Leave the City. Seize the hills. Find the road. Ride the gravel.
The Woods Cyclery from the New Forest in the UK takes on their first shop bikepacking event.
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.
The Bombtrack team takes on the infamous Dirty Reiver, one of the UK’s most challenging dirt road courses, in their latest video.
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.
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.
As far as innovative randonneuring bag designs without the need for a decalleur, I’d say Restrap is onto something here with their Rando Bag.
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.
Photos via Fixed Gear Gallery
Anyone who’s dabbled in the world of vintage British path racers has surely heard this name before. I almost bought some Chater Lea cottered cranks and “sprint” pedals on a Higgins Path Racer years ago and a recent press release not only hints at the brand’s return, but states that the best of Britain’s foremost engineering minds from the world of Formula 1 are on board for the relaunch. I’m very into this news and cannot wait to actually see something come from this project.
Check out the press-release below.
One of the highlights of trips like this is bumping into people whose work you’ve admired and being able to see the fruits of their labor in person. For me, finally meeting Matthew of Saffron Frameworks at the Karoobaix was one of these moments. Matthew’s work is clean, precise and artful, as embodied in this disc all road bike, built especially for the Karoobaix.
Hope presents a video behind the HB.160, their carbon fiber, made in the UK MTB frame.
In cities like London, the battle for space unfortunately takes place between automobiles and cyclists. While it’s not a laughing matter, this film by a team of 16-19 year olds, is sure to bring a smile to your face.
XPDTN3 join Paul Errington and Olly Townsend on a 3-day trip in beautiful Northumberland, close to the Scottish border in the UK.
Jake Rusby is a framebuilding instructor at the Bicycle Academy and one that specializes in beautiful fillet brazed construction. In a way, through teaching students this artistry, he’s passing the torch of knowledge to the next generation of framebuilders and since the Bicycle Academy’s student reach is worldwide, his impact will only have positive results in the industry as a whole. This is Jake’s personal bike. It’s an all-day road frame, built with Dura Ace, with a more relaxed geometry when compared to a crit racing machine. Jake wanted a bike he could spend every waking moment on, soaking in the sun in the British countryside outside of Bristol, where he recently just relocated from in London.
What is most impressive about all of this is that Jake painted this bike himself. He wanted the contrast of a single color, with areas of intensity in the details. After masking off dozens of dots, he began the painting process, resulting in a halftone-inspired final product which achieves his intention quite well. Other details I found intriguing are the split seat stay bridge and head badge, both acting as a reflection of the other.
Bikes like this are all about the little details, adding to the overall composition. Hopefully, that’s a message conveyed to the students Jake teaches as well. See more of Jake’s work at the Rusby Cycles website.
Knowledge is best passed, like a torch, through experience. There are many institutions which educate hopeful framebuilders in the art of design, construction, and finishing of a bicycle frame. They each take their own approach to this process and many of our favorite builders have learned in this hands-on, classroom environment.
Nestled in an industrial building, within the town of Frome in Somerset, the Bicycle Academy threw their towel into the framebuilding education ring a few years back and in that time, have grown their curriculum into an impressive institution. All this could not have been possible if it were not for the successful crowdfunding operation and the 183 people who donated money and 23 individuals who donated their skills to jumpstart the Bicycle Academy.
… and if you wanna see more, check out BTR Fabrications.
There’s so much content from the UK pouring into the site over the next few days, so I thought this would fit in nicely. The Adventure Cycle Festival is coming next month in the Lake District. Be sure to click through to their site to read more and see the official press-release below.
Oftentimes I walk into situations not knowing what to expect and am completely blown away. Today was one of those times and I can’t wait to share this story with you next week. Huge thanks to the Bicycle Academy for the rad last day in Europe.