A Story About a Bike…
In The Beginning
Like all stories, we need a beginning, in this case, the Ribble Pro Cycling story began with a meeting at Ribble HQ to discuss the creation a professional cycling team for the 2018 Road season.
It was an easy discussion, we’re all cyclists here, so after some excited conversation, everyone was in agreement – For the first time in a number of years; Ribble Cycles was to have it’s very own professional team competing at the highest level once again.
Our Team Needs the Best Bike
Cutting away some of the detail, and just a short time later, we had a team. We had secured some of the UK’s best riders, all Ribble Pro Cycling needed now was the UK’s best race bike.
We wanted the team to ride the best possible race frame and we all agreed that the Toray 800/1000 carbon fibre and the aerodynamic tube profiles of the Ribble Aero 883 would be the ideal choice to ensure the team’s success.
Occasionally, race bikes can be a bit boring. It’s one thing to take a frame and throw some top spec components at it…
But that wasn’t good enough for a project like Ribble Pro Cycling, we wanted to create something new, something exciting, something that was really different.
We got our design team on the case and were really excited with the results, the best of which took the Ribble Valley Pattern and the Ribble colours to create exactly what we had hoped for.
We partnered with a respected UK-based specialist cycle spray shop to turn our exciting design into a finished frameset.
When the first frame sample landed back at Ribble, everyone was
interested; the warehouse team, the bike mechanics, the buying team, the digital team, in fact, everyone was excited to see the frame and offer feedback on the design.
We knew the concept was right but the design needed some fine tuning so the design team took into consideration all the feedback and produced a slightly revised and improved design.
This time the design had a larger ‘Ribble’ logo in white and the Ribble Valley Pattern was also scaled up to make it less intricate. Again we sent another frame away for the highly skilled custom paint treatment and when the sample came back and looked great.
Our Custom Paint Shop
We don’t shy away from ensuring quality for our customer frames so why would we with our pro team? To make sure the paint shop would be able to fulfil our specific requirements we sent someone on a recon mission to capture the process.
The visit was as interesting as it was reassuring…
The Custom Painting Process
The process to paint a Ribble Pro Cycling Aero 883 frameset requires incredible skill and patience and happens as follows;
- The frame is coated with a single coat of white paint.
- The newly coated frame is then transferred to the oven where the paint is ‘cooked’ to harden and fix the paint on the frame.
- The frame then has Ribble logos masked with laser cut vinyl stickers.
- The second coat of paint is applied, this time it’s dark blue.
- The frame is dried in the oven again.
- The intricate valley pattern mask is applied.
- The frame is given a third coat of paint, this time, light blue.
- The frame is dried in the oven again.
- All the masking is peeled off, revealing the patterns and logos.
- The frame is ‘rubbed back’ to remove any drips of blemishes and touched up by hand.
- A clear coat of varnish is applied.
- The frame is dried once more.
- The frame is ‘rubbed back’ again to remove any drips of blemishes and touched up.
- A second clear coat is applied.
- The frame is dried for the final time.
- Finally, the frame is rubbed back to its high gloss finish and the result is perfect!
Hand-built Ribble Pro Cycling Bikes
You might not know this, but every Ribble bike is built in our workshop in Preston, England. We’re very proud of our UK hand assembly process and it means that customers can customise their bike in our unique BikeBuilder.
Your bike is built by hand with the same attention to detail that our mechanics give to the Aero 883 bikes of the Ribble Pro Cycling race team.
And the Finished Bike?
The finished bike is an incredible mix of design and technology that will deliver the team to the finish line in style.
Leave a comment and let us know what you think of the bike, the design, the components or even the team. We would love to hear from you.