Monday Bike Style: Bromptons Dwell here


I remember this pic in Dwell years ago when this couple were speaking about how Bromptons find a place in the homes of those where space however small costs 1000’s. And a brompton or two can fit in the cupboard. So in hour of my nifty (not used enough folder)

smith-brennan-residence-exterior-portrait.jpg

With most architect-designed homes, the program originates from the kitchen and main living area, but for Londoners Brad Smith and Brian Brennan it was very much what was not to be on show—specifically, their Brompton brand fold-up bicycles—that dictated the renovation of their 648-square-foot former coach house. The couple, who both work on the tech side of finance, bike to work each day, and they didn’t want to suffer the cycle-cluttering-the-hallway scenario that many city dwellers endure. Nor did they want to chance leaving the bikes outdoors; no matter how hefty the lock, a bike left on the London streets overnight will not likely be there in the morning.

Brompton Special Edition: Nickel


i would still prefer the raw lacquer version – or a ti version that they don’t make yet ….

 

FROM BROMPTON:

We are proud to announce the launch of the new Brompton Nickel Edition, our most premium bike to date. The Nickel Edition has a production run of 1,500 for 2016 and is available in all Brompton Junction stores and selected dealers worldwide. You can find your nearest Brompton dealer here.

The Nickel Edition is available worldwide, with each of this limited run of bikes sequentially numbered for added exclusivity. It is made from polished 50 micron high-phosphorus electroless nickel plating and is Brompton’s most advanced finish to date with exceptional anti-corrosion resistance, normally reserved for mining and deep-sea drilling equipment creating a beautiful and striking finish.

Want to see more Special Edition Bromptons? – Click here. 

The bike will also incorporate Black components which include black wheel rims, spokes and seat post. The bike will be available with an S, M or H Type handlebar, 2 or 6 speed. In the UK the bike will be available for RRP starting at £1,310. The Nickel Edition is available in all steel with Black components or as a superlight option with titanium fork and rear frame.

NAHBS (North America Hand Built Bike Show) WINNERS


from road bike review ….

Each year, the North American Handmade Bicycle Show brings together a unique and talented assortment of frame builders and bike enthusiasts. Each handcrafted piece is a reflection of the builder’s skills and imagination. Some builders went above and beyond the rest and were recognized at the awards ceremony for their creativity, vision, and craftsmanship. Here is a run-down of some of this year’s winners.

Groovy Cycleworks Best in Show

Groovy Cycleworks – Best In Show

The NAHBS Best In Show Award went to Groovy Cycleworks for an imaginative and superbly executed mountain bike and surfboard carrier. The level of detail on this bike is astounding with hand built wooden rims, a custom carved Brooks saddle, and integrated racks and fenders.

Groovy Cycleworks Best in Show

Built for an avid surfer, Groovy’s Kauai custom rig was designed with racks to carry a surfboard, making a commute to the beach a breeze. The integrated racks and fenders are also removable if a day on the trails instead of the waves is in order.

Groovy Cycleworks Best in Show

The Kauai’s 1960’s “Woody” inspired wooden features were superbly executed. Builder Rody Walter partnered up with an Amish carpenter to build the unique and beautiful wooden rims. The wooden fenders were one of the few pieces that Walter did not build himself, but he did fabricate the front and rear light boxes covers.

Groovy Cycleworks Best in Show

Ken Paulson carved the bike’s saddle with a picture of the bike owner surfing.

More info: www.groovycycleworks.com

LoveBaum Best New Builder

LoveBaum Bicycles – Best New Builder

LoveBaum Bicycles’ Chad Lovings won the prestigious Best New Builder Award with impressive details and ingenuity found throughout this gravel road bike.

LoveBaum Best New Builder

Having built just four bikes in his career, Lovings is certainly an up and comer to watch.

More info: www.lovebaumbicycles.com
Price: $1850 frame
Availability: 4-5 months

DiNucci Best Lugged Frame

DiNucci – Best Lugged Frame

DiNucci Cycles won the Best Lugged Frame Award with a frame that captivated fans and attendees thanks to its bare-metal state.

DiNucci Best Lugged Frame

While paint and finish work can hide imperfections, Mark DiNucci shared his flawless craftsmanship at NAHBS with several lugged varieties.

More info: www.dinuccicycles.com
Price: $5300 frame and fork
Availability: 8 months

Cykelmageren Artisan Award

Cykelmageren – Artisan Award

Cykelmageren’s artistic details and ingenious designs were the hit of the show with every tiny detail meticulously planned out and executed for aesthetics. Cykelmageren developed this bike specifically for the NAHBS Artisan Award category and then got the win.

Cykelmageren Artisan Award

Each component on the Cykelmageren road frame was hand crafted by builder Rasmus Gjesing. The brakes were built using a bandsaw rather than the more typical CNC machine process.

Cykelmageren Artisan Award

The shifting and brake systems were the most interesting aspect of the Cykelmageren design. A small click of the shift knob sets in motion a visible mechanism of chains and gears working together on the underside of the handlebars.

Cykelmageren Artisan Award

The Cykelmageren brakes work simply by squeezing and pulling back the cables for a simple yet elegant stopping system. The brake cables are strung with small nuts for added industrial character.

More info: www.cykelmageren.dk
Price: Estimated $200,000 – yes, seriously
Availability: N/A

REPETE Cycles Best Road Bike

REPETE – Best Road Bike

REPETE Cycles won the Best Road Bike competition this year with the beautifully crafted “REborn” road frame. REPETE’s Czech frame builders Mikolas Voverka and Robin Fišer established the company just one year ago. However the frame building duo’s craftsmanship is a testament to their individual years of experience designing and building handmade bikes.

More info: www.repetecycles.com
Price: $1890
Availability: 2-3 months

Brodie Bicycles Best City Bike

Brodie Bicycles – Best City Bike

Vancouver based Brodie Bicycles won Best City Bike.

More info: www.brodiebikes.com

No.22 Bicycles Best Cyclocross

No. 22 Bicycles – Best Cyclocross Bike

Choosing the Best Cyclocross Bike Award was one of the tougher decisions for NAHBS judges this year. Ultimately, No.22 Bicycles earned the prize with its beautifully crafted titanium Broken Arrow ‘cross bike.

No.22 Bicycles Best Cyclocross

When Serotta announced its unfortunate ending, No. 22 Bicycles snatched up production workers and builders from the timeless bike company. Along with these skilled workers came years of experience that was evident throughout each No. 22 bike.

More info: www.22bicycles.com
Price: $2700 frame

Mars Cycles People’s Choice

Mars Cycles – People’s Choice

Mars Cycles’ fillet brazed cyclocross bike wowed the crowds and took home this year’s People’s Choice Award.

More info: www.defthousebicycles.com/mars

SyCip Best Experimental Bike

SyCip – Best Experimental Bike

SyCip’s electric assist “go anywhere bike” won Best Experimental Bike. The e-bike’s fat tires are perfect for hopping curbs or taking back roads while running errands around town.

SyCip Best Experimental Bike

SyCip’s front rack is specifically designed to fit a six-pack.

SyCip Best Experimental Bike

The custom crankcase is built around Shimano’s mid-drive motor.

More info: www.sycip.com
Price: $2500 frame
Availability: 3 weeks

Alchemy Best Carbon Lay-Up

Alchemy – Best Carbon Lay-Up

Alchemy’s handmade carbon frames certainly stuck out in the sea of titanium and steel bikes at NAHBS. Alchemy won the Best Carbon Lay-Up Award for the company’s brilliant hand crafted carbon work.

More info: www.alchemybicycles.com
Price: $3950 frame, fork, headset
Availability: Four stock sizes available starting in May

Retrotec Best Mountain Bike

Retrotec – Best Mountain Bike

Retrotec’s brilliant orange fat bike won Best Mountain Bike at NAHBS this year, beating out all other fat bikes as well as all types of mountain bikes.

Retrotec Best Mountain Bike

Retrotec’s vibrant orange fat bike stole the show with its sweeping top tube and chainstay curves and a Pass and Stow rack painted to match.

More info: www.ingliscycles.com
Price: $1700 – $2400 frames
Availability: 5-7 months

Eriksen Best TIG-Welded Frame

Eriksen – Best TIG-Welded Frame

Known for immaculate TIG welds, it was no surprise that Kent Eriksen Cycles won the award for Best TIG-Welded Frame.

Eriksen Best TIG-Welded Frame

Eriksen’s precision with each TIG-weld was evident from top to bottom of every bike the company displayed at NAHBS.

More info: www.kenteriksen.com

Shamrock Cycles Best Finish

Shamrock Cycles – Best Finish

Shamrock Cycles took home the award for Best Finish with this eye catching paint job by Corby Concepts.

More info: www.lugoftheirish.com

The Nocturne on a Brompton


A friend out in Erbil was just speaking about the desire to buy a Brompton – I showed him this video and now he is …. he is back to Brooklyn tonight so will have to shop for one there. This is the video he loved … if it was me the Raw lacquer version would be my choice.

How many bikes? Time for N-1


  Very interesting article from single tracks – if I started again I would get one road bike a 650b randouneering rig in steel or titanium with Demi- balloon tyres 

  

and a 27.5plus titanium mtb hard tail come bikepacking rig come XC racer.

  
But here is the article:
That isn’t a typo, that minus should not be a plus.

I said N-1, something that should send shivers down any cyclist’s spine – the prospect of actually reducing, rather than growing a bike collection. We all know that the ideal number of bikes you can own is N+1, with N representing your current number of bikes, so why on earth would someone mention a concept so hurtful as N-1?
Well first let’s look at why N+1 is the correct formula. I’m sure we’ve all heard it whilst contemplating (or building) our new bikes: “You’ve already got a bike, why do you need another?” or “Does that mean you are selling your old bike?” To untrained eyes (let’s call them The Outsiders), cycling comes in two flavors, on-road and off-road. But to us, that’s the equivalent of telling Willy Wonka that chocolate comes in white and brown…
There are so many disciplines within cycling that, with the right drive, cash flow and storage space, there is always a new bike that can be purchased. This allows you to drill down to the nth degree, and get the most precise tool for the job – something The Outsiders will never appreciate.
My ever-growing bike collection has evolved from my first real bike, and has become a manifestation of Trigger’s Broom from Only Fools and Horses – “This old brooms had 17 new heads and 14 new handles in its time”.
My bikes all share some DNA; as my main bike was upgraded, some parts found their way onto other rigs, or they became the basis of a new bike build, but they still have their own unique uses.
That all sounds great: an ever growing number of bikes; conscientiously upcycling parts; win-win all round – so why on earth would I propose the idea of n-1? It’s not part of an intervention by a bank manager or a significant other, and I’m sure it’s not something that is unique to me. I found that I had a lot of bikes that were ideal for very specific tasks (although slanted a little more towards down than up), but sometimes my riding wouldn’t be that specific.
I had morphed from a specialist, with very specialist bikes, to a jack of all trades. If I wanted to go dirt jumping, downhilling, or BMX racing, I was fine, but if I wanted to see where the adventure would take me, would I be on the right bike? I missed heading out of the door and letting the adventure unravel in front of me, rather than the bike dictating the ride.
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To most of you there would be a simple solution to this: n+1; keep the downhill bikes, the BMXes, the dirt jump bikes and the XC racer and add a trail bike as an all rounder. Simple, problem solved, no sacrifices made and there’s another bike in the stable. But I faced another obstacle – I was moving to America.
I was left with a few options. Ship them all out there, take a few, or start again! I chose to start again – I went for n-1, and I cleared the collection down to just one road bike, purely for transport. How did this feel? Well apart from the cold hard realisation that there’s no money in second hand bikes, it was deeply refreshing – I had wiped the slate clean.
I traveled light (ish), and once I arrived in my new country I was able to take stock of who I was as a rider. What riding did I miss? What bikes did I miss? How much of what I had been doing was because of the people I knew, the habits I had developed or the equipment I had built up? With no bikes, no one to ride with and no preconceived ideas of what I should be riding, I was able to become the rider I had been hiding for who knows how long.
So am I the downhiller/BMXer that started out racing as soon as I found out what real mountain biking was? In short, no. I miss the memories, the experiences and the friends for sure, but I’m a different rider now…
…I seem to have developed into a masochistic adventurer.
The masochistic nature I got from racing, of giving it everything I had and knowing that I couldn’t have tried any harder. I missed out the adventures; the finding new trails and getting lost in the woods for hours. This was mostly because of the way my bikes had developed and because of my mindset – I can’t remember the last time I took the time to smell the roses. Instead, when I headed to the trails, it was all about how fast could I go, and not about how I got there.
And now? Currently the bike collection has grown by 1 – the road bike has been supplemented by a hardtail, and I am busy separating my racing/training brain from my riding brain.
Every ride I go on is an adventure, new people, new trails and new experiences and I am determined not to hit every trail in the red zone – like a training ride. My bikes have allowed me to discover new places and new people in an area I know very little about – and this is something I may not have found with my old bike collection and my old head down riding style

Morning constitutional


it comes after coffee of course.

  
Post school run with the kids – living only an 8 min walk from the girls school (it will be 4min to high school and also around 8 to glasgow university if they go there) means I rarely use a bike in the mornings. Today is different as I needed to drop off some expensive plugs to get some expensive speaker cables made up for my expensive stereo so I can enjoy priceless music. But the shop only opens at 10am so cycle around then back to a local for coffee

  
Sitting here delaying work and chores is quite lovely. I hope you got a ride (or time outside) today.

In defence of Brompton Man, the cyclist who puts function over style – Telegraph Newspaper


from the Telegraph

It’s easy to poke fun at Brompton Man, with his practical attire and holier-than-thou attitude – but his bike remains one of the most impressive on the road, writes Andrew Critchlow

Left: Andrew Critchlow tests a Brompton folding bike. Right: Hugh Bonneville as Ian Fletcher

Left: Andrew Critchlow tests a Brompton folding bike. Right: Hugh Bonneville as Ian Fletcher

Our roads are increasingly home to various tribes of bike rider. You’ve heard all about the Mamils (Middle Aged Men In Lycra) who thunder along the A23 on their way to work on £12,000 racing bikes; and you’ve probably noticed the Single Gear Hipsters, a younger strain of rider whose rolled-up right jean leg revolves furiously around a fixed crank somewhere near Hoxton.

But there’s one tribe that has hitherto snuck under the radar.

Brompton Man has been travelling with his foldaway bike on Britain’s roads and rails for decades. Every morning, he can be seen outside train stations, furiously unpacking his bike after a morning commute before disappearing into the distance, his feet whirling away like a hamster stuck on a circus wheel. And yet, unlike the Mamil and Single Gear Hipster, this figure of comedy has largely avoided ridicule.

Until now. Brompton Man was first deliciously parodied in the BBC’s excellent Olympic send-up 2012, where Hugh Bonneville’s well-intentioned executive Ian Fletcher was all fingers and cut thumbs with his prized Brompton, forever unable to make the bloody thing actually work.

And now we have a real-life embodiment of Fletcher – according to the Daily Mail at least, who this morning have cast BBC creative director Alan Yentob as the essence of Brompton Man. (I would be willing to bet that the corporation’s ‘swingometer’ man Jeremy Vine also has one tucked away somewhere in Broadcasting House.)

So just what makes Yentob and his ilk a true Brompton Man?

First off, there’s the bizarre uniform, which mixes one part office wear with one part luminous Gore Tex. Trouser clips come as standard.

Then there’s the look on his face. Because he rides a Brompton, Brompton Man is imbued with the self-righteous knowledge that although the folding bicycle looks absurd, he owns a true British design classic that puts function ahead of form. Can your flashy Pinarello be stored away in the cupboard under the stairs at home, his expression seems to ask.

He is, in other words, the James May of cycling. (And yes, May does ride a Brompton, in case you’re wondering.)

A Brompton S2L-X in its full glory

Brompton Man probably earns over £200,000 per year as a senior manager in a media company like the BBC, or by overseeing some politically correct department of a government-funded quango.

In meetings he often leaves colleagues baffled with mindless jargon such as getting “buy-in” or “core competency”. Possibly even more annoying is his capacity to drop into almost any conversation the fact that he can carry his Brompton on the packed train to Waterloo from Guildford at rush hour.

Brompton Man will leave his office door open to give the impression that he is willing to listen to anyone – but everyone knows that he really just wants you to see his folding bike stashed next to his desk instead of being chained alongside all the ‘normal’ bikes in the car park outside.

The Brompton does its contortionist’s act

Yes, Brompton Man really is a figure of mockery. And yet … I would happily own one of these made-in-England feats of engineering.

The truth is that I was lucky enough to test a Brompton last year. With all my preformed prejudices hanging from my shoulders like the weight of a 12kg folding bike, I decked myself out in full Lycra and tried to clock a fast time around my local Box Hill circuit on one of the machines.

Guess what? It was superb – fast and yet reliable; nimble yet stable. I rode it at 17mph for an hour, climbing and descending hills en route – and never once felt that I was cycling something that could, in the space of a few quick snaps, fold into something that would fit into the bottom draw of my filing cabinet at work.

The classic Brompton sells for around £1,000 – although in recent years, the company, which is based in West London, has introduced jazzier, flashier models. Instead of showing the bike being pedalled by some media executive in a ill-fitting florescent cycling jacket, the marketing clip for the speedster models features an anonymous racer in tights, who spins away furiously.

You have been warned.

A glimpse of the future: Andrew Critchlow test rides a Brompton