Jetlag does have it's benefits, one of them is eating humble pie. This guffer is currently in Singapore dealing with work in two time zones and two eyes that have so much baggage, they might be checked in for the flight home. A post a few months back had a cheeky title and tongue in cheek comment about NAHBS. Well folks, if you have yet to point the cursor, head over here.
I couldn't resist....
What comes next on your list of must haves after the dream bike build is finished? If your credit card hasn't melted and there is some cash left in the bank, would clothing be next on the list? Readers of this blog may sense of pattern that kit is a cyclesguff vice. Keep your eyes peeled for more washinglineposts in the near future.
The sheer number of companies trading and providing alternatives to the few key players of the past is staggering. Gone are the days when Descente, Assos, Santini and even Adidas ruled to road. There are of course many others to add to that list, but those names where frequently seen on the pros, and possibly the producers of the best team kit.
Has the growth in popularity of sportive events and riders not solely interested in competition provided the way for new kit challengers to make inroads? Has the consumer become more brand aware? Have greater levels of expectation that promotes a sense belonging to a particular producer become mainstream? There was a pattern like this a few years back in snowboarding. You would see riders on the slopes head to toe, their bindings and board all from one brand. The accounts of the pro-rider lifestyle, great advert shots and movies all providing the dream ticket to the weekend warrior, never mind the seasoner. To a certain extent, cycling is following similar lines. The rise of design and lifestyle brands like Rapha has been incredible to watch. There is no doubt about it, their kit is well considered, combines great (and subtle) details, refreshing cuts/fit and a range of materials that offer a feel way beyond that of the all too commonly used polyester/lycra blend. On the subject of blends, those pushing sportwool - cyclesguff salute you!
The Rapha site is also a joy to visit and indulge. That team have a handle on what their customer is about and are frequently providing items (that are not always their own) to spend the hard earned cash on. The links with pro teams on the road and in the cyclocross world, don't you just love that kit, just add to the message.
This is all very well and good but there is a group that has been fighting back against the mainstream, couriers. The dreaded 'underground' mantle is used too frequently. We are also more than aware that the underground can quickly become the adopted norm. So where does that leave the couriers? Judging by new starts, such as Tokyo Fixed and the number of fixies on the road, is the look now mainstream?
There's a great wee shop in Glasgow called Rig, it's run by a courier with God only knows how many years of deliveries under his hoops and he's stocking the kind of kit that is not mainstream. Individuality is certainly at home in the shop, as is the great collection of components and kit, including local sourced gems.
One newer rider to the retail peleton and someone that cyclesguff has been looking to feature for sometime is Stuart McKirdy of SpunCaps. Stuart was mentioned all the way back in the heady days on the Redbull Minidrome. His cap was class and stood out against the old skool cinelli and campag offerings. Here's a few pics to tickle yer fancy. If you like what you see, drop Stu a line at email@example.com If you happen to be in Glasgow, drop into Rig,
some of Stu's caps are on special and the PK Ripper in the window may even take you back to the days of cobbled together half pipes and 'borrowing' ply from the joiners yard.
stay upright and trust your landing gear