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Reilly Spirit HSS Bike Review

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Brighton-based Reilly Cycle Works showcases the enormous frame designing and building talents of Mark Reilly, respected as a master of his craft. Experienced with titanium and steel, Mark has been using Columbus Spirit steel tubing for over a decade, more recently progressing to hydroformed Spirit HSS as used here.

Hydroforming lets frame designers get more creative, and offers the ability to customise a frame’s stiffness, comfort and looks with specific tube profiles. The triple-butted niobium steel forms a flattened top-tube, down-tube with flattened upper surface, extremely flattened seatstays that broaden towards the seat-tube, and ovalised chainstays with no crimping or bridge. The 44mm diameter head-tube is a match for the oversized down-tube and swoopy carbon fork.

What sets this frame apart is its fillet brazed construction, which creates beautifully clean, flowing joints that are complemented by the beautiful paint finish and smart graphics. It’s far more labour intensive than TIG welding, and accounts for much of the cost, but each frame is bespoke, and the price includes paintwork design.

We like the brazed-on front mech mount, removing the need for an unsightly clamp, and customers can opt for internal cable routing, depending on their chosen groupset. Any braze-ons required, such as down-tube cable stops, are in stainless steel, as is the head-tube badge.

Our model is one of the first bikes we’ve had supplied with the new Shimano Ultegra groupset, with hints of Dura-Ace, and refinements across the board. Its compact 50/34 chainset is paired with a climb-friendly 11-32 cassette and long cage rear mech. The brake callipers are a little less angular, the hoods slimmer and the shift levers enlarged.

Apart from the lever feel, the groupset was mostly forgotten once riding, as the frame took centre stage. Whereas a good carbon fibre frame seems to float over the road surface, only feeding back abbreviated passages of surface texture, the Reilly maintains an impressively detailed commentary. It’s a firm ride, but not harsh, smoothing road vibrations and taking the edge off sharp hits.

The complete bike carries a little more weight than some here, but from the way it rides, you’d never know. Assertively swift over rolling terrain, the handling is crisp, confident and predictable, and makes good use of the 25mm Continental tyres’ generous 27mm inflated width.

It’s content to cruise, but standing on the pedals unleashes a bit of a hooligan, switching from assertion to controlled aggression. The wheels aren’t super light, but deliver able performance to match the frame’s ability and, at 23mm wide, help stability too.

Both head and seat angles are 73 degrees, which is quite normal, but we found the zero setback seatpost pushed us too far forward of our preferred pedalling position. The narrow 40cm Deda bar is easier to live with, but a customer could specify alternatives to suit.

The Reilly Spirit HSS has lines and a lustrous finish we could gaze at all day. Such metallic artistry deserves to be enjoyed, and riding it is a treat that improves with every hill crested, and one we wouldn’t tire of.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Exustar SM322 Mountain Biking Shoes

Exustar SM322 Carbon MTB Shoe 300x300The Exustar SM322 Carbon MTB Shoe is our top of the line mountain biking shoe, built for the rider who demands high performance gear to keep up with their serious riding style. Built of lightweight components that are very stiff, this shoe is designed to transfer as much power to the pedal as possible.

The upper is constructed from a synthetic microfiber leather with breathable mesh side panels and reflective material and features a molded heel cup. The breathable mesh keeps your feet cool, while the reflective material provides additional safety when riding at night or a dusk. The molded heel cup adds support and helps hold down your heel during the pedal stroke.

exustar shoe diagramA forged Microlock ratcheting buckle provides the first layer of retention, with two Trihook straps below that that offer secondary tightening without creating painful pressure points. These two together provide quick tightening, quick release, micro-adjustment and very secure locking. Once you’ve put your foot in, it’s not coming out without you wanting it to. Adjusting on the fly is a snap, and the shoe will come off quickly when it’s time to wear something else. This buckle system is far superior to traditional laces.

The insole is a washable, Dupont Engage EVA. A little time in the wash and these shoes will smell great even after months of riding. The sole is a super stiff carbon fiber with injection TPU thread. Carbon fiber provides stiffness while keeping the shoe light. The sole of this mtb shoe features threaded inserts for toe spikes, and is compatible with Shimano SPD cleats. The tread on the sole offers base level traction, but you have the option to add cleats if you wish. For example, if you find yourself riding in wet, muddy conditions, the spikes will come in handy.

This mtb shoe offers superior durability, first-class performance and a great fit. A stiff cycling shoe that will transfer maximum power to the pedal, keep your feet comfortable, and stay well-ventilated. Whether you’re a serious racer, a spin class hero or a weekend warrior, this is one shoe you can’t miss.

Crikey! Is that an Australia Team Cycling Jersey?

austrialia 1 255x300Aussies know cycling, the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games recently wrapped, with Australia finishing in the top tier with 20 medals, 7 of them gold! 9 Australians have won the Tour de France, with the most recent being 2011’s Cadel Evans and 2013’s Simon Gerrans.

The great southern land is home to dozens of off-road trail rides, all over the continent-country, from the 613 Km Oodnadatta Track in South Australia to the 1146 km Great Central Road through Western Australia and the Northern Territory. In fact, Cycle Australia lists 20 rides through the Australian wilderness, encouraging mountain bikers to explore the vast wilderness and wide open spaces. For even more exploration, Cycling Tours of Australia and New Zealand can set you up with guided tours to make for the ultimate cycling getaway. With so many options for your cycling adventure in the land down under, you want to ride in style, right?

Well ride in style and show off your Aussie pride with the Ecyclingstore World Jerseys Australia Team Cycling Jersey. Made from 100% Polyester DrySport wicking fabric, the Australian Team Bicycle Jersey is the perfect choice for breaking a sweat in the hot Australian sun (or, wherever you ride). Sporting the shape of the Australian continent and the flag’s colors as well, this jersey is a perfect representation of the country’s pride! Get one and your mates will say “good onya.” Dinky-di!

5 Unique e-bikes for 2017

Love them or loathe them, e-bikes are here to stay. Here are the five most brilliant/unique/crazy specimens we spotted at Eurobike 2016.

1. PedalPower eTandem FS

A full-suspension tandem is already pretty niche, but the eTandem FS has a motor on board too. The spec list on this bike includes parts we haven’t seen for nearly five years, and imagine the looks you’d get riding this past another rider, leaving your riding companion at the rear to hang their head in shame.

2. Riese & Müller Delite GT Touring

It may not be much of a looker, but the Delite GT Touring could pave the way for commuters of the future. The bike includes full suspension and voluminous Schwalbe tyres, which should create a comfortable ride, while Bosch’s CX motor cranks put out a maximum torque of 75Nm. The bike can be upgraded too to include satellite navigation.

3. Trenoli Ruvido

Even taller children can join the e-bike ‘revolution’ with the Trenoli Ruvido. It has been designed with a slightly smaller frame, rolls on 24″ wheels and sits somewhere between a hybrid and a mountain bike.

4. Rotwild R.G+ FS

This German bike has added a big, powerful motor to a downhill mountain bike with eight inches of suspension at each end. Sandwiched between the cranks is a motor that produces a colossal 90Nm of torque, which could spell the end to your uplift days. Rotwild has also designed the bike with those inevitable crashes in mind, with an e-bike control unit and display much smaller than on other electric bikes, very sensible.

5. Bionicon Engine

This 27.5 plus bike packs 140mm of suspension travel at either end and the integrated motor comes courtesy of Shimano’s E8000. This choice of motor allowed Bionicon to design a bike with a slammed rear-end and probably the shortest chainstays seen on an e-bike so far.


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