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Very loud drumroll please

June 19, 2014 in Bicycles

We’re all hands on deck today loading up our wares to head off to l’Eroica, but the most exciting news for us is that two new additions to our collection have just arrived and will be taking pride of place in our ‘Queen’ tent at the show.

We’ve been fiercely proud of the fact that our bicycles are made for us by hand in Flanders, Belgium by a wonderful third generation family firm of bike builders, Achielle.  We’ve been partners right from the outset when we launched BEG Bicycles, and we’re now delighted to be able to bring you two of their own models, the Sam and the Omer.   Like the BEG collection, both of these new bicycles are absolute classics in their form, yet are built with best in class contemporary components, beautiful attention to detail, and with a certain continental flair that comes from Belgium’s French and Dutch influences.

Sam, a 1930s inspired urban path racer, is minimalism defined.  Inspired by the tradition of Belgian road bikes, and the legend of Flander’s cycling heroes, Sam provides an elegant road racing position.  Sam is available in two options; Naked for the ultimate in simplicity or Deluxe, which adds Hebies beautifully honed ‘chainglider’, precision fenders and a stunning gold chain.  His perfectly pared down good looks are topped off with a choice of gearing options – SRAM’s clever two speed Automatix, which avoids cabling and neatly moves up and down the gears according to your pace, or a Sturmey Archer three speed internal hub.

We proudly present… Sam.

 

 

… and Omer.

Our new very dapper ‘cafe racer’ Omer’s good looks evoke the jaunty vibe of an vintage American beach cruiser, but retain a cool European dignity with its beautiful detailing and elegantly arching top tubes.  The Omer comes in two varieties, the Comfort or Sport. The Comfort features an upright handlebar and the wider Brooks B67 saddle, whilst the Sport features a lower bar position reminiscent of the old English “Path Racers’ and the sporty Brooks Colt saddle.   Both are minimalist bikes that come equipped with SRAM’s amazing cable-free two speed automatic hub, although you can up-spec the bike to a three speed if you so desire, and super-shock absorbant Schwalbe Fat Frank tyres.

 

Both Sam and Omer are available to order  and have an almost infinite number of options, including colours, tyre choice, gear options, saddle selection, handlebars and grips, meaning your new bicycle will be completely custom built for you.  Give us a call to find out more and look out for our recommended choice of spec on the website in the coming days.

 

Heroic Indeed

June 9, 2014 in Bicycle inspiration, Bike Candy, Enjoy the ride

The first EVER L’Eroica Britannia is mere weeks away (calm down, calm down, it’s not Erotica , we hasten to add, as one of our team here disappointedly found out).

But disappointment it will be NOT. Yours truly will be there showing our sterling steeds, and other fine wares, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg (although some might say an historic cycling road race spanning the majestic hills and valleys of the Peak District, Derbyshire is a close contender).

Here’s our guide to the weekend – and hope very much we’ll see you there!

 

 

First of all, it’s going to be an almighty festival topped off by a road race in the very best vintage tradition. L’’Eroica literally translates as ‘the heroes’.  L’Eroica Britannia embraces the idea of heroic cycling and the romance of cycling as it once was, recognising the age old ideals of valour and courage.  The l’Eroica hails from Tuscany and is described by The Guardian as ‘Run on gravel roads with 80s bikes, woollen jerseys and fuelled by rich Italian food and wine, the gloroius L’Eroica race captures the golden era of cycling’.

 

 

The pinnacle of the festival is on Sunday 22 June, with a three route bike tour of some of the most spectacular and uncharted landscape of The Peak District, including the private lands of the Chatsworth Estate. Come on the day and marvel at the unique spectacle of nearly 2000 riders taking on the challenge of the mighty Peak District on pre-1987 vintage bikes dressed to the nines in glorious vintage apparel. Have a look at the routes HERE http://www.eroicabritannia.co.uk/route

But it’s not all about the ride.  An entire family festival has been planned around the cycling, celebrating ‘Best of British.  Experience three jam packed days of live music, shopping and fun fair magic.  There’ll be more than 100 brilliant brands including fascinating vintage sales, lifestyle finds, bike brands (including yours truly), a Bike Jumble and amazing street food trucks and drinking experiences. The style mavens over at Elle Decoration have even included the event in their compilation of the most amazing events happening this summer in the UK.

And furthermore, the entire event is FREE!  What’s not to love…

 

Find out all about it on the event’s fabulous website L’Eroica Britannia.

 

BEG loves Brooks

June 4, 2014 in Bicycle inspiration, Bicycles, Cycling Accessories

 

Some things are just meant to be together…  strawberries and cream, Sunday mornings and the papers, road trips and an epic playlist and so it is with BEG Bicycles and the ultimate saddle and classic cycling accessory brand, Brooks England.

When it came to getting the componentry right for BEG bicycles back in the day, when BEG was a mere fledgling brand, there was of course no other contender for our saddles than a Brooks B67, with its honeyed good looks, whispers of a yesteryear and taut to perfection form.   Brooks saddles have been revered by cyclists for nearly 150 years for their fine craftsmanship and exceptional attention to detail when it comes to creating a traditional saddle.

Over the past few years, our ladies accessory collection has gone from strength to strength, as we’ve started working with brands such as Sawako Furuno and Michaux Club alongside our own BEG range of cycling accessories, but we’ve been asked by many a dapper chap (and often the girls too) if we stock the very fine Brooks accessory collection.  And now we do – and we can’t think of a more stylish or practical brand for cyclists. Brooks products truly are the bees’ knees.

 

 

Over almost a century and a half, Brooks England has grown from a small workshop to a byword in quality craftsmanship. Back in 1865, John Boultbee Brooks left his hometown of Hinckley in Leicestershire with just £20 in his pocket.  He headed for Birmingham, where in 1866 he established a business in horse harnesses and general leather goods in Great Charles Street under the name JB Brooks & Co. In 1878, the unfortunate death of Mr Brooks’ horse led to a stroke of inspiration. Unable to afford another horse, he borrowed a bicycle in order to commute to work. He found the seat so uncomfortable that he vowed to do something about it.

On 28 October 1882, Mr Brooks filed his first saddle patent. Waddling cyclists everywhere rejoiced and the new product was a roaring success.  JB Brooks & Co. became known and respected for its beautiful leather handcrafted saddles, and soon started to make cycle and motorcycle bags and other accessories. Traditional techniques in manufacturing leather saddles were passed down from generation to generation of craftsmen as the company grew under the guidance of the Brooks family until 1958. In 1962 Brooks became part of Raleigh and moved to the current works in Smethwick in the West Midlands, just a few miles away from the original premises.

In the last decade, Brooks have struck out on our own again as Brooks England, following a new course that honours the company’s heritage. Inspired by the timeless products designed by their predecessors, Brooks have revived the original slogan ‘Saddles, Bags, Etc’ and introduced a range of cycle bags and other cycling accessories.

 

 

 

BROOKS BAGS

Brooks began making cycle bags well over a century ago, nearly as long ago as their saddle production started. Founder John Boultbee Brooks knew very well that the first necessity after a comfortable ride is a place to put one’s belongings, and this holds true today. From easygoing satchels for short trips around town, to heavy duty rucksacks capable of carrying as much as the wearer can physically burden, and right up to welded waterproof travel bags, Brooks continues to invent new ways of transporting your belongings securely with style and grace.

Watch this delightful little video to get an idea of the incredible attention to detail and ingenuity Brooks put into all of their products.

 

 

 

 


 

You can find the Brooks collection of bags, baskets and accessories here in our store.

And if you can’t see the particular items from Brooks that you would like, just give us a call, and we’ll see what we can do!