Empire Bikes 3D Printed Frame 02/15/2014


3DIt was only a matter of time. The 3D printing phenomenon over the last few years has been one of the more interesting technology trends. The Maker movement and the ability to acquire a printer for a pretty reasonable price has made sure the topic has got a lot of column inches. Some interesting 3D printed bike components have already been emerging like the Kappius Hub, but this is the first complete bike frame I have seen. Made by a company in the UK called Renishaw who specialize in 3D printed materials they partnered with Empire Bicycles to take one of their existing frames and see if they could 3D print it and make it lighter. The result is pretty impressive. The original frame weighed 2100g, the new 3D printed version made from heated titanium powder weighed in at 1400g, 33% lighter. The frame is broken into individual sections, printed as a block and them assembled and bonded. The frame is claimed to be just as strong as the original. Fascinating.

3D_02E M P I R E   C Y C L E S

Categories: Design / Rides

Off And Running 02/15/2014


offIt is that time again of year again – thank god because I am so over the winter and Olympic Ice Skating. While us mere mortals spin away the hours on indoor trainers watching re-runs of The Tour, the gods of cycling are coming off their winter “break” (do they actually even stop these days) and showing their early season form. Those riders hoping for a good classics showing and a GIRO start in Belfast are already starting to show.  The old and new generations of cycling are getting themselves ready for their Classics assault. Read on for the six that have impressed us so far.

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Categories: Races / Riders

Cycling History Made In Belfast 02/03/2014


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Northern Ireland isn’t a place that you would automatically associate with cycling history. But on May 9th when the GIRO starts in Belfast it will roll past a place that changed cycling forever. That place is now called Lavinia Square of the Ormeau Road,  but back on May 18th 1889 it was called the North of Ireland Cricket Club Grounds and was the meet-up for a series of bike races. On that day Mr. “Willie” Hume of the Belfast Cruisers Cycling Club entered a race on a bike equipped for the first time with tires filled with air. Willie was the first to purchase the “Safety” bicycle fitted with the newly patented pneumatic tires made by Dunlop. The added advantage of this new technology became immediately evident as it took a below average rider who had never won a race and propelled him to the top spot on the podium, in every race he entered.

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Categories: Classic / Design / Rides

Epic Health Bars 02/01/2014


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You ever get tired of munching on power bars when riding? Then spending the next five miles picking them from your teeth. These bars from Epic might be a very good alternative for an easy and good tasting protein infusion. They are a combination of lightly smoked animal protein (Beef, Bison, Turkey and Lamb) with added savory nuts and dehydrated fruits. Don’t make the mistake of putting these bars in the “Jerky” category, they have a much stronger flavor and the overall taste is a bit more savory. But get this, they are also low on sugar, low on carbs, Gluten free, Diary free, and no added Nitrates. Basically it is health in a wrapper. On longer rides I personally find an infusion of protein really helps, but if it is hot I find it hard to eat actual food. These bars just might be the solution. The Beef, Habanero and Cherry tastes is our favorite.

E P I C  B A R S

Categories: Kit / The Other Stuff