Anthony De Leo

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I caught up with Anthony on one of his trips to from Melbourne to Adelaide a few months ago and had a great chat and coffee. Below is Anthony’s story. Be warned, one photo is pretty gruesome and shows the aftermath of a cycling accident, but is important to the Anthony’s story.

  • What first got you started in cycling?
    • We moved to our current house which is a few hundred metres from a bike Trail that can take you either into the city or to the beach. I was unfit and my wife was saying why don’t you try riding. I borrowed a mates old MTB and really enjoyed it. My best friend Hayden Bradbury was a proffessional cyclist rang me and said there is this brand called Azzurri and they are selling bang for your buck MTB I should have a look. Buying that first half decent MTB opened up an obsession 6 years ago. I started riding that MTB every day before work and loved it.Then Hayden gave me one of his road bikes a stunning Bianchi L’una and that totally got me hooked on road riding.I was riding 5-6 days a week and was the fittest I had been for years.
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      Riding changed my life.
  • You started an online cycling business called Full Beam, can you tell us what the business is, how it started and if possible, where is it going?

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Full Beam Australia was conceived by accident. As I was riding early every morning I needed good lights. I become quite frankly light obsessed. Wanting brighter and brighter lights. I had tried a number of leading brands of which some were very good but I wanted more. Riding at 5.30 am through pitch black trails wanted more. Call me crazy but you get so used to what you have. I was searching for high powered self contained lights having used the best Exposure lights had to offer I wanted something brighter.

After spending many hours late at night trawling through the internet reading reviews on lights. I stumbled across a fantastic review on a 3000 lumen integrated light set (which at the time was the world’s brightest integrated battery light on the market) from a small company in Scotland called Full Beam. After contacting Full Beam about their lights we started talking about the possibility about possibly selling the lights in Australia. After receiving a range of Full Beam Lights in late 2013 I put them through their paces and was blown away with their build quality (Hand made in Scotland) and their performance was unlike anything I had seen. 

My everyday job is as a product manager in  high end Hi fi and Audio/Visual so I thought I would try and have some of the products reviewed locally and see how it went. At the time I didn’t take it too seriously just was dipping my toe in the water so to speak. Then in November 2013 I had a serious MTB accident that saw me spend a week in hospital having to have plastic surgery and dental work, however the main issue that came out of the accident was not the cosmetic damage (My modelling career was over) but I had neck damage caused by the fall.

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At the time it took 72 hours for them to clear me of a Neck fracture so I spent 3-days staring at a ceiling in hospital but thankfully I was cleared.

Unfortunately severe whiplash has caused me ongoing issues for the last 3-years but that’s another story.

After the accident I had quite a bit of downtime so spent more time trying to develop Full Beam. Having never delved into Social Media I thought I better start Facebook and Twitter for Full Beam. In may 2014 I built a website of which had 4 products on it. It’s fair to say Full Beam wasn’t really going anywhere.

Over the last two years we have developed the business and now have over 200 skews from 12 different manufacturers. We do everything from the social media, to  the website to packing all the orders. Even our kids help with putting address labels on orders. We are a true small family business. We try an offer a very personal service even though we are an online business we strive to bring old fashioned service to a modern way of retailing.

  • What lights do you have on your bike?

As I have no shortage of choice it depends on the bike, the situation etc. If I am riding on the trail which is pitch black I generally run a Trail LED XXX or DS helmet light

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and on the bars either a My Tiny Sun Folkslight or Four4th Holy Moses.

If I am on the road I use a Four4th Scorch and a Niteflux Red Zone 8 tail light.

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  • How many bikes do you own and what is your main go to bike? 

I own 4 road bikes the MTB was retired after my accident. My main go to bike is my Cinelli Experience as I use it in the wet or on gravel and drag the kids around it.

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It’s a great knock about bike and just keeps going. When I want to go for a more serious ride I love my Cinelli Very Best Of it’s just super comfy and just feels right.

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My Bianchi L’Una is 10 years old but is just an absolute delight to ride and is a real head turner.

  • What bike do you covet?

Not Sure what covet means?

  • How do you store your bikes?

All stored inside

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  • Do you do all your own maintenance or do you use a LBS? If so, which one?

I do general maintenance myself more specific repairs, tuning etc I use Mikes Mobile Bike Service he is great to deal with and knows how to get Campagnolo running sweetly. It’s hard to find mechanics who are good at getting Campag to run spot on.

  • What cycling specific tools do you have in your “bike shed”?

Repair Stand, Torque Wrench, Torx Bits, multi tools, Chain cleaners, etc etc.

  • What is your favourite piece of cycling kit or accessory?

Warmfront Thermal bib and Maglianera Socks and Cinelli Ram Bars.

  • What do you love about cycling?

For me it’s a mental release from the daily grind and stresses. Working 2-jobs with a young family it’s me time. When I am on the bike I think of none of the normal worries of life I just pedal and de-stress.

  • What annoys most about cycling?

Some Cyclists attitudes and arrogance. I am often amazed and saddened how some cyclists behave.

  • Other than yourself, who is your favourite cyclist?

I’ve never been one to have any sporting idols in life in any sport I have loved (Football, Cricket etc) it’s the same with cycling. I admire and respect my best friend Hayden Bradbury who helped me find a love for cycling, but also he is an elite cyclist in his own right.

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  • If you could have dinner with 3 people in the cycling world, who would they be and why?

Mario Cipollini because he seems like a rockstar on 2-wheels and I love his bikes. (It’s an Italian thing) Dave Edwards who just attempted 5 everesting rides in 5 countries. He is real, inspiring and just whole lot a fun to have a beer with. Drew Ginn an inspiring human being and just a freak athlete I would love to delve into what makes him tick.

  • What are your craziest/fondest cycling memories?

On a winter’s evening at 11pm I took a friend for a ride on a local trail and it was -2 degrees but other than frostbite it was amazing we saw owls, foxes and even a hare. Another ride that was memorable was my first long ride 130km through Kinglake in an organized Genovese classic and  it was the first time I had ever done a lot of climbing even at my fittest I wasn’t built for climbing.

The whole ride was in rain and from the 95-105 km mark it was just climbing. It was then a 10km descent down the mountain which was definitely the fun part.  After getting back to base and loading up the car I was heading to a cafe with a mate to have an obligatory coffee.

I drive a manual car and I remember pressing the clutch in for the first gear change and getting the worst calf cramp I have ever had in my life. Suffice to say I stalled the car and stumbled out of the car and had to stretch for 5 minutes. (An embarrassing event).

When I finally got home I downloaded the data from the ride and was shocked and mortified that at one point on the descent I hit 91km/h in the wet. That was made all the more scary when I checked over the bike post ride their was a hole the size of a 5 cent piece in my rear tyre that was just about to break through the casing. To say it sent shivers down my spine was an understatement. I was one very lucky boy.

  • What is your favourite post ride coffee/tea spot, and what would you normally buy as a treat?

Aunt Billies Caf’e in Blackburn. Anything sweet

  • Do you have a favourite overseas country?

I haven’t ridden overseas but I would love to ride in Italy.

  • What is your favourite local training route?

A 40km loop along the Eastern Freeway in Melbourne it starts 400m from home and you can ride it anytime and it’s a whole lot of fun at night.

  • What is the biggest cycling lie you have told a partner?

I will be home in an hour

  • What cycling related thing would you like for your next birthday?

How long have you got. I would love a set of Campagnolo Bora Ultra 35 wheels and new frame.

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Thanks Anthony, that accident sounded truly horrific, but as they say, one door closes, another opens, and the focus you now put into Full Beam must be very satisfying.

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