Pave Culture Cycliste, Barcelona 06/29/2013


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Do what you love, and love what you do” – is the motto of the Pave Culture Cycliste shop tucked away in a suburb just outside of Barcelona. It is something Javier the owner has really taken to heart. Every inch of their space is a considered design decision with no compromises, a true labor of love. From the on-brand purples flowers that great you at the door, to the collection of classic rides, everything that is there fits with Javier’s unique taste. All of these things together have created one of the best bike retail experiences I have had the pleasure to visit. The shop has a lot of the usual suspects, Rapha, Assos, BMC, Parlee, and Time but it is how they have been laid out in the Pave space that makes the difference. It is a big space, in fact they could double their stock and they would still have more space left over than most shops. But instead they carefully curate what they bring to the shop and lay the products out with room to breath, like their special anniversary Tour display by Le Coq Sportif. They also carry a few brands hard to see in the US, like frame makers Pasculli and Milani. Like all good bike shops they become a magnet for the local ride scene. Every day at noon a lunchtime ride rolls out, down the coast towards Sitges, up into the hills at the back of the shop, or towards Barcelona. Demo bikes are taken out and tried, and the in-shop showers and lockers are usually pretty full from the local ride scene stealing a few hours off work in the afternoon. If you are lucky enough (or unlucky, depending on how the legs are feeling) you will see friends of the shop like Juan Antonio Fleche or Johnny Hoogerland roll out as well. Although I have a feeling that by the looks of Javier he might put a few people in the red on the way back to the shop. If you are ever in Barcelona it is a must visit. You will be greeted warmly by Javier, get a coffee, and I guarantee you will spend money.

Note: Thank you for the bottle of wine Javier, currently half way through.

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Categories: Classic / Design

Quoc Pham Cycling Shoes 05/19/2013


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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.

http://www.quocpham.com/

Categories: Classic / Design / Kit

The Art Of The Bar Tape Wrap 07/08/2012


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).

Categories: Classic / Design

The Fabulous Exploits Of Eddy Merckx 04/06/2012


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.

Categories: Classic / Design / Riders

Purple And Gold In Madrid 06/23/2013


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Walking around Madrid today it was obvious somebody hut the mother load of vintage bicycles and parts. Every commuter that passed was aboard classic lovingly brought back to life and adorned with vintage parts. Two favorites above. An immaculate purple Alan and these beautiful gold brakes from Mafac.

Categories: Classic / Rides

Cyclo Bicycles / Barcelona 07/28/2012


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.

www.cyclobicycles.com

Categories: Classic / Design / Rides

Frank Scherschel Photos Of The 1953 Tour 07/05/2012


© 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

Categories: Classic / Riders

Super Tresse 2000 05/01/2012


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“.

 

Categories: Classic / Design / The Other Stuff

One Tough Spaniard 04/04/2012


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.

Categories: Classic / Riders