger mitts in the depths of winter (in the case of the mighty dave) or no gloves at all in the case of smiffy. of course, i've never ridden in winter with brian, so i'm taking his word as gospel that he's still the archetypal hard scotsman. sadly, the only time the adjective hard is used in my own case, is when combined with the word headed, since i am often wont to wear long-fingered gloves during what passes for the scottish summer. i put it down to poor circulation, but others have been less kindly.

however, while this winter continues to be one of the coldest i can remember for many a long year, there is no way on earth i'm kitting up like either of the two aforementioned stalwarts; for the last couple of weeks it's been winter hat, thick woolen jersey, winter tights and socks and the inevitable softshell. and pedalling like a madman to get warm and stay that way.

however, the appropriate level of handcovering has often been a bit of a problem, for though the digits are regularly the last appendages to receive any gainful heat, i could still do with a bit of flexibility for changing gear and trying hard not to grab handfuls of brake on slippery surfaces. life may have been easier when the gear lever on every bike with bendy bars was securely affixed to the down-tube. don't get me wrong, i have no great desire to return to those halcyon days, but integrated shifters require a modicum of deftness; at least they do in my case. and if, like me, you have/had shifters from all of the big three under gloved hands, it's hard enough remembering which one you're using.

many a winter glove provides oodles of duvet-like insulation which rather precludes flexibility, while such as those from rapha being reviewed here offer lashings of the latter, but precious little of the former. continually working on the mantra that if i'm cosy in the first five kilometres, then i'm over-dressed, rapha's pro team winter training and racing gloves fit well within the criteria: yesterday i had covered almost 14km before those little fingers were willing to say hello to the rest of my hands.

of course, that's a bit like riding behind bradley on the ventoux wearing 28mm tyres; that's not what they were designed for and it just isn't going to work. the gloves are the heavier brothers of the pro team mitts, sporting lycra backs and leather palms. the lycra is of a heavier grade than the mitts, but by no stretch of the imagination could it be described as thermal, and to give credit, rapha have not tried to infer any such thing. these are categorised as of the racing and training variety (see ref. brian smith above)

rapha pro team gloves

once the hands are warm, however, my hands did not return to their initial state of frigidity, even if stopped for a while to admire the view and scoff a piece of mrs washingmachinepost's christmas cake. and to advertise their enhanced degree of flexibility in the face of adversity, taking photos with a lumix compact was savoured ease; it was possible to access all those tiny little closely packed silver buttons without so much as a sheep with red eye. the leather padding, characteristically, is the same as used by the mod for their snipers (presumably in winter too) and has been judged to a tee: no more, no less. getting them on and off is aided by a trademark pink loop at the base of the palm, a loop that looks as if it wouldn't last five minutes, yet has survived an uncanny degree of ham-fistedness for many a cold enhanced day.

in retrospect, if you're looking for warmth, comfort and are willing to put up with a bit of difficulty on the levers and water bottle, then sleeping bags for the hands would likely be a more appropriate choice. however, if style creeps in along the way, and you'd rather cycle with hands at the end of your wrists as opposed to wrapped candy floss, then rapha's pro team gloves might be well worth a try. and just to underline the development schedule for these, and how long it takes to get it just right, graeme raeburn (hero of the winter 1000km) wore prototypes of these to victory in the folding bike race at the edinburgh nocturne, and that was on 30th may 2009. these arrived hotfingered from perren street just before christmas.

and they'll do me nicely until summer comes along: around september i believe it is this year.

rapha pro team gloves are available in black only, in sizes from x-small all the way to x-large. however, the review pair were large size and i'd normally take a medium, so you might want to shift up a size if ordering. cost is £60 ($85)


posted monday 4 january 2010

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lucozade sport

lucozade energy bar

at the end of my third year in primary school, i was presented with a slim, pale blue volume about dinosaurs as just reward for perfect attendance. as i recall, i was one of only two to be rewarded in this way, proving, if anything, that turning up and sitting behind a desk on every required day wasn't all that common in a class of about 45 kids. that was the only year that such a presentation was made; every subsequent year at school, certainly during my primary years, i managed to be ill on at least one occasion.

the procedure, in our house at least, for dealing with unwell children, was to be confined to bed with whatever ailment was currently in progress, perhaps interspersed with a visit from the doctor (yes, those were the days when they made house calls) and a glass of lucozade on the bedside table. sometimes it wasn't lucozade; we're scottish, so the glass might oft times be filled with ferguzade, to all intents and purposes the same liquid, but the bottle had a label with tartan on it. (ferguzade disappeared from view around the end of the 1970s).

the justification for the glass of orange fizz was the need to rebuild my constitution: glucose. it will surprise you not too much that as a child of primary school age, my knowledge of sports nutrition was rather limited, a state of affairs that has not progressed greatly in the intervening period. however, it has not escaped my attention that the numbers proposed by way of calorific and protein intake for the average man or woman in the street, are somewhat on the lowish side for those of us who are inclined to go out and hurt ourselves on our bikes. something many of us do with alarming regularity. and as a vegetarian, it is necessitous that i pay just a wee bit more attention than most. wouldn't want to fall over unannounced.

lucozade powdered drinks

so yesterday's comments nothwithstanding, regarding the need to indulge in any form of structured training, it is incumbent on the modern day cyclist to cram in a few more calories, grams of protein and isotonic liquid than would normally be the case if sitting on the couch watching the hollyoaks omnibus. if you read enough cycling literature you will be aware that there are a substantial number of vendors offering a variety of products to take care of this end of the cycling business.

while all this has been coming to fruition over the years, someone at lucozade has not only been keeping one eye on the market, but used the other eye to realise that a wealth of relevant experience is contained within their filing cabinets and staff expertise. lucozade sport has been available in a variety of formats for a good number of years, but the fact that you could buy it in your local supermarket perhaps undermined any serious sporting value it may have had. however, now they've become serious players in the sports nutrition market with a new range of products designed not only to appeal to the sportingly inclined, but to actually benefit their metabolism.

lucozade is not an unknown flavour, unlike one or two carbo and isotonic drinks that have occupied my bottle cage over the years, so there are no real surprises: no matter how beneficial energy bars and drinks purport to be, they will have no effect at all if they're too horrible to consume. for the past month or so, i have been fuelling my less than killer rides with lucozade hydro active low calorie hydration powder, isotonic endurance carbohydrate and electrolyte powder, and sport body fuel energy bars. upon return from my exhaustive workouts, having washed down the colnago, laundered and ironed my clothing, i have recovered by way of lucozade accelerated muscle recovery protein and carbohydrate powder. i think it may be stating the obvious to point out that the aforementioned powders are added to water to make rather efficacious drinks.

lucozade recovery

like most of you, i do not have recourse to several teams of sports nutritionists and biologists, so i can only go on what the stuff tastes like and whether i feel any better than i did when none of this mattered. the munchie bar resembles rice krispies with a thin coating of marmaladey stuff on one side, and tastes accordingly; rather fine, if truth be told and the ideal accompaniment to a soya cappuccino mid-ride. i've not quite pushed myself to the levels where calorific intake has become a matter of life and death, but a bunch of flavoured rice krispies, enhanced with a multitude of calories, makes for a very palatable snack as the kilometres roll by. aided by either of the powders (which come in bottle-sized portion foils for ease of use) mixed as liquid intake, even three hour rides have not placed undue demand on taste or thirst buds.

however, the bit that has given cause for surprise is the tropical recovery drink. this i have in a very modern looking 1kg+ plastic tub complete with scoop buried in the powder. because of the starchy consistency of this, i have refrained from mixing this in the water bottle, as it's murder to clean out of all the corners. save yourself the bother, and mix in a glass. i'm not trying to kid you that i've undertaken any recent rides that necessarily require to be recovered from, but a glass after every ride of an hour or more really and truly seems to make a difference. i didn't believe it, so i missed this stage out after a few cold, lengthy rides, and the change is palpable. it's not particularly scientific, but i'm taking notice.

if spending a few days in bed when you were a kid was also aided by a glass of lucozade, re-live those experiences of health improvement by adding some lucozade sport products to your cycling arsenal. it does actually seem to live up to promise, and exactly what it says on the tin or wrapper. and on a frighteningly superficial level that would make those lucozade boffins squirm, if nothing else it all tastes rather good.

lucozade sport products are distributed to the cycle trade by windwave


posted sunday 3 january 2010

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just (don't) do it

just don't - ok?

it's january 2nd. the festivities of a new year are all but over, though since this is a saturday, there are likely small armies of the bottle-carrying, wending a less than straight line between neighbouring houses intent on prolonging mist and haze. all that fol-de-rol of wishing everyone you meet, a happy new year, and kissing complete strangers on the cheek, has thankfully passed (you can tell i have carried over the bah humbug from christmas). it has now come down to wondering what that festive season anti-climax was all about, and facing the reality of back to work at sometime during the forthcoming week, month, year.

but, as it is the start of a new year, some will have walked that well-trodden path of the new year's resolution, a practical joke if ever there was one, and most of us fall for it every year. one of the newspapers carried an article during this past week to the effect that making any form of new year's resolution is not only a waste of time, but likely counter-productive into the bargain. it seems that very, very few of us ever stick to these, and when it becomes apparent that this is the case, we become more despondent and disillusioned than would have been the case had we left well alone in the first place.

i realised some time ago, that the best way of getting past this disappointment was to make resolutions that would be very hard to break, short of an international catastrophe, like global warming developing well ahead of time. endeavouring to ride my bike more often, trying to clean the company colnago just a bit more than last year, and check the tyre pressures once a week if i remember. that pretty much ought to do it; i can't see despondency and disappointment getting the better of me anytime soon.

but the party can be not only spoiled, but dashed to the ground by those first issues of the monthly magazines as the postal service returns to normal, or the newsagent opens on day two. with copious articles pertaining to one's forthcoming season (do we have such a thing?), and the necessary intake of nutrients and carbohydrates, notions of guilt arise above the mushroom and nut roulade and the last vestiges of christmas pud with vanilla custard. the implication here is that everyone else has a season, and i'm going to look very remiss, out of sorts and positively bedraggled, as my friends and accomplices leave me for dead at the summit of every humpty back bridge.

will i now have to refer to that quick whizz to debbie's as training? does nobody just go for a bike ride anymore?

the necessity to accomplish a healthy (?) dose of hill reps up port askaig brae, rear pockets bulging with energy bars, heart rate monitor providing numbers in the lower three digits, while my power output receives letters of offer from the national grid, is being ingrained in the psyche. why else would i/we own carbon fibre capable of being ridden to victory in the tour or classic of your choice? will people point and snigger in the street if i have ignored and turned the page to read fourteen ways to prepare my bike for winter?

quite frankly: no.

nothing is better than going for a ride on your bike with nothing murmuring under that helmet than the actuality of going for a ride on your bike. those who do have a season ahead of them won't be reading this anyway, because there's all that data to be downloaded, examined closely then e-mailed to the coach, before mixing some carbo drink for next day's pain and suffering. please don't take this the wrong way; fitness, stamina and speed can but enhance just going for a ride on your bike, just so long as it doesn't become the be all and end all. but i feel that those of us who don't have a season stretching out ahead, definitely the riding majority, but likely the idealistic minority, are passed over when the contents are being mapped out in early december.

if you feel, as i do, an uncanny pressure to involve oneself in the minutiae of training schedules and restricted eating habits, then simply do as i do: read it, but like everything else in life, don't take it too seriously. the writers are professionals, and there are often individual snippets of information hitherto misunderstood or ignored that can safely be utilised without turning into a contender for that last seat on the sky team bus. by all means wear your assos, castelli or rapha: sporting pretensions they may advertise, but comfort on the bike they certainly provide. i'm somewhat loathe to go as far as stating that you should never let substance get in the way of style, but try holding that thought.

depending on your social aspirations or neighbourhood, you may have already noticed that, in the uk at least, as cyclists we are a breed apart (don't deny it; you know this to be true). perhaps one could even stretch as far as to classify us as individuals. try to keep it that way: follow your own path for 2010. if it coincides with others, so much the better, but never let it get in the way of a decent bike ride. (bradley and dean should ignore the foregoing)

did i just become bikesnobnyc?


posted saturday 2 january 2010

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cereal investment


this may be subliminal, and it may be the new secret way of announcing intended sponsorship, but you know how there are these major announcements in the cycling press when one team or another adds another name to their jersey? well i think i have identified the next phase, the next way in which those very clever marketing guys condition us to forthcoming sponsorship announcements, before a single word hits print. agreed, it's new year's day, and there may be one or two of you privately expressing concerns over my state of sobriety. but let me assure you that new year's eve was spent behind a drum kit and lubrication confined to iced water (well, it was new year). so i have great confidence that i'm really onto something here.

hark back to late last week, when the subject of conversation was waffles; since they're so yummy, and one could easily over-indulge, it has been collectively decided that ritual waffle-making will be confined to weekends. and new year's day. it turns out that authentic belgian waffles contain baker's yeast in the mix, something i bought at the supermarket during the week. before entering the world of rock'n'roll last eve (well, celidh and country if we're being pedantic) i had created a belgian waffle mix in anticipation of gnawing hunger on return from this morning's new year's ride.

i was not far from actuality, and a couple of fluffy belgian waffles with banana and maple syrup staved off the pangs before exiting this hip scene to spend another few hours behind a snare drum. and it was while i was conscientiously munching, that the great master plan was gloriously revealed. a bit like one of those zen koans we mulled over the other day.

take a look at the little character at the top of this article. despite more than a passing resemblance to jonathan vaughters (clue number one), take a look at his mode of apparel. remind you of anything? exactly, it's a garmin cycle jersey. this little chap is displayed upside down on the back of a cheerios cereal packet. initially i thought little of it (and that's just what they'd expect me to do); it could have affinity to the golfing world, where argyle sweaters are close to uniformity. but the colour scheme is most definitely blue and orange, and that can mean only one thing.

yes, you can laugh and ridicule, but who is the one that's going to be displaying a smug grin when cheerios announce their multi-million investment in the garmin cycle team shortly after this year's tour de france?then you'll sit up and take notice. (bit doubtful about those armwarmers though)

happy new year to you all, and thanks for visiting in 2009


posted friday 1 january 2010

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colnago clx 2.0

colnago clx 2.0

it's sod's law really. no sooner had i finished three months' worth of riding and subsequently writing about a campagnolo equipped colnago clx, than colnago announced its successor. the ideal situation would have been to drop off the white bike and replace it with the black carbon version, but life and bike testing doesn't quite work that way; luckily that part of the memory still does. still, the new version did arrive in late november inside a bright red bikebox for a visit to civilisation.

forward development isn't always necessarily just the solution we're all looking for; bigger tubes, increased stiffness and a semi-integrated headset might a) not be everyone's idea of improvement and b) not the slickest cookie on the block... the review


posted thursday 31 december 2009

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the cyclevox interview - later that same year


i last interviewed anthony mccrossan and brian smith at the beginning of this year, but in view of the fact that the number of press releases emanating from the boardroom has gone from a few drips to a veritable flood, would indicate that things are happening in the world of cycling at an ever increasing rate. the fact that their company, cyclevox, has increased its personnel from two to six in those intervening months, underlines this perception.

cyclevox, aside from continuing to work hard at increasing the amount of money coming into cycling from the outside, may have inadvertantly set themselves as a barometer of the sport's popularity: if morecambe and mcwise are puffing and panting (except on the bike; that's quite normal), then british cycle racing in particular, can be seen to be in a fine state of health.

of course, all the foregoing is highly incidental: interviewing ant and smiffy, even by e-mail, is a highly entertaining business, and that 's always a good thing, whether at new year, or any other time.

read the interview


posted wednesday 30 december 2009

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garmin edge 500

garmin edge 500

i have racked my small excuse of a brain for a fourth circle in my venn diagram that would intersect with the three that i have managed (struggled) to come up with, but to no avail. at this point i can only conceive of three distinct flavours of cyclist that characterise the persona, but distinct only in that they meet in the middle. this is not one of those smash hits type questionnaires where you have to find to which category you belong; that would be silly.

but it does have bearing on the logical outcome of that which follows.

the obvious starter for ten is the racing cyclist: this person (i'm aware that numbers extend far beyond one, but i have no wish to dig myself into a grammatical hole by means of multiplication) either races occasionally, regularly, or not at all. the last statement is not at variance with my theory, since wannabes do everything by the book, but on their own. this discipline requires acting on every article ever read in the cycling press regarding fitness, nutrition and training, even if these are seen to be contradictory. regular five hour rides, interspersed with the occasional fartlek (brussel sprouts at christmas lunch) and hill reps provide an inner glow that is hard to disguise. or conversely, they feel like sh*t and just want to sleep all day.

numbers are the controlling factor in their racing careers, whether it be heart rate, power output, cadence, distance, average speed. i feel i need expound no more. you'll know if this is your category even if you're loathe to admit it in polite company.

second circle on this mythical venn diagram is the bicycle obsessed. a degree of fitness and modicum of speed is a welcome state of affairs, but merely as a means to an end, and rarely, if ever, an end in and of itself. the way the tubes are joined: lugged or tig welded; smooth or chunky aluminium welds; monocoque carbon, lugged or wrapped joints. is the bottom bracket italian or english thread, still square taper or fixed to one crank; perhaps even a bb30? this individual can often recite the frame angles of a pinarello dogma as compared to those of a cannondale six. don't get me wrong, this is not a state of affairs to be ashamed of or to be pitied. granted it is the cycling equivalent of a trainspotter, but they have fun too, don't they? it's the converse of lance's it's not about the bike.

garmin edge 500

and thirdly, there are those who care not one whit for either of the above. the bicycle itself is a means to an end, a way to get out and about under one's own steam, so to speak. to travel the well trodden path to and from work, or the great outdoors to be visited at weekends and holidays, perhaps laden with the majority of personal effects. fitness and nutrition here come as by-products and are to be encouraged and enhanced only to the point where the world can be enjoyed from the saddle without incumbent exhaustion.

so what in the heck has all this to do with a garmin 500 gps unit? quite a surprising amount, you may be encouraged to hear. gps cycle units as a whole, and there are not that many who have entered the fray, are perhaps our equivalent of the black box flight recorder. the latter device is pretty much ignored until something goes wrong, or recorded parameters require verification. in the case of the edge 500, this is probably just as well, because some of those numbers are awfully hard to see when you're pedalling slowly, let alone at speed.

effectively, there are three windows which can be switched between at the press of a button. how easy it is to press those buttons, depends on the plushness of your winter gloves. there are two bumps on each side of the device with a combination of functions depending on what the required outcome is. each window contains a maximum of eight data fields, and in each of those data fields, you can choose from up to 41 different sets of data. numbers such as time of day, heart rate, distance, speed, elevation, calories; even the surrounding temperature: i'm sure you get the picture. the default setting when new is five fields to a page which seems the sensible option to me, giving one large, easily readable number at the top, accompanied by four smaller readouts below.

garmin training centre

when the weather's dull and cloudy, reading these is not too much of a chore, though the smaller ones will depend on how dark those oakleys are, and how good your eyesight still is. when it's sunny and bright, the best you might manage is your puffing and panting reflection. however, as i mentioned above, think of it as a black box flight recorder, and you'll get on much better. this is because, with the aid of nothing more than a small black usb cable and a computer, all the information recorded (you did start the timer didn't you?) can be downloaded and analysed to the nth degree. you can also set training parameters: a set of beeps when above or below the desired numbers.

the first of our categories above will obsess over such binary digits and displayed prowess. or perhaps their coach will. the 500 is smaller than its big brother, the edge 705, partly because the display is smaller, and partly because it doesn't do maps (which were never a cheap option anyway). it can provide a gps reading to help ascertain geographical location (our third group of riders), and the computer software can later use this to overlay your route on a map, should you be at all interested.

category one riders (see what i did there?) will be happy to employ the enclosed chest strap for heart-rate information, the chainstay mounted sensor for cadence and speed. should the 500 fail to acquire any satellites, or when the obsession and weather do not coincide, and you have to employ a turbo trainer. the speed sensor works on the rear wheel for just this reason. unfortunately, on the bike i used as a testbed, the shape of the chainstays prevented my fitting of the magnet, because it clouted the sensor arm on each wheel revolution. moving the sensor rearwards to avoid this, would have prevented the selfsame sensor from lining up with the pedal cadence magnet.

garmin data fields

while we're on the subject of the latter, please read the manual properly before fitting like i didn't. the crank magnet and sensor have to be lined rather precisely to get any readout at all; you'll feel like a total chump when you discover this several kilometres into a three hour ride.

because garmin units are ant+ enabled, any similarly enabled accessory can be identified by the head unit; this is how the hrm and cadence both work. but there is a third option set to no by default and that involves your power output. or lack of it. i didn't take this any further this time round, but the saris power tap series of rear hubs are also ant+ compatible, so fitting one of those means you need wheel only, with readout and data storage handled by the garmin.

a notable area of improvement over the 705, is the stem fitting bracket. after only a few months, the 705 implementation suffered greatly from plastic deterioration, resulting in it experiencing a couple of tumbles onto the ground under speeding wheels. the 500 comes with a mini heli-pad strapped to the stem by means of little black bungee cords. the underside of the unit owns the female to the stem's male: slotting the unit in at right angles, then twisting clockwise holds the whole edifice very firmly to the bicycle. there was no rattling and no sideways movement when pressing random buttons while in-flight. success, i would say.

our middle category of rider would seem to be the odd one out with regard to this machine, but no matter how sophisticated data recorders become, there will always be some of us (who, me?) for whom numbers just get in the way. the depending factor is just how much of an intersection you have with one and three, and how necessary those hated numbers become. the edge 500 costs around £250, and arrives with usb/charging cable, software on a disc (windows and mac compatible), cadence/speed sensor, hrm chest strap, two mounting brackets and attendant bungees.

all you need now is to fix yourself in one of the categories above and decide how much of an overlap you're willing to cater for. oh what the heck, buy one anyway, you know you want to.


posted tuesday 29 december 2009

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(un)boxing day

cielo before departure

the well informed and appreciative amongst you will likely have had cause to experience apple computer's adventurous and stylish packaging. based on the percentage of windows based machines in the world, much of this may have been via those smoothly crafted boxes in which ipods reside. if we're perfectly honest with each other, the packaging is just as big a part of the consumer experience as the item that has been packaged. unfortunately, this is an aspect of industrial design that the bicycle industry has either chosen to ignore, or one that sneaked up while it was looking the other way.

until now, that is.

the gnashing of expectant teeth (there's a phrase you don't hear too often) can now reach a state of eqanimous equanimity, as i can now let you know what was in that mystery package, tantalisingly not revealed just before christmas. those who have experience of receiving packaged bicycles will know of which i speak. either a thin box apparently filled with a year's worth of bubble wrap and corrugated cardboard held together with zip ties, or those ready to ride boxes favoured by the few, on which council tax and stamp duty is likely due. neither enhance the experience of receipt in any satisfactory way. you and i are both desperate to dispense with the above as fiendishly quick as possible, and get to the main business of the day.

jay sycip, the affable chief of staff at cielo bicycles, has our very best interests at heart, making sure that those of us in receipt of a cielo frame, and ancillary components, will enjoy the experience from start to finish. thus, that hitherto unheralded box that has explored much of the scottish mainland, is more than just a bike in a box.

shipped all the way from north west nela street in portland, oregon, via federal express, this particular black, steel, chris king cielo frameset was almost too good to be true. for not only did the box contain frame and forks, but chris king's latest r415 race wheelset, built on a sparkly blue pair of the latest swift hubs. but instead of pulling hard on top flaps to get at the contents, this cielo emblazoned box, of thinner recycled card than is usually the case, bears printed instructions on which side is to be placed face down when opening.

cielo on islay

rather than the box remaining vertical, the cielo package is set on the ground like a large chocolate box; cutting carefully through the tape keeping it closed, the lid is opened upwards and away from the drooling recipient (you'd better believe it). inside, accompanied by the absolute minimum of bubble wrap, top to bottom was the frame sandwiched between a front and rear wheel. the lack of bubble wrap was of no concern whatsoever, since five, slotted triangulated towers of card kept each layer from interacting with those below and above. to prevent any of the above bicycle parts from shifting in transit, the inward facing point of the triangle featured a vertical cardboard tube, which not only retained the wheels in situ, but prevented any untoward external activity from collapsing the box on its contents. the forks were contained inside a smaller box taped to the bottom surface.

if you doubt the strength and integrity of this arrangement, bear in mind that edifice had endured the following: fedex to pdx; flight to glasgow via amsterdam; fedex to inverness (yes, really), oban express from inverness to oban, then on to mundells' at tarbert. haulage from tarbert to the calmac ferry before delivery to washingmachinepost cottage. the top photo shows the box in portland prior to departure. the next pic shows it after a day or two on islay.

why, i hear you ask, was it still in the selfsame box after a few days on islay? surely my eagerness could not have let it sit in its cardboard enclave for that length of time? well, as i have alluded to above, packaging the cielo in this manner, aside from the necessary degree of pragmatism, was designed to enhance the customer experience. and i don't mind telling you that every day since it arrived, i have extricated the box from its residence in the bike shed, and simply opened and stared, before putting it back to do the same next day. 'appreciate, appreciate...' as billy connolly would have said. how often do you take delivery of a cielo frame?

cielo on islay box top

chris king cielo frames can currently be had all across the usa, either direct from portland, or from river city bicycles n the selfsame city. the latter are likely to sell you the cielo as a complete bicycle, but if you order direct, your frame (and wheels, if applicable) will arrive in the selfsame manner; it's the modern way.

the cielo that currently resides in bowmore is, as far as i know, currently the only one in scotland, and likely the uk. this, however, will not always be the case, as the uk chris king importers, evolution imports, expect to start bringing these across the atlantic within the foreseeable future. the metallic black example that has spent the afternoon on my workstand will be the subject of a long-term test, fitted as it is with a chris king sotto voce no-threadset, and chris king bottom bracket; all in the same wonderful blue anodising that identifies the wheels. i intend to post a veritable slew of photos and likely create a cielo link on the navigation to your left, where relevant articles such as this one will be safely stored for your reading pleasure.

from now on, i'm thinking outside the box.

it's worth noting that chris king precision components in portland, oregon use only apple macintosh computers. if you'd like to be informed of evolution imports' progress regarding the availability of the chris king cielo in the uk, send an e-mail to

chris king | cielo bicycles | evolution imports


posted monday 28 december 2009

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