Aldo Sassi Interview

Wade from the awe-inspiring Cycling Tips blog has posted up a killer interview with renowned trainer Aldo Sassi, including vids from the new pathways expo in oz.... I suggest you head over and read it, its fantastic.

Spring Classics

Now available from the good folk over at Prendas...


via flickr


NW Gentleman's Race - Droptree

Cadence Bottles

Rapha Skincare - First Look

Bianchista towers has received the range of new Rapha skincare. Below are first impressions of the products, look for a more in depth review next week...

The products arrived in very kitsch pink newsprint, feeling rather special as soon as you lay eyes on them. I have to admit i felt a pang of regret when clocking them as it reminded me of the special pink newsprint gilet that I never quite got round to buying, only for it to disappear into gems large  locker of cycling regrets!

Upon opening, the very neat packaged are all emblazoned with the 'Ventoux' sealing sticker, informing of the concept of these products, in that they were all made with the scented elements derived from that most epic of mountains. Rapha head honcho Mr Mottram himself collected flora and fauna when cycling to ensure these products were crafted with an authenticity and feeling of Vontoux. The first thing I smelt was the soap, and its certainly got a wild natural scent to it, and if I close my eyes I could quite happily be smelling the subtle roadside vegetation on the slopes of France.

The winter embrocation looks like the traditional style Belgian knee warmer formula, rich and wax-like. I could smell the capsicum and wintergreen immediately, and those fond of the euro sheen will be pleased to know that i should imagine this gives a very nice sheen indeed to shaven legs. The pot also has a rather natty product sheet, with a map of the Ventoux ascent on the rear, a very nice little touch indeed, adding to that special feel. I cant wait to try this on some rainy wet training rides, with its promise to provide around 5 hours of heated protection from the elements.

Next up in the range is the chamois cream. The first thing I noticed was the nice smell from it. I recently purchased some sportique chamois cream, and although its lovely and thick and robust, the thing has an awful medicinal reek about it, and I felt very self conscious that my shorts emanated a weird clinical smell, not ideal when walking arriving in the office! I suspect that the natural ingredients of Rapha's cream are what gives it that delicate scent, and its viscosity looked appealing, in that it didn't look too thin, and that it should last a long ride. I plan on putting some miles in at the weekend with this cream, so will look forward to how it holds up.

Lastly is the super cute cube of Rapha blend soap. Probably the product I was most excited about, because I'm super fond of a long relaxing post ride bath most evenings! The smell was just spellbinding. Its scent is natural and light, and not only is it perfect for relieving stress from tired muscles, its also perfect for hand washing those grand tour gloves....

Il be putting these products through their paces in the next week or two, so look for a more detailed review soon. All products are available at Rapha and check the post below for a promo code for free shipping on the skincare range.

Rapha Performance Skincare

The eagerly awaited launch of the new Rapha skincare is upon us. A luxury soap, chamois creme and winter embrocation are all available to purchase now over at Rapha. If treating yourself to all three, be sure to use the code ventoux5 at checkout for free shipping. Channeling the scent of Vontoux, all epic products are crafted from natural ingredients. Bianchista will bring you a review shortly, I'm off to grab some this weekend... I'm especially interested in the soap, as a lover of hot long baths post ride, and I'm sure this will go down a treat.....


Critical Dirt - A Study In Crossification


Rapha Winter Collar

Now available in their famous pink colourway. Scoop here, a bianchista approved winter riding essential....

LTD Ed Cycling Prints

I was forwarded this link from mr campbells snoop, and I have to say i LOVE these! Limited to a print run of 50 in each design, these prints feature famous (and infamous) quotes from the world of two wheels and its protagonists. Each print is numbers and hand signed by the artists Marc Evans, and are available in either A3 or A2 size, for a price of £18 and £27 respectively. They can be purchased online from The Foot Down shop

Selle Italia Flite Carbonio Bargain

Chain Reaction are currently punting it at £70, a complete bargain when looking at the £148 RRP..... Grab one here while its hot

Dan Craven's Steel Machine

Cinelli x Eley Kishimoto

I always rued myself for not scooping a pair of Eley Kishimoto converse in clearance sale once, I love Kishimoto's wild print style. Cinelli are collaborating on Kishimoto's FLASH ON project, more info can be found here. Also.... is that EUROcannings???

Rapha AW 2010

Peep a selection of Rapha's AW 2010 drop in the video or here. Im particularly hyped about the expanded ladies range, building on what for me was a super solid first season debut! 


but what the hell... when you are best in the world, take flight I say!



Bike Lust


Trinkets and rides that caught bianchista's eye....

Scott carbon trainers

A very tech looking Fuji track bike...
Canyon bikes are looking very swish

Im in love with this white LAS helmet. Any idea what model it is?

DMT mtb shoes

More high end shoes seem to be adopting the boa style system

Euro slippers

No caption nesesscary - beatuiful!

Custom AX Lightness paintjob

Very euro looking Isaac

Stevens track bike. Nice looking geom

Images © Feltet

Dan Craven on Steel

Bianchi Brake

Vittoria Old School

Good Lord!

Jesus wept.... absolutely belissimo! Bianchi peeped at Eurobike

Pegoretti Aliante

Happy Birthday Bianchista!

Today I celebrate the first birthday of this humble wee blog. Started a year ago as a visual scrapbook for me to collect and share everything i found cool in the world of cycling, Iv seen it grow, both in readership and in the range of content that gets posted. Iv enjoyed the journey of meeting many like minded others and sharing in our love for all things pro cycling, bargainous schwag and stylish attire. I would like to take this opportunity to thank some of the people who have supported the bianchista blog in many ways, Laura at Rapha, Claire from I Get Cross, Blogging guru Brian from the WMP, my boys in the skids CC, Mr S and many many more! Its been a brilliant year (not so much for my actual cycling thanks to the ever-continuing disc issue) and I hope that I can continue to bring you bits and bobs of interest for another year. So thank you all for reading....

Paul Smith

Northern Soul Cupcakes

As cyclists, there is an old and hallowed tradition of our rides going hand-in-hand with cafe stops, where coffees from lattes to machiatos are prdered. Usually accompanying them, is a large sugar treat in the guise of the humble cake. Cakes are as personal a choice as a saddle or tyre... I love something uber sweet like a caramel slice or anything with copious amounts of thick frosting to give my tired legs that little boost to get home.
So with that in mind cake lovers, allow me to introduce you to the artisan cupcake world of Northern Soul Cupcakes. Run by my very good pal and no 1 Aunty, Jayne Harrison, Nothern Soul create wonderful bespoke cupcakes for all occasions. Having had the pleasure to scoff a few on my sisters 30th, I feel obliged to share these wee beatuies with the bianchista readership, so any northern riders with a penchant for natty looking treats can get a well deserved sugar rush.

Based in the Sheffield area, why not treat that special rider in your life to the ultimate post ride treat. Personally that ice cream cake looks delish and consider this an order put in for one when im back in the city of steel in a few weeks.


Bikes of Venice

Bianchista currently finds herself in Venice editing imagery from the 2010 film festival. Getty rather awesomely hired us all some bikes to get around the Lido, so iv been cruising around on a hilarious town bike with a basket full of San Pelligrino and the Rapha giro cd on repeat on the ipod. After cracking the bike hire shop owners up by asking for a Bianchia a la Pirata, they let me pick this silver number, chosen for the aero benefits of internally routed brake cables :-)

Also spotted were this very cute Bianchi....

and team SKY's new climbing prototype frame....

Condor Crankset

Bianchista has had a long term test with the Condor Cycles branded Sugino Uno track Chainset. After literally putting a crack my awful Truvativ crank on my few-years-old bianchi pista, Condor came to the rescue supplying this crank for review. I have to say, in terms of an upgrade it certainly put the old crank to shame. Where the Truvativ was flexy and looked cheap, this sturdy offering from Condor feels super solid, and translates every inch of power right through the pedals stroke, which is not to be scoffed at when one is stuck fixed gear on a windy day, believe me.

The crank I used is 48t, which was a couple of teeth larger than the old one. I didnt really notice though due to the afforementioned stiffnes and 'solid' feel to each revolution. What I find most amazing though is the price Condor are selling these starting at just £65 for the silver version! Iv struggled to find a sub £100 Sugino crankset, I mean the 75 is pretty astronomical as its their top end hitter, but the lower end messengers etc are still super expensive in the UK, helped in no small part by the massive inflation of all bike components from Japan last year. Not only is the crank excellent performance-wise, its also incredibly reasonable in its price. The cranksets are available in a plethora of colours to suit all builds, and feature a natty little condor logo on the chainring. Pop down to Condor to take a peek and make an upgrade you wont regret.