Sep 27  |  [Pre-Order Ends Today!] Pinstripes, Cartoons, and Wild Beasts

Posted by , September 27th, 2014 at 3:00PM    

The SPEEDVAGEN National Kit, our first collection designed in Japan.

[Pre-Order Here, Ends Wednesday October 1st]

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“I love the Japanese aesthetic. Perfection melded with playfulness and a compulsion toward the iconic. I’ve been looking for a way to bring these aspects of Japan into what we do. My respect for the Japanese goes beyond the aesthetic though, into their ethic and culture of perfection. Honor through bringing something (everything?) to it’s pinnacle. ” -Sacha White

There’s something about Japan that’s always captivated us, and with half of the Speedvagen cross team based there, we have a strong connection to the country. The opportunities we’ve had to travel, race, and learn with the SV Japan crew and their extended community stand as some of our favorite memories on (and off) the bike. Our friendships and experiences there, combined with our love of the Japanese commitment to design, have had us looking for the chance to design a component of the Speedvagen universe in Japan in for some time. We wanted an opportunity to bring our team ethos to life, infused with a combination of the unique Japanese aesthetic and our own focused commitment to detail and craft. This limited edition Speedvagen kit is that project.

Representing a fresh, fun and distinctly Eastern take on the Speedvagen approach to bikes and style, the design comes from SV Team Member Masashi Ichifuru, a good friend and member of the extended Speedvagen family. Ichico, as he’s known, has worked for some of Japan’s most well known animation houses, and is a talented graphic designer and photographer, as well as a lover of espresso with an enviable collection of hand made bikes. We asked Ichico to create a kit that felt connected to the way we ride and race—to how we approach bringing together the ideas of speed, friendship, and riding tough, without losing sight of taking care of fellow racers—and laughing at ourselves when appropriate. (Which is fairly often, frankly.) We think he nailed it.

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For the kit’s design, the SV shield gets re-imagined with a bold kanji character taking the place of the numeral 11. According to Ichico, “Unicorn, written in Japanese kanji character, is Ikkakujyu or ‘single horned beast.’” Ichico took the ‘beast’ part of the kanji character for the image, telling us it has the same meaning as the word “animal,” but with a wilder nuance. In his words, “In the same way the number “11” in the shield represents taking it further, in order to “take it to 11” the wild in you must come out and take over.” We couldn’t agree more. The kit’s stripes come from Ichico’s desire to create a clean, simple look that strongly represents the vibes of the team. To symbolize the relationship between the two halves of the SPEEDVAGEN family, Japanese and American, he created a bold and playful graphic component across the pockets, mixing the SPEEDVAGEN letters with the Katakana Japanese alphabet. The result is simultaneously vivid and simple, deftly balancing elegant execution with a sense of pure fun.

Taken together, the kit is a physical manifestation of the things we love about being on our bikes together. As Ichico said in a conversation about this project, “I love it when people and things come together perfectly at the last minute, as if a great script writer plotted it.” Or, as they say on the A-Team: I love it when a plan comes together.

ABOUT THE KIT For the jersey and bibs themselves, we turned to our friends at Castelli. Long time supporters of our SV race team—not to mention cross-town neighbors—Castelli is committed to making superior race kit. Their blend of decades-old history and modern material development echoes our own desire to bring craft principles together with the best possible ingredients.

 

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The jersey is Castelli’s Team jersey, which has a race cut and features a full-zip closure. This limited edition run will feature an SV badge zipper-pull, to complete the design.

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Vanilla_SoftGoods_SV_Bibs_B The bibs are Castelli’s Team bibs. They feature a race cut, with a KISS 3 pad for a comfortable ride on the road or on the cross course.

 Vanilla_Soft_Goods_SV_WVest_F

Vanilla_Soft_Goods_SV_WVest_BAs far as versatile, easy-to-love pieces go, a solid wind vest is pretty much at the top of the list. Castelli’s Wind Vest is made with Windshear™ fabric for an extremely lightweight piece, that’s  breathable enough to keep you comfortable while offering excellent protection from wind and light rain. It features two zippered side openings for easy access to jersey pockets, and packs down small so you can take it anywhere.

Vanilla_Soft_Goods_SV_ArmWarmers For something so simple, the arm warmer can certainly be a ride saver. Paired with a vest, they help extend your comfort zone by at least 10 degrees (not scientifically proven). Casetelli’s Lycra® Arm Warmers feature an anatomic cut for a close fit that won’t constrict muscles or motion. Made with a classic gel gripper that has some stretch, they stay put without grabbing.

May 22  |  It’s Really About Doing Things Well

Posted by , May 22nd, 2014 at 9:00AM    

Sacha 1

Last summer we were invited to participate in the Cyclepedia show at the Portland Art Museum. It was a great show and, in addition to our bike display, we were asked to participate in the Object Stories exhibit. Object Stories is an ongoing collection of stories about things that you would never give up, objects of significance to you.

In this short, less than 3-minutes, recording Sacha touches on the benefits of proper fit, understanding your materials and caring deeply about whatever you do, to do it well.

Listen here, and share your thoughts in the comments.

May 15  |  That Ride

Posted by , May 15th, 2014 at 8:43AM    

The Gentle Lovers

We always try to follow up with customers to see how their first rides were. It’s great to hear about where they went and why. Often they have a shakedown ride in mind from the beginning. That climb they test their fitness on. The group ride on Sunday mornings. Maybe they even travel to a sportive. Wherever it is those first rides are so fun to recount.

Then we ask about how the bike rode and the conversation turns from a detailed accounting of the climbs and vistas to one of fewer words as they begin to explain that;

“it was great, yeah, the bike was awesome… it’s hard to explain really.”

“I can’t put my finger on it. It just rides differently, in a good way.”

“It felt right. I don’t know, it’s really hard to explain it I guess. What do other people say when you ask them about the ride?”

Well, they usually say about the same thing actually. This got me thinking, what has your experience been with your Speedvagen?  Is there something to the ‘inexplicable ride’?

Not fishing for compliments here, I’m sincerely interested in putting a finger on this.

 

Apr 30  |  2014 Speedvagen Cyclocross Guide Book

Posted by , April 30th, 2014 at 2:25PM    

 

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The very first Speedvagen was a single speed cross machine that Sacha built for himself to race in 2006. That was eight years ago and although we’ve refined details of the design over the years the mantra has remained the same, take away everything not essential and innovate with what’s left. We love these machines for their handling and acceleration in the worst conditions. They’re light, stiff and inspired. It’s the bike we want to race and we think you’re going to dig it too. So, with that in mind we will be offering the solid gold Speedvagen Family Racing Team Issue this season for the first time. Available only as complete builds these are the same uncompromising bikes the team has been racing to podiums in Japan, Australia and here in the US since 2012!

2014 Speedvagen Cross Guidebook 

 

2014 Road Guidebook 

Apr 17  |  Speedvagen Coffee Compendium [Updated]

Posted by , April 17th, 2014 at 11:52AM    
San Francisco

Coffee with the Speedvagen Team in San Francisco

Ongoing and exclusively generated by readers(riders) suggestions, this is a compendium of places around the world to get a great cup of coffee and maybe run into a fellow cyclist or two, maybe even one on a Speedvagen or Vanilla.

East of the Mississippi:

Matt: High Five Coffee: Asheville, NC

VeloChamp: “Buddy Brew Coffee here in Tampa, FL. Great folks, phenomenal single-origin coffee roasted in house.”

California (Bay Area):

Nick: Equator Coffee – Mill Valley, CA

Jeff: Jane on Fillmore (they serve Stumptown), Rapha Cycle Club (Four Barrel coffee, SF), Cibo (Sausalito)

Ray: Sweet Maria’s – Oakland, CA

Bryan: The Mill on Divisadero – SF, CA

Southwestern:

Shawn: Cartel – Tempe, AZ “Just off Arizona State’s campus, very bike friendly, beans roasted in house.”

Tyler: Austin, TX “Once Over or Houndstooth are my most regular spots. D1 and Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shops both have the in-house coffee shop thing going on making it easy to grab an espresso before a shop ride.”

Kim: Mudsmith on Lower Greenville here in Dallas. Don’t know if you’ll see the elusive lone Dallas Speedvagen there or not, but they have great coffee (Four Barrel) and serve local beer, to boot!

West of the Rockies:

Carl: AMANTE up on North Broadway in Boulder, CO. A good place to hook up for a ride also.

Tom: Heart Coffee on East Burnside and Stumptown Coffee (downtown) in Portland, OR

Canada:

Shorelocal: Musette Caffe for anyone visiting Vancouver, BC

United Kingdom:

Adrian: The Music Room in Lancaster, UK and Saveurs in Dartmouth, UK (I am guessing my kitchen doesn’t count…)

Chris: It’s a little ‘provincial’ down here in the Garden of England. Good coffee is starting to find it’s way through though. My fave cafe stops are ‘Brunch‘ in Canterbury and ‘Eden‘ in Maidstone both in Kent and well placed to service riders wish in to follow the route if Stage 1 of the 2007 tour.

Justin: Penny’s Cafe in Orford. The best coffee on the Suffolk Coast!

Norway:

Arne: Tim Wendelboe, Grunerløkka, Oslo, Norway

Amsterdam:

Jon (@twotoneatl): While he’s admittedly the “new guy” in Amsterdam he has a knack for finding great spots. The FietsKantine,  Lot Sixtyone Roasters and The WestergasFabriek (around12:30 on Sundays). Also, #RollCallAMS ride starts from Coffee Company Treublaan at 8am on Friday’s!

Two For Joy Coffee

Sweden:

The Swedish Speedvagen Society has reached consensus: Via Patch

Copenhagen — The Coffee Collective. The Kenyan is perfect.

Malmö — Solde Kaffebar. Whatever single-origin they have brewed will be solid. High chance of ’Vagen come autumn.

Vismarlöv’s Gårdsbageri (20km from Malmö). Not the best coffee, but easily some of the best pastries in Sweden. And not a bad ride out.

Stockholm — Drop Coffee. Talk to your barista, he or she will know what’s up.

Oz:

@AdelaideArchitect: Hey Jupiter in Adelaide, South Australia

Justin: “Nothing compares to Single Origin Roasters in Surry Hills, Sydney NSW.  A cup of Java that is second to none.”

Andy: A favourite café of mine is Short Round. Great coffee and a delicious menu. Melbourne, Victoria.

Japan:

Ichico: “My recommended coffee shops for cyclists in Tokyo are Bonsai Cycleworks, Good People, Good Coffee and Lug Hatagaya.”

 

Coffee with Sacha in SF

Jun 3  |  Win A Castelli Seamless Base Layer On Our Facebook Page

Posted by , June 3rd, 2013 at 10:35AM    

The Speedvagen Team kits have all landed in their new homes, the sun is coming out in Portland and summer is around the corner, except in Australia where it’s cross season right now!

We want to see the kits in action! And we want to give five of you a great new piece of gear to sweeten your already sweet kit.

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Speedvagen team Captain, Tina Brubaker, sporting the seamless base layer with her team kit.

Castelli Cycling and Speedvagen will be giving away a seamless sleeveless base layer every day this week when you tag both of us in photos of you and your friends in your Speedvagen kit, or any other Castelli gear, out riding your Speedvagen or Vanilla in your part of the world.

1. Take a fun, exciting photo, with some local flavor, of you and your friends riding in your new Speedvagen kit or any other Castelli Cycling gear.

2. Post it to Facebook and tag both Castelli Cycling and Speedvagen in the photo.

3. Winning photos will be announced on the Speedvagen Facebook page daily.

4. Enter as often as you like!

 

 

Castelli Base Layer

USE THIS FOR EVERY RIDE.  With the polypropylene inner layer, nylon outer layer and open mesh construction, this base layer was created to work with our race jerseys to move moisture away from your skin as quickly as possible. It obviously works well in warm conditions, but we like it in colder conditions under a long-sleeve base layer because this is the best way to keep dry and maintain body tem- perature.

Mar 18  |  Stahl + Wenokur

Posted by , March 18th, 2013 at 3:52PM    

Coat Paint Shop took two bikes all the way down the component colorwork road this year. The first was a cross machine for Mr. Stahl (below) that found some time on Prolly is Not Probably earlier this year. This is the evolution of our popular Overt paint scheme and, thanks to a couple of really exceptional customers that let us get loose with their Speedvagen, we got to see it out in the world instead of just on a computer screen.

Stahl HT

The second is this purple beauty for Mr. Wenokur. A road machine that brightens the dark and gloomy Portland skies. Notice the way the graphics carry the color striping from the front of the bike to the back. The stripes come over the head badge below, a first for us, over the cups of the headset and around the hubs. You’ll see that the colorwork at the stem, seat mast and head, and main triangle wrap these frames up like neat little packages.

Check out both bikes on Flickr for more photos and details about each.

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