Rainspotting Watch Party

The chaps at Pannier and Brother Cycles spent some time cycling across the Scottish Highlands earlier this year and the result was this film: Rainspotting. It was originally due to be shown at various venues around the UK so as this is no longer possible they've gone for a Watch Party instead. Not sure what one of those is? Read on to find out everything you need to know...

Rainspotting

RAINSPOTTING - Film Release

An 84-hour bikepacking ramble through Scotland’s gloomy Grampians…

In light of all their film screening & talk cancellations, Pannier.cc & Brother Cycles are to release their new bikepacking film - Rainspotting - via “Watch Party” at 19.30GMT Wednesday 25th March 2020.

 And, they'd like as many of you to join as possible...

Watch party [n.]
When folk ‘get together’ to watch the same video/film online, in real-time. Nope, we’d never heard of one until now, either…


Calling all outsiders, cyclists, bikepackers, tourers and armchair adventurers. Fill up your favourite enamel mug and head to the Scottish Highlands for 17-minutes of escapism - following a group of cyclists as they head off on an opportunistic wintry journey to ride the old-established network of gravel drove roads, only to find themselves bogged-down exploring the alluring voids in between. Expect sleeper trains, rain, snow, magical munro-mountains, gravel, cullen skinks, cranachans, bogs, bridges, and la-di-dah land-owners...Comments (and heckles) welcomed.

 

The film will be released on the 25th of March at 19:30. Grab yourself a drink and snack (preferably from Tunnocks) and watch the film here:

Rainspotting


PANNIER are a bikepacking tour/expedition operator and content/marketing production company based in-and-around the Peak District National Park, UK. Contact - [email protected] [www.pannier.cc / @panniercc]

BROTHER CYCLES are a UK-based bicycle brand producing a range of steel gravel, adventure and urban bikes and framesets. Contact - [email protected] [www.brothercycles.com / @brothercycles]

FRANCWORKS is the creative motion studio of Luke Francis; capturing adventures in film and putting design in motion for independent brands, charities and international organisations. Contact – [email protected] [ www.francworks.com / @francworks ]

What have Beryl been up to?


We started selling the Beryl Laserlight several years ago. Beryl been busy since then, diversifying into bike design and share schemes, so we thought we’d have a look at some of the projects that Beryl have undertaken whilst pursuing their mission of getting more people onto bikes.

Name Change

As Beryl spread across the Atlantic they ran into a trademark dispute with with their original name, Blaze. A US based company were already selling lights as Blaze, so there was no way to progress is the US without a new name. It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but the opportunity to change their name meant Beryl could embrace the fact that they have evolved into much more than just a bike light company and look to the future of what they wanted to be.

The name Beryl comes from two places - the mineral which (can) share the distinctive green colour of projected Laserlight and the after Beryl Burton. Beryl Burton dominated the womens cycling scene in the UK for many years, winning medals on the track, setting time trail records across all distances and two first place finishes in the world road race championships. As the team at Beryl started designing bikes and bike share products, the team’s skill set started to diversify - similar to how Burton was skilled across multiple disciplines.

Beryl Logo

Beryl's current logo in the brilliant green not too dissimilar to the gemstone that they share their name with

B-Corp

Becoming a certified B Corporation is a serious undertaking for any business. The assessment process shows businesses about the wider impacts that they have and in order to gain the certification you have to show that any decisions made take into account the effect on company staff, the environment and the wider community. Importantly, a business becomes legally responsible to balance people and profit. Full details can be found here, on the B Corp website.

There was already a desire within Beryl to commit more to their environmental and community targets and getting the B Corp certification was a logical step.The assessment process gives you a score out of 200, with 80 being the pass mark. From the first assessment (which wasn’t quite successful!) to the assessment that passed took 18 months of work. Beryl have a great article detailing the process they went through, showing the amount of work that goes into getting the certification.

Beryl Laserlights

Becoming a B-Corp requires a lot work from all aspects of a business - it's a real team effor to get there.

 

Beryl Bikes

Beryl has worked with several high profile bike share schemes over the past five years - including London, New York, Montreal and Glasgow. They helped out in varying capacities, such as installing the Laserlight into share scheme bikes and co-designing the Santander Cycle for London.

With this prior experience and the desire to get more people cycling round cities, Beryl have been quietly working away at their own bike share scheme over the past few years. In that time we’ve seen several projects come and go from the UK, with a variety of reasons for them closing down. It is important to work with all people involved from the cyclists themselves to the city councils who provide the space to park them. Beryl’s process has involved these people as early as possible, to make their scheme as practical and user friendly as possible.

The bikes themselves have been designed a little differently from other hire bikes. For example, Beryl Bikes are constantly online, meaning they don’t rely on QR codes or your phones bluetooth to locate them. These electronics all need powering and with some clever work around hub dynamos and batteries, the bikes power themselves. Beryl have got through all the details of the bike to make sure it is up to task of carrying people around their luggage around the city on a daily basis.

Right now, you can ride Beryl Bikes in Bournemouth, Poole, the City of London and Hereford. Full details of the scheme can be found on their wesbite.

The Beryl Bike
Bery Bike rider one
Beryl Bike rider two

The Beryl Bike

New Lights

In the latter part of 2018, Beryl released some new lights. These lights are the Laserlight Core, the Burner Brake and the Pixel. Rather than obsessing over lumen counts and aerodynamics, Beryl focussed on making lights that are keep you as visible as possible.

Laserlight Core

The Laserlight core uses a combination of a 400 lumen LED and Beryl’s laser projection to keep you visible on the road. The housing is made out of a smart grey polymer, the mount is tool-free and you can charge the battery using a standard micro-USB cable.

Beryl Laserlight Core Lifestyle
Beryl Laserlight Core Studio

The Laserlight Core projects an image of a bike on the ground in front of you

Burner Brake

The Beryl Burner Brake light is a rear light with an accelerometer and a clever algorithm inside. This algorithm works out when you are slowing down, which makes the rear light go to full brightness, warning other road users that you are slowing down.

Beryl Burner Brake Light
Beryl Burner Brake Light Lifestyle

The Burner Brake gets brighter when you slow down

Pixel

The Pixel is a light that can be used as both a white front and red rear light. The clever mount means you can clip it on to almost anything, weather that is your helmet, bag, clothes or bike.

Beryl Pixel Light White and Red
Beryl Pixel Red on trousersBeryl Pixel White on helmet

The Beryl Pixel is one versatile little light


Beryl certainly have been busy. They’ve achieved a lot in the years they’ve been operating and we look forward to see where they go next.

Beryl Lights Shop Now

 

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A closer look at the Restrap Tool Roll


One of the newest products Restrap has added to it’s product line is the Tool Roll. Tool rolls in themselves are nothing new but Restrap have come at it with their tea-powered creativity and designed a roll that’s quite unique. We pulled one out to get a closer look and to find out exactly what can be fitted inside.

Restrap Tool Roll and it's contents

The tool roll and what we fitted inside - (hopefully) a selection of spares you'd actually carry day-to-day.

 

The Tool Roll is made out of Hypalon, which is a particularly resilient plastic polymer. Restrap have taken a single piece of the fabric, folded it in two, sewn it together then made strategic cuts on the roll’s internal side. There is a centrally placed elastic band which will hold a 29er mountain bike tube. The cuts allow you to keep your spares inside the folded material which some protection for them and lets you organise them at the same time.

We filled the roll with one Pedros tyre lever, a 16g CO2 cartridge, a gear cable, a chunky Schwalbe 700 x 42c tube, a Crankbrothers F15, quicklinks, brake pads, patch kit, tyre boots and a CO2 inflator. The lever and CO2 cartridge on the right, gear cable and tube in the centre and the rest on the right hand side. The roll was then folded up right side first then the left side with the CO2 cartridge and lever stacked on top of each other on the far left hand side.

Restrap Tool Roll packed and falt

Everything fits inside the Hypalon fabric so your spares aren't going to fall out anytime soon

 

Once packed, the Restrap Tool Roll is held together with another hefty elastic band and to mount it to your saddle there is a strap with a magnetic Fidlock buckle on there. As with all tool rolls, it took a couple of attempts to get the packing right to allow it fold neatly together but it wasn’t too troublesome to fold together. The Hypalon fabric is relatively thin so it lends itself well to being folded and the securing elastic band makes the whole process straight forward.

Restrap says that the tool roll is designed to sit underneath your saddle, in a jersey pocket or inside a bag. Once it is packed with a big inner tube (700 x 42c or a 29er MTB) the tool roll is pretty bulky, so whilst it will fit in a jersey pocket, it is more comfortable to keep it behind your saddle.

Restrap Tool Roll Rolled Up

It takes a couple of packing attempts to get the Tool Roll to fold up neatly

 

Once adjusted to the right the length, the strap and Fidlock buckle work a treat for getting the tool roll on and off. The strap holds its tension and doesn’t need to be adjusted to remove or re-fit the roll.

Restrap Tool Roll Mounted Side
Restrap Tool Roll Mounted Back

Considering the contents, the tool roll sits sleekly against your saddle

 

Restrap’s Tool Roll provides plenty of storage space and it keeps your spares particularly well organised, all whilst keeping itself quite understated and not too bulky. There is a plethora of under-saddle storage out there - we think Restrap have made a seriously good looking and practical option here.


The product page for the Tool Roll is here and you can see our full Restrap range here
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Brompton World Championships 2019


The Prudential Ride London is the biggest cycling festival in the UK and is home to the Brompton World Championships. It’s Classique/Classic women’s and men’s events boast the highest cash prize pool for any one day cycling events, with the total prize money being equal between the genders too. There are other events open to us more casual cyclists, with a chance to ride on closed roads for 100 and 46 miles.

The big event showcasing the British tendency for the wacky is the one we've already mention - the Brompton World Championships. There are three key rules for racing (once you have a ticket): you need a Brompton (obviously), a helmet and to adhere to the strict dress code: “[riders must wear] a costume that consists of a sleeved suit jacket, collared shirt and neck tie”.

Racing takes place on a closed course on the Mall, outside Buckingham Palace. The race has a Le Mans style start except instead of starting your engine, you need to unfold your bike. There’s a total of eight laps to complete and it all ends in a sprint finish.

We got into the Hospitality Area where riders can relax and get themselves ready for the race. Between pinning numbers onto jackets, eating a pre race pizza and gazing at some beautiful Bromptons, we grabbed some photos of all that was going down.


 

Classic Attire
Custom, Colourful Attire
Blingy Attire

A full range of attire was on display, from classic to colourful and the blinged out

Lines of Bromptons

Bromptons everywhere you looked, sitting as neatly as they do

 

Brompton World Champtionships Track Stand Competition Competitor Announcer
Brompton World Champtionships Track Stand Competition Competitor 1

 

Brompton World Champtionships Track Stand Competition Competitor 2
Brompton World Champtionships Track Stand Competition times board

Brompton World Championship... Track stand competition? The standard was varied with some being told to stop (after 230 seconds) and others just there to enjoy the challenge

Brompton World Championship Warm Up

It is a race after all, for some this meant going in cold wasn't an option

Brompton World Championships Pair
Bike 1 Part 1
Bike 1 Part 1

Fluo colours and deep section wheels

Brompton World Championships bike and rider 8
Brompton World Championships bike and rider 9

One of these was custom painted from the Brompton Factory and the other was rented just for the event

Brompton World Championships bike and rider 2
Big chainring for the big raceWell loved Brompton Game Bag

A monster chainring and a Brompton Game bag - inside it is the race outfit

Brompton World Championship bike and rider 4
Brompton World Championship bike and rider 5

Go-faster lightning stripes and short-sleeve pink jacket

Brompton World Championship bike and rider 10
Brompton World Championship bike and rider 7

The Brompton Bumble B and Mr Millar (we especially like your shoes) - two people who know a thing or two about Brompton

Brompton World Championship bike and rider 3
Copper plated frameTitanium chain tensioner

This was one seriously special bike. The frame was copper plated and every last part had been changed and colour matched, even down to the chainring bolts.


Were proud to work with Brompton, with events like their World Championship showing the depth and variety of people who enjoy riding thier folding bicycles. Whilst we don't have any clothing quite as stunning as those on display here, we do have an range of Brompton bags available.

 

SHOP BROMPTON ACCESSORIES NOW

 

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Chrome Cycling Trousers and Shorts


Casual cycling leg wear is a difficult piece of clothing to find, even at the best of times. Standard denim or cotton trousers look the part off the bike, but tend to wear through all too quickly. Bib shorts and mountain bike baggies are great for on the bike, however you are risk of being commented on by other members of your team.

Step in Chrome Industries - indestructible urban cycling gear specialists. They’ve got a good number of years behind them making cycling clothing and bags, and their concise range of leg wear is concise pays close attention to the small details.

All the trousers and shorts share some common features. Chrome uses a base fabric they call ‘Everest’, which is water resistant, durable and has a 4-way stretch it. Whilst the specific make up does vary with the visual affect aimed for, the general properties remain the same. As all of the shorts and trousers are designed for use on the bike, Chrome have minimised seams and bulked up durability around the area where the shorts contact the saddle.


Women's Chrome Trousers and Shorts

To start, we’ll look at the women’s options. There are two items from Chrome here, the Anza Short and the Seneca Chino.

Anza Short

For the Anza Shorts, Chrome has given them a slim cut with a 6” inseam and plenty of pockets all around including a webbing d-lock holster and a hidden zip pocket. The Anzas are a good all purpose short - not too smart to cycle in nor too casual for work or meetings.

Everyday cycling shorts with a D-lock holster
6” inseam
Slim leg fit

 

Chrome Anza Women's Cycling Shorts
Chrome Anza Women's Cycling Shorts Detail

Chrome Anza cycling shorts in Black

Seneca Chino Womens

Styled up like a pair of standard chinos, the Seneca trousers are good all-round choice of full-length leg wear. The cut is slim-straight, the inseam is 32” and there are plenty of pockets to store your phone, wallet, keys and cash. With the smart chino styling, the Senecas are well suited to commuting into work without needing to change once you get there.

Chino trousers for cycle commuting
32” inseam
Slim leg fit

Chrome Seneca Women's Cycling Chinos
Chrome Seneca Women's Cycling Chinos Detail

Chrome Seneca womens cycling chinos in Black


Men's Cycling Trousers and Shorts

The mens range includes several options for trousers and shorts, with different fits and styling choices available.

Brannan Pant

Chrome’s Brannan Pant is their most popular trouser. It could be the stretchy, durable and water resistant fabric. It could be the practical pockets. It could be the fact that they are downright good looking. It’s probably a combination of the lot. The Brannan Pants have a workwear inspired fit (that means relaxed), a 34” inseam and a zip-up, passport sized front pocket.

Ideal for all day riding where you don’t need any
34” inseam
workwear inspired fit (relaxed, but not that relaxed)

Chrome Brannan Men's Cycling Trousers
Chrome Brannan Men's Cycling Trousers Detail

Chrome Brannan mens cycling trousers in Black

Seneca Chino Mens

The mens version of the Seneca Chinos is much the same as the women version, just with a fit and sizing better suited to those of a male body shape. They look just like a standard pair of chinos on the outside and when you’re wearing them you’ll find that they’re comfortable, lightweight and easy to move around in. The Seneca Chinos have a slim straight leg, 34” inseam and turn ups are down to you.

Classic chino trousers, smart enough for work and tough enough to ride in
34” inseam
Slim straight fit

Chrome Seneca Men's Cycling Chinos
Chrome Seneca Men's Cycling Chinos Detail

Chrome Seneca mens cycling chinos in Black and Castle Rock

Seneca Short

Compared the matching Chino, the Seneca short has all the same features just with a shorter leg - the inseam is 9” long. That means you get an array of pockets, including a front coin and rear zip pocket as well as a contoured, stretchy waistband that keeps your back covered. The Senecas have a slim straight fit and come in a choice of grey or black.

Smart, chino style short
9” inseam
Slim straight leg fit

Chrome Seneca Men's Cycling Chino Shorts
Chrome Seneca Men's Cycling Chinos Shorts Detail

Chrome Seneca mens cycling chino shorts in Castle Rock and Black

Natoma Short

Like the Seneca, the Natoma Shorts are also based on the classic chino style. The Natoma has a slightly longer inseam at 11” and a two tone fabric, so if you choose to run turn ups (we probably would) then you get a nice splash of contrast on your legs. You get four pockets to store your goodies as well all the reinforced stitching you could ask for.

Chino style short with two-tone reflective turn up
Slim leg fit
11” inseam

Chrome Natoma Men's Cycling Chino Shorts
Chrome Natoma Men's Cycling Chinos Shorts Detail

Chrome Natoma mens cycling chino shorts in India Ink and Black

Folsom 2.0

The Folsom Short uses workwear for its inspiration. The leg fit is slim and the styling is less formal than that of the Seneca. You get two front and two back pockets and up near the belt loop is a webbing strap to hold your D-lock. To finish it off, the inseam length is a good, middle of the road 11” and you get reinforced triple-needle flat felled seams all round.

Comfortable and smart enough for daily work, with a D-lock holster
11” inseam
Slim leg fit

Chrome Folsom 2.0 Men's Cycling Shorts Detail
Chrome Folsom 2.0 Men's Cycling Shorts

Chrome Folsom 2.0 mens cycling shorts in India Ink and Black

Union 2.0

To finish off the list is the Union 2.0 short. These shorts are the most relaxed of the lot with a 14” inseam and a baggy fit (think MTB baggies and cargo shorts). You get a full raft of pockets including a coin pocket at the front and a zip pocket at the rear and several reflective accents to keep you visible.

Good all round shorts with a more laid back styling
14” inseam
Relaxed leg fit

Chrome Union 2.0 Men's Cycling Shorts
Chrome Union 2.0 Men's Cycling Shorts Detail

Chrome Union mens cycling shorts in Black

Despite having quite a tight knit range of legwear, Chrome have all the bases covered when it comes to urban cycling leg wear.

SHOP CHROME TROUSERS AND SHORTS NOW

 

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Click ‘n’ Go Luggage: Brompton Bags


We are pleased to announce that we will now be stocking Brompton Bags. We’ve long championed the wondrous piece of engineering that is the Brompton folding bicycle and are excited to start selling their luggage.

London based Brompton understood a good while ago that their customers needed a way of transporting luggage whilst riding. Backpacks and messenger bikes do work in some circumstances, but getting the bag off your back and onto your bike is the goal they aimed for and their mounting solution is as elegant as it is simple.

Brompton Shoulder Bag mounted on a Brompton

Brompton bags fully integrate with your bike, making carrying kit with you a breeze.


Click in and Go

Rigidity is an important consideration when strapping any bags to your bike (see oversized bikepacking saddle bags for waggly examples). Brompton knew that their bags needed to mount to the bike without hindering performance, be easy to use and be durable enough for daily use.

With some hard work and brilliant thinking, Brompton came up with a system that combines a Front Carrier Block, Carrier Frame and a bag. The Frame sits inside your bag, giving it support and rigidity. The Carrier Block mounts to your head tube and lets you slide the bag with frame on and off with ease.

Which Carrier Frame you need and whether or not you need a Carrier Block does vary from bag to bag. Almost all the bags we sell come with the Frame, but most do not come with the carrier block. You only need one block per bike, but you might a different frame for each bag. All product pages should de-mystify this and if they don’t, just get in touch.

The only other consideration worth mentioning is that not all bags are compatible with the S-Type bars. For all you speed demons out there, it is best to double check before you purchase.

Brompton Carrier Frame and Front Carrier Block

On the left is the Carrier Frame, which sits inside your bag, and on the right is the Carrier Block, which fits to your frame.


Bags of Range

Brompton bags come in all manner of shapes and sizes. They have roughly split them into four ranges: Modern, Classic, Premium and Water-Resistant. There is always some cross over of course.

The Classic Range consists of the bags that Brompton originally designed. There are many Brompton owners who have had their bags for many years - these designs just work. The bags include the S Bag, T Bag, C Bag and Folding Basket.

With an up-to-date sillouette, the Modern Range keeps on trend with two bags: the Roll-Top and the Shoulder bag. They are just as functional and practical as their Classic relatives, with a fresh look to help keep you on trend on your city centre commute.

Brompton Roll Top Bag
Brompton Shoulder Bag Grey

On the left is the Roll Top Bag and on the right is the Shoulder Bag in Grey.

Who better to involve on weatherproofing bags than Ortlieb. They have decades of experience in making the very best in waterproof cycle luggage so they are a perfect fit for making bags for the UK rain. The range includes the O bag and Mini O Bag.

The Premium range consists includes bags made specially for Brompton by specialist manufacturers. Champman make the Game Bag which comes in a selection fo finishes, including Genuine Harris Tweed.

Brompton Game Bag Storm Grey Tweed
Brompton Game Bag Close Up

The Brompton Game Bag in Storm Grey Tweed.

With such a range of bags on offer, there should be something to suit everyones needs.

SHOP BROMPTON BAGS NOW

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DZR Restock: Marco and Ovis


We’ve just had a restock of DZR shoes here at Always Riding HQ, including the H2O and Minna as well as the Ovis and Marco which we haven’t seen in a while. We’ve sold DZR's Minna and H2O for ages, so here is a quick refresher on the Ovis and the Marco.


DZR Ovis

The DZR Ovis is a mid-top shoe, so you get a bit more cover for your ankles. The sheepskin leather is a gorgeous shade of deep brown, or ‘coffee’. These are exactly as comfortable as they look and you’ll almost forget that you’re wearing them as you get off your bike go into the cafe, office or bar.

 


DZR Marco

With it’s rugged good looks, you’d be forgiven for thinking the DZR Marco is another boot from the urban cycling shoe experts, but there is more than meets the eye. DZR designed the Marco to be the ultimate bicycle polo shoe.

Inside the sole is a super stiff nylon shank for efficient pedal power transfer and there is substantial ankle protection and padding to keep you comfortable on the court. The natural rubber sole gives you plenty of grip if you’re off the bike and keeps everything a bit more casual.

Generally speaking, we recommend taking your usual size in DZR shoes. If you have any questions at all about sizing or anything else, just hit us up here.

SHOP DZR SHOES NOW

 

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The Chrome Modal Collection – Refined Class


Chrome’s bags are known the world over for being the rugged workhorses of bike messengers and people on the move in urban environments. The Chrome Modal collection builds on the these durable, practical roots and adds in a level of refinement and class.

The obvious feature of the Modal bags is the outer fabric which is now a gorgeous twill melange polyester fabric. Have no fear though - this is still a tough and hardwearing material. Metal hardware is found on the bags straps and waterproof zips are found in all the places you'd expect them.

There are five bags in the range of the Modal collection.

Summoner Backpack

Chrome Summoner Backpack Side View
Chrome Summoner Backpack ExpandedChrome Summoner Backpack Compressed

The Summoner Backpack is one for those who are regularly travelling with short stops away from home. It has a large 32L capacity unzips and folds in half to reveal its entire contents, to make packing and unpacking a breeze. Once you have unpacked and re-packed for the day, you can cinch it down with the compression straps to keep your bag a reasonable size.

Terrace Brief Sling

Chrome Terrace Sling Bag

Sometimes you only need to carry to (working) essentials with you - laptop, notebook, paperwork, stationary and some snacks. The Terrace Brief Sling is a messenger bag designed for just that. There are some clever vertical compression straps which helps minimise the size and spread the weight evenly across your back.

Spectre Duffle Back

Chrome Spectra Duffle Bag

The Spectre Duffle bag comes with a cavernous 48 litre capacity and that lovely grey melange fabric on the top and a thick tarpaulin liner on the base, so you can set it down wherever you need it. There is a waterproof end pocket for damp gear and oodles of organisational internal pockets.

Pike Backpack

Chrome Industries Pike Backpack Side
Chrome Industries Pike Backpack Flat

The Pike Backpack is a 22 litre backpack. There is an opening down the front as well as at the top so you can access kit at the top and bottom of your bag with ease. There are clips on the bottom for strapping gear down that doesn’t quite make the internal cut and there is a dedicated laptop compartment that can fit a 15” device.

Vale Sling Bag

Chrome Vale Sling Bag

Deceptively big, the Vale sling is a messenger bag that can stay flat and fit a 13” laptop or expand out to carry a set of clothes, snacks and a D-lock. There is internal organisation on the main pocket so you won’t be rummaging around your bag looking for a stray pen or an off-duty apple.

Overall, the Chrome Modal collection is a gorgeous selection of bags with a stunning aesthetic and an incredible amount of practicality and versatility.

 

THE CHROME MODAL COLLECTION - SHOP NOW

 

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Staff Picks From The Sale


We've picked out some of our favourite products from the sale, check them out below.


 

Danny - PDW Barkeep CO2 Inflator and Hestra Bike Long Sr Gloves

PDW Barkeep CO2 Inflator
Hestra Bike Long Sr Gloves

The Barkeep CO2 inflator is relied on when things go flat. Encasing the cartridge is a really nice touch and all the mechanisms are tactile enough to be used in cold, wet conditions.

The Bike Long Sr is the do-it-all glove. Work on commutes, mtb/gravel rides and doesn’t look out of place on a club run. Comfy, fairly warm and easily stashed in a pocket - it gets the nod more often than not.


 

Pascal - 7mesh Oro Jacket and Porcelain Rocket Partial Frame Pack

7mesh Oro Jacket
Porcelain Rocket Partial Frame Pack

This is possibly the holy grail of cycling jackets. Stealth black, waterproof and packs down smaller than a pair of Tunnocks Teacakes (and is considerably less messy).

Porcelain Rocket's Partial Frame bag keeps things simple. It is fitted using velcro with one large and one small pouch on alternating sides. Given it's shape, it is perfect for carrying an assemble-your-own chorizo baguette lunch.


 

Alex - Fahrer Brompton Bike Carry Handle and 7mesh Glidepath Shorts

Fahrer Brompton Bike Carry Handle
7mesh Glidepath Shorts

Ah, good old Mary Brompton-Poppins, practically perfect in every way. However, as every regular chimney-sweep knows, there are only so many times you can deal with the stair-climb-leg-bump to realise that the balance point could do with some tinkering. The Fahrer carry handle is the proverbial spoonful-of-sugar, shifting the weight back to the centre and making your commute as easy as a breezy umbrella flight. Chim-Chim-Cher-ee!

Do you need some coverings for the upper part of your legs that leave the lower part exposed? Sounds like you need some shorts. Do you like super-megabeast-bonanza-dealios? Then you need the 7Mesh Glidepath Shorts. Absolutely top quality shorts at a soon-to-be-sold-out bargain price. Perfect for winter… or maybe next spring…!


 

Anne - Fahrer Kurier Pannier and Cinelli Ana Benaroya Poseidon Cap

Fahrer Kurier Pannier
Cinelli Ana Benaroya Poseidon Cap

The Fahrer Kurier Pannier ticks lots of boxes for me with its simple to use, stylish design and sustainable production credentials. It is basically like a sexed-up Ortlieb pannier, taking the best features of the Ortlieb (waterproof construction, high quality mounting system) and rolling them into a more work-ready, style-oriented design. It is quite pricey but the investment will quickly pay itself back for the amount of use you will get out of it.

Cinelli make some awesome cycling caps, this one designed by awesome New Jersey artist Ana Benaroya is one of my favourites.


 

Shop Staff Picks From The Sale

 

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Shop All Sale Bags, Clothing, Components and Accessories

 

Bags for Bromptons


With a ratio of nearly one folding bike for each team member across the AR staff, it's fair to say that we are big Brompton fans! And understanding the unique luggage needs that come with riding a Brompton, we stock a range of gorgeous and practical Brompton-compatible bags. Each option complements the Brompton’s key characteristics of convenience, flexibility and ease of fold - whether because it is easy to take on or off the bike or can be left on the bike when it folds.

 

BAGS FOR BROMPTONS - FRONT CARRIER BLOCK MOUNTED

Carradice Brompton Bag in black

The Brompton front carrier block luggage system really can’t be beaten for convenience. A bag on the front carrier block is an excellent option for taking things with you on the Brompton, and, although the weight is at the front, the steering of the bike isn’t adversely affected since the bag is attached to the frame rather than the handlebars. Many people actually find a bag on the front carrier block makes the steering of a Brompton more steady. Handily, we stock both the Carradice City Classics Stockport Folder bag (suitable for all handlebar types, including the more sporty ‘S’ type) and the Carradice Originals City Folder bag (suitable for all handlebar types except the ‘S’ type).

Both offer unique combination of features which offer something a little different in terms of style or functionality compared with other styles of front Brompton bags: both are made in Britain, include a padded laptop sleeve and are constructed from Carradice’s 100% waterproof Cotton Duck fabric. Classically styled, these bags just look like a (very nice) regular bag (not a ‘cycle-specific’ bag) and would not look out of place in the office, down the boozer or generally round about town. The Stockport is a nice slimline design, and off the bike it is easy to carry round and fit into any spare space in constrained places like peak hour train vestibules. Both are sized to accommodate a typical day’s worth of stuff.

Carradice now also an attractive Harris Tweed option for the ultimate in classic styling.

 

BAGS FOR BROMPTONS - SMALLER ACCESSORY BAGS

Fahrer Schlingel bag - ideal for Bromptons!
Fahrer Schlingel bag in blue

With most Brompton bikes naturally city-based, it's worth noting that away from the need to haul larger loads, accessorising your Brompton with a well-placed accessory bag for smaller items is certainly well-advised. These smaller bag options for Bromptons are perfect for carrying those bits and bobs you might want to have easily accessible whilst riding: a packable waterproof for unexpected showers, phone or wallet, ‘freshen-up kit’, lights, toolkit, or perhaps a little snack to be eagerly snaffled between stops. We like the Berlin-made Schlingel bag from Fahrer (shown above), which can be easily attached to the seatpost with its secure and simple wrap around design.

 

BAGS FOR BROMPTONS - SADDLE BAGS

Carradice Carradry Saddle Bag - front
Carradice Carradry Saddle Bag - rear

For less city-based Brompton riding, there are some clever bag options which work well on Bromptons. The Carradice SQR (saddle quick release) system allows you to easily take a saddle bag on or off the bike (note that with the SQR system fitted, the Brompton seat post does not go fully into the frame). The Carradice CarraDry bag offers an ample 12-15 litre capacity, a super waterproof robust PVC construction, and, off the bike, a dedicated shoulder strap and carry handle.

 


 

SHOP ALL BAGS FOR BROMPTONS

 

Our Brompton bags range is now on sale as part of our end of retail sale. We also offer the Brompton carrier frame and carrier block so you can get your front carrier block mounted bag up and running right away if you don't already have these.

 

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Ten of our all-time favourite Always Riding products


What are the key characteristics of a great cycling product? Durability? Innovativeness? Plain old good looks? We think all of these attributes have a role to play when it comes to high quality, attractive cycling apparel and accessories.

Here are some products which have stood the test of time and are as popular now as when we first added them to the range. From Trophy Wild’s playful game animal-inspired indoor bike holders to less glamorous (but can’t-live-without) essentials like chamois cream, here are some of the products you can’t get enough of - now with some great reductions available as part of our end of retail sale.


Always Riding All-Time Favourites

Cinelli t-shirt
Fifo x Always Riding t-shirt
Muxu indigo slim fit jeans
Chrome Kursk Pro SPD cycling shoes
Pedal Ed Kubi Neck Warmer
Trophy Deer Indoor Bike Rack
Full Windsor tool selection
Sportique chamois creams
Carradice Stockport Brompton bag
PDW animal bottle cage selection

1. Cinelli Who Wants To Ride? T-Shirt

A long-standing favourite, this tee has an owl with winged Cinelli 'C's for eyes and old school drop bars for a perch - what's not to like?!

2. Fifo x Always Riding Illustrated T-Shirts

Our talented friend Fiona of Fifo Cycle came up with some awesome ride-inspired T-shirt designs. Great for off the bike time.

3. Muxu Cycling Jeans

For the ‘stealth cyclists’ among you, these highly functional cycling jeans have plenty of bike-specific features (like stretch denim, articulated knees and a seam-free crotch) for a great ride experience, without looking like the technical piece of apparel that they are.

4. Chrome Kursk Pro SPD City Cycling Shoes

Chrome’s original SPD-compatible city cycling shoes, we know riders who have been rocking these as their go-to shoes for years. Tough, reliable and ultra-practical thanks to their recessed cleat fixing, we can see why these have such an avid following.

5. Pedal Ed Kubi Neck Warmer

The humble neck warmer is one of those items which you think about least but utilise most, especially through the winter months. We like the Pedal Ed Kubi for its versatility, comfort and durability - not to mention the nice subdued colour options available.

6. Trophy Wild Indoor Bike Racks

A delight to behold and also a very practical and efficient method for storing your beloved steed inside and in style, this is one of those great products that addresses a genuine need whilst also having a bit of fun.

7. Full Windsor Multi-Tools

Full Windsor was one of the first brands to re-imagine the multitool. Back when the majority of multitools were still the classic fold-out design, their mega tyre lever-cum-spanner-cum-toolbit driver really stood out because of the different experience it offered. Lighter, easier to use and with more leverage than many alternative multitools on the market, the Nutter and Breaker are still two of our favourite portable bike tool options. A classic innovative, great-looking Always Riding product which has stood the test of time.

8. Sportique Century Riding Cream

Prevention is better than cure! This chamois cream does the job and it does it well, smelling good in the process too.

9. Carradice Brompton Bags

Brompton do a pretty damn good job with their bikes and accessories, so it is a real compliment for a product to be described as better than the Brompton version! This is what some customers have said about the Carradice Brompton-specific bags, and we can see why. Great-looking, functional, durable and not too pricey either.

10. Portland Design Works Bottle Cages

Why shouldn’t something so functional also be beautiful? Quirky and elegant with an excellently firm grip, these well-designed beauties have been (almost literally) flying off our shelves for years.

 

Shop Favourites

 

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Muxu jeans: awesome kegs for biketime, hometime, pub time, work time…


 

Are Muxu jeans one of the all-time best pieces of apparel for urban cyclists? We certainly have a lot of customers who think so. Made from a premium Japanese stretch denim with articulated knees and a seam free crotch, Muxu jeans blur the boundary between what you wear on and off the bike.

Muxu Indigo Jeans - folded
Muxu Indigo Jeans - front fly detailMuxu Indigo Jeans - rear pocket detail
Muxu Ride Japanese Denim Indigo Slim Fit Jeans

Here are just a handful of the many great things you have been saying about these jeans:

These are probably the best jeans I have ever worn...if you are hovering over whether to buy these jeans then do yourselves a favour and buy a pair before they're gone! The fit and quality are excellent and I can see these jeans lasting years. I have had Swerve cordura jeans in the past which I thought couldn't be bettered but these Muxu Jeans are on another level.

So awesome, I bought them again so I have a spare pair when the first need a wash / get stolen / burn down with the house / get split in the divorce / finally die..... hahahaha!!! 'Course, that last one was a joke!

I'm not a jeans person, but I could wear these all the time. Very comfortable on the bike.

Nice jeans that are true to size. They feel comfortable when riding and they look good off the bike as well.

Muxu Lightweight Slim Fit Jeans in black
Muxu Lightweight Slim Fit Cycling Jeans

I bought these as a gift for my partner, and he's been wearing them ever since - on and off the bike. They're great looking and fitting jeans.

Functional, stylish and great to ride in. Make a sensibly priced alternative to some of the more expensive riding jeans out there...

So comfy on the bike, and a great wear off the bike.

Comfort, looks, eye for detail - the Muxu has it all. By far the most comfortable jeans I have been riding in for my daily 20 km commute. The stretch is incredible - knees, thighs, you don't feel this is denim you're wearing. Slim as they are, they might be bit tight around the calves. But, as far as comfort and price/quality go, this one beats my Rapha jeans.

Really pleased with these jeans - the quality is excellent and the fit is spot-on. Comfortable on the bike - and no obvious signs that they are bike-specific in any when off it. The material seems to be of a high standard and durable.

In short, exactly what I was looking for.


Shop Muxu Jeans

Feeling tempted by these glowing endorsements? Why not take advantage of our current multi-buy offer:

Buy two pairs for £99, saving £33 on the usual price!

Use the voucher code MUXUJEANSOFFER at checkout to receive this discount.

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Donard Bikes – Custom Carbon & Steel Frames Made In The British Isles


 

An old flax mill in County Down, Northern Ireland isn’t necessarily where you would expect to find cutting edge carbon bike frame engineering. But this picturesque setting (complete with serene mill pond and resident ducks) is where you will find Donard Bikes. Donard is Ireland’s only custom frame builder working in both carbon fibre and steel. Owen Byrne, the man behind Donard Bikes, is actually one of only a small handful of framebuilders worldwide working with both materials. The old cottage industry vibe of the location of Owen’s business matches the small-scale, hand-built nature of his creations. However, the design and build process for creating a Donard bike is anything but homespun or rustic, as we found out when we spoke to Owen.

I first came across Donard Bikes on the Bespoked website. I was getting ready for the Bespoked UK Handmade Bicycle Show in Bristol, and I was lucky enough to speak to Owen when I attended the show in April. As well as telling me about how he got into framebuilding, he also gave a fascinating insight into how you actually build a handbuilt carbon fibre frame. Read on to find out more.

Owen Byrne, the man behind Donard Bikes

Owen is a physicist who got into frame building because of his love of bicycle racing. He set up Donard Bikes after completing a couple of framebuilding courses. However, it is his Physics background that really made custom carbon frame building an option for him. Each design requires a lot of calculations. Owen's engineering industry experience and Physics PhD has given him a wealth of theoretical knowledge and practical experience to draw upon. Understanding material properties and knowing how different forces act when a bike is being ridden, Owen can customise a frame to have the exact balance of properties a customer needs. This could be stiffness, strength, forgivingness, or (most likely) a combination of the three.

Donard steel bike fitted with Ritchey stem
One of Owen's bikes on display, complete with Ritchey build kit

When a customer commissions a new bike (or frame) from Donard, Owen will work with them to design the ideal bike for their needs. After getting a feel for what they are looking for via an initial chat, Owen will invite the customer in for a bike fit and, ideally, a short ride together. If this isn't possible (for example if the customer lives too far away), Owen can use data from any standard bike fit system. He also uses customer power data, and takes into account rider style, weight and ability. Every aspect of a Donard Bikes frame is completely customised to the individual, from frame geometry to the way the carbon fibre is layered. This ensures that the finished frame fits the customer like a glove, and behaves optimally for that individual rider's needs.

The hand built carbon frame process

The build process for a hand built carbon frame involves wrapping sheets of carbon around a mould to build up a carbon layup. Each sheet is incredibly thin and is pre-impregnated with adhesive. This is necessary because the sheets are so fine that it would not be possible to add the adhesive to them later. The sheets are carefully layered to ensure the tubes will have their required properties when the frame is completed. The joints are reinforced with extra material, and then after the layering is complete, the carbon is shrink-wrapped. This is done in a carefully controlled way to determine how much the carbon compresses. Finally Owen uses ultrasound to check the soundness and evenness of the tubes.

This framebuilding process contrasts sharply with the process used to build an off-the-peg carbon frame. These frames (which are manufactured by the thousand) are typically made up of a few pre-shaped parts stuck together. This process works well for mass production, but does not scale down to custom frame building. The costs of the complex moulds used to make the pre-shaped sections are very high, and so the approach is not practicable for a single individual custom build. Companies using this technique will be making thousands of each frame size, rather than a single frame for a specific customer.

Donard Bikes stand at Bespoked, including information boards
The three beautiful bikes on display on Owen's stand at Bespoked

Painting, finishing and full builds

When I say that Owen does everything in-house, I mean everything, including painting the finished frames. The signature paint scheme (which can be seen in the top image of this blog) was designed by Victory Chimp and can be created with any colour combination. Alternatively, customers can opt for a fully bespoke design, or go simple and classic with a single colour paint job and contrast branding. Owen's back catalogue includes both very modern, flashy designs (such as a marbled candy paint job) as well as more classic styles.

The finished bikes certainly stand in contrast to what I imagine when somebody says ‘carbon bike frame’ to me. Unique, eye catching and ultra-classy, and with neat finishing touches revealing the same attention to detail that Owen employs throughout the build process. Where Owen is doing a full build rather than a frameset he then builds the bike up with a groupset and finishing kit to suit the style of the bike and the customer's style of riding - these will typically have been chosen at the pre-build stage but there is generally room for changes at the bike build stage too.

One of Owen's gorgeous bikes on display
Graphic detail on one of Owen's more modern looking steel builds

Race-winning bikes

The majority of Owen’s customers are domestic, ranging from racers to club riders to leisure riders. A UCI Masters Race was recently won on a Donard bike, which Owen is obviously very pleased about. Owen also races his bikes regularly, pushing them really hard with the aim of testing their limits (he hasn't reached these yet!). Most of Owen's customers come to him for custom road bikes, and because he has done a lot of racing himself, this is the type of riding that is most familiar for him, but he has also made winter bikes, touring bikes and gravel bikes for customers.

Prices start at around £1,900 for a steel build and just under the £4k mark for a carbon one. Owen also offers custom paint jobs and carbon repairs when he's not building custom frames (is there anything this man cannot do!?).

Quite a line up... the three Donard bikes on display at Bespoked

Thanks to Owen for taking time out to talk to us at Bespoked. If you would like to find out more about Donard Bikes or discuss a custom build with Owen why not check out his website or get in touch with him directly.