Bicycling high tech gear and gizmos gets all the buzz but the fastest growing segment of the self-propelled two wheel world is the urban market and its riders have very different needs.
From across the Pond, Brooks England is one of those 'heritage' brand that makes retro-styled saddles, cycle bags and parts...that are just right for today's bicyclists wanting serious high style on their rides.
For Fall/Winter 2013 the Brooks England collections includes the new plush leather Cult Bag group joining a complete bunch of durable haulers-totes, shoulder bags, rucksacks/panniers ---that easily transcend off the bike ---looks-wise. Really well done---and worth the price typically low to mid-hundreds($) for the bags.
|Islington Rucksack-Made in Italy -adjustable straps, water resistant cotton fabric+vegetable tanned leather available now|
|Made in England Barbican Hard Leather Shoulder Bag vegetable tanned leather w/ adjustable shoulder strap available now|
|Pickwick Cult- soft plush leather, sturdy straps carry like a backpack or by the grab handle|
Slim and portable- minimalist masters-white and red LED lights encased in colorful water resistant plastic-easy to attach with elastic pulls.
PEdAL ED is a "daily cycling lifestyle" collection of meticulously made garments that are composed of repurposed materials sourced from the military and vintage cycling separates-as well as natural materials --- hemp, linen, and organic cotton, and performance textiles like reflective stretch denim.
|Born Again Collection-Re Vest Reversible-made of repurposed military sleeping bag and stretcher materials-with double entry rear back pocket, easy entry front side pockets, YKK zipper, reflective pops|
We wrote about this line last year-the brainchild of Japanese fashion designer, Hideto Suzuki---who is dedicated to fashioning comfortable and technically performing (ventilating, moisture wicking, weather-tough)-men's jackets, tops and bottoms for wear on and off the bike.
|Made in England -Charge Bicycles|
So smart-we see Big Shot custom made, have it your way single speed and fixed gear bicycles appealing to the matchy match crowd---with color options galore---
Of the moment- we saw and were reminded of the time we attended Berlin Fashion Week where hundreds rode the same sturdy black bikes to the shows---in high heels no less.
Now more urban chic options are available for the ultimate custom ride...for less than $500-a price we note is the typically coinage required for an accessible' high-end luxury handbag.
BIG SHOT BICYCLES
BOA® Closure Systems are dial-on custom, glove-like fits' system like no other- that once experienced, it is VERY hard to embrace back the traditional laces/velcro/buckle paradigm of footwear enclosures...
In the cycling world of kicks-major brands such as Specialized, Scott, Lake, Louis Garneau and Diadora-have models with the dial for easy on off/custom comfort...micro adjustments that eliminate the hot spots and equalized pressure for a uniform feel.
|Scott Road shoes|
Specialized-lightweight, one handed on the fly adjustments that stay put---triathlons, road, and MTB shoes with BOA® Closures available.
Polartec® is one of the giants of innovative textiles-with breakthrough technology-often military driven---trickling down tot he consumer markets---delivering warmth/comfort/protection against the elements---with fab, next of skin feel and versatile properties that allow for blending with other fabrics- and draping for ideal fits.
Recently, we saw a very smart, very VERY small collection of urban bike rider clothes from Chicago based NONETHELESS clothing line of "highly functional" men's clothing. Bonus points-too-eco- driven MO- using sustainable fabrics, cradle-to-cradle products-something we see in the performance wear market but not too much in the fashion world.
"Purpose-driven"---we love how slim cut these Polartec® NeoShell Heavy Duty Jeans are-waterproof/ breathable-with four way stretch---in a handsome trouser silhouette---featuring more room in the thigh -5 pockets, gusseted crotch for ease of movement (something we see in Hiker/Climber pants), non-slip waistband...all well done.