Sale of the century! Daccordi frame + free groupset and/or wheels?

Yes, that is not an error.

We have a few Daccordi frames in the shop and the time has come to get them all into the hands of some lucky cyclists. To expedite this, we’ve come up with an offer that is sure to raise a few eyebrows!

But first, for anyone wondering what Daccordi is all about, it goes a bit like this:

They are still a family business making bikes in this part of Italy:

Tuscany
Image source

Like this:

Hand made
https://www.daccordicycles.com/

By people like this:

Hand made 2
Luigi Daccordi is still very much involved in crafting his products

…since 1937.

They are, quite simply, some of the best bikes available. Period.

Now, to the sale

We have a selection of Daccordi frames that we would like to see find a homes with some loving cyclists. To hurry this along, we’ve come up with a selection of amazing offers that are almost too good to be true. We’ll be adding more frames here on an ongoing basis, so check back regularly.

We have paired each frame that we have in stock with a selection of packages that you can pick from, and these packages will be free with the purchase of that frame! This sound pretty good, but these aren’t your average freebies. Observe:

Sansone

The Sansone was a predecessor to the current Noah. A top-of-the-line, beautiful racing frame.

Sansone Frame Sale Slide1

Sansone Frame Sale Slide2

You pay for one of the nicest riding, hand-made frame sets available (AU $5,999), and you can choose from either:

  1. A full Sram Red 22 groupset;
  2. A full Shimano Dura Ace 9100 groupset, or you want to spread the love around, you could opt for:
  3. A full Shimano Ultegra R8000/Sram Force 22 groupset and set of Fulcrum Racing 3 wheels. You just need to add the rest (seatpost, bars/stem, saddle, etc) or bring it over from your current bike and away you go.

Noah

The Noah is a no-holds-barred super-bike. Fast in every respect, but still smooth like every Daccordi manages to be. This is their top-tier frameset.

Noah Sale Package

Not only does this frame come with an impressive choice of packages, but we’ve also slashed the price!

Mitico

The Mitico is a full-on race machine. It is equal parts scalpel and hammer, with laser precision handling and the stiffness to handle every last one of your watts with ease.

We have two of these left. The white frame is a medium (48.5cmST c-c/55cmHTT) and the red frame is a medium/large (50.5cmST c-c/56.5cmHTT).

Mittico Sale Package whiteMittico Sale Package red

More frames to come – stay tuned!

 

Now to these terms and conditions:

  1. The packages are subject to their availability with their respective distributors. If you would like to wait until they are back in stock, that is no problem, or if there is an equivalent item, we can discuss that (see clause .
  2. The packages have no cash value.
  3. The price includes the frame and one (1) package of the customer’s choice (subject to clause 1). Other parts and fitting not included.
  4. 30% deposit required.
  5. Substitution of parts subject to seller’s discretion.

 

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The new Orbea Gain – is it good, and do we need an e-road bike?

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In Australia, e-bikes have gone from the fringe to centre stage in a short period of time. As a commuting tool, e-bikes make total sense as they provide a perfect solution to one of the main deterrents of getting to work on a bike – sweat. Next came e-MTB’s. Of course they caught a bit of flack from the purists, but they have quickly become just another way to have a ton of fun on the trails regardless if you are a new, unfit, or seasoned rider. Ride trails you couldn’t manage on a regular bike, fit more riding into less time, or shuttle yourself back up the hill for more descending.

And now… e-road bikes.

If mountain bikers threw shade at e-MTB’s, you can only imagine how dark “proper” roadies are already getting about the idea of an e-road bike. The popular sentiment among them is that users are just cheating, and from a simple, one-dimensional perspective, this makes some sense.

So, is there really a need for this kind of product? Isn’t half of the fun of road biking the challenge powering yourself up hills and to ever greater speeds on the flat? Aren’t modern road bikes light enough with easy enough gearing to make the need for power-assist mostly a non-issue?

Yeah but nah…

Well, some of the same reasons that commuter and mountain e-bikes make sense still apply to road bikes. There will always be people who enjoy the activity of cycling whose fitness isn’t what it used to be, still hasn’t arrived, or doesn’t match the pace of the group of people they usually ride with.

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“The first ride I have properly enjoyed for a long time!”

All of these are legitimate reasons for owning an e-bike of any description. Of course, a large chunk of enjoyment comes from the restorative qualities of simply riding a bike outside just for the enjoyment of riding a bike outside, which, clearly, can be done on a bike of any description and at any speed, with or without electronic assistance.

Some of the reasons, however, do not cross-over. Commuting, mountain biking, and road cycling have somewhat different qualities to them:

  • A commuter e-bike’s job is to minimise the effort of getting from A to B. This would be missing the point of going for a road ride entirely (introducing a fun little line of argument about spending your money on expensive marginal gains for any other reason than because I like it and want it…).
  • For mountain biking, an e-bike does reduce your effort even if you are quite fit and strong, but most of the fun of mountain biking is the technical aspect which (mostly) remains regardless of any power assistance. Yes, power does make certain obstacles easier to overcome, but you can follow this same argument all the way down the line by adding more suspension and wider tyres. Where one draws the line at how much “assistance” or “interference” is too much is both extremely cloudy and entirely subjective, based on an individual’s motivation for mountain biking. Bottom line – tons of “proper” mountain bikers are embracing e-mtb’s because you can still have heaps of fun mountain biking.
  • On a road bike, aside from technical descents, the main challenge is directly related to your body’s ability to put out and maintain a certain amount of effort. If you are not pedalling, if you are barely putting in any effort, why did you buy a road bike rather than a scooter? (note: more toys, is obviously a valid answer)

So, without the technical aspect of mountain biking or the specific desire to exert a minimal amount of energy… why e-road bikes?

Those three reasons, as mentioned above.

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So sexy…

3+1 reasons why an e-road bike makes good sense

  1. You are either new to road cycling or would like to get into it but your workout history has involved bringing beers towards your mouth or other similar exercise regimes.
  2. You are not new to cycling but your fitness has seen better days or perhaps you are now living with some sort of medium-to-long-term debilitating condition.
  3. Bonus reason: you are old. Sorry, it happens to the best of us.
  4. Regardless of all or none of the previous reasons applying, your regular riding group consistently drops you on climbs.

“Alright”, you’re thinking, “so maybe I can accept that there is a legitimate market for these things, and maybe I would be happier with an e-road bike, but what’s so great about this one? What makes the Orbea Gain so amazing?” Well, let me tell you.

Why Orbea’s new Gain is the best e-road bike going

First, this bike looks the business. Truly, it looks fantastic for a regular road bike, but is really something special in the newly-emerging e-road category. No giant downtubes or awkward looking bottom bracket areas. Some other e-road bikes do an alright job at minimising how bid their downtubes are from the side, but the Gain looks like a proper road bike from all angles. It’s not that you’re going to sneak into your local races with this thing, but lets face it – normal bikes look better than awkwardly proportioned e-bikes, especially when upsetting the svelt lines of a nice road machine. Furthermore, there are no big displays and no complicated controls. There is one button, neatly integrated into the top-tube, that performs two functions. It couldn’t be easier (there is also an app with more access to the system, allowing the user to change and customise the settings).

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vs.

gross e-bike
Spot the difference…

Second, it still handles like a nice bike should. Yes, you can feel the extra few kilos, but on flat roads it’s hardly any different than a regular road bike, and the Gain goes down hills more confidently than most. This bike is hard to upset, but easy to turn in. It is smooth, great over bumps due to a slightly longer wheel-base, and stiff enough both through punchy climbs and hard corners.

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Corners with supreme confidence

Third – it has clearance for 40C tyres, so it’s also a really awesome gravel bike (and you can even order it with a 1x drivetrain).

Fourth, it’s light. The problem with looking so much like a regular road bike is that people forget that it’s still an e-bike when they pick it up. The large carbon fibre Ultegra version is 12kg, the alloy versions a little more, and the top model just a pinch over 11kg. For an e-bike. The average commuter bikes and mountain e-bikes are in the low to mid 20kg range and beyond that for the cheap ones. Oh yeah, did we mention that this comes in a flat-bar version?

Fifth, and maybe the best feature: Goldilocks would approve of the power output. Not too much, not too little. This one is just right. This may sound like a drawback to some of you, but stay with me. For anyone that loves (illegally) modifying e-bikes to turn them into pedal-assist motorcycles (and potential fire hazzards…), this will be bad news. Those people will consider the Gain under-powered. For anyone that still wants the experience and health benefits of riding a road bike, this is perfection.

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One person that recently had a ride on the bike pictured said that one of the best things about this bike was that she was able to keep up with (and pass!) some of the more elite members of her group on the climbs, but, still felt as though she got a really good workout. Normally she spent the whole ride feeling like her heart was about to explode out of her chest, but the Gain helped her find that sweet spot.

I took this bike out for a hard run up a few of the usual hills around Adelaide, including Coachouse/Woodlands Way. Two things happened: I went considerably faster up this climb, and I also didn’t feel quite as close to death as normal for this climb.

As with any normal bike, the more effort you put in, the more you are going to feel it – you’ll just be going faster. The Gain levels the playing field, allowing less fit riders to keep up with more fit riders while everyone still gets a good workout. But – just as your effort will still increase with speed, so will it diminish with less speed. This allows you to put in a good effort and then sit back into the power-assist when you need to recover without coming to an absolute standstill. How good is that? The Gain also allows you to plug in their external battery that sits neatly in a bottle cage for a substantially longer range, so they’ve got that covered too.

Sixth – these start from $3,399 (and flat-bar versions starting at $2,999), with carbon fibre bikes from $5,999, not $8k or more. Check out the range at https://www.orbea.com/au-en/ebikes/road/cat

So there you have it. All the benefits of an e-bike combined with all of benefits of a good road bike. We should have our demo Gain in-store some time around mid-February, so give us a ring if you think this could be for you.

 

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Hand-built wheels from the best in the business

It’s no secret: one of the biggest ways that brands can keep the cost down on bikes is to fit them with wheels that are ok, but not great. Also, new wheels have a habit of eventually becoming old wheels. If you want to transform the way your bike feels and performs, the wheels are the best place to start.

There are a number of really nice factory-built wheels out there, but there is nothing quite like a good set of custom, hand-built wheels. Choose your rims. Choose your hubs. Get the right spoke-count for the kind of riding you are doing. Properly laced, and properly tensioned.

Wheel building is half science, half art. Because of this, a great parts-list does not automatically create a great wheel. In fact, it can still result in a terrible wheel. The builder is the crucial element, and it just so happens that we have the most experienced wheel-builder in… Adelaide? South Australia? Over the years Phil has built not just hundreds, or a few thousand, but tens of thousand of wheels, and for the best riders in the business, both here and in Europe.  Without exaggerating, it is possible that Phil has hand-built somewhere between 30,000-40,000 wheels. It could even be more. He lost count long ago, but he had already built thousands as an apprentice at Norwood Star Cycles by the time he was 15 years old. Then, in the early years of Norwood Parade Cycles, Phil had 100 wheels ready to be picked up for various suppliers around Adelaide every week, for at least two years. 37 more years of trading have since passed.

The MasterWhere the magic happens

Phil is as humble a character as you could imagine, and so are his prices. Wheel builds start at $59.95 per wheel, plus parts. Most standard builds would fall into this category, but some wheels require far more time and attention to get right. We have access to most suppliers of rims, hubs and spokes, so whether it’s no-frills reliability you are after or the money-no-object wheelset of your dreams, come in and have a chat to us  to work out what is going to be best for you and your bike!

…..

(of course, if your existing wheels need truing or your hubs need rebuilding, we can do that too!)

What’s new?

It’s been a while since we’ve updated things on this site, so there’s a lot to catch up on, with some exciting new brands to offer from clothing to bikes (and we’ve even added e-bikes to the range!), as well as a welcome addition in the workshop. In this post we’ll start with the bikes.

Trail, Gravel, and Electricity

We are pretty happy to welcome Rocky Mountain to the shop – makers of high-end mountain bikes since 1981 from the legendary North Shore of Vancouver, BC. They have a big range of mountain bikes, from the 170mm travel Slayer to the unbelievably good value Soul, which at $899 is far more mountain bike than you’ll get from other brands. At the moment we have a few of their lower-price hardtails on the shop floor (including the Soul) as well as the 160mm travel, 27.5″ Altitude, with many other models available to order.

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Rocky Mountain Altitude
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Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt
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Rocky Mountain Soul

With the gravel scene continuing to gain traction, we’ve bolstered our range of gravel bikes, from Felt, Jamis, and Orbea.

Felt are bringing three of their cyclocross bikes into Australia this year, with the F40x (pictured below), F30x, and F4x, which are more race/gravel oriented, while Jamis absolutely nails the gravel/adventure segment with their Renegade range.

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Felt F40x

We have two versions of the Renegade in the shop, with the Explore and the Expat.

The Renegade Explore, at just $1399, has indecent levels of spec for such a paltry sum. Here are the basics:

  • T6 Alloy frame, with 3 bottle-cage mounts and clearance for 700x42c or even 650x47c tyres (we tested it, with a 650x54c, or 2.1″ tyre, just rubbing!)
  • Carbon fibre fork with 12mm thru-axle, flat-mount brakes, adventure-fueling additional fork mounts, and a CARBON steerer-tube (find that on another bike under $2k!)
  • New Shimano Sora groupset
  • Tektro Lyra disc brakes
  • Full Ritchey finishing kit (with wide, flared bars)
  • WTB rims, nice and wide, and tubeless-ready!
  • Comfy Selle Royal saddle
  • Clement MSO 36c tyres – some of the best all-around tyres on the market
  • Sweat-as contour-line paint details!
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Jamis Renegade Explore

This is the perfect chance to see what the big deal is with gravel riding without blowing the budget. The greater Adelaide area has a huge selection of quiet gravel roads and tons of trail to explore, and this was made for just that. Want a nice commuter? This is just as well suited for it!  Plenty of options for mud-guards, racks, and bottle cages. You will not regret it!

At the moment there is limited stock available. We have the last 54cm in the shop and at the time of writing, there are 56cm, and 58cm remaining with the supplier.

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Jamis Renegade Expat

The Renegade Expat is the same bundle of goodness as the Explore,  but with an upgrade to the groupset, which is Shimano’s latest version of Tiagra, TRP Spyre brake calipers, and swaps out the alloy frame for a Reynolds 531 steel frame, adding about ~600 grams to the weight of the overall bike, but adding the sweet ride characteristics of quality steel.Finally, we now have e-bikes! We did it properly, too, going straight to the good stuff.

A quick mention for the Orbea Terra, which we’ll get into in another post soon – this is Orbea’s new gravel/CX bike, all carbon, and fully customizable. These are typically made-to-order from Spain, with limited stock in Australia, but with the ability to customize these to the degree that you can (the paint is a no-cost option!), custom is the way to go.
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Custom Orbea Terra
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Orbea Terra

Sinus is a German manufacturer, and if you’re not already aware, the Germans don’t mess around when it comes to quality. Attached to their frames are a host of German parts, from SKS mudguards, a Busch&Muller integrated light-set, Schwalbe tyres, Racktime rear carrier, suspension seat-post, integrated rear-wheel lock, Suntour front forks, and powered by Bosch, with their Active Line motor, Intuvia display, and 400WH battery, giving you 4 levels of assist and just shy of 150km of range! 

Tria 8 Acera Mens
Sinus Tria 8
Tria 8 Acera
Sinus Tria 8 Step-through

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We stock the Tria 8 men’s and women’s versions, with the availability to order alternative models. You don’t know how good these things are until you ride one, so come in for a look and inquire about test riding one of these today!

If you’re going to build an ark, you’d better build it right

We’ve been meaning to get this done for a while now (we’ve been busy!), but we finally got the right bits together and found the time to build this Daccordi Noah with the parts it is worthy of.

The Noah is one of Daccordi’s top road frames. Everything Daccordi makes is essentially “race-ready”, but the Noah takes it to another level using more advanced materials with a hand-wrapped frame to deliver the highest performance while also retaining an exceptionally refined ride quality.

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Though it’s a break from tradition, we decided to match this Italian beauty with a groupset that, arguably, has no peer at the moment. Shimano’s brand new Dura Ace 9100 is so refined in both performance and increasingly with Shimano’s product, aesthetics, that it was a no-brainer.

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We went back to Italy with a finishing kit from Deda, using their top-of-the-line Superzero bars, stem, and seatpost. Everyone loves a bit of Enve, and we’ve built up a few Daccordi’s with their fine kit, but we think the shape of the Superzero aero road bars are even more comfortable, super sexy, and are lighter as well. The same goes for the stem and seatpost, which has a comfy and light-weight Selle San Marco saddle attached to it.

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For the wheels, anything reasonably light and stiff would suit this bike, but in this example is a pair of Mavic 40C carbon wheels.

We’re pretty happy with how this has turned out. It’s a bike that is just as happy winning races as it is on social rides, looking good while doing both. With this Noah, you’ll be aboard an ark that will happily take you into a new world of cycling enjoyment.

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Give us a call or come by the shop to find out if this is the right bike for you.

 

#Daccordi #Noah #Deda #Superzero #Mavic #Shimano #DuraAce

Merry Christmas!

That’s another year in the bag. Our 37th, in fact. We (Phil, specifically) have seen a few changes in the bicycle industry in that time, and it will no doubt continue to do so. What hasn’t changed is our straight-forward, honest approach to selling and servicing bikes. In an era increasingly dominated by big, flashy concept stores, we’re happy to see that many people still find the small, humble, local bike shop a place they are comfortable in.

We will be closed for the Christmas break from Dec 25th and will be open again on the 5th of Jan, 2017.

We wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas and New Years, and look forward to seeing you again in the new year.

 

Header image: source

This Daccordi Noah delivers a new beginning

Our last featured Daccordi build was a bit of a modern vintage look that was dripping in bling.

This one takes a slightly different approach, keeping things simple, clean, and classy.

The proud owner purchased his last new bike more than ten years ago, so he clearly isn’t in the habit of chopping and changing bikes on a whim (which, as it happens, was another Italian bike running Campagnolo). With that in mind, he didn’t want to take any shortcuts when it came to the most important part of any build – the frame.

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The Noah sits at the top of Daccordi’s road offerings, along-side the lightweight Fly. Hand-wrapped tube-to-tube construction, it delivers the highest of performance and balanced, razor-sharp handling, but still retains the usual smooth ride that is characteristic of Daccordi frames.

He had a colour scheme in mind even before knowing what sort of frame he would end up with, but Daccordi came to the rescue and worked with us to deliver exactly what he was after.

Simple and uncluttered, the white and blue scheme was adapted from a early model Daccordi and then modified for this frame to suit the customers taste. The pleasant surprise was a deep but subtle sparkle in the blue to give it some depth and make it pop.

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To match the truly Italian frameset, fully handmade by a family business that goes back to a time when most company founders were still in nappies (or even born), the obvious choice here was a Campagnolo groupset in the form of the ever-dependable Chorus (there was a budget to consider, after all), and continuing the Italian theme with Deda bars, stem, and seatpost, Vittoira’s new Graphine Rubino Pro tyres, and freakishly colour-matched Fizik saddle and bar tape. Mavic wheels were given the go as they offer the right amount of performance and match the aesthetics perfectly.

The new owner couldn’t be happier with the result, having ended up with a custom bike that matches his personality, offering the highest of quality and performance without shouting “look at me!” They should get along famously for the next 10+ years.

If you are after something beyond the ordinary with performance to spare, whether it be something extremely eye-catching like our last build, something dark and mysterious like this, or something clean and classy but a bit more reserved like this Noah, come have a chat to us about building a Daccordi for you.

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This Divo sings a pretty fine tune

When one of our long-term customers had his beloved Daccordi Grinta stolen a while back, he was devastated. Fortunately, though, it was insured, so the silver lining in this dark cloud was going to turn out to be pretty shiny indeed…

The Grinta was a mainstay in the Daccordi lineup for years. A beautiful, lugged, handmade Italian racing bike with unique lines and a satisfying colour scheme was the heart and soul of his old bike, and making sure that it’s replacement would be at least as good was obviously the starting point.

The only way that was going to happen was with, of course, another Daccordi.

At first he wanted to keep the same sort of vibe going with the new frame, but things changed as we looked at his options, and he ended up going with a much tougher looking frameset in the Divo, with it’s larger diameter straight tubes and clean lines. This is a punchy frame, delivering the speed, balance, and comfort that typifies Daccordi frames.

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Further departing from his original plan, he ended up being won over by a vintage paint scheme that contrasts perfectly with the modern lines of the bike.

Adding a touch of extra customization that a smaller, family operated company like Daccordi can do, this frame has a unique rear-triangle due to the Italian supplier of the tubes normally used for the Divo being unavailable. Hand wrapping everything in-house meant that Daccordi simply used different tubing, and the result, we think, is even more spectacular than normal.

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Internal cabling can be a nightmare to work on, as any mechanic can tell you, but Daccordi considered this in their design and installation couldn’t have been easier.

So, apart from the frame? This build didn’t cut any corners.

A Dura Ace 9070 Di2 groupset took care of the mechanical (and electronic) bits, and Enve took care of the rest, including their Garmin mount for the Aero handlebars, lending the stealthy look that still has many fans.

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All said and done, this bike will turn heads as fast as it will enable its new owner to turn its pedals.

We’re all pretty happy with how this turned out, and can’t wait to get started on the next one!

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Winter is coming – dressing for success

Winter in Australia. It’s not proper winter, really. I mean, yes, it gets colder, wetter, and darker, but snow and ice isn’t really an issue, which means that riding a bike year-round is something we can do rather more easily than many others.

Still, it’s certainly enough of a change in weather that if you are going to keep riding through the cold, the wet, and the darkness, then you will need to think through your wardrobe a little more carefully than your summer one.

We’ve got a range of options to suit the many different conditions you’ll face this winter.

Before we get started, however, it’s certainly worth noting that people deal with temperature in vastly different ways, from that guy who still wears nothing more than a short sleeve jersey and bibs through the depths of winter, to the person who has four layers on as soon as it hits single digit temperatures.

As a matter of fact, just the other day on a particularly icy and wet morning, I was rugged up head to toe in waterproof everything and still managed to be a bit chilly, and a guy riding in shorts and thongs turned in front of me. Thongs.

In General

It’s difficult to get it perfect. Because weather is so changeable, different terrain requires different degrees of effort, and the pace doesn’t always leave you in your comfort zone, you’re likely to be a little too warm, too cold, or too sweaty at some point in your ride. You’ll figure out what works best for you over time, but expecting the ideal level of comfort for the entire duration of any spirited ride will more than likely leave you slightly disappointed. If you are commuting at a pretty relaxed pace, then no problem.

What I usually suffer from is dressing for how I feel before leaving, when I’m already cold and before I start riding and producing heat. Before long, I’m unzipping, de-layering, and stuffing half of my gear up the back of my jersey. I’d rather be warm than cold, but there is a balance to be struck, so keep this in mind.

Know what kind of ride you will be heading out for – whether or not you’ll be stopping (and cooling off), whether there will be long climbs and fast descents, a fast pace, an easy pace, if the temperature will be rising or falling, and, of course, the weather forecast for rain and wind.

 Cold to cool to warm-ish

It’s all about layers. We’ve found that an unusual number of people don’t use a baselayer for some reason, but this is one of the key pieces to being comfortable throughout a whole range of conditions. They add some extra warmth in winter and providing a cooling effect in summer, but their main purpose is to do the important job of moving moisture away from your skin to prevent the layer against your skin from remaining soggy with sweat, helping you to better regulate your core temperature. We’ve got light ones and others that offer more insulation depending on your needs.

For days when you start before the sun comes up but finish well after, you’ll likely want, and need, more layers. Arm warmers (lined with fleece) and vests (or gilets), are perfect if it’s not so cold that you need a jacket. A gilet will keep the wind off your chest while venting the excess heat out the back. They are the much more comfortable version of stuffing a newspaper down the front of your jersey for the decent. Plus, they pack away neatly into a pocket.

The same goes for your lower extremities, with kneewarmers, full legwarmers, and shoe-covers.

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Shoe-covers and gloves are some of the more important items to have if you want to be comfortable when the temperatures really drop. There is nothing worse than cold and numb fingers and toes, and especially for your hands, as they need to do the important work of controlling your brakes and the convenient work of shifting your gears.

Both are available in various weights, from thin layers just to take the chill off, through to fully waterproof and toasty warm versions. The same rules apply here – waterproof shoecovers and gloves can make for soggy socks and clammy hands if you are pushing the pace for any length of time, but again, at least they’ll be warm. Really warm gloves will inevitably involve a trade-off in dexterity, with the extra insulating bulk requiring a little more deliberateness when shifting gears.

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Toe covers are great for many people in most conditions. Mavic’s Toe Warmers are among the best. They are far more wind-proof than most, and for various reasons, fit much better too.

We have merino wool socks for extra warmth (and comfort!), as well as merino-lined waterproof socks for when things turn really foul. I can tell you from personal experience that the waterproof socks (SealSkinz) are unusually breathable for a completely waterproof garment, and the Castelli socks are the most comfortable socks I’ve ever had on my feet.

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Say hello to warm and cozy feet

 

Another often-overlooked item for icy conditions is the snood, or Head Thingy, in Castelli parlance. It keeps the cold draft from blowing down your jersey or jacket, and pulls over your face or even your entire head if you want, keeping you as warm as possible. It’s little touches like these that give you the opportunity not to have to wear bigger, heavier clothing.

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Head Thingy

Cold but Dry

For properly cold but dry conditions you’ll want to keep as much heat in but still try to remain as dry as possible, so you’ll want an insulated but breathable outer layer to keep you warm and avoid making you too sweaty, which will make you cold. Again, this is largely down to smart layering. If you are still cold, add another layer. You could just wear six jerseys, but a better option would be a good base layer, a slightly warmer mid-layer, and a warm, reasonably breathable outer layer. These are typically something in-between heavier long-sleeved jerseys and full-on jackets, with or without a windproof material on the front panel, and often retain the pockets you would normally find on your summer jerseys. There are other, heavier jackets that will do a better job of keeping the cold out, but to a certain extent, they will not be quite as breathable (no matter what they claim!).

Mittiga Jersey
Fleece-lined jersey, with windproof front. For cool to very cool, but probably not enough for really cold conditions

Still, much better than waterproof garments…

Wet

From jackets to gloves, shoecovers, armwarmers, and socks – we’ve got your wet-weather gear covered.

In the wet, you’ve got water-resistant, and water proof. There are all sorts of spray jackets that will keep light rain out for shorter periods of time, provide some insulation against the wind, and keep a bit of warmth in, but water proof they are not. After anywhere from a few minutes to a somewhat longer period of time, the water will work its way through the fabric, but they can be quite effective against light rain.

Waterproof garments – properly waterproof ones – will keep the water from getting in, but the reality is that as your effort increases, the more moisture will have trouble getting out. How hard you are working is the major factor no matter how advanced the material is – even with the best materials in the world, if you are working hard, moisture will build up in the inside. There are some wonderful fabrics out there that do an admirable job of moving out as much moisture as possible, but in the interest of setting realistic expectations, there is no magic bullet that we know of for a truly breathable and waterproof garment.

Some materials, like Castelli’s Nano Flex garmants, are treating the fibres themselves to be highly water-resistant, and this gets you much further along the way to being both highly breathable and highly water-resistant, but they are not water-proof.

With that said, I’d rather be a bit sweaty than soaked, given the fact that we’re discussing winter conditions. At least you’ll be warm (just be conscious of cooling off while still sweaty and still riding). To offset this, there are usually different venting options for different jackets to achieve more breathability and to control internal temperatures. In any case, there’s always the front zip…

There are really light rain-capes that pack away into a jersey pocket, and more substantial jackets that tend to be more thoroughly water-proof over time, but often do not pack away quite so easily (or not at all).

What you decide to wear will likely depend on what you are doing on the bike. If you are heading out for a hard ride and it’s wet but not cold, maybe don’t worry about being water-proof, or just take a spray jacket. However, the colder it gets, the more you want to avoid losing too much heat and making yourself sick, so breathability might not be as much of a priority as warm. Will you be stopping along the way long enough to catch a chill? A waterproof layer will likely serve you well.

If you are heading to work in the wet in normal clothes and you are not fighting for the podium in the commuter cup, then just get water-proofed and slow down a bit. You’ll enjoy the ride more, and will be neither wet nor sweaty.

Riding a bike in winter for practical purposes really isn’t all that complicated. Mudguards are your best friend, get some waterproof clothes, and slow down a bit. Simples.

So, if you are going to be riding through winter, pop in and have a chat about how we can make the experience that much more comfortable and enjoyable, and you’ll be riding in the rain wondering what all the fuss was about.

Header image: source

What dreams are made of

Sugar plum fairies, flowing rivers of chocolate, and mountains of gold are some of the things dreams are made of.

Oh, and Daccordi‘s. Or if they aren’t yet, they will be after having a look at this one, our newest Daccordi we have built up for display.

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If you are unaware, we bring in some of the worlds best frames from Tuscany, Italy, handmade by the same hands that have been doing it for eons. From Daccordi:

“A Daccordi frame is created, designed and built in the heart of Tuscany, with respect to our tradition and with the newest and most innovative technolgies, using only components desgined and manufactured in Italy. All this makes our products exclusive and sincerely made in Italy.”

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See? With pedigree, killer looks, and a ride that approaches magic carpet status, we’ve taken the hard part out of deciding what to lust after.

Choose your frame, then build it up with anything you’d like or simply what you’ve already got. It almost doesn’t even matter what you put on it. Better parts will provide better results, but the frame is what matters most, and you can rest assured that with a Daccordi, you’re sitting on just shy of 80 years of the best of what Italiy, or anyone else for that matter, has to offer.

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