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Crisp Titanium https://crisptitanium.com/blog Fri, 25 Jan 2013 23:01:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 NEW WEBSITE IS UP…getting ready to unplug it here!! https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=2300 https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=2300#comments Fri, 25 Jan 2013 22:56:26 +0000 http://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=2300 Please visit CRISP TITANIUM .com

Thanks for following along and for your support.

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Rome wasn’t built in a day… https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=2198 https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=2198#comments Mon, 12 Nov 2012 08:44:58 +0000 http://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=2198 …and neither was Nicola’s bike.

After waiting patiently, Nicola picked up his new frameset at Eroica this year. I just received the DVD of photos that he sent after taking a few rides, talk about bike porn. Only in Rome can you find a backdrop like that. A bow of gratitude to the photographer Martina Comuzzi who took the time to immortalize this bike with her great work. Stunning!

As you can see, he didn’t spare any expense in building up the bike. Campy 11v drivetrain topped of with a Pegoretti Falz fork tied in with King NTS classic cups. A mix of time-tested bad-assedness with a modern twist. Nicola is a ti aficionado, having owned various ti bikes over his cycling career. It was another great collaboration, bringing together all the desires he had into one bike.

Congratulations Nicola on your new ride and thanks to you and Martina Comuzzi for the photos!!


photo courtesy of ©Martina Comuzzi


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Another Day for Remebering https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=2159 https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=2159#comments Thu, 08 Nov 2012 10:21:55 +0000 http://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=2159 Closing out the chapter of my Magni-bike, I had yet another extraordinary opportunity to crash a party, this time at Madonna del Ghisallo Bike Museum in Como. Auro Bulbarelli was presenting his now famous biography of Magni, with the official presentation on the 27th of October at the museum. Mr. Magni wanted the bike that I made for him to be on display in the museum which he directed, so I was obliged to see that it made it to the event as per his request.

No doubt it was a difficult day. The Magni family was there for the book presentation and all of Fiorenzo’s riding buddies, teammates, and friends came out to remember their mate who passed away just a few days prior. It was a beautifully dreary day, with rain and fog on the Ghisallo climb that would have made any Eroica rider pleased.

I was the first to arrive as I had to assemble the bike for the presentation. I was cordially let into Mr. Magni’s office where I was allowed to put the bike together for the last time. What a strange and wonderful feeling, getting to finally deliver the bike I had built so long ago, on such a remarkable occasion. I really felt his presence while tinkering with the hex keys, fumbling to get the bike together. As I was tightening it all up, I decided to hang my logo keychain, faithful companion since the inception of Crisp Titanium (designed by my good friend Jeroen van den Brand) up along the saddle rails. Just a small symbol of the fatigue and commitment that I’ve endured in my path which led me to build the bike for this historic man.

Before the book presentation, there was the scheduled presentation of the Giro D’Italia pink jersey collection. This was the presentation of the largest collection of “maglie rose” to date, all original. Pretty impressive to see the transformation of all those jerseys from old-school wool to the latest technical fibers. It must be added that Fiorenzo, the apt businessman that he was, was the inventor of the “sponsorship” logo on the jersey. He introduced the first cycling jersey with the Nivea-Fuchs logo way back at the end of the 1954 season. Yes, we’ve come a long way.

Again, I thank Marco Pastonesi (Gazzetta dello Sport), Auro Bulbarelli (RAI), Madonna del Ghisallo Museum, Ivo Faltoni and the Magni Family for letting me take part in this bittersweet event. I will carry some great memories and some new friends ahead along my path. Also be sure to check out the work of Angelo Giangregorio here, great work. He knows how to capture fatigue.



getting it together. that Ahearne flask cage has seen some places


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Fiorenzo Magni, The Lion of Flanders, Cycling legend dies at 91 https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=2068 https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=2068#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2012 10:21:10 +0000 http://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=2068 http://www.gazzetta.it/Ciclismo/19-10-2012/-morto-fiorenzo-magni-terzo-eroe-italiano-912949381070.shtml

So sad to hear this news. My friend of fellow cohort Ivo was here at the shop yesterday talking with Sig. Magni as we were discussing the delivery of his custom bike to the Museo di Ghisallo next week, a day that  was to be dedicated to presenting his biography: Magni, Il Terzo Uomo (Magni, the Third Man), authored by Auro Bulbarelli. Magni brought us the best of modern, post-war cycling and his spirited combat with Coppi and Bartali will be remembered forever as well as his decisive grit and determination taking him to mulitple GC victories in the Giro d’Italia and Tours of Flanders. We will miss you Fiorenzo!

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Premio Torriani..talk about Eroica in one room! https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=2012 https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=2012#comments Tue, 16 Oct 2012 09:08:34 +0000 http://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=2012 Hey Folks,

Last month, on the 7th of September, I was about as honored as a framebuilder-guy could get. I received a visit from my friend and old-school mechanic (for Gino Bartali) Ivo Faltoni months ago. He was passing by to give me a shout and bring me some flyers for his annual Ciclo Pellegrinaggio, Pedalata per La Pace solidarity ride he organizes to commemorate Gino Bartali and his service to the Jews during the Second World War. We were chatting about bikes and bike history (he has enough stories to fill an encyclopedia) and at some point he asked me about a bike he’d seen on my website some time ago.

It turns out that I had built a bike dedicated to Fiorenzo Magni, epic Italian racer who inspired me to build this machine, complete with manual front derailleur, beech wood rims, and some other ecclectic parts like a discontinued Sella Italia Storika riveted saddle and some old Campy and Cinelli parts. No doubt, for those of you who follow The Classic road races each season, you’ll know of Magni’s struggles and suffering as he won multiple Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tours of Flanders) as well as Giri d’Italia. He is know as the Lion of Flanders in cycling circles.

Fiorenzo Magni – Giro D’Italia 1956, Stage 13 ITT,
from Labicicleteria (Flickr) http://www.flickr.com/photos/guacucol/5166691746/in/photostream/

In the photo above,  Fiorenzo Magni relieves stress from his broken clavicle while executing the 13th stage of the ’56 Giro. He’s biting an inner tube to counteract the pedaling forces that would otherwise be (more) painful if using his hand/arm. Magni suffered injuries in the previous stage (12) from Grossetto-Livorno. The idea of using the tube came from Faliero Masi, Magni’s mechanic at the time.

Well, it took Ivo about 5 seconds after seeing the bike to call his good friend and colleague Fiorenzo and start organizing a presentation to hand-deliver the bike that had been relegated to my closet for the past 4 years (I originally showed the bike at the EICMA bike show in Milan years ago).

Weeks later I get a call from Marco Torriani, one of the three sons of Vincenzo Torriani, epic organizer of the Giro d’Italia from 1946 til 1989. I got tapped to personally present the bike to Magni, who was being awarded the Torriani Prize along with Ugo DeRosa, Michil Costa and Bernard Hinault. Talk about a modest group of cyclists! I couldn’t refuse the offer to deliver the frame in Viareggio at their yearly ceremony.

I was asked to bring along any American friends to celebrate the event and while it didn’t really take me that long to realize that I don’t have many friends, especially American friends, I figured I’d go for broke. I emailed Andy Hampsten, hero in his own right and winner of the ’88 Giro d’Italia as well as Tours of Romandie and Switzerland. These days Andy is busy running his successful company Cinghiale Cycling Tours, albeit at a different speed  as days past. He gratefully answered my request and brought along his friend a pro photographer Arnaud Bachelard from France

So I scrambled to get the bike ready, hopped in the g-ride (g stands for geriatric) with my friend Marino Moretti and we took off for Viareggio. Here are some photos that Arnaud took, together with some phone-shots by Marino.

L-R: Bernard Hinault (checking tire pressure), self, Auro Bulbarelli (Director of Rai Sport and host for the event), Andy Hapmsten, Ivo Faltoni and Fiorenzo Magni.

Listening to my amusing story of why the hell an American guy would take the time to build a bike for the Lion of Flanders..

The Lion, not sure about the tire pressure..or that shifter-thingy..as Ivo charms the crowd.

I remember his words were…”it is indeed a very strange bike..” I guess that means he loves it and is just at a loss for words.

Close up of Fiorenzo Magni, cycling hero and legend.

Magni probably asking me why I don’t eat more…or where my jacket and tie went.

L-R back row: Crisp, Hampsten, Faltoni, Torriani, Moretti – L-R front row: Costa, Hinault, Magni

I would suspect with some certainty that I’m the least famous guy in this shot.

Davide Cassani, nicest guy award winner as well as the most informed cycling commentator of all time. Amazingly well-informed with a 500TB brain. This man, multiple Giro stage winner as well as accomplished stage racer, kindly posed with his two biggest fans at the buffet that followed (I’ve got the death-grip on his jacket and wouldn’t let him eat until we got a shot in). He also took the “Cuore d’Argento” Memorial Aldo De Martinoi prize home, too. I can say without a doubt that cycling on Italian tv would be much less interesting and exciting without the presence of Davide. He’s the presenter for all the national and international cycling events on Italian tv. He IS cycling.

So what is Sig. Magni going to do with the bike now? Well, I’m getting it back to racing condition, going to box it up, then head up to the MUSEO DEL CICLISMO DELLA MADONNA DEL GHISALLO (Madonna del Ghisallo Bicycle Museum) where the bike will find its final resting place, fittingly in the museum where Sig. Magni is the head curator.

A big shout out to Andy Hampsten for coming along and hanging out with us and to Arnaud Bachelard for the great photos. Thanks for taking the time to spend an evening with us and for the memorable event.

Thanks for checking in..


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ExpoBici Padova 2012, archived! https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=1973 https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=1973#comments Wed, 10 Oct 2012 17:43:15 +0000 http://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=1973 Ciao Friends,

Un breve entry per salutarVi e per ringraziare chi e’ venuto/a a trovarmi a Expobici Padova quest’anno. Come sempre, mi fa un enorme piacere a vedere amici e tanti Crisp ciclisti di anni passati e del futuro. Come potete immaginare, e’ una fatica bestia (non solo per me ma anche un impegno per la famiglia che mi sostiene e mi supporta nei miei casini) ma una volta avviata, e’ sempre un divertimento a ritrovarci non solo durante la manifestazione ma anche a cena (dove posso mangiare insieme con gli amici Legend e Rewel su un piatto di carne fatto bene e ritrovare i mitici Ausilia e Sebastiano per condividere un bicchier di vin?).

Purtroppo quest’anno ho potuto fare pochissime foto in fiera. Ma qualche scatto sono riuscito a fare le butto qui per farvi vedere qualche lato piu’ intimo della preparazione..

Prototipaggio di un lampada “fatto su misura” con la calandra e portalampadine artigianale…

Qui e’ tutto montato su un misuratore per i ciclisti (ovviamente) e la prova e’ per vedere se l’idea puo partire o se devo cambiare idea completamente. Ancora qui non sono convinto..

Come puoi vedere, ho fatto una prova con non meno di 12 tipi di lampadine..alla fine ho scelto un misto tra halogen caldo/freddo, spot, e incadescent. Niente LED quest’anno, ma ho un paio di idee per l’anno px.

Qui ho deciso di andare avanti..calandratura effettuata, scritta provissoria, facciamo arruggenire il tutto!

Mettendo le cerniere in accaio per far regolare l’arco (tubo 15 x30 calandrato) in modo che le lampade si posano all’altezza giusta. come puoi vedere, siamo fuori gia’ fuori l’orario d’ufficio. Qui stiamo lavorando mediamente 17ore/gg per quasi due settimane per mantenere regime costruzione telai, fiera, contabilita’ etc. etc..che passione!

Ecco una foto scattata in fretta, la gente sta arrivando..ancora la lampade non sono arrugginite al livello giusto..ma l’acido sta lavorando..tra qualche ora saranno perfette.

L’insieme..non si vede, ma queste lampade sono appese da un cavo di freno di bici. Sono rimasto contento che non ho fatto danni e che la gente apprezzavo il tempo dedicato a loro realizzazione (sono riuscito anche a vendere una coppia dopo la manifestazione!!).

Grazie ancora per le visite in fiera e per la participazione!  A presto!!!



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Cycle! https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=1953 https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=1953#comments Wed, 10 Oct 2012 16:51:04 +0000 http://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=1953 Dove inziare? Sono passati settimane (mesi) dall’ultimo entry nel blog. Un sacco di cose belle e divertente da raccontare, ma poco tempo per approfondimenti. Vado al sodo, altrimenti i telai accumulano delle ragnatelle intorno..

Ragazzi, sono rimasto stupito dal lavoro che ha messo sul mercato Edicicloeditore. Girando per il padiglion di ExpoBici di Padova, ho trovato il mio carissimo amico Guido Rubino, fama gia’ concretezzata con CYCLEINSIDE.COM, GUIDORUBINO.COM e altri libri come Biciclette Italiane, La Bici da Corsa, La Mountain Bike (Hoepli) e Vittorio Anastasia (amministratore di Ediciclo.it) hanno realizzato un giornale (per modo di dire..e veramente un libro!) come nient’altro che abbiamo nel nostro Bel Paese. Si tratta di CYCLE!

In quanto ho capito, e’ nato l’idea basato sulla ricerca di un approfondimento di ciclismo, ma non sono articolo come si trovano nelle reviste del settore. Qui trovi approfondimenti di argomenti diversi del usuale reportage di gara e novita’ del settore. Nella prima edizione (che puoi avere a casa tua con poche semplice click seguendo questo link) ci sono delle foto di qualita’ archivio ed ricerca e servizi molto interessante che non troverai da nessun altra parte. Dietro le quinte a Fizik?? (come fanno a mano quelle selle!!), gara clandestine e notturne nel centro di Milano, Il Giro del Rwanda solo per dire pochi. Oh, e’ c’e anche un certo framebuilder nel mix di questo primo issue. Ma non cercarlo dal giornalio in paese. Questi sono giornali da mettere sul tavolino in salotto, roba che non va buttato via con la raccolta differenziata a fine settimana. vedrai che e’ un prodotto veramente bello che mancava L’Italia da tempo.

Comunque, grazie a Ediciclo e tutti i loro collaboratori per l’impengo nel lanciare un periodical di questo livello. Buon proseguimento ragazzi!



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Lennard Zinn talks about road disc brakes… https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=1939 https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=1939#respond Thu, 23 Aug 2012 10:18:48 +0000 http://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=1939 I receive many questions about road disc brakes and the pros and cons of such. This FAQ to Lennard Zinn of Velonews caught my eye and discusses some of the specific problems associated with discs on a road bike setup. As always, Lennard is thorough in his research and offers some insight into this subject. you can find the original article via the Velonews website here: 

  • By Lennard Zinn
  • Published 2 days ago via Velonews.com
Photo: Colnago

 Editor’s Note: Lennard Zinn’s regular column is devoted to addressing readers’ technical questions about bikes, their care and how we as riders can use them as comfortably and efficiently as possible. Readers can send brief technical questions directly to Zinn.

Dear Lennard,
Do you have tips for setting up disc brakes on road bikes? I’m using Avid BB-7 road calipers with XX 160F, 140R rotors with stock pads and standard cables/housing with Ultegra Di2 brake levers. They seem to be short on stopping power; the MTB versions I’ve tried have been much stronger. I’m planning to replace the housing with something compressionless. I’m wondering if the longer cable pull of the new Shimano levers doesn’t match the calipers well — maybe the standard BB-7 calipers would be better? I could also try different pads or a larger rear rotor. I’ve heard from others the burn-in period was really long on their road bikes, so maybe they will continue to improve.
— John

Dear John,
You’ve knocked the lid off the reasons that cable-actuated disc brakes generally don’t stop as well as hydraulic ones — the cable and what pulls on it. You’ve also glimpsed why the braking performance we’re used to on road bikes with high-performance rim brakes will be hard to come by using discs without adding considerable weight and aerodynamic drag.

First, liquids are essentially incompressible, so a hydraulic brake will push essentially equally hard, no matter how long the hose is. This is not true with cables. Also, there is very little friction in liquid moving in a hose compared to a cable sliding in a metal tube, so your cables and housings must be low-friction and your cable routing needs smooth bends to minimize friction.

Unlike shift-cable housing, which is coaxial (its steel strands are longitudinal), brake-cable housing is spiral-wound to preclude its own compression. All cable housing, shift and brake, was spiral-wound before the days of indexed shifting — which, as you are aware, can compress. Compressionless coaxial cable housing was perhaps the essential innovation Shimano came up with when it introduced the world’s first truly functional indexed shifting system. Without it, shifting was vague and unpredictable; with it, shifting could be adjusted to hit each cog precisely every time.

But why didn’t brake cable housings become coaxial, too? To ensure the rider’s safety, that’s why. Coaxial shift-cable housing can split under high cable-pull pressure. It doesn’t happen often, because there is not as much leverage with shift levers as with brake levers. Nor is there reason to pull them as hard. And if the housing were to split, the worst that would happen is that the shifting wouldn’t work.

But brake cables get pulled much harder than shift cables (that’s why they’re thicker). And if the housing were to split, the brakes wouldn’t work. So brake housings are spiral-wound and do compress, which takes away from braking performance.

And the longer the cable run, the greater the issue, since the compression of the housing is additive over its length. Also, the cables themselves stretch, and that, too, is more of an issue the longer the cable run.

I believe you can find brake-cable housing that combines coaxial strands to prevent compression of its length with spiral winding to prevent bursting.

But back to your question: You clearly understand that brake levers that pull more cable have less leverage than ones that pull less cable. In order to pull more cable for the same amount of lever movement, it should be obvious that the cable hook (where the head of the cable attaches to the lever) must be further from the lever pivot. I’m sure you’ve played on enough teeter-totters to know how this lower-cable-pull brake lever would improve your situation, proved you don’t have so much housing compression and cable stretch that the lever comes back to the handlebar before the brake is applied as hard as you need it.

The second issue also involves mechanical advantage, and has to do with the diameter of the braking surface and the design of the caliper. Obviously, it takes a lot less force to stop a bike wheel by pinching brake pads down on a brake rotor attached to its hub that is 630mm in diameter than it does if they pinch down on a 140mm-diameter one. Well, guess what? The outer diameter of the braking surface on a 700C wheel is about 630mm. So the answer to part of your question is, yes, if you get a bigger rotor, your braking power will increase.

Caliper design is also an issue. The pivoting arms of rim brakes both pull against the rim, and longer brake arms and improved pivot orientation increase leverage and hence braking power. There is very little friction in the caliper — just a small amount at each pivot.

A cable-actuated disc-brake caliper, however, generally has a spiral track on an internal inclined plane upon which a number of ball bearings ride (hence the “BB” in the Avid brake’s name, I imagine). Pulling (rotating) the brake arm drives the balls around the track and up the incline, which cannot move outward, thus forcing the pad inward. Only the outboard pad moves; the inner pad is fixed in position and serves as a stationary anvil to the extent that the caliper and its mount are stiff enough to hold it stationary.

Obviously, there is more friction inside this caliper than there is in a simple pivoting rim-brake caliper. And a focus on reducing metal thickness to reduce weight can result in a brake arm that flexes and twists as well as a caliper that flexes open under load, thus reducing the force pushing inward on the pads.

Road disc brakes will have to be nearly as light and aerodynamic as rim brakes to compete against them in the marketplace. The rotor sticking out there is always going to add weight and air drag, so it has to be small. The caliper will have to be light, and so will the mounts and the fork and rear-stay tubes to which they are attached, even though those will be taking much more load at their extremities. And the wheels will need more and longer spokes crossing each other at angles to counteract the twist on the hub from the rotor attached to it.

All of this adds weight and aerodynamic drag, so the impetus for manufacturers to reduce the size and lighten their materials will of course be strong.

And it’s not just cable-actuated disc brakes that have huge hurdles to overcome. Many of these issues apply equally to hydraulic discs, even if component manufacturers start putting hydraulic cylinders in their brake levers, thus eliminating the complexity and weight of satellite master cylinders.

The distance from the lever to the caliper will become a non-issue, since hydraulic fluid will not compress like brake-cable housing or suffer cable stretch. However, in the interest of reducing weight and air drag, the calipers, pads, master cylinders and rotors will be small, and the rotors may even be made of a less dense material than steel to further drop weight.

Have you begun to see the problem? It’s heat dissipation. The less the mass in the system, the less the system can get rid of heat. And if the fluid boils, the brakes don’t work, because what was liquid is now gas, and gases, unlike liquids, do compress.

I know I’m throwing ice water on the enthusiasm I see among cyclists licking their chops at the advent of road disc brakes, but I’m not sure that enthusiasm isn’t clouding some important issues.

Obviously, disc brakes are a huge advantage on a mountain bike, where weight and aerodynamic drag are smaller issues and mud, debris and water on the rims are bigger issues than on road bikes. The same can pretty much be said for cyclocross (with perhaps the exception of the weight issue). And I further contend that the braking power on a road bike has to be higher than on either of those bikes, because road speeds are higher and must be reduced substantially for a switchback, an obstacle or a crash.

So brake heating, I think, is more of an issue on road bikes, not less. And this indicates that calipers, master cylinders, rotors and fluid volume all ought to be greater to counteract the problem, rather than whittled away to cut weight and drag.

Thus, John, to get better performance from your disc brakes, get thicker cables and housings that won’t compress as much (or a hydraulic system), plus bigger rotors, bigger pads and stiffer calipers. You’ll have to suck up extra weight and aerodynamic drag as the costs of good braking.
? Lennard

FILED UNDER: Bikes and Tech / Technical FAQTAGS: 

Lennard Zinn

Lennard Zinn

Lennard Zinn, our longtime technical writer, joined VeloNews in 1987. He is also a frame builder, former U.S. national team rider, and author of many bicycle books including Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike MaintenanceZinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance and Zinn’s Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists. He holds a bachelor’s in physics from Colorado College. Readers can send brief technical questions to Ask LZ.

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Arriva la bufera di (Bianca) neve~~ https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=1929 https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=1929#respond Tue, 31 Jul 2012 09:02:45 +0000 http://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=1929 Just when you think she can’t take it to the next level!!

Un amico mi ha inviato una copia (giugno 2012) di MTB World, segnalandomi l’articolo basato sulle avventure della nostra carissima amica Ausilia Vistarini. Un bellissimo racconto delle sue esperienza all’Iditabike 2012. Clicca QUI per leggere l’articolo e troverai che mondo di fatica e di forza che ha incontrato Ausilia nella gara di quest’anno. Tiene conto che anche nel 2013 potete seguire Ausilia nella gara di 1000 miglie! Forza Ausilia, nessuno ti puo fermare!!



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Sebastian’s custom MTB built (fork pending) https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=1915 https://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=1915#respond Mon, 30 Jul 2012 15:03:11 +0000 http://crisptitanium.com/blog/?p=1915 A quick shout out to Sebsatian from Germany for sending me his build on his new custom Crisp Ti MTB 29’er. Sebastian is concentrating on long endurance mtb races, TransAlps, and the likes. I wish him the best of luck and adventure on his new ride. Thanks for the photos, Sebastian, and keep us up to date on your rides!!! Welcome to the Crisp Titanium family!


Un breve saluto a Sebastian dalla Germania e un caloroso ringraziamento per la foto con montaggio “provvisorio” della sua Crisp Ti MTB 29’er. Sebastian si concentra su percorsi piuttosti lunghi, gare di endurance, TransAlps etc. Gli faccio grandi auguri e tanta avventura sul nuovo mezzo. Grazie mille Sebastian per tenerci aggiornati delle tue esperienze in sella e benvenuto alla famiglia Crisp Titanium!



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