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Posts Tagged ‘Bicycling’

Shopping from 1926 – Catalogue Messner

August 10th, 2012


Students returning to college in the Fall might consider shopping from the 1926 Louis Messner catalogue for the perfect campus cruiser. Louis Messner sells a broad range of fenders, racks, bars, bells, grips, pedals, lights, pumps, saddles and frames. Ditch that impractical fixed gear and build yourself up a fully fendered Luxe Dame or Garconnet with enclosed chain guard, robust front rack and elegant leather luggage.





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Catalogue Messner images courtesy Pillpat (Agence Eureka).

Oregon Cycling Garb: J & G Cyclewear

November 1st, 2011

Jackson & Gibbens got going in Archival’s hometown – Eugene, Oregon – in the 1970s when Mark Jackson couldn’t find a good bicycling jacket for a good price. They’re still going strong, and everything is still made in Oregon.

We’re thinking about carrying the J&G cyclist’s rain cape, which, as long as you have fenders on your bike, is a highly underrated garment.

Archival Cyclists: Tour Edition

July 2nd, 2010


Now that Spring randonneuring season is over, I can relax and monitor the suffering of other cyclists. My favorite form of spectactorship is the Tour de France. I’ve been watching the tour on TV since ABC broadcast 1/2 hour weekly recaps on its Wide World of Sports. On Saturday, I’ll be up at 6.am. to watch coverage of the opening prologue in Rotterdam.

I’m indifferent to modern cycling equipment or the competition between athletes (game pieces on a board, Tom might say). The US-centric TV coverage always frustrates, but I enjoy the epic Alpine stages and S-curve sprint finishes. I mainly watch for cyclists moving through a scrolling landscape, the helicopter shots of French villages and agriculture, and those larky commercial caravans.

Of course, I’d prefer a mixed era competition between the vintage cycling gents pictured below. To stage your own race, clip and cut participants from this terrific Tour de France set via Nationaal Archief’s flickr photostream.









In practical terms, if you need an all-wool cycling jersey in your national colors, I suggest you shop from Cima Coppi, a Canadian company selling handmade (recycled) merino wool jerseys and caps. I’m not too fond of the overly feminized (scoop neck, cashmere) Luxembourg national champion jersey, but I love the bold color panels, high necks and spread collars of these models:

Cima Coppi recycled merino wool jerseys (made in Canada)

Archival Bicycles: Brevet Bikes

June 10th, 2010
Chromed Canadian custom by rider/builder Nigel Press

On Friday, I head up to The Dalles, Oregon, to participate in the Oregon Randonneur’s Oregon Blue Mountains 1000k brevet. If all goes well, this will be my last brevet on The Pencil, my trusty Rivendell road bike. In September–or so–I’ll be taking delivery of a custom randonnee frame by Sacha White of Vanilla Bicycles (details to follow).

Since I’m a slow randonneuse, I rarely spend time with other riders or their bikes (save for Pal Peg and her newly built Tony Pereira). I try to grab reference shots at the beginning of brevets or during rest controls. As I’ve already documented, I adore randonneuring bikes for their visual elegance, purpose built design, uber-durability and post-apocalyptic use value. I also love that a brevet bike is visually incomplete without a well made, canvas duck front handlebar bag.

Here are a few of my sample brevet bike snaps.

PBP Ancien, Duane Wright, and his vintage Peugeot

Beautiful custom bike by rider/builder Corey Thomspon
Steve Rex custom at start of SIR 4 Passes 600k

Steve Rex custom front rack

Peg’s Pereira (rare flat repair)

Tournesol after SIR Bremerton 400k

Jack’s vintage 650b Grand Jubile Motobecane

Amy P’s Rivendell Rambouillet (in ghoulish a.m. hotel light)

Tom’s custom Coho

Robin P’s Waterford custom (mark down for minimalist baggage)

Sara’s Velo-Orange Randonneuse (early Johnny Coast prototype)

Trusty Pencil on 3 Capes 300k

Archival Review: Cycling Musettes

May 11th, 2009


From my Rivendell musette collection

I’ve been using cycling musettes on and off the bike for over decade. Musettes were originally designed as feed bags for cyclists during road races. If you search for musettes online, you’ll also find references to WWII canvas, military fieldbags (“musette bags”) and other types of pocket-sized canvas shoulder bags.

Foremost, I love the cycling style musette’s low-volume, low profile carrying capacity (a friend refers to them as the essence of purse). A well designed musette should be large enough to carry daily items–cameras, sandwiches, notepads, pencils–but small enough to be rolled up and stowed away inside another bag. I prefer versions made out of lightweight cotton or waxed cotton with minimal hardware or embellishing details. A musette should always be rectangular in shape. I’m on the fence about whether a musette should have a formal clasp or button closure. I’m pretty sure a modern musette should have a fold-over flap.
Rapha offers a modern musette. It’s a little too “updated” for me.

Here’s a classic, vintage style cycling musette by Velo-Retro. Nice, but needs a flap to improve use value.

Gilles Berthoud sells a musette made of the same canvas as his famous Berthoud handlebar bags. However, the Berthoud musette is a bit boxy and I’m not fond of all the contrasting leather trim. I prefer the first generation Berthoud musette (picutred below).

Everybody’s favorite musette seems to be the one sold by Rivendell Bicycle Works during the early days of the company (and in the late days of Bridgestone through the B.O.B. Gazette). The Riv version came in both waxed cotton and untreated cotton canvas (some were made out of Filson fabrics, I believe). The Riv musette had a large main cargo pocket and two front divided pockets. Since the bag was designed for cycling, it came with a secondary sway or waist strap to prevent the bag from shifting during rides (I always removed this strap). I’ll post some catalogue images of the Riv musette tomorrow.

Here are a few more examples of traditional musettes (promo text ads to their appeal):

Traditional string-style shoulder strap (out-of-business bike shop)

Gift addition to my collection (note: simple button closures)

Nice cotton Pinarello with broad strap

I’m working on a design for an Archival Clothing musette. At the moment, I’m investigating successful historical examples and contemplating design decisions: size, hardware (any?), fabric (waxed cotton!), shoulder strap options (string strap or cotton web), button/strap/toggle closure, etc. If you see interesting (vintage!) examples of musettes that please you, forward them along.

For now, here’s a quick visual inventory of bags w/musette-like profiles that interest me:

Original Gilles Berthoud Musette (nice canvas color)
Army Surplus (love the vent holes)

Chapman field bag (single strap closure; game net)

Brady bag (mere most minimal)

Brooks Messenger Bag (steroidal musette)

Hunting World Sling (adjustable web shoulder strap)

Hipposchemes

Interesting blog post on vintage musettes from Hilary Stone.

UPDATE: We’ll be offering our musette for sale in December 2009. See this post for more information.

UPDATE (2012): Archival Plain Musette featured in Bicycling MagazineLink

Archival Review: Cycling Musettes

May 11th, 2009



Classic Rivendell Musettes

I’ve been using cycling musettes on and off the bike for over decade. Musettes were originally designed as feed bags for cyclists during road races. If you search for musettes online, you’ll also find references to WWII canvas, military fieldbags (“musette bags”) and other types of canvas shoulder bags.

Foremost, I love the cycling style musette’s low-volume, low profile carrying capacity. A good musette design should have a purse-like essence without excess hardware or trim. I prefer versions made out of lightweight cotton or waxed cotton that can easily be stowed when not in use. A musette should always be rectangular in shape.
Everybody’s favorite musette seems to be the one sold by Rivendell Bicycle Works during the early days of the company. The Riv version came in both waxed cotton and untreated canvas (some were made out of Filson fabrics, I believe). The Riv musette had a main cargo pocket and two front divided pockets. Since the bag was designed for cycling, it came with a secondary sway or waist strap to prevent the bag from sliding around while riding (I always removed this strap).


Two traditional musettes
Here’s a quick visual inventory of bags w/musette-like profiles:
Barbour Creel Bag (courtesy Reference Library)

Gilles Berthoud Musette
Gas Mask Bag

Chapman field bag

Brady carry-all (strap free)

Archival Review: Cycling Musettes

May 8th, 2009




Classic Rivendell Musettes

I’ve been using cycling musettes on and off the bike for over decade.

Musettes were originally designed as feed bags for cyclists during road races. If you search for musettes online, you’ll also find references to WWII canvas, military fieldbags (“musette bags”) and other types of canvas shoulder bags.
Foremost, I love the cycling style musette’s low-volume, low profile carrying capacity. A good musette design should have a purse-like essence without excess hardware or trim. I prefer versions made out of lightweight cotton or waxed cotton that can easily be stowed when not in use. A musette should always be rectangular in shape.
Everybody’s favorite musette seems to be the one sold by Rivendell Bicycle Works during the early days of the company. The Riv version came in both waxed cotton and untreated canvas (some were made out of Filson fabrics, I believe). The Riv musette had a main cargo pocket and two front divided pockets. Since the bag was designed for cycling, it came with a secondary sway or waist strap to prevent the bag from sliding around while riding (I always removed this strap).


Two traditional musettes
Here’s a quick visual inventory of bags w/musette-like profiles:
Barbour Creel Bag (courtesy Reference Library)

Gilles Berthoud Musette
Gas Mask Bag

Chapman field bag

Brady carry-all (strap free)

Archival Review: Handlebar Bags

December 28th, 2008
Ostrich Bag (Velo-Orange)

Custom jobber, Dan Boxer Bicycles (not for sale)

Lynne F’s Acorn (the new champ)

Rivendell Boxy Baggins Bag (no longer available)

Gilles Berthoud GB 2086 Handlebar Bag (Wallingford Bicycles)

Ruth’s Tough Traveler

Inujirushi Handlebar Bag (Jitensha Studio or Japan)
Gilles Berthoud Mini 86 (mine, sewn by Veronique!)

Vertical stacking load

In situ

Pencil Vs. Berthoud

Archival Footwear: Traditional Leather Touring Shoes

November 25th, 2008


Carnac Forclaz (discontinued)

Vintage leather cycling shoes (anon.)

ExIT cycling shoes by Jeff Mandel

Bata bikers (discontinued)

Sidi leather touring shoes (discontinued)

Bata “badminton” shoes (discontinued)

If I had to design my own line of footwear–I’d repurpose leather cycling shoes and advise folks to wear cushioning insoles. At the Oregon Manifest handbuilt bike show, I noted a number of people sporting Sidi Dominators with knickers or straight street clothing. In short, the Sidis were doubling as daily wingtips or casual sneakers.

For daily wear, my preference is for a more simplified leather (not Lorica) cycling shoe, preferably with perforations, silver metal eyelets and a nice rolling or wrap around rubber sole.

For cycling specific use, I like the look of Stelvio shoes or Reynolds shoes. Both brands are still available for sale (though hurry–no brand seems to have image permanence these days).

Bike Portland ran an article on Jeff Mandel, a custom shoe maker who is now making both leather cycling shoes and saddles. If my ship comes, I’ll be ordering a pair of Jeff’s cycling shoes with that amazing red sole (adding in a special request for silver eyelets).

Just saw these great custom cycling shoes by Riotgeer Design.