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A Weekend Pedal Across the English Isle with Pannier

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A Weekend Pedal Across the English Isle with Pannier

A Weekend Pedal Across the English Isle with Pannier
Words by Mark Finster, photos by David Sear and Stef Amato

The folks at UK-based cycling adventure co. Pannier are doing great things. From before I ever started backpacking and touring, I’d had a romantic vision of touring around the English countryside – stopping into pubs when I needed food and rest, waving at sheep. The “usual stuff” had always prevented me from actually doing it – namely, the logistics of mapping a route and flying a bunch of gear across the pond. So it felt like divine intervention just a few weeks ago when I discovered the Route Beer Ramble – a 200km weekend group ride from London to Bristol, wrapping up with custom-brewed beers (and a brewery tour) at Cocksure Brewing Co.

I was told by Stef and Dave (Pannier head-honchos) that I’d only need to bring a helmet, pedals and cycling shoes – they’d essentially handle everything else. This removed my biggest obstacle – and as the sole international traveler, it made booking this trip last-minute infinitely do-able. Upon arrival, Stef had me fully setup with a beautiful Surly Straggler with fat gravel tires and Ortleib weatherproof bags. All the necessary camping gear (tent, pad and bag) would be ready and waiting for me upon arrival at our first checkpoint. This was really almost a bit too good to be true.

Hope’s RX4 Flat Mount Disc Calipers

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Hope’s RX4 Flat Mount Disc Calipers

While these aren’t necessarily a new product in Hope’s expansive line of brake calipers and components but it’s new to me. I didn’t get a chance to shoot the Hope booth at Sea Otter, but I did see these Rx4 brake calipers, compatible with SRAM and Shimano brake levers. Have you used these yet? Are they as amazing as their MTB brakes?

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The Door

Orange’s new Five is just at home in Shropshire as it is in Tuscany. If only there was a way to ride both places in one day…

The Cotic Flare is Made in the UK

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The Cotic Flare is Made in the UK

The Flare is a 125mm travel, 27.5″ wheeled, light and lively trail bike, new to the Cotic lineup and with the announcement today, came the news that these bikes will be predominantly built in the UK. If you’re as intrigued as I am, head to Cotic to read all about it.

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Wales360

Bringing a taste of legendary off-road events such as the Cape Epic and BC Bike race to the classic trails of Wales, Wales360 will allow up to 600 riders, competing in teams of two or solo riders, the chance to discover a 550-kilometre route through Mid and North Wales over six,, point-to-point stages. Uniquely each day will feature a timed stage within the day of riding that is timed separately, taking influence from Enduro racing it gives riders the chance to push themselves to the limit on both the climbs and descents for a short section within the overall stage. Balancing challenge with reward is what Wales360 is all about.

See more at Wales360.

Felipe Pantone x Romance Allez Sprint

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Felipe Pantone x Romance Allez Sprint

Felipe Pantone’s work involves utilizing digital spaces to create dynamic patterns from spectral pixels, glitches and warped grids. The UK cycling apparal label Romance have collaborated with Pantone to apply his work to a one-off Specialized Allez Sprint bike fully customized. The bike is complete – with Specialized S-works finishing kit, Roval wheels and SRAM RED eTap groupset.

The bike is up for auction, with all proceeds going straight to the World Bicycle Relief charity. WBR help communities in rural developing countries to access education, healthcare and work through the power of bicycles.

Bidding opens 17th Nov and will close 10 days later on the 27th Nov 18. Sign up at Romance to be the first to know.

Rule the Mountain on the Kingdom Vendetta X2 Titanium 27.5+ Hardtail

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Rule the Mountain on the Kingdom Vendetta X2 Titanium 27.5+ Hardtail

One of the challenges of writing about and riding bicycles is finding your flow. Sometimes both just seem to propel themselves, and other times you hit a dead end. Luckily, my time on the Kingdom Vendetta X2 was not the latter. Rather, upon the first shakedown ride, I knew I was going to love riding this bike because of one reason: specialization.

Now, hardtails, while simple in their form, come designed for many specific uses. Within this realm of mountain bikes there is an endless combination of design and geometric tweaks, resulting in a bike that can either be tuned for a broad spectrum of riding, or a very specific niche. All this goes without saying, but you can design a hardtail that will climb exceedingly well and descend like a three-wheeled skateboard. Or descend like a banshee and climb like a one-legged pig. While most of these experiential data is subjective, a few key features are just straight up objective.

Currently, the cycling industry is at an all-time low, as in, the bikes are longer and lower – which is a good thing, but there’s a tipping point. A bike that rides well going up as well as going down, is going to have to strike a balance to reign supreme on the mountain. Luckily, that’s where the Vendetta rules in the Kingdom of mountain bikes.

A MoMA Moulton in Molteni Orange!

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A MoMA Moulton in Molteni Orange!

Thirty-five years after the inception of the Space Frame and the Moulton Bicycle Company, the made in UK frame brand has collaborated with the MoMA Design Store to release an exclusive special edition bicycle. Available exclusively for $2,590 (plus shipping) on MoMA Design Store’s website, and 53rd Street and Soho London locations, the MoMA Special Edition Moulton Bike possesses all the essential Moulton features for performance and comfort – space-frame construction, small wheels, and full suspension – all encompassed within the iconic and inimitable Moulton architectural aesthetic. 

Engineered for a smooth and efficient riding experience, the Moulton space-frame is uniquely separable for ease of transportation and stowage. With a full range of optional racks, bags and fenders, there is a Moulton bicycle for every use – sportive riding, touring, commuting and leisure. Every MoMA Special Edition Moulton Bike is hand-built in England by highly skilled craftsmen and is in stock now at MoMA.org.

Restrap’s Small but Big Saddle Pack

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Restrap’s Small but Big Saddle Pack

For those wanting a little bit more room than a traditional saddle bag, but not wanting to go to a full-size saddle pack from their bikepacking equipment, check out Restrap’s new Saddle Pack. This lightweight 4-liter, waterproof saddle pack is made in the UK of VX21, is Nylon-lined, with taped seams, it has a roll-top closure, utilizes magnetic fittings, and unique magnetic compression strap. This allows for easy and reliable closure. The Saddle Pack is large enough for tools, a jacket, and food, it’s perfect for day rides or lightweight bikepacking.

See more at Restrap.

the New Donhou DSS3 All Road Machine

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the New Donhou DSS3 All Road Machine

Built and bred with either ‘cross racing or dirt road riding in mind, the new DSS3 from the UK’s Donhou Bicycles pushes new geometry design, with versatility in mind. Built from a mix of Columbus and Reynolds tubing, with customized paint, geometry and build kit options. Check out all the details and more photos below and see more at Donhou Bicycles.