A while back I started thinking about doing a number of limited edition projects in a series of different formats. Short runs, that would allow me to work a little quicker and play around with the formats I love. I just got back the proof of the first of these projects, a poster titled THE GREAT CLIMBS OF EUROPE helping kick-off ELCYCLISTA EDITIONS. Since I was a kid I have loved maps, and could easily spend hours with my head stuck in an atlas taking imaginary trips along roads and up mountains all over the world. This progressed later in life to crossing off the climbs I traveled to around Europe, and highlighting the ones I still hoped to do next. All of this inspired the Climbs poster (click on the images for a larger detail view).
Interestingly, without ever tracing the boundary of a country, the climbs we all love still define the shape of the regions we gravitate to each year to challenge ourselves. I started out with the monuments, those climbs passed into cycling folklore through races and riders that have given them great stories. Then there are those mentioned in conversations with local riders, people we have met on the road, picked up in articles, or discovered through studying race routes. Key cities were added next, the places we travel in and out of, and the ranges and areas where all of these exist. Together these created a footprint that document the climbers playgrounds of Europe, and hopefully giving you some inspiration as to where your next ride might take you. The prints are available for order at our shop here.
The Posters are printed by SUPREME here in Brooklyn and are of exceptional exhibition quality. They are created using the Giclée inkjet printing process using archival inks to create fade-resistant prints, typically used for gallery printing. They are printed onto an enhanced 260gsm Matte paper. We are offering the prints in two standard sizes (unframed), printed to order with a 5 day turnaround:
SIZE 1: 18″ X 24″ print at $80
SIZE 2: 24″ X 36″ print at $140
The total first edition of all sizes will be 124 prints, all hand numbered. Why 124? Well Sean Kelly our fellow country man and all round great rider was know for his exceptional descending skills (check out this video at about 4mins of him coming down the Poggio in pursuit of Argentin). His fastest clocked decent was on the Joux Plane into Morzine at 124 KM/H. So 124 prints in honor of what goes up must go down.
FESTKA from Vinohrady in the Czech republic create a limited edition of 25 frames each year called the Pablo, named after their inspiration Pablo Picasso. The frame certainly looks like an original and is a bold approach to putting paint on steel. Great detailing in the stem and right down to the stem cap. You can find out more about them a here. Or if you are at NAHBS you can see them there at their stand.
The latest frame from VANDEYK in Germany is the stunning “Purple Blast”. Inspired by the iridescence of flares the paint was done in partnership with a high-end car paint shop. Limited to 25 frames only, this one is seriously going to stand out down at the coffee shop.
It is worth taking a look over at the HOWIES site. They are doing a limited time run of some of their classics from a collection of t-shirt designs that date back to 1995, including this one above “Ride Like Hell”. See more of the designs HERE
We are very happy to give a sling shot to some neighbors here in New York City, SURNAME. A company of two, who make everything by hand, and craft some beautiful components for your ride. Everything they make is made from reclaimed wood sourced here in the city or upstate New York. There is something nice in taking what is tossed aside by the city in the name of “progress” (or maybe storm damage now), and remaking it into something both practical and beautiful. Joists taken from renovated buildings, to the old boards of Coney Island, Surname have crafted a small selection of hand made products. They have a 1-2 week lead time and often do special batch runs of limited woods when they can get hold of them. A Fender, a Straight Bar and a Carry Basket (box). I am going to get a Straight Handlebar made of Ipe wood, not because I have any practical use for it right now, but just because it looks damn nice. More info on SURNAME here.
I love Trakke bags from Glasgow. Well made, and made local (well if you are in Scotland that is). They have done a really nice line extension in a partnership with Harris Tweed, one of Scotland’s most endearing and world famous brands. A combination of weave and waxed cotton the bags are aesthetically beautiful but also durable enough to survive a Scottish winter. And believe me if they can survive the streets of Glasgow in the winter they are pretty much suitable for anywhere. There are four bags in the line with their classics, and the addition of a new shape called the “Wee Lug” – what’s not to like about a bag called that. More info here.
This weekend I was eventually able to finish the build and get some miles on my recently delivered Condor Super Acciaio. This was the first time I had put together a steel frame in a long time, and after over a decade on carbon I was eager to see how it felt. The build is pretty sensible with really the only nod to trying to save some weight going to the Hollogram SL crank (one of the lightest and stiffest on the market). The wheels are a bomb proof set of early Edge Comps, that after 3 years on them still ride true and strong. First impressions after a 3 hour ride were nothing but positive. I haven’t put it on a scale yet but I can tell you it feels light for a steel build. It rides beautifully on flat and rolling hills, smooth, comfortable and super responsive out of the saddle. It surprised me most when climbing. You don’t get that initial zip of speed you get on a carbon frame with low profile rims, but I soon got the felling that attacking the bottom of a hill with power and settling into a tempo is the way to use it. It actually climbs really well. Next up I am putting the Campy Hyperons on it to see how it feels. If you are in the market for a steel frame you should definitely have a look at the Supper Acciaio. I have a feeling it is one of those frames you keep all of your life. More to come as I spend the Fall on it.
Summer is over. Today was the first day out there in ages where armwarmers and a second layer were needed. It was also the first day in ages that I felt like I was dodging the weather. Apart from a good jacket and gloves there is no other more important piece of winter kit than a good pair mudguards. These ones from Scottish company Woodguards sit somewhere between practical and art. The guards are made from recycled timber, and the color is applied using Formica. They make a few different sizes, a 29er and a 27 inch (700c), and they also do a 26 inch for mountain bikes. Check them out here for more pictures and stock.