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The landscape of Bike fitting has become populated with technologies that weren’t conceivable fifteen years ago, when I first conducted the Serotta School of Cycling Ergonomics. Advanced technologies should always be embraced and integrated whenever possible into today’s methodologies. However, we are at a time in Bike Fitting where technology has trumped the technician. We can now measure within microns of a millimeter and virtually eliminate the human from the equation in finding the best bike fit. Or can we?

I have spent the past several years attending seminars and sitting on industry panels watching how Bike Fitting services are becoming automated and made to be as simple as plug-and-play. Let a machine determine where you should be on the bike and then wait for it to spit out the best-fit options in terms of position, components and bikes. I am sorry; I need to call “Bullshit”. We have crossed the line and have allowed programmers to make assumptions based on the quickest filtering down system to produce an output to get a cyclist out the door and on their way in the least amount of time. Many of today’s Bike Fitting systems have taken the human connection out of the equation.

Signature Cycles has always emphasized the importance of our one-on-one approach to understanding you as a cyclist. We learn how you got to where you are today and where you want to be, in the short and long term future. We built our reputation on our bedside manner; call it “bikeside” manner, where no secret handshake or race credentials are needed to receive unconditional advice on what is best for you. We discover, understand and accommodate for your limitations on the bike and as a cyclist. Signature Cycles is determined to always offer the best in customer respect, caring, connection and community.

Embracing the latest technologies is imperative to stay current and relevant. We choose our Bike Fitting technology to compliment our technicians’ expertise, all along enhancing your understanding of what it takes for you to become a better cyclist. Let’s not lose the best of our human connection by replacing empathy and understanding with measuring microns. The landscape in the Bike Fitting field is wide enough to offer the best of both worlds, Bikeside manner and the latest technology.

Contact us to discuss how we can make your cycling experiences the most enjoyable by starting with a Professional Bike Fitting.

Half a Wheel

Half a wheel can make the difference between a bad day, good day and a great day. We have all been there, staring at half of a wheel with mixed emotions.

My last two summers have been mixed with emotions when it comes to riding. Last summer I had an external Iliac bypass, which sidelined me until the spring when I got to test my new plumbing in Majorca and Girona. Four weeks after spinning mega miles in Spain, I was flying at our local Saturday club ride. Winning the sprint was more of a choice rather than a lucky possibility. I was back and felt invincible. It didn’t last long though. Just a few weeks after feeling like superman, I was exposed to my kryptonite. My right leg started to fatigue during any power efforts and my Garmin confirmed that sustained wattage of more than twenty second wasn’t feasible anymore.

Not riding with the “A” group wasn’t an option. I didn’t have the energy or the desire to find a new group of riders that would tolerate my idiosyncrasies on the bike. After getting medical confirmation that my right leg had only 60% blood flow, I elected to get angioplasty to reopen my artery, so I can rejoin my group of comrades on the bike.



Ten days have passed since the procedure and today’s club ride was going to be the test. My last few rides had me off the back or dropped before the serious climbs even were in site. Today’s goal, get over the climbs and hopefully finish with the group. Continue reading

Celebrate the Festive 500 with Signature Cycles


Signature Cycles will partner with Rapha and Strava this year to challenge the NY/CT area to ride 500km in 8 days. We will be hosting 2 Festive 500 rides from on the 28th and 29th from our CT and NYC locations.

On Saturday the the 28th, the Signature Cycles NYC studio and Rapha Cycle Club NYC will start with a Metro North train ride and explore roads most New Yorkers have yet to meet. We will travel to Signature Cycles in Greenwich, CT and roll through some of the most idyllic roads NE has to offer. Also we will get a chance to see some beautiful hand built bicycles while at the Greenwich Studio!

There are 3 places to meet:
1. At the Cycle Club at 9:30am
2. At Grand Central station in time for the 10:04 train to Greenwich CT
3. At Signature Cycles in Greenwich CT – 14 Railroad Ave. – 11:00am

We will have a moment at Signature’s Studio in CT to fill the jersey pockets and have a light snack. The ride will be 28 miles of twisty NE roads.

For ride details, please RSVP to:

Please upload the route if you have a GPS device as there are many turns.

The train is off peak and the round trip ticket is $18.  All Riders will need to carry an MTA bicycle permit ($5 for a life long pass). Please allow time at G.C. to fill out a small form and purchase this if you do not have one. 

Riders can expect to return to G.C. at 3:08pm or 3:38pm

On Sunday the 29th, we will again join rides, and head north via 9W towards Nyack. The ride will be approximately 70 miles, and in Signature and Rapha fashion, we will try to keep the route interesting by adding some alternative roads less traveled.
There will be 2 meeting points:
1. Signature Cycles Manhattan – 8:45
2. Rapha Cycle Club NYC – 8:30

For details and to register please visit:

RSVP to for Ride info and GPS links.

World Bicycle Relief Fundraiser: Update & Final Tally

Good enough is never good enough for our clientele. Our initial fundraising goal was $15,000 for World Bicycle Relief. We’ve been absolutely blown away by the generosity of our community and have raised a grand total of $71,788. A very special thanks goes to an anonymous donor for matching every dollar raised and doubling all of our efforts.

535 bicycles will be delivered to Zambia and will help students, health care workers and entrepreneurs in need of transportation.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, and 532 more thank yous.


Paul’s New Parlee Z Zero Scores Ten


I decided to gift myself a new bike after my short hiccup this summer with my surgeries  to correct my occluded external iliac artery. It was time for me to create a whimsical paint scheme to remind myself that I ride because I like to feel like I am ten again. There is no denying it, we all ride because there are only a few things that we do as responsible adults that make us feel preteen and enjoy them as much now as we did when we used to skid in puddles with our Schwinn Stingrays.

At first look at my Parlee Z zero, you can’t get past the deep purple palette trimmed with gold accents. It screams “pop a wheelie” and “this is a great skidder”. This bike goes way beyond a chick magnet, it will turn heads at elementary schools. Parlee nailed the depth of my immaturity right down to the purple matching Enve seat post, stem and handlebars. I might be slow, for now, but I do feel pretty on this bike. Not that there is anything wrong with that. The only thing that is missing is streamers out the back of the handlebars.

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On the Mend, Phase II: Back on the Bike

For the backstory on this post by Paul Levine, follow this link.

I have sat on many starting lines in my cycling career, from crits to road races, to European etapes, to countless club tours. I have never been as anxious and nervous as I was today, starting the Saturday morning Hump ride. The unknown is always worse than the known, and I had no idea how my body was going to perform. This was truly the first day of the rest of my cycling future.

Today was two months since my final operation, of four, to bypass my external iliac artery. The day after the last operation I was challenged to use a walker for fifteen minutes. I moved on quickly to a cane and then went sans cane five days later. My thoughts were would I ever be able to ride my bike again and if so, would I be able to ride with my same group at the Saturday ride. I thought about the Hump ride for two months and visually road the course figuring out the best way to effectively stay in the group with the least amount of effort. We all know that no two rides are the same and the dynamics of the ebbs and flows of the pace is determined by several unpredictable factors. The best I can plan for would be to be aware of my redline and use my energy sparingly. Considering that I have been off of a bike for three months, I had no idea if I had any matches to burn. The strategy to ride with the “A” group was a crap shoot, hence the butterflies in my belly this morning.

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Paul’s Zipp/SRAM Dealer Advisory Board Debrief

Spending time on a bike in Tucson in February is always a treat. This past week I was one of eight retailers invited to attend the Zipp/SRAM Dealer Advisory Board. The board meets every year to review the state of our businesses and industry, comment on the current Zipp, SRAM and Quarq offerings and get a peak at what is in the test lab forecasted to be on our bikes in the coming 1-4 years. The meeting starts with the formal ritual of filling out the N.D.A’s. So, I can’t share with you what the future will bring at Zipp and SRAM, but I can say that they will make cycling even more enjoyable than it is now, with intuitive improvements to our standard way of how we operate a bike. I am being vague for a purpose, I want to be invited back next year and don’t want to have a lawyer at my doorstep when I get home.

The stuff I can share is not about vapor ware, it is the cool stuff that we can all use right now. Aero bars, power meters and wheels, oh my.

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Zipp just released their new Stealth aero bar. A one piece number where the base bar and stem have adjustable ranges fore, aft and pitch to allow the slickness of the one piece shape not to compromise either the aerodynamics of the bar or the adjustable range of the stem. Ingenious. The pads and aero extensions are exactly what we look for in adjustability and range, whereas the broadest athlete and the narrowest athlete can find a nice home for their forearms to be supported. This bar is a winner, both for the athlete and the fitter. Getting you in the perfect position is the first step in setting you up to PR in your next triathlon.

Quarq power meters come in two new versions for 2013, the ELSA and the RIKEN.

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Call it what you wish, Quarq started with a clean slate and delivered on a promise to offer ease of use, accurate data and platforms that allow all of the chain ring choices and competitor manufacturer compatibility, leaving nothing else to want in a power meter. The Elsa gives you power balance data, allowing you to monitor your left and right leg efforts. I know that feeling like an astronaut is important to some cyclists, so strap an Elsa on to your bike and take off so you can fine tune your motor like never before.

Tucson isn’t chosen every year just for its glorious sunsets and dry air. It is chosen because nothing is better than looking at the new cool offerings in a board room and then going outside in 70 degree weather and taking the stuff for a rip. It has been a long time coming since we first heard about the new 202 clincher Firecrest at last year’s meeting. Not wanting lawyers on my doorstep, I kept this close to my vest, although there were sightings of the wheel being tested at small events. I waited patiently for my turn, until I could get a pair on a bike and see what all the fuss was about. In the interest of full disclosure, my baseline wheel is the Lightweight Ventoux. In my eyes the Ventoux is the best wheel money can buy for performance, comfort and durability. Yes, they are by far one of the most expensive wheels on the market. However, the holy grail of everything that is great in a wheel comes at a price. Until now.


The 202’s blew me away, without blowing me away. It was windy in the desert but the 202’s stayed on course and gave me confidence to descend the mountain passes without tension or concern that the next cross wind would put my out-of-shape ass into a cactus. I loved the quick windup when climbing out of the saddle and the braking feel was the best of any wheel that I have ridden. If you want the best of all worlds, the 202 is your answer. You get everything and give up nothing. Not to mention you get to keep approximately $2500.00 in your pocket compared to purchasing the Lightweights. Not a bad deal and well worth the one year wait for them to finally come to market.

Now I have to wait, once again, for SRAM’s new category killer to be released. I don’t know why I put myself through this torture every year in Tucson. Call me a glutton for punishment, patience isn’t my strong suit. I guess there are worse ways to spend a week in February than with one of the coolest companies in our industry, chatting with engaging retailers, riding vapor ware and sipping a Martini watching the Arizona sunset.


New Staff at Signature Cycles

caffery1-wpIf you have been in our Manhattan or Greenwich studios recently you may have noticed some new faces. We are delighted to announce the addition of Caffery Garff to the Manhattan studio and Darren McNeill to the Greenwich studio. Caffery and Darren bring with them a wealth of knowledge and industry experience.

When not in the Manhattan Studio you’ll find Caffery ondarren3-wp the podium at the local Prospect Park Crits and look for Darren competing at this season’s cyclocross events. Both of them will be riding for team Rockstar/Signature Cycles. To learn more about our newest staff members, you can watch Caffery’s video bio here and Darren’s here.

Passoni Nero XL – The Perfect Dancing Partner

Forgetting about bicycles for a moment, I am a creature who enjoys aspirational products. I admit it; I am tempted by just out of reach brands and toys that promise the ultimate in an experience or performance. Good enough is never good enough for me. I rarely get disappointed when I cross into the luxury purchase category.
However, there is always a risk of falling prey to being over promised and coming up short on delivery.

My expectations for my Passoni Nero XL were high. They had to be. Passoni was breaking a ceiling set by our other custom brands that already stood as tall as Grand Central Terminal’s ceiling – higher than necessary, but definitely worth the statement.

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You surprise me, Guru…

Very few bikes that I have ridden in the recent past truly surprise me. I can pretty much look at a frame and see what kind of ride quality the manufacturer designed into the bike by their choice of tube sizes, diameters, shaping and manipulation of each of the eight frame tubes. Other than carbon layup and weave direction, the ride quality of most bikes is pretty predictable.

The Guru Photon is a very notable exception. With it’s oversized down tube and tapered, oversize top tube, I was expecting a ride that would make every pebble in the road feel like a speed bump. Guru tuned their massive tubes to absorb rough roads like you were riding your old steel bike. The call out of “rough road” from the front of the paceline doesn’t startle you, when you know that the Photon is going to track directly where you aim it. The bike glides over choppy surfaces like a touring sedan.

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