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cool bike shit for the discerning cyclist


// Lizard Skins - Dry-Fiant Insulated Shoe Covers              

Lizards are bastards. I mean look at those monitors. Sitting outside all day in the sun, not bothering to get a job and having loads of kids which they then probably claim welfare for.

So it pleases me to hear of anything that involves their skins. Not that these shoe covers are made from actual lizard skins as it’s just the brand name, but then Toad in the Hole isn’t made with reptiles so what’s your point. And no, of course I don’t know what my point actually is either.

The Dry-Fiants are well constructed, wind & water resistant covers for your disco slippers that are also insulated for days when those little doggies can get super cold.

They have a reflective logo for extra safety and I admit it took me about 3 hours to work out what the hell “Fiant” was and what made it something I needed in my life. I am that thick.

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// Vulpine - Short Merino City Sock              

As Edwin Star once famously said…. Socks. What are they good for? Absolutely nothing.

Oh and keeping your feet warm, providing a barrier between foot and shoe and also hiding your ankles from lascivious Victorian men. So really they are good for loads of things. Nice one Edwin.

These city socks from the always excellent Vulpine use technical merino that is both super soft and kills odours. Great if you are cycling to a date. Or eat with your feet.

They have a traditional British herringbone design and come in 4 colour ways – red, navy, green and fuscia.

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// Le Coq Sportiff - Arac Jersey              

Now it is often the case that wearing official replica shirts can make you look like a knob. What would you think if someone cycled past you in a full on yellow skinsuit? I think though that if there is a shirt that is inspired by the official gear then that’s ok. Unfortunately my sartorial CV is littered with times where I’ve worn stuff that I think is ok and in fact I look like a Coq.

With the Tour de France breathing down our necks I thought if I can’t feature something like this when can I? Its part of the Le Coq Sportiff Arac jersey range – there are 5 colour ways, including this one which is of course inspired by the polka dot jersey awarded to the King of the Mountains but with triangles instead of spots. Cheeky. Being 16 stone and an avowed enemy of that bastard ‘gravity’ I therefore am a perfect match to this jersey.

Usual Le coq detailing, great construction and comes with silicone strips to keep in place as well as 3 decent sized pockets on the back. It also has flat seams to prevent chafing, because remember – a bleeding nipple is not a happy nipple.

Oh and it’s also on sale – 40% off. Get your Coqs out.

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// Yorkshire Grand Depart Cycling Jersey              

So you might have seen that the Tour de France is having a dirty weekend in Yorkshire as an opening to the 101st edition. Writing that gives me the mental image of Chris Froome smothering himself in uncooked parkin whilst a man in flat cap licks it off. Yummers.

To celebrate this rather exciting event Welcome to Yorkshire, the people running this northern soiree, have made a commemorative jersey that means you can feel part of it, and shock horror its actually ace. Rather than being yellow, which is always awkward if you wear a version of the leaders jersey and get overtaken on a mild incline by a man on a 1950s shopping bike, its a vivid aquamarine.

It’s made by Le Coq Sportive so it’s made of high quality wicking material, has the usual 3 pockets for storage and a full zip. Even better it has a discreet Tour de France logo as well as a very restrained large Y on the front so not only can people know what the shirt is about without it being overly gaudy, you also have a handy image that points directly at your penis. Result.

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// Vulpine - Summer Shorts              

The unending debate around male cyclists is do you shave your legs? I am of the no variety currently, only because I know once I go down the route I’ll end up getting carried away and end up looking like a seal.

But then the debate isn’t even going to happen if you don’t get your legs out in the first place – and with summer threatening to blaze at us you need some short shorts to cultivate those tan lines when you aren’t clad in lycra. Rule 7.

These nut huggers are from Vulpine and join their sartorially on-the-money line up as part of the summer range. Which would make sense in them being shorts and all. They are lightweight, have zipped pockets, tailored turn-ups and a diamond gusset so you don’t sit on seams thus chafing your “Road to Grimsby”

You get a choice of 3 colours and they also have a high back which unless you are the owner of some serious crack should eliminate any form of builders bottom. A natural phenomenon which no one wants to see even if you shave that particular area as well.

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// CMWC - Cycle Cap              

Smidgen of honesty – I once tried to ride a fixie and forgot to keep pedalling. Its a good job the pavement broke my fall or I could have ended up carrying on all the way through to Australia.

Cycle messengers on the other hand ride them all the time and are so good they even have their own world championships. This year they are being held in Mexico City. 3 days of messenger related competitions, beer, and looking a bit stinky. So to celebrate they have made a cap in conjunction with Cinelli and it’s ace. It comes in a variety of sizes and colours. That is as long as you choose black with a multi coloured stripe and your head is a one size fits all shape.

We have done tests as well and if like me you struggle with fixed gear cycling then if you wear this hat you will see an immediate 82% increase on your ability to not fall off. That’s science.

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// Attaquer - Bandits Full Kit              

There was just one thing I wanted to be when I was a youth. That was one of the BMX Bandits, and of the three I wanted to be Judy more than anything. The fact that Nicole Kidman played that part shows what a confused time it was for me.

Older, wiser and just a little less fabulous I now know that I don’t want to be Judy. I do still want to be a Bandit though, and this is Attaquer’s nod to the best 1983 Australian BMX buddy film of all time.

I’s got all the usual high quality construction elements you get from Australia’s finest owl loving apparel makers. It’s made from High tech, premium Italian fabric which makes it durable, breathable and lightweight, has custom zippers and a body contour fit. The matching shorts have a triple density chamois that is designed to lessen pressure on perinea region (also known as the road to Grimsby)

Look, you know all this tech stuff already as we featured the Cipolini kit not that long ago so just buy the thing and we can all be Judy together.

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// Sockguy - Lightning Wool 8" Crew              

There are many things I could say about socks and the place they hold in the lives of the male humans, especially during the teenage years. I shall merely keep it to the brief admission that if back then I had found a pair of socks that had been made of TurboWOOL I would probably have been hospitalised.

Luckily I’m now older, wiser and have to actually leave my bedroom so socks are now all about being worn on your feet.

Now I haven’t done any serious tests but I could give you the Sweetbikes no money back guarantee™ that you will cycle faster in these badboys. To start with they are made of the aforementioned TurboWOOL which is a mix of 50% Merino and 50% polypropylene making them 5 times tougher than pure merino as well as shrink resistant and itch resistant. They have an Easy-Fit” cuff and “Stretch-to-Fit” sizing system for maximum fit and performance.

And final to my theory is the addition of a MASSIVE PINK (or yellow) LIGHTNING BOLT on the side.

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// Twin Six - The Wayfinders Jersey              

“No lady can ever have enough shoes” possibly said Imelda Marcos famously. Less well known is her advice that there is no upper limit on cycling jerseys you should own.

Part of the Twin Six lineup this shirt will make you think you are part of some sort of forward scouting cycle regiment whilst you smash up hills or down trails. You could even wear it as part of your Klinger from M*A*S*H outfit as the army green colourway would look ace with a flowery skirt.

Manufactured in the USA, the Wayfinders is made from 100% soft polyester micro fibre, has a full length invisible zip and 3 deep pockets at the back. Perfect to store your compass, spare ammo and morphine. Oh and lipstick if you are going full ‘Klinger’

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// Rapha Cap              

Look, it’s a cap with a stripe on it. That’s it. And still it looks ace.

It’s made by Rapha therefore it comes with the stigma that if you wear it people will hazard that you have a bank balance that isn’t in the over draft, or at least until you have just bought this. Fair enough it’s expensive for a hat but it’s made from windproof, water resistant technical cotton. Its highly breathable and finished with a moisture wicking anti-bacterial tape. Which is my personal favourite type of tape just after double sided Scotch and tape worms.

It’s one size fits all and you get enough colour choices to match the rest of your mortgage equivalent Rapha wardrobe which are Black/Black Stripe – Black/Pink Stripe – Black/White Stripe – Blue/White Stripe – Black/Chartreuse – Dark Navy/Hi-Vis Pink – Cream/Black Stripe

Also I think from studying the website if you wear this and someone takes a photo of you it will come out in soft focus and possibly, black and white.

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// Giro - New Road Insulated Vest              

This sort of thing used to be the preserve of people like my aunt who got sleeveless quilted bomber jackets cheap from Makro or the sort of smug outdoorsy walking type who’s idea of a good holiday is dragging the kids camping and bragging about how they dug their own toilet.

Now my auntie’s sleeveless bomber jacket has morphed into a must have accessory in the form of an ‘Insulated Vest’. Part of the Giro New Road range which is aimed at bridging the gap between performance and being able to wear it anywhere and this is possibly the best embodiment of that.

The gilet as it’s also awkwardly known has become the must have bike accessory after actually having a bike and here you get a great cold weather option. Made from 25g of Primaloft with a nylon shell it means that it’s toasty but not stifling and as well as being super light weight it can also pack down into its own pocket for when you get a swett (sic) on.

Available in grey, even more exciting dark grey or my favourite, lifeboat man orange, which has the added bonus that the casual car driver might just spot you in between checking texts and Facebook and looks sartorially right whether you are out for a 50 mile lane smasher or the commute to work.

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// Galtani - The Champion Mitts              

Hands. Great for gesticulating, flipping off other road users and holding onto things. So when you are going to hold onto something, say some handlebars, then you want to do it with style and a lack of callouses.

Galtani is the pet project of Montrealer (Montrealian, Montrealite?) Garry Vickers who noticed a lack of well-made yet good looking gloves on the market that had a nod to cycling’s heritage. And here they are at a non-bum clenching price.

There are a number of different styles and colours but the Champions are the stand out, and come in white or black with a padded leather palm and handwoven cotton mesh upper decked out in the colours of the world champion.

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// Maglia Rosa T-Shirt              

Sound the horns, break out your most statuesque face and replace all fluids with a mixture of red wine, espressos and shouting cause the Giro is upon us again. Therefore you need a T-Shirt to wear whilst you watch grown men cry riding up sick gradients. And I mean sick in the old “you sick bastard” term and the new “that bastard is SICK’ terminology.

The Whitstable T-Shirt company do a number Giro themed t-shirts and this the pinkest. Made from a super soft cotton yarn with twin needle stitching detail on neck, sleeves and hem. As they say it’s also “Lovingly hand screen printed in Whitstable, Kent, UK”

And even if you are reading this after the Giro you could still add it to your wardrobe rotation cause its good enough quality to last till next year and real men can rock pink any day of the week. Or so my mum tells me.

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// M&S - Cycling Chinos              

At some point you are going to turn into your parents and catch yourself admiring a cardigan in the window of BHS so you might as well embrace it. These Chinos are your time.

Now this might take a little leap of both faith and imagination as the promotional shots that M&S have released are toss. I mean look at them. They look like my Uncle Mario when he tried to dress down for a family Bar-B-Que-Argument. If you are unaware of M&S then it’s a British company called Marks and Spencers, famed for its comfortable pants and semi-posh dinners for lonely single people that think they still have a shred of self respect left. Now if you retook these photos and swapped the trainers for a pair of £300 moulded giro road shoes, the plain white T for a fully buttoned up linen shirt, use a model with tattoos, make it moody and black and white, you could charge 5 times the price. Just look at Rapha.

So why are the M&S chinos great? Well by definition stuff you ride in will get covered in grease, road muck and assorted bodily fluids after a while so something affordable makes total sense unless you hate your credit cards and want to regularly punish them.

These come in 2 colours, are water repellent, tapered to keep them out of the chain, have a loop for a D-Lock and even though they romantically describe the stretch waist as a feature that “allows room for growth” (You had me at ‘allows’ M&S) will make bending over the bars and riding super comfortable.

They also come in about 400 size combinations so even if you are Sandy Toksvig there is a size for you. Possibly.

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// Racefiets - Pain is for Cyclists T-Shirt              

Wendy Ball. Artistic Free Form Histrionics. Team Hair Style Speed Parading. What ever you call football, even if you call it soccer, it does have a justified reputation of being a soft sport.

And by soft I mean that the slightest touch, sometimes from the wings of a passing butterfly, has the players rolling around on the floor clutching their faces.

Cycling isn’t like that and to prove it, you need a T-Shirt that explains your position to the rest of humanity.

It Comes in “energising” electric blue and is made from 100% combed cotton.

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// Attaquer - Attaquer e Sapone              

Mario Cipollini was a man that didn’t care what you thought of him. He also liked standing out from the crowd. He possibly also liked zebras which is why Australian brand Attaquer have come up with this ode to the Lion King.

Australian Brand Attaquer have a fairly simple mission goal, “To stand out from the pack” and have a number of mens and womens kits in a variety of 80s neon fluorescent colours, lurid leopard prints and motifs like owl faces which are actually acer than that description makes them out to be.

The Attaquer e Sapone is the one that will make the headlines though as it is a homage to possibly the most famous of all the cycling strips. It’s not cheap but it has all the usual big performance features that high end modern cycle clothing have, such as wicking.

So if you want to look like Super Mario and don’t want one of the internet replica Cipo kits that will melt in the rain then get this, and even with it being an Australian company they ship worldwide for free for any orders over AUS$150

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// Cinelli - Italo 79 Wind-Tex Cap              

Part of the Cinelli 79 range (which is all ace) this is a great cold weather hat for your noggin that toes that difficult line of looking good and actually being good. Made of a material called Wind-Tex which is both waterproof and windproof, and “maintains unaltered the microclimate between the skin and the fabric” which is a posh way it’ll keep you less sweaty.

Super lightweight and with reflective 3M Scotchlite tape on the back for night time visibility and with a low profile to keep your ears toasty it goes to show that when the weather gets tough, the tough put a hat on.

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// Vulpine - Harrington Jacket              

Classic British Style. Not something you would instantly attribute to an urban cycling rain jacket, what with them usually looking like you are off to record the number of the 8:10 from St Pancreas. The Vulpine Harrington one though follows in the modern trend of clothing that you would wear whether you are out on your bike or not.

The Harrington style of jacket has been around since the 1930s but Vulpine have made theirs out of rainproof, windproof, stain-proof and breathable Epic Cotton™ – which is possibly the best name for a fabric since UBER-TAFFETA wasn’t invented last year.

The Jacket is tailored to give it vents at the shoulders, a high neck to keep the rain out and a longish tail to keep your bum clean. There are also magnets to close the collar and rear pockets and all zips are waterproof.

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// Twin Six - The Speedy Amsterdam Jersey              

Shirts. Go classic, go plain, or go ‘look at me now’. Twin Six subscribe to the latter ethos and of their excellent line up of shirts – and remember a real lady can never have enough to wear – this is one of the standouts.

Coming in either short summer or a fleece lined long sleeved winter version, it has the usual 3 deep pockets for cargo, full length zip and are made in the USA.

I have no idea what The Speedy Bike Club is, but it being in Amsterdam I would have thought the last thing you have in the Dam is the ability to go anywhere quickly.

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// Aardvark Ankle biters              

Nothing looks as unsightly as a fine pair of trousers that are ragged and covered in grease. What are we – Mid 90s Nirvana fans?

So if you don’t have a trendy pair of jeans that have those prepared turn-ups on them or you are still rocking the baggier look then maybe you need a pair of these. 1 inch wide and a foot long they are brightly coloured 3M Scotchlite velcro straps.

And that’s it really. Cheap enough that you can have a pair in each colour to match your eyes. Red for hang overs, yellow if you have jaundice and blue if you live on Arrakis.

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// Parker Desseau - Commuter Suit              

Cycling has progressed to the point where even the trendiest of business people have swapped their 911 and doing drugs off sushi restaurants toilet cisterns for biking into the office, via a moodily drunk espresso staring out into something soft focus.

Therefore it was only a matter of time till someone came up with a cycling specific suit. They call it “part activewear, part men’s suit” and it’s made from an Australian 135 Performance Superwool which contains a dab of spandex to give you manoeuvrability in the crotchal and other areas. Finally spandex has made it to sartorialism.

Features gripper waist band to keep your shirt tucked in, reflective piping in the pockets and the ability to wick away the moisture if you are peddling away from a deal gone sour.

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// Morvelo - A La Pedale Jersey              

Based out of Brighton in the UK, Morvelo have been going since 2009 and have a philosophy of mixing bike culture with pop culture. A bit like the side of Wiggins head then.

Their entire range is excellent, with all clothing being made in the “European cycling heartland” wherever that is. The A La Pedale jersey has just the right amount of retro styling to make you look ace on the bike, whilst being made out of 100% BioActive micro-fibre and antibacterial polyester which should keep you dry and non-stinky.

3 pockets on the back and a 4th zipped one for valuables, a full length zip on the front and Printed Gripper Elastic (PGE) sleeve ends amongst other things should make for an ace looking and comfortable jersey. Comes in short or long sleeve. Or no sleeve if you are an 80s rock drummer (will have to be adapted yourself)

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// Rapha - GT Shoes              

Yaks. They stand on hill sides in the Himalayas producing rancid butter and shouting at climbers and monks.

Time they did something useful. And they have with the GT shoes from Rapha. The GT’s use a Yak leather upper that “delivers unique benefits including lightness, water resistance, breathability and superb tensile strength” which is bad news for the yak but great for your shoes. The leather is also treated to make sure it’s as stain resistant as possible.

The sole is a 6.5mm thick Easton® EC90 carbon number which comes from the Giro ProLight SLX and Factor models giving you a great connection to the pedal and a stiffness to transfer the power.

They come in black or white and are finished with a machined aluminum buckle with leather straps, titanium D-rings and a reflective Rapha logo on the heel – I mean what’s the point in spunking £300 on shoes if no one knows where you bought them?

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