Following on from Jim’s words back in March, let me introduce myself, I’m Richard from England, together with Christopher, and we have been hard at work developing a fairly new and radical step for the Igleheart brand.
For a while Christopher has seen a rise in interest in his work in the UK and Europe, pretty much I think as a reaction to a market that has chosen a style and method of manufacture which is lead by cost and mass production.
When I started cycling at school, I soon got into the racing scene, and at any meet there would display of all the greats and hopefuls of frame building ,Reg Harris, Holdsworth, Geoffrey Butler, Chas Roberts, all helping to define you own style. Turning up to a race now you will be met with an array of big manufacturers bikes, most probably built in the same factory in China.
I was introduced to Christopher through a mutual friend when I was developing a single speed ridged fork mountain bike.
Christopher so impressed me with depth of knowledge and passion for his art, I thought it only right that my fellows over this side of the Atlantic should have the opportunity to live the “Igleheart dream”
With a bit of tailoring, Christopher and I hatched an idea which could be marketed in far foreign lands. Rather than frame only builds, we will be offering a range of forward thinking custom builds to all. These bikes will offer a break from tradition over the standard offering in the UK. Starting with our bike which show cased at the NAHBS in Richmond the range will be:
(No pun intended) this is the “rough stuff “bike.
For those who might not know the term Rough stuff is a style of riding dating back to the 50’s in England, where riders get away from the tarmac and explore tracks and byways (gravel tracks). The bikes originally where a real mix of styles and shapes; showing that you don’t have to just stick to a mountain bike to ride off road. Some great information and pictures can be found on http://www.rsf.org.uk/
Wouldn’t it be great we thought, to develop this idea and bring it up to date, to allow your ride to go wherever the feeling takes you? To ride push or carry a cycle over bridleways, footpaths and tracks or even where there is no path.
With the IRS, we have developed a bike to cater for on and off road. Now you can tear up the tarmac all the way to the trail head to single track it home. The best of both worlds.
Specification on the IRS has been specifically chosen for this (application) in mind
This bike is aimed at the city commuter but is much more versatile than one pigeon holed term. It has been based around a fast tourer /randonee with full braze on’s and finished in a custom paint.
The heart of this bike is based around using the Rolhoff speed hub 500/14.
We can all appreciate the advantages if a hub gear, such as:
· less wear on the moving parts, enclosed design needs only a single chain wheel,
· The chain is always in the optimal position regardless of the chosen gear unlike the derailleur case.
· Because the hub is sealed from the elements, dirt and water are less of a issue
· The Speed hub uses symmetrical lacing of the spokes, which leads to less spoke strain and fewer breakages.
· Gears progress in much more constant steps.
Gears can be changed while the bicycle is stationary, good for the traffic.
For us one of the big disadvantages is the standard shifter, we were adamant we wanted to run with drop bars. Most are probably aware that the Rolhoff shifter can only be mounted on the ends of the bars, (really intended for straight bar set ups) this we felt lead to a cluttered look with the cables. we set about developing a rotary shifter, This brings the shifter up on the tops of the bars near the stem. Cable routing is much neater and the style lends itself to the overall build.
The ICC is coupled with independent manufactured components carefully selected to enhance the distinct and individual look and feel of this bike.
Cyclosportives are incredibly popular in Europe. They allow us as mere mortals to experience a feel of riding in the grand tours like the l’Etape du Tour, or challenging events such as La Marmotte with its climbs over Croix de Fer, Telegraghe and Galibier. In the UK we have a very active calendar giving riders opportunities most weekends to put themselves to the test.
Comfort is the Holy Grail of sportive riders. That's not to say that endurance riders don't want their bikes to have most of the stiffness, lightness and sheer 'bling' of their professional cousins but, quite rightly, they want to go back to their day jobs at the end of a hard weekend and at least be able to sit down...if not quite walk properly.
Using Christopher’s vast experience in racing and combining it with his knowledge custom builds, we believe we have come up with a perfect combination of performance and comfort. To combat the masses the ICC will stand out with its mix of custom build and unique components.
The 29” is a relative new concept in the UK, but the advantages are plain to see. Larger diameter wheels roll over obstacles better, maintain momentum, improved ground clearance and better straight line tracking. 29” wheels create a longer tire contact patch, this helps you float through mud, sand, snow, and also improves traction when climbing. Using Paragon Sliders means the bike can be versatile, single speed, Rolhoff or derailleur. The frame geometry can be adjusted to I particular suspension fork, or to really live the dream, the segmented rigid fork made by Christopher will set the bike apart.
To start the ball rolling we have managed to have a very favourable review in the monthly magazine “Cycling Active” http://cyclingweekly.ipcshop.co.uk/shop/magazines/cycling-active/cycling-active-magazine-october-2010
which is produced by the biggest cycle magazine in the UK "Cycling Weekly"
On the back of this we were ask if we would like to provide some display bikes for Cycling weekly's stand at the main show in the UK “Cycle” in Earls court, London. This provided some excellent profile and gave a opportunity to chat to the trade and public.
The bikes we had on show were the IRS and ICC looking stunning in their own way, The IRS polished Columbus XCR stainless tubing with its mix of Sram XX and Force and the ICC showing off its airbrushed mudguards and unique shifter for the Rohloff. They created quite an impression, a welcome alternative to the standard big brand models.
From the show the bike will go to our dealer Cycles Dauphin in Surrey. This will be our shop front where clients will be sized. http://www.cyclesdauphin.com/
So thing are moving, and so if you are from the European side and fancy owning a work of art which will ride like best bike you have ever owned, please get in contact with me.