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

An Amazing Live Wind Map 03/29/2012

There is barely a ride goes by where we don’t comment on the wind. Cross wind, tail, head…I often check before I head out to see which direction it is blowing. Head wind on the way out, fast and in the back on the return. Well this map makes it a lot easier for riders in the US. At a glance you can see the wind patterns all over the country. Check out the zoom for your area. Amazing. It is kind of hypnotic.

Categories: The Other Stuff

The Icon Bronco: A Dream Team Car 02/25/2012

This is restoration at it’s best, if you can call it that. It was created by a company called Icon in LA founded by Jonathan Ward, that takes classic 4X4s and turns them into modern performance vehicles, keeping their classic good looks. This Bronco is in a custom matt volcanic grey, with a hint of metallic (we took the liberty of adding the pink Elcyclista stripe), a 5.0 Ford Coyote engine (the one from the Mustang) with manual transmission. They have literally reconsidered every item on this truck. They re-machined everything from door handles to the wing mirrors, put in architectural glass and redesigned the graphics on the Speedo. Now that is attention to detail.

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Categories: Design / The Other Stuff

A Sling Shot To Dutch + Wolf 01/25/2012

A little sling shot to our friends at Dutch & Wolf over in the UK, who are trying to get a nicely curated cycling boutique up and running. They are going to be offering some of the best cycling brands out there, alongside their own custom products. Also their own coffee no less, classy. Run by Mark McGrath a guy that knows a bit about style you can be sure you are going to get good advice. Keep an eye on their site as the stock builds up and they start to introduce their own products. Best of luck guys, hopefully see you out on the road soon.

Categories: Design / The Other Stuff

The Panniers Of Maastricht 05/02/2012

The Panniers Of Maastricht might sound like a great name for a band, but that is not why I am posting. On our days away from the classics walking around Maastricht and Bruges it was pretty obvious that the primary way of getting around town was by bike, and in a country where commuters all look pretty much the same, some are making a huge effort to infuse a little bit of color and personality into their ride. We kept spotting these customer made panniers which definitely stood out against the grey stone streets and overcast skies. Incredibly practical and beautifully designed. Although on reflection sticking a larger than life shot of you kid on your bag might be taking it a little too far…


Categories: Design / The Other Stuff

The Exceller Bike Shop / Bruges / Belgium 04/26/2012

In a city where the primary mode of transport seemed to be by bike, it takes a little effort to stand out from the crowd. In Bruges pretty much everyone was riding the typical dutch commuter, or sometimes a modern hybrid. But every so often we would spot someone on a classic Moulton folder, or a beautiful Pashley Guv’nor and wonder where they were picking them up. On one of our days off from the classics wondering around the streets I think we found the place, the wonderful bike shop Exceller. Over a cup of coffee with owner Christian he talked about how a love of design and all things well made became his way of defining what products he would sell through the shop.

He carries everything from beautifully built bikes (Pashley, schindelhauer, Cooper and Creme to name a few) to accessories, tools and the clothes you would expect to find in a quality boutique shop. But by coffee number two the good stuff started to unearth. Custom built lugged steel stems built by the same frame builder that built the original Merckx frames as executive paper weights. Handmade bells and pedals by Søren Søgreni. Custom saddles by Gilles Berthoud. But maybe my favorite of all was a box of Tressoplast cloth tape that I hadn’t seen in years. If ever you are passing through Bruges this shop is well worth a visit, especially if it is during the Tour when the stage starts in the main Square, Christian informs us there will be live coverage, sausages and beer served in the shop.

Categories: Design / The Other Stuff

Thanks KCE 02/18/2012

I don’t know much about KCE, but every now and again I get a lovely little piece of art in the mail. They show up in a beautifully hand-written envelope, and contain handmade cycling themed prints. In this case above, a cycle cross brake cable hanger. For now they are going up next to my desk here at the Elcyclista Service Course. Looking forward to the next one…

Categories: Design / The Other Stuff

They’re Off 01/22/2012

Despite feeling like there is still an eternity of winter to go, the PROs are already off and running. They really don’t seem to have much of an off-season anymore, it really doesn’t feel that long ago that I was sitting on the edge of my sofa screaming at Dan Martin in the finale of the Lombardia. The Tour Down Under has given us a great entrée to the season, with despite some riders commenting that they were “hardly touching the pedals“, the racing appeared pretty fierce on today’s Stage 5. It has also been the first opportunity to see some of the new team kits, bikes, rider swaps, and the return of some fallen hero’s.

I really don’t mind the Kartusha kit. I usually hate red kits but thus one actually does the sponsor proud by managing to stand out in a peleton of various shades of blue, black and white. I really wish Green Edge had done something closer to the national kit that Gerran’s is riding in, he really looks pretty classy. It is not to late yet, you haven’t left the country yet and most of Europe don’t believe the season has started. The LOTTO sponsor must be as happy as a sponsor could be as you can’t really see beyond their name on the team shorts.

Valverde is back, and despite being out for two years, seems to be riding with ease, and took a great win today beating Gerran’s in the sprint. That is pretty impressive even if a lot of riders claim to be not “riding”. Griepel looks fast, lean and mean (well he always looks mean) and seems to have power to spare. With a whole bunch of sprinters now split up and riding against each other I can’t wait to see the first pure sprinters finish, with Cav, Goss, Renshaw, Greipel, Hayman, and Pettachi, going head-to-head. Heinrich Haussler looks to be fit, healthy and looking happy to be back on the bike (despite taking a big bump in the pre TDU crits). Without doubt one of my favorite riders who is coming off a stinker of a season last year I hope to show well in the classics. Oscar Freire, well there is life in the old dog yet, a new team and a pretty new bike seem to have given him an few extra watts and hope of a run in probably his last classics campaign.

Specialized have dialed back the paint on the team frames and delivered pretty sweet looking Venge’s and SL4s. Trek has gone backwards and managed to deliver a completely expected frame compared to the classic Leopard track design from last year. There is no mistake that this is a Canyon, one of my favorite frames may be a tad over-decaled. It is nice to see Bianchi and the Celeste back in the peleton, and I can only imagine that with a team like Vaconsoiel on board they are going to get a lot of airtime.

I can’t wait to Milan San Remo!

Categories: The Other Stuff