Our friends at Rouleur know how to put on a good bike show. Not only did they get together some of the cycling’s most influential people from the sport’s past and present to talk to a highly clued up audience - Tom Pidcock, Demi Vollering, Kasia Niewiadoma, Tom Boonen and Fred Wright were all guest speakers - but there were three rooms upstairs in the Truman Brewery packed full of carefully curated tech.
Alongside Filippo Ganna’s Hour Record-breaking Pinarello were hand-painted shoes, bibshorts actually made from denim, an incredibly expensive custom Battaglin and very unusual Scott Foil built up by designer Gustav 'Dangerholm' Gullholm.
In no particular order, here are our highlights - enjoy.
Battaglin Portofino 'Expensivissimo'
This incredible looking Battaglin Portofino is made from Columbus HSS oversized steel tubing and very unusually is built with a lugged construction - with Battaglin’s own mirror-polished lugs.
Every one of these bikes is made to measure and Alex Battaglin, son of the legendary Giovanni, told us that the factory would only be producing 99 pieces per year, with each getting an engraved badge on the seat tube with the serial number.
The mirror blue is everywhere, with even the saddle rails and the Campagnolo levers matching the scheme.
Talking of Campagnolo, the bike is built with a full Super Record EPS groupset and rolls on Lightweight Meilenstein wheels.
So… what sort of money are we looking at? Alex told us it’s around £8,000 for the frameset and in this build the whole bike would cost around £19,000.
We made up the 'Expensivissimo' bit in the bike's name in case you were wondering.
Filippo Ganna's Hour Record Pinarello in the flesh
Filippo Ganna’s 3D-printed Hour Record Pinarello track bike has had a lot of coverage in the media - so much that you might feel as though you know everything about it by now. But when you see it in the flesh it is absolutely astonishing.
It’s so narrow it almost disappears when you view it from the front or rear. And the clearances have to be seen to be believed. Credit card, fag paper… all those phrases that used to describe race bikes before tyres got fat and and you could drive a bus between wheels and chainstays - this bike takes tight clearances to a new level.
Talking of the flesh, Fausto Pinarello was pressing a lot of it, standing next to the bike and looking every bit the proud father. You can spot him in the side-on photo of the bike above.
Jarpz ‘Van Gogh’ custom painted shoes
Charlotte Jarps hand paints anything you like onto your own cycling shoes - and is highly accomplished at it, as this version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night demonstrates.
But what happens to your prized post-impressionist artwork if it rains or if a Just Stop Oil protester throws tomato soup over your shoes?
Jarps explained that she uses 2-3 layers of acrylic finisher on top of the paint, which makes her work waterproof and durable.
And when the time comes to foot the bill? (Sorry.)
Jarps said on average a custom design would cost around £250 but the Van Gogh would be £350+ and you’re looking at a minimum turnaround time of two weeks.
Go to jarpz.com for more details.
Jan Frodeno’s Canyon Mono Stick
Here’s something that would make the UCI spontaneously combust. Canyon were obviously just goading us at Rouleur Live with this special Mono Stick front end made for world and Olympic triathlon champion Jan Frodeno.
You might even say Canyon are 'sticking it' to the UCI and there is something of the one-finger salute about it...
But this setup could be used in UK time trials under CTT rules and regs we think. There’s nothing about competitors needing a full complement of two tri-bars.
The central block section through which Frodeno’s drink straw passes is made 3D printed - made from “probably some sort of nylon” according to the Canyon employees on the stand.
Motoki Yoshio x Colnago
This limited edition Colnago C68 with a paint job conceived by Italian-based Japanese designer Motoki Yoshio features quite both sharp edges and fades, which is quite unusual.
According to Colnago it's all about respect, harmony and colours.
The Colnago 'purists' might be clamouring for a return to the Art Decor scheme, but this one is definitely very pretty in the meantime.
Bianchi Oltre RC’s UCI-illegal air deflectors in real life
Bianchi’s latest innovation, like Ganna’s Hour Record bike, has been covered in detail and has provoked much debate. “What’s the point of them if they’re not UCI legal?” has been the most frequently asked question relating to the new Oltre RC’s Air Deflector ducts either side of the head tube.
We talked about them in our latest Tech of the Month video and somebody in the comments very sensibly pointed out that a consumer bike doesn’t need to be UCI legal. “Why can’t I just go out and buy the fastest bike a company can make?” said Nathan Brown. He has a point.
It turns out it’s really easy to switch between UCI illegal Air Deflector mode and UCI compliant Air Deflector-less mode as they’re just held on with a couple of Torx bolts.
So it’s possible to go awesomely fast in training and then simply unbolt your Deflectors in about 30 seconds when the UCI scrutineers turn up. Easy!
Scott x Dangerholm Foil RC
Scott lets designer/custom builder Gustav ‘Dangerholm’ Gullholm loose on its bikes to do basically whatever he likes. He’s a Scott ambassador but specialises in high-end but idiosyncratic custom builds using components from other brands (he’s also sponsored by Kogel and SRAM).
Dangerholm was on Scott’s stand to talk us through the build and the paintjob of his new Foil RC - which he says is his first road bike. The white is epoxy primer, he explained, with the graphics/musings all just done with a Sharpie.
Dangerholm is known for taking a knife to a bike’s original paint when he strips it, and said he was considering doing the same to this Foil RC at the end of the show - just to watch people's reactions.
His bikes - there was a Scott Contessa he’d built up for his partner too - were front and centre on the Scott stand, so could he ever see there being a Dangerholm limited edition production version of a Scott bike? “Custom builds are a small part of the industry but I think they will grow,” was his answer. “With Scott at the moment it’s the other way around. They released this bike and I have turned it back into a prototype.”
The rebuilt Foil RC pro has a Sturdy 3D printed titanium chainset (£13,000), some very trick Bike Ahead Composites wheels and some choice Kogel bearing upgrades. If you want to read more about Dangerholm's choices and options just take a closer look at the frame for a unique stream of consciousness.
We were shown some embargoed Fizik saddles that we weren’t allowed to photograph or talk about, so you’ll just have to watch this space for news about those.
While Fizik’s designer was explaining to us about how ‘Fizik saddle X and X’ have evolved, although it was really fascinating we couldn’t help noticing he was drinking a can of Wahoo-branded beer, which the US fitness tech brand was liberally distributing from its stand.
There's so far no Zwift beer that we know of that Wahoo can challenge to a taste test challenge, a pub brawl or however they would try to settle a beer head-to-head with their indoor training rivals.
However, what we can say is that Wahoo's beer is made by Moot Brew of Rochester, it's a session IPA with an ABV of 4.7%, it tastes delicious and somewhat uncharacteristically for Wahoo, advises you on the side of the can to 'know your limits'.
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