Svelte Cycles without comproise

Friday, January 29, 2010

Why I love Cole Wheels:

Cue the Godfather 2 birthday cake scene.

XXX (means Thank You),
Justin Spinelli
(+1) 603 943-4202

Friday, January 15, 2010

Time NXR Instinct - XXX

Time does not make the best production frame sets in the world, however Time does make the best production carbon fiber framesets in the world. Here at Svelte Cycles you will see a lot more of Time in the future but let's start >here< with the 2010 NXR Instinct.

Time has been fabricating carbon fiber frames longer than any other major frame producer in the world. From start to finish everything is done in house and is made by hand. As such Time has complete control over the quality and consistency of both the raw materials and production.

This particular example just so happens to be my own little present to me. I went ahead and hooked myself up proper with a full Super Record 11V gruppo, some nice 3T Carbon LTD bits, a Fizik Carbon Arione Saddle (more comfy than you might think) and some Edge 1.45s on DT Swiss 240s for good measure.

Why did I go mental with all the carbon bits and why did I select this model Time for myself? Comfort. This is the machine I will take on daily training rides up and down the hills of New Hampshire and over the rough, back country dirt roads that link one good climb to the next. Much akin to the VRS Vibraser, the NXR has extra shock absorbing Vibraser fibers (yes, they do work even though you can't see them) woven into the tubes. As with all Times, this frameset also has specially layed up braids of carbon thus controlling the ride characteristics of each and every different size frame.

The process by which Time produces its raw materials and then subsequently manufacturing its frames and forks is far too vast for one blog post alone. I will start by saying their proprietary "RTM" and "CMT" technology are enough to make the fabriaction process' used by those big box-brands *insert name here* look like childs play. Again, I will get into this more as the year goes on...

Time holds the patent on many technologies we see today. That's right folks they actually use their OWN designers. Imagine that! For every spring leaf pedal system, Translink ISP system, Vibraser Fibers (also used currently in F1 cars) and 1 1/8 - 1 1/2 Head Set System; Time gets royaltie$.

Each tube is formed from a sock of tube-specific woven carbon fiber thus there are no seams and the shaping is perfect. RTM technology ensures there are not voids. What the heck is a void and why is it important you ask? Basically put, voids make carbon fiber frames feel like crappy, lifeless objects underneath you. Ever ridden a nice aluminum, steel or titanium bicycle? It has life right? A certain feeling. Transfer that feeling over to a frame and fork that can weigh 3-4 pounds less than an alloy frame and fork. Brilliant!

"Yeah but what happens when I drive into my garage door with my bike on the roof and crack the carbon tubes?"

Time frames have a lifetime warranty on everything but the finish. Also everywhere you see a lug, you see an piece that allows the individual tube(s) it is connected to to be replaced. So as long as you don't leave your Time out in the sun all day, every day for the next 15 years, you are pretty much covered.

Time also produces its own forks. Little fact that is big time important: Time forks adhere to the new European Fork Safety Standards. If you do a little research you will find many forks currently available do not.

This particular Time module (and also the RXR and RX) are fabricated from start to finish exclusively in Europe. This particular frame is of 100% French origin.

Like it or not BB30 is becoming the new industry standard and Time has followed suit on all its new modules.

Time uses and extra layer of Vibraser threads in the drive side chain stay to offer increased protection against chain slap. Also, the chain stays each have their own shape designed to withstand the different torsional forces exerted on the rear end by the drive train.

I am a huge fan of the Translink system. Say what you will about whether or not it makes the frame stiffer whilst climbing in the saddle or making the frame as a whole lighter (it does)... the Translink just looks totally bad ass! We all know this is what's most important. The internal diameter of their carbon tubing is so precise that Time can use a small stub of a seat post instead of a "topper" (not that there is anything wrong with toppers!)

-Svelte Cycles is the exclusive dealer of Time frames in Tax-Free New Hampshire.
-The NXR Instinct is in stock and ready to ship as a frameset within one week and as a complete bike within two weeks.
-Look HERE for sizing and colour options. I will send you a fit-form to ensure proper sizing.
-The NXR frameset costs $5300 plus shipping.
-The NXR as a complete machine starts at $8800 outfitted with Campagnolo Chorus.
-To order contact me at "" or call the number below.

Justin Spinelli
( +1) 603 943-4202

Monday, January 11, 2010

Brilliance from Brendan : "Silence Kit"

It's no secret I've been a long time admirer of Brendan Quirk as his "Competitive Cyclist" is the pinnacle of on-line bicycle retail (if you can even categorize Competitive Cyclist as such). His company has a pulse, it has feeling and in a world of bland online dealers competing on price alone, Competitive Cycles takes a different approach.

In his latest blog entry Brendan expresses why Competitive Cyclist chose to part ways with the iconic Pegoretti brand.

This paragraph struck such a huge chord with me and my own feelings on what I do here at Svelte Cycles, I just had to share it for the few who might not see it otherwise:

"Custom seems to mean something different now, where personal urges get veto power over the very thing you're paying for: The know-how of the gifted builder. It's a recipe for unhappiness for everyone involved. You don't give instruction to the master tailor, the pilot, or the Michelin-starred chef. From whence does the license come to do so with the framemaker?"
-Brendan Quirk

For the best 5 minutes of your day read HERE.

Justin Spinelli

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Svelte Cycles: Heritage Part 5

Make no mistake Team Farm Frites was a powerhouse squad, ranked 2nd in the world when I signed for them in May of 2000. My heart however was in Italy. In the fall of 2000 one thing led to another and I found myself signing for one of the most iconic teams of its time; Team Saeco.

At this point I had really put myself in the spotlight and was receiving copious amounts of press.

I'll spare you the endless amount of race action pics as so many live HERE. What I will share with you now are some nice articles outlining my progression and ambitions as well as a few choice behind the scenes pics.

That first year on Team Saeco was a dream come true. The team was at its pinnacle in both spirit and stature. Just look at this loaded roster.

My favourite event that year was ironically in America at the USPRO Championships in Philladelphia. I was coming onto some very good form and some two weeks later i finished 6th Overall at the Uniqua Tour of Austria. The countless hours of training and sacrifices were paying significant dividends. That summer, I felt I could do no wrong on a bicycle.

Just to show you that Lance Armstrong is not the only pro who trains in inclimate weather, here are some snaps of me and my amico Nicola Gavazzi leaving for a 180k jaunt at our own little Pre-USPRO training camp in New Hampshire. Note: "Epic" is not training 180km in the rain. "Epic" is training 180km in the rain then waking up the next morning and doing it again, then again, then again....

Back in Italy, Nicola and I were two peas in a pod. We both had a very strong work ethic and a big capacity for workloads. Our training rides were really something special. Interesting little fact: Nicolas father won Milano - San Remo, stages in the Giro and countless other semi-classics. Mattia, Nicolas younger brother is now enjoying a very succsesful career in his own right.

After enjoying my best ever season as a cyclist my motivation going into the "off" season was high, very high, too high. I continued to train at full capacity and was racing cyclocross on the weekends.

What I should have been doing was relaxing, gaining about 10-15 pounds and going for walks. My inability to just "kick it" for a few months set me up for a disasterous 2001 season. I weighed 135-140 pounds and had no power... this is no way to start a full year of racing in the Pro Tour.

I struggled with not only my form but also with the new structure at Team Saeco. Long gone were the fun training camps in Tuscany, also missing were Mario and Paulo Savodelli as well as my then mentor Laurent Dufaux. At this point the spirit had gone out of it and I lost sight of why I was doing what I was doing... these were hard times.

In the sport of cycling you are only as good as your last race and my performances in 2002 did not warrant me a spot on the 2003 Team Saeco squadrone. It was back to the states for me as I signed on with Team Navigators. That winter into 2003 was long, hard and unhealthy. The passion was gone and I had lost my way.

After an un-inspiring 2002, it was time to take a step away for the world of Pro Cycling and purse my studies in Industrial Design. This break did me well and in the winter of 2004 I had created a plan on how I would come back to Pro Cycling, this time on my own terms.

Justin Spinelli