Sunday, February 24, 2013

Inaugural Season - Team Paniagua presented by Café Roubaix!

Hello cycling fans!

With our studio getting ready for opening in less than a week and the start of the European season now under way, Café Roubaix Bicycle Studio thought it was only fitting to announce our new sponsored cycling team! OK, it is completely imaginary and quite tongue in cheek, but with all the nonsense that happened over the off-season, we thought it would be nice to have some fun at the expense of our own fanatic passion for the sport.

"Paniagua" is a term that derives from Spanish for "bread and water" - pan y agua. The term is meant to describe the labourers that work for room and board. But in the cycling world, the term has been popularized, at least in North America, in part by revelations on doping found in Tyler Hamilton's book. In this regards, it was used for pro riders that were, for good or bad, not doped up for a particular race or part of the season, as in, "Fred has been riding this whole stage race paniagua."

Thus, in support of those riders past, present, and future, that race clean, Café Roubaix announces its inaugural Team Paniagua p/b Café Roubaix. Of course this would not be fun unless we got our fans involved too, so the selection of each rider over the next few weeks will be voted upon from a selection posted on our Face Book page. We will post three riders from the present and past with the top vote joining the team, the second vote moving on to the next week, and the last place vote being dropped.

A new team member will be announce each week on Friday evening, based on voting on our Face Book page, until the roster for 2013 is full (9 riders and 1 Directeur Sportif)!

The first week's riders are:

Christophe Bassons (Mr. Clean): Bassons pro cycling career was painfully cut short during the 1999 Tour de France. Writing a column while racing le Tour, Bassons wrote refreshingly honest opinions about the fabled "Tour of Renewal." For his opinions, he was becoming more and more isolated within the peloton, even by his own teammates. Fed up from the closing of ranks, during stage 10 to Alpe d'Huez, Bassons attacked early, but the peloton reeled him back in, much earlier than usually done so. As one Lance Armstrong passed Bassons, he berated Bassons and told him to quit professional cycling. Christophe Bassons abandoned the Tour a few days later and had to retire from pro cycling a few years later from the pressure from other riders.

David Millar: Millar was caught for doping in 2004, served a two year suspension, and on his return to pro cycling, became a strong advocate of clean cycling. He presently rides for Team Garmin-Sharp, which employs quite a few reformed and outspoken anti-dopers. From this team organization, the culture of clean cycling has grown. Millar has played a dominate leader's role on the team.

Lance Armstrong: Lance Armstrong has never officially tested positive for any illegal or banned substance. That makes him Mr. Super-clean, as he reported often in the press passing over 500 doping controls. (That in itself is an amazing achievement.) While LA is presently serving a life-time ban, he has promised to help clean up the sport of cycling. Too bad for him it has already cleaned itself up. Too late.

To sweeten the deal and have a little fun, we will add some prizes to be drawn randomly from those of our Face Book fans that vote. Prizes will be announced soon. Prize winners will be announced some time the week before the Giro d'Italia.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Cafe Roubaix FastBack CX

If you have been following along our FaceBook page, you know that I am building a frame during the Framebuilding course at the United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, Oregon. From design to pre-paint finish, all work is completed by the students with the aim of leaving with nice and rideable bike frame ready for paint. Many graduates of this program get on to bicycle companies to build frames or some even start their own custom frame companies. My goal was to get away with the skills to critique the bike frames we plan to sell at Cafe Roubaix, looking for the best possible production or custom frames. But it would be squandering a new skill if I do not keep up by taking on the occasional project bike myself. And maybe someday, YOU too can be riding on one of our creations.

The in-class frame I am working on is the Cafe Roubaix FastBack CX (cyclocross). Here are a few production photos. The frame is fillet brazed using a mix of Columbus, Dedacciai, and Kaisei cromoly steel tubing.

Frame tacked and ready for full brazing

The Master at work!

Plenty of clearance for mud and snow!
The last photo shows the mock-up for the seat stays - the last structural piece of the puzzle. The wheel has a full 35mm 700c cyclocross tire. For fun, we put a 650B/27 inch mountain bike wheel with a large 2.25 tire, and there was still lots of clearance. The final design may be capable of running wheels from 26 inch to 29er for a rear wheel! The front is designed to take either a Dedacciai, Enve, or Ritchey after-market CX fork.

Love the ride!