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CRASH BANG KERPOW - you had me at hello! Planet X Global Head Dave Loughran tells us a tale of his recent trip abroad...

"Sometimes you get stopped in your tracks, like a short sharp right from Floyd Merryweather - it pings your brain into a supercharged overactive thyroid guns of navarone swirling and you start to ask yourself "whats it all about" and you have to think back to the heady days of passion and love, when everything seemed possible.

Twenty five years in the bicycle business is a long time, from fresh faced cycling loving teenager starting a business importing the exotica of cycling brands, from Fondriest to Casati, to Lemond, Rocky Mountain, HED, to see both the industry consolidate (read all roads lead east / offshore - call it what you like), to the way we do business be exploded with the internet, its fair to say times have changed and my perceptions as owner of the business change.

What started as being all about the bike, passion and heritage becomes a business, bikes become product, you stop riding, you start having more meetings. Pretty soon (well 20 years to be exact) your day is evolved and devoted to morning meetings, KPIs, deliverables, targets, opportunities, HR. From knowing all your customers personally you blink an eye and you don't even know your staff personally - this has been part of my journey.

Then something happens, off to the Padova bike show in Italy to discuss some deliverables and opportunities and walk round a trade show for two days, looking at the host of Italian brands that have sold out and have the same chinese production as you. The CRASH BANG KERPOW - I am down for a standing count, a lightning bolt over the top right. Whats going on, where am I - I am in love again.

Sarto stand, quick hello, bikes look nice, a 680g road frame - wow, stirrings in the heart, a superb 29er with kevlar interwoven, tube to tube production - mmm, thats nice. Weird feelings, getting horny about bikes, cant remember this feeling. Then a realisation I had a full day to kill tuesday, so I blurt out "any chance of seeing the factory".

Roll on 24 hours - Sarto factory visit - KRASH BANG KERPOW - tube to tube frame jigs, artisans, passion, history, in house production, ultimate quality, Italian cycling spirit and passion.

Sarto bikes - You had me at hello."
To be continued...

See what happened when Dave visited Sarto to see their testing procedure -

Sarto Tube to Tube Carbon Frame- Nearly finishedSarto Factory- That's the Best Quality Resin in the World!Sarto Tube to Tube Carbon Frame- In JigsSarto Carbon -they even make tandems

To be continued...

30 September 2011


  • Matt

    I work with carbon fibre in the aerospace industry, and the reason we use it is because carbon fibre does not fatigue like aluminium etc. So, a wing can bend and bend and bend and as long as it's within the workload it is designed to handle, it won't break. So, it is a bit strange that the frame in this video broke after 17 strikes with the same force. This would suggest that fatigue has been introduced into the structure by the design of the frame, the lay of the carbon fibre, the weave, the type of resin used, cure times, and a whole host of other variables during manufacturing. Carbon fibre is fantastic for building monocoque structures such as cars and aeroplanes, but I'm yet to be convinced into believing that it is a better material than aluminium alloy or steel for a bicycle frame. Unfortunately though, it is a very "fashionable" material and uneducated customer demand dictates its use.

  • David C

    Wow - excellent piece, rings a few bells for me as an ex banker finding the passion for business again... So can we expect a carbon tandem for sale on the planet-x website soon?

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