Bikes? Check. Good coffee? Check. Pretty things, nice people? Check. We took a spin (har har) through SPIN London last weekend, a biannual event now in its third edition, and came back with this summary of our favourite bike pretty products, people, and moments to share with you.
Starting with none other than...
1. Michaux Club. A former technical designer, Bike Pretty muse Rachel Bonney set the bar high when she launched her cycle-minded bag line Michaux Club in 2011. Hey that's her! Check out that smile, and smart merchandising.
But she doesn't make just bags. A new version of Michaux Club's stellar Lightsaber bar tape debuted at SPIN, replete with neat double rows of perforated holes that reveal the reflective material underneath - a concept that began with Rachel's Zodiac bag series.
Three colours! Wow. Is it obvious our vote lies with the gold?
...so your bars will glow ominously in the dark.
I loved glowsticks on halloween as a kid, so this takes me back to happy memories of trick-or-treating. Except on my bike. Everyday. And who doesn't wish everyday was halloween?
Rachel also featured some snazzy tassel keyring charms in the same colour palette as the bar tape.
Tinged with reflective 3M silver, they really bring the hi-viz whimsy. I liked them so much I bought two (one for me, one for Melissa, natch). It goes great with my vintage Bonnie Cashin for Coach satchel, pictured above right (via Michaux Club's instagram feed).
And with another extra-special satchel, that you'll hear about soon.
2. Otto London. Londoners will likely be familiar with this line of urban ponchos, which come in an array of colours. In my bike pretty world, there's two kinds of capes: those to wear in an absolute downpour, and those to wear on a regular basis, to help block wind chill whilst maintaining a sense of movement and ease on the bike.
Despite the fact that I live in London, I'm often in the latter type. And this denim version of Otto's signature style ticks all the right boxes.
The dark material is versatile and weighty, giving it just the right amount of swing. And it's treatable, too, with otter wax or any other water-proofing process, for the repellant-inclined.
Functional details like the two-way zip, internal handlebar straps and zipped chest pocket make it perfectly suited to cycling, and conveniently hidden when you're not. All in all, I felt just like Anne St. Marie in Balmain, circa 1955.
And what's not Bike Pretty about that?_________________________________________________________________________________________________
3. Hovding. We've all seen those slow-mo vids of the much-hyped Hovding Airbag for Cyclists, circulating on design blogs across the internets for what feels like years. But did you know Hovding's design is proven to be three times more effective in a crash than leading industry helmets? Protecting the noggin is a very Bike Pretty concept indeed.
Scandinavian genes. It's a real thing, guys. _________________________________________________________________________________________________
What you may not have seen is the rest of adorable designer Elena Corchero's (pictured here) line, which includes a vast array of other like-minded, witty-chic accessories.
Retro-inspired shoe clips, pins, reflective-threaded knits and more filled her SPIN stand.
I love a mustard-hued glove. With a subtle, detachable hi-viz bow; even better.
My BP vote lies with the 3M reflective kiltie, and the hi-viz polka dot T-shirts. I think the latter concept could be spun off into any manner of dotted materials and products, however. Corchero should just go dotty.
Always a good look, if you ask me.
5. Tracy Neuls Bike footwear line. Nominated for the London Design Museum's 2014 Designs of the Year exhibit, Neuls' capsule range of bike-oriented styles combine her signature quirky sensibility with resilient materials and subtle hi-viz details.
Our favourite is the George Chelsea Boot, pictured here at Spin in two materials: vegetable-tanned leather that only gets better with pedal-scuffed age (taupe on right), and the black suede style on the left.
Glass beads are melted onto the surface and then coated with resin, lending a supple granular aspect to the surface that ultimately yields a versatile, lo-fi take on these babies that lit up fashion week streets of recent seasons. Suffice it to say Neuls' design will probably stand up to the elements, and your bike, much better.
Not to mention eliminate the shedding problem that comes with glitter footwear.
Photo courtesy of Tracy Neuls.
6. Tokyobike. Let's face it: bike shops are not usually an aesthetically pleasing experience. East-London based Tokyobike breaks that tacit rule however, and their SPIN stand was no exception with its reliably minimal, multi-brand offering. Plus, it led to another Karina T. Jones sighting, which is always a thrill.
and of course, our favourite Bike Pretty star of east London, Jenni Gwiazdowski of London Bike Kitchen!
Posing with another *ace* Festka frame:
The next edition of SPIN takes place 5th-7th of December 2014. Hope to see you there!