Category Archives: UK
Brooks Heritage in Video

Well, we’ve seen the saddles being made through photos, now let’s look at Brooks’ portage line through this video…

Jun 25, 2014 1 comment
A Look Inside Brooks England
Luckily, Eric's got steady hands!

Since 1866, Brooks England has been making bicycle saddles in the UK. While their original facilities were located in Birmingham, the current factory is nestled in the industrial town of Smethwick.

We’ve all probably owned a Brooks saddle at one point in our life and can attest to their longtime comfort and character that develops from heavy use. Before a saddle ever touches a seat post, they begin as just raw leather and steel. The process by which they make the transformation to a bicycle saddle is complex, yet streamlined in their bustling factory.

Dozens of employees make Brooks England tick and each has their special task. While they will transfer stations every few months, a unique marker on the saddles can tell you who was doing what, when. This catalog of information spans decades and is what makes Brooks so unique. If something goes wrong with a batch, Brooks can asses the situation and make their end product better.

For me, the most interesting part of the process was talking to the workers and watching them move through their tasks with efficiency… In an age when Great Britain has shipped much of its industry overseas, it’s great to see heritage and craftsmanship are still alive at Brooks.

See more in the Gallery, as I walk you through this process.

Jun 25, 2014 5 comments
Rapha: Kings of Pain Collection – Black as Black
RAPHA-kingsofpain

I know what would look great with that new black Giro Synthe helmet, the newest collection from Rapha. The Kings of Pain collection is easily the best capsule this year from the brand, with a redefined club jersey, a black cap, black essentials case and a bottle opener.

See more below and the full capsule collection at Rapha. Seriously, I have these pieces and they rule.

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Jun 25, 2014 3 comments
Richard Hallett’s Classic Road with Campagnolo Nuovo Record
Richard Hallett's Classic Road with Campagnolo Nuovo Record

Richard Hallett is the author of The Bike Deconstructed: A Grand Tour of the Modern Bicycle and part-owner of Sportif Magazine, a new publication in the UK that focuses on, you guessed it, sportif rides. While at the L’Eroica Britannia last weekend, I had the pleasure of both seeing Issue 01 and having the opportunity to shoot Richard’s newest frame, his vintage road.

Laced with Campagnolo Nuovo Record throughout, built with Columbus Zona tubing, Cinelli 1a / CdM bars and a Turbo saddle, this is about as classic Italian as you can get, coming from the UK, anyway. The polished stainless seatstay caps and head badge pop from the classic Gios-inspired paint. All this, topped off with a custom painted Silca pump from the 70′s and rolling on Challenge Strada tires. Sorry, tyres…

For added stiffness, Richard used a bi-lam construction on the bottom bracket (not pictured – you’ll have to figure that one out on your own). Richard’s bike took him across the L’Eroica Britannia 100 mile course with ease, which is partially a testament for his own fitness as a life-long bike racer.

While I enjoyed photographing this bike in the morning sun, as it kissed the Peak District’s green hills and cow pastures, I had even more fun shooting the shit with Richard each night. I’m very impressed with both Sportif Magazine, Richard’s frames and wish both of them the best. Holler at him on Twitter for more information.

Cheers!

Jun 24, 2014 7 comments
The 2014 L’Eroica Britannia
Into the hills.

Themed rides are quite popular. You know, where you dress in vintage clothing, on a vintage bike and the whole time you ‘gram with a brand new iPhone as photographers shoot away on the best DSLRs available. These rides take you, en masse around a town as on-lookers wonder what brought all these people to their streets. You ride for a little while, drink for a long while and head home, remove your garments and pack them away for the next ride.

The L’Eroica is not a themed ride in that sense, although many of those traits apply here. You must ride a vintage bike older than 1987. Your attire should be of similar age, as well as your shoes, gloves and other accessories but don’t be mistaken, this is no casual jaunt around the park. This is no leisurely stroll, only sated by a cold beer at a pub. The L’Eroica Britannia is a ride for cyclists.

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Jun 23, 2014 28 comments