Brooks enlists some of the world’s best bike makers for new 150th Anniversary “Dashing Bikes,” and they’re shared here as they were presented to us.
Brooks have stipulated a single theme that will unite them all. The theme is ‘copper’. The simple rationale is that copper is a versatile and elegant material with which to work, and has long played an integral role in Brooks products. The copper rivet on a Brooks England saddle, for instance, is as iconic as any other single element of its, or any design. It remains to be seen how each of the builders will interpret this theme, but Brooks is busy preparing special saddles and accessories to complement the special paint schemes, head badges, and other details on the finishing kit of each bike.
The program is called Dashing Bikes and the list of collaborators is impressive. From the veritable Condor, itself a firm fixture in the history of British cycling, as well as that of Brooks’ own history, to Brompton, the brand synonymous with the words “folding bicycle”. Stalwart collaborators Pashley and Moulton as well as Canyon Bicycles who prepared a very special edition of their futuristic Commuter are also along for the ride.
But the program is by no means limited to builders from the UK. From Europe and elsewhere we will see editions from iconic greats like Dario Pegoretti, the great Italian exponent of steel frames, to belt drive innovators Schindelhauer, touring aficionados Tout Terrain. One will also find special creations from Achielle of Belgium, Skeppshult of Sweden, Pelago of Finland, Toykobike of Japan, the highly-stylish Moustache e-bike from France, and a top-level gravel grinder from Salsa of USA.
To be able to enlist the support of such eminent builders and brands is a testament to the brand’s appeal throughout the cycling world and a fascinating insight into the way Brooks is perceived worldwide. Each model will be featured in a rotating monthly display at the flagship B1866 store in Covent Garden throughout the remainder of 2016.
One of the first collaborations to be released are from Brompton Bicycle, featuring copper elements, a moss grey frame with beige details, a unique colourway and decals exclusive to the 150th anniversary. The next is from Skeppshult of Sweden, dressed with tasteful Cambium components in brown. These and subsequent model releases will be on display at B1866 at 36 Earlham St. London through the year. The Canyon Commuter Brooks 150 is outfitted with Brooks’ new Cambium C15 saddle, GP1 150 grips and Land’s End rear pannier, the Commuter Brooks 150 has a timeless look to last a lifetime.
On a Monday, when the weather is nice, it’s not raining….this view of the Gorge Roubaix. That’s one of those gravel rides you’ve been hearing us and other media talk about, and what bikes like the Trek Boone and the triple 3 fab are about. Lovely as the aerial photos are, they don’t share what it’s like on the ground, where the rubber hits the road. For a few words about that, on a ride just east of Seattle, read this article on Medium and in Issue 32.
As I said last week, this bike is road disc thru and thru. Here’s another at the Wilier Triestina GTR Team Disc in B/W and what I’m riding this weekend with a report, review, and my take on it in the next issue of our magazine, number 34. A little bit about the bike now is it’s their endurance model and will fit 28 tires, which will suffice for the less gravely, gravel rides…..
SRAM officially revealed their new 1x12 XX1 group, named Eagle.
In a nutshell, Eagle XX1 is not so much of a revolution as it is a maturation of the 1x concept. Imagine a 50T bailout gear added to the 10-42T cassette of the original XX1 and a lighter crankset optimized for XC combined with a very sophisticated chain construction. It is a flagship race gruppo that has gearing flexible enough for any sporting rider, not just professionals or people who ride less vertical trails. The direct-mount chainring takes 1x rings to the next level, addressing user complaints about noise and wear with the widely-copied 1st-gen X-Sync narrow-wide rings.
It is easy to say that SRAM is pushing 1x because they can’t make front derailleurs, but it is more accurate to say that rather than being inept at front shifting, they’ve just always been one step behind Shimano in that arena. With 1x, SRAM is making front derailleurs irrelevant. Sure, we can say that Shimano 2x10 and 2x11 drivetrains work great, and tell ourselves that SRAM is painting themselves in a corner by abandoning MTB front derailleurs. But 1x is the natural corollary to saturating the rear cluster with 12 cogs. Why would drivetrain designers add another cog if they weren’t going to ditch the front derailleur? Don’t try to say we consumers don’t need an additional cog. We probably don’t, but history predicts that we will buy it regardless.
If anything, the real reason for SRAM Eagle is that bike designers don’t want to build bikes with front derailleurs. Without accommodation for front derailleurs, bike manufacturers have a lot more freedom to design fatbikes, plus-size tyre bikes, and rear suspension. Consumers will buy 1x drivetrains because that’s what is going to hang on the new generation of bikes that have more tyre clearance, more travel, and are lighter. You can argue all you want about the virtues of front derailleurs, but that’s a conversation that only lives at bike shop water coolers and online forums, not bike companies.
That ship has already sailed.
XX1 Eagle groupset has a claimed weight of 1456gr and will retail for $1417. X01 Eagle (1502gr) will cost $1193. Expected availability for both groups is this June.
An incredibly fun two-week run of Belgian cobbled classics started today with Dwars door Vlaanderen, a semi-flat but challenging warm up to the hellish Ronde van Vlaanderen. However, the race almost didn’t happen after terrorist attacks ripped through the Brussels airport yesterday. Race officials considered cancelling the race, but it went on, albeit short a few riders. Giant-Alpecin couldn’t get their team into Belgium to start the race, Movistar had to field a stunted eight-man lineup, and Fabian Cancellara had to drive to the race from Switzerland.
Affinity Cycles, New York’s premiere track specific bicycle company introduced their new Anthem track bike today. The Anthem is welded using lightweight, aerospace grade air hardened True TemperOX Platinum steel. A distinct detail of the Anthem is a thin sleek integrated seat mast, and a proprietary seat post wedge codesigned with famed bicycle industry design engineer Aaron Panone of 44rn. Additional features include classic campy style dropouts, oversized downtube and a tapered head tube paired with an Enve fork. Shown in Bubble gum Blue, the frameset reatils for $1750.00 and complete builds start at $2750.00.
I was just explaining to my friend Martin how middle range bikes don’t get photographed like the high end ones do, and he shares a photo of his Giant Revolt 2. That’s a reasonably spec’d and priced trail bike at shops for under $1K. As the caption to his photo says, he bought the bike to ride the Boundary Bay Dyke Trail. Since Martin is getting back on the bike, expect to see more photos like the above. He told me he’s happy with it too. Probably going to change the saddle though.
Beer and bikes, right? Yep and here’s an event I just added to our calendar.
Beer lovers and cycling enthusiasts ride 42 miles round-trip, commemorating the eruption of Mount St. Helens
and it benefits The Hope Heart Institute, a Bellevue-based nonprofit organization dedicated to research, education and prevention of cardiovascular disease in the Northwest.
Redhook Brewery commemorates the May 18, 1980, eruption of Mount St. Helens with the annual Haul Ash Tour de Brew, a 42-mile round-trip ride along the Burke-Gilman Trail from the Woodinville brewery to LTD Bar & Grill in Fremont and back.
Upon arriving in Fremont, participants over the age of 21 can quench their thirst with a cold pint before biking back to the brewery for the Post Pedal Party, featuring hot food, cold drinks and live music.
Haul Ash and the Post Pedal Party are open to all ages. Beer and wine will be available for those who are 21+ with valid ID.
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Ride begins at 10 a.m. and will last approximately 2.5 to 4 hours.
Post Pedal Party lasts 12:30 to 5 p.m.
14300 NE 145th Street
Woodinville, WA 98072
Parking available on-site and in designated neighboring lots.
Participants can register online or on-site at Redhook Brewery in Woodinville.
Price ($40 preregistration, $45 day of ride) includes admission to the Post Pedal Party, two beer tickets and a Redhook messenger swag bag with Haul Ash pint glass, earbuds and Redhook koozie.
Family and friends can meet riders at the Post Pedal Party, with a suggested $5 donation to the Hope Heart Institute.