Archive for the ‘bike gear’ Category

Why I love my Kitsch Kitchen panniers

FK 7 Why I love my Kitsch Kitchen panniers

I confess, I am a bit of an evangelist when it comes to Kitsch Kitchen panniers.

I used to carry my gear on my back, in a boring black backpack from a camping store. But as my loads got heavier and heavier and I started getting back pain, I thought it was time to finally use panniers.

Panniers have transformed my life. Seriously. Such that when I got my new bike the first thing I did when I got it was take it to Cecil Walker and get a back rack installed for another set of Kitsch Kitchen panniers.

Why do I love them so much?

1. They brighten up my bike. As you can see, I own a very utilitarian Diamondback hybrid which is a fantastic ride but frankly a little dull for my aesthetics. The panniers come in a range of bright colours and patterns.

2. They are secure on the bike. The panniers fit on a back rack with 4 looped straps and 2 velcro straps. Once they’re on, they’re on! I haven’t had any problem with theft – a thief would have to spend a good five minutes fiddling with the back rack before they’d be able to get them off. Looks very suspicious icon smile Why I love my Kitsch Kitchen panniers

3. They are waterproof and if they get dirty a quick wipe cleans the dirt off the oilcloth.

4. They help me carry large loads. The panniers (combined with the wicker basket) carry books, laptops, cameras, clothing and shopping. I can also strap items to the back rack, on top of the panniers, using a $2 bungee cord.

5. No more back pain and sweaty backs!

 

Tangled Journeys – Sunday 28 August

TANGLED JOURNEYS 1 lowres Tangled Journeys   Sunday 28 August

Tangled Journeys is a day celebrating the art of decorating your ride with yarn. Whether it is practical pieces, like skirt guards, saddle covers, maybe even handlebar bags, to frivolous fun with tassles, pom poms and tube covers. It could even be items to wear!

There will be examples to see, a kick-start with a crochet expert setting people off on their first project, patterns, yarn and the Taco Truck.

Some of our lovely crafty products will be on display and on sale on the day, including our crochet skirt guards, snoods and trouser cuffs.

See you this Sunday from 10-4pm!

Harvest Workroom

512 Lygon St, East Brunswick

 

BelowFour by Ilya Fridman

belowfour 01 BelowFour by Ilya Fridman

Rock up to Friday night drinks with your own, perfectly chilled beers transported via bike.

belowfour 03 BelowFour by Ilya Fridman

BelowFour by Melbourne designer Ilya Fridman is a saddle bag with a difference. It’s a hard case which is super stylish and perfect to carry in your hand and it’s refrigerated too!

belowfour 02 BelowFour by Ilya Fridman

Just unclip the case from your seat and voila, drinks and snacks are ready for the party!

via Yanko Design

 

JJ Scholl Luggage

JJ Scholl is a collection inspired by the elegant adventure travels of designer Jenny Lee Walsh ‘s great uncle, Dr. Scholl of the comfort footwear fame.

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The line of luggage is suitable for motor scooter, electric bikes and cruisers. We like the look of the Serengeti case which has  three adjustable fastening staps that can be secured to the bicycle or scooter’s rear rack.

image product serengeti JJ Scholl Luggage

Trent Jansen at State of Design 2010

P1000007v1 Trent Jansen at State of Design 2010

Victoria’s premier design festival, the State of Design, is almost upon us again this year from 20-31 July 2011.

One of our favourite events is Design: Made: Trade, a trade and public event featuring some of Australia’s leading furniture, fashion and industrial design brands. At last year’s exhibition we discovered Trent Jansen and his cool Cycle Signs made out of discarded reflective road signs, so we’re excited to see who we’ll meet and what we’ll find at this year’s event.

Here’s a link to an interview with Trent (and some other exhibitors) at last year’s show discussing his work and his design approach.

A Very Nice Bike Rack

Daniel Ballou is an industrial designer from Long Beach California and he has designed a product called, rightly, Very Nice Bike Rack. It comes in a wall mounted and floor stand version and we love them both!

rack7 605x403 A Very Nice Bike Rack

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Our favourite posts – November

JCW2003v1 605x904 Our favourite posts   November

Summer arrives! We organise a photoshoot of our new stock by the beach, have lunch at bike cafe Little Mule and party at the inaugural Melbourne Bikefest.

We’re also inspired by some man style and an 80s old school bike accessory.

Our favourite posts – September

yellow dress Our favourite posts   September

Spring prettiness abounds in our favourite September posts:

Mama Bicycle and Mamachari

We hear a lot about how European mums get around on our bikes, but our latest bike blog discovery is Mama Bicycle – a blog all about the distinctively Japanese utility bike called the Mamachari.

The “mama’s chariot” is a slow, heavy step-through bike fitted with a chainguard, fenders, rack, skirt guard, baskets and most importantly, child carriers.

And on a side note, how cute is the author’s little daughter? icon smile Mama Bicycle and Mamachari

mamachari 605x418 Mama Bicycle and Mamachari

 

Nisnas Cycles Custom Fenders

We stumbled across these handcrafted wooden fenders by Israeli company Nisnas Cycles. Aren’t they just gorgeous?

You can order and buy them from their Etsy shop.

Nisnas 1 Nisnas Cycles Custom Fenders

Nisnas 2 Nisnas Cycles Custom Fenders

via EcoVelo

Pine Cone Basket

Yay for the first day of Autumn!

To get you in the autumnal mood, here’s a gorgeous bike basket made entirely out of pine cones and rubber bands by two young Toronto designers. Ingenious and beautiful.

pine 1 Pine Cone Basket

pine 2 Pine Cone Basket

pine 3 Pine Cone Basket

pine 4 Pine Cone Basket

Thanks to our Twitter friend @daphneinthemorn for the tip!

Forget your lock? Forget your lights?

No doubt if you’ve been caught out at least either forgetting your lights or forgetting your lock.

That’s why this design from the Seoul Cycle Design Competition caught our eye.  Lurking by Lee Jumin and Kang Sukjin is a bicycle lock which is adjustable in length (fat lamp posts) and when you’re not using it, it slips under your saddle and functions as a light.

lurking Forget your lock? Forget your lights?

lurking 2 Forget your lock? Forget your lights?

lurking 3 Forget your lock? Forget your lights?

Simple, stylish and functional. We like it a lot.

5 Pretty Accoutrements on Sarah Wilson

Today I’m directing you a guest post I’ve written for Sarah Wilson’s blog on 5 pretty accoutrements to get you excited about riding a bike.

Sarah is a journalist and TV presenter – you may know her as the former editor of Cosmopolitan magazine and host of the first series of Masterchef Australia. She’s now a Sunday Life columnist (I read her excellent column religiously) and host and producer of the Lifestyle YOU channel.

Sarah Wilson1 605x357 5 Pretty Accoutrements on Sarah Wilson(Image from Treadlie, a great new cycling mag for non-lycra types)

One thing you may not know about Sarah is that she is a bike rider from way back. In fact, through her blog she has started a campaign to get more people riding – and that’s how we met. Firstly, on the interwebs, and then to my starstruck excitement, in person on my last visit to Sydney.

Sarah is a great ambassador for chic urban cycling. She wears stylish everyday clothes on her bright orange custom-built single-speed, tackles the hills of Sydney in skirts and heels and is tall, tanned, fit and gorgeous. And very friendly :–) I’m thrilled  that she’s asked me to guest post for her today!

Giddy Up!

Next Tuesday is Melbourne Cup Day, when the whole of Australia turns to the ‘Race that Stops the Nation’. There’s even a public holiday for the horse race here in Melbourne.

We’re taking a tiny break so all orders from the weekend, Monday and Tuesday will be processed and dispatched on Wednesday.

In tribute to our public holiday, we present the Poor Man’s Pony, a horse-looking ornament that can be attached to any bike designed by South Korean Eungi Kim.

horseyeungikim1 Giddy Up!

horseyeungikim2 Giddy Up!

horseyeungikim4 Giddy Up!

horseyeungikim3 Giddy Up!

How cute is it?? Perfect for a Tweed Ride, we think.

(Thanks to one of our readers for the tip-off. Images from Designboom)

A treasure trove of Japanese bike gear

We made an exciting discovery on Bourke Street in the city recently.

We are big fans of Japanese goods and in particular the 100 Yen shops found all over the country – the Japanese seemed to have found a way to make life just that little bit easier and prettier with their gadgets.

The closest we get in Australia to a 100 Yen shop is Tokuya, a very cool shop hidden in the basement of 236 Bourke Street. To the dulcet tones of J-pop you can browse through aisles of stationery, storage solutions, giftwrap, suction hooks, makeup, hair accessories, kitchenware and the largest selection of plastic microwave containers outside of IKEA.

In the back corner of the store there are some awesome bike accessories – useful and ingenious and a whole lot cheaper than you’d find in a bike store. Everything is priced at $3.50, although some more luxe items (like the bike rear view mirror) are $4.50.

P1000563v1 605x947 A treasure trove of Japanese bike gear

There’s a whole collection of reflective bits, from stickers to straps to sew on fabric, lace handlebar covers (can’t work out whether they’re for warmth, aesthetics or to protect against rain), colourful spoke reflectors, net basket covers and our favourite, the umbrella holder which screws onto your front fork.

P1000569v1 605x466 A treasure trove of Japanese bike gear

P1000564v1 605x772 A treasure trove of Japanese bike gear

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Tokuya is definitely worth an hour of dedicated browsing – everything is seriously kawaii!!!!

How cute are these bike outfits?

Refinery29 has come up with a to-die-for list of cycle chic clothing, accessories and bike gear. We want the Billykirk frame bag (below) right now!

bicycle bike accessories gear 1 How cute are these bike outfits?

bicycle bike accessories gear 6 How cute are these bike outfits?

bicycle bike accessories gear 4 How cute are these bike outfits?

bicycle bike accessories gear 2 How cute are these bike outfits?

Po Campo Handlebar Bag – Saddle bag hack

Po Campo produce ultracute clutches which normally attach to the handlebars of your bike. So we’re quite impressed that a crafty cyclist has found a way to turn the handlebar bag into a saddle bag!

We think it looks just as sweet on the back of a bike.

Po campo hack 605x453 Po Campo Handlebar Bag –  Saddle bag hack

Po Campo hack 2 605x453 Po Campo Handlebar Bag –  Saddle bag hack

For instructions, check out Bikes and the City.

Lovely Chainguard

I’m on the hunt for a chainguard – to protect my pants, tights, dresses and skin from grease marks.

I think this chainguard from Poka would be just perfect. Laser cut lacy stainless steel and functional too.

Poka 605x405 Lovely Chainguard

via The Common Elite

Saving up for a Pram Bike #2 – I’m in love with the Taga

I was at the Ausbike Bike Expo over the weekend, hunting around for great cycling gear for the store, meeting suppliers and with a mission to see whether I could find a Pram Bike.

Yes, that’s right. Since my first post about saving up for a pram bike, I’m actually in the situation where I will be needing a pram bike in the near future! Not only for a baby, but because my own bike has handlebars which are at an in-between angle of a situp bike and a road bike, which means as my tummy gets bigger I will probably need to switch to a more upright bike if I want to keep cycling through my pregnancy.

agalot red Saving up for a Pram Bike #2 – I’m in love with the Taga

At Ausbike I was quite excited to discover Taga, a stroller/bike made in the Netherlands. It looks quite similar to the Zigo except that it doesn’t convert into a stand-alone bike. But with both of them I like how the baby seat/carriage sits right under the handlebars. I’ve pretty much ruled out any form of trailer because I’d like to be able to see the child in front of me.

On blog readers’ recommendations I also test rode the Gazelle Cabby and to be honest I felt quite uncomfortable and unsteady with its length given it’s on two wheels. I know that many people really love the Gazelle Cabby but it wasn’t for me -  I felt like I was steering a ship compared with the Taga which felt like a neat little wheelbarrow.

I had a go at converting the Taga from a bike to a stroller and it was relatively easy with lots of quick release mechanisms much like a folding bike (which I used to own so I’m familiar with the process). The video shows that it should only take 20 seconds, but I think a bit of practice is needed.

I also liked that Taga is narrow enough to fit through a standard doorway and has a handbrake so you can manoeuvre all the parts (and your baby) without having to chock it from rolling away. With a couple of twists and turns it can fit into a sedan, but obviously not as easily as a standard pram – I don’t think I’ll be trying to manage the Taga, the baby, groceries and baby gear without a hand. But that’s ok, as I intend to cycle as much as possible!

As you’d expect, the Taga doesn’t come cheap. The standard model (with the child seat) is $2295. I’d like to think that it still presents value for money as I will get a lot of use out of it and I can save money by minimising the amount of time I have to rely on a car or public transport to get around. Plus I actually feel safer cycling than I do driving these days!

taga accessories Saving up for a Pram Bike #2 – I’m in love with the Taga

As for the accessories, they are really cute and functional. The ones that caught my eye were:

  • the Eco shopping basket so that I can ride the bike when pregnant and not look silly with an empty child seat. The Eco shopping basket converts the bike into a shopping trolley at your destination.
  • the car seat adaptor so that I can use the Taga with a newborn, as they recommend that the child seat is only used from 8 months when the baby is able to sit upright without support. It does mean that I’m restricted to buying a car seat and settings by Maxi-Cosi (apparently available in Australia from October) as the adaptor only fits Maxi-Cosi models CabrioFix with EasyBase and EasyFix attachments.
  • …and the second child seat maybe in the future ($333). The main seat can take weight up to 25kgs or approx 6 years and the 2nd seat can take weight up to 15kgs or approx 4 years.

Here’s the Taga official promotional video – it’s pretty slick!

You can join Taga Australia’s Facebook page here.

First Aid for Bikes – from a Vending Machine

bikeaid 0021 First Aid for Bikes – from a Vending Machine

I have to confess – I have no idea how to fix a flat tyre. Or even how to pump up my tyres. I basically suck at Bike First Aid.

So I was quite excited to hear about this great idea from Auckland Cycle Chic. Auckland bike shop Bike Central has starting rolling out BikeAid – a vending machine that dispenses bicycle repair equipment such as puncture repair kits, inner tubes, brake pads, lights, CO2 canisters, pumps and allen keys.

Of course I’d still have to learn how to repair a puncture, use a pump or an alley key. But I think the cycle gloves will come in handy for unexpectedly cold nights, the bike lights will be good when yours get nicked and you need to get home and who hasn’t forgotten their bike lock before?

Please please please, someone start doing this in Australia.