Here's an eclectic mix of our best cycling spots from around the internet this month. The Inner Ring Once again the Tour de France coverage over on the INRNG pro cycling blog has been superb. Witty, insightful insider coverage with lively debate amongst the comments - if you're not following this site you should add it to your favourites immediately. To support the site Mr. Inrng recently collaborated with Prendas to produce a limited edition jersey. Grab one while you can. Wheelset Search After our short feature on compatible forks for our steel frames we asked a few recent customers about the wheelsets they selected for their new builds. Whist most opted for Campag, Fulcrum and Mavic, a couple of lesser known brands also cropped up. Hunt produce high quality hand-built wheels from top spec'ed components sourced from well respected Asian manufacturers (an approach we certainly appreciate). They look the business and are well priced too. Swiss Side wheels have a focus on aerodynamics and with a combined 50 years of Formula 1 experience in their design team they should be good at it too. Any brand with line graphs on their product pages get my vote. West Coast Jerseys & Bags While on the look out for a new short sleeve jersey, I came across Ornot Apparel. As they are based in sunny San Francisco they offer nothing in merino - but will make a nice change from the obligatory Rapha Classics Jersey visible on every Saturday morning club run. Portland based Tanner Goods are high-end producers of traditional leather work. Their new outdoor collection includes a range of waxed cotton handlebar and saddlebags. The Excursion Frame Bag is our favourite. A waxed canvas workhorse, designed to carry a working days worth of gear without getting overstuffed. Its dimensions will fit a laptop, a light jacket, a notebook and some lunch safely, without worrying about your legs hitting it while pedalling. North East Caps A little closer to home is D By Design Cycling Caps. With a custom design service for cycling clubs for orders of 15 caps I'm sure this new brand will prove popular. They also offer some bold stock caps from just £12 - a small investment to vastly improve your coffee stop look. Finding & Building Vintage Bicycles Finally, My Ten Speeds, a retro website about vintage bikes. I don't know what I was doing when I found this, but I love it. Posts run from 2008 to 2013 and feature a range of articles about the joys and pitfalls of vintage bike building. The site also features a gallery of the authors own salvaged builds sourced from all over America, Europe and Asia. Here's a few favourites from Legnano, Torpado and Tomassini to skim the surface of the the Italian section.
Paul Smith 531 Collection Bringing together Paul Smith's passion for cycling and the latest developments in technical fabrications, the 11 piece collection features lightweight jackets, merino jerseys and an all-black racing bike designed for city cycling. Take a look at the full range over at Paul Smith. Ted Baker - Raising the Handlebars Fusing dapper design details with innovative accents, it's time to get up to speed with Ted's bicycle-friendly collection. Fresh fabrics, reflective trims and secret pockets are far too stylish to be kept for the fast lane. See the full range at Ted Baker.
The Café du Cycliste 2015 Spring/Summer collection is here. New for this year is their range topping Louise jersey - a merino, silk and man-made-fibre blend: "The proprietary fabric is ultra fine and very lightweight and additional ventilation and temperature control is provided by open mesh sections on both the back and the sides. The silk combines with the merino to ensure unrivalled warm weather performance but uniquely, its natural insulating properties also provides extra protection and warmth on fast, cold descents of if the temperature suddenly starts to drop." The Café du Cycliste merino range is extended this year and I can vouch for the quality - my Violette jersey is still going strong from last season and is my go-to jersey for a long ride on a warm day. The best thing about their jerseys is the fit - snug around the chest and long enough in the back - without the sag that can result from loaded pockets in merino knits. This year there are also some nice updates to their city range and accessories such as caps, socks and bidons too. Overall it's looking nice for summer, although probably not quite as nice as the Cote d'Azur where the team behind the brand are based. I'll be waiting for an invite... See more over at Café du Cycliste.
Has anyone perused the latest Isadore Apparel spring/summer collection? A side project of Martin Velits, Isadore Apparel create cycling clothing focusing on clean designs and sustainable manufacturing. Their jerseys are made in Slovakia from mainly merino blends and receive consistently good reviews for fit, comfort and durability. For colder days there is this 285gsm fabric, with understated details like elbow patches and neon transfer decals. Their 100% merino baselayer looks particularly good value at 60 euros, while their Teflon coated tights could be an interesting option for those cold, wet days that can catch you out in April.