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Bracciano C50T Carbon Tubular Tested and Ready to Go!

Probably the most exciting new wheelset we revealed at the latest Taipei Cycle Show was the stunningly light Bracciano C50T. Our factory team worked into the wee hours to get the first pre-production sample ready just in the nick of time and everyone was surprised when it actually came in at 40g LESS than our anticipated weight - a scant 1180 grams.

Among the surprised viewers were a couple of hardcore riders from the Benelux area, who actually packed 3 digital scales between them. Initially skeptical about the weight of the wheel, they checked first the front, then the rear and were stunned when their scales actually measured the wheelset at around 1150 grams - 30 grams lighter than what we found on our calibrated digital scale at the office.

Happy that our weight was accurate, they immediately voiced the next logical doubt - performance. How stiff is it? Can it handle a real racing situation? With a real rider... not a race jockey...?

So our first loan of the wheelset was to a local rider and University professor, Nathan Miller. As can be seen in the pictures of our clothing, over 6 feet tall and at 85kg, and a sprint-heavy type rider, he's very well equipped to put the wheel through its paces to check out real world performance.

His comments:

The rides:
The first ride was only 40km hilly afternoon ride. I climbed around 1000
meters and did a bit of TT at 40km/hr for a couple kilometers on rough road
conditions. The wheels were extremely responsive. I only used 140psi.

The second ride – a Saturday morning with a couple guys I often ride with –
86km, more hills, 1500 meters of climbing. Awesome descent down Yangjin Rd
in Taipei – I hit 72km/hr – I am not the best downhill rider, however I felt really confident with these wheels and was impressed with the brake pads. In dry conditions they grab and stop the bike quickly. However in wet conditions they took a bit longer to stop the bike – this is the case with any carbon wheel/brake pad combo, from my experience. Used around 160psi and felt like I was riding on rails. I am around 85kg. I don’t have a power meter. If anything I am more of a sprinter than a climber.

The third, fourth and fifth rides – I covered around 150km and climbed over
2500 meters.  The bike had sat in my apartment for 4 days. The back tire had
lost 70% of its pressure – I know this is common with tubular tires, however the front was still holding around 130psi. The rides were great – I did get caught in the rain – so if you wanted someone to test the brake pads in wet conditions – you got it! They worked fine – took a bit of getting used to however felt confident even a fast speeds.

The Verdict:
One awesome set of wheels. I would be interested in purchasing them. I don’t
have any negative feedback.
 -Nathan Miller (06-28-2011)
  Our second loan of the wheels was to Sheng-Jie, Fu, a local bodybuilder who speaks no English. He received the wheels just in time to set them up for a race and took first place!

And this was no short distance sprint. It was a 24 hour race around the island of Taiwan. Sheng-Jie covered 578.2km, setting a record for the race in Taiwan as well as for 24 hour races as a standard.

See some highlights from the race here.

Pro Interviews - Paul Cheetham

We have seen Paul Cheetham around on facebook for some time, with some pretty cool photos and we know that he is an avid track cyclist, who just never seems to get tired of being in the saddle and on the track. It's a great attitude that we all aspire to and we thought we'd share a bit of info about this rider who knows a thing or two about putting the power down.

Paul: My day job is for Manchester City Football Club and I ride mostly track at Masters level nationally and internationally. I ride on the road in the summer doing regional circuit and road races and the odd time trial.

I just
enjoy riding my bike, i don't see training as a chore or task to be completed, i ride and race because to be honest, i love it ! it's great that my kids ride (luke rides a pro-lite road bike too) and hopefully they'll get the enjoyment out of cycling throughout the rest of their lives whether they choose to take competing seriously or not.


PL: What type of racing do you do?


Paul: Track, Road and the odd TT. I raced in the mid-eighties as a junior with a good degree of success and returned to serious racing a couple of years ago although i've always ridden bikes for fun. 

What got you interested in racing?

"If it's got two wheels, I'll ride it!"
 - Paul Cheetham


Paul: I raced BMX as a kid then got a road bike and joined Manchester Wheelers as a schoolboy and progressed from there with coaching from Harrold Nelson BEM. If it's got two wheels, I'll ride it! On the track I ride a Moda Arcon from Eurobike.uk.com with Pro-Lite Padova Disc and Pro-Lite Rome 5 spoke front wheel and a BMC ProMachine on the road, again with Pro-Lite wheels. My TT bike is a Giant with Pro-Lite TT bars.

The beauty of the Pro-Lite Padova disc is that it comes with a hub conversion kit which means I can use both that and the Rome 5 spoke on my TT bike on the road too. They are a truely exceptional pair of wheels which meet my needs perfectly.
Pro-Lite products offer great, top end quality and look the part too !

Anyone who has seen your fb page has seen the great shots of you riding with your team.

Paul: the team is relatively new and was set up by howard pedder who has been around the racing scene in the north west for ever ! we have a squad of twelve riders covering everything from road, track, time trials, xc mtb and downhill. the team was set up via tameside cyclesports and has had a fair chunk of success this year. jody warrington has had a win and a few top five placings, sam pedder has and a number of top five placings, i
have had wins on the road and track plus a number of top five five placings.


PL: Where can we read more about you and your team? 

Paul: www.base2racecycles.co.uk is registered with British Cycling as a trade team and you can find out more about the team and riders on facebook and we have a feeder team Tameside Cyclesports.

we work as a team, supporting the rider with specific objectives in any given race or sometimes the rider who is strongest on the day. it really is all about the team and we have a good support network via the team's website and facebook to share results and encourage each other. Paul's pics were taken by Lee Watson.

Brake Pad Compatibility

So we get asked this one a lot.

Can I use <BrandX> brake pads on PL wheels? or Can I use PL brake pads on <BrandX> wheels?

Braking performance affects two elements equally. One is the brake pad. One is the braking surface.


During braking, the kinetic energy of your momentum is changed by means of friction into heat energy.


On an aluminum rim, much of this heat is conducted away through the natural properties of the metal.

On a carbon rim, there is no conductivity. The heat will just sit there on the braking surface.


Under heavy braking, the heat will build up very high. This can damage the rim materials. Additionally, it can melt the brake pad. If the pad actually melts, it can coat the braking surface and cause surface damage. Although the cause of damage is different, both can make the rim unsuitable for use and both can void warranties.


There are only two ways to deal with this: 1 - conduct heat away or 2 - use materials with higher heat tolerances.


Since metal bonds very poorly to epoxy polymers, adding a metal surface in most cases will add too much weight to the rim to be practical. Further, just adding a tiny strip of metal won't really help because the heat has nowhere to go. The heat will still build up very quickly unless you add a heatsink and/or cooling fins. This just adds more weight and lowers aerodynamic performance.


Hence the alternative is to use different materials. Not all of them work in the same way.


On PL wheels, the braking surface is made of a layer of basalt fiber.



This gives a heat buffer that protects the epoxy polymer of the rim from damage.


That just leaves the brake pad.


If the brake pad melting temperature is too low, it will melt.

If the brake pad melting temperature is not too low, there are other ways that it can cause damage. One way is to be too hard. This will cause physical damage to the braking surface. Alternately, the brake pad can be made softer. This will increase the 'grabbiness' of the brake pad. However, this will increase friction and therefore will increase temperature buildup.


Hence, the characteristics of a brake pad lie in a very fine balance.


What works on one rim may not work on another.


We cannot say what works on a Mavic rim or a Campagnolo rim or whatever, since we don't make Mavic's rims or Campagnolo's either. We do make rims for some other companies, but we don't disclose which ones and even when we do, they are always made to their specifications, so compatibility is always their call.


If you have another brand's wheel and want to use our pad on that rim, you could ask them if our brake pads work on their rims (we have tested other brands pads on our own wheels, but the results are invariably worse, not better), but given the cost of a set of brake pads compared with a new set of rims, it is difficult to see any practical benefit to not just using their pads for their wheels.


It's not a case of 'better/worse', simply a case of balancing the characteristics of the pad to match the heat handling characteristics of the rim.

What about aluminum rims? Can I use <XX> pads on <XX> aluminum rims?
As observed above, aluminum rims are much more forgiving, so heat buildup is not generally an issue. You may use whichever brake pads you choose on pretty much any aluminum rims.

Having said that, the primary difference from pad to pad will be braking performance. Some brake pads do work better than others, so you may wish to experiment to find your favorites.

PL Blue brake pads have been tested for use with aluminum rims and offer good to very good performance. Easily better than average.

If you have no carbon braking surface equipped wheels, you can feel free to try the blue pads out on your standard aluminum rims and know that you won't suffer any performance penalty.

They were not designed for an aluminum braking surface, so you might find other high performance pads that you like better for this usage, but you won't be disappointed with the blue pads either.

Rovigo TX Now Available for purchase!

NOTE: This product is now available in the retail market! Google will get you there!

We are proud to announce that our tried and true Pro-Lite sunglasses have been updated with a brand new variant with photochromatic lenses that get darker in bright conditions. While sunglasses aren't our primary product, after selling 15,000 pairs of sunglasses, people are starting to talk.

"these lenses don't fog up, even in extreme conditions"

"they are so light, they stay put on your face, never slipping or bouncing around. They do not move"

Photochomatic lenses are a relatively new development in optic technology and we are proud to reveal that our own Pro-Lite Rovigo sunglasses will soon be available with this cutting edge tech. As with earlier models as well, the lenses are interchangeable and replaceable, saving you money in the event of a crash.

We put some thought into which colors would best suit a feature like this and in the end, we decided that they will be available in two colors - grey and brown.
Grey is well suited to daytime bright conditions, while brown is good on hazy days with a very comfortable hue.

The photochromatic response was specifically designed to change quite slowly, preventing any drastic changes that can cause eye strain and headaches following the advice of optical physicians.

As always, the sunglasses feature  the same great pro-lite styling, comfort and anti-fog design.

Made by riders for riders.

Pro-Lite CEO Steve Fenton Honored by BRAINy Award

As one of the founders of the increasingly crucial Taichung Bike Week industry event, Steve Fenton picked up a special accolade from Bicycle Retailer, a prestigious BRAINy Award as International Executive of the Year for his work as an organizer of Taichung Bike Week. Although unable to attend, Steve was stunned and deeply moved by the honour, thanking everyone who has had a role in making Taichung Bike Week the success that it is today, and shared his hopes that the event will continue to grow.

"Every year we strive to make improvements to TBW and again this is due to the clear vision of everyone who is involved with TBW. By keeping it simple we are able to look and listen to what the industry needs and hopefully we will continue to make this a great way of doing business for many years to come." 
                                                     -   Steve Fenton


For quite a few years now, Steve has been supporting Taiwan as the most important center for serious bicycle manufacturing in the world. With the ability to manufacture top quality parts with diverse material choices and the centralized experience and knowledge base, this is simply the best place to be right now. And the importance of that is that building on the momentum from current successes, we have an unbeatable opportunity to do business like at no other time in the history of the bicycle.

Gathering our strengths to a single time and place is what Taichung Bike Week is all about and has become in the minds of the many CEO's and managers that have come to view it as an indispensible part of the industry calendar.

Sincere thanks to Bicycle Retailer for this award and for the support they have given for the event.

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