Back in the summer of 2016 three friends living in Girona pooled their credit cards, hunted for the best deal on the market & bought 7 bicycles. These bicycles were squeezed into an apartment hallway & delivered to the first Eat Sleep Cycle bike rental guests by founders Lee, Louise & Brian. Now, 3 and a bit years on, we’ve expanded from an apartment hallway to fill our Hub in Plaça Catalunya & a few months ago we opened a Service Course to house more bikes as well as our tour vehicles & equipment.
As the cycling tour season approaches, it’s a great time to reflect on why we work with the brands we work with.
Ridley: A Belgian Classic
The core of our rental fleet comes from Ridley bikes. Ridley is based in Flanders, Belgium – the heartland of cycling & home to some of the most spectacular cycling events on the calendar, the Tour of Flanders & Gent-Wevelgem. It is Belgium where kids master the cobblestones by the age of 5, where the country comes to a standstill to watch the Spring Classics. Ridley, like Eat Sleep Cycle, is made up of a team of people who live & breathe cycling.
Founded by Flandrian Joachim Aerts in 1997, Ridley is a company which has innovation at its core. After racing from the age of 14 to 19, Aerts soon took a different path and learnt bike painting, welding & building. He founded his first bike company in 1994. Staying at the forefront of product design & development is key & their mission is to build cutting edge machines which reflect a riders individuality. To date, Ridley has collected 15 world titles, one for each year since its involvement in professional sponsorship. Ridley is now a household name with top pros riding their bikes, for instance the powerhouse team of Belgium-based Lotto-Soudal making expert use of their bikes.
In 2017 we were searching for a bike brand to work with here in Girona. Ridley had just signed a sponsorship deal with Irish Pro Continental Squad Aqua Blue. A few of their riders were in town and we kept seeing Ridley bikes flash past. Ridley were not with another shop in Girona, so we got in touch & a new partnership was born. Ridley bikes are a firm favourite with our guests. They have great geometry which works for everyone & are dream to work with for our mechanics.
Our 2020 Ridley Bikes:
- Fenix SL Disc – choice of 105 or Ultegra Di2
- Helium SLX Ultegra Disc
- Noah Fast Di2
- Kanzo Adventure Sram Force 1x
Staff rides: Marc – Noah Fast, Nancy – Tempo
Factor: On top of the world
At the beginning of 2019 we were searching for a super-high end bike. We wanted to offer our guests the opportunity to ride one of the best bikes in the world during their tour of a lifetime. At the time we’d just started working with David Millar & his clothing brand, CHPT3. We’d seen David riding around on his beautiful One More Lap design bike and heard good things from riders in teh One Pro cycling team (at the time sponsored by Factor). One Linked in connection request later, and we were in touch with the owner of Factor Rob Gitels.
Factor Bikes is all about technology & its roots like in motorsport & aviation. In 2007 Factor Bikes was born in an industrial unit in Norfolk, England. Originally an offshoot of bf1systems, Factor began as a leading engineering firm dedicated to working at the highest levels of design with some of the fastest, most prestigious brands in the world including Ferrari, Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Maserati and many F1, Moto GP, and WRC teams.
In 2009 Factor entered the cycling world with the revolutionary FACTOR001. More pioneering development ensued and in 2012, Factor launched a collaboration with Aston Martin – the Factor ONE-77 £25k Hyper Bike. By 2013 Factor was unveiling its first production bike, the rule-breaking Vis Vires which included a bf1systems-developed power meter, a distinctive Twin Vane split down tube and a split external ‘Dual Bayonet’ fork. The Vis Vires platform debuted to unanimous critical acclaim from both the world’s cycling press and prestigious design award committees.
In 2014 the Factor engineers turned their attention to developing the next generation of frames, including the ONE & O2. Enter Baden Cooke. A top professional for 14 years, an Olympian & winner of over 50 races, Baden won the Green jersey in the Tour de France in 2003. As he worked with Factor, Baden fell in love with Factor’s vision & ideals. He took the Vis Vires for a test ride & that was it. Shortly after the ride Baden, along with engineer Rob Gitelis, purchased Factor Bikes from bf1systems.
The work continues and the new generation of Factor bikes continues to innovate & meet the highest demand of luxury performance.
Our 2020 Factor Bikes:
- Factor 02 VAM Ultegra Di2
- Plus Factor 02 Di2 in sizes 46 & 61
Staff rides: Louise – Factor O2
Basso: Italian Passion & Family Values
By mid-2019 we had a gorgeous bike fleet made up of a combination of Belgian class & the highest level of British engineering. What we needed next was an injection of Italian passion. Enter Basso.
Basso is a family run business located in northern Italy, in the shadow of Monte Grappa, in the town of Bassano del Grappa. In 1974 Alcide Basso, the youngest of three sons in the Basso family, started making bicycles in his family’s garage. In 1977 be founded Basso Bikes & was joined a year later by his brother, Marino, when he retired from professional racing. Marino enjoyed an incredible career which saw him win many stages of the Tour of Italy and become World Champion in 1972 with a win that inspired a nation. Marino wanted to offer the public the same tools that professional riders used.
Alcide had a solid foundation in mechanics from growing up in the workshops of master craftsmen & from working as a mechanic with Marino’s professional teams. He traveled all over Europe and worked with teams like Salvarani, Bianchi & Magniflex. By 1976 Alcide was able to open a retail store & in 1981 he opened the first Basso factory. The combination of Alcide’s talent for mechanics & engineering with Marino’s experience as a professional racer, led Basso bikes to create a unique geometry & ride feel across their range of bikes, which still shine through today. Basso’s are bikes created for racers.
So in the summer of 2019 we sat down with Alessandro Basso, the son of founder Alcide & got hooked on all things Basso. These a bikes for riders looking for a pure Italian race experience – they are the perfect machines on which to discover the rugged climbs of northern Italy & the rolling hills of Tuscany.
Our 2020 Basso Bikes:
- Basso Astra Ultegra Disc
- Basso Venta Ultegra Disc
Staff rides: Silvia – Basso Venta, Lee – Basso Astra
Reilly: Best in Class Titanium Bikes from Brighton, UK
We were looking for a missing experience for our gravel riders. With a stiff, fast carbon gravel bike from Ridley, perfect for high-octane dashes through the country side of Girona, we were missing a bike which would excel on the technical stuff & provide greater ride comfort. We asked the Gravel kings of Girona & we kept hearing about Reilly, so we got in touch. Enter Phil – all round legend & the guy who keeps things running smoothly at Reilly HQ.
Reilly is based in Brighton & is the work of renowned UK frame builder, Mark Reilly. Founder of Omega & then Enigma, Mark brings years of frame building expertise to the company. Co-founder Neil Fitzgerald comes from Formula 1 & the third partner, Damon Fischer, looks after graphic & product design. Together they create unique & beautiful bikes focused on creating the best ride experience for the user. Their approach is down to earth & their testing grounds are the rolling Sussex hills around Brighton.
Our 2020 Reilly Bikes
- Reilly Gradient GRX
Focus Bikes: New Generation E-Bikes
The e-bike is a rising phenomenon in the cycling world with sales outstripping the sales of normal bikes. The e-bike is a fantastic way to level the playing field and for people of different levels to genuinely enjoy riding with each other. E-bikes make long kilometers & incredible landscapes accessible for a whole new group of people.
German brand Focus have a reputation for solid engineering. Their road e-bike has led the way for the industry & incorporates the latest technology for the lightest e-bike ride on the market. We’re waiting for the delivery of the first batch, so watch this space!
Our 2020 Focus Bikes:
- Focus Paralane2 e-road bike
- Focus Jarifa2 e-hybrid bike
Book for 2020 Now
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