The 2009 British national road race championship was a great victory for Kristian House and his Rapha-Condor team in the face of more fancied opposition. To mark the occasion, the now customary special bike was produced. But as we’ve come to expect from any enterprise involving Rapha, House’s bike is super-stylish with minute attention to detail.
The 2010 Leggero frame uses Dedacciai high modulus carbon, and has a rear end which is lighter and more compliant than the previous model. The tubes vary in profile to promote both stiffness and comfort, and are matched to a Deda fork with tapered carbon steerer for a responsive front end.
All the skeletal innovations are masked by the patriotic red, white and blue stripes which run from the middle of the Fizik Arione saddle along the top tube and down the underside of the down tube. This colour scheme even continues to the hubs to complete the look. Subtle Rapha pink and white stripes highlight the dropouts, and the team’s sponsors are listed neatly in several locations on the frame.
Shimano supply almost everything else on the bike. Their PRO component arm provides a Vibe bar, stem and seatpost, which are well known for their vibration reducing properties while remaining plenty stiff enough to maintain performance. Wheels are Dura-Ace C25s, which House favours for almost every type of racing; the team also use C35 and C50 wheels.
Even House's hubs are personalised with the British flag's colours.
The Tour of Britain was one of the races during the year when the Rapha-Condor-Sharp budget could stretch to racing on tubular tyres. The squad often race on clinchers, eschewing the Continental Competition tubulars for Grand Prixs instead. Handlebar tape is the very tactile and grippy Fizik tape.
House is one of only three riders on the team to be equipped with Shimano Di2 electronic shifting, on account of his nationals victory. The others are Dean Downing and Chris Newton because of their title wins. With Dura-Ace pedals, PRO bottle cages and bike computer rounding out the specification, Shimano have a rolling showcase for their wares.
House has a conventional position but has his saddle relatively far forward on the rails, giving minimal setback. The 2011 Leggero is already in testing with input from Chris Newton. The main change expected is a stiffer rear end, but little more is known at the time of writing.
PRO bottle cages surround the Di2 battery mount. House is one of just three Rapha riders to use Di2.