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Coming to your hometown! Eros Poli hits the road


We love spending the cycling season in Europe, enjoying the best riding, food and wine that Italy, Portugal and France has to offer, but there’s no place like home. Which is why we’re hitting the road this December – and we’re bringing Eros Poli with us.

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him yet, Eros joined the team this year, bringing a ton of personality as well as Tour de France experience and an Olympic medal to the inGamba crew. He’s ridden with some of the most famous Italian riders of the modern era – most notably, he was Super Mario Cipollini’s lead out man – and was responsible for one of the most surprising and memorable Tour stage victories of the modern era.

He was never supposed to win. Especially not on the Tour de France’s most venerated mountain. Sure, he was prized as Mario Cipollini’s sprint lead-out man, but as a climber? Forget it. He weighed more without a bike than most of his competitors did with one, and towered above them all at 1.94 metres tall. He’d had a stellar amateur career, but turned pro late, aged 28. He was an excellent domestique, but not a doyen. No, Mont Ventoux wasn’t meant for him.

And yet, Eros Poli took it anyway. The Giant of Provence was conquered by a giant from Verona with a breakaway so audacious that his rivals ignored it. They thought it was the very definition of folly. It was, in fact, the definition of panache.

It was the kind of romantic win befitting a guy called Eros. Cipo, the greatest sprinter of his generation and Poli’s team leader, had crashed out of the Vuelta and missed the Tour. Mercatone Uno were without a leader for La Grande Boucle, and so the the workers were let off the chain. It was a rare opportunity to impress at the season’s biggest event, and one that Poli took by the scruff of the neck. 

– Monsieur Ventoux: A Legend Joins inGamba




We’ll touch down in LA for three days from December 4th to the 6th, hooking up with the Helen’s Cycles crew that Saturday for a group ride and a dinner that should involve plenty of stories from the peloton and more than a little bit of wine. The next day we’ll be with LaGrange Velo Club on their popular Nichols Canyon Ride through the Hollywood Hills. On Monday December 7th, there’ll be a cheese and wine event at Velo Pasadena too, which is not to be missed, while early Tuesday morning we’ll hook up with our friends from Handlebar Coffee to ride in the Santa Barbara area. We will also be attending a special event with the folks from A Road Bike 4 U.

If you can’t make any of our LA events, though, don’t worry because we’ll be leaving Tinseltown behind and taking Eros with us to Bike Haüs in Phoenix and to Contender Bicycles in Salt Lake City. And for our buddies north of the border – our first customer was Canadian, after all – we’ll be touching down in Vancouver December 16th to ride with La Bicicletta Pro Shop before grabbing some relaxed afternoon beers. We’ve also got a few tricks up our sleeves and a couple of slots in our calendar that we haven’t confirmed yet, so if you’d like to find out more about our plans be sure to get in touch either at or through the usual social channels. Even if it’s just to say hi, we like hearing from you. And for anyone in the Bay Area who is hoping to sit on the wheel of the big man for a few kilometers we have added a Saturday December 19 shop ride at Studio Velo in Mill Valley.

Eros has ridden the biggest races with the biggest stars, and now he’s coming to US of A to ride with you. This is the off-season so our main focus will be on fun. We’ve got some big rides planned and we’re looking forward to showing our Veronese friend that Italy isn’t the only country in the world with incredible roads and breathtaking scenery, but this is more about enjoying time on the bike and getting to spend time with a genuine cycling legend than setting any PBs. We’ve had an awesome year and we’re looking forward to spending some down time with a few of you stateside who have made it so memorable – we hope you’ll join us.



Winter is coming: Time to get ready



Ask any cyclist worth their salt and they’ll tell you the same thing: the secret to race season fitness is found in the cold, dark winter months. There’s no shortcut to success when it comes to being a bike rider, and anyone who thinks they can put their legs up and wait for spring is fooling themselves. Take time off now, and your riding buddies will be taking minutes out of you on the climbs come April.

When we picture our perfect ride, it’s almost always under summer sunshine, with our jersey open to the wind and those questionable tan lines growing more pronounced by the minute. But unless you’re one of the lucky few who live somewhere blessed with a year-round temperate climate, inclement weather is just part of the sport.




It can, of course, also be part of the fun – assuming you’re prepared for it. As the old cliché goes: There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing. Once you’ve got the right kit, a whole new experience opens up. The hibernal landscape can be just as beautiful as its aestival relative and there’s a definite thrill in conquering the cold, being comfortably dry and warm on your bike in spite of the wind and the rain.

Your turbo trainer is an invaluable wintry tool as well. Zwift is probably the coolest thing to ever happen to indoor cycling, and if you use the code “GoInGamba” your avatar will look plenty sharp in our custom kit. But it’s still nice to get out and ride, and making sure you get regular miles in the off-season will keep your bike handling skills sharp and your core in shape.




Our friends at Giordana have a great range of winter gear to keep you snug out there. The FR-C Bib Tight‘s soft Super Roubaix fleeced material retains heat while wicking moisture away from the skin, and the top-of-the-line Cirro chamois provides unbeatable comfort.




The FR-C jacket, meanwhile, is one of the most versatile pieces of cycling clothing on the market. It’s great for cool weather when used on its own as a jersey, and when combined with the right base layers it can be used even in extreme conditions, providing the kind of warmth and ventilation that few jackets can match.

There’s also our trusty Vero jacket, which is perfect for the colder months. It’s excellent at drawing away sweat and the brushed fabric inside feels great against the skin. It comes in a more relaxed fit than the FR-C range, but with elastic where it’s needed to make sure it stays in place.




And last but not least, you need the right gloves. As one of the body’s contact points with the bikes, keeping your hands comfortable is crucial to both safety and performance. Giordana’s Corsa mits are perfect for both, using the same fabrics from the FR-C bibs and jerseys combined with durable leather and paddling on the palms. They’re also designed to slip right on and fit snugly – so no fumbling about with straps or fasteners.

Winter rides don’t have to be competitive. And there’s no “one size fits all” solution. Your old-school friends will favour long rides at a steady pace – it’s unscientific, but it’s been the method of choice for pros for generations. But if life gets in the way or a four-hour spin isn’t feasible, go sprint some laps. Ride down for coffee with some pals. Jump on your bike whenever you have a spare hour. Just get in the saddle. You’ll be glad you did next summer.



Scicon’s Aerocomfort 2.0: The complete package



It wasn’t the Aerocomfort’s build quality that won our hearts – though there’s no question it’s a sturdy, well-designed piece of kit. And it wasn’t the speed at which you could pack your bike away, either, though with enough practise you could finish the job in around three minutes. No, what made us really fall in love with this bike bag was a mistake we made after the Maratona dles Dolomites.

We were tired. It’d been a big week. And when we missed the turn for the train station in Bolzano, it looked like we were also going to miss our train to Rome, which would mean missed flights and a lot of heartache. There was no Plan B for the 650km journey, and this was the last connection of the day.

Cue the sprint. There are other fine bike bags on the market, but there’s only one that could be so easily slung over a shoulder and hauled at pace up and down stairs, and along a crowded Italian railway platform. And there’s only one bag that could be tucked away neatly onboard at the last minute without upsetting a lot of people or blocking any corridors.


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At less than 9kg, the Aerocomfort is light. Even fully loaded, most of us have probably owned bikes that were heavier. The internal base frame cradles the bike perfectly, protects against shocks and once the straps are all in place, holds everything securely. There’s even a sturdy derailleur cage to prevent against knocks. Tough Nylon makes it weatherproof and really resistant to wear and tear, and heavy reinforcement where it counts in the wheel pouches protect hubs and frame alike.




And thanks to its unique design, it’s also really compact. It can fit in the back of a small car and be carried on public transport without causing any fuss. Packed properly, the combination of its internal frame and the bike’s own structural strength should protect you precious machine from everything but a deliberately violent attack.

There are advantages to hard shells – Scicon’s Aerotech is practically bombproof – but for a lot of us, the softer option suits our lifestyles better. It takes up less space. It can be easily   stored away when not in use, even in a downtown apartment. It’s easy to use – and when you’ve messed up and you’re in a rush, it won’t punish you for it (for which, we are eternally grateful). Basically, it begs you to take your bike with you wherever you go, and that makes it, in our opinion at least, a perfect real world companion.



2015: Another unforgettable season comes to a close



It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven months since we met our first guests of the season. But you know what they say about having fun and its affect on time. Right now it feels like our entire European calendar has passed in the blink of an eye, but we’re sure that once the dust settles on an incredible 2015 and we’ve had a chance to digest the memories, all of the amazing things we did will come sharply into view.

This has been a big year for inGamba. We’ve expanded to bring more guests to more destinations – and we’ve added some pretty special people to our team. Eros Poli, in particular, has brought a lot to the table. He has a larger than life personality that oozes joie de vivre, and he’s always ready to entertain. And it never hurts to have a guy around who can talk about winning at the Olympics, the World Championships and the Tour de France.



And Eros isn’t the only former pro to be leading out inGamba guests, either. We were delighted to host a special week with Spanish legend Miguel Indurain in the Dolomites and back at our home in Lecchi in Chianti, fan favourites Laurens Ten Dam and Ted King both showed up at the end of the season for some relaxed rides and a taste of the Tuscan good life.


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As for our destinations, it isn’t the first year we’ve been there but we can safely say now that we’ve conquered Portugal after a summer of unforgettable randonnées throughout that truly enchanting country. We’ve hammered through the great open planes of the south and carved our way through the mountains and vineyard-covered valleys of the north – almost always basked in warm Iberian sunshine. Almost.




We now have a permanent base in the Dolomites in partnership with Hotel La Perla, allowing us to offer the full pro experience in the heart of one of cycling’s most iconic landscapes. Riding here is never easy spending time in the saddle on the same roads as Giro d’Italia heroes past and present, it’s hard not to find yourself completely intoxicated by it all. 




Straying from the normal path a little, this summer we also handed control over to photographer extraordinaire, Jered Gruber. He’d been dreaming about riding his favourite roads and some of Europe’s most notorious climbs on a point-to-point with a group of close friends and colleagues. We were happy to work with him to make that dream a reality. It was, by all accounts, a riot – but with 4000m or more of climbing every day, it wasn’t for the faint of heart. It’ll be a tough act to follow up on next summer, but we’re certain Jered has an ace or two up his sleeve. Watch this space.




InGamba has always tried to make a difference, and we continue to be humbled by how much our guests want to support our charity partners at World Bicycle Relief. Their work changes lives and the fact that we can help them do that means the world to us. As a company we donate as much as possible to helping WBR give the gifts of mobility, healthcare and education to some of the earth’s poorest people and that wouldn’t be possible without so much help from the people who come to stay with us. So, for the record, thank you.




Now it’s time to pack up and head back home for the winter – where there is plenty more work waiting for us. We hope to have some exciting announcements for you soon, so be sure to keep an eye on what we’re up to on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It won’t be easy to top our most spectacular season yet, but we’re sure gonna have a lot of fun trying. Arrivederci!