51 is the magic num­ber

IR­ISH BRAND FIFTY ONE FLEW OVER TO BRIS­TOL FOR THE BESPOKED BIKE SHOW. IT WAS WORTH THE AIR FARE…

Urban Cyclist - - Agenda - www.fifty­onebikes.co.uk

F rame­builder­s­the Be­spoked­world at­tended hand­made­from April’sall bike around show at­ten­tion but as few Ir­ish at­tracted brand as FiftyOne­much and their rather beau­ti­ful ’87. “It’s based on the iconic Stephen Roche Battaglin steel frame that he rode to Giro, Tour de France and world cham­pi­onship vic­to­ries back in 1987,” founder Ai­dan Duff tells us. “We wanted to cel­e­brate such a great achieve­ment but with a mod­ern twist.” That ‘mod­ern twist’ comes in the form of that geo­met­ric paint job, which matches the colours of Roche’s orig­i­nal pan­tone. And whereas Roche made history on Colum­bus SLX tub­ing, Duff em­ployed car­bon through­out. “The re­sult is a bike that’s prob­a­bly half the weight of Roche’s orig­i­nal ef­fort,” adds Duff. Enve bars and Cam­pag­nolo groupset and wheels com­plete one of FiftyOne’s most iconic builds, which Duff sug­gests eclipses the state of the re­centlysouth orig­i­nal.of when France.“I sawI wasIt was Roche’sdown lookingin 1987the pret­ty­bike sad and tired, al­though I think he was threat­en­ing to have it re­fur­bished.” Duff’s no stranger to France as back in 1995, as an as­pir­ing pro cy­clist, Duff moved there with­out a penny to his name and know­ing lit­tle of the lan­guage. “I mainly raced around the west coast of France for the Vendée U squad, which is now the feeder team for Di­rect Energie.” Duff’s pal­mares is im­pres­sive, the Ir­ish­man win­ning stages of the Tour de Bre­tagne and Australia’s Herald Sun Tour. And it was dur­ing this time he be­came a his­to­rian of the sport. Hence, the name. “51 is cycling’s luck­i­est su­per­sti­tion num­ber, which was born in 1969. That’s when Mer­ckx won his first Tour wear­ing the num­ber ‘51’. It had never fig­ured pre­vi­ously. But within nine years, Hin­ault,Ocana and Hin­ault all won the Tour – wear­ing 51.”

Above Enve car­bon bars and stem pro­vide lightweight sta­bil­ity up­front

Above Cycling his­to­ri­ans no­ticed im­me­di­ately where the in­spi­ra­tion came from

Left Cam­pag­nolo wheels and groupset com­plete the build

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