June 17.12 – Sams Rapha Continental Road Machine

I recieved a rather official looking letter one day late last year – we all know that feeling when you receive something out of the ordinary through the post. It was an invite to partner with Rapha on their Continental project here in the UK and I was very honoured to have been considered. See the below post and also theĀ Donhou Continental section on the Rapha site for more info on the project, including more pics of the bike and an audio interview and slide show.

I was soon partnered with rider Sam Humpheson from Look Mum No Hands to build the bike for him and we met up over breakfast one morning in his cafe to discuss the project. Sam already knew his geometry and said despite the nature of the Continental rides he wanted a stiff frame, so the natural choice was oversized 853 Pro-Team. Next we started discussing other design considerations; mudguards, tyre clearances and brakes, more importantly discs – It seems to be a hot topic at the moment. It was agreed that the sacrifice of weight was worth the comfortable braking power provided by discs on the longer, harder, all weather rides of the Continental. By running discs it also frees up more room for mudguards and larger tyres such as the 28′s that the bike runs, so you’re not having to squeeze ‘guards under callipers.

Running a build package supplied by Rapha’s project partners, a Sram Red group set, 3T finishing kit. With Hayes CX5 mechanical disc brakes and the Wound Up fork.

Sam’s a super quick crit racer, he likes a bike thats fast and handles. He loves this bike. It just ate up some of the rougher tracks we rode on up in Scotland for the Continental ride and he especially likes going downhill on it, saying when we got to the bottom of a fast, steep road with a big grin on his face – “this thing f**king descends!”

Thanks to Kayti Peschke for the pics and check out the higher res ones in the gallery.