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A bicycle made for two…

April 13, 2014 in Bicycle inspiration, Cycling Accessories, Reviews

 

We spend a lot of time here at BEG seeking best in class cycling accessories and it has to be said that finding a child seat that is a perfect fit, top quality manufacture and ticks-all-the-important-boxes in terms of looks and practicality  has been very high up on our to-do lists in recent months.

Nothing is more wonderful than sharing the pleasure and practicality of cycling with your child, and the experience is certainly enhanced by having a good child seat.   I personally have gone through the pain of finding  a good bike seat for our children, so can speak from great experience.  With one child nicely ensconced in school and one still very small girl by my side day and night, cycling as a pair became a priority for a precious short period of time.  At one point, I even toyed with the idea of putting her in the front basket with a little cushion with a stuffed toy.  Back in the pre-BEG days when our daughter was a babe in arms, swayed by its looks, I bought an inexpensive, but very beautiful bike, a Taiwanese-made beach cruiser with wide chrome handlebars that was actually very impractical on narrow city streets and whose beauty was quickly undermined not only by its poor quality build but also by a very ugly grey and blue plastic child seat, that ressembled an injection moulded squid.  Despite this, I had company on my rides and my daughter and I were happy as Larry as we made our daily rounds.  I’d call over my shoulder to her “Are you alright back there?  Pat my back so I know you’re OK!?” which she would dutifully do because at her tender age, words still eluded her, but she would be furiously pointing at all the interesting things we would see on our journey  and her little cheeks would be glowing when we reached our destination as I lifted her carefully out.

When you’ve spent so much time and care choosing the bicycle that is to become a hugely important part of your life, an appendage like a child seat is an important consideration.  First and foremost, it has to play a multifunctional role in not only protecting your progeny from the perils of the world, but it must simply WORK well on a practical-level.  It has to be easy for you  to get your child in and out of without you letting it all go – the bike, your dignity and your poor offspring who is precariously teetering between nice comfy seat and very hard and uncomfortable pavement (Luckily, we have thought of  all that and BEG Bicycles make this easy as we use bi-pod stands which make the bike very stable).  It must conform to all possible safety criteria and tick an impressive checklist of safety standards.  It has to have an easy to open and close fitted safety harness, secure  feet rests and in addition to all the above,  it simply has to look good!  It’s a bit like putting a grey plastic roof box on an Aston Martin.  You just wouldn’t, would you?!

Anyway – we think we’ve found  it.

Introducing the Yepp Maxi childseat collection; front and rear child seats that we think fit the bill – and our bicycles very nicely indeed.

 

Here’s a list of impressive things that we like about Yepp child seats;

+ Fits BEG Bicycles beautifully.  Tick

+ Easily mounted on the bikes seat post using the Yepp Maxi seat post adapter, which fits 95% of bike models

+ Light and easy-to-use

+ Designed to carry children from 2.5 to 6 years of age (up to 48 lbs or approx 22kg).

+ Quick and simple to snap into place and detach.

+ An additional integrated lock guarantees extra safety and guards against theft

+ 5-point harness with easy-to-use buckle and adjustable footrests with straps provide optimal protection

+ Equipped with 3 rear reflectors to ensure visibility

+ Soft shoulder pads are included for added comfort

+ Made of flexible but sturdy rubber material, which ensures both safety and comfort for your precious cargo.

+ The material is shock absorbing, antibacterial and easy to clean, and features a high insulation factor and water resistance.

+ Award-winning product: Baby Innovation Award Winner 2011, Reddot Design Award Winner 2009, Good Industrial Design Winner 2009 and 2010, Dutch Design Award 2009, Fiets Innovatie Award 2009

+ Complies with the most stringent European safety requirements and is certified by the Dutch TNO Institute for applied science research

 

To see our range of Yepp childseats, click here.

 

Loaded

June 13, 2013 in Bicycle inspiration, Bicycles, Cycling Accessories

BEG Bicycles classic vintage dutch bicycles

 

Introducing some beautiful and practical new cycling products to load up your bicycle in style.  From wicker panniers, to stylish tote bag style shoppers, and even a wicker dog basket for the furry love of your life, we’ve got your shopping, work files, laptop all packed up for the ride.

Available in store now.

 


Beg Bicycles classic vintage dutch bicyclesBeg Bicycles dutch classic vintage bicyclesBeg bicycles Dutch classic vintage bicyclesBeg Bicycles Classic vintage dutch bicyclesBeg Bicycles Classic vintage dutch bicycles

Things you would NEVER expect us to say #01

March 25, 2013 in Bicycles, Bike Candy, Cycling Accessories

 

It’s funny how trends work.  Unless you are an uber-fashionista, who needs not the slightest sniff of styling semaphore to be ahead of the curve, the vast majority of us lesser style gurus need a trend to be around for some time before we can even consider embracing it.  Take ‘bootleg jeans’.  Shockingly flared and ridiculously long compared to their precursors, they quickly came to symbolise all that was right about a pair of trousers… suddenly one had legs that were fifteen inches longer and thighs that thought they were calves and to consider wearing anything else would have been laughable.  But whoOOAAHHH!  The circumferentially-challenged ‘skinny’ jean stealthily crept into the denim vernacular and into our wardrobes and all of a sudden, just HOW ridiculous did any other jeans style seem?   And thus it is with the fickle and frivolous world of fashion.

One trend that is huge right now and is making us smile wryly in a big way at the moment is the all-pervading trend for fluoro.  The high street has become a veritable strip-joint of Hi-vis, neon, acid (oh ok.. no one says that anymore.  Showing my age… how embarrassing.).  Call it what you will, but look how anyone and everyone in the, eeek, dare we say it, ‘cycle chic’ cycling world is laughing on the other side of our faces right now.   We’ve all sneered at fluoro in recent years, in the same way that we’ve snootily turned our noses up at lycra, bottle cages and time trials… fluoro simply made the wrong statements about the kind of dignified, genteel cycling that we wanted to do in our ‘everyday’ clothes.  Can you imagine what a hi-viz vest would look like over a vintage tea dress and platform sandals?  Purrrrrleeeeaaase!  Like a red rag to a bull  a high-viz vest worn by a cyclist was literally screaming out “I’m a vulnerable ignoramus, naively peddling along this road that belongs to you, O Great Vehicle Driver, so why don’t you please ingratiate yourself  to come and knock me off!”.  As inflammatory a subject as The Great Helmet Debate, fluoro divided communities, created cycling tribes and caused Marmite-style polarised reactions.   Indeed, sceptics would say that wearing purpose-designed fluoro not only encourages the idea that cycling is inherently unsafe, putting off would-be new riders but also potentially places the blame with the rider rather than encouraging drivers to be more vigilant.

But are we now on the brink of a high-viz fluorolution?  The SS13 catwalks were full of the stuff, and once you start looking, it seems the world around us is too.  We went for our usual Sunday morning family cycle ride yesterday along the Seine (where , I hasten to add, they in the process of  doing a huge amount of regeneration work to turn the verges into a car-free, pedestrian and cycling (segregated, I gleefully add!) utopia) and it felt like an all-out affront of the garish stuff.  Maybe I’m just super-sensitive to it being in the ether at the moment.


 

But whether it conjures up dim and distant memories of mid 80s Kajagoogoo, wiry marathon runners pounding the streets or just evokes the die-hard commuter brigade on folding bicycles, Fluoro is so hot right now, it’s sizzling.  Superlatives abound.  Zesty, vibrant, punchy, acid, zingy.  And if a little bit of reflective fluoro helps us be seen in the dark out there on the mean streets, hallelujah!  Fashion has come to its senses, and a perfect harmony of stye and functionality prevails.   Our mantra for all things cycling precisely.

 

So, in a ‘Things You Would Never Expect Us to Say…” type post, here’s our round-up of the very zingiest fluoro cycling products out there right now.  And what a treat they look with our BEG collection of bicycles and accessories…

Effervescent Fluorescent – We Love You!

 



no.1  Vespertine Reflective Vest Collection.  Surely the haute couture of the reflective garb world!

no. 2  Spot Me Reflective pin-on badges.

no.3 Incredible glow-in-the dark Monroe Reflective Penny loafers (check out the incredible colour palette available!).  Cole Haan.

no. 4  Veja SP.MA hi tops.  Is any other shoe worth wearing? Who knew hi-viz could be so stylish?

no. 5  Love Bike Wear Reflective sash.

no. 6 Dargelos.  A hi viz vest that is definitely not the old-school variety!

 

… and featuring the BEG Bella bicycle throughout in Persephone Pink, 3 speed £675.00

 

Head Case #01

March 22, 2013 in Bicycle inspiration, Cycling Accessories

 

A helmet that combines sartorial savvy with safety is undoubtedly hard to come by, but our new collection of cycle helmets by esteemed Japanese designer Sawako Furuno meets our exacting ‘style meets functionality’ criteria perfectly.  Put simply, these helmets are utterly gorgeous, beautifully-made and coordinate with our bicycle collection a treat (can you imagine how excited we were to FINALLY find a tan leather helmet?  Swoon…)

Available here  for immediate shipping.  Get that head protected.

 

 

 

Bicycles and Country Living – in Islington

October 25, 2012 in Bicycle inspiration, Bicycles, Bike Candy, Cycling Accessories

 


We try to avoid it generally, but brace yourself. We are going to mention the C word.

Ah!  There it is, out in the open for all to see – and indeed, yes, summer really is only just over, but Christmas is a coming – in all its splendid, joyful, consummate glory!

Dare we say it, but some of our fabulously organised customers are already stocking up with BEG goodies – bikes have been ordered, helmets wrapped, bike baskets sent to Father Christmas…

But if you’d actually like to come and see us, try out a bike (they make amazing Christmas presents – particularly to yourself), see which helmet suits you, pick up a flask for Uncle Brian and procure a satchel for your hipster son/daughter/nephew/boyfriend (insert as appropriate), we are going to have a SHOP at The Country Living Christmas Fair in Islington, London!  The fair runs from Wednesday 7th November until Sunday 11th November, and has extended hours on the Wednesday for a gala evening, so you can always pop in after work.

Ho ho ho indeed!

You will be able to buy there and then from our entire BEG Bicycles collection and even better, we will be including our beautiful handmade willow baskets FREE with any bicycle purchase made during the course of the fair.

If you’d like to come, we are giving away TWO free tickets worth £13.00 each in a competition over on our facebook page.  Simply follow the link here and drop us a line to tell us…

I would like a BEG Bicycle for Christmas because…’

Warming the cockles…

September 24, 2012 in Bicycles, Cycling Accessories, Enjoy the ride

… And Other Areas:

A Guide to Cosy Winter Cycling

Part 1.

Your Nether Regions

 

We’ve been thinking long and hard about cycling in the colder months here at BEG, and considering ways to make your ride all the more pleasurable, whilst being practical and useful.   Autumn and winter cycling has many charms but a chilly backside on an icy cold saddle certainly isn’t one of them!

So one of the new products we’ve come up is the BEG Sheepskin Saddle Cover.  Be kind to your behind, with these luxurious, beautifully-made covers that give a really toasty, very soft and comfortable ride.  They also work a treat if you are breaking your new Brooks saddle in, and finding it rather hard-going!

Our natural sheepskin saddle covers are made in Great Britain from 20mm pile sheepskin, so are very sumptuous, soft and certainly a treat for your derriere!  They are designed to perfectly fit Brooks B66 and 67 saddles, but because of their drawstring and toggle  construction, they nicely fit many other saddles we have tried them on.

There is but one danger.

Once on, you may never want to get off.  Could be a long ride.

Riding high into Autumn….

September 20, 2012 in Bicycle inspiration, Bicycles, Cycling Accessories

O September – how you tease the poor cyclist with your unpredictable and unreliable ways!  You revel in tripping us up, running us amok with your indecisiveness.  You create all sorts of dilemmas with your chilly mornings and long shadows, all glaring sunlight and chances of rain and your sultry afternoons that delude us that summer is back and that require the miraculous appearance of a completely different outfit.

An array of decision-making processes fill the September cyclist’s head as they attempt to pack the panniers for the confusing day ahead whilst keeping it as minimal as possible. Bare legs or not (with coordinating goose bumps?), how many layers, that ‘in-between season’ jacket that you’ve never actually owned, a (gasp at the horror) cagoule (or rather chic cycling-specific raincoat), sunnies… and that’s just the wardrobe.   Where’s it all going to fit?  Load up the basket?  Use panniers today?  Get a pack-horse and tether it up to the back of the bike?

Despair not however because we all know, of course, that Autumn ‘for real’  is just around the corner (hurrah), and revel in its crisp, sharp air and soggy leaves we shall!

Here at BEG we’re feeling the autumn glow already and are excitedly looking forward to getting wrapped up for chilly cycling and hitting the road with some great new products that will make your daily cycling commute, or weekend jaunt on your wheels all that bit more cosy and pleasurable!  Let us therefore introduce, without further ado, our new Autumn Winter 2012 campaign - Crisp Autumn Cycling…    

October – we embrace you!

 

All products now in store for immediate delivery @ www.begbicycles.com




 

Perfectly cool for school…

August 31, 2012 in Cycling Accessories, Reviews

It’s a poignant and emotional time of year.  The dog days of summer didn’t even materialise.  It’s a mix of excitement and terror at the thought of the holidays coming to an end, and The New Term beginning for young whipper snappers.  And then for the rest of us who are too old for all that (and for whom life is sadly one long term time), there is a sense of real nostalgia… Clarks (sensible) shoe fitting machine, trips to Woolworths to buy a new pencil case with magnetic hidden compartments, Aertex PE shirts and envy at a friend’s beautifully sewn-in woven name labels (think mine were done with ballpoint).  I only have to see a few dead leaves newly fallen on the pavement to get that  whole thrill of the Back to School week.  Of course it all wore off by week 2, the new shoes were already scuffed and you’d already lost half of your new and much cherished four-colour Bic biros but hey-ho!  The fabric of life and all that.

So, whether you are getting ready for a super-smart return to the classroom, starting uni or traipsing back into the office – again(!) – next week, be the smartest kid on the block whatever your age with one of our old-school BEG leather satchels.  For hiking or biking, our satchel collection will make sure you’re really kitted out in style.  Made from beautifully soft, top grain tan leather that has been treated with a blend of oils and waxes to create vintage character and embossed with the BEG logo on the front, you’re sure to be top of the class from day 1!  (Available in a range of sizes and styles.  Prices from £45.00.  See here for the full collection and details).

 

Rug and Roll

June 12, 2012 in Bicycle inspiration, Cycling Accessories

The Essential Components for a Perfect Bike Ride…

Flask of tea packed? Tick.
Custard creams in there too? Tick.
Softest, cosiest BEG picnic rug ready?  Absolutely.

Following the success of our 100% lambswool picnic rug, we’re delighted to add this new collection of British-made, beautifully muted, recycled wool fringed rugs to the Beg cycling accessory collection.

Made from the left over ‘shoddy’ wool of virgin wool blankets, our new picnic rugs (picnic blankets, whatever you will…) clip onto the back of your Brooks saddle for perfect picnic portering using the full grain calfskin tan saddle carrying strap.  If you don’t have a Brooks saddle  - or if Shank’s Pony is your chosen method of transport, simply throw into your basket or use the handy carrying handle and picnic in style!

We’ve got three ever-so vintage-y colours that tone with our bicycles beautifully.  Blankets in store now £59.00

PS Note the gratuitous shot of Millie Beg in there too.  We couldn’t resist, and her legs aren’t long enough for a BEG bicycle yet!


 

 

Classically beautiful…

May 22, 2012 in Bicycle inspiration, Bike Candy, Cycling Accessories, Enjoy the ride, Press


…and for once we’re not talking about our bicycles!

The fabulous Laura Wright, classical soprano and classical music chart topper, is riding our very own Bella in this week’s Hello magazine (and our 100% lambswool picnic blanket makes an appearance too!).   We love Laura so this is all rather exciting!

Laura’s having an incredible year.  Having been top of the classical album charts in 2011 with her album The Last Rose, Laura became the first soprano to perform at the Olympic Stadium in March and has been selected to record the new Diamond Jubilee song, ‘Stronger As One’, which HM The Queen mentioned in her Commonwealth Day Message at Westminster Abbey in March where the song was premiered.   She’s also just sung at the FA Cup final – and at our favourite – The RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  Her  new album, ‘Glorious’, was released yesterday –  a unique collection of great British songs, old and new, which will celebrate and commemorate the Diamond Jubilee – where she will fly the flag for Britain!

Anyway, we think Laura looks just beautiful  - and Bella isn’t bad either!

Many thanks to the team at Hello, Laura Wright and our friend, Selina Lake.