german

Accell: Good weather in Europe, sales of e-bikes prop overall profits

Company blames revenue dip in North America on severe winter and decline in overall market. HEERENVEEN, Netherlands (BRAIN) — Accell Group N.V. reported overall revenue gains for the first six months of the year.

Bionicon Hybrid Hoody review

While German brand Bionicon might be best known for its unique travel and geometry adjustable bikes, it also does a wide range of riding kit. This hooded top aims to be just as adaptable as its bikes, using a mix of merino wool along with nylon and Lycra for added stretch.

That, along with the multi-panel design and flat stitched seams give it a close and comfortable fit. The hood and waist are elasticated to enable you to cinch them down and exclude draughts. There’s a zipped chest pocket for extra secure storage, and the back is free from pockets so sits well under a pack. The slightly ‘Euro’ looks might divide opinion, but as well as this red and blue mix, black, brown and green versions are available, as well as a women’s option. The quality of fabric and construction is excellent.

It’s a bit thicker than a normal base layer, so tends to be too warm under a jacket unless the temperature’s really dropped. Used as an outer layer, the material doesn’t give a massive amount of protection from wind so it can get nippy, especially as the fabric tends to hang onto sweat and moisture. It seems most suited to milder summery afternoons or evenings where it keeps the chill off effectively without being overly warm. We did have a bit of an issue with smell, with a distinct and not particularly pleasant damp and woollen odour once our tester had worn the top for any length of time.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.








German e-bike brand, Grace, has U.S. distributor

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.

Silverback Signo Technica review

Silverback’s Signo Technica is the German brand’s new approach to a trail bike, combining a stiff, agile rear end with a front end that eats up impacts. How’s it done this? By means that’ll surely ignite yet more fireworks in the world of the wheel size debate – it’s mixed 650b with 29in.

Ride and handling: best of both worlds?

On paper, mixing the two wheel sizes kind of makes sense. Up front you’ve got the 29er wheel with its increased grip and ability to roll over lumps and bumps, giving you added control that you want from the front wheel. At the back, the smaller 650b wheel is sturdy, flickable and agile; grip back there doesn’t matter quite so much.

The Signo Technica is far from a bad bike. The 140mm RockShox Revelation fork, which can drop down to 110mm for steeper climbs, when combined with the 29in front wheel gives a ton of control. The 2.25in Maxxis Ardent tyres don’t have the greatest edge on them, but there’s plenty of grip in dryer conditions, and that big wheel does roll over terrain imperfections with ease. At the back, the 650b wheel skips over the ground, verging on being playful, especially if you ride with your weight over the fork. When the Ardent loses traction slips, drifts and skids are controllable, rarely chucking you off the bike.

At times, when front and back strike a harmony, the signo can be a joy to ride…:

At times, when front and back strike a harmony, the Signo can be a joy to ride

Silverback’s marketing bumpf claims that this bigger wheel up front setup helps ‘balance out the trail steepness’, what it calls 279 Dynamic Efficiency Geometry. What really happens is that you get a relatively high front end that works reasonably well on steeper terrain, but can feel slightly pedestrian on flatter sections. The Revelation’s Dual Position Air damper provides a decent level of mid-travel support, which is handy on steeper terrain. With 140mm of travel up front and nothing at the back, when the fork is pushed through its travel, it does steepen the frame’s angles, so that support is certainly appreciated.

We’re not convinced by the actual science behind the 279 Dynamic Efficiency Geometry; there’s certainly no mention of it making climbs steeper…

What the wheels do though is highlight the differences between the sizes. Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on, when the trail gets choppy, the difference in handling becomes apparent. While the front rolls over bumps, no doubt helped by the suspension, the rear feels like it gets caught up on edges, and needs a little extra persuasion to get over them. On technical climbs especially, the Signo Technica feels like a bike of two halves.

The stout construction, with the tapered back end, gives a stiff ride that’s a little unforgiving on the lower back. We tempered this by running the relatively large volume rear tyre at lower pressures.

Frame and equipment: trail fit kit

The geometry is all held together with Silverback’s Vanadium Flow frame, itself a well-put-together and nicely finished piece of kit. The main tubes are triple butted, and smooth welded. Aesthetically it works well – giving a more organic look – but the reasoning behind it, so says Silverback, is that there’s a greater weld area and less stress risers, both of which should make the frame more durable.

The signo technica's smooth welded and triple butted frame is a well made pleasure:

The Signo Technica’s smooth welded and triple butted frame is a well made pleasure

With a trail focus, all the frame features we usually look for are included. A 31.6mm seat tube is ready to take a dropper post (although there’s no provision for stealth routing), there’s a 142×12 Maxle bolt-thru rear axle, press-fit bottom bracket and tapered head tube (which, to be fair, pretty much every bike comes with these days), which keeps the frame tight and stiff. Cables are externally routed, which we prefer because it makes giving them TLC a whole lot easier. They’re also full length, which is ideal for keeping the crud out.

When it comes to the kit that Silverback’s bolted to the frame, it’s clearly done its homework. While some Euro brands are still stuck in the land of long stems and narrow bars, Silverback’s added a 60mm stem and 740mm bars – not quite as short or as long as you could go, but they certainly help you head in the right direction.

The short stem, wide bar combo helps keep steering snappy and responsive, and the bars give better control and keep your weight forward. The bars and stem, along with the post and saddle are own-branded pieces. The saddle and bars have a reasonable shape, although there’s no pressure-relieving channel on the saddle, and there’s a fair bit of backsweep (nine degrees) on the bars. Our only major spec issue is the bolted seat clamp. For a bike designed to hit technical trails hard and then pedal back to the top, it’s inevitable that your multitool will be lost in the bottom of your bag. Just fit a QR please!

Cockpit components are bang on the money, though some may not like the sweepy bars:

Cockpit components are bang on the money, though some may not like the sweepy bars

Shimano kit largely controls stopping and going. The SLX brakes are crowd pleasers, with their dependable power, backed up with Ice Tech pads and 180/160mm Centerlock rotors. The shifters and rear derailleur come from the XT stable, again providing reliable performance, the Shadow+ derailleur featuring the clutch mechanism keeps the bike nice and quiet.

To mix it up Silverback’s gone with a Race Face Evolve crank with 34T Narrow Wide chainring. With Shimano rings not benefitting from the chain retention properties of a narrow/wide design, this allows Silverback to build a Shimano geared bike without needing to add a chainguide. This setup worked well, with the 34/36 bottom gear being just low enough for the majority of our riding.

Shimano supplies the SLX hubs, and Stan’s the Arch EX rims. So long as you take care of the cup and cone bearings, Shimano hubs last well and the lightweight, tubeless capability of the mid-width Stan’s rims have given them an enviable reputation.

Summary: mixed messages

There aren’t many brands around that are mixing up wheel sizes – Liteville being the obvious other one out there. There are times – like on steeper trails and when razzing your local trail centre – when riding the Signo Technica you think it’s a work of genius, with both ends of the bike singing from the same hymn sheet. But at others it feels disjointed, making us wish it had a pair of identical hoops. Oh, and taking two tubes in your pack is a pain in the ass, so we ended up stretching a 650b tube into the front wheel.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.








Silverback Signo Technica review

Silverback’s Signo Technica is the German brand’s new approach to a trail bike, combining a stiff, agile rear end with a front end that eats up impacts. How’s it done this? By means that’ll surely ignite yet more fireworks in the world of the wheel size debate – it’s mixed 650b with 29in.

Ride and handling: best of both worlds?

On paper, mixing the two wheel sizes kind of makes sense. Up front you’ve got the 29er wheel with its increased grip and ability to roll over lumps and bumps, giving you added control that you want from the front wheel. At the back, the smaller 650b wheel is sturdy, flickable and agile; grip back there doesn’t matter quite so much.

The Signo Technica is far from a bad bike. The 140mm RockShox Revelation fork, which can drop down to 110mm for steeper climbs, when combined with the 29in front wheel gives a ton of control. The 2.25in Maxxis Ardent tyres don’t have the greatest edge on them, but there’s plenty of grip in dryer conditions, and that big wheel does roll over terrain imperfections with ease. At the back, the 650b wheel skips over the ground, verging on being playful, especially if you ride with your weight over the fork. When the Ardent loses traction slips, drifts and skids are controllable, rarely chucking you off the bike.

At times, when front and back strike a harmony, the signo can be a joy to ride…:

At times, when front and back strike a harmony, the Signo can be a joy to ride

Silverback’s marketing bumpf claims that this bigger wheel up front setup helps ‘balance out the trail steepness’, what it calls 279 Dynamic Efficiency Geometry. What really happens is that you get a relatively high front end that works reasonably well on steeper terrain, but can feel slightly pedestrian on flatter sections. The Revelation’s Dual Position Air damper provides a decent level of mid-travel support, which is handy on steeper terrain. With 140mm of travel up front and nothing at the back, when the fork is pushed through its travel, it does steepen the frame’s angles, so that support is certainly appreciated.

We’re not convinced by the actual science behind the 279 Dynamic Efficiency Geometry; there’s certainly no mention of it making climbs steeper…

What the wheels do though is highlight the differences between the sizes. Regardless of which side of the fence you sit on, when the trail gets choppy, the difference in handling becomes apparent. While the front rolls over bumps, no doubt helped by the suspension, the rear feels like it gets caught up on edges, and needs a little extra persuasion to get over them. On technical climbs especially, the Signo Technica feels like a bike of two halves.

The stout construction, with the tapered back end, gives a stiff ride that’s a little unforgiving on the lower back. We tempered this by running the relatively large volume rear tyre at lower pressures.

Frame and equipment: trail fit kit

The geometry is all held together with Silverback’s Vanadium Flow frame, itself a well-put-together and nicely finished piece of kit. The main tubes are triple butted, and smooth welded. Aesthetically it works well – giving a more organic look – but the reasoning behind it, so says Silverback, is that there’s a greater weld area and less stress risers, both of which should make the frame more durable.

The signo technica's smooth welded and triple butted frame is a well made pleasure:

The Signo Technica’s smooth welded and triple butted frame is a well made pleasure

With a trail focus, all the frame features we usually look for are included. A 31.6mm seat tube is ready to take a dropper post (although there’s no provision for stealth routing), there’s a 142×12 Maxle bolt-thru rear axle, press-fit bottom bracket and tapered head tube (which, to be fair, pretty much every bike comes with these days), which keeps the frame tight and stiff. Cables are externally routed, which we prefer because it makes giving them TLC a whole lot easier. They’re also full length, which is ideal for keeping the crud out.

When it comes to the kit that Silverback’s bolted to the frame, it’s clearly done its homework. While some Euro brands are still stuck in the land of long stems and narrow bars, Silverback’s added a 60mm stem and 740mm bars – not quite as short or as long as you could go, but they certainly help you head in the right direction.

The short stem, wide bar combo helps keep steering snappy and responsive, and the bars give better control and keep your weight forward. The bars and stem, along with the post and saddle are own-branded pieces. The saddle and bars have a reasonable shape, although there’s no pressure-relieving channel on the saddle, and there’s a fair bit of backsweep (nine degrees) on the bars. Our only major spec issue is the bolted seat clamp. For a bike designed to hit technical trails hard and then pedal back to the top, it’s inevitable that your multitool will be lost in the bottom of your bag. Just fit a QR please!

Cockpit components are bang on the money, though some may not like the sweepy bars:

Cockpit components are bang on the money, though some may not like the sweepy bars

Shimano kit largely controls stopping and going. The SLX brakes are crowd pleasers, with their dependable power, backed up with Ice Tech pads and 180/160mm Centerlock rotors. The shifters and rear derailleur come from the XT stable, again providing reliable performance, the Shadow+ derailleur featuring the clutch mechanism keeps the bike nice and quiet.

To mix it up Silverback’s gone with a Race Face Evolve crank with 34T Narrow Wide chainring. With Shimano rings not benefitting from the chain retention properties of a narrow/wide design, this allows Silverback to build a Shimano geared bike without needing to add a chainguide. This setup worked well, with the 34/36 bottom gear being just low enough for the majority of our riding.

Shimano supplies the SLX hubs, and Stan’s the Arch EX rims. So long as you take care of the cup and cone bearings, Shimano hubs last well and the lightweight, tubeless capability of the mid-width Stan’s rims have given them an enviable reputation.

Summary: mixed messages

There aren’t many brands around that are mixing up wheel sizes – Liteville being the obvious other one out there. There are times – like on steeper trails and when razzing your local trail centre – when riding the Signo Technica you think it’s a work of genius, with both ends of the bike singing from the same hymn sheet. But at others it feels disjointed, making us wish it had a pair of identical hoops. Oh, and taking two tubes in your pack is a pain in the ass, so we ended up stretching a 650b tube into the front wheel.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.








German custom builder Nicolai now has a U.S. distributor

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (BRAIN) — The high-end German mountain bike brand Nicolai is now being distributed in the U.S. by Nicolai USA, based in Arizona

Rack factory Bor Yueh badly damaged in Vietnam riots

AUBURN, Wash. (BRAIN) — Last week’s riots near Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, so badly damaged Bor Yueh, which manufactures bike racks for Tubas and RackTime, that it is shut down for now, said Ortlieb USA president Jeff Scully. Ortlieb imports and distributes both Tubas and RackTime products and sells them through Quality Bicycle Products and REI

Storck Rebel 7 review

Forget about storks bringing babies; German performance fanatic Storck never delivers anything less than highly focused, high-velocity bikes. This new 650b version of its Rebel hardtail is no exception.

Frame and equipment: rugged contender

With 29ers now the accepted choice for easy rolling cross-country speed – for any rider big enough to fit the necessarily slightly bigger frames, that is – 650b race hardtails need to punch hard first to avoid questions later. And few bikes give anyone trying to follow them a bloodier nose than the Rebel.

Given the girth of the down tube, the supersized 92mm press-fit bottom bracket, the huge hollow 142×12mm dropouts and a seat tube/top tube/seatstay junction made with bigger tubes than most BB clusters, it’s obviously a seriously muscular bike.

Chunky dropouts and stays add to the bike’s muscular looks: chunky dropouts and stays add to the bike’s muscular looks

Chunky dropouts and stays add to the bike’s muscular looks

The instant the clack of you clipping into the pedals echoes through the pipework, you realise there are some serious steroids coursing through its carbon fibre veins. As the chain tautens there’s a totally direct, undiluted sensation that you’re standing directly on the DT Swiss freehub pawls, ripping torque onto the trail through (thankfully) stiff spokes.

The frame is around 100g heavier than the best-in-class Scott Scale 700, but even with relatively sturdy XT transmission and brakes and its all-alloy Crank Brothers finishing kit, it’s an impressively light bike. This brings all the normal acceleration and climbing advantages, and the smaller (than the now de rigueur 29in) wheels give it an edge in reduced inertia.

We’ve found with other 650b race bikes that the first few metres out of every corner or up each fire road climb are a chance to kick some space between you and bigger-wheeled bikes. Shorter forks, spokes and stays give a much tighter connection to the ground than similarly light 29ers, so you can turn in harder and later, relying on the pin-sharp feedback to keep the tyres sliding and under control.

The Rebel’s slack 72 degree seat angle and long 100mm stem mean there’s more breathing space for sustained efforts than the 23in top tube would suggest.

While it makes for crowded bars, the twin-lever Fox CTD remote means you can switch easily between the fork’s Climb lockout and the suitably tight Trail damping without letting go of the fat, ribbed grips. The PaceStar compound Rocket Ron Evo tyres are as fast as you’ll get without losing your knobbles, too, which all adds to this bike’s obvious race readiness.

Ride and handling: tough get going

There’s a slight snarl and scuffle from the Schwalbe tyres as they brace against loose grit and you’re gone. Bars sawing from side to side, finger rattling the XT shifter through the ratios like the trigger of a semi-automatic rifle, it’s a symphony of speed superlatives.

The mid-sized wheels’ mixed performance makes the Rebel a fun machine outside the tapes too. The 70-degree head-angled steering is accurate without being too snatchy on really steep or loose descents, and the precision tracking and low weight make it easy to pop and hop over trouble.

As long as the trail is smooth or soft it drifts and slides with impressively consistent control, helped along by the precisely metered bite of the XT brakes. The gear cables and rear brake pipe are clamped under the top tube, which makes servicing and set up much easier than internal routing, though at the expense of a bit of weight, frame-shouldering comfort and general tidiness. More practically there’s a ton of mud clearance around the rear wheel so it can take much bigger rubber than the 2.1s fitted.

Lots of space for bigger tyres, mud and splinters of rattled backbone to drop through: lots of space for bigger tyres, mud and splinters of rattled backbone to drop through

Lots of space for bigger tyres, mud and splinters of rattled backbone to drop through

Despite Storck’s claims of ‘vertical compliance’ and ‘a high degree of vibration dampening’, the Rebel is an absolute ass-kicker. We’re not talking a bit of buzz and a need to dodge big rocks and be careful off drops either; the Rebel turns even duck boards into tooth-rattling, spine-shaking jackhammers, bruises your feet on long rocky rides and gives you a proper ‘brain against skull’ staccato concussion on stepped descents if you’re too heavy on the brakes.

Reach a rough climb and that unflinching power transfer, so efficient on smooth trails, suddenly needs a lot of traction control from the rider. Every ripple or rock can kick the back end up and blow your grip if you don’t trim torque at the right moment. While traction is definitely better than a similarly stiff 26in-wheeled bike, you can’t just meathead your way up anything rooty, rocky or cobbled the way you can with a more compliant or bigger-wheeled machine.

The rebel 7 is a race-ready machine, but still great fun – if brutal: the rebel 7 is a race-ready machine, but still great fun – if brutal

The Rebel 7 is a race-ready machine, but still great fun – if brutal

Whatever they say in their spiel, German frames tend to be a lot stiffer than those from other countries. Here, the fat grips and adequate but not amazing Evolution-spec damping in the Fox fork mean palms are punished on longer, rougher rides, and even with plenty of seatpost showing above the low-slung frame, you soon learn to be wary of the saddle on more chaotic trails.

While the Germans led the 650b field in 2013, and being ahead of the curve then cost a premium, there’s a lot more competition for mid-sized race and trail honours this year. That makes this ‘intro’ spec of Crank Brothers and Shimano XT look expensive against similar (if less kudos-commanding) mainstream bikes, though it’s comparable with other ‘boutique’ builds. Storck also includes a bike fitting, which includes sizing the cockpit components to you, in the price.

Light, massively powerful and confidently planted, the monster-tubed Storck hits the trails with a proper Rebel yell (or possibly a shriek of pain). It’s ready to race, reach far horizons in record time or pin the local singletrack. Just don’t expect a cosy or comfy experience – and remember that a prestige name comes at a cost.

This article was originally published in What Mountain Bike magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.








By Emma on April 28, 2014 | Mountain Bikes
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Focus SAM 2.0 review

If there was one bike that blindsided us is this year’s Trail Bike of the Year awards, it was the SAM from Focus.

While there’s much more to bike geometry than head angles, they’re a dominating aspect of handling DNA. Sitting on the Focus with the front axle way out ahead of the bars – courtesy of a downhill-slack 65-degree head angle – it’s plain the German company has taken the gravity performance of this new bike very seriously.

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Video: Focus SAM 2.0

Frame and equipment: control freakery

The big flat bars and short stem are an aggressive combination that keeps you low and directly connected, so you can drive the front wheel as hard as possible. The top quality soft-compound Schwalbe Hans Dampf tyres are fattened up by Reynolds’ new wide-rimmed AM wheels, while an internally-routed KS Lev Integra dropper post lets you get suitably low behind the flat bars. Add a suspension setup that likes to hunker down into corners and the SAM is glued to the ground, with grip levels that tamed even the loosest of Finale’s corners.

A super-steep 75-degree seat angle from the extended, externally braced seatpost puts rider weight well forward too, so there’s no danger of the front wheel washing out if you’re pedalling through the turns. You can guarantee climbing grip and line obedience even more by flicking the travel on the TALAS fork down to 140mm to grind up the steep stuff.

Sticky tyres and slack geometry – the sam 2.0 corners like it’s on rails: sticky tyres and slack geometry – the sam 2.0 corners like it’s on rails

Sticky tyres and slack geometry – the SAM 2.0 corners like it’s on rails

While the frame is on the sturdy side, the good value XT-based kit on this 2.0 model means the complete bike is competitive on weight with similarly gravity-focused trail bikes. There is one obvious obstacle to rapid climbing besides the tacky tyres, though, and that’s rider position.

Ride and handling: have it large

While the wheelbase is as long as most bikes, the distance between the seat and those low-set bars is comically short. You’re going to have to size up if you want even the slightest amount of breathing space rather than a bike that feels like it’s stuck the grips to your knees. Or you can do what everyone who jumped on the Focus in Finale did – resign yourself to plodding or pushing up climbs, and just let it rip on the descents.

Despite concerns about unproven dampers, the Magura shocks on all three SAMs we’ve ridden have been fine. There’s initial stubbornness, but that damps pedal bob and, once moving, it has an impressively smooth (if generously linear) feel that’s great for sustaining speed through big rocks and stuttery roots.

The sam is long and low, making gravity-fuelled adventures a blast. it ploughs through rough terrain at speed, while handling technical trails with confidence.: the sam is long and low, making gravity-fuelled adventures a blast. it ploughs through rough terrain at speed, while handling technical trails with confidence.

The SAM is long and low, making gravity-fuelled adventures a blast. It ploughs through rough terrain at speed, while handling technical trails with confidence.

It does blow through off big drops, which shows up twist in the rear end, but it always collects control straight after touchdown. It’s only the mid-stroke choke of the Evolution-damped Fox 34 fork that holds it back at full chat.

The slack angle and forward weight focus mean, though, that even this isn’t as big a deal as normal, and the Focus SAM more than deserves its place in the 2014 top five.

This article was originally published as part of?What Mountain Bike magazine’s Trail Bike of the year awards. What Mountain Bike is available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.








Bespoked: five must-visit stands at the UK handbuilt bike show

The fourth Bespoked handbuilt bike show opened yesterday at the magnificent Lee Valley VeloPark in London.

BikeRadar dashed round the great, the good and the downright wacky stands to see what this year’s raft of exhibitors had brought with them for the weekend ahead.

If you’re heading to East London for the show, here’s some of our must-visit stands

Cofa Engineering

Cofa Engineering is based above the velodrome floor, handily next to the Look Mum No Hands Caf?. They’re showing this outrageous 26in mountain bike. Steve Major built this rig just because he should. Cofa Enginnering usually machine bespoke parts for other manufacturers – turns out he can build the entire thing too.

Cofa engineering's virtuoso piece of aluminium construction: cofa engineering's virtuoso piece of aluminium construction

Cofa Engineering’s mountain bike

Oak Cycles

Hit the velodrome pit and turn right. That’s London-based Oak Cycles’ stand right there. Have a look at the Time Machine. Beneath the retro Penguin paperback paintjob is a seriously cool bike – a light racing frame and ENVE fork combo that’s also a tourer. It’s constructed from Columbus Spirit Tubing, got the best mudguards we’ve ever seen (because you can’t really see them) and an SRM. It’s lush.

Oak cycles' exceptional time machine: oak cycles' exceptional time machine

Oak Cycles’ Time Machine

Feather Cycles?

Yorkshire builder Ricky Feather, perennial award winner at Bespoked and British handmade bike royalty, has a big, obvious stand decked in his beautiful steel frames. He’s just launched a race team with his mates and you can see the fleet of bikes here. They look great.

Feather cycles' racing team bikes: feather cycles' racing team bikes

Feather Cycles’ racing team bikes

Veloboo?

Worth the entry fee alone, Veloboo brought along a €38,000 bike! For the money you get a bamboo frameset and Campagnolo Centaur. Not even Super Record. The reason why it’s so expensive, of course, is the 24-carat gold plating on the components – rims, brakes and bars. The Hungarian company didn’t gold plate the rear derailleur, because that would have been “too much”, Rafeal Petrocz at the stand told us.

Veloboo's downright crazy 24-carat plated bambo bike. why?: veloboo's downright crazy 24-carat plated bambo bike. why?

Veloboo’s gold-plated bamboo frameset

Tsubasa

Ed Vavilovas has about two square metres of floor space and three extraordinary carbon frames. He makes them at home in East London flat. There’s a standard carbon model, an ultra-high modulus version, and one that uses T700S carbon in rectangular tube profile. The name Tsubasa is the Japanese word for ‘wing’, and it’s his homage to his Japanese wife, who has been very understanding of his hobby. The carbon’s sourced from a German company – a difficult task he said – and the wooden brake mount where the seatstays converge is a wooden floorboard from his flat. Legend.

Tsubasa's angular looking carbon monocoques frames - homemade: tsubasa's angular looking carbon monocoques frames - homemade

Tsubasa’s angular looking carbon monocoques frames – all homemade

There are so many great stands we could have but didn’t include in our cursory tour: Paulus-Quiros, Woodrup, Moss, Condor and Enigma for starters. If you can get down to the velodrome, do – it’s a great show and we’ll bring you more coverage this weekend.