Formed in June 09, Here Come the Belgians is a non-elite anti-team celebrating all things cross, cobbled and Belgian.
Seeking a different experience to the traditional cycling club, its aim is to harness the energy of a vibrant internet cycling community with grass roots racing and riding based around Cyclocross and Spring Classics. There is no race programme in the style of a racing team, more a collection of individual experiences through rides and racing, in whatever location a member may be, that all can share in and contribute toward.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Here comes the Belgian style guide: Polka style

Here come the Belgians Style Guide: The colours of France

No, no in July it is not Blue+White+Red, it is more like Yellow, Green and a dotted Red on White.

Part 2) Red on White

Original I thought this design started as tablecloth with red wine spots. Another source claimed it to be blood stains from the first mountain etaps. Well, there is something to that story of blood stains:

2009 Long curly hear winner of the stained jersey.
2008 Winner of stained jerseys runs bike shops this days with special spare parts
2007 Chicken wings went climbing in Mexitaly (actually went to Soler who did not add any more stains)

BUT how wrong I was, just in time the design team came to rescue:

The dotted jersey is a hommage to Roy Lichtenstein! Among his best known artworks are dotted comic like pictures.

So forget all about blood(y) stains, we are talking about pop art. And bloody me spend hours to remove the red dots:

Guess what was the closest I ever got to wearing the Polka jersey and I could not blame on the equipment:

21% - in Brussels? Maybe not. But how a about a climbing wheel set without braking the bank, which might charge You 21% on Your Your credit card overdraft.

The idea was to build a 1400 g tubular wheelset, so in weight similar to Mavic R-Sys, at a reasonable price, preferable special offers:

- front wheel at 605 g build from a Campa Record hub at 40 quid (half price because 2007 edition in 36 holes) plus 50 quid for DT Aerolight (special offer just long enough for two cross) plus 25 quid (special friendship price) for a rare Mavic GEL 280. The rim is actually 310 grams, typically Mavic You'll always get more grams for Your money.

- rear wheel at 830 g build from a 28 hole Ritchey Zero hub at 50 quid (of course special offer), a 18 quid Mavic GP 4 rim at 400 g plus DT Comp three cross at about 18 quid also. The Zero hub looks like the American Classic is also about 205 g.

The wheel set looks abit funny with 36 spokes in the front and 28 in the rear. For a rider of my weight it makes no sense to ride a light weight rim in the back, so by using the more robust 400 g GP 4 I can live with 28 DT Comp. Lighter racers could look into 350 g Araya Gold, Mavic GL 330, Ambrosio Chrono (around 370 g real) or using DT Revolution on the non drive side.
In the front I could only find the GEL 280 in 36 holes, other options at 310 g are rare, but using a 350 g 28 hole rim will give similar weight because of saved spoke weight. And 36 hole front hubs are not selling well, so good chance for a bargain.

So, I must admit I missed the 1400 grams by 2%, but 200 GBP plus building fee (non disclosed) is a good deal. Of course one can replace the DT Aerospeed with DT Revolution and save 20 quid, but expect to pay more for the rims, Araya Gold or Ambrosio Chrono will be 40 quid - each.

More money - less weight? Use Tune hubs at 75 g and 185 g in the back, but 300 quid plus for the pair.
More weight - more British? Use Hope hubs for a long life.

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