The Most Beautiful Tools From The Swiss 07/09/2013


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No reason for your workbench to not look as good as your bike now. Some beautiful tools created by Swiss company Swiss Tools that add a nice touch of design to the things we just take for granted. They certainly are not cheap at $100, but damn they look good. If you are up for the splurge you can get them online here.

Categories: The Other Stuff

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

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

Escapes: Dream Routes Of The Alps 05/05/2013


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Described as a book for “Pass-Lovers“, this is a collection of some of the most stunning mountain shots you will ever see. The incredible images are shot by Stefan Bogner who runs a design agency in Munich. Each year he takes a break and relocates to the Alps to continue his documentation of the most stunning roads in Europe. They are a combination of images captured from both the road and helicopter through all the seasons. I found the book on a recent trip to Europe, but unfortunately it isn’t available here in the US. It can be ordered from the German publisher Editions Delius here. It isn’t cheap, but believe me if you are looking for some road inspiration, this is the book.

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Categories: Design / Routes

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

Anatomy Of A Jersey: Androni Giocattoli 05/12/2013


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Watching Stage 7 of the GIRO this week and Emanuele Sella get beaten into submission by Adam Hanson, there was lots of talk of how great it was that these guys were “up the road getting TV time for their sponsors“. In Hanson’s case the sponsors are obvious, and pretty well known. The team is also lucky to have principle sponsors who invest large amounts in the team, which in the end makes for a simple message and a nicely designed kit. In the case of Sella, not so much. A team that relies on a wildcard and the generosity of their national grand Tour finds it harder to attract the big name deal, and has to work hard to make the numbers work by bringing in as many backers as possible. It was just in this case apart from Venezuela (I took geography) I had no idea who any of the names where on the jersey (apart from the bike). So here it is, the anatomy of the Androni jersey.

Categories: Design / Riders

The Jossette Jersey By Cafe Du Cycliste 04/18/2013


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For the days when you can’t make up your mind, because the weather can’t make up its mind, the Jossette jersey by Cafe Du Cycliste is a good option to get you out the door quicker. Now granted when Anton sent me the jersey to test the weather here on the east coast of the US should have been ridable wearing it, but we were still down in the low 30s most days. So the jersey sat in its nice gingham bag while I was still wrapped up in multiple layers. Fast forward and the last few days have seen us get what feels like the beginning of Spring, and perfect riding conditions to try out this kind of jersey. Why is the jersey different? well it sits somewhere between wearing a jersey with a lightweight wind shell or wind vest, but allows you to keep the layers down (with a base layer). It has a high quality membrane layer and waterproof zip giving you insulation against rain and wind, while vents in the armpits and back pocket allow you to open it up to breath when you need it. The fit is pretty snug (although that might have something to do with me coming off the hug of winter with minimal miles in my legs) so it feels like you are wearing a race jersey but with the protection of an added layer without the bulk. It could be the perfect mountain climbing jersey, opened up on the way up to keep you cool, and with a pair of armwarmers good for keeping you warm on the way down. It is no surprise that the guys at Cafe Du Cycliste spend a lot of time in the Maritime Alps, where the climate varies a lot and can be a little bit damp. I can see where the inspiration for the piece came from. This is a really good addition to the kit bag for those days that catch you by surprise.

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Categories: Design / Kit