Probably some of the slickest shoes you could wear on the way to the office (or pub, or park, or coffee shop…). My first pair of racing shoes were drilled leather uppers with leather soles and nailed on cleats. The “Fixed” shoe above takes what was the best of that era of shoe design and updates the design with a few modern additions. The uppers are a natural tan leather and the soles are made of rubber (not disimilar to those on Camper shoes). The backs of the shoes have a nice reflective stripe. These are the sort of shoes that just get better with age as the leather gets used to your foot and starts to shape itself.
Our love of steel frames continues. We were introduced to Cyclo Cycles based in Barcelona recently. They offer five different frames, race (featured above, The Mónica), performance, cross, touring and mountain. The frames are handmade in Italy to order and they give the option of TIG welded or lugged builds using Columbus or Dedacciai tubing. Once you have chosen the frame type, build and tubing, you have a choice of nine colors. Depending on the build the frames range in price from 850 euros to 1490 euros. Check them out at the site below the frames have been getting getting great feedback for the ride and build quality.
A few examples of riders getting adventurous with their bar tape wrap. The classic “Harlequin” wrap, top and bottom, and the retro “Fade” in the center. The “Harlequin” looks like it requires no more than a couple of rolls of color and a lot of patience. If you are interested in getting the “Fade” you will need to find something like the Pelten Shade (There is some on ebay here).
© Frank Scherschel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
I just found this beautiful photo essay of the 1953 Tour, shot by Frank Scherschel for Life magazine. The images were mostly unpublished and have been released in time to coincide with this years Tour. The images over the top of the Tourmalet are amazing. If you have ever been up there you will know there really isn’t a lot of room to squeeze in a few thousand people. You can really feel the atmosphere in these shots. There was a great quote (below) written at the time that went with the images. Although I am not sure there was a lot of zooming going on over the top of the Tourmalet, especially on those bikes.
“High atop the foggy Col du Tourmalet, one of the most difficult passes in the Pyrenees, thousands of Frenchmen gathered … to experience a single moment. It came when a group of cyclists zoomed into sight and zoomed right out again over the mountains.”
See the full photo essay here: http://life.time.com/culture/tour-de-france-1953-rare-photos/#ixzz1znlNNBxt
They don’t do packaging like they used to. Some cloth bar tape that I found in Belgium (at the Exceller Bike Shop). The packaging also points to two very European branding trends. The first is adding in this case the word “Super” before a product to give you the impression that it is the best. The second is adding numbers after a name or brand to give you the impression it is new and innovative. Which of course is time locked, and gets dated very quickly. If they had really wanted to make the Tressoplast tape VERY modern, they should really have called it “Super Tresse 2000“.
It is 7 days and counting before we head to Belgium for the Ardennes week. Watching racing, photographing racing, and drinking beer while watching racing is how I plan on spending my days. As you can see despite the lack of bike, racing still features quite highly. In honor of returning to this corner of the world where cycling rules, I dusted off my “Fabulous Exploits Of Eddy Merckx” comic book. It basically chronicles Eddy’s palmares and career in wonderfully illustrated watercolors, along with some interesting commentary.
Luis Ocaña, a rider more famous for crashing out of yellow in the 1971 Tour, after he crashed into the back of Merckx and while lying trapped under his bike had a fast approaching Joop Zoetemelk ram into him. The incident was famous because it took him out of yellow and the race, giving it to Merckx, who refused to wear yellow the next day. The picture above shows just how unfair the Tour was to him. He had four abandons, but this one was probably the worst. He was so incapacitated from the crash and streaming in blood, that two team mates had to hold him up on his bike and push and pull him to the finish. All in the hope he could start the next day, which unfortunately he didn’t.
Photographer and owner unknown
Our new friend Joachim Baan from the great blog Another Something made us very jealous this morning. He pointed us in the direction of his new custom frame by the Dutch frame builder Elian. Joachim is a relatively new convert to the sport, but like most of us appears to have caught the “Bug“. After meeting Elian on local ride, it sounds like they spent most of their time in the saddle talking about what would be the perfect ride, and here it is. Made from a rare Ishiwata Gallant steel, and with some pretty unique angles, Joachim has certainly got himself a true original. A minimal stealth like paint job, with the only sign of a decal being the original Ishiwata CrMo Tubing sticker. Also a nice touch with the vintage Campagolo Biothermal aero bottle to finish of a nice retro looking road bike with a lot of sourced vintage parts. Make sure to check out Elian’s site, he has made a great collection of unique custom builds of all types.
In his own words:
“The handlebars are from Kiprim, an old French factory, found in the same factory as the tubes. The seatpost is from the Taiwanese company Kalloy (now known as Uno Kalloy) and is from the early 80′s. The saddle is something I really like. It is made by the Dutch company Lepper, but the production of this model was ended long time ago. Elian saw the old molds and asked if they wanted to make a special series for him only, and they agreed. It was made in a thicker leather as the original, with a newly developed ‘chassis’ and in a lovely black leather, specially made for me”.