Oregon Manifest 2014: HUGE x 4130

Oregon Manifest 2014: HUGE x 4130

The 2014 Oregon Manifest competition certainly looks a lot different to previous editions, which saw most entries taking the form of traditional porteurs and cargo bikes. This year, the designs are a lot more evolved, yet are still focused on creating the ultimate urban utility bike. Five cities are represented, with five design studios collaborating with a local builder on one entry. This is San Francisco’s offering, from the team of HUGE Design and 4130 Cycle Works. Read More »

Winter Bicycles Tool Series

Winter Bicycles Tool Series

Mass-produced bicycles do serve a purpose, there’s no denying. For a basic, off-the-peg machine that will get you riding quickly, a one-size-fits-all bike can’t be beat. After a few miles, however, you might get the impression that it’s a soulless beast. Make no mistake, riding a bike that has been brazed together by hand has an intrinsic value that becomes more familiar over time and, over hundreds of miles, personally more valuable.

If you think the cost of a custom frame with hand-carved or bi-lam lug work and personalised touches is prohibitive, perhaps you’re not considering its unseen value. But if you’ve sat down with a calculator and really can’t justify the cost to the Minister of Finance, another option is a production frame from a custom builder. Take, for instance, the Tool Series from Oregon’s Winter Bicycles. Read More »

A-train Cycles City Cruiser

A-train Cycles City Cruiser

Most of the bikes that come out of Alex Cook’s Minneapolis workshop, A-train Cycles, are robust ‘cross and road machines built from stainless steel, but just before he embarked on a recent backpacking adventure, he finished off something that’s a departure from his usual repertoire: an elegant townie that still looks ready to shred trails. Read More »

Firefly Bicycles All-road Tourer

Fireflys All-road Tourer

A custom frame is a very significant and enjoyable investment, but not one that should be entered into lightly. Every detail must be confirmed, from the drivetrain to the smallest bolt. It can be an arduous process, it’s true, but that day when you finally see that bike freshly built up… well, you’d feel like a groom gazing upon his bride.

Tyler, Jamie and Kevin of Boston’s Firefly Bicycles are well versed in counselling the prospective customer to ensure the new frame is a perfect match. Even when the customer lives in Utrecht. Ad Vermaas flew from The Netherlands to Boston to receive his new Firefly, then promptly turned around and flew back to Europe with it to embark on a Romanian tour. Read More »

REPETE Reborn

REPETE Reborn

Two fresh bikes from two completely separate workshops from the Czech Republic in one week… what is in the water over there? First the raw elemental energy of SingleBe’s singlespeed and now the svelte sleekness of REPETE’s Reborn — both can be described, and correct me if this is bad grammar, as the definition of tmavý. Read More »

Cinelli Porteur

Cinelli Porteur

Many consider Paris to be the most beautiful city in the world. I am one of them. Today, it is a very modern city, cloaked in glorious, age-old buildings and ancient history. During the 1930s, only 80 years ago, the great-grandfathers of Parisian messengers were delivering 15kg or so of daily newspapers on their racks and participating in sanctioned alley-cat races. Read More »

Ben’s Field Cycles Commuter

Ben's Field Cycles Commuter

The 101st Tour de France rolls towards its regular rendezvous with the Champs-Élysées tomorrow, which feels like a very short three weeks since I was cheering the sprinters along the Harrogate high street. Yorkshire was a colourful county that weekend and local builders Field Cycles are intent on keeping it that way. This single speed commuter is one of their most recent frames. Read More »