The perfect cup of coffee: Karl’s HT5.7

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Karl Juan Denton, 1st cat roadman for OCC/Legend bikes, sent me this great review of his HT5.7. Riding for a Newcastle based coffee roasting company, and working at the Hub by the Tyne, if anyone can combine coffee and cycling, it’s Karl:

Blah blah blah, monocoque frame, blah blah blah, stiff bottom bracket, blah blah blah, quick precise gear change.

Bike reviews, I’ve stopped reading the vast majority of them. This is not due to me being much of a ‘tech head’.  No, it’s more to do with the fact that they’re nearly all the same. This is not the fault of the reviewer, but what more can you say about an identikit, usually carbon frame with one of the ‘big three’s’ groupsets hanging off it, that’s not been said before?

I happen to have a work colleague who is a very good barista. He used to rib me whenever I asked him about the difference between a cotardo, a macchiato or a flat white. His eyes would roll and he would utter his trade mark “Its just coffee and milk” response.

Well this is true, it is also a good analogy for the manufacture of bikes so I’m going to use it. Yes everyone uses the same basic ingredients, but what sets apart one bike/frame from another, just like one ‘coffee with milk’ from another is how you grind your beans, how you steam your milk and how and when you mix the two together.

Lets keep this coffee/bike analogy going. As I said I’m not much of a ‘tech head’ but I know a good handling bike when I ride one. I also know how I want a bike to handle for my particular riding style. I’m also  not really much of a coffee ‘tech head’ but i know how I like my coffee and milk. Or usually my coffee and cinnamon to handle as well. So when I’m at work I just ask Mark my barista colleague, to make it how I like it. If only you could do the same with bike frames. You could in the past “when i wer a lad” and local steel frame builders ruled the roost. But with the dominance of  mass produced carbon and aluminium frames this option has all but disappeared.

This is where Marco Bertoletti, a rapidly approaching sharp left hand bend on a Majorcan mountain and my Legend HT5.7 comes in.

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I wanted some dramatic video footage of me descending at speed on my Legend for my blog and Facebook page.

Crouched on my top tube, my nose inches off my front tyre I was duly obliging. Unfortunately my brother who was on camera duties was also duly obliging in not getting the camera to work and also picking a vantage point at the end of a long straight just before a sharp left hand corner.

With the speedo needle well over the 50mph mark I spotted my brother and quickly realised I had a decision to make and fast. Do I sit up, apply the brakes and spoil the shot? Or keep going in my aero position until the last moment and try and get around the corner at warp speed?

Well it was an easy decision really, I kept going.

I didn’t spoil the shot, I left that to my brother and I got around the corner. Now I’m not saying I would not have made it on one of them identikit blah blah blah bikes. I probably would have, my shorts might have needed changing though. But in all honesty if I would have been on any other bike I would have bottled it and bailed out. I probably would not have been going that fast in the first place anyway.

So whats the difference? Well I know exactly how my bike is going to handle and respond. How it will corner, how it will climb, how it will accelerate. How do I know this? Simple. I asked for my frame to be built so it would handle this way. Then Marco and everybody at Legend made it so. And after having the pleasure and privilege of meeting Marco and the Legend team, even the pet guard dog, I have even more faith in my bike.

This is a guy who knows how to grind his beans and when to add the milk. Because both me and barista Mark know deep down it’s so much more than “just coffee and milk”.

You can follow the exploits of Karl at occlegend.wordpress.com

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