Ciocc currently makes sixteen different bicycle framesets in steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber. At the top of the range is a frame called Supremo, constructed in an Italian workshop from lugged, bonded carbon fiber tubing. At the other end of the carbon range is a monocoque carbon frame made in an Asian specialty facility, an economic performance option that gives Ciocc dealers Italian branding at an attractive price point. In between the two models is the delightful monocoque Rydon.
Rydon is also made for Ciocc in Asia using monocoque construction. The Rydon offers internal cable routing, a BSA bottom bracket, and is ready for Shimano's Di2 or Campaognolo's EPS electronic groupsets. It comes in a disc-brake ready model and a traditional model.
Since a frame is a static item (you can't truly know what it can become as a bicycle unless you build and ride it) we built one up and put a thousand miles on it before we decided to start showing it to dealers. We started with a matte black finish with silver pinstriping and a touch of Italian Tricolore. A couple of our dealers built out the grouppo with primarily Italian components; Campagnolo Chorus 11-speed groupset, FSA seatpost, stem and bars, Fizik saddle, and an Ambrosio Equilibrium 42 wheelset.
I have ridden the Rydon about ten times now and I'm really enjoying the bike but there was one superb lunch ride with one of our dealers where I was able to sum up how sublime the Rydon truly is.
Bespoke Inn and Bicycles is located in downtown Scottsdale. It’s a four-room bed and breakfast with a boutique bike shop attached. It is run by Rob Taynton, a retired Phoenix police officer who spent his youth riding and racing bicycles. Rob loves steel bikes and products made in Italy so he is a natural dealer for all the lines I carry. And he mentioned a few occasions that he has a few great local routes to show Scottsdale off to his guests who ride so we met for a mid-day ride to take a close look at the Rydon's performance.
Before being assembled, I had a chance to go over the frame microscopically. Since this was my first look at a finished Ciocc frame, I wanted to get a sense for the detail work; how well they finished off seams, was the overlay carbon covering laid neatly and trimmed perfectly, was their any excess resin or material visible inside the frame, were the aluminum bottom-bracket cups cleanly finished, was the paint and pin-striping neat and unblemished. I was happy with what I saw and the mechanics who performed the assembly seemed impressed with the finished work so no complaints there. On to the ride.
The ride qualities I noticed first about the Rydon are that it is a soft and comfortable ride that also does not sap power when you give it thrust. The seat tubes are thin and narrow, the chainstays are chunky, rounded squares. This combination offers a springiness on choppy road surfaces, In fact, there have been a few times where I had to look down and check that my back tire wasn't going flat because of the floaty, absorbent feedback I was getting from the bike. I noticed this especially in plus-neutral power situations - riding up very shallow inclines or in pacelines that are a tick below redline; where you have to give steady power.
On a short uphill, I had the chance to test how the frame handled an extended punch. The hill had a steady four or five percent grade and lasted maybe three hundred meters. The second time we went up it, I pressed my hips to the seat and powered up the climb with everything I could delivery, driving as much power into the frame as I could. Again, no complaints. The bike was whisper quiet. There was no detectable side-to-side deflection. The frame tracked in a sweet, straight line. All the power went to driving me and the bike forward, seemingly none of it being lost to flexion in the frame. It could have something to do with the Campagnolo Utra-torque bottom-bracket but the bike’s ability to let me power forward made me happy.
The front end is solid as well. The chubby carbon monocoque fork does it’s job perfectly. At first, the steering felt fast. When I would stand on the pedals to climb or pick up speed, the front end would seesaw a little side-to-side. This could be because I am running a little longer stem than normal (120mm), and since the Rydon fork is a straight blade rather than the slightly angled blade I was used to on my previous bikes, I was a little more over the center of the front wheel than I am used to, but it only took a couple of rides for the front end movement to feel normal and natural to me. Besides that, the front end feels stable, the steering is responsive, and the finish strong enough to go in and out of a fork-mount on top of my car multiple times without coming apart.
In all, I find the Rydon to be a perfect mid-range carbon bike. I would hold it up next to anything being sold by the top five bike companies in the world in its price range. It’s comfortable enough to be a year-round training bike, but light and responsive enough to be built up as a racing bike for the more competition minded. Either way, if you buy a Ciocc Rydon, you would have something more unique, more unusual, and with a different back story than anything off the shelf at your local big-name factory bike dealer.
Santini and the Giro D'Italia launched the 2014 designs for the Maglia Rosa, Rosso, Bianco, and Verde. The jerseys pay homage to the Giro's starting point in Ireland.
From Cyclingnews.com: "with a shamrock on the side panel and an Irish pattern on the sleeve of the race leader's maglia rosa, the red points jersey, the blue climber's jersey and white jersey awarded to the best young rider. The sleeve of the jersey will also be decorated with a 'Giro fights for Oxfam' logo, confirming the ties between international charity and the race. The jerseys will again be made in Italy by Santini. For each Giro d'Italia jersey sold, Santini will donate a Euro to Oxfam."
The jerseys were design by 31 year old Fergus Niland, the head of product development and design at Santini Maglificio Sportivo (Santini SMS www.santinisms.it), the internationally renowned cycling and tri-sport's clothing manufacturer based in Bergamo, Italy.
"Conceptually speaking you really don't design the Maglia Rosa,” Fergus explains of the responsibility, "I would see my job as to simply guide this iconic sporting metaphor through one more iteration while trying to subtly make reference to this years grande partenza on the island of Ireland, my home. For more than a century this epic stage race has remained unsurpassed in terms of brutality and passion; far beyond just a sporting event, the race's historical and cultural links drive deep into Italy's spiritual core. As such the responsibility for delivering the Giro collection is huge but the honour to be handed the opportunity is far greater – it's a dream come true.”
Fergus originally trained as a fine artist in painting at the National College of Art & Design (NCAD) in Dublin, Ireland. After graduating, he worked as an exhibiting artist through his early twenties before uprooting from Dublin to the west coast of Ireland. The move inspired him to combine his life-long love of cycling, triathlon, and fashion with his creative talents; initially working on a freelance basis, he cultivated a strong roster of both domestic and international clients within the cycling and multi-sport industries.
In 2011, Santini launched a competition to design the apparel for the Dutch World Tour team, Vacansoleil DCM. Long story short, Fergus won. Shortly after an introduction to Santini's management in the summer of 2012, he was offered a full time position which he accepted and shortly after swiftly transferred to Bergamo, Italy to work at the heart of Santini.
If you were to visit the factory in person (and if you're ever traveling to Bergamo, Italy and want to visit, contact us - we-'d love to arrange it for you), you'd experience the sense of pride everyone feels for the products they make. From the front desk to the family floor, there is a sense of place and purpose at Santini headquarters. That purpose is to make the most comfortable, durable, and purpose-suited clothing for cyclists from Elite riders at the highest level to those of us who love to ride regardless of our ability to compete. In case you're unable to schedule a tour any time soon, we hope this video will do as a substitute.
On January 1st, 2014, SMS Distribution becomes an importer for Ciocc bicycle frames. Ciocc make a great partner for us because they are located 5 kilometers from Santini's Bergamo, Italy headquarters and, like all our brands, they are committed to using authentic Italian craftsmen and women to build their products.
We will be building demo bikes over the next few weeks to start showing off what Ciocc is all about. For our first demo bike built, we chose to setup one of Ciocc's classic steel frames - lugged steel bicycles infused with the soul, spirit, and history of the sport of cycling and it's place in Italian culture.
It takes a craftsman's skillset to properly outfit a classic steel road-racing bike so we conferred with one of our Santini dealers, Rob Taynton at Bespoke Inn & Bicycles, and master-planned the build. The design plan was this: use products from our other suppliers (Ambrosio, Cinelli, Selev) and finish off with as much authentic Italian componentry as possible. Keep the look clean and classic but choose modern options where possible.
From our own catalog, we chose to use Ambrosio's Riene du Norde tubular wheelset (an authentic classic and bullet-proof Italian road racing wheelset), Cinelli's quill stem and Giro handlebar, and Selev's cork handelbar tape. We then selected Campagnolo's Athena 11-speed groupset, which is a surprisingly affordable, beautifully-performing set of components with a vintage look. We also chose silver braided cables from Jaguar and topped everything off with a white F.iz;ik Arionne saddle.
The end results of those selections and Rob's meticulous attention to frame prep and component installation is a bike that turned heads on our local group ride, pedaled with clockwork precision, floated over every imperfection in the road, responded beautifully when given power, released energy like a coiled spring when climbing, and gave me the kind of ride that left me spent but smiling widely.
Besides the San Cristobal and Ciocc's family of vintage steel frames, the manufacturer also makes carbon bikes in both monocoque and tube-to-tube construction. Stay tuned (or contact us) for more images, news, and (very soon), pricing and availability for you to build your very-own iconic Italian road bike.
Santini is pleased to announce an extension of its partnership with Cycling Australia. Santini has provided elite competition performance apparel to Cycling Australia since 2000 and from January 2014 will also supply casual clothing to CA’s High Performance Unit.
Cycling Australia’s elite national Road, Mountain Bike, BMX, Para-Cycling and Track teams will all wear Santini clothing on and off the track, while its competition clothing will also be worn during the Subaru Cycling Australia National Road Series, the Subaru Australian Mountain Bike Season and The Real Insurance Cross Country Marathon Series.
“Working with the Australian National Team has always been a pleasure for us,” said Santini's Managing Director, Monica Santini. “Throughout the years we have managed to build an incredible relationship with all the riders that is fundamental for us in order to provide them with the best products for their needs. The casual clothing is just a natural extension of our support to the team, another way to be part of the amazing project that is Cycling Australia.”
Similarly Kevin Tabotta, Cycling Australia’s National Performance Director, is pleased with the extension of the longstanding relationship. "We are delighted to be extending our partnership with Santini for through until the end of 2016,” Tabotta said. “Santini continue to be tremendous supporters of Cycling Australia's athletes - providing technologically advanced racing garments of high quality. We also look forward to evolving our partnership with Santini, with a new casual wear design for our National teams and programs."
Global Cycling Network, a YouTube channel dedicated to all things pro cycling, just posted an excellent primer on dressing for winter riding; strategies for maintaining your training when the elements are conspiring against you. They feature a number of items from our 365 and 2014 On The Road collections. We spotted our Orbit and Guard jackets, Active Air jersey, Clone base layer, Triton bib tights, Lizard, NEO and KRIOS gloves, and KRIOS shoe covers.
Santini is proud of our custom clothing for cyclists, triathletes, and runners. We are committed to providing you with the highest quality clothing to help your team look and perform at its best. To make it easy for you to make the decision to have Santini build your kit for 2014, we are offering a 10% discount off all custom clothing orders from now until December 31, 2013. Contact us to provide you with a quotation for custom clothing and the discount will be automatically added to the order.
Santini makes a strong partner for any team because:
All our clothing is hand crafted in Italy – to maintain the highest standards for our products, all Santini clothing is designed, cut, printed and sewn in Italy. The Santini family, headed by Pietro Santini, oversees every aspect of production at our Bergamo facility.
Cycling clothing is not a commodity – when comparing clothing suppliers, the heritage and experience of the maker matters. Our story is an almost 50-year history of working with some of the greatest cyclists and teams to perfect our craft.
You can race on clothing technology proven in the peloton – we are the official clothing supplier for World Tour teams, a number of Continental UCI teams, the Giro D’ Italia, and the Australian National Team. We even make all the World Championship jerseys for the UCI! Add in the thousands of club and shop teams we've supplied with custom clothing over the years and it’s safe to say that Santini clothing has been tested and proven on the toughest roads on every continent on the planet.
Click here for a full catalog and additional information about our custom program.
Under the two-year partnership, starting in January 2014, Santini will provide the official technical clothing and the casual after-race garments for the team. The Italian clothing manufacturer will also produce exclusive team-branded technical and casual clothing and accessories.
"We share some fundamental values with Belkin," says Pietro Santini, owner and founder of SMS Santini. "Honesty, trust, hard work. Team Belkin represents the new face of cycling and we are ready to ride the future with them."
When we met for the first time, there was an instant connection," says Monica Santini, Managing Director of SMS Santini and Pietro Santini's oldest daughter. "We were looking for a fresh new team with a strong personality and truthful values, open to experiment with new technical products aiming for the best performance. With Belkin we found the perfect match.”
Santini is already working on some garments for the team. “The collaboration and feedback of the riders is essential for us. Some of the products we develop come from specific requests of the riders, others from the minds of our designers. We have the experience and knowledge to provide the team with the most technically advanced clothing in the world. I am sure they will make good use of it,” Monica added.
“Santini breathes passion, lives for cycling and is known for its high-end clothing and many years of experience with great cycling teams," says Belkin Pro Cycling Team general manager, Richard Plugge. "The match with Belkin is perfect; technical innovation is important for both Belkin and Santini. We are very happy to further build our team together with another Italian brand next to Bianchi."
Pro Triathlete Kevin Taddonio and Bay Area independent rep and athlete manager Andres Douzoglou have put together a weekly Google hangout about the pro Triathlon scene. They cover topics ranging from training and racing to living the athlete's lifestyle and everything in between. They also speak candidly about products they work with. In the most-recent episode, they invited me on to speak about Santini's entry into Triathlon-specific race clothing. Check it out here