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

Steel Is Alive And Well In The Condor Super Acciaio 10/07/2012


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.

Categories: Design / Rides

The Race Of The Almost Falling Leaves 09/24/2012


I hate it when people mess with stuff that isn’t broken. If it hadn’t been for Rapha I would probably still be sitting on the sofa in November wondering who canceled the race. This coming weekend we will experience one of the most beautiful races in the world, The Tour Of Lombardia, or The Race Of The Falling Leaves. Except this year maybe it would be better to call it The Race Of The Almost Falling leaves because it isn’t quite that time of year yet because of the UCI? The UCI in all their wisdom pushed it up two weeks so they could squeeze in another race, The Tour of Hangzhou. Yes that Chinese monument that the Pro’s love to travel to the other side of the world for. Alas the spectacle of Lake Como and its surrounding roads will not be reduced. If I had to pick one race I could go to every year this may be the one. The location is stunning, there is a reason why famous people all live in the same place. The racing is exceptional, as riders squeeze out that last ounce of fitness before heading into winter and the ever shrinking Off-Season (and final contract negotiations). The fans are incredible, and the food….man the food is so good. To this day I still had one of the best Calzones I have ever eaten in Tremezzo. If you are lucky enough to go and have got time to ride, yes you have to do the Ghisallo, it will be packed on race day and a “competitive” ride up with the locals should be expected. Nobody will be holding back. Don’t skip the west side of the Lake above Menaggio, and the SS340. It is a lovely climb over to Lake Lugano and Switzwerland for coffee and proper chocolate, and you will be back in time for an afternoon espresso at Café Del Pess overlooking the lake and the ferries back to Bellagio or Varenna. It really is a special place to ride and a hub of Italian cycling, plus Moto Guzzi are built on the shores of Como, so you can expect to see nice bikes of all types.

Categories: Races

“Velo” From Graphical House 09/22/2012


Love this poster from design shop Graphical House in Glasgow. Inspired by the velodrome and printed real nice using professional quality Ultra Chrome K3 inks on 300gsm Hanemuhle Photorag paper. Get in here

Categories: Design

The $9 Bicycle By Izhar Gafni 09/13/2012


Inspired by a canoe made from cardboard, Izhar Gafni set about proving you could make a bicycle from cardboard. His first product release is called the Alpha, a bike made from recycled cardboard and weighing in at 20lbs. The company is currently seeking funding to get the bike into production, so it s unclear if we will actually see it on the streets yet. The adult version would sell for around $9-$12, but maybe more interestingly based on the aesthetic there is a planned kids bike for $5. I can’t find any information on how they are managing to keep the cost so low based on the fact some of the mechanical parts (pedals, brakes, cables…) aren’t made from cardboard. I also wonder how the bike would be perceived by bike thieves, when the very thing you are trying to steal is less valuable than the lock you are trying to break to steal it.

Categories: Design / Rides / The Other Stuff

Colnago Master From Dutch & Wolf 09/28/2012


Another beautiful build by Dutch & Wolf, this time a Colnago Master “Bowden” build. I like the look of the custom built wheels with Starley carbon 38/50 rims, weighing in at 1350g. Looks like a great ride. I am in love with red bikes again.

Dutch & Wolf

Categories: Rides

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

09/11/2012


I spent last weekend picking my way around the Pennsylvania countryside on the annual Shoefly Ride, and managed to turn a 64 mile ride into an 81 mile ride with a few choice wrong turns. If you you ever get the chance to ride in this area, jump at it. Rolling hills through farmland, and the occasional Mennonite carriage make for a good day in the saddle. It was my first visit to the Shoefly, and if you are looking for a nice mellow, well organized, club run ride this is a great choice.

Categories: Rides