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Cycling

Eat-Sleep-Cycle-Hub-Cafe-Crowdfunding-Sustainable-Cycling-Jersey

Made In Girona: Behind the Scenes Creating Our New Cycling Kit

By Cycling No Comments

To celebrate the opening of our new café this summer we’re giving our Eat Sleep Cycle kit a makeover & offering it exlusively via our café crowdfunding campaign. Our brief is a simple one – look cool, ride in comfort & reduce our impact on the environment. Eat Sleep Cycle founders Lee & Lou are excited to kick-start Eat Sleep Cycle’s sustainability strategy in partnership with local kit manufacturer, Tactic. Freya joined Lee & Lou on their Tactic factory tour.

Sustainable Cycling Jersey: Design

 

As cyclists we enjoy a lifestyle which centres around the bicycle. Whilst riding a bike has a super low impact on the environment, there is still loads we can do as a global cycling community to reduce the footprint of the industry. We’re seeing an inspiring shift in the clothing brands we work with to consider sustainability in their kit manufacturing processes. It’s time Eat Sleep Cycle got involved in the journey.

Cycling Kit Inspired By Girona

Our new Eat Sleep Cycle kit is designed with Girona in mind. Eat Sleep Cycle started as a European Bike Tour operator & Bike Rental company with a base in Girona. 2020 changed everything & with the halting of global tourism Eat Sleep Cycle transformed into a local bike shop with it’s heart, soul & community firmly anchored in Girona. Eat Sleep Cycle today is made up of a community of local riders, pro riders & from cyclists all over the world who’ll be back in Girona soon.

Girona is a meeting point for cyclists from all over the world, it’s a mecca for bike-lovers & our new jersey celebrates that.

Eat-Sleep-Cycle-Hub-Cafe-Crowdfunding-Sustainable-Cycling-Jersey-Tactic

Cycling Kit Made In Girona

Tactic is Girona cycling kit & we’ve partnered with Tactic on many an occasion to design our custom kit (check out our Girona Onyar collection). Our first step was to approach Quim & his team at Tactic – a local, Girona based company just 15 mins by bike from the Eat Sleep Cycle shop.

Tactic are a company who are dreaming big & have values aligned with Eat Sleep Cycle. They are the obvious partner for our journey & luckily they were up for the challenge! Together we’re making the committment to reduce the environmental impact of the Eat Sleep Cycle kit & to share the journey with you!

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Sustainable Cycling Jersey: Step One

Being able to work with a company just 2 km from us was a big win to start to limit the carbon footprint of the jersey.

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Sustainable Cycling Jersey: Road Map

We want our Girona cycling jersey to also reflect where we want to be heading as a company, to a more sustainable future. And while we know that our end goal for a sustainable cycling jersey isn’t something that we can get exactly how we want it to be first time round, we want to make sure we’re transparent with our process of getting there. We’re now deep in conversation to build our road map to our ideal end product – do we focus on water use, material origins, printing techniques, zips…?

The end goal is to have jersey that is designed and made in Girona, from sustainable materials. We want to ensure we can offer full transparency on the creation and process of the jersey and will work to ensure this is something we can offer from the get-go.

We know that “sustainability” isn’t just using a recycled material, it is also about the water usage in creating the material, the C02 footprint, and energy consumed throughout the supply chain and process of creation. From the very start of the materials creation to the end product being sent to the consumer. We will be working to ensure this entire process is as sustainable as we can make it, but we also know that this will be a continuous work in progress.

Sustainable Cycling Jersey: The Future

Eat Sleep Cycle is evolving and we’re excited to get you on board with our sustainable future. Our dream of having a café in Girona next to our bike shop is becoming a reality, and this Girona cycling jersey is a small step towards a big future.

Want to get your hands on the new Eat Sleep Cycle kit?

Our new sustainable cycling jersey is available to pre-order for a limited time only via our café crowdfunding campaign – sign up for updates & be the first to know about the jersey & rewards!

P.S. Enjoyed this blog? Why not sign up to receive notifications every time we post and get regular updates on our latest tours!

Sram-Rival-etap-AXS-Electronic-Wireless-Entry-Level-Product-Launch

Sram Rival eTap AXS Launch: Entry Level Goes Wireless

By Cycling No Comments

Sram have announced their latest release, a market-leading wireless groupset, cementing their stance that electronic shifting is something they want to make accessible to all riders.

Sram Rival eTap AXS: First Reactions

We asked the Eat Sleep Cycle team for their first reactions.

Bernat from our Sales & Purchasing team says:

It’s a game-changer in the world of electronic groupsets. More people are going to be able to afford a full electronic, wireless groupset. It is nice, it’s a step forward in design for Rival after a long time – for example the crankset is much nicer. It’s super sleak & stealthy & has the looks of the more expensive options.

Sram-Rival-etap-AXS-Electronic-Wireless-Entry-Level-CranksetOur Mechanic Daan says:

I think it’s nice that they bought the same tech from the higher end groups to the lower end. Together with the new GX you can make an affordable mullet set up; pairing road shifters & a mtb derailler gives you a 1 x high-range groupset at a much more affordable price.

Partner Lee says:

I think that going 100% electronic is definitely the way to go. Just because you’re on a smaller budget you shouldn’t be denied an electronic groupset. Sram are going the right way there. Also it looks super cool, stealthy black. I also can’t wait to see what’s next for Force & Red.

What’s the Difference between Red, Force & Rival AXS?

With 3 electronic groupsets in the range, let’s take a look at what defines each one:

  1. The hood shape for the Rival eTap AXS shifter has changed from the SRAM RED and Force eTap AXS systems to a narrower grip. The Rival eTap AXS does not allow for auxiliary remote shift buttons, whereas SRAM RED has two each per shifter and Force eTap AXS has one each per shifter.
  2. Rival eTap AXS has an alloy brake lever.
  3. Rival eTap AXS 2x cranksets come in polished aluminum. Both SRAM RED and Force crank arms are carbon.
  4. Rival eTap AXS 1x has an integrated spider. You cannot swap from 2x to 1x as you can with the RED and Force eTap AXS cranksets.

How much does Rival eTap AXS Cost?

A groupset includes: Shift-brake system, rotors, crankset, bottom bracket, chain, cassette, derailleur (front and rear for 2x, rear only for 1x), batteries, charger.

2x with power meter: €1688*
2x no power meter: €1463*
1x with power meter: €1453*
1x no power meter:  €1228*

*VAT included with £ and € pricing.

The groupset is avaialble to order now in store.

Sram-Rival-etap-AXS-Electronic-Wireless-Entry-Level-GroupStill Not Convinced? Test Ride Sram with our Demo bike program

We are a Sram test centre & have a number of Demo bikes equipped with Sram groupsets – ask us about a test ride! Our rental fleet also contains Sram bikes – head over to our bike rental page to select your dream ride for your visit to Girona. Rest assured that bikes equipped with Rival eTap AXS are coming soon!

P.S. Enjoyed this blog? Why not sign up to receive notifications every time we post and get regular updates on our latest tours!

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5 Reason’s Why I Am A Sram Convert

By Cycling No Comments

In the days before a big Sram product launch (standby for April 15th!) Eat Sleep Cycle founder Lee explains why he’s a recent convert to Sram. 

Sram vs Shimano

I confess – I am a SRAM convert. I am a roadie at heart and up until recently had been riding race bikes equipped with Shimano all my life. In this article I will tell you the 5 reasons why I have switched to SRAM & why I’ll be sticking with it. 

1. Sram has a wider gear range

The 12 speeds on the ETAP AXS groupset provide more range and tighter steps. At first sight I was almost confused by the SRAM chainring sizes, where is the 53-39 and the 11-28 that Shimano provide?! After just one ride I was already convinced that SRAM gearing provides more options for that right gear, going uphill, downhill and on the flats. I found myself jumping between the small and large chainring at the front much less and just that feeling of finding the right cadence – it felt great!

2. Sram has Interchangeable Batteries

If you ride electronic gearing and you are a busy person you have probably been caught out with a flat battery mid ride. This happens to me more than I would like to admit! In the past, with Shimano Ultegra di2, it has been a laborious ride back stuck in the small chainring at the front and little at the rear. It leaves no room for a steep hill (ouch knees) or fast flat section (spinny spinny) for that matter. When my SRAM Force AXS rear derailleur ran flat recently I simply swapped the battery from my front derailleur, which allowed me not only to get home but to complete my valuable lunchtime ride which included a series of steep hills. I was blown away by this capability, really designing real life situations into the groupset functionality. Plus I had a damn good ride which would have been interrupted with a Shimano electronic groupset.

3. Sram Levers are comfortable

I really wasn’t sure about the larger levers of SRAM ETAP AXS compared to both Ultegra and Dura Ace di2, mainly due to aesthetics. But after several longer rides what I realised is that there are more positions to put your hands on the hoods. More positions means less wear and fatigue in one same position. Especially as I get older and the inevitable aches and pains start, I really respect having the ergonomics considered in the groupset and not just the looks. Now I will never go back to a smaller hood.

4. Sram Shifting is More Intuative

If like me you have always ridden with Shimano this could be, even if you don’t admit it, the biggest reason you do not change over. With Shimano di2 the left lever is for the front chainring and right for the rear cassette. With SRAM the left lever shifts down and the right lever up the rear cassette and pressing both changes the front chain ring. I was surprised how quickly this came naturally to my riding. As well as giving a precision and certain change, it just now feels right making the majority of my changes with clicks to the left (down) and right (up) levers, rather than on the same right lever. I can change gear mid stroke on a climb or in a critical sprint against the team on the lunchtime ride!

5. Wireless is the Future – & Sram Have Already Done It

Whether it is behind the tv at home or on my race bike I do not like cables. As an engineer I completely respect the need for cables but when given the option I will always go for without. It’s so much cleaner, tidier and organised in every application. I have ridden a lot of Shimano di2 bikes with batteries and junction boxes in various places. Whether it’s a cable connection coming loose on one of the derailleurs or the cable catching in the seat tube of the frame, cables are prone to errors, I have seen it time and time again. So wireless for me absolutely is the way to go.

Leading the way in innovation & development

Whilst there are many more features of SRAM ETAP AXS that make it great (like analysis and programming) these are the 5 reasons why I am a SRAM convert. I will leave you with one last thought. Wherever Shimano go now with their groupsets, will they do their own thing or follow SRAM’s innovation and development?! Do you want to be riding the latest developments designed with you, the rider in mind, or following with these updates a few years later? For me, I am well and truly converted and will ride every development SRAM offers to me on the road. Chapeau SRAM Road!

Still Not Convinced? Test Ride Sram with our Demo bike program

We are a Sram test centre & have a number of Demo bikes equipped with Sram groupsets – ask us about a test ride! Our rental fleet also contains Sram bikes – head over to our bike rental page to select your dream ride for your visit to Girona.

P.S. Enjoyed this blog? Why not sign up to receive notifications every time we post and get regular updates on our latest tours!

Eat-Sleep-Cycle-Girona-Onyar-Cycling-Kit-The-Story

Girona Onyar Collection

By Cycling No Comments

Our new Girona Onyar summer collection celebrates the life of the River Onyar & the fresh colours & good vibes of Spring. The kit is a collaboration with Tactic, a local kit manufaturer with a factory just 2 kms from the centre of Girona.

We wanted to create a kit with soul, inspired by the colours, sounds & history of Girona – this awesome cycling paradise which we are proud to call home. It made total sense to work with Tactic & together we developed the concept & design.

Girona-Onyar-Cycling-Kit-Eat-Sleep-Cycle-Tactic.The River Onyar

Let’s take a look at the source. The Riu Onyar has it’s source 34 km south west of Girona, in Brunyola. The river carves a path from Brunyola through the villages of Vilobí d’Onyar , Riudellots de la Selva , Sant Andreu Salou , Campllong , Fornells de la Selva , Quart and finally runs through the centre of Girona where it joins the River Ter.

The Onyar is a river with a tumultuous past & has bought great floods to the region over the centuries. The brightly painted façades of the houses overlooking the Onyar create an image which is quintessestially Girona, bringing joy & good memories to the minds of cyclists across the golbe – this image is our inspiration.

Made in Girona: Tactic

Tactic were the obvious kit partners to create our Girona Onyar collection (check out our Tactic Factory Tour blog to see inside). They are a tight-knit workforce of cyclists who love to test the kit they create. Lots of the Tactic team are regulars at Eat Sleep Cycle too, so if felt good to return the good vibes & work together on the kit. Guillem is the Tactic designer who turned our concept into a cool reality. Daan is our man at Eat Sleep Cycle who selected the fresh new colours for our 2021 Collection.

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Choose Your Girona Onyar Jersey

You can shop our Girona Onyar Collection online or in our Girona store! Make sure you also check out the new summer kit releases by Tactic.

P.S. Enjoyed this blog? Why not sign up to receive notifications every time we post and get regular updates on our latest tours!

Merche Martín Perpiñá’s Basso Venta

By Cycling No Comments

Merche grew up in different villages along the Costa Brava. Now she’s a psycologist & lives with her partner Nestor in Girona’s Barri Vell. She currently works as a child and youth psychologist in a health center & is a professor at the University of Girona and the Open University of Catalonia.

Basso Venta

Basso Bikes is an Italian, family run bike manufacturer that was founded in 1977 by Alcide Basso. The factory is nestled at the foot of Monte Grappa, an iconic cycling climb with more that 10 different ways up. Further north lie the Italian Alps & to the south is the Venitian plain – in short Basso Bikes is surrounding by the perfect testing ground for it’s hand-crafted machines.

Basso are known for creating bikes with a sublime ride quality & this carries through to the Venta – the brands ‘entry level’ model. Basso claim that the Venta has the same quality construction and long lasting performance as their top of the range bikes. The Venta offers incredible value & it’s no surprise why it’s the bike of choice for many new riders coming though the Eat Sleep Cycle doors.

Merche is new to cycling – we went for a spin around town to find out more about her Basso Venta & ask her about why she’s inspired to ride.

Why did you choose the Basso Venta?

Elegí Basso porqué tenía muy buenas referencias de esta marca italiana. A nivel estético el modelo Basso Venta me pareció espectacular!

I chose Basso because I heard very good things about this Italian brand. At an aesthetic level I think the Basso Venta is spectacular! 

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Has the Venta changed how you ride? 

Esta es mi primera bicicleta. Antes había alquilado otras marcas y la verdad es que ninguna se puede comparar a la Basso. Es una bicicleta muy ligera y cómoda. Kilómetro a kilómetro disfruto cada vez más de pedalear sobre ella.

This is my first bike. Before I bought it I had rented other brands and the truth is that none can be compared to the Basso. It is a very light and comfortable bicycle. Every kilometer with her I enjoy more than the last.

Why do you cycle? 

Uno de mis goals del 2020 era iniciarme en algún deporte nuevo. Hice mi primera ruta en bici de carretera el pasado mayo y des de el primer día supe que no querría dejar de pedalear. Creo que en este deporte además de una buena forma física se necesita mucha fortaleza mental. Y eso me gusta! Encima de la bicicleta no solo hago ejercicio, trabajo la confianza y la autosuperación compitiendo conmigo misma. Cada ruta es una nueva oportunidad para mejorar dando lo mejor de ti, para descubrir que muchas veces no hay límites, que los límites te los pones tu.

One of my goals in 2020 was to start a new sport. I did my first road bike ride last May & from the first day I did not want to stop pedalling. I think that this sport, in addition to good physical shape you also need mental strength, and I like that! On the bike I not only exercise, I work on confidence and self-improvement competing with myself. Each route is a new opportunity to improve & give your best, to discover that many times there are no limits, that the limits are set by you.

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What is your favourite route to enjoy on your Basso Venta?

Girona está lleno de lugares increíbles. Quedar-me con uno es difícil:
– La subida a Els Ángels, una ruta cerca de casa, fácil pero en la que has de ser constante. Con un santuario mágico y con una vistas increíbles.
– Perderse por los caminos que llevan a Canet d’Adri también me encanta. Rodearte de naturaleza al lado de casa no tiene precio!

Girona is full of incredible places. Choosing one route is difficult, but; the climb to Els Ángels is a perfect route close to home, it’s easy but you have to ride a consistent pace. At top is a magical sanctuary and incredible views. I also love getting lost on the roads that lead to Canet d’Adri. Surrounding yourself with nature next to home is priceless!

Want to find out more about Basso Bikes?

We are the official Basso point of sale for Girona. Head over to our Basso Bikes section on our online shop or get in touch!

P.S. Enjoyed this blog? Why not sign up to receive notifications every time we post and get regular updates on our latest tours!

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Oscar’s Ridley Kanzo Adventure

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Oscar is from the small village of Esparreguera, nestled in the mountains to the north-west of Barcelona, he’s been ripping up the gravel routes around Vic & will soon be doing the same here in Girona! Oscar came to speak to us last year when he was looking for a gravel bike to help keep him sane during the lockdown restrictions. He joined us for a siesta lunch ride to share his story & thoughts on his bike – the Ridley Kanzo Adventure.

Ridley Kanzo Adventure

Ridley are best known for making cyclocross bikes & supporting World Tour team Lotto Soudal with the Fenix SLiC, Helium & Noah Fast on the road. Their first foray into gravel bikes was the Ridley X-Trail – a bike which was hugely popular & got rave reviews from across the globe. The Kanzo Speed is the descendent of the X-Trail & is built for fast gravel riding. The Kanzo Adventure is its adventurous counterpart, developed to optimize fun & to be the perfect companion on long rides & multi-day adventures.

We asked Oscar why he chose the Ridley Kanzo:

I was looking at a different bike, then I spoke with Lee, and he told me this was great for me. I was looking for a reactive bike but thas also comfortable on long rides.

Kanzo Adventure Ride Quality

The Kanzo Adventure is a bike which promises to be fun in the marketing materials. But what is the reality like? We asked Oscar if the bike has changed the way he rides:

100%! I really found exactly what Lee said about this bike – its a fast bike but also with the 45c tyres you can use it as a mountain bike. This bike has confirmed my passion for gravel!

The Wow Factor: Born to Ride Bikes

We asked Oscar what inspires him to ride:

Big question, it’s not easy. For me its the best way to forget everything & I like it because every ride I feel the same, like the first ride in my life… WOW!!

Oscar has a history of going on adventures & he loves to explore. His rides right now focus on staying closer to home but we asked what his dream ride would be on the Kanzo:

I got the bike during covid restriccions so I have the ridden the routes around Vic so far. My dream trip with this bike would be Uganda, Congo, Ethiopa.

Want to find out more about Ridley Bikes or Gravel Bike options?

We are the official Ridley Bikes point of sale for Girona. Head over to our Ridley Bikes section on our online shop or get in touch! We carry a wide range of gravel bikes from different brands too – check out our Gravel Bikes online.

P.S. Enjoyed this blog? Why not sign up to receive notifications every time we post and get regular updates on our latest tours!

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Willem Jan’s Basso Astra

By Cycling One Comment

Willem Jan is a talented mechanic from Holland, now living in Girona & running the show in the Eat Sleep Cycle workshop. Willem moved to Girona with his partner Annemiek to continue working in the cycling industry & to enjoy perfect conditions for cycling & racing year-round.

Willem Jan is a skilled mountain biker but loves to race road bikes too. When he started working with Eat Sleep Cycle in summer 2020 he wasted no time in test riding all of our demo bikes – the Factor VAM, the Ridley Helium, the Ridley Fenix in search of a new bike. Ultimately the Astra stole his heart.

Why the Basso Astra?

We joined Willem for a spin out on a favourite local lunchtime route & asked him more about his Basso Astra.

The funny thing is that I didn’t expect to buy a Basso Astra! When I started my new job at ESC I knew I wanted to ride on a brand from the shop. But which one was not clear yet, so I tested some of the amazing bikes that we have at ESC! From pure climber bikes to flat out Aero machines.

Then I took a Basso Astra built with Ultegra Disc mechanical & fitted my carbon wheels for a fair test ride. The first test ride was the Olot loop – 110 km with different kind of roads from smooth to climbing and some bumpy less-smooth surfaces! From the beginning it was already clear that the Basso was super smooth in the Girona city streets & after 20 km I said to Annemiek “I think I found my new bike” with a big smile on my face!

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The Basso Road Bike Range

The Astra sits in the midle of the Basso road bike range, it takes it’s cues from the top of the range Diamante with its straight fork & rear triangle design. The goal of the Astra is to combine snappy handling & acceleration with a more comfortable postition for the longer rides.

We asked Willem Jan how the Astra has impacted his riding style:

The handling is so good that it rides really easy straight out, but when you are cornering it goes directly with a trust feeling and still a good amount of space to change your line. And that is for me a sign of a good bike. Doing sprints with this bike is a big joy! Every pedal push is forward movement.

Louise, Eat Sleep Cycle partner (& rider of a Basso Diamante) says of Basso:

Basso don’t aim to have the lightest, the stiffest or the most aerodymanic bike. Their philosophy is rooted in bike racing & the pursuite of the ultimate ride quality. Once you’ve experienced a sliky smooth, beautifully balanced Basso, it’s tough to go back.

Famiglia Basso Bikes

Basso Bikes remains a family run business based in Bassano del Grappa, a town nestled between Venice & the Italian Dolomites. The story is a beautiful one. Alcide Basso started making racing bikes in his parents garage in 1974. He supported his pro-cyclist & World Champion brother, Marino, as a mechanic on his race team. He learnt here what it was to ride, what a bicycle was to the rider & Basso bikes was born.

Alcide strived to create a frame which offers the best possible riding experience & 40 years later his company is still innovating. A Basso is made in Italy, it oozes elegance & style whilst performing at the highest level.

For Basso, the experience of riding one of their bikes isn’t quantifiable & must be experienced to appreciate it. In their own words:

At Basso it is all about the ride. There most certainly exist lighter bikes, more aero bikes, but none that ride, handle and inspire like a Basso. Every fiber in its construction, every angle in its geometry and every shape of every tube in a Basso frame is designed around the never-ending quest to produce a total ride experience that redefines the joy in performance cycling.

The Basso Astra – Build Options

The Astra is in its 6th iteration & is still handcrafted in the Basso Factory in Italy. The 2021 edition features an integrated seatpost clamp, internally routed cables, a revised carbon tube structure & a choice of three paint colours – Ice Silver, Siena Terra or Dark Asphalt. The standard builds available are Sram Force AXS & Shimano Ultegra Di2 with Campagnolo Chorus & Sram Rival becmoing available in June 2021. The standard wheelset is the MR Lite, a decent, hard working wheelset which comes as standard.

However, the Astra really excels when you treat her to a wheel upgrade the MR38 Disc or the DT Swiss PRC 1800 are well worth the extra investment.

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Willem Jan reckons the Astra is a great all-round bike:

I use the Basso Astra for easy spins, intervals, and racing. And all of that is feeling perfect on the bike! A little thing that I love are the sprint shifters that I need to use in our weekly team lunch ride😁. This in-house carbon frame from Basso is nailing everything that they say on their website! And that is pretty nice.

Basso Astra Custom Options

Of course, we like to make sure our customers get exactly what they are looking for, and anyone who buys a bike at Eat Sleep Cycle should not feel limited by the factory builds. Willem Jan customized his bike to the following spec:

Group set: Shimano Ultegra Di2
Chainrings: 53-36
Cassete: 11-28
Powermeter: 4iii left only
Carbon wheels: 50 high
Tyres: Vittoria Corsa Tubeless
Handlebar: Zipp compact 40 width
Stem: Basso 13 cm
Saddle: Pro stealth 152
Bottlecages: Arundel Carbon
Bartape: Lizard skin

Finally, we asked Willem Jan to share his favourite ride:

My favorite loop to ride around Girona is the Hincapie loop! Flat sections climbs and everything next to Girona😍

Want to find out more about Basso Bikes?

We are the official Basso Bikes point of sale for Girona. Head over to our Basso Bikes section on our online shop or get in touch!

P.S. Enjoyed this blog? Why not sign up to receive notifications every time we post and get regular updates on our latest tours!

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Mick Hoogwerf’s Focus Izalco Max

By Cycling No Comments

Mick is the owner of Equipe Girona, a stylish guesthouse here in Girona which he runs with his wife Wilma. After years of working for a big global company Mick wanted to start something not based on excel sheets but run a stay with a heart. After looking at different locations Wilma & Mick found that Girona was perfect for their sports friendly Equipe house!

When not looking after his guests, Mick rides a Focus Izalco Max. We joined him at Equipe for a siesta spin to find out more about his bike.

Why the Focus Izalco Max?

Chosing a new bike is a glorious, tough decision to make in today’s market as there are so many great options out there. But it’s worth the search – find the right one for you & your riding style & you can transform your experience on the bike.  Eat Sleep Cycle founder Lee says:

The Izalco is perfect for riders looking for a fast bike. It’s stiff and ultra-responsive when you push down on the pedals.

We asked Mick what drew him to choose the Izalco Max for his new bike day:

I wanted a more racey bike, one that didnt look to aero but with clean looks and good value for money.

Eat-Sleep-Cycle-Rider-Mick-Hoogwerf-Focus-Izalco-Max-Aero-BikeFocus Bikes – German Engineering

Focus Bikes was founded in 1993 by German three-time cyclocross world champion Mike Kluge. After creating his first cyclocross bike, Focus then started out manufacturing mountain bikes & touring bikes & by 2003 were producing high quality road bikes too.The Izalco model has been the top of the range bike for a while & in 2019 it went aero – the Izalco Max.

We asked Mick how the Izalco has impacted his riding style:

 Its fast! So you tend to be more in the bars riding fast and riding harder than on a more endurance style bike. This bike excels on smooth fast roads & nice technical descents. For me Sant Hilari from Àngels is one of my favourite loops to ride on the Izalco.

The Focus Izalco Max – Build Options

Focus describe the Izalco as a bike with style elegance & passion. It is more than an aero bike & is a declaration of intent – it’s aero, light & super fast. It features intelligent design & has been optimised with wind tunnel testing. The seatpost has been optimised for speed and comfort.

The Izalco comes in a choice of 8 different build options on two different framesets. Both have the same geometry but one has a standard & one has a superlight, high grade carbon with fully integrated cabling. The standard frame is called the 8 series with prices ranging from €2,499 to €4,799 for a complete bike & the superlight is the 9 series with prices starting at €5,999 & rising to a tasty €9,499 for a full Dura Ace Di2 build.

Mick’s weapon of choice is the Focus Izalco Max 9.6. This features the superlight frameset & is built with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset & a fast set of DT Swiss ARC 1450 wheels. The bike is built for speed and comes as standard with 52-36 / 11-30 gearing. Nice for flat & fast terrain but not so practical when you live at the top of Montjuic, a notoriously steep climb next to Girona’s old town.

Mick says:

The standard gearing is for fast riding (or very strong riders), so that I changed to a little semi compact set up.

Eat-Sleep-Cycle-Rider-Mick-Hoogwerf-Focus-Izalco-Max-9.6-GearingWant to find out more about Focus Bikes?

We are the official Focus Bikes point of sale for Girona. Head over to our Focus bikes section on our online shop or get in touch!

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ESC-Rider-Kona-Process-134-Mountain-Bike-Brent-Botha

Brent Botha’s Kona Process 134

By Cycling No Comments

We thought it would be pretty cool to join our Hub regulars out on a ride & capture them doing what they love most. To kick off our Eat Sleep Cycle Rider series meet Brent Botha & his Kona Process 134.⁠ Brent is a soigneur for Israel Start Up-Nation & a long-time Girona local.

 I chose Kona because it took me back to my days of innocence. It took me back to the days of riding my Kona stab with mates on a weekend from sunrise to sunset.

 

Kona Bikes – An Iconic Bike Company

Kona is an iconic bike company which was founded in 1988 in Vancouver, British Columbia by Dan Gerhard and Jacob Heilbron. They started out building bikes for riders pushing the limits & progressing the sport on the North Shore. Kona is still owned by its founders and now makes all kind of bikes – cross, road, gravel, downhill, city, cargo, touring – but it’s a company famed for being on the rough side of biking with origins in the grassroots racing scene.

We asked Brent what his Kona means to him:

For me it’s brought back the fun. Simple!!!”

Too often cycling becomes a a numbers game & the fun is lost in the data. For Brent, riding his Kona is all about the good times & living in the moment.

Kona-Process-134-ALDL-Brent-Botha-Eat-Sleep-Cycle-RiderThe Kona Process 134 AL/DL

Kona descirbe their Process line as “synonymous with fun, fast, and playful riding.”  The new Process 134 takes those qualities into a shorter-travel bike that has been designed to achieve that “just-right” feeling. Kona reckon that “If Goldilocks needed a bike, this would be her obvious choice. It’s perfect for all mountain bikers.”

The Kona Process 134 AL/DL is a full suspension 29er built for ripping up the trails downhill. It features 140 mm of travel on the front & 134 mm on the rear. Kona redesigned the Process for 2020 & introduced a ‘modern’ geometry – that is a slacker head tube & a steeper seat tube for better stability downhill & easier climbing uphill. Brent opted for the alloy deluxe build – the Process also comes in a more afforable spec (the AL) & in carbon (CL) or carbon deluxe version (CL/DL).

The Process AL/DL was one of Kona’s most popular bikes of 2020. Brent says:

It’s a bike of heritage, it’s “sendy” and has given purpose back into riding my bike.”

Want to find out more about Kona Bikes?

We are the official Kona Bikes point of sale for Girona. Head over to our Kona bikes section on our online shop, check out our Mountain Bikes for great rides from Santa Cruz, Focus & Ridley. or get in touch to speak to us about your dream sendy bike.

P.S. Enjoyed this blog? Why not sign up to receive notifications every time we post and get regular updates on our latest tours!

2020-In-Review-Eat-Sleep-Cycle-Girona-New-Opportunities

2020 In Review – A Year of New Opportunities

By Cycling No Comments

Many people across the world can not wait to see the back of 2020 and welcome in a New Year. It has been a devastating year for millions of people all over the world and our thoughts and best wishes go out to all those families who have lost loved ones and those on the front line fighting the virus everyday. Businesses have also taken a huge blow, many forced to close for extended periods. The virus has taken no prisoners.

At Eat Sleep Cycle, first and foremost we are grateful for the good health of our staff and their friends and families. We have an international team based in Girona, also including local Catalans. Most of us have not seen our families in over one year and welcome the day we can get together and make more happy memories with them.

As for our business, our team reflects on 2020 and looks forward to 2021 with great optimism and for good reason. Eat Sleep Cycle is stronger now than it has ever been. 

In 2019, 85% of our business relied on tourism; tours and bike hire for our loyal guests traveling from overseas, with key markets being the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and Australia. The remaining 15% was our relatively small retail operation.

In March 2020 flights into Europe ground to a halt; it was the perfect recipe for disaster for our business. We observed the virus start in China, move to Italy (affecting delivery from our Italian suppliers), then to Spain (where we suffered one of the strictest lockdowns) and then to other parts of Europe and the USA. The lowest point for us was when in many parts of the world cycling was banned. Hope of tours in Summer 2020 quickly diminished and it was time to get the flipcharts out and idea shower what we were to do.

Dealing with the Unexpected

At the core of Eat Sleep Cycle is our customer service so we assigned the role of customer cancellations first. Every email received a personal and thought through reply (no automatic responses here, ever). We celebrated every guest that worked with us to move, reschedule and accept vouchers for tour and bike hire bookings. We have developed stronger relationships with many of our guests through this process.

Eat Sleep Cycle is as good as its staff and guides. We wanted to do everything possible to keep our core team safe, whilst communicating clearly with everybody else about the reality of the situation. We even managed to pick-up a few highly talented people along the way. In 2020 our team has become stronger and more talented than ever.

Eat-Sleep-Cycle-Team-2020-Thank-You

Turning Things Around – A Cycling Boom

So we are people-focused at Eat Sleep Cycle, but what on earth were we going to do about our business? We looked at our Strengths, Weaknesses, the Opportunities and the Threats. We did it as a team, we sought advice and guidance when necessary and came up with a plan. We also took measured risks. 

We saw first hand the boom of cycling and other outdoor activities. The more they locked people down in Spain, the more people would get out and exercise when they could in the designated time slots. Whilst the general global outlook was negative, this “get up and go” phenomena fueled our work. We realised that we did have something to offer people during the pandemic, especially local people in and around Girona.

We discounted our bike hire prices for local people to give those who did not have a bike the chance to try it out before buying. We sold off our bike rental fleet (intended for tourism) to give local people access to affordable second hand bikes at a fair price and with full mechanical confidence. Whether pro racer or cyclist first-timer we welcome every 2-wheeler with open arms. This new focus on local meant everybodies language skills needed to improve so Spanish and Catalan classes followed, a small investment with a big reward when that local person is greeted in their own language.

Eat-Sleep-Cycle-2020-New-Bike-Day-Thankyou-CustomersBut that was not enough to maintain our footprint (a large Hub in the center of Girona), a Tours HQ and Tour Warehouse housing our vehicles. As the virus worsened it was clear that there would be no tourism for the entire year. 

Creating an Awesome Local Bike Shop

So we focused on our retail business. We invested heavily in bikes, not just road but gravel, mountain bikes and electric too, even time trial bikes. We stocked up on spare parts and components like wheels, groupsets and everything else that a cyclist needs. Whilst others were putting the shutters down we formed new collaborations with brands telling them “now is the best time to start together”. Some came on board and some missed out. When one supplier or brand could not deliver we ordered from another. We did not turn down a single customer, always finding an equivalent product. Local people really started to notice, coming into the Hub and saying “i´ve heard you guys have lots of stock”. Friends sent friends, the word got out. 

As partner of the business I went from managing a large tours business to working on the retail front line. I did my homework on our product, studying the specifications. I rode every bike that we sell, enabling me to highlight strengths and weaknesses of each model. We trained our teams on the new product, they trained themselves too. We became experts in what we sell. I loved it and could see that the team was enjoying the new challenge too. The daily deliveries from suppliers increased and we were excited to see what new tech was inside.

But we could still see the large online retailers taking sales even from our local customers. We also wanted to reach out to our tour guests all over the world with our unique offering.

Maximising Our Potential – Eat Sleep Cycle Hub Online!

We had an online shop but it was not fit for purpose. We formed an online shop emergency squad from our existing team and worked flat out to get our product online. We saw immediate benefit both from local and abroad. People would come into the Hub with the product on their phone. We started getting random online purchases from Singapore, Australia and the USA.

These were new challenges for the team and it was hard work. To keep up team morale we ran daily stand-up meetings, a weekly team ride, monthly bonuses for hitting new retail targets (of course this was credit to be used on our product), week-end trips to Mt Ventoux and the Pyrenees and regular catch-ups and recognition of team performance. 

Eat-Sleep-Cycle-2020-Team-Events-Rides2020 has been a silver lining for Eat Sleep Cycle. Having several business streams (tourism + retail) before Covid was questioned by business analysts but has been a key recipe to our success. A multi-disciplined and international team has been critical, with our core team changing their role as required to support the business and in satisfying our local and foreign customer base. We are also always amazed by the benefit of debate and disagreement before coming to the agreed way forward from a multicultural team. None of this would have been possible without our loyal tour and bike hire guests, local Catalan people, the pros who live in Girona, and our incredible staff team, we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. 

Looking Ahead to 2021: What’s Next?

2021 will be the most exciting year in Eat Sleep Cycle history!

We are ready for the return of our tour guests from all over the world to provide world class bike hire in Girona and tours throughout Europe. We are adding some new destinations and our VIP guests will be invited along to those first excursions. We have completely maintained our Girona footprint including our Hub, logistical warehouse housing fully equipped vehicles and tours HQ. In fact we are working on a further expansion for 2021, full details will be revealed soon!

Our bike rental fleet will be bigger and better in 2021. Our orders have already been in with our partner brands for some time for their latest top of the range bikes. We will offer a wider range than ever by introducing Cervelo, Focus and Kona to our existing fleet of Factor, Ridley, Basso and Focus. The fleet will include more gravel bikes and now full suspension mountain bikes and more electric bikes. 

Our plan is to not only sustain but also grow our local bike shop: the Hub, which currently sells a range of bikes, clothing and bike components everyday. This means we will continue to improve our service to the local community too. Our rental fleet doubles up as a demo fleet so anybody can try out a range of bikes from entry level to the latest top of the range tech.

We will work even closer with our partner brands, support their product launches and test their technology in the field. Of course this will all only be made possible by expanding our team, with a focus on local people for our Girona operation. Watch this space!

A Huge THANK YOU from from all of us at Eat Sleep Cycle for your support & enabling us to succeed in what was a very unexpected year. We hope to ride with you all in 2021!

Want to Ride with Eat Sleep Cycle in 2021?

Follow us on instagram & facebook to be the first to know about our next rides & events. Check out our 2021 Tour Calender to get inspired for you next adventure!

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