On January 1st, 2014, SMS Distribution becomes an importer for Ciocc bicycle frames. Ciocc make a great partner for us because they are located 5 kilometers from Santini's Bergamo, Italy headquarters and, like all our brands, they are committed to using authentic Italian craftsmen and women to build their products.
We will be building demo bikes over the next few weeks to start showing off what Ciocc is all about. For our first demo bike built, we chose to setup one of Ciocc's classic steel frames - lugged steel bicycles infused with the soul, spirit, and history of the sport of cycling and it's place in Italian culture.
It takes a craftsman's skillset to properly outfit a classic steel road-racing bike so we conferred with one of our Santini dealers, Rob Taynton at Bespoke Inn & Bicycles, and master-planned the build. The design plan was this: use products from our other suppliers (Ambrosio, Cinelli, Selev) and finish off with as much authentic Italian componentry as possible. Keep the look clean and classic but choose modern options where possible.
From our own catalog, we chose to use Ambrosio's Riene du Norde tubular wheelset (an authentic classic and bullet-proof Italian road racing wheelset), Cinelli's quill stem and Giro handlebar, and Selev's cork handelbar tape. We then selected Campagnolo's Athena 11-speed groupset, which is a surprisingly affordable, beautifully-performing set of components with a vintage look. We also chose silver braided cables from Jaguar and topped everything off with a white F.iz;ik Arionne saddle.
The end results of those selections and Rob's meticulous attention to frame prep and component installation is a bike that turned heads on our local group ride, pedaled with clockwork precision, floated over every imperfection in the road, responded beautifully when given power, released energy like a coiled spring when climbing, and gave me the kind of ride that left me spent but smiling widely.
Besides the San Cristobal and Ciocc's family of vintage steel frames, the manufacturer also makes carbon bikes in both monocoque and tube-to-tube construction. Stay tuned (or contact us) for more images, news, and (very soon), pricing and availability for you to build your very-own iconic Italian road bike.
Santini is pleased to announce an extension of its partnership with Cycling Australia. Santini has provided elite competition performance apparel to Cycling Australia since 2000 and from January 2014 will also supply casual clothing to CA’s High Performance Unit.
Cycling Australia’s elite national Road, Mountain Bike, BMX, Para-Cycling and Track teams will all wear Santini clothing on and off the track, while its competition clothing will also be worn during the Subaru Cycling Australia National Road Series, the Subaru Australian Mountain Bike Season and The Real Insurance Cross Country Marathon Series.
“Working with the Australian National Team has always been a pleasure for us,” said Santini's Managing Director, Monica Santini. “Throughout the years we have managed to build an incredible relationship with all the riders that is fundamental for us in order to provide them with the best products for their needs. The casual clothing is just a natural extension of our support to the team, another way to be part of the amazing project that is Cycling Australia.”
Similarly Kevin Tabotta, Cycling Australia’s National Performance Director, is pleased with the extension of the longstanding relationship. "We are delighted to be extending our partnership with Santini for through until the end of 2016,” Tabotta said. “Santini continue to be tremendous supporters of Cycling Australia's athletes - providing technologically advanced racing garments of high quality. We also look forward to evolving our partnership with Santini, with a new casual wear design for our National teams and programs."
Global Cycling Network, a YouTube channel dedicated to all things pro cycling, just posted an excellent primer on dressing for winter riding; strategies for maintaining your training when the elements are conspiring against you. They feature a number of items from our 365 and 2014 On The Road collections. We spotted our Orbit and Guard jackets, Active Air jersey, Clone base layer, Triton bib tights, Lizard, NEO and KRIOS gloves, and KRIOS shoe covers.
Santini is proud of our custom clothing for cyclists, triathletes, and runners. We are committed to providing you with the highest quality clothing to help your team look and perform at its best. To make it easy for you to make the decision to have Santini build your kit for 2014, we are offering a 10% discount off all custom clothing orders from now until December 31, 2013. Contact us to provide you with a quotation for custom clothing and the discount will be automatically added to the order.
Santini makes a strong partner for any team because:
All our clothing is hand crafted in Italy – to maintain the highest standards for our products, all Santini clothing is designed, cut, printed and sewn in Italy. The Santini family, headed by Pietro Santini, oversees every aspect of production at our Bergamo facility.
Cycling clothing is not a commodity – when comparing clothing suppliers, the heritage and experience of the maker matters. Our story is an almost 50-year history of working with some of the greatest cyclists and teams to perfect our craft.
You can race on clothing technology proven in the peloton – we are the official clothing supplier for World Tour teams, a number of Continental UCI teams, the Giro D’ Italia, and the Australian National Team. We even make all the World Championship jerseys for the UCI! Add in the thousands of club and shop teams we've supplied with custom clothing over the years and it’s safe to say that Santini clothing has been tested and proven on the toughest roads on every continent on the planet.
Click here for a full catalog and additional information about our custom program.
Under the two-year partnership, starting in January 2014, Santini will provide the official technical clothing and the casual after-race garments for the team. The Italian clothing manufacturer will also produce exclusive team-branded technical and casual clothing and accessories.
"We share some fundamental values with Belkin," says Pietro Santini, owner and founder of SMS Santini. "Honesty, trust, hard work. Team Belkin represents the new face of cycling and we are ready to ride the future with them."
When we met for the first time, there was an instant connection," says Monica Santini, Managing Director of SMS Santini and Pietro Santini's oldest daughter. "We were looking for a fresh new team with a strong personality and truthful values, open to experiment with new technical products aiming for the best performance. With Belkin we found the perfect match.”
Santini is already working on some garments for the team. “The collaboration and feedback of the riders is essential for us. Some of the products we develop come from specific requests of the riders, others from the minds of our designers. We have the experience and knowledge to provide the team with the most technically advanced clothing in the world. I am sure they will make good use of it,” Monica added.
“Santini breathes passion, lives for cycling and is known for its high-end clothing and many years of experience with great cycling teams," says Belkin Pro Cycling Team general manager, Richard Plugge. "The match with Belkin is perfect; technical innovation is important for both Belkin and Santini. We are very happy to further build our team together with another Italian brand next to Bianchi."
Pro Triathlete Kevin Taddonio and Bay Area independent rep and athlete manager Andres Douzoglou have put together a weekly Google hangout about the pro Triathlon scene. They cover topics ranging from training and racing to living the athlete's lifestyle and everything in between. They also speak candidly about products they work with. In the most-recent episode, they invited me on to speak about Santini's entry into Triathlon-specific race clothing. Check it out here
Besides extruding rims for the world's most discerning wheelbuilders, Ambrosio hand-builds nineteen different road, track, cyclo-cross and mountain-bike wheelsets, all of which can be special-ordered for our dealers and their customers. We've also chosen five standouts from this list of hand-built wheels to keep on hand in Arizona and make available to U.S. buyers.
RIENE DU NORDE - A racing tubular with an amazing history, the Riene du Norde wheelset has been used by the world's top professionals cyclists during the Northern Classics. Perfect for cyclo-cross or when you need a bullet-proof set of wheels for race day.
Rims: 700c produced in aluminum alloy, double inox eyeleted and Durex treatment. Available for tubular tires only. Spokes: double-butted, aerodynamic spokes. Black chromed. 32 spokes both front and rear. Self-recurring nipples. Hubs: Ambrosio by DT Swiss 240s with "Filorosso System" ceramic ball bearings. Compatibility: front 100mm - rear 130mm. SH/SRAM 8-9-10-11 or Campag 9-10-11. Assembling: Handmade. Front is radially laced. Rear is three-cross laced. Weight: Front is 730g. Rear is 840g. Accessories: Comes with wheel bag, one spoke for each measure and quick releases. Usage: road competition and cyclocross. Recommended for Northern Classics style races.
EQUILIBRIUM - deep-section carbon/aluminum hybrid clincher wheelset.
Rims: 700c (622-13C) produced in carbon fiber using hybrid technology. Height 42mm. Ground aluminum alloy braking surfaces. Welded rim connection. Avalable for clincher tires only. Spokes: double-butted, aerodynamic spokes. Black chromed. 20 spokes for front wheel, 24 for the rear. External black-anodized ergal nipples. Hubs: Ambrosio ball bearing hubs. Compatibility: front 100mm - rear 130mm. SH/SRAM 8-9-10-11 or Campag 9-10-11. Assembling: Handmade. Front radially laced. Rear is radial non-drive side and two-cross laced drive side. Weight: Front 780g. Rear 930g. Accessories: Comes with wheel bag, quick releases, and valve extensions. Usage: road competition. Sutable for cyclocross. Max rider weight 85kg.
JAZZ FILAROSO - we took Ambrosio's perfect aluminum clincher and outfitted it with Filaroso ceramic bearings for a wheelset perfectly suited to great climbing adventures or when you want all-around reliability.
Rims: 700c (622-15C). produced in aluminum alloy. Black anodized. Available for clincher tires only. Spokes: Aluminum aerodynamic spokes. Black anodized. 20 spokes for front wheel, 24 for the rear. Self-securing ergal nipples. Hubs: Ambrosio ball bearing hubs with Filaroso ceramic bearings. Compatibility: Front 100mm - rear 130mm. SH/SRAM 8-9-10-11 or Campag 9-10-11. Assembling: Handmade. Front radially laced. Rear is two-cross laced. Weight: Front 680g. Rear 870g. Accessories: Comes with wheel bag, two spokes for each measure, quick releases, and wheel adjustment tool. Usage: road competition. Max rider weight 90kg.
Rims: 29" (622-19C). Produced in aluminum alloy, black anodized. Single inox eyelets. Tubeless conversion ready. Spokes: Aluminum aerodynamic spokes. Black chromed. Double-butted. 28 spokes per wheel. Self-securing ergal nipples, red anodized. Hubs: Ambrosio Disk Brake cartridge bearing hubs. Front axle 100mm. Rear axle 135mm. Front hub equipped with converter for standard fork or 15mm thru-axle. Assembling: Handmade. Two-cross laced. Weight: Front 800g. Rear 910g. Accessories: Comes with wheel bag and quick releases. Usage: MTB competition.
NUMBER 7 - Ask any mountian-bike manufacturer for their 2014 line-up and you will see a wave of bikes based on the 650b (27-1/2" wheel) format. A perfect compromise for full-suspension, all-mountain riding between the taller reach of the two-niner and the nimbleness of the old 26-inch wheel, the 650b is here to stay. Upgrade your stock rims with something purpose-built for durability and handmade in a Italian factory that has been building wheels for 80 years.
Rims: 27.5" (584-19C). Produced in aluminum alloy, black anodized. Single inox eyelets. Tubeless conversion ready. Spokes: Aluminum aerodynamic spokes. Black chromed. Double-butted. 28 spokes per wheel. Self-securing ergal nipples, red anodized. Hubs: Ambrosio Disk Brake cartridge bearing hubs. Front axle 100mm. Rear axle 135mm. Front hub equipped with converter for standard fork or 15mm thru-axle. Assembling: Handmade. Two-cross laced. Weight: Front 780g. Rear 880g. Accessories: Comes with wheel bag and quick releases. Usage: MTB competition.
One of the great joys in working with Santini is spending time at the factory in Bergamo, Italy. The place is infused with their 50-year history. Being part of the process of defining and creating products allows me to absorb the great institutional memory that develops when a group of people work together for the common cause of making products they can be proud of.
Besides Santini, there are dozens of other cycling products manufacturers in the Milan region. Most are also family businesses. It has always been my goal to work with the best-in-category manufacturers to add other product lines to our offering and these intimate family builders are, in my opinion, the best. That's why I connected with Ambrosio.
Ambrosio has been making wheels for bicycles in Solerno, Italy (a suburb of Milan) for 80 years. It is currently a third-generation family business. They are most famous for their Nemesis Tubular rim, used in a wheelset called Riene du Nord. Durable and precisely and carefully-made, the Riene du Nord is the chosen wheelset for Northern-Classics riders.
Visiting the factory is like a pilgrimage to a shrine of cycling history - that has been installed in the back of automotive machine shop. Most of the factory is dedicated to the task of extruding and building wheels; peppered with pallets of 30-foot aluminum rim stock, racks of hoops, and oversized chipped-green painted factory workstations for drilling eyelet holes and welding and grinding rims. It is a reasonably quiet place for one that produces thousands of wheels and rims per month.
The main office space is grimy from years of occupation by staff that is hands-on in the somewhat dirty wheel-creation process. But, the diamond in the rough at Ambrosio, is the collection of jerseys, posters, photographs and other artifacts that line the walls and shelves all over the offices.
On the way to the conference room for a meeting, I walked past World Championship, Giro D'Italia, Italian National Champion and Tour de France jerseys from every era. There was an Alfredo Binda signed jersey from 1928. There was a Felice Giamondi pink jersey from the sixties. There were photographs of Eddy Merckx in his heyday. There were posters from Six Day track races. There were unintelligible 'Thank You' notes scrawled over black-and-white photographs of riders whose identity I could not name.
In the main conference room itself, a shelf was lined with trophies and other honors ranging from a technical award issued by the organizers of Paris-Roubaix for the Riene du Nord wheelset to Francesco Moreno's UCI World Championship gold medal! And to cap off the visit, I was shown to a back room where, stored behind unused rim racks and covered in broadcloth, was a collection of early-century workman's bikes; blue-collar custom-made bicycles built to help a tradesman with his profession (milk delivery, propane delivery, chestnut roaster; even fireman).
I was witness to an amazing trove of cycling history. And each of these artifacts was a testament to the company's products, a captured memory of a moment in time when cycling and the company intersected, where their wheels became part of the greater story of cycling itself.
Knowing the product and the company's background was reason enough for me to want to help them get their wheels and rims into the hands of cyclists in the United States. But being able to walk the factory and absorb this history, to steep in the incredible, rich heritage of the products I'll be bringing to U.S. retailers, solidified my commitment to work with them.
The Race Across America is one of the toughest cycling events in the world. Starting this year in Oceanside, California and finishing in Annapolis, Maryland, this continuous traverse of the United States is a challenge taken on by a mix of athletes - from the hardest solo riders who run the race on little sleep to corporate teams of eight riders who shuttle across in ever-changing shifts of riders. It's an incredible physical challenge but also a challenge of logistics and equipment. For me, RAAM presented an opportunity to get real-world feedback on the clothing Santini makes for teams. Specifically, for women's teams.
I was introduced to Team Love, Sweat & Gears in 2012 by our sales rep in Colorado, Robert Brown. He shared the story of a group of women who were attempting to beat the RAAM women's team record. They had taken on the challenge partly to prove something to themselves and partly to raise money and awareness for Bikes for Kids, a non profit committed to reducing obesity in the state of Colorado by inspiring active living and healthy eating across the lifespan. The fact that these women ranged in age from 56 to 43 made their story even more compelling.
As a clothing supplier, we sponsor some of the most high-profile athletes in the world. Their feedback allows us to constantly refine our clothing to make sure we're putting out product that lives up to the reputation Mr. Santini and his company have built over the last 50 years. As a reasonably new edition to the Santini company family, I have been looking for not only sponsorship opportunities but for the chance to get feedback from American riders that I can use to select the catalog items for US retailers and provide guidance to Santini on the difference in taste and preference (if any) of American cyclists. We've long supplied American regional cycling team Texas Roadhouse with clothing but I knew supporting a group of women on a major endurance effort would tell us everything we needed to know about how Santini clothing holds up for this ever-more-important cycling demographic.
The Love, Sweat & Gears team for 2013 RAAM is Julie Lyons, Ann Lantz, Lisa Renee Tumminello, and Heather Gollnick. Lyons and Lantz did RAAM last year with two different teammates from their 2013 team. All four women are coaches and have triathlon backgrounds (Lantz with an age-group World Championships to her name and Gollnick with five Ironman wins to hers). Tumminello also raced in the US pro-women;s cycling peloton for Colorado-based Primal Cycling Team. They are the only four-person women's team competing in RAAM 2013 and four of only 22 women in the entire event.
We supplied the team with kits for 2013 that are straight from our custom clothing catalog made to their own, unique graphic design. The full-zipper jerseys are cut using our women-specific template; tapered at the waist and using a summer-weight front and back and a soft Veloce Lycra sleeve and shoulders for an aerodynamic race fit. The shorts (yes, the team chose shorts over bib shorts) are cut to our women's pattern; shorter legs than our bib short, a soft waistband, internal silicone gripper. At the heart of the short is our exclusive Gel Intech Lady padding. Made up of a thin layer of silicone covered with foam and antibacterial fabrics, the padding is sewn from the underside (so no stitching comes in contact with the skin). Initial feedback from the riders (who claim to have experience with hundreds of different kits) is incredibly positive. But we'l let them finish the race and get specific comments to pass along after.
RAAM 2013 is underway. We saw Julie, Ann, Lisa and Heather off in San Diego last Saturday (see pictures below). At the time of the writing on this blog, they were working their way across Kansas. We wish them the best of luck in reaching their goal of under six days and eleven hours.
The US-based Granfondo Giro D'Italia series is an homage to cycling, from the owners of the Giro D'Italia to give American cyclists a taste of all things Italian. Besides ride events of 30, 70 and 90 miles, the 2013 Pasadena Granfondo Giro D'Italia played host to a expo of Italian-made cycling products, food, and souvenirs on the steps of Pasadena City Hall.