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Category: bike tech

Bike-Fit

Cloud9cyles_bike-fitting

 

What is bike fitting?

A bike fit is a process whereby the Rider and the Bicycle will work together in perfect harmony to give the most efficient power to speed to comfort ratio.

Depending on what type of riding you will do will vary the fit.

For instance if you are competing in time trials and need the bike to go as fast as possible your fit will be very different if you are to embark on a round the world tour.

Once we have determined the style of riding we will then get you onto our adjustable jig and start the process of fitting.

The fitting process takes around 1.5-2 hours and during that process each part of your body that moves and / or is in contact with the bike will be analysed for comfort and power and adjusted as necessary.

At the end of the process your measurements will be recorded and this can be then manipulated onto your current bike and will allow us to see what bikes will fit you should you be in the process of getting a new one.

 

Bike-Fit

Why should I get fitted?

Having a fit is one of the most important parts of cycling.

Unfortunately over the last 50 years frame sizing has been dumbed down to simple sizing from XS-XXL.

This is simply not good enough – it is like buying a medium pair of shoes, or a pair of jeans where you just get the waist length and not the leg length.

I understand that it does allow for companies to sell more bikes, and a human body is flexible enough that it can adapt to ride a bike that is not fitted correctly. However riding a bike like this will cause you short term discomfort and long term problems.

We do understand that at a cost of £199 fitting is not cheap but it is superb value as once you get on the bike that is fitted you will ride further, faster and happier.

Numbness, pain and cramps will be a thing of the past and be replaced with pure joy of the freedom of riding a bike!

To date Cloud 9 Cycles have performed over 500 fittings from commuters, to pro-racers and tourers.

Every one has been different but each has had the same outcome of improved performance.

 

How do I get fitted?

Getting fitted is easy – just click on the link below and it will show you Tony’s availability over the next few weeks.

BIKE FITTING IN CLOUD 9 CYCLES 

Simply pick the one you want and book it.

A week before the fitting we will be in touch with a simple questionnaire.

Anything else?

 

Here are just a couple of quotes from people we have fitted:

“I cannot believe how much of an improvement the fit has made – I have just taken 45mins off my personal best for the London 100 – unbelievable – please pass on my thanks to Tony once again!” – Jamie T (Road Racing)

“The 3 of us have just finished our ride from Cusco2Cusco on the bikes you built. We just wanted to say a HUGE thanks to the bikes themselves which were flawless and to Tony as we spent loads of time looking at the scenery rather than moaning about our asses!” – Leo (South American Tour)

“This fit has changed my cycling from 1-2 days a week to 7 days a week! I love it and hate to be without my bike – Thank you Tony and C9!” – Monica G (Commuter)

 

If you have any more questions or would like further information please do not hesitate to CONTACT US HERE

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Hummingbird+yellow

Hummingbird_Yellow+folding+2

To begin I am going to give a quick overview of the Hummingbird bike.

Designed and built in the UK, the Hummingbird is a ultra lightweight carbon fibre bike that can fold up small enough to be taken on public transport or stored inside at home.

The bike was first conceived in 2013 by product designer Peter Craciun who set out to design a bike that could fold simply and ride like a normal bike.

It should also be easy to carry and look great!

In 2015 his idea came to life. Teaming up with Prodrive (the legendary world leading motorsport and advanced technology business) to build the bikes the Hummingbird began to fly!

The Hummingbird’s come as Singlespeeds, 4 speeds and an Electric version – more details here – *link to our selling product page*

Everything about this bike screams premium – from the paintjob to the pedals and below is why we believe it is a better bike than it’s closer competitor, the Brompton.

1) Weight

Bromptons are made of steel and are by their nature heavy beasts – even the Single Speed version that is completely stripped of rack, guards etc weighs in at a hefty 10.5kg!

The Hummingbird on the other has carbon fibre handlebars, forks, frame, seat post and saddle with the rest of the bike being made from premium aluminium. The result is a bike that weighs just 6.9kg!

This weight is insane – it is lighter than many of the Tour De France bikes!

This means that the Hummingbird Bike is truly portable. It can be carried up and down stairs, into flats, onto the tube etc with no trouble.

2) The Fold

Unlike a Brompton where the frame folds in half the Hummingbird frame stays as one piece. This means a stiffer ride with no flex.

The fold happens when the rear wheel pivots under the frame and is locked in place by both the seat post and the handlebars. The pedals can then come off and attach to special places in the rear triangle.

This folded shape is easier to carry than a Brompton and means you don’t continually hit your legs on the pedals!

Hummingbird-raw-carbon

3) The Components

What we love about the Hummingbird is that they use high quality components – premium wheels, brakes, cables and pedals!

Not only does this allow for a smooth ride but you get a lot of miles of use before they need to be replaced.

As they are not necessarily specific to the Hummingbird they can also be upgraded and / or repaired easily should something go wrong.

This is unlike the Bromptons where many of the parts are specific to the bike and so replacing components can be pricey as well as long lead times!

I hope this goes someway to showing you why we are really impressed with the Hummingbird.

Bromptons have been the dominant force behind folding bikes for the last 30 years – and with good reason.

However it is nice now that a competitor that has come to disrupt the market place – one that rides better, is easier to carry and looks awesome!

 

Cloud 9 Cycles are the official stockist for Hummingbird bikes in the UK and we have a demo bike ready for anyone to come and try.

 

If you would like to purchase a Hummingbird bike please click HERE or if you would like some more information please see the CONTACT US page

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Cloud9Cycles-workshop

Cloud9Cycles-workshop

When I was in my early twenties I heard the expression:

“If you can’t be the cheapest you gotta be the best!”

This really stuck with me, it was so simple yet so true and it was at the heart of our business when we started Cloud 9 Cycles almost a decade ago.

We realised that to be the best we had to invest into our staff and our tools and we are really proud of what we have achieved.

Together our staff have over 40 years experience of building, riding and servicing bikes and our we have spent tens of thousands of pounds ensuring our workshop is state of the art and has the best tools for each job.

From P&K Lie Wheel Truing stand to Di2 Analysis Kits right down to Knippex pliers to make sure that every cable is cut perfectly flat.

As we knew servicing was going to be a major part of our business we deliberately put the workshop upstairs in plain sight of the customers.

This not only gives us great light to work in but allows us to easily show customers what condition their bike is in and what parts may need to be changed.

As you can see from the photos below we are pretty anal about making sure our workshop is kept clean and tidy and every tool is easily accessible!

Bike-Service-Workshop

 

By checking each part of the service is done properly will ensure that your bike is riding perfectly and get more mileage out of each component (for instance badly set brakes will wear rims/rotors much quicker).

Once serviced we ride each bike to make sure that it works on the road as well as in the stand (our shop is only a 5min ride to Regent Park which is a great testing ground for Road Bikes)!

We have the skills to service all types of bikes and are as confident working on a Track bike as a Mountain Bike.

The way we service bikes is by asking you to drop your bike off for an assessment – this usually takes around 20minutes and does not need to be booked in advance.

During the assessment we will examine your bike and put a quote together listing what your bike requires to get to full working order.

If you are happy with the quote we will then book you a slot to come in and do the work.

This will ensure that you get to ride your bike as much as possible and we have all the parts ready for you at a convenient time.

Bike-Service-Workshop

This way of operating ensures that most bikes can be dropped off, serviced and collected the same day.

We do keep a good stock of components in the shop (Wheels, Tyres, Dura Ace and Ultegra components etc) and if necessary can perform most jobs on the spot.

For Mountain bike Shock and Suspension servicing we are able to do the majority of these in house however if necessary we often collaborate with the guys at Plush.

If you have any questions about our servicing or would like any further information please do not hesitate to CONTACT US
Book your bike in for service HERE 

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Walter has been a client of Cloud 9 for since early 2016 and at the end of last summer booked a bike fit with Tony Corke to get properly positioned on his existing road bike.

He was already a keen cyclist but promised that if the fit made a big improvement he would treat himself to a new road bike.  

As always Tony got Walter spot on and a few months later Walter popped back to the shop to discuss his requirements.

For his new steed Walter wanted a comfortable bike that was good for commuting and much longer rides. He would like it made from Steel, have a classic shape, could fit wider tyres, take mudguards and would impress!

Walters body shape was quite unusual as he had much longer legs compared to his torso and so it limited us to a smaller number of frames!

The Search Begins.

Over the next two weeks we exhausted some of the most well known Steel brands out there: Surly, Cinelli, Brother, The Light Blue, Orro, De Rosa etc but no one bike did it all…..until!

All City  

These guys have been big in the USA for some time and are steadily gaining traction in the UK for their awesome framesets!

They describe themselves as: We are a company of riders making products for other riders”

Last year they released the Mr Pink frameset and it was one of these in a 52cm that were were on the hunt for – unfortunately all had been sold and we couldn’t find one anywhere and they had been discontinued for the foreseeable future…ahhh!

 The original Mr Pink Colourway - Pink! The original Mr Pink Colourway – Pink!

A few days after we contacted them we got a call from the UK Rep asking if we would like to be one of the first shops to get the new Mr Pink. The new Pinky was similar to last years but had some significant improvements. These included a custom made Whisky Carbon fork (with mudguard eyelets), clearnence for 32mm tyres and one of the nicest paint jobs we’d ever seen.

 The stunning paint job based on the Motorola USA bike team of the 90's! The stunning paint job based on the Motorola USA bike team of the 90’s!

We called Walter and told him the good news and although we were under strict secrecy not to show any photos we promised he wouldn’t be disappointed.

Fortunately he trusted us and this is what we built for him.

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It’s taken a while, but Britain finally has a carbon bike brand to be proud of. 

We’re super happy to now be stocking Aprire Bicycles, a company based out of Cheam in Surrey. They make carbon frames backed by years of experience in the bike business and a thorough understanding of the super lightweight, racer’s material of choice. The benefits of a carbon fibre frame are not a secret. They’re light and strong and responsive, which is what makes them the choice of the pro teams. What is a bit more shrouded in mystery is how carbon is made. Fortunately we know a man who knows all about it.

Aprire was founded by Phil Dempsey back in 2009 and the company has spent the time since really honing and perfecting the science behind their frames. Using some of the most advanced testing techniques, they’ve refined them to a point where they claim, “It’s probably the most responsive, sensitive and best-handling bike you’ve ever ridden.” 

So they’re pretty confident in their work.

One of the things that makes carbon so tricky to build with with is the lay up process. Carbon gets its strength from the combination of multiple layers, which have to be wrapped together into the desired frame shape. The fibres in carbon fibre are stronger in one direction than they are in another, so the angles at which you layer each piece are really important. This, in a nutshell, is the layup.

Lucky for us – and for you if you’re considering a carbon fibre frame – Phil is an expert in carbon lay ups. He has been working with carbon for several years and is a guy who really knows his stuff. 

Another thing that makes Aprire bikes that little bit more unique is their decision to use factories that have a specialism in working with carbon fibre, as opposed to those that specialise in building bike frames. That means the people making your frame (working from the lay ups created by Phil and his team) are experts in using this type of material – and that’s what you want when you’re working with a material that’s notoriously easy to get wrong.

Don’t hesitate, if you’re after a carbon bike to do some fast-paced miles on in the coming summer then lets get you set up with an Aprire.

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For a lot of us, getting paid to ride our bikes is something of a dream job. Who wouldn’t want to spend every summer riding the most iconic roads in Europe and jetting off in January to the warmer climes of Australia and the Middle East just like the pros do? Unfortunately in most cases, a dream is exactly what it is – until now that is.

A British startup called Lacuna Digital is launching something never seen before, a new piece of technology that’ll get you paid for riding your bike on London streets. Sure, it’s not the Col du Galibier or Mont Ventoux, but cash is cash! Lacuna’s product is a digital advertising board that fits to your bike, once it’s attached you get paid for as many miles as you ride with brands sending ads direct to the board. Check out the teaser video below:

Not only do these swishy eboards put a bit of cash in your pocket, they also offer a carbon neutral alternative to traditional advertising platforms – so there’s a benefit to the environment too.

The boards aren’t publicly available yet, but you can put your name down on the Lacuna website to become an early adopter and get one of the first ones that are released.

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We were delighted to discover that one of our favourite brands has launched a brand new wheel hub that promises to be their best ever. We already love building wheels with Hope hubs, so this was a massive draw for us! Check out the video and explore the new developments.

The new hubs use a 44-tooth ratchet mechanism, which gives a 10% quicker engagement over the Pro 2 EVO. The whizzkids up in Barnoldswick have also increased the flange diameter, as a nod to the trend for larger wheel sizes. The larger size means greater stiffness for your wheels, even with non-Boost-width hubs. 

For more on Hope and what makes them so awesome, read our blog post.

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Disc brakes have been commonplace in mountain biking and cyclocross for years, but now, thanks to some rejigged rules by the UCI (cycling’s global governing body), we’re also going to be seeing them used more and more in professional road racing. And whatever happens in the the pro peloton, you can guarantee it’s going to get copied by commercial cycling brands. There are lots of benefits to disc brakes, regardless of what type of riding you do – here’s five of them.

1. Responsiveness

Compared to traditional rim (AKA cantilever) brakes, the stopping power of discs is far superior. Technically speaking, rim brakes work by squeezing soft rubber pads against a compressible brake track (the two sides of the rim). With discs, a stiff calliper squeezes large incompressible pads against an incompressible stainless steel rotor, or ‘disc’. The mechanism can feel twitchy and grabby at first because of the improved precision, but once you get used to the improved braking, you’ll enjoy the sensation of riding with far greater control.

2. Efficiency in all weather conditions

This is the biggest selling point for the average cyclist. There is some concern among professional riders that on steep and long Pyrenean and Alpine descents the discs could reach unsafe temperatures, but for you average Tom, Dick and Bradley riding in the UK – where variable conditions are inevitable – the all-weather capabilities of discs outweigh all the disadvantages.

Whereas the brake surface on rims is basically road-level (and in the puddles), discs are located at the centre of the wheel so are far less affected by water, grit and any contaminants that might lie on the road. Consequently, the braking efficiency varies considerably less than with rims brakes.

 A gorgeous handbuilt Lynskey Titanium bike with  Hope Tech  disc brakes, straight outta the Cloud 9 workshop.

A gorgeous handbuilt Lynskey Titanium bike with Hope Tech  disc brakes, straight outta the Cloud 9 workshop.

3. Wheel maintenance

The nature of squeezing brake pads against the rim walls means that there is a high risk of wear, particularly if you continue to ride through the winter months and on lumpier terrain where you will brake more frequently. Disc brakes void this risk entirely, taking all the pressure away from the rims.

With traditional brakes the wheel needs to be perfectly true to avoid rubbing against the pads, a massive faff to get right. With discs you need to make sure that the rotor and callipers are aligned, but there is less pressure to get the wheel rolling perfectly straight. So you can wave goodbye to the sinking feeling that comes with needing to find someone who knows what they’re doing when it comes to truing wheels after hitting that concealed pothole!

4. Carbon rims

Pairing rim brakes with carbon rims has always carried an element of risk; there is not an even distribution of friction and heat on the brake surface which can lead to problems with the integrity of the material on long descents. A big issue with carbon rims comes in wet conditions where grip is lost almost completely. Introduce carbon rims to disc brakes and suddenly you have all the benefits of precise braking and the lightweight, aero qualities of carbon rolled into one!

5. The pros are doing it!

Reliable sources predict that the pro peloton will all be riding discs by 2018, so if the pros are all for it, it’s a no-brainer, right?

Granted, there are teething problems with the technology at the moment, not least because Campagnolo, sponsor of some of the biggest teams in the peloton (Astana, Movistar…) has still not arrived at the party. The CEO said that testing had commenced in 2013, but no evidence of so much as a prototype is yet to surface. 

The biggest concern among riders and mechanics is the rate at which a wheel can be replaced during a race as there is no quick release and there could be issues with properly aligning the callipers to the rotor.

However, testing this season has been positive and now that the UCI is onboard with the idea, after some more testing and development to iron out the few issues that remain, the outcome is inevitable. And let’s be honest, we all take motivation and inspiration from the riders on the pro circuit. 

Gone are the days of clenched jaw, white-knuckled squeezing of the levers when descending with traditional rim brakes. For greater control and peace of mind, discs are the future.

Do as the pros do. Embrace the disc!

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