Parlee Z1 Bespoke Bike build sequence

by kgsbikes on August 26, 2016

in Photography

Parlee Z1 Bespoke Bike build sequence

At KGS Bikes we are very careful when building a bicycle. The owner of this bespoke Parlee Z1 wanted one of our commemorative coffee table book sets (11 x 14 plus 4 x 5) so we photographed the build sequence as well. Our building area is in the photo studio so this is really easy once everything is set up. We use a Canon 1DS Mark III camera so the shots turn out great. Our build shots are done with a white background and the finished bicycles are photographed with a black background.

There is a whole set on Flickr, but this shot is interesting because it shows our handlebar underwrap which I call the Bar Condom. It protects the carbon handlebars from sweat and tape residue and makes changing bar tape really easy. It also does a better job of holding the cables in place and is a guide for the bar tape termination so it is perfect each and every time.

As always, thank you so much for your comments on the bikes we create and our photography.

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Originally posted 2008-11-30 15:06:55. Republished by Blog Post Promoter



By Popular Demand, KGS Bikes photos for sale

by kgsbikes on August 25, 2016

in Photography

Raul Alcala at the Tour de Austin

Professional Cyclist Raul Alcala racing at the Tour de Austin criterium. Photo: Kevin G Saunders

KGS Bikes marketing strategy revolves around the resources we have that are unique, special and different and using them so folks will remember us. Kevin Saunders is a professional photographer in addition to other duties at KGS Bikes and a successful program has developed whereby we go to events like bike races and triathlons, photographing people in Kevin’s own style. Kevin says, “We are not out to document a finish line or compete with the pro photographers who are there simply to sell prints. Capturing the emotion of the person while competing at his or her limits is much more challenging. We like the idea of giving a proof to people who can share the moment with their friends on Facebook. We get some nice goodwill, our friends get great memories and stuff to brag about and slowly, people are thinking more about custom bicycles.”

While we don’t make a big deal about advertising our shots for sale, more and more people are requesting prints and high resolution files, so we created a photography services page on the KGS Bikes website with prices and descriptions. You can commission Kevin for your own photo shoot as well.

Originally posted 2010-09-14 09:46:54. Republished by Blog Post Promoter



Robbie Wade next to the KGS Setup Bike

After the BalancePoint™ session, Robbie stands next to the KGS Setup Bike. Photo: Kevin G Saunders

While KGS custom triathlon bicycles provide huge improvements in performance for triathletes, few triathletes come investigate. Most either follow what is on Slowtwitch or are so risk averse that it could take over a year before they would consider even having their positions checked, much less consider a change. When pro triathlete Robbie Wade had a problem that we could potentially help him with, we jumped at the chance.

Here is what I awoke to yesterday morning on Facebook:

Good morning to you. My name is Robbie Wade and I’m an Irishman that just moved to San Antonio via DC. I race Pro Triathlon and this weekend I’m racing at Cap Tex in Austin. Long story short my bike shipment back from Columbia Tri on Sunday got messed up and I need to somehow get a TT bike for Mon as it won’t be here until Tue. A long shot but is there any chance you have a demo/test bike available to borrow. I’m 5:9 and ride a 53 Dolan Aria and a 54 Trek road. It would be awesome if you could help me on anyway I would do anything to return the favor, promational stuff, tell the world about you company, clean your bikes, anything!

Thanks, for taking the time to read this crazy request.

Robbie Wade on KGS Bikes Setup Bike

Robbie in the 8 minute time trial. Bottom of pedal stroke. Photo: Kevin G Saunders

I contacted Robbie and even though we have a Parlee TT in the studio, it is my size and I am 5’10”. Robbie agreed to get on the setup bike and go through our BalancePoint™ positioning so we could see if I could make the bike fit.

The story is interesting. Robbie came to triathlon from running, so he just got on a bike  and rode it, like so many triathletes do. Since this is his first year as a pro, he doesn’t have the big sponsorships the major pros do, and races on the Snapple Triathlon Team.

When we went through the process of finding exactly where he balances on the bike, the results were amazing. All his muscle groups were now working together, not against each other. He could stay in the aero position comfortably and hold his head up so his aero helmet stays in the right place. He never felt anything like it.

Robbie Wade frontal view

Robbie is relaxed and focused, and most of all, comfortable while at race pace. Photo: Kevin G Saunders

We did an 8 minute time trial to see if Robbie could hold the position comfortably. The KGS Setup Bike has a Tacx Fortius trainer attached to it so we can measure power and show it graphically on the flat screen monitor. It can be programmed so we set it for 8 minutes with a 1% uphill grade.

The first minute into the effort, Robbie had some tension in his neck, so we raised the handlebars about 10 mm. Round 2 started and as you can see from the photo, his power remained steady at 391 watts. The cool thing was, he was carrying on a conversation with me at the time!

Now we found his position and copied down the data and as luck would have it, I could barely get the Parlee to work. It didn’t look very good, but at least Robbie has a bike to do the Cap Tex Triathlon on Memorial Day.

Power Readout of Robbie Wade's Time Trial

The Tacx Fortius Power Readout from Robbie's Time Trial. Photo: Kevin G Saunders

He is thrilled and I am confident that he will have an excellent race.

The next installment will be a race report.

Originally posted 2011-05-29 14:49:38. Republished by Blog Post Promoter



Dorsiflexion when pedaling. Not efficient. Photo: Kevin G Saunders

Dorsiflexion when pedaling. Not efficient. Photo: Kevin G Saunders

When I am helping people find their perfect position on the bicycle, saddle height is one of the many dimensions we discover in a BalancePoint™ session. While people consider the knee joint as the only significant articulation, the ankle is in fact an articulation as well. This makes a single joint movement a compound movement, so to speak. The goal is to stabilize the ankle and depending on saddle height, that is sometimes easy and sometimes not so easy.

While power is generated with your quads and glutes (assuming you are in a position to be able to engage your glutes), all the ankle does is transfer the force from the leg to the foot. Your calf muscles are supposed to resist the effort, but in many cases, your foot dorsiflexes which means the energy is going into the calf, not into the pedal.

Many folks say that the effort is easier when they drop their heel (dorsiflex) because it seems easier to extend their leg. With a stable ankle, the force is going to the pedal instead and you can feel it! This is one of the kinesthetic tricks that your body plays on you.

This is why we find the most efficient angle for your ankle before figuring out saddle height. It is different for everyone, but generally, it is toe down (plantarflexion) and close to the angle you would have when at the bottom of the pedal stroke when standing, or when climbing stairs after you have put all your weight on the leg that is on the step in front of you.

This is very hard to feel, but easy to see with training. That is why we use video to help ascertain the real biomechanical position rather than pull an approximation from an equation.

Do you pedal toe down or heel down? You might be surprised to see what happens when it is optimized.

Originally posted 2009-09-14 14:04:19. Republished by Blog Post Promoter



I don’t care about you. I care about you.

21 August 2016

The concept of Pereto’s Principle is, that 80% of the effects comes from 20% of the causes, and thus is the foundation for the 80/20 rule. The way things work at KGS Bikes is more like 99/1. For example, look at the folks that actually come in the door to our studio. Greater than 99% […]

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Regarding bicycles, men are from Mars, women are from Venus

20 August 2016

I had a lovely woman come into the studio yesterday and we discussed gears on bicycles and how they worked. Apparently she didn’t know how to use them and nobody helped her learn. This post is to all the women in the world who get frustrated with bicycles and elitist riders who make them feel […]

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Spring Special – KGS Bikes

19 August 2016

The bicycle industry is very cyclical, and the busy season starts the end of January. What this means for custom bikes is lead times increase, so everything takes longer and shortages are common. This year is predicted to be particularly bad because the economy is improving here, plus a lot of inventory that was manufactured […]

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Who decides what bike you want, or Would Cesaer have wanted a Cervelo?

18 August 2016

Cesaer probably wouldn’t want a Cervelo, since he couldn’t have known about them. The job of marketing companies is to make you aware of their products. I am amazed at some big bicycle companies marketing brilliance. They are able to make bicycles “win” races without athletes and make you want a particular brand so badly […]

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Topolino Wheel Dissection – They’re Spoken For

17 August 2016

I think Topolino wheels represent a great value in performance bicycle wheels. They have an unusual construction which is easier to explain with pictures. The folks at Topolino were kind enough to send me some pics so I can show you how these interesting wheels are made. Regular spoked wheels have a connection to the […]

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Bike Photoshoot – Custom KGS Co-Motion Americano

16 August 2016

This is another sneak preview to a new photo gallery that is in production. It soon will be shown on Flickr and the KGS Bikes Website. I built up a couple of Co-Motion Americano touring bikes to show in the KGS Bikes studio and got sidetracked after the initial photo session. In the mean time, […]

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