Made in Girona

By Girona No Comments

Girona: A City of Bikes

If Silicon Valley is where good tech companies start, Girona is where great cycling businesses & products are made! In this blog we look at our favorite local Girona brands. What we find, as always, is that it is all about the great people behind them, leading them forwards and interacting with the incredible Girona cycling community.

Tactic Sport: Handcrafted in Girona

This stylish bunch operates from a brand new state of the art cycling kit factory just outside of Girona. Anyone who went to the grand opening of their new factory last year would agree it was a great representation of their attitude towards work and style.

Traditionally a custom cycling kit manufacturer and serving clubs and teams across the European continent and beyond, Tactic more recently started developing its own stylish seasonal lines which have taken off big time. Racy fit, innovative colours, clever pricing and the Girona back drop all give for that “I’m a cool bike rider” feeling when you wear it.


Quim (the owner) is as Catalan as they come but will crack into Spanish or English to relate to you when you cross paths with him. The team can be found on their weekly staff social ride (something we learnt from them), riding around with their customers to give them that personalised experience, or working hard at new designs, always trying to capture the special Girona origin and design feel.

Tactic are also headline sponsor to UCI women’s pro team Massi-Tactic, a first for Catalonia. The team has evolved from the hard work of Club Ciclista Baix Ter and aims to be present at all the best races in the European calendar.

Shop the Tactic collection on our online shop, or head to the Tactic website for custom kit enquiries.

BUCK!T: Eco-Friendly Up-cycled Accessories

The only thing we do not like about cycling is the waste we generate along the way. That is why we love Craig at BUCK!T who takes old tyres and turns them into belts, wallets and bike bags. As well as being funky as hell, they are extra durable and last forever. 

Craig works from a base in Girona, shipping his “made to order” popular product out worldwide. Craig & his partner Jamaica live a sustainable lifestyle, they don’t own a car and seek to run every part of their business with as low an environmental impact as possible.


The tyres used by Buck!t are donated by Pro-Team mechanics, customers & local bicycle shops – every belt is one less tyre in landfill! ​

You can buy Craig’s up-cycled accessories online, and check out the full range on the Buck!t website. Images used are provided by Craig, photo credit Rosina Possingham:

Rocacorba Clothing

It all started with the Rocacorba Food Truck which appeared near the top of Girona’s infamous climb, Rocacorba. Inside the kitted out caravan was a smiley handsome Catalan gentleman called Maties.

He would serve you a botifarra (local sausage), espresso or fizzy beverage, always with a smile and always wanting to know about your ride.

Locals loved it so much that Maties turned his concept into a brand: Rocacorba Clothing. We love his casual clothing which captures the local climbs and Girona Cycling art in such a stylish way.

The original Food Truck is still open on weekends during the season, but Maties has also opened Rocacorba Cafe in Girona old town. He’s one of the most entrepreneurial Girona locals that we know!


To shop Rocacorba Clothing head over to our online shop, or visit the Rocacorba Girona site.

CHPT3: Girona Collection

When David Millar first visited our Girona Hub we were blown away by his friendliness and willingness to ride with us. I personally enjoyed an unforgettable 140 Km gravel ride with David from Barcelona to Girona.

The quality of the CHPT3 kit is another level and the Girona collection has design features carefully crafted in a unique way. It is all about the details and stories behind them with this kit. The CHPT3 design team take inspiration from the landscapes, nature & architecture of Girona to create subtle patterns & cool designs. 

It goes without saying that all of CHPT3’s clothing & collaborations are tested by David on Girona’s roads. From the beautiful CHPT3 Factor O2 bike, to the CHPT3 Brompton city bike, the Poc Devesa helmet & range of technical cycling clothing, it’s all designed to to best in class.


We are proud to be the Girona home of CHPT3 & we love throwing on this kit and tearing it up! You can shop the CHPT3 Girona range online or head over to the CHPT3 website for the full range.

Sismic: Made in Olot

Eat Sleep Cycle design team: “Can you take 2 cm off the sleeve for us please?”

Toti (Sismic owner): “No problem, I will have it with you tomorrow”

The service level and time to market of Sismic kit can not be beaten. Based in Olot, between Girona and the foothills of the Pyrenees, Toti most often delivers samples the next day on his bike, making the most of the 120 km stunning road loop.

Sismic made the second season Eat Sleep Cycle kit and it is still going strong on cyclists all over the world, which is a testament to its quality.

Sismic makes custom kit for teams and clubs, mainly in Spain and France. Toti prefers less very close relationships meaning his customers are very happy with a personal approach. 

Toti can be found in every local race there is going, putting his kit to the test!


Check out the range on the Sismic website & ask us about custom kit for your group when you next visit Girona!

Made in Girona – Support Local

We’re proud to work with these amazing companies & are always on the lookout to expand our range of local-inspired products. You can see our Made in Girona collection on our online shop, and be sure to checkout the range in our Girona store!

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

Behind the Scenes: Bike Rental Girona

By Bike Hire No Comments

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
  • Ignite
  • Tempo

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

To find out more about our 2020 rental fleet and to book now visit our Girona Bike Hire pages, give us a call now on +34 972 754 301 or contact us 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!

Bike Rental Fleet 2020 - Eat Sleep Cycle - Spain

First Look: Our Eat Sleep Cycle 2020 Bike Rental Fleet

By Bike Hire One Comment

Our 2020 rental fleet is finalised, and it’s bigger and better than ever before giving you more bike hire options. We’ve collaborated with brands that we admire, who share our values and, crucially, make fantastic bikes that our guests will love! We’ve also updated our fleet to 100% disc brakes. From road to gravel, electric bikes and hybrid bikes, there’s a bike (and cycling tour) for every type of cyclist to enjoy.

New Rental Bikes for 2020

Let’s start with the new (and exciting!) arrivals for our 2020 rental fleet.

New Gravel Rental Bikes
Gravel is the new black in cycling right now and to reflect that we’ve upped our gravel game by adding TWO new gravel bikes to our 2020 fleet. Ideal for use on our Girona gravel cycling tour or embracing the Trans Alps Gravel tour!

Ridley Kanzo
First up is the Ridley Kanzo. Our 2019 fleet contained the Ridley X-Trail, the brand’s answer to an ‘all-road’ or gravel bike and we loved the versatility of this bike. Ridley have since replaced the X-Trail with the Kanzo Speed, a faster, racier, gravel-oriented bike and introduced the Kanzo Adventure; a bike designed for tougher gravel rides and with longer chainstays and a shorter reach for bigger tyres and more comfort on those long adventure rides.

Ridley Kanzo Spec:

  • Groupset: SRAM Force 1
  • Wheels: Fulcrum Rapid Red 500 DB

Ridley Kanzo Bike Rental - Eat Sleep Cycle

Reilly Gradient Disc
The second new addition to our gravel collection is the Reilly Gradient, a titanium gravel bike hand made in the UK. Not just a pretty frame (although have you SEEN it), in the brand’s own words: “The Reilly Gradient is an unprecedented engineering achievement. Combining a Hydro-formed REILLY AXIS 3AL-2.5V titanium tube set with our hugely flexible geometry”. We can’t wait to get out there and test it on the Girona gravel!

Reilly Gradient Disc Spec:

  • Groupset: Shimano GRX
  • Wheels: Fulcrum Racing 900

Reilly Bike Rental - Eat Sleep Cycle - Spain

New Road Rental Bikes
Road bikes make up the majority of our rental fleet and as such, curating a high-quality yet wide-ranging collection of road bikes for our guests to ride is paramount, these two new additions are no exception and will be the perfect two wheeled companions for our upcoming 2020 cycling tours.

Basso Diamante SV Ultegra Di2 Disc
For 2020 we will be augmenting our current collection of Basso bikes by adding the brand’s top-tier offering, the Diamante SV. The Diamante is the diamond in the Basso crown jewels, the top-end, aero, race offering from the Italian brand and the SV builds on previous Diamante incarnations with slight improvements and adjustments.

Basso Diamante SV Ultegra Di2 Disc Spec:

  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Microtech 38

Basso Diamante SV Ultegra Bike Rental - Eat Sleep Cycle - Spain

Ridley Helium SLX Ultegra Disc
Both us and our guests love our Ridley rentals so we’re adding the top-end Ridley Helium SLX to our fleet for even more choice! In Ridley’s words, the Helium SLX is: “the highest level when it comes to stiffness to weight ratio. We’ve designed it to be as light as possible to tackle the longest, steepest climbs. Yet it is stiff and durable…”

Ridley Helium SLX Ultegra Disc Spec:

  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheels: Fulcrum Racing 5

Ridley Helium Bike Rental - Eat Sleep Cycle

Returning Rental Bikes for 2020

Now that we’ve gone through the lineup of new rental bike arrivals for 2020 it’s time to look at the tried and tested that will be returning to the rental fleet lineup for 2020!

Road Rental Bikes
Basso Astra Ultegra Disc & Basso Venta
We love Basso! We introduced the Italian brand to our fleet only a few months ago and the bikes have since had a very exciting reception from everyone who has ridden them. You can read more about the Astra and Venta on this blog.

Factor O2 VAM Disc
One of the most exciting bikes of 2019, the Factor O2 VAM has been a mega hit amongst both our tour and Girona guests as well as staff and friends of Eat Sleep Cycle. To find out more make sure you check out our Factor o2 VAM review (and preview!) to see why we love it.

Ridley Fenix 105 and Ultegra Disc
The Fenix has been in our fleet since 2018 and has received rave reviews from guests in both the 105 and Ultegra versions. Crucially, these models both run disc brakes, which we will be exclusively using in our rental fleet going forward.

Electric and Hybrid Rental Bikes

We’ve spoken before about how electric bikes are a game changer for cycling vacations and what was true in 2019 is even more true for 2020.

Electric Bike Rental - Orbea Bike Rental - Eat Sleep Cycle - Spain

Orbea Gain M20
Sometimes we all need a little boost, and the Orbea Gain M20 provides just that. For those riders who want to enjoy the thrill of climbing a mountain without the worry of whether they can make the whole way the Gain is a perfect safety net.

Ridley Tempo Disc (hybrid and electric)
Available as standard and e-bike versions, the Ridley Tempo disc is a great bike to take along the Via Verde or on a family ride or to explore a town and its surrounding area. Our guests have been impressed with the versatility of the Ridley Tempo Disc.

City Bike Rental - Brompton Bike Hire Girona

City Bike Rental

If you’re looking for a leisurely cycle tour around a city then these are the bikes for you, spearheaded by the classic cycling brand, Brompton.

Bromptons are quite simply the best at what they do. A classic brand and a fabulous fold-up bike for getting around a city, we love Bromptons!

Bike Rental 2020 Girona - Eat Sleep Cycle

Book for 2020 Now

To find out more about our 2020 rental fleet and to book now visit our Girona bike hire portal, give us a call now on +34 972 754 301 or contact us 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!

Basso Astra 2020 Bike Preview - Eat Sleep Cycle

Basso Astra 2020 Bike Preview

By Bike Hire No Comments

Last month we brought you a preview of the all-new Basso Venta when we added it to our Girona rental bike fleet. Now, it’s the turn of the all-new Astra, which has undergone a similar update and also been made a part of our Girona bike hire cavalry. The Astra comes in at a higher spec than the Venta and according to Basso: “The all-new 2020 Astra pushes the limits farther than any version before it and does so with a good dose of style.” Let’s find out more…

Basso Astra 2020 Bike - About Basso - Eat Sleep Cycle

About Basso Bikes

Founded in 1977 and based near Bassano del Grappa, Italy 50km northwest of Venice and less than 10km from the base of Monte Grappa, Basso have been making 100% Italian bikes for over 40 years. In their own words, the brand’s aim is to “put the product first, while always moving forward in terms of innovation, our technicians create with an extreme attention to detail, high precision and relentless perfectionism”, which sounds like a recipe for some pretty special bikes. Basso also work closely with another of our favourite brands, MAAP. The Australian brand, who design and make our beautiful Eat Sleep Cycle kit, worked with Basso to design a Diamante frame as well as running the MAAP/ Basso road team.

How Has the Basso Astra Been Improved?

Basso state that: “the latest version of the Astra model incorporates a great deal of technology that derives from its upper tier siblings and adopts a design that follows a tighter family feeling than ever before”. The new Astra benefits from aspects of the technology utilised within the pricier Diamante range. The frame is designed to be aero but not to such an exaggerated degree that it is rendered uncomfortable on long rides. The Astra has a larger head tube for increased solidity at the front, a near-horizontal top tube and chainstays that are designed for improved efficiency in power transfer.

Basso Astra 2020 Bike - Technical Info - Eat Sleep Cycle

Basso Astra Technical Info

The Astra’s frame is constructed from 100% 3k Torayca High Modulous Carbon Fiber from a blend of T700 and MR60 fibers.

  • Headset and fork 1-1/8” to 1.5” for more rigidity.
  • Monocoque frame without aluminium reinforcement parts
  • Integrated seatpost clamp
  • Disc brakes

Basso Astra Bike Rental Spec

Our Eat Sleep Cycle bike rental Basso Astras are set up with the following spec:

  • Microtech MR38 wheels
  • Shimano Ultegra 11-speed groupset
  • 11-32 cassette

Basso Astra Reviews

We will be road-testing the Astra and we will be sure to get feedback from our Eat Sleep Cycle Hub guests too. Check back here soon for a full review of how the new Basso Astra fares on the roads of Girona!

Basso Astra 2020 Bike Rental - Eat Sleep Cycle

Basso Astra Bike Rental

To find out more about buying or renting the Basso Astra visit our bike hire web page, give us a call now on +34 972 754 301 or contact us 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!

Photos: Basso

Girona Gravel Cycling Tour Why You Should Come On One - Eat Sleep Cycle

Girona Gravel Cycling Tour – Why You Should Come On One!

By Girona, Gravel No Comments

Gravel cycling is tricky to define. In terms of terrain, ‘gravel’ can mean anything from unpaved roads to MTB single track and everything in between. On the subject of bikes, bike manufacturers use terms such as ‘all-road’, and ‘adventure’ to define their gravel machines, but one thing that gravel cycling can be defined by though, is how much fun it is to ride – and consequently, how addictive it is.

So, if you’ve exhausted the road, or even if you haven’t and you just want to try something new or want an excuse to buy a new bike / book another cycling trip then we’ve got you covered with the following reasons to join a gravel cycling tour!

Reasons to Come on a Gravel Cycling Tour

The Novelty of a New Discipline
Off-road purists may sneer at the advent of gravel cycling, at best dismissing it as a poor relation to cyclo-cross and at worst denouncing it as a mere marketing ploy by bike brands to sell more products. But there’s more to it than all of that, for starters, there are key differences between gravel and cyclo-cross bikes, namely that the former is designed for all-day endurance and thus comfort and the latter for flat-out racing on varied terrain over approximately one hour.

Gravel cycling is a novelty, but definitely not a gimmick, and it’s a novelty that doesn’t wear off, namely because there are always…

Girona Gravel Cycling Tour - New Places to Explore - Eat Sleep Cycle

…New Places to Explore

Uncovering new places you didn’t know existed, or completely rediscovering places you thought you already knew is part of what makes gravel so fun. The added benefit of a gravel cycling tour is that you can experience this without the danger of getting lost thanks to the addition of a knowledgeable, local guide. Gravel continuously surprises and when you’re on a bike that makes riding virtually any surface possible it’s always fresh and exciting. Taking this exploration to another level with bike-packing trips is just another way that gravel cycling enables you to see and do so much more.

Beginner Friendly

Never ridden a gravel bike before? No worries. A gravel cycling tour is the perfect opportunity to learn new skills and test your limits without worrying about traffic or hard tarmac. If you’re familiar with road riding and are just dipping your cleats into the off-road world then gravel is the perfect place to learn. Plus, on a gravel cycling tour your guide can coach you through technical sections and routes can be adapted to your level.

In addition, Gravel cycling is more inclusive than road or other disciplines, it’s not about what you wear, how much you know, your average speed, or how many Strava KOMs you own, if you’re up for an adventure then gravel is for you. You’ll never forget your first gravel ride!

Gravel Biking in Girona - Eat Sleep Cycle

Gravel Biking in Girona

So you know Girona for the pros, the classic climbs, the cafe culture, the quiet Catalan, country roads, you’ve got it sussed out, you know what it’s about. Think again. Girona is a gravel wonderland waiting to be discovered. For every classic Girona climb, you can bet there’s a gravel version. Done Sant Grau already? Do it on gravel and see it through a whole new perspective. Ever wondered if there was a different way to get to Banyoles Lake? There is, on gravel. If you thought road cycling in Girona seemed like an inexhaustible labyrinth of new discoveries then prepare to be amazed by what you can uncover off-road.

Basso Alta and Ridley - BIkes for Gravel Cycling - Eat Sleep Cycle

Weapons of Choice for Gravel Cycling

Of course, the right bike is vital for making the most of a gravel cycling tour. A versatile machine that can take you on almost any terrain is the order of the day. At Eat Sleep Cycle our go-to gravel steeds are the Basso Palta and Ridley X-Trail. You can read reviews of both on our blog!

Girona Gravel Cycling Camp - Eat Sleep Cycle

Want to Test the Girona Gravel?

Whether you’re a seasoned gravel rider or you just want to give gravel a try, our Girona Gravel Camp is for you! Give us a call now on +34 972 754 301 or contact us online for more info!

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

Photos by Daan Van Meeuwen

The All-New Basso Venta - Bike Preview - Eat Sleep Cycle

The All-New Basso Venta – Bike Preview

By Bike Hire No Comments

We love Italy. The culture, the food, the cycling and since working with Basso, the bikes! For the end of the 2019 season we are super excited to be introducing the newly re-designed Basso Venta to our rental fleet. The new Venta landed in the Hub this week and we can’t wait for our test-ride event, but until we get our hands on it, let’s take a more general look at Basso and the new Venta’s spec.

Basso Bikes

Founded in 1977 and based near Bassano del Grappa, Italy 50km northwest of Venice and less than 10km from the base of Monte Grappa, Basso have been making 100% Italian bikes for over 40 years. In their own words, the brand’s aim is to “put the product first, while always moving forward in terms of innovation, our technicians create with an extreme attention to detail, high precision and relentless perfectionism”, which sounds like a recipe for some pretty special bikes. Basso also work closely with another of our favourite brands, MAAP. The Australian brand, who design and make our beautiful Eat Sleep Cycle kit, worked with Basso to design a Diamante frame as well as running the MAAP/ Basso road team.

The All-New Basso Venta - Basso Bikes

The New Basso Venta

The Venta model is not new to Basso, however the brand has completely redesigned the bike for the 20th anniversary (it’s described as the venti venta, venti meaning 20 in Italian), making it lighter, more aero and trickling down technology and lessons learned from the high-end Diamante but with a much smaller price tag at €??. Available in both disc and rim, they describe the bike as one for “from the pro racer to the Sunday amateur” which is reflected in the more relaxed, but still relatively racey fit.

Basso Venta Bike Specs

Now, onto the details that you need to know about the new Basso Venta bike – it’s a beauty!

  • Frame: Full carbon construction and no aluminium reinforced parts.
  • Tapered Headset: Headset and fork 1-1/8” to 1.5” for more rigidity.
  • 2 Fit: The frame can be used with both mechanical and electronic groupsets.
  • Tyres: The Venta comes spec’d with 28mm tyres and there is clearance for a few mm more.

The All-New Basso Venta - Basso Venta Bike Specs

Basso Venta Road Testing

We will be road-testing the Venta in the coming days along with some of our Eat Sleep Cycle Hub customers and we will be sure to get feedback. Check back here soon for a full review of how the new Basso Venta fares on the roads of Girona! And, if you’re keen to find out more about Basso, check out our Basso Palta review here.

Basso Bike Rental - Eat Sleep Cycle Girona

Basso Venta Bike Rental

To find out more about buying or renting the Basso Venta visit our bike hire web page, give us a call now on +34 972 754 301 or contact us 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!

Costa Brava Cycling - The Perfect Coastline for a Cycling Vacation

Costa Brava Cycling: Why the Catalan Coastline is Perfect for a Cycling Vacation

By Girona One Comment

Rolling, Mediterranean coastlines, stunning medieval towns and villages and the vineyards of the Empordà region – the Costa Brava is a fantastic place for a European cycling vacation, with plenty for non-cyclists to enjoy too! The best time to visit the Costa Brava is outside of the summer months when the region is quieter and the weather is slightly, but not too much, cooler. The combination of mountains to climb and rolling, coastal roads to cruise along makes for a truly stunning cycling vacation, and with the cycling hub of Girona in close proximity this region truly is a cyclist’s paradise!

In this post we’ll outline some of the best that Costa Brava has for cyclists, give some top picks for places to visit and perfect spots to rest up after a satisfying day in the saddle, read on!

Empordà Wine Region – Costa Brava Cycling With A View

The Empordà region is known for its vineyards where you can cycle out along the beautiful lanes to a winery such as Finca Bell Lloc where you can take a tour of the amazing architecture before being treated to wine-tasting and gastronomic experiences. From Calonge on the coast, the wine region unfolds north to the French border & there are a multitude of bodega’s to explore. Wine aficionados should check out to DO Empordà Wine Route & experience Catalan wine making in all its forms.

If you’ve had your fill of wine Empord’à still offers much to explore. The city of Figueres, an important urban and economic center of the Empordà, is the capital of Alt (high) Empordà whilst the town of Bisbal d’Empordà is the capital of the Baix (low) Empordà. The name Empordà comes from the Empúries (Emporiage in Latin), which means ‘the markets’. The town of Bisbal d’Empordà  has hosted a Friday market for centuries & is now the place to visit in Catalunya for ceramics, art & antiques.

Empordà has provided inspiration for numerous artists, the most famous being the Surrealist Salvador Dalí, with other local artists including Angel Planells, Joan Massanet & Evarist Vallès.

Towns of the Costa Brava

The Costa Brava Coastline is punctuated by a myriad of picture-postcard Medieval towns and villages with ancient histories and striking buildings. Cycle anywhere along the coastline and you’ll soon come across one of these enchanted municipalities, stopping to take in the beauty of each individual town could end up making for a long day out!

Costa Brava Cycling Vacation - Cadaques - Eat Sleep Cycle

Best Fishing Village: Cadaques

If you visit just one town on the Costa Brava then make it Cadaques, although those in the know do so outside of the summer months where it can fill to it’s white-walled capacity with tourists. The celebrated Catalan Impressionist Salvador Dali spent his summers there as a child before later keeping a studio nearby. With Picasso, Matisse and Magritte among other notable former frequenters, one look at the narrow, steep streets framed by white walls and the impossibly blue sea is enough to inspire anyone to whip out a canvas and start painting.

Best Cove: Llafranc

The rugged coastline surrounding Begur is home to nuermous delightful coves & villages. Llafranc is a pretty little village which offers a great start location for exploring the Camí Ronda, as well as picturesque hotels & fabulous restaurants.

Top Medieval Town: Monells

Monells is a perfectly preserved medieval villages nestled in the rolling countryside of Empordà. The village square is the perfect spot for a long lazy lunch & the photo opportunities are endless!

Where to Stay in Costa Brava

Many of the hotels in this region are cycling friendly due to the popularity and number of cyclists who frequent this region every year, here are a few of our hotels of choice:

Costa Brava Cycling - Where to Stay in Costa Brava

For that little bit extra:
Make your cycling vacation to the Costa Brava that little bit more special and stay in one of these stunning boutique hotels:

Costa Brava Cycling Routes

Empordà & Costa Brava offer incredible cycling routes for riders of all levels & inclinations. Whirl along rolling coast roads, climb to Sant Pere Pescador or San Grau. Trundle along flat lanes through the olive groves  & vineyards.

Costa Brava Cycling Routes - Eat Sleep Cycle

Costa Brava Cycling Tours

Our cycling tour of the Costa Brava incorporates the best that the Catalan Coastline has to offer, taking in all of the must-see places, staying in the best accommodation the region has to offer and sampling fresh seafood straight from the Mediterranean. To find out more about our Costa Brava cycling tour give us a call now on +34 972 754 301 or contact us online!

  • Tour of the Costa Brava – ride point to point from Girona to Cadaques with the mediterranean on your right!
  • Luxury Tour of the Costa Brava – stay in the region’s best 5* hotels & combine relaxed cycling with fabulous gourmet expereicnes
  • Beyond Girona – ride from the Pyrenees to Empordà & the Costa Brava
  • Pirinexus Cycle Tour – ride from Girona, to the Pyrenees & complete the loop along the Costa Brava
  • Costa Brava Hike & Bike – coming soon, ask us for more information!

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Style and Innovation - The Technology of CHPT3 Clothing - Eat Sleep Cycle Girona

Style & Innovation: The Technology of CHPT3 Clothing

By Girona No Comments

CHPT3 are a brand that we first started working with last November after their focus on local Girona cycling influence and innovative clothing caught our eye (something that ESC partner Brian has already written about and we’ve also explained why CHPT3 are a great fit for ESC). The Girona-based brand helmed by ex-pro David Millar are as much about style as they are innovative technology and to that end we hosted a tech talk with David at our Girona Hub where he explained the ins and outs of some of their key pieces. In this post we’ll give you the recap on some of the technology behind CHPT3 clothing and the style and innovation they are bring to the cycling world.

CHPT3 Cycling Gear - Innovative Technology - Eat Sleep Cycle

CHPT3 – Innovative Technology

The CHPT3 website states: “We founded CHPT3 to be a platform through which we and our partners can do creative, collaborative projects. Together, we seek out new technologies and new contexts in which to push ourselves to the edge of what is possible.”

CHPT3 kit is made in collaboration with Castelli, so you know that you are already getting good quality, but the brand take the innovation up another notch such as with added trickle-down from the pro-level kit used by the likes of Team Sky. For example, the Girona 1.27 Jersey uses the same fabric as the Castelli Maglia Rosa worn by Team Sky at last year’s Giro but with the features enhanced for an everyday use.

Likewise the Girona 1.17 shorts use a special version of the Castelli Kiss Air pad designed to perform both during short, intense efforts and long days in the saddle. The attention to detail goes as far as “multi-panel construction for great muscle support at every point of the pedal stroke, whilst lightweight mesh bibs and 90mm high silicon dot leg bands keep everything where it should be.” From the chamois to the stitching the quality and attention to detail makes for some of the best quality cycling clothing on the market.

CHPT3 Cycling Gear Collection

Road Testing CHPT3 Clothing

Of course, the measure of any good cycling kit is how it fares on the road, so we asked Girona local and CHPT3 ambassador Ramon Lozano to put the kit through its paces on some Girona cycling routes and to give us his thoughts on it. Here’s what he had to say!

Q. When did you first encounter CHPT3 and David Millar?
A. I came across the brand because I followed David Millar when he was racing, I liked his story and the fact that he lived in Girona where we could just cross paths on a ride which as a fan I loved. But it was on a photoshoot that I first came into contact with David. I had noticed this brand for its exclusivity and design which was unlike anything else, but I never had the chance to “touch” it until that day. This past summer, David contacted me directly for the photoshoot of the new collection again and to as if I was willing to collaborate with them from now on, that’s how it all started!

Q. What aspect of CHPT3 do you most like?
A. I particularly like CHPT3 because everything has a history, all the kits are made with a design based on some place or aspect of David’s career, each garment has its history that the fan can know, anyone who knows a little about the brand can spot it from a distance.

Road Testing CHPT3 Cyclng Gear - Ramon Lozano

Q. How does CHPT3 clothing differ from other brands?
A. Chpt3 is not like all, it’s more classic, not everything in cycling is aerodynamic and aesthetic “pro”, cycling is much more. We all like to feel elegant and special at times.

Q. What is your favourite piece of CHPT3 kit?
A. I don’t think I could choose just one item as a favourite but if the ‘Origin” collection is definitely my favourite. The JJ jacket is also a garment that every cyclist should own.

ESC x CHPT3 Collaborations – More Coming Soon!

Keep your eyes peeled for future ESC x CHPT3 collaborations and in the meantime you can shop the latest collection at the Girona Hub or via did the CHPT3 website! And, if you have some new CHPT3 kit that you’re looking to test on a cycling tour then give us a call +34 972 649 131 or contact us online and we’ll help you put the CHPT3 gear through its paces!

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

Classic Girona Cycling Tours - Eat Sleep Cycle Girona

Classic Girona Cycling Routes

By Girona, Girona Cycling Services No Comments

Girona is an inexhaustible playground for cyclists with myriad quiet roads to explore and challenging climbs to tackle. There’s a lot to be said for going off the beaten track here and exploring the hidden gems of the area. However if you’re here on a European cycling holiday with minimal time then you’re going to want to make the most of your stay, and that means ticking off the some of the classic Girona cycling routes.

We asked members of the Eat Sleep Cycle team to tell us about their favourite cycling routes in Girona.

An Epic Girona Cycling Route – Begur Loop

The Begur Loop is littered with beautiful and charming Catalan villages and towns. The route heads through the stunning Emporda region. Heading in the direction of the coast, in the cove of Sa Riera come a series of short, steep climbs taking you South around the coast through Aiguafreda, Sa Tuna and Tamariu which are perfect for a lunch or coffee stop. The route then loops around the lighthouse in Llafranc before turning inland around the busy town of Palafrugell and then back towards Calogne and the coast. From there comes a steady 5km climb followed by a descent into the town of La Bisbal d’Emporda followed by the beautiful medieval villages of Corçà, Monells and Madremanya. From Madremanya you can either climb the steeper side of Els Angels and drop into Girona from the other side or return to town via Celrà.

Begur Loop – Route Facts

  • Selected By: Louise – Eat Sleep Cycle Partner
  • Route Name: Begur Loop
  • Distance: 124 km
  • Elevation: 1,700m
  • Level: Epic

Epic Girona Cycling Routes - Begur Loop - Eat Sleep Cycle Girona

Leisure Cycling Route – “Silvia’s Loop”

Silvia has her very own loop named after her! ‘Silvia’s Loop’ is for those who enjoy flat terrain, peaceful countryside and rural Catalan villages. The ride traverses South through Plaça Catalunya and across the river to exit Girona towards Quart and on to the completely quiet roads of Llambilles and Campllong. After around 19km you will reach Cassa de la Selva which is the biggest town on the route and therefore the best chance for a coffee stop! After, head to Sant Andreu Salou before riding along the peaceful road to the picturesque town of Caldes de Malavella. From here, the route loops back up towards Campllong into Fornells de la Selva and back into Girona via Montilivi home of the city’s university campus and Girona FC’s Stadium.

“Silvia’s Loop” – Route Info

  • Selected By: Silvia – Hub and Tours
  • Route Name: “Silvia’s Loop”
  • Distance: 44 km
  • Elevation: 400m
  • Level: Leisure

Leisure Cycling Route Girona - Silvia's Loop

Intermediate Girona Cycling Route – Els Angels & Santa Pellaia

This is a real Girona favourite among pros and leisure cyclists alike, the two climbs are both gentle on the legs and surrounded by beautiful scenery. Ride out of Girona keeping the river on your right and take a left at the roundabout to start the first climb: Els Àngels: a gentle 10km at 3.4% average gradient. Be sure to grab a coffee at the top and take in the stunning views of Girona before descending down the other side into the medieval town of Madremanya and onto the rolling country lanes to Monells. After the village of Sant Sadurní comes the next steady climb: Santa Pellaia, which consists of 6km at an average gradient of 4%. After enjoying the views from the top descend into Cassà and towards Caldes de Malavella via the two charming towns of Sant Andreu Salou and Fornells de la Selva.

Els Angels & Santa Pellaia – Route Info

  • Selected By: Brian – Eat Sleep Cycle Partner
  • Route Name: Els Angels & Santa Pellaia
  • Distance: 68 km
  • Elevation: 1,100m
  • Level: Intermediate

Intermediate Cycling Route Girona -Els Angels and Santa Pellaia

Advanced Cycling Route Girona – Coast Loop

A bona-fide Girona classic, leaving Girona without riding the Coast Loop is like going to Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower – it’s a must ride! The route heads South out of town before reaching the tranquil roads through Fornells de la Selva and Sant Andreu Salou and onto Caldes de Malavella. Head towards the town of Llagostera from where, shortly after you will reach the 10km climb of Sant Grau which reaches 8-9% in places. After Sant Grau comes one of the highlights of this route: the descent along the coast road with fantastic views of the sea. At the bottom of the descent you will be heading towards Tossa de Mar and cruise along the beach front or stop for ice cream or lunch. However, it’s best not to overfill your stomach as you will be tackling an 8 km climb out of Tossa towards Girona. The remaining 35 km is on the familiar roads from the way there.

“Totally Costal” – Route Info

  • Selected By: Lee – Eat Sleep Cycle Partner
  • Route Name: Coast Loop
  • Distance: 94 km
  • Elevation: 1,300m
  • Level: Advanced

Advanced Cycling Routes Girona - Coast Loop - Eat Sleep Cycle

Girona Gravel Cycle Route – Sant Grau & Llemena

Head out of Girona on gravel tracks. The main climb on this ride comes at 11km in and has average of 7.3% with a 13.1% max gradient 4.8km long switchbacks at the top so make sure you don’t burn all of your energy here, the track is rugged and it is followed by a fast, fun descent. After 24km you will come out in the Vall de Llemena – if your legs are tired from here you can take the road, otherwise, take the gravel track which hugs the river. At 35 km you can warm down on the flat gravel tracks all the way back into Girona.

Sant Grau & Llemena – Route Info

  • Selected By: Boris – Workshop Manager
  • Route Name: Sant Grau & Llemena
  • Distance: 51 km
  • Elevation: 550m
  • Level: Gravel

Gravel Cycling Route Girona - Sant Grau & Llemena

Cycle A Classic Girona Route With A Guide

Want to ride one of these classic Girona cycling routes yourself? Take a look at our Girona Services to hire a Wahoo or a guide. If you’ve any questions about any of the routes or our services give us a call on +34 972 754 301 or contact us online.

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How to Choose Your Perfect Rental Bike - Eat Sleep Cycle Girona

Bike Hire Girona – How To Choose Your Perfect Rental Bike

By Bike Hire No Comments

When planning a cycling holiday a key consideration is what bike to ride. Whilst some people choose to travel with their own bike the majority opt to save the plane fare & hassle of lugging a bike box around and rent instead. Renting a bike can be daunting – so many colours, models, sizes, groupsets, braking systems, frame materials, companies etc etc. But, renting a bike is a golden opportunity to try something new or even test ride the bike of your dreams.

By asking yourself these simple questions you can decide which bike to choose from all the options out there. Given our location this will be focused on Girona Bike Hire but should help choose your perfect rental bike wherever you’re traveling to!
Road - Off Road and City Cycling in Girona Bike Hire - Eat Sleep Cycle

What Type of Cycling Would You Like to Do?

It sounds obvious but if you know what terrain you’ll be riding on this is a big part of the puzzle & you can start to narrow down your bike hire options:

  1. Road – Girona is a hub for road cycling in Europe. Professional road cyclists choose to make Girona their base for training and racing. Quiet roads, respectful traffic a huge variety of terrain & route options make road cycling the most popular type of cycling in Girona (and as a result one of the most popular types of bike hire in Girona).
  2. Off-Road – Girona also has a network of gravel roads, mountain bike trails and family-friendly bike paths. There are plenty of bikes to choose from in the off-road category, depending on which type of terrain you’d like to explore.
  3. City – Cruising around the city and Devesa park on a bike is a cool way to see the city. You could even consider taking a 40 min train to Barcelona and bike around there too. This is a great option for families and groups of ‘normal’/non-cycling people. A Brompton has to be the ultimate city machine – it’s great fun to ride & is completely foldable – perfect for carrying on and off trains & into cafès and restaurants (for more info make sure you check our guide to cycling in Barcelona!)

Road Bike Hire in Girona - Eat Sleep Cycle - Climber - Endurance -AeroRoad Cycling: What Type of Cyclist Are You?

Ok, so you’ve decided you want to explore Girona’s beautiful roads. Let’s take a deep dive into the world of road bikes and see how to separate the options so you can choose the perfect rental road bike. Road bikes tend to fall into three broad categories and are best suited to different types of cyclist.

  • Lightweight – The Climbers Rental Bike: For cyclists who love to climb then a bike designed around the ability to climb will maximise the enjoyment of the ride.
    • Top Pick: Factor O2 Ultegra Di2 – ok, so it’s a treat but we think a Factor 02 rental is the ultimate climbing machine. With a precision engineered Factor 02 frameset, Black Inc carbon wheels, bars, seatpost & stem & the high performance lightweight groupset that is Shimano Ultegra Di2 this is a machine that flies uphill.
    • Best Value: Ridley Helium X Ultegra – if the Factor’s way out of budget there’s no need to panic. Enter Ridley’s lightweight sensation that is the Helium. Aptly named this is a beautiful frameset which heads skywards with ease.
  • Comfort – The Endurance Bike: For riders who love long days in the saddle on varied terrain the endurance bike is the way to go. These bikes tend to offer a more relaxed geometry giving the rider a more comfortable position, best for long days in the saddle.
    • Top Pick: Ridley Fenix Ultegra Disc – The Fenix is Ridley’s answer to Paris-Roubaix. Designed to absorb the shock of the cobblestones the Fenix promises a smooth, sweet ride. Disc brakes offer powerful braking & the ultegra groupset promises perfect shifting.
    • Best Value: Ridley Fenix 105 – the same as above but with rim brakes and Shimano 105 groupset. Perfect for a smooth ride for those on more of a budget.
  • Fast – The Aero Bike: we don’t recommend this type of bike for cycling in Girona. With a more aggressive geometry & added weight for the aero features this is a bike that will neither climb particularly well or be that comfortable for a long day in the saddle.

Off Road Bike Hire in Girona - Eat Sleep Cycle

Off-Road Cycling: What Type of Terrain?

If you’re heading off road the key consideration when renting a bike in Girona is to decide what type of terrain you’d find most enjoyable – this will best help you to select your steed:

  • GravelA good definition of a gravel road is anything that a car can be driven down, any more technical and gravel riding starts to head into mountain bike terrain. A gravel bike has wider tyres and more tread compared to a road bike – offering better grip off road. A gravel bike has a more relaxed geometry than their cyclo-cross counterparts. Make sure your rental bike is geared for the rides you’re planning to do: the steep trails around Girona tend to need a larger cassette that what might otherwise be normal. Get an introduction to gravel cycling in Girona from our ESC tour guide Peter Gaskill.
    • Top pick: Basso Palta – ‘Palta’ is Italian for mud & this is a high-end carbon gravel bike which thrives in dirty conditions. With a specially designed fork and shock-absorbing seatpost enjoy a stable and comfortable ride. There’s also space for up to three bottle cages – great for a hot, off-road bike-packing adventure.
  • Trails & Single-trackIf you’re planning on tackling more technical trails then consider a mountain bike. A hardtail will cope with most of what Girona has to offer. A full-suspension is pretty niche and not widely available to rent in Girona.
    • Top pick: Ridley Ignite – A lightweight 29’er hardtail designed for cyclocross competition, this is an ultrafast bike for ultimate off-road fun.
  • Bike Paths – Girona has a network of bike paths, the most popular being the Via Verde, stretching from San Feliu at the coast to Olot in the foothills of the Pyrenees. A hybrid bicycle is best suited to these trails. Equipped with wider tyres than a road bike for extra grip on the gravel and a super comfortable upright position. Hybrid bikes often come with a rack for carrying bags – perfect for stashing a picnic for when you reach the beach!
    • Top pick: Ridley Tempo Disc – a comfy, versatile bike for enjoying bike paths & roads alike. This bike comes in female specific & men’s geometry & comes equipped with a rack for carrying your bags.
    • Add Some Gas: Orbea Keram Comfort Electric – turbo boost your ride and take the edge off the climbs with this dreamy electrified hybrid. Equipped with a rack you can carry everything you need for a lovely day out on the bike.

If some of the rental bikes mentioned above have piqued your interest you can check our range of rental bikes in Girona here and we also have some of them available for purchase if you’re really tempted!

What About Renting an Electric Bike in Girona?

The trend of electric bikes is booming here with electric bike rentals on the up. Sales across Europe are up & more & more people are turning to electric bikes and it’s no surprise why. Electric bikes offer many people the opportunity to ride a bike in places they never imagined they could physically cope with. Electric bikes mean groups of friends & families with riders of different abilities can ride together and enjoy shared experiences. Electric bikes are a serious amount of fun.

  • Top Pick: Orbea Gain M20 – this is a very special electric road bike. A carbon frame & ultegra groupset mean this bike oozes quality and puts Orbea at the forefront of electric bike design. The battery is discreetly hidden in the downtube meaning the bike doesn’t stand out in a field of non-electric bikes.

Bike Hire Girona - Eat Sleep Cycle

Bike Hire Girona – Choose Your Bike!

If you’re in Girona and looking to hire a bike we hope the above guide has given you some useful information about the types of rental options that are available and which one would suit you best. If you’ve any questions about which rental bike is for you then give us a call now on +34 972 649 131 or contact us online for more info.

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