In any bike shop, it’s probably natural enough for levels of ‘meh to steadily creep upwards as the days & years pass by - we love cycling more than anyone, hell we devoted our lives & careers to it, but as in any industry there can be some product lines that do become rather run-of-the-mill & at worst a little unnecessary… until, that is, something like this thing comes along!
This Aircode, or to give it it’s full name, the 2019 Lapierre Aircode SL 700 MC Di2 Ultimate, is truly one of the standout bikes that we’ve seen land in the shop in recent years - the first impression is undoubtedly the stunning paint job on the bike - it is among the very coolest styles we’ve seen for years, and certainly when you weigh it up against it’s 2019 rivals it is hard to look past it on looks alone.
The thing is, it’s not all just French Flair and no substance - the kit that comes with it is crazy - we haven’t put those wheels on ourselves to add a bit of oomph for the photos - these actually come as standard, Mavic Cosmic Pro full carbon clinchers - look around, that’s extremely rare on bikes these days.
The full Shimano Ultegra Di2 electronic groupset kinda speaks for itself at this stage, once you try it, you’re ruined for mechanical stuff - we always say just ask anyone who owns it whether it’s worth it! The only thing we’d be adding to this mix is the ANT+ widget and climbing shifters but they can be left till the next birthday/Xmas pressie!
It’s the details too - the Fizik Arione saddle is pure class and without doubt usually an aftermarket purchase on many other brands - it’s a good example of the strength-in-depth this bike has from stunning looks through to it’s race pedigree (witness Demare’s victory at a certain Milan San Remo) to it’s huge value-for-money factor (better specced than what’s offered by our friend’s in Canyon) all the way down to the details… well, you can see why we’re in love with it!
While this model has stolen our hearts it goes without saying there are quite a few options in the Aircode range, starting at just €2,549 so check them out at fitzCycles.ie and let us know what you think!
This bike is now in stock & ready for you to take on a 24 hour test spin so ping us an email on email@example.com, call us on 01 278 4555 or just pop into the shop!
Every month on our Newsletter Paul, Karl & the crew answer the most popular questions & advise on common problems we get into our workshop.. in this post we’ve decided to be less selective and chat about not just servicing but all things cycling - first up - the most common dangers cycling in Dublin?
Where do you start on this one without your blood pressure rising… Paul has been cycling in Dublin for over 25 years and always says it used to be a case of having a close call maybe every few months - now you’ll have a few close calls every time you cycle - it’s certainly worrying but we needn’t lose heart.
While it may seem, and actually be, a jungle out there, there are certain flashpoints that seem to turn up time & time again so we can all try to identify them and avoid them - a huge one is undertaking vehicles in slow moving traffic - we’ve heard of so many sad stories arising from these scenarios - the general rule of thumb is not to undertake any vehicle, be it a truck, bus or a car, unless you are certain you can clear it before it moves again.
We also hear of problems at junctions with cars pulling out in front of cyclists - Paul reckons you need to assume they don’t see you, even if they seem to be looking straight at you they could well be checking out a car behind you, unaware of the speed you are doing - be cynical, assume you are not being seen and “own your space”.
What we mean by this is not to hog the road, but to make clear & assertive decisions and movements to make your presence felt. One danger of this is going a little overboard, for example moving across busy 60kmph car lanes to take a right turn at a junction 300m ahead is not the best plan of attack - it may be controversial but in our humble opinion we’d advise you to stick left and out of harms way as long as possible until it is safe to cross, even if it means dismounting and crossing with another flow of traffic.
We reckon we’ll make a feature out of this each month as there’s a lot to go through and a lot of questions sent into us on this topic - keep them coming and hopefully if nothing else we might help avoid one or two instances.
How does the Cycle to Work Scheme operate?
In a nutshell the scheme works by allowing Employers to buy a bike and related accessories from an approved supplier up to a value of €1,000 on behalf of an Employee which is then repaid through salary sacrifice over a period of up to 12 months.
Expenditure up to this amount will be exempt from PAYE, PRSI, or income levy charges, a potential saving of up to 52% depending on the applicable personal tax bands, so you could potentially pay just €480 for €1,000 worth of cycling gear!
The exemption is limited to the first €1,000 – with the employee paying the balance personally – and can be applied to the full range of bikes, from Hybrid city bikes & Dutch Cruisers to Electric bikes & Fixies - you can also use Finance to cover the remaining balance.
Employees can only avail of this scheme once in every 5 years i.e. even if you purchase a bicycle or bicycle safety equipment for less than €1,000 in year one, you cannot claim an exemption in respect of the balance.
As for your Employer, you can tell your boss they will benefit in a number of ways, namely through savings of 10.75% in Employer PRSI, but also from a greener corporate image & a healthier, happier workforce!
Are helmets a legal requirement? What about lights?
This a bit of a hot topic at the moment and while we’ve seen some countries bring it in there is no current legal requirement to wear a helmet in the ROI, however lights, very much are! We think there is a happy medium to be struck between the two, perhaps with kids or under-18’s being required to wear them.
Having had a few bad crashes, & owing them more than just some saved blushes, our Paulie certainly recommends wearing one as much as possible!
How do I book my service in / how long will it take?
Thanks to an awesome new system in our workshop we are now turning bikes around after just a few hours. We just need a few days warning but generally can do same day servicing on most bikes with the only delay generally down to having to order parts - on that front we’ll be expanding our parts inventory massively over the next few months so that should be minimized too!
We are also finalizing details on a home pick-up/return service as well as a loan bike facility - we should have all the bases covered!
To book, simply email us on firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 01 278 4555 or pop by the shop!
Email your questions to email@example.com & check out our workshop prices, packages & charges here.
The Cannondale SystemSix was one of the highest profile bike launches this Summer - with the bold claim of being the “fastest bike in the whole wide world” - the science backs this up but being honest I’m not sure we really care!
It was created with one goal in mind – to be the fastest and most efficient UCI-legal road bike in the world - and if you look at their testing results, it certainly seems like Cannondale have achieved that objective. In a market packed full of aero bikes it really does take something special to stand out and on looks alone, the SystemSix is well out in front with a no compromise, aggressively aerodynamic design.
In many regards, the old saying is certainly true, “fancy weapons don’t make great soldiers”, but in reality who cares?! It’s true for most of us the split second gains of a cut throat aero bike are never going to be all that crucial for the local races, popular Strava segments & Summer sportives we do, but we’re at the same time we’re true believers in the beauty & benefits to ordinary guys n gals of having access to the very best bikes in the world - we reckon in a weird way us mere mortals need this tech more than the pro’s, we benefit more than they do, because we need the help more than they do!
Think about it - they’re all at such a high level that everything comes down to the very finest of fine margins - granted that’s where the SystemSix beats its competitors but what about the rest of us in the real world, with nothing only a couple of extra kilo’s to carry round and far more modest ambitions? Well we reckon we gain far more than the pros.
Anyone who owns or has even tried an aero bike can attest to this - the slightest bit of effort seems to be amplified and exaggerated exponentialls, and for someone not used to that feeling, for someone who doesn’t spend their life at 60kph, that feeling is very real & very cool. It’s also massively addictive & gives you a huge boost to morale - I’ve often noticed you can even struggle to coast along & chat with friends as you inevitably pick up more speed than they do - often times you’ll even brake slightly to reduce your speed - how awesome is that?
So in a nutshell - you clearly need a SystemSix! We have one booked and due in shortly and they full line up of four models will be available to buy in the next month or so - from the Ultegra equipped model we’ve fallen in love with at €4,199 all the way up to the all-singing, all-dancing flagship model at €9,599. Be sure to check out the range on fitzCycles.ie and let us know what you think!
For lots more info & to arrange a 24 hour test spin on our demo SystemSix click on the pics, ping us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org, call us on 01 278 4555 or just pop into the shop!
As proud Dubliners we’re always keen to promote cycling in our fair city and the surrounding countryside.
We reckon despite the craziness of this modern city for all it’s foibles there’s plenty of positives to draw on - it only takes a photo to see why we love this place. Admittedly in the 25 years we’ve been cycling in this fair city things have changed, not always for the better, but on balance we feel very lucky to live & cycle here.
We give all the advice possible to our customers about tackling the city on bike - if you need any help please give us a shout!
We opened 8 years ago and everyday we genuinely try to improve in any way possible - some are small details & some are much much bigger - like this awesome wall wrap we installed a few years back.
We’ve literally spent 1,000’s of hours, late evenings and even through to the morning, trying to create the best bike shop - we’ve painted the walls, built the displays and continually upgrade both the shopping experience and the background systems & processes that we operate.
For our story and more info on the shop please visit fitzCycles.ie.
Every month on our Newsletter we answer the most popular questions & advise on common problems we get into our workshop.. first up, how often should you get your bike serviced?
This all depends on "use & abuse" - we often say you can do 1000's of kms in the dry but 100km in the wet could have your bike in poor shape in no time. So it's all based on conditions really, if you're a fair weather cyclist, maybe once a year, whereas if you use your bike in all weathers it can make sense to service it 2-3 times a year, along with some basic servicing at home.
Bikes can and will last for decades but only if they are looked after - the key thing is catching something before it does real damage - a loose or creaky part could be fixed easily if you catch it early, but if ignored it can cause a lot of damage & have knock on effects on other parts of the bike.
How much does a service cost?
This depends on how hard your bike works and what condition the parts are in - a well maintained bike might only cost €35 to service once or twice a year (Bronze Service) whereas bikes that have been working hard will need more TLC and really benefit from a more in-depth service of internal bearings (Silver Service).
High end bikes deserve a lotta love too - our Big Mac service costs over €250 but has our head mechanic Karl dedicating a full day to it - if you've spent several thousand on a bike it makes no sense to ignore it's maintenance. Perversely, it's often the cheaper bikes that can accrue more costs, with mechanics spending endless days trying to free seized components or tune badly fatigued drivetrains.
As for incidentals, Brake Pads might need replacing (€5.99 a pair), cables can rust/fatigue (€3.99) and bigger ticket items like chains and cassettes will need to be changed every few 1,000km.
How often should I pump my tyres & to what pressure?
The biggest drawback to owning a bike is having to seemlingly endlessly pump the tyres - the fact is they are losing air by the minute, slowly but very, very surely! Good practice is to "pinch test" them before every spin and ideally pump them up - the recommended pressure its always imprinted on the side wall of the tyres and should be followed to avoid issues but there are generally accepted pressures that most people can aim for:
Hybrid Tyres are usually 50-80PSI while road tyres are 90-120PSI - MTB tyres are 30-40PSI but cyclists can have preferences - beyond what they say on the wall there are rider preferences and riding styles that can have them set at different pressures - some pro’s & elite riders even specify different front & rear pressures with the most predantic mechanics even setting them to levels that take into account atmospheric pressures and the length of the race!!
Email your questions to email@example.com & check out our workshop prices, packages & charges here.
Despite a painful stitch and a deep thirst for some IPA, Mike snapped this awesome pic while sunning his guns in Spain last weekend - lucky jerk :-) We’re trying to convince him to bring us all over next time!
A super tough day out - DBBC boys Jeff, Andy & Paul at the Wicklow 200 a while back - seemed to rain all day & the new route was very tough but the lads loved it all the same!
Although it wasn’t really a Thursday, we’d a funny day out in the shop van a while back…
Somehow we were convinced to play taxi driver for the day and ended up driving none other than Sam Bennett, Nico Roche & Philip Deignan ‘round Dublin - great craic!
Our fave photographer in world, Karen Edwards, snapped this very cool pic, although we probably should’ve forked out for a 3rd magazine - poor Sam ;-)
One of the DBBC Godfathers spotted looking for more trouble at the weekend down in Ballyhoura, savage weather for it!
We were delighted to hook up the super talented Freddie Stevens with a serious bit of kit for the racing season - nice moves!
One of the best days we’ve ever had in the bike shop - being able to support a club we were once members of, at a race we’ve followed for decades, was enough reward in itself… then Eoin Morton goes and wins a stage!
One of our favourite bikes - the 2015 Stevens Super Prestige - if it’s good enough for Mathieu Van Der Poel it’s sure as hell good enough for us!
Great craic with the lads on one of our first DBBC ticknock trips waaaaay back when… even managed to keep the shop’s shiny bikes in one piece!
One of our favourite custom builds - a Ritte Bosberg with all the best kit we could get our hands on - timeless!
Proud to sponsor UCD Cycling Club the past 3 seasons…
Bumpin into Bennett - Paul felt like a total groupie when we bumped into Sam at the Hamburg Cyclassic - he’s a class act!