A little Sky Rapha Kit Love 02/02/2013


It is at this time of the year I think I am most jealous of the pro’s life, as they return to the job of riding, refreshed and full of hope for the new season. Embarking on trips to Mallorca, Australia and Argentina to spend weeks riding on sun-kissed roads. Older team members rekindling room-mate relationships like old married couples. Showing up at camp carrying a little too much weight, but also just right, trusting their bodies that it will be gone in the next 6 weeks in-time for the classics. New team members sometimes riding in their old team kit looking for a career reboot, or nervous young riders putting shoes on next to stars they have admired from afar, who have maybe over-trained just a little too much to be “good at camp”, and make a good first impression with the new DS. But it is actually really none of this that makes me jealous. It is all that f*#king new kit! I love new kit.

Nothing makes me happier than riding a new build for the first time. Or slipping my arms into a nice new jacket, or a pair of shoes that are still perfectly white. So you can image how my jealously went to 11 when I saw not one, but two! kit cases that Rapha delivered to the team members of SKY. There is no disappointment to be had here my fellow kit therapy seekers. This is no Fuji-Servetto skin colored kit that made the riders look naked on the bike. There is no “what the f#*k is this…” moment here. Just a nod and a smile in the knowledge that every other team in the village and on the start line is going to be very very jealous. Yes the new Rapha Team SKY kit is nice. Simple, but not boring. Just enough design, to be well designed, but not brash. Not overstated in an Italian kind of way, but making a strong statement in itself with its minimalism. I am happy to see a British brand show the Italians and French how to do style, in a way that they have mastered and lead in fashion, product design and cars, but seem to be remiss in bringing to their cycling teams. Chapeau Rapha.

Categories: Kit

Surname / Made In New York 10/30/2012

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.

Categories: Design / Kit

Woodguards 09/22/2012

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.

Categories: Design / Kit

Our C59 Build With Ifixbyx 07/19/2012

With a fine Belgium ale in one hand and a camera in the other I spent a nice couple of hours watching David Somerville at Ifixbyx put together my C59. It is a pretty unique place to have work done on your bike. Right in the middle of Manhattan’s Fashion district, tucked away on the 4th floor of a shared office block, Ifixbyx is somewhat of a Mecca for the New York racing scene. Not really a bike shop (they only carry the parts that they need and are on demand by the local riders) they offer the service of everything you need done to your existing ride, or starting from scratch. Their attention to detail and dedication to getting it just right is pretty rare these days. If you hang around long enough you always pick up a few gems of knowledge as well. On this trip: 1) To get the perfect rear derailleur cable cover length (from the frame into the rear derailleur) the magic number is 23cm – this makes sure the cable cover goes into the derailleur straight, giving smoother shifting. 2) On Campy cassettes they keep the individual cogs aligned using a little plastic “widget“, allowing you to drop them onto the wheel in one swift movement – as demonstrated by Mark. After putting some miles on it this week I will be back in to have the fork cut back and a few tweaks to the gears – but it is pretty much riding like a hot knife through butter. A few shots from the afternoon in the gallery below.

C59 Build

Categories: Kit / Rides

A Custom Saddle Made From A Basketball 06/12/2012

Another amazing custom saddle by busymanbicycles this made from a recycled basketball. The saddle is hand stitched using the reclaimed leather and the black panels were added to keep the look of the ball. This is a true one-off piece. Gorgeous. This guy just does incredible work.

Categories: Design / Kit

Howies Bringing Back Some Classics 11/01/2012

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

Categories: Design / Kit

Trakke + Harris Tweed 10/22/2012

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.


Categories: Design / Kit

The United Colors Of Cycling 08/21/2012

The Grand Tours over the last year have given us some spectacular, edge-of-your-sofa, scream-at-your-TV racing, delivered to us by the next generation of teams and riders at the top of their game. The Cobo, Wiggins, Froome battle in the Vuelta last year was incredible to watch. Wiggins winning The Tour this year. An incredible win by Ryder and his battle with “Purito” at this year’s Giro. De Gendt nearly stealing it all on the last climb of three weeks of racing.

In honor of this next wave of riders, and a newfound unpredictability and excitement in racing, we dedicate this t-shirt to a new era of racing with riders committed to racing clean. The United Colors Of Cycling. Inspired by the leaders’ jerseys of the Grand Tours we created this Elcyclista Edition T-shirt in a limited run of 100 shirts. A 5-color print on an ash grey American Apparel 100% cotton shirt. Interest has been great since we announced the project, so we think they will sell out quickly.

To purchase the T-shirt, go to our store HERE and place your order.
Note: Orders placed this week won’t ship until Monday – Sorry, we are on the road riding.

Categories: Design / Kit

The Giro Air Attack: Thumbs Up, Or Down? 06/20/2012

Last September when Mark Cavendish threw his bike for the line in Copenhagen there was something that just didn’t look right in the picture. Why did he have cling film wrap over his helmet? (see picture). Somehow they had managed to take one of the nicest helmets out there, the Specialized Prevail, and rendered it to look ugly. I understand the “marginal gains” philosophy when you are at a world class level, but I hope some trickle down technology stays with the pros, as in the end it kills how I make 50% of my buying decisions, it just doesn’t look good.

Today I opened a browser with great excitement to see the new Giro Air Attack (I am a Giro fan, and own an Aeon), and you know what, I can’t decide if I like it or not. It reminds me to much of the Saran Wrap Prevail that Cav wore. I have watched the video, and all of the innovations in the design make sense, but I am just not sure my head ever feels that hot in a long NYC summer ride. Or that I really need my noggin to be that aero. One of the nicer avenues for riders to add a little personality to their look is through their choice of eyewear. The Air Attack suggests replacing that with a flick on magnetic “shield” (although the picture above does show you can wear standard glasses with the helmet). All interesting changes, but I can’t help but feel I would look like a bit of a nob out there on the weekends wearing this helmet. Alas I will hold final judgement until I see it and try it on in the flesh.

Categories: Design / Kit

Our First T-Shirt: The United Colors Of Cycling 06/07/2012

I just put the design together for our first Elcyclista t-shirt to be produced this summer. Inspired by the leader jerseys of the grand tours, the international flavor of cycling, and a nod to a certain Italian brand. We are going to do the t-shirts in editions, so email if you are interested in having one held back (with your size) before they go on sale later in the summer.

Categories: Design / Kit