When my friends at Kaufmann Mercantile asked me to design a bike for them, I didn’t hesitate for a moment. Even if you know nothing about the New York based online store, just the name in itself inspires respect and intrigue, both of which the company deserves and fulfills. Not only do they curate some of the best-designed and most durable goods from around the world, they also are sustaining a conscientious culture where the history of materials, the ethics of production, and the resilience of design are paramount.
Mount Kilimanjaro is not the first place you would think of as an inspiration for bicycle design. However, for Simon Stanforth, it was and here at Brooks base camp, we needed oxygen when we heard about the story behind it.You see, Simon comes from good stock, his father is the former owner of Saracen Cycles and it was in 1985 ,when he heard of how cousins, Nick and Richard Crane climbed Africa’s highest mountain using bicycles.
Here at Brooks England, we could never have predicted the overwhelming reception our new Cambium range has received. Setting out to honour the legacy of our founder J.B.Brooks through an innovative new saddle led us to a series of new manufacturing processes that we wanted to share with you.
Over the past four or five years there’s been a well documented global surge in the number of non-competitive group rides requiring participants to dress up like extras from Downton Abbey. In fact, there’s hardly a country that hasn’t now hosted some sort of Tweed-themed day out on bikes.
With L’Eroica Britannia right around the corner we wanted to find out more about what has been going on behind the scenes to get the event organised. So we got together with one of the organisers, Tim Hubbard, to have a chat about his experiences over the last year. Without further ado, we present L’Eroica Britannia – The Interview.
Whatever’s in those bottles it’s definitely closer to Ice & Tonic than Isotonic.
What started in 2011 as an eight-man spin around the provinces of Barcelona and Tarragona this year swelled to a field of nearly 250 as Brooks descended upon northern Spain for the fourth edition of La Pedals de Clip, a retro-themed cycle tour of Catalonia.
Tommy Thien, a Physics student at The University of Texas, got tired of walking the 30 minutes to class every day, so got himself a bicycle. As time progressed, he gained a greater appreciation for the simple piece of machinery that is the bicycle and naturally wanted to fit a Brooks Saddle.
In the latest edition of reader’s rides from Brooks stories, we found Jeff Anjo of California and his 1984 Holdsworth Mistral touring bicycle, seen here parked gracefully alongside Lake Solano in the hills above San Fransisco, California. Its Brooks Professional saddle left the Brooks Smethwick factory in 1985, the bicycle and saddle met for the first time in 1986.
Made in England, both saddle and bicycle in the years since have taken Jeff on many adventures. But we may have to send round the bicycle style police to get the handlebars clad with Brooks Leather Bar Tape for him.
“Stopping Traffic Since 1866″ is the title of the new Brooks print campaign appearing in cycling and lifestyle magazines worldwide. The ad focuses on the ever-growing range of Brooks Cycle Bags, highlighting some of the new styles and colours making their way to a Dealer of Excellence nearest you.
Inopportunely, the ad production came in December during a rather cold spell in London which required a freezing day out near London City Airport, inconveniencing more than a few friends and colleagues. Two of those Brooks people on hand took the time to run around and record the days’ shivering for posterity.
For a look at the complete range of Brooks Cycle Bags, click here
Steven thoughtfully removed his Chrismas antlers for the serious business of handshake photography.
The 2013 recipient of our annual Brooks Employee Of The Year award was announced at the Smethwick Works just before the Christmas break. Works manager Steven Green has been kind enough to give us an insight into the decision making process that resulted in Stacey Kerrod scooping the prize.