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Cycling

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Eat Sleep Cycle: Introducing Sarto Frames

By Cycling No Comments

As a local bike shop, we’re constantly on the search for unique bikes & brands to offer to our customers. Sarto are custom carbon frame builders, who make and build their frames in Italy. We already work with makers of steel bikes (2-11 Cycles, RS Cycles, Sour) & titatium bikes (Reilly Cycles, Moots, No. 22) and so it is with great pleasure that we add Sarto, custom carbon frame makers, to our brand partners. This week saw the arrival of our first Sarto frame – a  stunning Seta frame in a steel blue which is turning all our heads. Read on to find out more.

About Sarto

Sarto offer a top of the line, fully customisable carbon frame, handmade in Italy since 1960. Sarto offer a fully customisable experience, from geometry, graphics, and even reinforcements on the frame from kevlar, titanium, or carbon.

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Sarto: Custom Carbon Road Bike Frames

Sarto offer a choice of five different frames: Seta (for long, comfortable rides), Lampo (the aero bike), Asola (the climbing bike), Dinamica (the crit racing bike) & Veneto (a sport bike) – designed to offer something for every type of cyclist.

Seta

Elegant, and complete. Made with the stiffest carbon on the market, clean lines with a flat top tube and thin chain stay, as well as a new integrated seat clamp, the Seta is a stunning choice of frame.

Seta Plus

Advanced, and modern. Offering fully integrated routing with hidden cables, this frame, stem, and adaptability offer maximum adaptability. The new design ensures maximum comfort with the seat stays directly connected to the horizontal tube, as well as the fork and rear stays being able to accommodate tyres up to 35mm wide.

Seta Plus Tri-Composite

A nimble and dynamic bike frame. The Seta plus Tri-Composite is built for comfort, both on the flat and on the climbs. Resin, carbon fiber and metal filaments: Tri-Composite opens the new era of carbon frames by increasing the technical performance of the bicycle as well as giving it a sleek and powerful look.

Lampo

Dynamic, and spirited. With speed in mind first and foremost, built with a special surface on the frame tube to increase airflow.

Lampo Plus

Pure, and extremely fast. A machine built for speed, each and every tube has been made to be aerodynamic. The fundamental components of this design is the new handlebar stem, entirely in carbon, specifically designed and optimised to route the handlebar cables directly into the frame, and the new steering tube designed to guarantee top driving quality and perfect integration of all internal cables.

Asola

“The best climbing frame we ever made” – Sarto.

Asola Plus

Asola, the longest selling frame in our range, evolves with the PLUS version, offering total cable integration in the disc brake version.

Dynamica

Sporty, and powerful. Whether you’re racing in criteriums, on the road, or in gran fondos, this is a top choice frame.

Veneto SL

For optimum comfort. “Suitable for cyclists who respect tradition yet love innovation.” – Sarto.

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Sarto: Custom Carbon TT Bike Frame

Ferox

Speed, and high performance. Sarto are offering some of the most advanced technology on the market with meticulous attention to detail. Ideal for for tri-athletes and chrono riders, this model guarantees high speeds.

Sarto: Custom Carbon Gravel Bike Frame

Gravel TA

No limits. Built for those wanting to explore more than just the road. Catering for wheels of either 700C or 650B to allow for a wider range of use, you’re getting one bike frame with the capability of gravel, road, cyclocross and some mountain biking.

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Sarto: Custom Carbon Bike Frames

With Sarto’s offering on custom carbon bike frames, from road, TT, to gravel, they are a top choice to acquire an incredibly special frame. Make a bike fully custom and put your own spin on it for a bike that is truly unique to you.

(Information from the Sarto website)

Get in touch to find out how you can get yourself a Sarto frame, email: [email protected].

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Eat Sleep Cycle Café: Food Philosophy

By Cycling No Comments

With less than a week to go until the Eat Sleep Cycle Café opens we speak to Bram, the Eat Sleep Cycle Café chef, as he talks about the inspiration behind the menu of our new Girona cycling café. One of the most important factors for Lee and Louise when deciding to expand Eat Sleep Cycle, was to ensure they were able to give back to the community & support local producers. Read on to find out more from the chef  behind the newest Girona cycling café menu!

Hello Bram, welcome to Eat Sleep Cycle! Could you tell us a little about yourself and how you came to be a chef?

Hi, I’m Bram from the Netherlands, I grew up in a small fishing town Breskens. I started at the age of 14 working as a dishwasher for two hours at the weekend, that’s where Bart started to teach me kitchen life. My most valuable lesson I learnt in the kitchen is to first create a perfect dish, then once you have it, make it as easy as possible to make without losing the quality.

I worked my way up in the kitchen scene & as young guy I would change job each year to gain as much experience as possible. Later, I started traveling in the winters and that’s where the biggest experience was, learning how other cultures cook and eat. It was and still is amazing.

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What is it like to create a menu from scratch for a new restaurant?

Creating a menu is always a challenge, especially in a foreign country away from what you know. You have to do your homework to understand the food culture, and then the menu needs to be diverse enough. I’m not afraid to say I’m stubborn, I don’t like to copy, I always want to end up with my own twist on a dish.

Finding new ingredients is the other nice part of it, it’s a journey that never ends. Finding ingredients with a story is specially awesome. A cheese that is coming from a small local farm, made from 12 cows who all have a name, creating a dish with that, is gold.

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What has inspired the Eat Sleep Cycle Café menu?

Trying to work as much as possible with local and seasonal ingredients is the inspiration for the menu.

What style of food can we expect to see for the newest Girona cycling cafe?

The food of the café will change with the seasons. But you can also expect local ingredients with a international twist. I worked in Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Philippines, and from every place your learn something. It would be nice to infuse some of those flavours in a gentle way with local products from Cataluya.

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Do you have any favourite suppliers or ingredients that you are working with?

My favourite ingredients are always changing. I do like to work with seafood as well meat, but now a days vegan, healthy and sustainable is the hype, so I’m more focused on developing myself in those areas. I’m a massive fan of the “Yakiniku” Kamado BBQ, it’s extremely diverse. Smoking, roasting, slow cooking, pizza, cakes, it is endless! Using this in combination with veggies, creating something out of the box, that’s what I mostly like.

What’s your biggest motivation as a chef?

My biggest motivation is creating dishes and giving costumers the ‘wow’ effect. There is always something to improve, and that never stops.

Stay up to date on the café!

All of us at Eat Sleep Cycle are excited for the newest venture into a Girona cycling café, and we’re all so grateful for your support! Follow us on instagram, and check out our café web page to stay up to date.

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Tour de France Bike Round Up

By Cycling No Comments

What a Tour de France it was this year! We have loved watching the yellow jersey win on a Colnago once again, and loved seeing so many of our favourite bikes out on the road. We take a look at the star bikes of the Tour de France from Colnago, Cervélo, Ridley & Factor.

UAE Emirates: Colnago Bikes

This year UAE Emiriates rode a combination of the Colnago V3Rs, Colnago Concepts, and the Colnago C64’s, built with Campagnolo Super Record EPS. Yellow jersey Tadej Pojacar rode a Colnago V3Rs, built with Campagnolo, Deda, and Prologo.

One of the great things about the Tour de France is that we often see new tech, and designs. Colnago released 108 limited editions of their V3Rs road bikes, we were fortunate to one which flew off the shop floor!

We are a Colnago dealer and stock a range of bikes and frameset’s. Girona local Bre Vine recently bought a Colnago C64 and wrote a blog on why this was her bike of choice, read it here.

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Jumbo-Visma: Cervélo Bikes

From 2021 Jumbo-Visma are sponsored by Cervelo bikes and rode a range of the Cervelo road bikes during the Tour de France, including the Cervelo R5, Cervelo S5, and Cervelo Caledonia, all built with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2.

Be it for sprinting, climbing, or a all-round classics bred build, Cervelo has a bike fit for any need. Wout Van Aert stunned fans with 3 epic wins with a mountain stage win on Mont Ventoux, a individual time-trial win, and the most coveted sprint of all in the Tour de France on the Champs Elyesee. Van Aert rides a Cervelo S5 for the sprint stages, and an R5 for the mountain stages, built with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2.

Not only are we a Cervelo dealer, we are also currently running an offer on a selected range of our Cervelo bikes! Check it out here.

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Israel Start-Up Nation: Factor Bikes

We were thrilled to see that Factor are continuing their sponsorship of Israel Start-Up Nation for 2022! This year the team rode a combination of the Factor Ostro’s, and Factor VAM 02 rim brake edition, all built with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2.

We even saw Chris Froome riding a new time-trial bike named the Hanzo, we look forward to finding out more about! ISN star rider Micheal Woods rode into the Polka Dot jersey on stage 14 of the Tour de France on the Factor Ostro VAM, showing the versatility of the Ostro VAM as an aero climbing bike!

Israel Start-Up Nation coach, Ciarán O’Grady, recently bought a Factor Ostro from Eat Sleep Cycle, read his blog here. His partner, Rocket Rawrrs, also recently bought a Factor VAM 02, read her blog here.

We are an official Factor dealer & our mechanics are specialists in Factor builds. Browse our range of in-stock Factor bikes.

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Lotto Soudal: Ridley Bikes

Lotto Soudal is a Belgian professional cycling team riding Ridley bikes which are made in Belgium. Lotto Soudal rode both the Ridley Helium, being the light weight climbing bike, and the Ridley Noah Fast which is a speed machine, built with Campagnolo Super Record EPS.

We sadly didn’t get to see much of Caleb Ewan on his Noah Fast after he crashed out on Stage 3 having fractured his right collarbone in four spots during a high-speed crash towards the finish line. However, we did see a number of strong rides from the team, including from 23 year old Brent Van Moer on Stage 4 where he was caught close to line by the sprint teams fighting for the win.

Not only do we stock a range of Ridley road bikes, including the Helium, Fenix SliC, and Noah Fast, we also stock Ridley gravel bikes such as the Kanzo Adventure and Kanzo Fast! See our Ridley bikes here.

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Want to learn more about the bikes we stock and custom builds at Eat Sleep Cycle?

Browse our range of in-stock bikes or contact us directly to start the conversation.

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Factor VAM 02 – Rocket Rawrrs Custom Build

By Cycling No Comments

I recently bought a Factor VAM 02 as an upgrade to my S Works SL5. I’ve been on the hunt for a new bike for awhile, patiently waiting until the right bike came at the right time. The Factor VAM 02 was that bike, and I’m happy to say that I fell in love with this bike on my first test ride, she’s light, responsive, climbs like a beast and super comfortable to descend on.

Choosing the Factor O2 VAM

 

I’d been looking for a new bike for awhile, knowing I couldn’t upgrade to another S Works, I was looking for a bike that was in budget, preferably a second hand or an ex-rental to be more eco-conscious and cost effective, and also wanted a pure climbing bike. The Factor VAM 02 fit my criteria, she’s an ex-rental frame from Eat Sleep Cycle in perfect condition, a pure climbing bike, and was in budget!
I took her for a test ride and by the end of the ride had completely fallen in love with how she felt on the road, so I decided there and then this was the one for me.
It’s not often we really take into consideration the environmental impact of new bikes and bike parts, and so for me, buying what I could for my new bike second hand, and utilising what I already had was really important. Eat Sleep Cycle were so supportive with this and do offer their ex-rental fleets at a superb price after the rental season, they also have a bike exchange programme and sell on the second hand bikes! All of which are professionally checked before hand. I really rate this initiative.

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Factor o2 VAM Ride Style

 

The biggest noticeable difference for me is actually my confidence when descending. My previous bike had very narrow handlebars which was suitable for the races I had been doing, but I now I have 38cm wide handlebars and feel like I have a lot more control when descending. I have been able to push my skills so much further so going for the Factor VAM 02 has definitely changed my riding style.

It’s also helped my climbing ability and over the past few months of riding this bike my climbing style has changed and become so much more efficient.

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Factor O2 VAM vs Factor Ostro

 

There are so many things I love about my new bike, and that I changed from my old S Works. I am also now on disc brakes, mainly because this was the option that was available rather than a conscious choice to opt for disc brakes, but I really am getting on well with them and have to say I’m definitely a convert.

The Factor VAM 02 is comfortable, light, and responsive. She’s at home in the mountains and hilly terrain and is so perfect for a place like Girona. My partner recently bought a Factor Ostro which is stiffer and more race ready, having given that a little spin I’m glad I went for the VAM 02!

You can read Ciarán’s blog on his Factor Ostro VAM here.

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Living in Girona: Making the Move from the UK

 

My partner started working for Israel Start-Up Nation as a coach and they have a heavy presence in Girona, he was keen to make the move and live closer to the team having spent the last few years away from his teams due to my work. We decided to take the leap to starting a new life in a new country, its been a dream of ours to do this for a long time!

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Best Road Cycling Route in Girona

 

Its a route I created, an amalgamation of two routes I love. Its a mix between the “Coast Loop” and “Romanyà de la Selva Loop”. You head out from Girona to Tossa de Mar and follow the coast road until you hit the beginning of the Sant Grau climb. This is one of my favourite climbs in Girona as the views are amazing! You then head back down into Llagostera, but take a right at the roundabout rather than following the road you came in on. Follow this up to Romanyà de la Selva, where you then head back down passing Calonge, up another climb and onwards to Madremanya. There is another road you could take which is a little nicer, but far more busy, so I stick to my quiet roads. You end this route by heading up the backside of Els Angels, back down the longer side, and finally rolling home into Girona and to a café for some sustenance. The route is 132km and over 2,000m of climbing.

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Rocket’s Custom Factor VAM 02 Build:

Frame: 49cm Factor VAM 02 Black and Red (Ex-Rental)

Handlebars: Black Inc integrated handlebar and stem, 38cm by 120mm

Groupset: Shimano Ultegra Di2 (Ex-Rental)

Cranks & Power Meter: Quarq (Second Hand)

Wheelset: Black Inc Twenties

Tyres: Vittoria Corsa Controls

You can watch my full review here.

Want to learn more about Factor Bikes custom builds at Eat Sleep Cycle?

We are an official Factor dealer & our mechanics are specialists in Factor builds. Browse our range of in-stock Factor bikes or contact us directly to start the conversation.

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Factor Ostro VAM – Ciarán O’Grady’s Custom Build

By Cycling No Comments

Israel Start-Up Nation’s coach, Ciarán O’Grady, fell in love with the Factor Ostro’s the team were using, so he bought one from Eat Sleep Cycle! He’s customised this stunning bike to fit his personal specifications, see what he has to say about his custom build.

Why did you choose the Factor Ostro VAM?

I chose the Factor OSTRO because I wanted a bike that was aerodynamically optimised whilst still remaining light weight. I also wanted something that was super stiff, and designed with racing and aggressive riding in mind. The added bonus of the Ceramic Speed additions to the bike made it very appealing!
As I work for the professional cycling team Israel Start-Up Nation, I have seen these bikes being raced throughout the year with the riders giving so much good feedback from how the OSTRO performs. I have also heard from the team mechanics how well built they are and how they stand up to the rigours of professional racing. Knowing this, I was confident that the Factor OSTRO would be exactly what I was looking for.

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How has the Factor Ostro changed your riding style?

The Factor OSTRO has allowed me to ride in the natural way that I’d want to be riding my bike. The bike becomes an extension of who I am, responding really well to my requests!

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Anything else you want to add about your Factor Ostro?

I really love the integrated front end of the Factor OSTRO, it just looks super sleek. The wide-set forks are very stiff and have great aerodynamic properties (I have actually tested it in the wind tunnel!). With the Black Inc 60’s set up, it just flies wherever you take it!

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How did you end up in Girona?

I travelled to Girona late last year with my fiancée, “Rocket”, after I started working for the professional cycling team Israel Start-Up Nation, who have a base here in Girona. I’ve been coaching riders who have been based in Girona for several years so I knew a lot about the city and how great the training is around Catalunya!

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What is your favourite road cycling ride from Girona?

I have two favourite rides here in Girona at the moment. The first is a loop I call the “Maple Leaf”, as it looks… kinda like a maple leaf. It’s 61km and has three climbing sections, nothing crazy but just three good pushes. It heads west from Girona up around Canet d’Adri, then over Les Serres, and back to Girona over Mas Llunes. The second ride is a longer 108km ride with one short climb and one longer climb. It also heads west from Girona out through Sant Gregori, up and over Les Serres towards Angels, then heading up the long climb to Sant Hilari Sacalm. From there, you take a long and twisty descent down Santa Coloma de Farners, and back to Girona through Aiguaviva.

Ciarán’s Custom Factor Ostro VAM Build:

Frame: 49cm Factor Ostro VAM Flicker

Handlebars: Black Inc integrated handlebar and stem, 38cm by 120mm

Groupset: Shimano Ultegra Di2

Cranks & Power Meter: Quarq

Wheelset: Black Inc Team Edition 60mm

Tyres: Maxis Highroad 25mm

Want to learn more about Factor Bikes custom builds at Eat Sleep Cycle?

We are an official Factor dealer & our mechanics are specialists in Factor builds. Browse our range of in-stock Factor bikes or contact us directly to start the conversation.

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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Dirt Jumping in Girona

By Cycling No Comments

Our very own Joan and Daan head out after work to go dirt jumping in Banyoles. I caught up with Joan to find out what it is about dirt jumping that he loves so much, and check out these awesome shots of the guys in action! Photos by Daan van Meeuwen.

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How long have you been dirt jumping?

I’ve been dirt jumping for a long while, ever since I was around 13.

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What is it about dirt jumping that drew you to the sport?

For me it’s easy to push myself while dirt jumping. I’m always trying to be better and better. Every time I jump I’m aiming to push myself to go bigger and do more and more tricks, until one day I am doing the things I’ve been dreaming about doing for years, like backflips, supermans, tail whips and more!

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Do you have a favourite place to go dirt jumping?

Yes, I built some jumps with my friends in the middle of the forest. Going there and spending hours jumping with friends in our little dreamland is my favourite place.

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Is there anything else you’d like to add about dirt jumping?

If you’re curious to try jumping for the first time, just do it, the best thing is to start. I can’t think of a better feeling than jumping, being in the air, just you and your bike.

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Shop our range of mountain bike here.

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Zipp Carbon Wheelset New Product Launch

By Cycling No Comments

Zipp have announed 3 new wheelsets at today’s product launch – the road Zipp 454 NSW, the road Zipp 404 Firecrest, and the time-trial Zipp 858 NSW. Zipp are coming to the market with wheels promising more speed & at a seriously reduced price – here we take a look at the tech & how they’ve done it. Not convinced by the science? We are an official Sram – Zipp test centre & we have Demo Zipp wheels available for test rides from our Girona shop.

Zipp Wheel Philosophy: Total System Efficiency

Zipp have a simple philosophy for their wheels: “Total System Efficiency”. The barriers to speed are wind resistance; gravity; and rolling resistance. It’s well known that as speed increases the need for better aerodynamics increases. Historically brands have been focusing entirelly on aerodynamics & relying on wind-tunnel testing to prove new imporvements in performance. In their new line Zipp have also given thought to reducing weight & rolling resistance & headed out for some real-life, on-road testing. The results are dramatic at lower speeds which, let’s face it, are more the norm for most of us, especially when heading out on rough gravel trails.

Zipp Tech: Hookless Rims – What Are They & Why Are They Catching on?

A key part of the Zipp philosophy is hookless rims; these rims are just as safe as traditional hook interface regarding tyre retention & come with a whole host of benefits. With hookless rims you can use a hard tool to shape the rim instead of silicon in the manfacturing process. Silicon is thrown away creating waste, whereas the hard tool can be reused many times. Not only does this give a more consistent rim, the production uses less resources & is also cheaper to produce.

Zipp have kindly decided to pass these cost savings on to the cyclist, meaning we can purchase lighter wheels at a better price. A note of warning –  not every tyre is compatible with hookless rims, so you’ll need to ensure the tyres you choose to ride are compatible (head over to our you tube channel to see Head Mechanic WillemJan chat all about tubeless set up)

There are three new wheelsets, two road racing sets, and one time-trial set!

Road Racing Wheelsets

The two new wheelsets are the 454 NSE, and 404 Firecrest. These have evolved from the Zipp 400 (1990), and the 404 Firecrest (2010).

Zipp 454 NSW Tubeless

These wheels have a sawtooth rim design and are stable in crosswinds. The hookless design means they’re 420g lighter (that’s a whole jar of Nutella lighter!) They also have a new hub which means there is less drag, and it’s lighter too.

These wheels are meant for the road & not for high speed time trials. Adopting their total system efficiency philosophy, Zipp have come up with a design which is slightly less aero that their predecessors but achieves a lot less rolling resistance – meaning a rider of average weight can travel at the same speed, but save 12 watts of power. Zipp have sacrificing a little bit of aerodynmaics, but made huge gains in other areas.

The price has also come down to €3600 for the set from €4000, a nice saving of €400.

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Zipp 404 Firecrest Tubeless

Zipp have gone for another hookless design which are 350g lighter for the set! These are built with wide, 23 mm internal rims, and are tubeless only. The wheels are optimised for 25c but depending on the rider weight 28c could perform better.

The price is down to €1800 from €2600 – a huge saving of €800.

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Time Trialling Wheelset: Zipp 858 NSW

Zipp have made some small updates to their time-trial wheelset. These are more aero, although not as light. There is no change to the rims, but they do have a new hub! The Cognition DB v2 with a new spring system ‘cylamer’ foam. The hub is light and retains shape, and replaces the 12 parts in the old hub, it also reduces friction when freewheeling.

The wheelset retails at €4400 – no change in pricing.

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Lets Talk Tyre Pressure

Tyre pressure choice is different for every individual, circumstance, tyre, and weather, its about education on what will work best for you on the day!

Use the Tubeless Tire Pressure Calculator in AXS app to help and Tire Pressure Whizz to measure tyre pressure in real time. Also, check out our Cyclist’s Guide to Tyre Pressure for more information.

Zipp Wheels In Stock

We stock a number of Zipp wheels, and are also currently running a  Zipp Wheel Test Programme!⁠⁠ You can book yourself a test ride on the Zipp 303s, or 303 Firecrests – with the new 404 Firecrests on the way.
⁠⁠
Come to the shop with your current wheels, we’ll swap your cassette and discs, and fit the wheels to your bike. ⁠⁠⁠They’re free to test, but a deposit is required. Please bring your ID.⁠⁠

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Bre Vine’s Colnago C64

By Cycling No Comments

Bre Vine has recently moved from Australia to Girona with her husband and professional cyclist Jay Vine. Upon arriving, Bre found that it was time to upgrade her previous bike for one more suited to the riding style here, and she and Jay bought a stunning Colnago C64 to take on the roads and climbs of Girona. Girona is a wonderful city, full of culture, old and new, and over the past few years it has become a hub for professional cycling. Everyone’s story of they ended up here differs and I love hearing how people came to be living in Girona. I spoke to Bre to find out a little more on why she opted to go for the Colnago C64.

How did you end up in Girona?

So a bit of a long story, but here’s the short version, my husband and I committed a few years ago to try and get him a professional contract as a cyclist. It hasn’t been an easy journey, and coming from Australia made things that extra bit hard, back at the start of 2020, we got close to getting a contract, then Covid-19 hit and all races and opportunities went out the window. In December 2020, my husband won Zwift Academy and landed himself a 1-year professional contract riding with Alpecin- Fenix for 2021. So we packed up our lives, sold everything we own and made the big move over! And here we are!

Why did you choose the Colnago C64?

We had a few bike brands in mind at the time, Orbea, Canyon, Factor etc, and to be honest it all came down to what was available that ticked the boxes, we were searching around and got told most brands were going to be a minimum 4 -6 months before coming available (due to a bit of boat and shipping issues…).

Now lucky for me, I’m short and that meant there were 3 options in-store at Eat Sleep Cycle. I had a bright orange Basso available, and a rainbow-coloured Factor, both which just didn’t give me the very important ‘new bike feelings’.

Then of course there was the Colnago C64, at first I didn’t even think this was going to be an option because it was a bit more extravagant, but it ticked all the boxes, it was a stunning bike, and we knew it was going to be a bike I’d easily put the kms on, and to top it off Eat Sleep Cycle was able to come to the table with a reasonable price. So long story short Jay spoilt me and got me the fancy *Italian Job* meaning, I got to ride out with the ‘new bike feeling’ and the Colnago C64 🇮🇹 It’s been an awesome ride so far, and I’m really glad we opted for the fancy Italian Job.

ESC RIDER COLNAGO C64 BRE VINE BOXES

Has your riding style changed with the Colnago C64?

I was previously on an 2017 Orbea Orca Aero (Rim Brake), which was a great bike for the level of riding I was doing back in Australia. Since moving to Girona, my riding has gone up another level and the Colnago C64 has been crucial to that development, with more climbing, longer descents and more hours in the saddle, Jay and I knew I needed a bike that wouldn’t be shy to long hard weeks of training, whilst also giving the *WOW* factor.

Overall, I’m really happy we got the Colnago, it just glides over the tarmac, whether I’m doing efforts up Amer, or descending down Sant Hilari, it takes it all in it’s stride. I’m really excited to keep exploring Spain on this beauty!

Do you have a favourite route you like to do from Girona?

My favourite ride in Girona to date has got to be out to St Hilari, it’s got everything I want in a good fun bike ride. You start out in Girona, go through some beautiful small towns, then it’s time to put your climbing legs on because you’ve got a nice long climb, but but whilst you’re suffering you have a stunning view to distract you from your burning legs, once you make it to the top you have what I think is the best view in Girona, then after taking that all in, you cruise through the town then you’re in for a fast and winding descent down to Angles before heading back into Girona. By far one of my favourite rides to date (But let’s be honest, I’m a sucker for good view whilst climbing).

(I have to say, this is also one of my favourite climbs in Girona and for the same reason! I actually love to go up from Angles and down the other side to get the views.)

ESC RIDER COLNAGO C64 BRE VINE

Bre’s Custom Built Colnago C64

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. Bre customized her bike to the following spec:

  • Group set: Shimano Dura Ace Di2
  • Carbon wheels: Black Inc THIRTY Disc Wheelset (Team Edition)
  • Custom fit, including stem and handlebars after a bike fit

Bre is an ambassador for Soomom.

Want to find out more about Colnago bikes?

We are the official Colnago point of sale for Girona. Head over to our Colnago bike section on our website 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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Crowdfunding Campaigns To Grow Your Business: Tips for Success

By Cycling No Comments

Eat Sleep Cycle partner Lee Comerford tells us why you should consider running a crowdfunding campaign and provides some top tips for running your own. Don’t forget to check out the Eat Sleep Cycle Café crowdfunding campaign & get invovled in the project!

If you are a business owner, & especially if you have experienced hardship from the pandemic & want to kick start something & engage with your community, I advise you to seriously consider running a crowdfunding campaign. – Lee Comerford, Partner of Eat Sleep Cycle

What is a Crowdfunding Campaign?

A crowdfunding campaign is a way of raising money from your family, friends, supporters, customers and even ethusiastic strangers. There are various types of crowdfunding campaigns including rewards based, which I will discuss here.

Why should you consider a Crowdfunding Campaign?

Your friends and family, your customers, local and international, all want your business to succeed and how can they help you if you do not provide a structure for them to do so? If your business has been through hardship they will respect your efforts to turn things around. It is the perfect time to get people engaged in your project. As well as the monetary benefits, a crowdfunding campaign is an excellent way to market your business, especially if you are expanding, offering a new product/service or want to change your brand image in some way.

At Eat Sleep Cycle we were faced with limited support from banks as we wanted to fund building a new cafe next door to our bike shop. Because the cafe was owned by a local Catalan business we also had a need to market to the local community to explain the project. We wanted to use the expansion as a repositioning of our brand, linking it even more so to our base Girona. We used the campaign to forge stronger collaborations with local suppliers who would be involved in the rewards. This has created a win-win situation and attracted local and foreign press, escalating the campaign and making it even more successful.

Eat-Sleep-Cycle-Hub-Cafe-Crowdfunding-Interview-Lee

Top Tips for Making the most of your Crowdfunding Campaign

Seek expert help:

A number of crowdfunding campaigns fail because they do not meet their target. As well as wasting your time and money this will not be good marketing for your business. 

It is worth paying an expert to help you create your campaign and give you guidance throughout the campaign. Trust me, it will pay back. Our approach, the content we are creating, the platform we are using and our communications during the campaign have all been influenced by Valenti Acconcia. We absolutely could not have made it a success without his help.

You need a strong network to start with:

I would say that the only prerequisite to running a crowdfunding campaign is that you already have a strong network and access to them via channels such as email, instagram and LinkedIn. Of course there will be some surprise supporters and strangers who love what you are doing and get involved, but you will already know most of the contributors. The challenge is packaging the project, explaining it in the right way and maximising the contributions.

Eat Sleep Cycle Crowdfunding Cafe Girona Cycling Community

A pre-campaign is key

You will be keen to get going right away, especially if you need the money! More haste and less speed is the first rule. It is critical that once your campaign actually launches you hit the target in the first week. If you do not, it is very likely the campaign will not succeed. A pre-campaign is used to generate interest, collect emails of people who you are relatively sure will contribute and give you confidence to open the campaign proper. Everyone will be asking “where do I type my credit card details?” during this time which can be frustrating. Be patient, when the campaign opens they will contribute and you need hundreds more just like them.

Make an excellent Crowdfunding Campaign video:

Having checked out some other crowdfunding videos, there is a direct relation between the success of the campaign and the quality of the promotion video. It is absolutely worth paying a proper video maker to film and edit a quality video. This will involve a script, recruiting actors (use your own staff, customers and friends) and many hours of preparation. We made our Café Crowdfunding video special in this way:

  • We told the truth about our situation and what happened to our business through the pandemic.
  • We included as many of our existing and new staff as possible and of course it is our own customers who say why the project is special and others should get involved.
  • We included some humor and tried to make the audience laugh. We do not take ourselves too seriously in the video. 
  • We presented in 4 languages to show our international nature and always respected the local Catalan language, Spanish and English.

Rally Your Supporters – & Pick Up the Phone!

Of course it is impossible to personally email 12 thousand people so you will send out a newsletter. When you receive personal replies try to answer them yourself. I picked up the phone and called some of the most interested people to understand what they liked about the project. I learnt a lot about our supporters and what they want out of being involved. You will be surprised just how supportive people are!

Collaborate with other Local Businesses

Why be the only business that benefits from your campaign? If you can include other suppliers or businesses in the campaign they will help you share it and gain you access to new supporters. We offered a range of prizes including stays at local hotels and kit made by a local manufacturer. They appreciate the marketing and helped us in the build up to the campaign. Think about all the different angles you can benefit from the campaign.

Crowdfunding Benefits

Running a crowdfunding campaign takes a lot of effort and is not cheap. We had to make it our #1 marketing priority for several weeks. We justify this investment by not viewing the campaign on its own, but part of a journey to create an even more engaged customer base. We will be running more campaigns and hope to focus more on solving social and environmental challenges like getting more people cycling to work. There are massive intangible benefits to our brand image and local integration that are difficult to quantify but we hear it from the people we speak to everyday! To read more about how much this project is costing, see the previous Eat Sleep Cycle blog “Eat Sleep Cycle Café – How Much Is It Really Costing?”

Cafe-Crowdfunding-Campaign-Eat-Sleep-Cycle-Catheddral-Sant-Marie

Want to support our café crowdfunding campaign?

The campaign is now live! Our new sustainable cycling jersey, among other rewards, are now available to order for a limited time only via our café crowdfunding campaign.

Join The Team

You might have noticed – Eat Sleep Cycle is expanding and we’re looking for fellow cycling fanatics to join us as we enter our next phase as a cycling tour business, bike shop, bike rental centre and now, café! If you want to join us, then take a look at our available roles.

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

Lee-Eat-Sleep-Cycle-Cafe-Crowdfunding

Eat Sleep Cycle Café – How Much Is It Really Costing?

By Cycling No Comments

Its difficult to put into words how grateful we are for every contribution to our Crowdfunding campaign for our very own Eat Sleep Cycle Girona cycling café. In this blog Eat Sleep Cycle Founder Lee reveals how the project really would not be possible without your help.

The Dream

I want to rewind to three years ago, I sat on the sunny terrace outside our bike shop after a hard days work dreaming of having our own Eat Sleep Cycle café, and wondering whether it would ever come to fruition. It seems that dreams really can come true with enough hard work and support.

Café Premises

Whilst the circumstances that made the premises for the café available were incredibly sad, and we’ll miss our neighbours, we remain friends with the previous owner and he has promised to teach us his special “Bravas” recipe so we can keep this tradition. I can confirm that they are the best “Bravas” in town!

With the café just next door to our own Eat Sleep Cycle shop, it is the perfect location for pre and post ride food, and drinks. From breakfast through to evening tapas.

Eat-Sleep-Cycle-Cafe-Terrace

Securing The Café

Negotiating a rental contract in Spain is a challenging affair especially in the middle of a COVID pandemic. In Girona more than a quarter of local shops are closed down, high street retail and hospitality has been hit really hard. Agreeing a fair price, including some allowances for a COVID relapse and getting all that into a legal contract in Catalan (the local language) was our first challenge. Luckily, the owner, Marina is a lovely 82 year old lady (who originally ran a butchers in the premises many years ago) and her daughters helped with the process. We quickly became friends with the family!

Local Complexity’s

Signing the contract was a big moment for us, however knowing what lay ahead we weren’t about to pop the Champaign just yet. In Girona the Barri Vell or “Old Town” is heavily protected by rules and regulations. This is really important to conserve the beautiful historic buildings and feeling the city has. So the first step is to find the original drawings of the building. There is a loophole in that if you change nothing from these drawings you don’t then need to meet any the modern building regulations. If you change one thing, you have to meet ALL of them. This can mean digging out floors to meet minimum ceiling heights and other unrealistic interventions that would make the project unviable. There are just some things in these old buildings that can’t be done!

We laid down some minimum requirements including disabled toilet access, something we can not offer in our existing shop and an absolute must for us. Then the fun started with ceiling heights, door widths, number of doors and many other building requirements. We are lucky to benefit from talented local architect Roser (Visual Architecture) and talented local engineer Josep. Josep has connections in the Town Hall, Roser makes the plans and is managing the project. Together they spent weeks re-drawing, negotiating with the specialists in the Town Hall. FInally we arrived at a project they could accept and it gets submitted. From there the waiting starts!

So How Much Will The Project Cost?

Building a restaurant is an expensive game. We quickly realised that professional industrial kitchens are on another level of quality and expense when compared to conventional kitchens. 

The disabled toilet would add significant expense and we also wanted to raise the ceilings as much as physically possible which means replacing the entire heating and cooling system. Once we add in all the finishing touches, the final bill gets close to €200k. The % in our crowdfunding infographic are broadly accurate.

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How Do We Intend To Pay For The Project?

Whilst our retail business has benefited from the cycling boom after COVID, our tours leg took a huge hit last year. When we started speaking with banks they were asking for profits to lend us money, something that almost seemed impossible at the end of last year. Through the hard work of our team we managed to pull off the impossible the first quarter of this year and achieve a positive result. Putting this in front of the banks was a proud moment, against all the odds turning it around and giving them what they asked for.

To spread the risk we spoke to several banks, one said no and 2 said yes, they wanted to support and really believed in the project. It was necessary to prepare detailed business plans and financial strategies to gain approval. They would be helping with parts of the project but not all of it!

Crowdfunding!

This is where the crowdfunding campaign comes in. This project really would not be possible without your support. The money from the campaign makes up the difference to the total cost of the project, and we are hoping to raise up to €30k which is the amount to make sure we can cover all the expenses.

Eat-Sleep-Cycle-Hub-Cafe-Crowdfunding-Target

Want to support our café crowdfunding campaign?

The campaign is now live! Our new sustainable cycling jersey, among other rewards, are now available to order for a limited time only via our café crowdfunding campaign.

Join The Team

You might have noticed – Eat Sleep Cycle is expanding and we’re looking for fellow cycling fanatics to join us as we enter our next phase as a cycling tour business, bike shop, bike rental centre and now, café! If you want to join us, then take a look at our available roles.

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