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Cycle Show 2006: More new bikes

Rapha

Makers of some of the finest clothing money can buy and purveyors of retro tinted modern apparel, Rapha have certainly carved themselves a niche. They were sharing a stand with Condor, who between them had created one of the nicest stands, shunning the metal and bright lights of most show stands and instead opting for something a little more gentle, sedate, and offering a trip down memory lane.

Rapha has a couple of wooden framed cabinets filled with classic cycling memorabilia (someone’s been spending too much time on eBay…), all very interesting, but it was the new items of clothing that were got us taking notes.

But first, time to relax and enjoy some beautiful photos and inspiring quotes as a slice of the stand was home to the Rouleur gallery. Promoting Rapha’s new journal dedicated to road racing, they were showcasing a number of large prints and framed artefacts that are key to the philosphy behind Rouleur: it proved to be a very calming place amid the hectic show floor.

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The Softshell jacket has a few changes, most notable is the hard-wearing patches now on both shoulders, and underarm zips for extra ventilation. The price has moved up to £210, but the jacket now has seven different pockets, one zipped on the front and two zipped at the rear. There’s also a light slot on the back.

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The £125 Sportwool winter jersey is made from a slightly stretchy Sportwool and looks ideal for a range of coniditions. If it gets too warm two zipped vents on the front, with mesh backing should aid cooling. The collar is left higher at the front for when you’re tucked over the handlebars.

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The Riders Journal is a very beautiful softback diary for recording essential training data, from heart rates to Vo2 Max, weather to terrain, plus enough space for general notes about how you’re feeling each day. There’s more than enough pages for the average cyclist’s year or more. Now you’ve no excuse to cancel your training session.

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More info at www.rapha.cc

Condor

Condor had a vertiable hoard of new bikes on their, very impressive and refreshingly free-of-naked-metal stand. Their range of singlespeed and fixed bikes is clear evidence that they’re popular choices, especially around London where, handily, their shop is located. They were also showing a nice new carbon race bike, and a new track bike which I’ve fallen in love with – more of which soon…

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Point your browser at www.condorcycles.com for more info.

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