many a long year ago, in the early stages of my career as a pixel wrangler, i was afforded the opportunity to visit scotland to better acquaint myself with aspects of the software dictated by my job. these usually took the form of experts from companies such as quark, adobe and apple pointing out the endless advantages of using their products combined with the technologies they were keen to foist upon the unwary. given the remoteness of my regular domicile, i had every expectation of being seen as somewhat of a hick from the sticks in relation to the be-suited representatives of big business and educational establishments all across the land.
for while most were dressed in white shirts and ties, with immaculately coiffeured hair and the occasional tidy moustache, i was the personification and embodiment of designer scruff (and still am, come to that). and midst the leather briefcases, my ever so slightly scruffy rucksack stood out like a sore thumb.
however, when it came to the seminars themselves, most, if not all those pristinely dressed attendees proved themselves to be less well appraised of the subjects under consideration than was i. in fact, it is something of a fiction of contemporary rural or island life, that the residents of same are less than contemporary in their level of sophistication. that two hour ferry journey from scotland is simply that; though daily life on the isles may be less hurried than euston station at 8am, the boat trip is not quite equal to going back in time. it's only the brochures proffered by visitscotland that aver that particular untruth.
i have made previous mention of the cattle grid near knocklearach farm, the one in which each individual spar had loosed itself from the straight and narrow, and offered a vicious steel corner to the unsuspecting cyclist. i myself blew out a front tyre by riding across its incivility on one occasion, and there were a few participating in the ride of the falling rain a couple of years ago who did likewise. since latterly arriving at the grid at speed would have made one familiar with hospital food for a couple of weeks at least, i had petitioned the roads department for one of three options: clearly marked signs pointing out the sad state of repair; an effective repair itself, or replacement of the entire grid.
in practice, argyll and bute roads department opted for options one and two, and though it took several months longer than anticipated, eventually the offending spars were levelled and subsequently bolted to the ground. we cheered. we even went so far as to send an e-mail of commendation to the local roads engineer in gratitude of this much delayed benefit to indigenous and visiting cyclists.
but then, on a part of last year's festive 500 i approached the selfsame cattle grid to find it blocked to traffic via the two signs that had been put in place almost a year ago. and the adjacent gate left open to allow traffic flow to and from ballygrant village. all that time and our hearty congratulations gone to waste.
however, it seems that the congratulatory missive to the roads engineer had not been idly squandered, for only last week, while ascending the hill at storakaig like a demon on the colnago c59, it was a delightful surprise to discover that the errant grid had been completely removed and replaced with a new, one-piece affair. since the grid is approached from a slight downhill when proceeding north, it is now possible once again, to simply freewheel with gravitational assistance and roll across on our way to knocklearach farm. don't you just love it when a plan comes together?
however, as the mighty dave t, lord carlos of mercian and yours truly headed that way as a part of the past weekend's sunday ride, questions were asked within the peloton as to why we had not been asked to officially open this new cattle grid. surely its imposition as a part of the pelotonic travail was an occasion worth celebrating in at least semi-official fashion? so rather than wait to be asked, we decided there was no time like the present, and we would simply carry out the ceremony by ourselves, aided and abetted by the ten second timer on my lumix to record the moment for posterity.
we have decided that, from this moment onwards, it will be known as the joop zoetemelk grid, if only because no-one locally will have the faintest notion of whom or which we speak.
now i would like to immediately disavow you of the impression that occasions such as the fitting of a new cattle grid, constitute a major highlight in the fabric of our island society. with events of national and international importance taking place in all four corners of the world, a cattle grid that keeps three cyclists happy for about five minutes, is probably unlikely to make the front page of the guardian. but it's an inescapable fact that the importance of a news item is subject to a degree of subjectivity, and it certainly made our weekend. subjectively speaking.
and there is no truth whatsoever that we have been collectively approached to star in a new series of last of the summer wine.
monday 4th march 2013..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
bob wishart was his name. a small fellow who wore the duty managers' regalia of black pinstripe trousers, black jacket, white shirt and black tie, a uniform that seemed slightly at odds with some of the tasks demanded of him. he was smaller than me, with swept back, sandy coloured hair, small features and a rather pointy nose. there's little doubting he was a fair man in respect of his daily duties, but not one you would wish to cross by neglecting your own.
as an art student in apparently gainful summer holiday employ, i pretty much failed to live up to the notion of respectability that my father wished i would inhabit. longer than shoulder length hair and a propensity to wear the company tie to hold up my overly-large trousers did little to endear me to any manner of authority, and in true art student style, i could care less. however, mr wishart found this attitude more one to be humoured than disparaged, and a stance that could be successfully undermined while in polite company. add to this my adherence to a vegetarian diet, and i had unwittingly set myself up as an easy target.
"i had no idea that carrots provided muscles" was the most pointed carp at my dietary choice that i can recall. as an employee in the stores department, it was a part of the daily toil to shift a seemingly endless number of beer kegs to the various bars dotted about the premises, a task that did not favour those with pipecleaner muscles. apparently skinny boys like me were rarely successful in such heavy-duty tasks; my vegetarianism offered just the quarry that it seemed management were after.
john hannet, at one time the practice nurse at the doctor's surgery just around the corner. it was he who was responsible for having sent out letters to all those of a certain age to attend the surgery for blood pressure and cholesterol checks. purely for health purposes you understand. well, actually i didn't, and was somewhat incensed that a honed athlete such as myself should be called in for what i regarded as spurious reasoning. in fact, i rather unfairly challenged mr hannet to join me on the sunday ride; then we'd see who needed a fitness check-up. rightly or wrongly, we now have an understanding that i'll call them, they needn't bother calling me.
of course, the latter is an embedded and unjustifiable arrogance on my part. just because i can cheerfully ride nigh-on 100km without undue despair, despite refraining from the ingestion of meat products, does not necessarily indicate that my health is beyond reproach. but, there's no telling me.
anita bean's comprehensive complete guide to sports nutrition is a substantial volume that really ought to be on the bookshelf of anyone who indulges in any form of sporting activity, whether for competitive purposes or otherwise. were i in any doubt as to the efficacy of my vegetarianism, the nine page chapter on the vegetarian athlete provided many a salient paragraph to ease any concerns i might conceivably have had. and the excellent chapter on hydration undermines the long held belief that the quickly pedalling ought to drink prior to the onset of thirst. until now the admonition that thirst was an indicator several steps too late, has now been exposed for the fallacy it apparently is.
in fact, it seems that not all scientists even agree that dehydration (up to point) impairs performance.
it would seem that there are no aspects of nutrition and hydration that ms. bean leaves unturned, along with the necessary attributions as to her sources. how one ought to pragmatically lose weight, yet continue to eat and drink to retain the performance level one thinks one has; the female athlete; body fat and dietary fat and the young athlete are all subjects comprehensively covered via colour-coded chapters. and while aspects of the science are slightly inscrutable to the more passive reader (me, for instance), there's a substantial section towards the back of the book containing calorie controlled menu suggestions (for vegetarians too) and a set of recipes that will have you drooling all over the pages. perhaps bloomsbury ought to have printed this particular section on greaseproof paper.
i cannot deny that this is a book i would have glossed over had i come across it on the shelves of waterstone's or the pages of amazon which, i now realise, would have been a major mistake. as the years roll by and the desire to remain fit and healthy gains ground, i have at my fingertips the very knowledge that will allow me to continue those robert millar impersonations well into my dotage. and for those of you in your tender years, or suddenly responsible for catering to the needs of the young cyclist of today, this is the reference manual you simpy cannot live without. mr wishart would have approved, even if he did require me to wear a woolly hat to keep that lengthy hair at bay.
sunday 3rd march 2013..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
sitting on the coach yesterday morning, travelling back from scotland to civilisation, it warmed the cockles of my merino jumper no end to view the number of folks pedalling their way along glasgow's great western road, presumably on their way to work. salubriousness of velocipede is, i would venture, not a major priority when choosing a machine that will survive the grit and determination provided by a scottish winter, so the majority of the bicycles i observed were of less than world-tour, or even pro-continental standard. that, however, is of no nevermind.
however, one would presume that during a winter of riding to work at least five days a week, it would be in the riders' best interests to have the bicycle start first time each morning. there is little more humiliating to the bona-fide cyclist than to have one's neighbours clamber into their fords and beamers while vainly attempting to force the cycle into some resemblance of action. which is why my eyes were drawn to a bearded gentleman riding a sturmey archer equipped bicycle with a chain that was so bright orange in colour, it would almost have passed for hi-viz.
and despite my being ensconced within a state of the art, double-glazed coach, i could still hear the darned thing squeaking. what bothers me more is why could he not?
not all of us have mechanical tendencies; that's what bike shops are for. and not all of us are mightily impressed by the shinyness of a well polished peloton of bicycles during the tour each year, and subsequently fixated on making sure that not only the outer plates on the chain reflect the sun (a little scottish joke there), but also those facing the rear wheel spokes. and it doesn't just stop there, for there seems little point in one shine surrounded by an easily remedied dullness of chainset and hub. to be quite pointed in this respect, none of the foregoing depend on any mechanical knowledge whatsoever; if you can clean the screen on your flat-panel television, you sure as heck can clean and oil a chain.
when i was of school age, my parents pretty much drilled it into my psyche that it was all very well riding my raleigh twenty to school each and every day, but come friday eve or saturday morning, that chain had to be oiled, and in those pre-'spray lube' days, it had to be done in a very specific manner. after running an oily rag across its sequential tactility, a single drop of three-in-one oil should be applied to each pin all around its circumference. there was seemingly no need for oil on the side-plates, merely on the moving parts.
life is a great deal simpler now. lubricant sprays abound, and if you're less than concerned as to where the excess from that spray alights, 'tis but a mere doddle to spin the pedals backwards and liberally douse the cassette. however, many a lubricant, in whichever format you choose, will have a tendency to attract grit, therefore this inadvertent excess may render shiny parts less than mirror-like, so it becomes more prudent to revert to a verisimilitude of the three-in-one method of yore. and true to technological form, there's also a modern equivalent of the oily rag.
in the last of my current series of morgan blue reviews, while in possession of the recently spoken about colnago c59 disc, i felt it necessary to maintain the lustre and smooth runningness of its person, and thus frequently employed the services of mb's chain cleaner subsequently reinforced by precise application of their race oil.
the chain cleaner is contained in a one litre bottle; a clear blue (what else) liquid that can be applied in whichever manner you deem most appropriate. i soaked an old rag in the substance and worked it well into the chain, before rinsing off with plain old tap water, then drying with another from my infinite collection of oily and not so oily rags. as a rather volatile liquid, it took only a matter of minutes for the degreaser to evaporate, leaving a blank canvas for the morgan blue race oil.
this comes in a small can with an aerosol nozzle and short applicator, making it a simple matter of directing the fine spray to the precise part of the chain in which it is required. i've no idea whether the oil is blue or not, because each application is too small and too direct to reflect any colour at all. though not something i'd generally pay much attention too, on each repetition of the above process, i was checking for any slobberiness all over the chain and in the light of same, whether the race oil was picking up any of islay's belgian toothpaste which currently occupies a disproportionate area of the single track backroads across which the dedicated hebridean plies his/her trade.
it would be unfair to subject a bicycle chain to quite the frequency of application suffered by the campagnolo eleven-speed, but a review is a review, and it was only into its second week that i left all well alone after applying the race oil subsequent to degreasing. you could, if tenacious enough, contact the chaps at colnago uk to enquire after the quality of the chain on that c59, but suffice it to say, it looked every bit as good as it did when viewed, to quote marcel wust "first thing, straight out the box".
those belgians know a thing or two about toothpaste.
morgan blue chain cleaner retails at £11.00 while the race oil costs £9.99
saturday 2nd march 2013..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
a few weeks ago, i had the great good fortune to visit the sir chris hoy velodrome,(thank you charlie) a state of the art cycling facility in the east end of glasgow. gratifyingly, i hear by word of mouth that there's currently a five-week waiting list to have a go across it's siberian spruce boards, not only a comforting thought from the point of view of the number of young scots eager to take advantage of this new opportunity, but also to confirm that glasgow's support of the 2014 commonwealth games will reach further into so-called grass-roots cycling, hopefully ensuring a bright future for the next generations of hoys.
it's something i figured i'd never see north of the border ever, having, along with most of my peer group, accepted that cycle sport would be forevermore a minority activity. however, the only certainty in this world, apart from taxation, is that of change, and the existence of sir dave's team sky, the tour win of sir brad, and the 2012 olympic success of the london games has somewhat changed the landscape of british cycling (empirically, not necessarily of the umbrella organisation) very much for the better.
while sitting in the islay/glasgow bus the other day at traffic lights in glasgow, i noted a bus shelter advertisement for a 4g mobile phone network that featured mark cavendish; not what i'd have called an everyday occurrence we'd have seen only a few years ago. were it not too unseemly, i'd have been keen to have stood up, pointed at the ad, while proclaiming myself as a lifelong cyclist.
a few years ago, i mentioned to graeme obree that he must find it comforting that the very sport and activity he had once dominated was now becoming more mainstream, to which he replied in the contrary. "i don't want hundreds of people adopting cycling" he'd said (rather tongue in cheek, i think) "i quite like to be in a minority, and keep cycling to myself." but the converse of graeme's thinly veiled opinion is that there are more folks willing to become involved, and those more interested in the commercial aspects are far more likely to agree to modest or immodest investment.
and that very situation is pretty much what has come to pass at sheffield based planet-x bikes, perhaps just as famous for their on-one brand as for their planetary moniker. they have just announced a partnership with barclays to aid a period of future growth, one that david hanney, company ceo, hopes will create at least fifty jobs over the next three years.
aside from all the foregoing reasons as to why the financial institutions may well be inclined to provide investment capital in cycling, next year's tour de france start in yorkshire is unlikely to be a factor that has escaped barclays' notice. as hanney himself says "the timing is perfect as we are all thrilled and excited at the prospect of Le Grand Depart coming to Yorkshire and the new partnership with Barclays will allow us to grow in the run up to Le Tour De France." though i am very far from even beginning to comprehend the financial necessities of business life, it would appear that planet x has placed their entire monetary trust in barclays even to the extent of having negotiated borrowing facilities for their customers through barclay's partner finance, which augurs rather well for those inclined to avail themselves of any one-one or planet-x products perhaps just slightly out of day to day financial reach.
if, like me, you like to think of cycling as a self-contained little world that need not touch the buffers of the great wide yonder, then sadly, we are living in the world of make-believe. all those bicycles, components and advertising for same have to provide a return on investment to allow the progenitors to be still around when we need spare parts or an upgrade, and it is incumbent upon those who enter the fray from across the commercial divide, to ensure that their houses are built on rock rather than sand.
it's nice to know that the bike shed has secure foundations.
friday 1st march 2013..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
modern-day professional cycle racers have gone completely soft. what a bunch of namby pambies. do you think that andy hampsten was overly concerned with a drop of snow during his daring gambit over the gavia pass in 1988? and do you think it likely that the white stuff would have prevented eddy merckx or bernard hinault from fulfilling their contractual and sporting obligations? me neither. so further to my recent posting about how disappointing it was to find riders in het nosebleed riding up the smoother sections to the side of all those lovely cobbles, the next day's kuurne-brussels-kuurne was cancelled due to a 'heavy fall of snow'.
and what is worse is that those who should have been responsible for cajoling these wastrels, the very men who sit in the warmth of a team car, were the very chaps who made the decisions on behalf of the cleated army. heaven's sake, it's february, it's the start of the classics season and every rider i saw during saturday's omploop het nosebleed appeared to be wearing every item of team clothing they owned. so where was the surprise that next day's weather was slightly more inclement? midst announcements of uk cyclocross races being cancelled due to snow, what on earth is the world of cycling coming to?
possibly, it is coming to its senses. i for one, though delighting in watching of the hardships of the belgian classics, would not for one minute be amongst their number, especially since there is little chance that i would be amongst those fighting for victory. i would be/have been, a lowly domestique, straggling along at the back wondering what on earth i had let myself in for. and to coin a well-worn scottish phrase, it looked pretty dreich. so i think that despite the disappointment for the few and for possibly all of the intended spectators, not riding in heavy snow was probably a darned good suggestion in the first place.
but what of those of us devoid of professional status, riders with little or no need to drag the colnago kicking and screaming from the comfort of its very own bike shed? despite the above underlined fact that pretty much none of us would care to venture out in such conditions (unless desperately trying to complete the rapha festive 500 before new year's eve), there are times when that inner flandrian demands to be let out to play. long-sleeve jerseys, softshell gilets, bib threequarters and neoprene overshoes are all very well for starters, but most of us are bereft of the professionals' quick-start policy, taking more kilometres than desirable to reach operating temperature.
and what do we do when we've almost achieved it? that's right, we stop somewhere for coffee and cake, after which the whole process has to be gone through again. and it is at this point that the inimitable gent, morgan blue steps up to the plate. for morgan is belgian, don't you know, and has far greater experience of cancelled one-day classics than we have had carbo gels.
rather minimally rendered as competition 1 warming oil on the blue label (what else?) the gold coloured oil occupies a 200ml clear bottle, with the clearly marked legend on the label 'competition 1 generates heat quickly after application (no massage) and doesn't draw the blood out of the muscles to the skin, so the legs don't turn red.' and i would be doing both morgan and yourselves a disservice if i didn't concur with such a direct statement. there's a brief period of anticipation when that generates heat quickly' conjures visions of each shiny, oiled leg bursting into flames. in truth, the sensation is what i might relate as pleasantly tingly, but with sufficient warming power, that all of a sudden, riding in deep snow seems a lot less onerous than it did a few minutes previously.
the instructions also allude to a typically penetrating odour, a fact that has mrs washingmachinepost and myself at loggerheads over my use of the competition 1 warming oil. to me this aroma speaks loudly of honed athlete in the house, which, midst all the sniggering, mrs twmp has singularly failed to concur. either way, its efficacy is relatively long-lasting, for not only did it provide the advertised essential warming, but continued to do so after the essential froth and carrot-cake.
i have used morgan's warming concoction during several decidedly chilly rides so far, always with excellent results, and until the weather warms sufficiently to switch to bona-fide shorts, i will happily inhabit my alter ego as gerben de knecht, black socks and all the flandrian persona that entails. and my legs will be shiny with competition 1 warming oil.
mrs washingmachinepost is wrong, by the way. honed athlete is the new black.
thursday 28th february 2013..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
one one of those sunday rides in the weeks leading up to christmas, the velo club had elected to ride over towards mulindry on the glen road, leading past the enormous iron-age fort at dun nosebridge. just before you get to the short, sharp incline at ballytarsin smiddy, the road climbs gently from puddle hole to the raw, and it was at this point that the mind of lord carlos of mercian had strayed far from the pedalling task in hand. to put it quite bluntly, he wasn't paying attention.
the first i was aware of this inattention was clunk on my back wheel, something i thought self-induced by not having tightened the rear skewer properly leading to the rear wheel pulling to the non-drive side. as i stopped to effect repair, a clattering sound from behind, midst human cries of pain made it rather all too clear, that lord carlos in the throes of his daydream, had cycled into my back tyre and succumbed to gravitational pull. though only mildly bashed-up as a result of this slow-speed fall, one side of his giro helmet was in, shall we say, a daunting state of disrepair. lord carlos would be the first to admit a certain reticence to his sunday morning velocity, and this unexpected accident (are any of them ever anticipated?) likely took place a only a couple of kilometres per hour, given that we were both in the process of cresting a hill, and he is no marco pantani.
had he not been wearing his helmet, i'm not sure he would be thinking straight even yet.
then, only a couple of weeks ago, the mighty dave-t and i took leave of each other after a fine pair of cappuccinos at debbie's, he heading south to the principality of port wemyss, and i in the opposite direction on my way home. a few kilometres or so south of port charlotte, he stood up on the pedals to begin the laborious ascent of the mud infested hill at octofad, at which point, his chain gave way and he stylishly headed roadwards. though the main casualties were a kneecap, elbow and shoulder, post-crash investigation showed scraping to the side of his helmet.
i have no doubt that many others could add to the above minimalist catalogue of helmet efficiency in the face of adversity, while many others could point to situations where being run over by a volvo or a bus rendered a bicycle helmet entirely academic. cycling can be dangerous at times, whether in the midst of traffic, of sheep or in the middle of nowhere. i purchased my first helmet some twenty years ago on realising that certain of the mud and gravel strewn descents between sanaigmore and bowmore, could likely prove my undoing. the choice was whether to acquire a helmet, or simply slow down. given the pleasures of descending, however briefly, at speed, i opted for the helmet.
tom southam has given credible weight to leaving the perceived need or otherwise for wearing a helmet in a brief piece on rapha's faq page. and in this, he is 100% correct. nobody forces us to ride our bicycles, and currently no-one forces us to wear a helmet when doing so (unless competing in a sanctioned race). it has become an insidious part of human nature to seek to blame others for whatever befalls us out on the road; hopefully helmet wearing will remain the subject of personal choice well into the foreseeable future.
but in the light of the two accidents listed above, the case for wearing a helmet in the act of cycling is well-made, as is, i believe, my own decision to wear one because it makes me feel a tad safer, even if it has no perceived bearing on my ability on a bike. and as lambing season looms in the hebrides, with all the unpredictability that such entails, i think i'd prefer to err on the side of helmet wearing no matter the copious evidence and dissertations to the contrary. and if i'm going to wear a helmet, i'd like it to be a nice one that fits particularly well. though most currently on the market fulfil both criteria quite successfully, some are better than others and more suited to particular shapes of head.
entering the fray, and with a convincing palmares, are italian maker kask, supplier not only to team sky, but as of 2013, also to rapha condor jlt. though commercial considerations can, on occasion, outweigh sensibility, i think it likely that a team with the palmares of sky could pretty much pick and choose whichever suppliers they saw fit. and they have seen fit to choose kask.
but just before i get onto the whys and wherefores of the vertigo helmet under consideration, might i just point out that all the kudos they have gained from being on the heads of sir bradley and jimmy mccallum have been totally undermined by naming their retention system up and down technology. in a rudimentary sort of way, its operation can be considered to come under the heading of technology, but i can only assume that up and down sounds far more impressive in itialian than it does in english.
ignoring the banality of its name, the retention system is kask's secret weapon. a ratchet adjustable band across the rear of the helmet that is hinged to allow it to do do its job at the base of the skull, is, to all intents and purposes, darned near perfect. in fact, if you take the trouble to view, as i did, the youtube videos thoughtfully provided by kask to demonstrate how to properly fit the helmet, you will soon realise that the up and down technology manages to fix the helmet exactly as it ought to be fixed prior to fastening the chin strap
and that chin strap is also something i have not seen on a bicycle helmet before (though there may be others who do likewise), in the manner that is is fabricated from eco-leather, as opposed to the woven fabrics that comprise the majority of helmet straps. this is a washable, leather-like material. indeed, the remaining portions of retention straps that are affixed to the helmet are of this safety belt consistency, but the smooth leather of the chin strap seems not only admirably strong, but remarkably comfortable. and the comfort does not stop there, for likely the single biggest obstacle to helmet wearing is a lack of perceived comfort. there's little point in a cycle helmet offering the protection of a romulan force-field if it offers all the rudimentary fitting of oor wullie's bucket.
all the additional comfort that any cyclist could possibly ask for is taken care of by strategically positioned pads, several of which are constituted of a jelly-like material. the padding at the side and top of the helmet's inner-sanctum offers breathability, washability and, in my humble opinion, the ideal way to cover a pelotonic head. if we add to this a hardshell coating over the lower sections of polystyrene, the fabric of the helmet is likely to last well into the future, being slightly more resistant to those inadvertant dings when laid down where it probably shouldn't have been. the fact that hose bits are shiny lime green is, to my mind, simply one more string to its bow.
i have worn several varieties of helmet over the years, but i think i can say without fear of contradiction that the kask vertigo is the best fitting i have yet come across, and more specifically due to the strategically placed pads and that up and down technology. i take it on trust that any cycle helmet, not just those from kask, have been tested to within a centimetre of their lives, for it would surely be somewhat iniquitous of me to attempt to follow in the wheeltracks of lord carlos and fall off just to test its integrity. additionally, and importantly at this time of year, the medium size as reviewed still allowed sufficient leeway to fit a rapha team sky winter cap underneath.
there's no point in being well-protected if your ears are freezing.
the kask vertigo helmet is available in a variety of colours and has an rrp of £165.
wednesday 27th february 2013..........................................................................................................................................................................................................
ernesto colnago has a reputation for pushing that which many figure he ought not to push. though not the first to nip over to taiwan in order to avail himself of their carbon monocoque experience, at the time, it wasn't the most popular move he'd ever made. but then you don't get to remain at the cutting edge without breaking a few eggs along the way. which is not to say that the current range in any way resembles an omelette.
but almost a year ago, and quite obviously something that had been receiving many hours of craftsmanship in a small cupboard in a corner of cambiago, colnago produced a version of the c59 with disc brakes attached. and not only a pair of 140mm perforated rotors, but discs that operated via hydraulic control. adorned with shimano di2 for the launch, colnago has now aligned itself with campagnolo, so the review model that arrived for a short holiday on islay switched gear via vicenza's super-record eps groupset.
the uci have so far declined to allow disc brakes on bicycles competing in their races, so, other than column inches, you have to wonder why cambiago has produced such an expensive race bike that can't be legally raced? and the purists amongst us simply stand with jaws dropped at the audacity of such futuristic contemporaneity in removing those dual-pivot calipers. for surely hydraulic power such as this, when applied to lightweight carbon fibre will have each and everyone of us enjoying a face-plant after travelling over the handlebars.
tuesday 26th february 2013..........................................................................................................................................................................................................