Rewind a few days back to when I was in Sydney, visiting the Chappelli Cycles studio to see what newness they had going down. Founder Pablo Chappelli showed me his vintage 70s Cinelli track seat and Campagnolo disc wheel, while this vintage loving gal (who doesn’t necessarily know too much about bikes) grew curious about the art of precision and moving parts. I can truly understand how building and dismantling your own ride to create your ultimate monster can be so fun. It must be a special kind of discipline to build a bike and get it to ride the way you intended.
I also had to admire a wall of Brooks saddles hanging in perfect neatness like pawns on a chessboard. These are truly great pieces that speak the language of slow-wear and great craft. The saddles are all made in England, and like a good pair of jeans, wear into your own shape over time. I was pleasantly surprised to be shown a new model that was vulcanised rubber rendered in canvas, which was actually fused into the underlying rubber. It took me a while to wrap my head around what was going on but I gathered that the rubber was poured into a mould with the canvas, so that the components literally became one. It’s genius things like this that truly get me excited about the world. For those of you who are saddle swayed, I’ll drop a little secret that Ponytail Pal Nigel Cabourn is working on a collaboration with Brooks. Watch this space!
Pablo also lead my attention to a new gear technology [NuVinci] where you can shift without any sensation, without even needing to peddle. The great thing was in the gizmo’s application when riding, twist to shift, and not a number in sight. I gave it a spin to see how it all worked, and boy was a breeze it was to combat hills on that bad boy. The multi speed, jolt-less gear changing was kind of too fun to get off.
5 Clevedon Street,