Sunday, August 29, 2010

Old ways that still works - the story of Brooks company

Brooks is a seat company that have been around for a long time..1866 to be exact. It is extremely  interesting to see that in an era of hi tech bicycle technology... where bike companies continue to churn out latest Carbon Kevlar krytonite gear... to cut down say 50 grams...
Brooks says.. "sorry sir.. it is my way or the highway, drink tea and have cakes...". and  continue their age old method of doing their seats.. the low tech and long winded way. Manually selecting and cutting leather and shaping them to fit cyclist bums. To me as a product designer,  I am very impressed how the company have used their heritage to face of the competition. At the same time quite skeptical if this is all marketing talk....So it happened I bought my Brompton which came with the Brooks flyer. The first ride on the brooks seat was a very painful affair... it was like sitting on a rock! I couldn't believe that why there was so much praise for the seat.. At one time I wanted to chuck it into the dustbin and replace it with a gel/air seat.  To the seat credit.. it look really really nice on the bike. I keep on riding it for a few more longer rides...helped by my gel riding tights.  And it now fits me like a glove! The feeling is a strange thing.. if u press the seat with ur is hard and flexes very slightly. But somehow when the seat gets seasoned... it was the most comfortable compared to the air seat which I loved.. and the longer u ride, the better.
Brooks is also using milking their heritage in their design to appeal to the retro riders like my self. Recently the company released a very interesting design based on the topography patter of Alpe d'Huez.. one of the most challenging stage in the Tour de france.  Well, I am not racer but I was once shown an amazing video of lance armstrong and co... climbing up the mountain.. he looked back at the guy in pink... as if challenging him " is this all u got" then step into another gear and just pulled away.... That was pure magic and power!  I cant climb and I dont ride as fast...but I do respect Lance armstrong and all the riders in the tour de france.. so I was decided to buy it... 
Information taken from the Brooks company description: 
Alpe d'Huez is one of the main climbs and has been a stage finish in the Tour de France almost every year since 1976. The first was in 1952, won by Fausto Coppi, at a time when most cyclists were riding Brooks Saddles.
The pattern of the Alpe d'Huez impressed on this saddle has been designed by Dan Funderburgh, a wallpaper designer and artist in Brooklyn, NY. His patterns, prints and installations are varied in content but all demonstrate an unabashed love for decorative arts.
With influences ranging from Moorish mosaic to American op art, the work is a repudiation of the fabricated schism between art and decoration. Some of Dan's work can be found in the collections of the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum and the Miami Museum of Modern Art. Dan loves bicycles and has created wallpaper patterns with bicycle parts. 
But man, it still feels like a rock... I hope it softens up real soon.. here are the pictures.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Brass bell and grips from TR bikes... nice right?

New old bike outside my home

Cane brass bell polished up
Portland design works leather grips

TR bikes, folks with passion

It is rare to see passion in SG this days.... But if u look hard enough, there are people who live their dreams. I want to share with u a shop I went to recently to get my old bike done up... TR bikes. It is the place to be if u have any fixie dreams, where old bikes can be "reborn". After last week ride, I brought my friends to see TR and here are the shots of folks of TR. They are located at a quiet neighbourhood

TR bikes Address:  
Block 7, Jalan Batu, #01-107, Singapore 431007
Opening Times
Mon – Fri : 1200hrs – 1900hrs
Sat : 1100hrs – 1900hrs
Sun : 1300hrs – 1600hrs
Ph : Closed
 Go and check them out! 

tools for every operation

oh no.. 
old raleigh
why left sided crank?
Chris explaining why

Lyten adding a Crane brass bell to my New old bike 
niceee bike

Monday, August 23, 2010

National day ride from Potong Pasir to Pasir ris beach

Francis wanted to see how our PCN were doing and suggested we try Potong pasir to Pasir ris. I have never done this route before and was abit concerned as I was riding a single speed new old bike and Francis and Rodney were riding their fixies. Don't know if we can last the trip... but as we rode.. the worries went away.  The single speed experience was surprisingly good... afew cranks to get up to speed and I was humming along at quite a rate... and I have to consciously slow down :) I guess my daily morning rides is helping me improve my riding:)

Back to the route.. The roads were very quiet in the mornings and it was pleasant to be riding and not be too worried about Cars. The air was cooling and crisp as we headed towards mac pherson, then  weaved thru Ubi and rolled into Bedok reservoir. To add to the National day theme, we tied the flags behind the bike. Here are some cool shots on the ride.

discussing the route at Potong pasir mrt
pointing here and there
zipping around.. on NOB
quiet lane to mac pherson
rolling along kaki bukit...nice no cars
smiling and rolling 

Berlin wall and a guy giving motivational talks
Me and Francis 

This is getting hot... 

Canal at the start of Pasir ris 
handsome dude la SG style
Cotton tree in SG
raw cotton buds...
PCN bike rental and water point. Good job NPark!
Reaching the end of pasir ris

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pungol PCN in progress...

Thought about the PCN around my neighbourhood and how lovely it would be to ride along the river line. So decided to pop by to see how it was... Actually it was turning out very well.. I think it will be completed very soon. Best of all they have built a bridge to connect pungol to tampines! This means cyclists, joggers alike can travel to changi from pungol direct! Here are the pics.
thats when u wish for MTB wheels
Lor halus.. this used to be a dumping site.. 12 stories high 
bridge linking to Lor harlus which leads to Tampines
pavilion, maybe with Cafe? 
waterline of serangoon river
planking for the waterline plattform, I think
head gear for work

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I have a Punggol dream...

I live at Punggol field area.. this is one of the more ulu(far reaching) areas in Singapore..  However there are big dreams for this place. It is supposed is to be the next "marine parade" for Singapore. What doe all this rambling have any relevance to my bicycling site? Well, according to the powers above, Punggol will have waterside activities and most importantly... bicycle paths that follows the waterline!  I have been monitoring the development around my area and indeed it is coming up.. here is the plan as I see in the newspaper.  I am excited and can't wait for this dream to become a reality!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

New old bike (NOB) is done.. I went and collected the bike from Chris of TR bikes. I am very happy... went for spin later at night after my daughter was asleep. nice and can't stop smiling. Here is the pic my old new bike. Will bring NOB to see my riding kakis tomorrow..

wireless shifter!

clean Sugino crank
single speed