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Wittson Cycles’ titanium frames are a new addition to our impressive list of brands we build with. Their master builder is Vitas Zukauskas, a Lithuanian who earned his stellar reputation while working at the one and only Colnago. When Colnago shifted its production away from titanium to focus more on outsourced carbon in the far-east, Vitas continued using his skills to build amazing custom frames out of Ti. After working for other brands in the market, he decided it was time to go out on his own. 

Ti is not always people’s first thought when it comes to handbuilt frame, but it’s a great material offering strength and durability – plus it’s lighter than steel.

Every frame that Wittson builds is custom, so if you think they might be the builder for we’ll get you fitted and then send off the measurements to Vitas. Then it’s a matter of building up the bike with your chosen components and you’re ready to roll.

Our first build with a Wittson frame left the workshop earlier this month and its new owner was absolutely stoked with it!

One of our favourite frame builders is the awesome @WittsonCycles from Lithuania who specialise in hand building Titanium frames. We work with them a lot sending our customers geometry and they send back these gorgeous frames hand built by Vitas. Hand building Titanium takes a lot of skill and to work with these guys is a real pleasure! We built this bike up for one of customers as an adventure bike that can be used as a road bike but can have wider tyres and racks fitted when necessary. With a Shimano 105 Groupset, a Chris King Headset and the Brooks Cambium saddle.. What else do you need to ride! #dreambike #bikesbikesbikes #bikesrule #bikestagram #bikeswithoutlimits #bikeshop #bikesofinstagram #bikelife #bikeporn #chrisking #wittson #titanium #handmade #handbuiltisbest #builditbetter #lightweight #cloud9cycles

A photo posted by Cloud9Cycles (@cloud9cycles) on

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 Stan's NoTubes are one of our preferred tubeless brands.  Instagram .

Stan’s NoTubes are one of our preferred tubeless brands. Instagram .

Tubeless tyres are the bomb. Believe!

While traditionally you’ve had two main choices of tyre for your road bike (tubular or clincher), tubeless tyres/wheels are starting to make big inroads (pardon the pun) onto the scene. 

Still, there’s a lot of scepticism about tubeless tyres, and many people still have questions. We’ve put together a handy FAQ, to demystify tubeless tyres and help put some of the myths surrounding them to bed.

What even is a tubeless tyre?

A tubeless tyre on a bike is very similar to a car tyre – it has a single solid rubber outer which creates an airtight seal with the rim. The air that holds up the tyre simply stays in the cavity between, with no need for an inner tube. Hence, ‘tubeless’. 

And why should I switch?

Well for a start, tubeless tyres are great of puncture reduction. They are filled with a sealant that, when the outer surface of the tyre gets ripped or pierced, will move to the ‘leak’ and reseal. That’s right – they’re self-fixing!

So no more changing flats, shivering on the roadside?

Not only that, but, as long as you do some basic upkeep by making sure there’s enough sealant in the tyre, your wheels will carry on being self-fixing for years. We’ve heard of people going five years without a flat.

But aren’t they complicated and fiddly to set up?

Well, honestly, yes they are a bit. But that’s why you’ve got us! We can install tubeless tyres to your current bike, or if you’re considering building a custom bike with us, we can also add tubeless to the package.

Any other benefits I should know about?

Well there’s the fact that you can run tubeless wheels at lower pressure and they also tend to be a bit lighter. The former is a benefit that really only applies when you’re riding MTB on extremely bumpy terrain when you need that bit of extra cushioning in the impact, but the weight saving in the wheels, and the associated increase in speed is going to be noticeable almost immediately.

What tubeless brands does Cloud 9 use?

We’re a big believer in Stan’s NoTubes, and we use their conversion kits and rims. We also build tubeless wheels with Enve rims and often use Schwalbe tyres. We use these brands because they’re the best in the market, but if you have a fixed idea of the makers you want on your bike we are happy to build with other brands too though – it’s your bike!

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Sam Dunn is an illustrator and photographer who lives and works in London. She has a passion for cycling which has influenced her work and even led her to collaborate on a jersey design with Milltag. She was kind enough to share some of her snaps from the Red Hook Crit with us and talk about her inspirations.

What role does cycling play in your life?

Cycling is a huge part of my life – if i’m not drawing, I’ll be cycling. It helps me get out of my working mind state and I think it’s important to try and fit in some time outside during the day, otherwise I’d be sat at my desk for 12 hours without many breaks.

What kind of bike do you ride?

I have four fixed-gear bikes and one bmx. Two of the fixed-gears – the Dolan Pre Cursa and Fuji Feather – are currently just frames without parts on as I can’t fit them all in my room if they’re built up!

The other two that I currently ride are my Condor Lavoro and custom pink Dodici Special. The BMX is a 2011 Wethepeople Reason that I found on eBay at a great price, I mainly use it as a shopping / commuting / city bike when I need to lock up, or for gentler rides in summer, just cruising around.

Where’s your favourite place to ride bikes?

Although London is really busy, it’s still great for riding around, its so much quicker to get to places and there’s always something to see on the journey. I love London’s many parks, so I’m usually riding around there doing laps of the park.

Any amazing bike-related experiences you’ve had?

One of the most memorable is the London Revolution ride this year, an organised event over 2 days with a camping stop overnight. it ended up being 200 miles and I did it fixed with over 10,000 ft of climbing. It was the hardest ride i’ve ever done but I’d love to do it again on a road bike.

You photographed the Red Hook Crit when it came to London, what was that like?

It was amazing to watch as we’d all been waiting for it to come here. I’ve always kept up to date with Red Hook when it’s happening in other cities, but never managed to visit it, so when I heard it was here I knew it was a perfect opportunity for photographs. 

What inspires you, in your illustration work and your photography?

Load of things! For illustration, I guess it’s just everything condensed inside that comes out through my work. Traditional techniques, skateboard art, wood cuts, album covers, folk art, nature etc. For photography, I’ve finally been able to get a Canon 5D this year, so I’ve started doing that as another creative outlet. I love photographing cycling events and hope to continue with this as another endeavour while still focusing on illustration. 

Favourite bit of work you’ve made?

It’s really hard to pick one, but some of my favourites include the stuff I’ve done for Little White Lies, the Daniel Radcliffe portrait and the Porco Rosso piece as well as the new stuff I just recently finished for Skull & Heart.

Thanks, Sam!

All Images. Sam Dunn, 2015. Check out more of Sam’s work on her website.

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There are few greater places in the world than London, and even fewer that can top London in the summer time. From the late evenings that seem to go on forever to sleepy Sundays on the South Bank, the big smoke has got it all. Best of all, summer is when London really opens up for cycling. 

The wet and dirty streets that are rife for punctures in the winter suddenly and mystically begin to dry out, after what seems like endless months of drizzle. You can finally ride to work and back without worrying that you’ve only got two spare inner tubes on you. Instead of a gloomy LED-lit expedition for only the hardiest riders, post-work forays into the countryside become a very real possibility – with Kent, Hertfordshire and Surrey just an hour’s ride away. I bet if you snuck out of the office at half 4 you could even make it to Box Hill and back to catch the Tour de France highlights on +1.

 Click for full route detail and to download the GPS

Click for full route detail and to download the GPS

Of course, if you don’t feel like cranking out 90km of an evening you might be looking for something a bit more low key. You could always explore the canalside paths that run along the Grand Union. We’d recommend getting on the tow path out west in the Kensal Green area, then scooting along through Little Venice and Maida Vale. Pass by the Zoo in Regents Park and wave hello to the Giraffes (which you can sometimes see from the path). Next you’ll breeze through Camden and reach Kings Place, a top spot for a bit of lunch. After that you’ll tackle a few complications as the canal disappears underground for a short while around Angel, before rejoining it on the other side of Islington. Pootle through Hoxton, take a left at De Beauvoir Town and cruise up to the final stop, the craft beer pub The Fox, in Haggerston. You can even take your bike on the East London line (Haggerston station is just round the corner) if you don’t fancy the ride home.

 Click for full route detail and to download the GPS

Click for full route detail and to download the GPS

It’d be remiss of us to talk about summer cycling in London and only mention one park. Of course, if you’re absolutely dying to rack up some miles then you could always try the ‘100 miles of nowhere’ challenge –that’s 160 laps of Regents Park’s inner circle. It’s a popular lap with city cyclists as it’s almost completely traffic-free and has a nice surface.But we think 160 reps would mess with our heads. Some riders had a go at it back in 2009 and to our knowledge nobody has bothered to repeat the feat!

100 Miles of Nowhere: Inner Circle, Regents Park, London from Fat Cyclist on Vimeo.

Richmond Park is another haven for cyclists (and deer) and everyone should go down there at least once when the sun is shining. Take a picnic, take your boyfriend/girlfriend, make a day of it and explore the pathways and tracks that crisscross the park. Don’t believe us? Just ask Instagram.

#sunset #bikeride #richmondpark #nature #naturephotography #london #cycling

A photo posted by Kart (@ksa84b) on

#fuckingloveshiscarbonwheels #carbon #CCCC #bikes #richmondpark #1lapwonder

A photo posted by George Robinson (@georgerobinson2101) on

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What if we said we had a cycling helmet that was not only three times safer than its closest competitors, but actually looked cool too?

 Safety on the bike is one of the most important things about cycling, but for many wearing a helmet is a big downside to life on two wheels. Whether you think theyre dorky looking, uncomfortable or just plain unnecessary there are plenty of reasons you might think of not to wear one.

 Thankfully now our friends at Hovding have come up with a stylish solution an invisible helmet that works kind of like a cars airbag which also just happens to be the worlds safest helmet. Thats right, we said it, the worlds safest cycling helmet.

 This may be sounding familiar to you so far, the Hovding design made a huge splash when it launched in 2012, but for those that think weve gone a little bit crazy, heres a video introducing and explaining the helmet.

 So how does this incredible gizmo work? Well, like we said, the Hovding is less a helmet in the traditional sense and more of an airbag for your head. You wear it as a collar and it inflates when sensors detect any sharp increases in velocity or drastic changes in body angle. Dont worry though, its smart enough to know the difference between crashes and normal cycling, so youll still be able to chase down your buddies or attack a particular Strava segment without it going off!

 Aside from the obvious benefits there are a couple of other great reasons why you should treat yourself to a bit of ultimate cycling safety.

 Firstly, Cloud 9 Cycles are one of the countrys leading suppliers of Hovding products weve had a keen interest in the brand since it launched in 2011 and have been seeking them online and in-store for a while now.

 Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, right now we have an amazing, exclusive 30% off Hovdings in store and online (effectively reducing the price by more than £70). This is the cheapest theyll ever be and were the only ones with this offer so dont miss out.

 Our stocks are strictly limited, so click here to order yours now, or drop into our shop at 38 Store Street and try one on.

 

Images courtesy of Hovding

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A good friend of Cloud 9 Cycles runs an awesome site called Food First which gives great advice about nutrition, food and general wellbeing.

They recently posted the below article on their blog which combines bikes and veg…so we had to repost 🙂

Every now and then you come across a business that you really really want to do well, because you think itssuch a fantastic idea… and that’s exactly how I felt when I first found Cycling Veg.

Discovered whilst trawling through Twitter, it was seeing the words cycling and veg in the same sentence that initially caught my attention… quite simply because someone had combined 2 of my favourite things, and I wanted to know more! And when I clicked through and read further, I was even more excited… fruit &vegetable boxes delivered across London by bike, what a brilliant idea! (I also e-mailed my friend Adam who runs his owncycle business, and demanded to know why our combined food/bike brains hadn’t thought of doing this ourselves!)

Cycling Veg– London’s first organic fruit & vegetable box scheme delivered by bicycle, was set up last November by Simone; a Sustainable Development graduate and self-confessed foodie. His inspiration? A love and appreciation for fresh produce, but a frustration at the amount of air/lorry/van miles used by his current vegetable box provider to get it from field to fork.

Cycling Veg began as a pilot project delivering amongst Simone’s local community. The response was extremely positive, and through word-of-mouth and a bit of flyering, interest in the project soon grew, as did the area in which Simone cycled! Cycling Veg now has 4 “cycling veggers” pedaling fruit and veggies across London, with the number of regular clients growing every week.

All the fruit & vegetables are organic, seasonal and locally sourced from farms as close as possible to London, some even within London from community farms. Cycling Veg operates from a central hub in the New Covent Garden Fruit & Vegetable Market, and each “cycling vegger” is responsible for their own area of London- not just delivering the produce, but promoting the scheme to their local community. Simone wants “each customer to feel as though their neighbour is delivering to them ” and offers great flexibility to his customers with regards to delivery times and frequency. You can have boxes delivered weekly, fortnightly, monthly, or even just as a one-off. Simone also encourages his “cycling veggers” to really take ownership of their delivery areas- getting to know their clients and communicating back their feedback so that the service can continually be improved.

Cycling Veg offers Ready Mix crates: fruit only, vegetables only, or a mixture, which all come in a variety of sizes. What’s really fantastic is that they also offer Custom Crates, where as a customer you can pick and mix exactly what you want. It’s a lack of control over what produce you’re getting that I know puts a lot of people off fruit & vegetable boxes (not everyone knows what to do with a kohlrabi for example!) But with Cycling Veg if you just want broccoli, apples and kale…that’s exactly what you can get (as long as it’s in season of course!). Having received deliveries several times myself, I can vouch for how incredible the produce is too. You certainly won’t be rushing back to Tescos, that’s for sure!

If you’d like to try out the Cycling Veg for yourselves, Simone has kindly offered a 20% discount off a first order to all our followers. You just need to add the voucher code “foodfirst” at the checkout.

For more information go to http://www.cyclingveg.com or Tweet Simone at @CyclingVeg

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We don’t usually plug other companies on Cloud 9 Cycles, but our good friends at OpenPlay have just launched a new London activity finder which helps you find and book various sports activities taking placing around London including cycling events at the Herne Hill Velodrome or BMX sessions at Burgess Park.

There’s also a player finder helping you to find a tennis partner in London, football players, basketball players etc. It could be really useful so check it out now!

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