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cool bike shit for the discerning cyclist


// Vanhawks - Valour              

We all had a bike that we wanted as a kid, but didn’t get. In my case it was a Raleigh Street Wolf. It had sound effects (or FX as we call it in the trade) and an awesome red LED.

Never got it. And now I’m an adult not only is it a bit wrong for me to get one from ebay its also far too small. So this is a great fillip, until I can get someone to build me a street hawk in a massive size that is.

The Valour is the first “connected” bike and has a number of ways that it’s actually smarter than you, meat sack.

It has blind spot detection technology so it vibrates if you are about to turn into traffic. It has an inbuilt GPS that you programme using a dedicated app to work out the best cycle route. You then follow the green lights on the handlebars left or right to get your destination.

It also logs everything you do – time, calories burnt pedal strokes, what brand of lynx you are wearing (Africa in case you were wondering) distance etc.

Someone steals it? Sorted cause you can detonate it remotely using the Vanhawk network. Which is also how you can locate it if you didn’t want to do the first bit ……cough

It’s super light and strong with a carbon frame, it looks ace and has a single speed carbon belt drive.

Pre-orders are in now for a march 2015 delivery and although it’s not cheap you get a lot of bike for your money that can do an awful lot of next level stuff.

So all that is well and good and ‘game changing’ and stuff but nowhere does it say that it has a handlebar operated machine gun FX like the Street Wolf. Maybe they can add that and I’m in.

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// Horse Cycles x KM City Cruiser              

Horse Cycles of Brooklyn are builders of sweet city bicycles all presided over by the bearded god like figure of KING HORSE. Which is a name I just made up cause actually it’s Thomas Callahan.

The City Cruiser is a collaboration with Kauffman Mercantile – a very upmarket shop that seems to sell upmarket things to upmarket people. Almost exactly like Sweet Bikes then.

The bike is a single speed affair made from light but strong 4130 steel True Temper tubing (also once found in Tour de France and Giro d’Italia racers) It comes with Brookes leather seat and TIG welded joints for that super streamlined look.

You get a choice of dark green or cream, a personalised copper badge and also the advantage of a much lighter wallet as this fine looking steed will set you back well over a grand sterling.

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// Rizoma - Metropolitan Bike              

MCP, or Master Control Programme as his mother calls him, was a bit of a bastard in the original Tron. Digitising people just cause they were trying to hack your network, making programmes fight each other in badly animated massive loss causing early 80’s films and the like. Saying that though he had a marvellous eye for style.

And if Tron had needed to get about the game space and he had run out of whatever it was that powered the light cycles, (possibly light?) then this is the bike he’d get around on.

With a monocoque carbon frame and aluminium parts this bad boy isn’t on the cheap side, in fact its hideously expensive but just look at it! Come on, you aren’t looking hard enough…. that’s better. Lets all pop a tent in unison.

The Metropolitan comes in either black or white frame colours with orange or black rims, has a flip flop hub for either single speed or fixed riding and is powered by a belt drive rather than a chain. It also only comes in 1 size. It does come with brakes but they aren’t fitted.

Now if your day isn’t complete without some majestically nebulous design statements then this is what Rizoma say about the Metropolitan bike……

““Elegance and harmony make the metropolitan bike more than just a means of travel, but rather a work of design and a declaration of an aesthetic and existential philosophy.”

Whatever. Now someone lend me €4200 please.

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// Wraith Cycles - The Hustle              

Its been said that we only feature retro looking steel steeds here on Sweet Bikes. And I say to you detractors “Don’t you dare try to pigeon hole me, you fascist”

So, The Hustle from Wraith Cycles is a retro looking steel road bike. Made from lightweight Columbus Life steel it gets that individual ride which is both comfortable and fast. Dancing gingerly onto the scales the medium comes in at 3.4lb/1542g which means that it weighs less than my breakfast burrito and will see you flying up the climbs and still being solid on the descents.

For a hand built frame its also trez res price wise – for just over a thousand greenbacks (£650) you get the frame and a full Columbus carbon fork delivered ready to be built up at home without special tools. Or if you are like me, ready to be built up at home then taken apart and done properly by the local bike shop.

You can have the frame in any colour as long as that is grey and will take a 27.2mm seatpost, most 25C rubber, english threaded BB, and an Internal Campy headset.

Pre orders being taken now with frames to ship in August.

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// Horse Cycles - Urban Tour 2014              

If you are feeling lascivious of nature and fancy feasting your eyes on some tubluar smut then Brooklyn could be your new destination. They seem to be bogarting some of the sexiest steel bikes around.

Horse Brand Co. is based around builder Thomas Callahan and this is an update to last years Urban Assault. He has a moustache and a furry hat – once again this is all the CV a steel bike builder needs.

Hand built and capable of being single speed or geared, you can also get colour matched fenders, racks for the touring and still have the juice to smash out some Strava segments if the whim takes you. The urban Assult isn’t the lightest out there but who cares about meat on the bones when they look this good.

This is one of those all round life long partner bikes. The sort that you not only want to throw dollar bills at and take home to partake in biblical things, but to also escort round to the parents for afternoon cake and perhaps a game of croquet.

Basically it’s a steel Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. But with less Richard Gere.

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// Brooklyn Bicycle - Driggs 3 speed              

Like dogs and bigamists many people hanker for more than one of something. The same goes for bikes coursing along the mean streets of New York. They dream of something doubled up to turn those heads.

The Driggs from Brooklyn decided that having one top tube is for losers so has gone for 2. For what reason other than looking good? I don’t know, possibly so you can bang your testicles on a new location once in a while but it certainly does look the schizzle.

The Driggs has a light weight CrMo frame and comes with a Shimano NEXUS 3 Speed internally geared rear hub, rear carrier and cream tyres for that ‘avoiding dog poop at any costs’ look. That tyre shade will also work perfectly with the sock averse hipster’s pallid ankles.

It comes in 3 colours, has a matching mud guards and if sitting on dead cow isn’t on your list of things to do this week then the saddle is vegan. Means that on a long ride if you get hungry you can eat it.


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// Stoemper - Taylör              

Bridges, gates, superman, most of my first girlfriend’s teeth. Many things have been made of steel and as a bicycle frame material it’s becoming an in-vogue thing again.

The guys at Stoemper (which means to mash a big ring in Flemish; saucy) have a simple ethos on their bikes. They are “DESIGNED TO BE RACED THE SHIT OUT OF. THEN BUILT BY TODD ACCORDING TO THAT DESIGN” and any website that has swearwords on it’s homepage immediately makes it into my favourites tab.

The Taylör is their steel race bike, made from super light but still stiff True Temper S3 steel, it creates a frame that’s “resilient and somehow springy, stiff and yet forgiving” meaning you get a bike that you can smash up hills on but then still ride it for 100 miles without feeling like you have been to a pool party at Michael Barrymore’s house.

Hand built and tig welded – you can choose the size of your frame, your paint scheme and a number of other options including the ability to have disc brakes and internal cable routing. Oh and you also get a carbon Enve fork and a Godzilla headbadge. Basically you can eat Japan on this bike.

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// Kona - Honky Tonk              

Kona have built up the Honky Tonk as a work horse that you can get for a good £100 below the £1000 UK ride to work scheme ceiling. Ignore this bit if you are not in the UK or don’t have a job.

Made from a tough but still fairly light Reynolds 520 Chromoly it’s a classic road bike frame that is prepared to ride though “snow, sun, long distances, dark hours and early mornings” and possibly small children but they don’t put that as part of their official blurb.

It’s got mounts for mudguards, sturdy wheels and clearance for big tyres so you can jump potholes and ride though puddles on the slog to work soaking the suited foot drones. It’s finished with a mishmash of Shimano Sora and Tiagra which is functional and with the 2014 version having a better gearing ratio would even do you alright on a climb if you took it out at the weekend.

Best thing about it? Its called HONKY TONK. Worth the money just for that.

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// Retrospective Cycles - Gitan 57cms              

Now this bike will quite possibly not be there if you fancy buying it – this is more of a nod to the fantastic classic bikes you can buy from Retrospective cycles for reasonable prices. Some classic bike dealers can have prices that make your back doors tighten when you see them. Especially if you want a usable classic rather than something to put on the wall and lick every now and again.

This particular bike is a French built Gitan in the classic colours from 1969 with Huret Gears. The fact it has the well-used looks as if it’s had a Gauloises smoking, woollen jersey wearing French bigamist cycling it along the side of the Seine in search of someone to woo, makes it more appealing.

So as I say this particular bike might not be available but there is a constant stream of classics from Bianchi, Colnago, Grandis Torpado and more which can be shipped world wide.

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// Caletti Cycles - Steel Frame              

It seems that everyone is now a custom steel frame builder, including my mum.

John Caletti (not my mum) has been building bikes in Santa Cruz, California since 2011. This is his Road frame based on a classic stage race geometry that is then tuned to your style of riding (not sure he does ‘weak ass’ which would sum me up) As with most bespoke builders he does the full gamut of options from EPS/Di2 readiness to mud guard mounts, all which will cost you a few more greenbacks and are priced up on the site which is ace, and not always true of this type of bike. You also get a choice of 10 powder coat colour finishes. Stripes, and custom looks are available, again for that extra addition of more cash.

Pay more for the frame and you also get the choice of either lightweight True Temper S3 steel or empty out the kids college fund and get it done in Titanium.

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// Woodelo - Special Branch Frameset              

Wood. Great for boats, pipes and those terrible animals that you can buy from garden centres. But for a bike frame…?

Well the people at Woodelo certainly think so. Stemming from a curiosity into whether you can build a bike out of wood, they have been making frames out of Irish Ash since 2010. Irish Ash apparently having great strength and dampening properties.

The Special Branch (wakka wakka) is their take on a track bike. Uncluttered with gears and brake cables, the wood shines though in the oversized (I guess you’d call them) tubes making for a jaw droppingly individual bike.

They also do a road frame called the Leaf Speed that they say you could race. Wood you though? Ha! Sorry.

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// Genesis - Equilibrium 20              

The Equilibrium has been around since 2008 in different guises and it’s almost constantly on most writers ‘best of the year’, or favourite “other bike” lists. But then what do they know? Oh yeah.

Made from lightweight Reynolds 735 steel, it weighs in under 10kg, has great retro looks and paired with the carbon fork and the fact it has the eyelets for full mudguards it’s an excellent winter bike that would hold its own when the sun comes back out.

The top of the range Equilibrium 20 comes with the new Shimano 105 10 speed on it, decentish wheels and Continental’s excellent new Grand Sport Race 25c tyres. Sold on the tyres alone.

The different spec levels of the bike come with different colour options so you could end up, if you are an idiot like me, buying a bike that is more expensive just because you want it in red.

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// Moots - Vamoots Frameset              

Stainless steel aside, if you really want to spend your possibly-not-hard-earned-or-even-yours money on a material for a frame that is both stiff AND a smooth ride, then titanium is the one for you.

There are a fair number of companies now putting titanium frames in their line up, but you really want to go with a company that specialises in it – like Moots.

Based in Steamboat Springs in Colorado they are a band of seriously bearded and (a bit too) down to earth bike fans who create some of the most desirable MTB, Cross and road frames around and have been working in Titanium solely since 1991. The Vamoots is their classic frame, with a bit more of a relaxed geometry to make it the sort of bike you can do everything on, from country lane blasts to an eye bleedingly long ride. It comes in 9 stock sizes with a custom size build available from them directly.

If you like this but want something a bit more performance minded then check out the Vamoots CR (Club Racer) or the top of the range Vamoots RSL (Really Smelly Lasso) which is super light, stiff and ready to race.

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// Creme Cycles - Caferacer Doppio              

Normally the phrase ‘cafe racer’ would relate to the competition between me drinking a heavily caffeinated beverage and then trying to make it to the gents before it works its black magic and I need new pants and some self respect. But not in this case. This is a steel lugged beauty based on the Porteur bikes of the 50s and 60s (Portuer, basically meaning a bike with a rack on the front) and is a bit of a work of art with polished rims, a great powder paint job, built in matching lights and internally geared hubs for nice clean lines.

Built in Europe, Creme Cycles (standing for CREative MEans of transport – must be European with a name that wanky) the Caferacer comes in 4 price levels, with 3 speeds or 7 speeds, with men’s or ladies frames, each in 3 sizes and can carry up to 10kg. So if you need something that is functional and turns heads, the Caferacer is your new bike.

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