Archive for the ‘Cool stuff’ Category

Aster- world’s safest commuter cycling backpack

Aster- world's safest commuter cycling backpack

Aster is a prototype design for a commuting backpack with integrated bike lights, turn signals and automatic brake indication and it’s seeking funding via Indiegogo now. We think it’s pretty amazing!

Aster- world's safest commuter cycling backpack

The designers of Aster claim that they’ve addressed 75% of the causes of bike accidents.

Aster‘s rear and profile lights make you visible to motorists from all sides, front lights signal your presence in rear-view mirrors and automatic brake lights help you avoid getting rear-ended. Integrated turn signals make sure that drivers around you know when you’re making a turn.

Aster- world's safest commuter cycling backpack

Control Aster’s light settings and more with their app (called the Lumos Aster app), available for both Android and iOS platforms. You can adjust your light settings to meet the regulations specific to your state or country. The app allows you to see the battery life remaining, both  in the 4000mAh USB-chargeable battery and the handlebar unit.

Using the Lumos app and the handlebar-unit, you can lock your bike in its place with one tap! If your cycle is moved for more than 5 seconds once locked, an alarm is triggered to attract attention.

Aster also has several commuter-specific compartments – a minimalist helmet holder, a whistle buckle, tuck-away U-lock holder loops, zippered bottle pockets, rain-cover and an ‘In Case of Emergency’ information slot in the event of a crash.

Aster- world's safest commuter cycling backpack

You can pack a 15.6 inch laptop with charger, change of clothes and shoes, smaller gadgets, books, bike-tools and spares, rain-jacket, a 1 litre water bottle and even your lunch!

Aster- world's safest commuter cycling backpack

Aster is also weather-resistant, with a waterproof TPU coated exterior and rain-resistant zippers that cause water to bead up and roll off the surface.

Aster’s Indiegogo campaign ends on 30 April so get in quick to support the production of this innovative product!

Cleverhood x Tandem NYC Collaboration – The Cleverhood Sweatshirt Cape for Tandem

Cleverhood x Tandem NYC Collaboration - The Cleverhood Sweatshirt Cape for Tandem

Susan Mocarski, artist and fashion designer, put Cleverhood on the map with their distinctive American made outerwear capes.

She and Lani from Tandem NY met at the National Bike Summit’s “Forum on Women & Bicycling” and with their shared interest in fashion and biking, worked together to launch Tandem and Cleverhood’s Sweatshirt Cape.

Cleverhood x Tandem NYC Collaboration - The Cleverhood Sweatshirt Cape for Tandem

This is no ordinary “hoodie”…

Cleverhood x Tandem NYC Collaboration - The Cleverhood Sweatshirt Cape for Tandem

The Cleverhood Sweatshirt Cape for Tandem is designed in NYC and carefully crafted in nearby Fall River, MA. This fleece cape offers a freedom of movement plus an expression of style with plenty of room for layering underneath to adjust to the weather.  There’s a handy inside kangaroo pocket with a second smaller pocket for your mobile device.  The hood sports the signature Tandem coral-colored drawstring.  The fabric is thick and soft and it’s machine washable.

Cleverhood x Tandem NYC Collaboration - The Cleverhood Sweatshirt Cape for Tandem

Fall River, MA was the textile centre of the US and an industrial leader.  Since 1990, Fall River has lost nearly 70% of its manufacturing jobs. The Cleverhood Sweatshirt Cape for Tandem is crafted by skilled USA garment workers.

Cleverhood x Tandem NYC Collaboration - The Cleverhood Sweatshirt Cape for Tandem

At select retailers & at

Handsome Cycles Art Bikes for 100 Year Birthday Surprise to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Minneapolis Institute of Arts approached Minneapolis-based bike company Handsome Cycles to create three custom bicycles inspired by masterpieces of their collection.

The result is three stunning, fully functional bicycles that challenge what a bike can be and that bring the works of art into a modern context.

Hans Ledwinka, Tatra T-87 Four-Door Sedan, 1948 (designed 1936)


#2: Claude Monet’s Grainstack, Sun in the Mist (1891)


#3: 1969 Frank Stella, Tahkt-i-Sulayman, Variation II


Fund Iva Jean’s newest collection on Kickstarter

One of our exclusive brands Iva Jean are funding their newest collection through Kickstarter and need your support.
If Iva Jean are successful in meeting their goal of $50,000, they will be able to put our newest pieces into production. This includes two new pant styles, the City Legging and Trouser, as well as four new ultrafine merino wool tops, the Racer Tunic and Tank, Raglan Long and Short Sleeve.

We particularly like the look the Tunic, a modified racer back dress designed to work alone or layered in colder months. It has a generous cut for movement and zipped pockets for your cash, keys or phone. The Tunic is constructed using 100% ultrafine merino wool and feels so good on. This wool has a soft touch and natural performance qualities including odor resistance, temperature control, and water repellency.

Pair the tunic with the City Legging, which provides a slim silhouette perfect for layering or a tailored look. Constructed of a high performance, four-way stretch (and office appropriate) fabric, they’ve designed the legging to have a high waist, skinny leg, and side zipper for easy entrance.

You can get yours when you support Iva Jean on Kickstarter. Help Iva Jean bring this collection to life!

As many of you know, Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that allows independent artists, designers, filmmakers and more to bring life to their project. There is a minimum donation of just $1 and rewards for funding of $25+.

Indoor Bike Shelf by Cyclehoops

 Bikeshelf by Cyclehoop
Bikeshelf by Cyclehoop
Cyclehoop are the award winning London-based designers of cycle parking solutions. You might have heard of them from their world famous CyclehoopsCar Bike Ports or Public Bike pumps that are on the streets of London. (There is also a public bike pump on the streets of Sydney!)
Bikeshelf by Cyclehoop
They have just released a new indoor Bikeshelf in time for Christmas. The Bikeshelf allows you to store your bicycle and cycling gear in one convenient location. Integrated hooks and shelves keep your locks, tools, keys, lights, gloves, helmet and bags tidy. A locking hole allows the bicycle to be locked to the Bikeshelf
Bikeshelf by Cyclehoop
Cyclehoop are taking preorders for the Bikeshelf now and they deliver internationally. 


Behind the scenes at Lekker Bikes photoshoot


The newest LEKKER bike is the Jordaan and new stocks have arrived after the first shipment sold out quickly!


The Jordaan is the most fashionable part of Amsterdam and the LEKKER Jordaan is all about comfort and quality, with a superlight aluminium frame like nothing else you’ve seen Australia. It comes in a three beautiful colours – black, pale blue and mint-green. 


Have a look at the backstage movie they made at the photo-shoot where the bikes were matched up with food! 

Twin Six Yuletide T-Shirt

Twin Six from the USA design  and print a range of cotton cycling Tshirts just for the holiday season which are fun and functional. 

We like the look of the Yule Tide T shirt because we all love a bit of Christmas jumper action – very Colin Firth in Bridget Jones’ Diary!



The Schwinn Biking Board Game


In the 1950s, kids dreamed of finding a shiny new Schwinn under the Christmas tree and the brand was a household name in the USA.

Indulge your nostalgia with the company’s newest offering, The Biking Board Game. Answer bike trivia questions (drafting in a paceline can save up to what percent of your energy?) and learn facts about cycling (in 1972, bicycles outsold cars in the US) to advance your piece along the trail and be first to reach home. 

Education Outdoors also sell a ‘Build a Bike’ Card Game.

How do you carry a U-Lock?

How do you carry a U-Lock? For a device which provides so much peace of mind while securing your bike, it sure causes a lot of logistical problems the moment you’re back in the saddle.

1. Hanging It On The Handlebars

This balancing act has been performed by almost everyone, despite the resulting bruises, accidental brake obstruction, loud and obnoxious clattering, and slaps on the wrist dealt by our otherwise agreeable U-Locks.

2. Sticking It In Your Pants

Otherwise known as the “I don’t want to think about this” method, the lack of pre-planning often results in a rather awkward dance involving fishing in one’s pants.

3. Putting It In Your Pocket

If you are so lucky as to have pockets big enough to hold a U-Lock, you are probably a circus clown. In your case, the resulting awkwardness is a benefit!

4. Looping It In the Belt Loop

Let’s just say that we hope your belt is fastened tight because these locks can get rather heavy.


5. Holding It In the U-Lock Holster

Oopsmark, who make our Bicycle Wine Racks, have released a specialist U-lock holster which keeps your U-lock tucked away securely and simply behind your saddle. You don’t have to bend down or fumble to get to it, and it sure doesn’t hurt that it’s handmade using vegetable tanned leather.

There certainly are a lot of ways to carry a u-lock, but some are definitely more functional than others. Obviously we are biased towards #5 as Oopsmark have made a u-lock holder with simplicity in mind so that you’d be able to ride in style without all the clattering and clanking.  

Lucetta Magnetic bike lights

Lucetta is an innovative set of two small magnetic bicycle lights designed by Helsinki-based designer Emanuele Pizzolorusso and the Italian company Palomar

Easily attached to several different parts of a bicycle, the two small lights – white for the front, red for the rear – are switched on and off with just one click. 

The lights are designed to stay securely in place on even the bumpiest of roads and the lights give the option of a steady, slow or fast flashing beam. The range of the beam is wide enough to reach vehicles, even if the light is tilted down.

Once you reach your destination the lights are easily removed and may be linked together and slipped in your pocket.Lucetta is designed to take as little space as possible and to stay with other small personal things of everyday usage – keys, mobile phone, loose change – things that ‘inhabit’ our pockets.


Lucetta ~ Magnetic Bike Lights from pizzolorusso on Vimeo.

The Incredible Farren Bicycles Collection, Melbourne


We first met Paul and Charlie Farren on a Melbourne Tweed Ride when they turned up with a coterie of gasp-inducing vintage steeds (and dressed in 19th century cycling garb and tweed as well). Paul told us that these beautiful bicycles were part of a private collection of over a hundred rare and unique vintage bicycles that he had spent over 30 years amassing with his wife. Most of the bikes were older than 1900 with the newest being about 1910.

We couldn’t believe that this sort of collection was housed in Melbourne and other than for rare outings for tweed rides and exhibitions it’s not generally open to the public.

Farren Bicycles Collection 131 Brighton St Richmond 3 HOT: Farren Bicycles Collection, 131 Brighton St, Richmond

However, recently Paul and Charlie held an open day in their warehouse to celebrate the publication of their book, Bicycling through Time: The Farren Collection. The event was free and drew lots of bike aficionados and curious passersby who had no idea that one of the top 10 early bike collections in the world was housed in quiet residential Richmond.

Farren Bicycles Collection 131 Brighton St Richmond 11 HOT: Farren Bicycles Collection, 131 Brighton St, Richmond

The Farren collection includes penny farthings of all sizes, bamboo bikes, curious tricycles, women’s sidesaddle bikes, tandems/three seaters and “sociables” that allowed riders to sit side by side.

Farren Bicycles Collection 131 Brighton St Richmond 7 HOT: Farren Bicycles Collection, 131 Brighton St, Richmond

Farren Bicycles Collection 131 Brighton St Richmond 10 HOT: Farren Bicycles Collection, 131 Brighton St, Richmond

Farren Bicycles Collection 131 Brighton St Richmond 5 HOT: Farren Bicycles Collection, 131 Brighton St, Richmond

They are beautifully displayed with placards of information and even using vintage cast iron bike stands.

Farren Bicycles Collection 131 Brighton St Richmond 2 HOT: Farren Bicycles Collection, 131 Brighton St, Richmond

The collection’s oldest bike is a 1819 Hobby Horse which definitely doesn’t look comfortable.

Farren Bicycles Collection 131 Brighton St Richmond 13 HOT: Farren Bicycles Collection, 131 Brighton St, Richmond

This 1928 Malvern Star three person bike caught my eye. Having ridden a tandem before I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to get three people cycling on this contraption!

Farren Bicycles Collection 131 Brighton St Richmond 4 HOT: Farren Bicycles Collection, 131 Brighton St, Richmond

As well as bikes there is lots of vintage bike ephemera and equipment to gaze at – including old parts, equipment, posters, artwork and advertising material.

Farren Bicycles Collection 131 Brighton St Richmond 12 HOT: Farren Bicycles Collection, 131 Brighton St, Richmond

Farren Bicycles Collection 131 Brighton St Richmond 6 HOT: Farren Bicycles Collection, 131 Brighton St, Richmond

Farren Bicycles Collection 131 Brighton St Richmond 8 HOT: Farren Bicycles Collection, 131 Brighton St, Richmond

Each bike comes with a story and that’s how the book came about. The bikes themselves provide an interesting insight into society of a particular time and place and the stories of their discovery and restoration are also fascinating. Interestingly, most of the Farren collection have been purchased in Australia, from auctions to discoveries in rubbish dumps.

We’re so lucky to have a collection of this variety and importance right here in Melbourne. While you won’t be able to see the collection all the time you can now appreciate and enjoy these beauties through Bicycling through Time: The Farren Collection.

Cool Cycling Shoes by Tracey Neuls for Toyko Bike


London-based shoemaker Tracey Neuls have collaborated with Tokyo Bike to celebrate London Fashion Week and London Design Festival.

Many lady cyclists told Tracey that some of the bike shoes on the market weren’t very aesthetically pleasing and so they’ve been taking advantage of Tracey Neuls‘ rubber sole styles to ride around town. 


Now Tracey Neuls has produced two designs that are the perfect shape for cycling and have a grey cat’s eye reflective ribbon on the back to keep you safe. The styles have an integrated rubber sole – there’s 1.5 cm of really hard rubber at the base so it’ll take a LOT of wear. The pedal sits right into the heel shape and doesn’t slip.


tracey neuls 02

The Tokyo Bike collaboration shoes include the GEEKS (pictured above on the bike) in brown or black leather with reflective cat’s eye ribbon, at £165 and FERN (no image yet) a heeled lace up boot in grey leather with black rubber sole and cat’s eye ribbon at £250. 

Wooden Crate for the Back

How do you tote around your gear on your bike?

We like this guy’s style – a vintage wooden crate bolted onto the back rack of the bike. He’s even attached a tail light on it!


Bicycle art poster collaboration with Walnut Studiolo and Jim Golden Studio


Walnut Studiolo are the Portland-based handmade leather accessories workshop that make our fantastic 6 pack Bicycle Frame Cinch.

Twenty-four other Walnut Studiolo products are also handmade by Geoff Franklin in his workshop and sold to discerning bicycle enthusiasts around the world.

They’ve collaborated with Jim Golden Studio to celebrate over 4 years of making handmade leather gear, all in one big beautiful image. Yes, this really is one photograph of all the different products and tools used to make each product!

Want to see the story of how it was made? Click here for a slideshow of the making of this photograph.

Monsieur Albert Rides to Glory by Peter Smith and Bob Graham


If you’re looking for a fun way to introduce kids to the Le Tour de France then check out Monsieur Albert Rides to Glory.

Monsieur Albert is 60 years old and loves cycling. One day he reads in his morning paper about a cycling race about to start in the centre of Paris and he decides to enter so he can win the prize. He rides the race in his tweed suit, a jaunty red scarf and panniers full of supplies while the other contestants come dressed in lycra on their racing bikes. But…guess who wins the race when they encounter a huge ball of snow up on the col?

photo (31)

The book contains funny whimsical illustrations by Sydney-based illustrator Bob Graham, jolly rhyming text by Bob’s cycling enthusiast brother-in-law Peter Smith and a winning story of the underdog overcoming the uppity champion of France.

The publisher recommends Monsieur Albert Rides to Glory for ages 6-8 but younger kids can still appreciate some aspects of the story and the lovely illustrations. You can even use the book to introduce some French vocabulary to them while they are young! 

Wooden Bicycle Handlebars by Deer Runner

Deer Runner is a London design company that produces wood and leather cycling accessories.

We particularly like their hand crafted, custom-made oak handlebars which have been treated for weather protection. They look stylish and comfortable to hold as well. 

Lekker Jordaan Bikes – Test ride and review


Marianne from Esme and the Laneway is a fashion blogger and cyclist and we asked her to review the new Lekker bike – known as the Jordaan. Here’s what she had to say…

 I’m always excited at the chance of riding a new bike, and when I saw the Lekker Jordaan I literally squealed with delight – it’s absolutely gorgeous!

MINT pink grey cape - Copy

A solid, curvy frame with similarly plump tyres, high handlebars with soft grips and a good fat saddle, the overall look is sturdy and voluptuous – not words I thought I’d use to describe a bike! I rode the mint green version, which is especially pretty.

MINT blue pink cape - Copy

The first thing I have to note is the kickstand – so important with bikes and so often underrated.  Suitably chunky, it was easy to move back and forth – even in precious heels – and supported the bike really well, even on uneven ground. I’ve had too many experiences with stiff kickstands that are a struggle to put down, only for them to then have a personality change, become decidedly flimsy and collapse under the bike’s weight. Not so here. Phew.

So, to the actual riding.  As is the style with Dutch bikes, the riding position for this is very raised. The bike is, according to the description, suitable for riders from 5’1 to 6’4.  At 5’4, I’m at the shorter end of the scale, and even with the seat all the way down it did feel quite tall. But once up and going, I love riding up this high. It makes me feel very safe on the road, and I have excellent visibility – I can see cars and they can see me!

BLACK blue pink cape - Copy

I love the high handlebars, too, which encourage some very good posture and an upright riding position. With that plush saddle – the largest I’ve seen, the most comfortable I’ve been on – it gave me the feeling of being sat on my couch, rather than a bike; a wonderfully relaxed feeling for riding!

Verdict? A delight to look at AND ride! 

Donky Bike


London based designer Ben Wilson had created the Donky Bike, a load-carrying bike with the strength and simplicity of a BMX.

The Donky Bike has been designed to be ridden easily and safely with whatever you need to take with you. The design distributes weight across a single beam at center of the frame rather than on the handlebars, so the steering and handling remain light and balanced and  improving maneuverability in tight space.

Corrugated Cardboard Helmet

A helmet made out of cardboard, I know it sounds crazy, but supposedly it works. The designer behind this wonderful invention is Designer Anirudha Surabhi has invented a helmet made out of cardboard called the Kranium.

The Kranium is not only lighter but also stronger than traditional expanded polystyrene (EPS) models.

Using a material called Dual Density Honey Comb Board or D2, the liner of the helmet has been proven to absorb up three times the amount of impact of EPS helmets. Amazing!


Wooden Bike Fenders

REdesign Studio’s RE-cycle wooden bike fenders are practical as well as beautiful. 

The fenders are crafted in Seattle by alums of the University of Washington’s architecture department using reclaimed wood. REdesign say “why buy plastic when you can get the natural beauty of wood as well as a sustainable product with a simple aesthetic”. 

The fenders are available at Etsy