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Click to open image!This Saturday Newhall Bicycle Company is marking the end of Summer with a 7:30 am road ride followed by a BBQ and sale at the shop.  It sounds like the road ride will venture into the sf valley and then towards the beach for a ride totaling about 75 miles.  There will be a shortened route option as well with a detour up the infamous Box Canyon.  That ride should total about 37 miles.  Either way it should be a good time for all.  If you can’t make the ride, come by the shop afterward and see if you can round up some deals and grub.

As of right now there is no mountain ride planned.  If people are interested in getting one together, call the shop and let Roger know.

http://www.newhallbike.com/

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You may have recently read about Torelli’s Montefalco road bike in the last issue of ROAD.  Well the short story is that it is an all carbon road frame weighing in around 900 grams, depending on size.  The review said it is stiff, comfortable, climbs well and descends well.  I read this and became interested knowing that Newhall Bicycle Company carries Torelli, however a new frameset was not in my plans, especially considering the current economic climate. 

Fast forward to a week ago when I called Roger at Newhall Bicycle Company.  I wanted to say hey, and was curious about a frameset made by another manufacturer that he carries.  I know, a new frameset was not in my plans.  It was at that point that he said that I needed to come by and see something he just got in.  I stopped by that evening after work and Roger showed me the Torelli Montefalco-Newhall Bicycle Company Edition.    It looked great with the NBC colors (green, yellow and some red) and graphics, and it weighed next to nothing.  Again I was not planning on this purchase, but this was too unique to pass up.  After shuffling some things around, and consulting the wife, I called Roger to confirm my purchase.

After reviewing the geometry on Torelli’s site, I saw that the large had a 57cm virtual top tube, and 57cm seat tube, just like my Pinella.  I even called Torelli, to discuss the sizing, because I was concerned for some reason.  I tend to be a little obsessive.  I know, an obsessive roadie, big surprise.  Anyway, after several consultations and reviews, I decided on the large and I was on my way.  I built it up on a Saturday morning, and had it over to Roger’s for cabling the following Monday.  However, when I had it built up it seemed really big.  I must have measured it 3 different ways, 5 times against the Pinella.  Each time it was right on, however something still seemed wrong. I finally realized that it is just the larger tubes, and that massive headtube.  The headtube is not only tall, it is thick.  While the top diameter is 1-1/8″, and the bottom is 1-1/2″, ultimately providing some sort of super stiffness/control.  I don’t know, what it is exactly supposed to do, but it is supposed to be good.

Still being a little concerned about the sizing, Roger wanted me to take it for a test ride in the morning and see how everything felt.  That night I dropped the stem down, which I was thankful for the following morning, and got her ready for the trial run. 

That morning I awoke to pouring rain.  Yes, pouring rain in Southern California, it happens.  However nothing was going to stop me, I had to take this mother out for a trial run.  I have got to say this is the nicest riding bike I have ever owned.  I like steel, but this thing is smooth.  It is the nicest combination of smoothness and stiffness I have ever experienced, and is really a pleasure to ride.  As it turns out the sizing is perfect, and the tall headtube allows me to run the stem without any spacers.  I’ve always wanted to do that.    Performance-wise this baby purrs.  On downhills and flats, it just motors.  Every pedal turn is efficient and creates speed as it eats up the road.  Other carbon bikes I have ridden seemed “dead”, in other words, not lively like a metal bike.  This ride is very comforable, but is still lively.  On the hills, it makes climbing seem easier.  I am sure this is because of the combination of weight and stiffness.  The total build with Campy Chorus and Centaur weighs in at 15.5 pounds (with pedals, cages, computer), which is not too shabby, at least by my standards.  My only issue is that I haven’t had a lot of time to ride it.  I am hoping for some quality saddle time this weekend to really feel this thing out.

The Pinella is not dead.  I am building her up with Shimano components I already have, so she’ll still be around and cruising the mean streets of Santa Clarita.  Here are a few more pictures:

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As the picture shows, I have been a loyal Giro customer for many years.

 

So after a recent crash, I went to Roger at Newhall Bicycle Company to order a replacement Atmos.  He was more than happy to get one for me, but first wanted me to try out the LAS helmets.  First I tried out the Squalo.  This was a great helmet, but I ran into the same problem I have had for years.  With a 58-59cm head, I am kind of between sizes.  The medium always looks like I am wearing a kids helmet, and the large leaves a little too much space between the helmet and my head.

 Then I tried on the Istrion.  The Istrion comes in one size (I think), and offers a back strap that is both vertically and horizontally adjustable (very easily adjustable).  The other great feature is the removable liner.  Being follically challenged, I always feel like the inside of helmets sit a little hard on the top of my head if I am not wearing a skullcap of some sort.  The Istrion’s liner allows me to wear the helmet comfortably with or without a cap on.  There are also plenty of vents, and the weight is very light. 

 

 

Anyway this helmet is definitely the best (most comfortable) I have ever used, and I highly recommend it. 

 

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Finding a good bike shop is kind of like finding a good auto mechanic or contractor.  Once you find them, you’ll never go anywhere else.  That is what happened with Newhall Bicycle Company and me.  Over my life, I’ve been to my fair share of bike shops, and I am used to the various elitist attitudes and “hard sells” that you can find in shops.  Generally the bike these shops “sell” you on is either the model they are trying to get rid of, or what they can make the most money on.   Either way, it is generally not what is in your best interest. 

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This brings me to Roger Hasper at Newhall Bicycle Company.  Rest assured, Roger will always sell you what will work best for you, not him.  Basically, tell him what you want to do with the bike, and he will get something that will fit your needs and budget.  The only “hard sell” you’ll ever get is for Campagnolo.  It is always in good fun, but Roger is a firm believer that Campy is best, and he is not afraid to share that opinion.  Heck, he converted me.  I was a long time Shimano guy, and never saw any reason to switch, until I did.  Anyway, that is another story, for another time.   

If you are in Santa Clarita this weekend for the Tour, stop by the shop and see what it is all about.   

24343 Railroad Ave.Newhall, CA 91321, 661-284-6187

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