Die CycLinks der Woche – Neues, Altes, Schönes, Spannendes

27 Sep Copyright Photo Tom Pilston. 07802 572 609 tom@pilston.fsnet.co.uk

Was ist diese Woche in der Fahrradwelt passiert? Wurde das Rad neu erfunden? Oder gar die Straßenverkehrsordnung abgeschafft? Hier gibt es einen kleinen Überblick was diese Woche passiert ist, oder auch nicht.

  1. http://www.designboom.com/technology/bamboobee-bamboo-build-it-yourself-bike-kit-09-22-2014/?utm_campaign=daily&utm_medium=e-mail&utm_source=subscribers
    Ein Bambusrad als Baukasten
  2. http://momentummag.com/features/five-great-bike-shops/
    Im Falle einer USA-Reise: nicht verpassen!
  3. http://blog.brooksengland.com/wps/a-trip-to-mercian-cycles-2/
    Unsere Freunde von Brooks berichten von ihrem Besuch in einer kleinen, aber feinen Fahrradmanufaktur, selbstverständlich in England
  4. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-slow-roll-chicago-met-20140919-story.html
    Die “Slow Roll” Bewegung belebt Chicago’s no-go-areas und macht sie wieder lebenswert
  5. http://mediathek.rbb-online.de/rbb-fernsehen/abendschau/demo-mit-stil-der-tweed-day?documentId=23617400
    Und hier ein kleiner Einblick in den Tweed Ride vom vergangenen Wochenende

Bella Ciao Neorealista – Ciao Bella!!!

23 Sep neo2

Wir haben soeben ein neues Modell unserer Edelschmiede Bella Ciao bekommen. Wie immer sind wir von der Verarbeitung und insbesondere der Lackierung, diesmal in moosig-samtigen-Herbstgrün, beeindruckt. Das ist natürlich kein Zufall: Bella Ciao- Gründer Matthias Maier ist ein regelrechter Fuchs in Sachen Qualität und Design und lässt seine Schmuckstücke daher in kleinen, ausgewählten Betrieben in Italien und Deutschland fertigen. Auch die Anbauteile sind etwas ganz besonderes: Die polierten Edelstahlschutzbleche beispielsweise werden in Handarbeit in der französischen Manufaktur von Gilles Berthoud in Frankreich gefertigt. Trés chic, wie man dort zu sagen pflegt…


Ausgestattet mit einem wunderschönen Sattel der englischen Traditionsfirma Brooks freut sich auch unser Allerwertester über dieses Fahrrad. Zwar benötigt man ein paar Touren und etwas Lederfett, um den Sattel richtig einzufahren, allerdings entsteht dann ein regelrechtes Sofagefühl. Und wer kann schon von sich behaupten, auf einem Sofa durch die Stadt zu radeln.


Mit drei Gängen von Shimano ausgestattet lässt es sich kinderleicht den Weinbergsweg oder die Schönhauser Allee erklimmen. Klasse ist auch, dass die Technik der Nabenschaltung komplett innenliegend ist, das heißt Wetter, Schmutz und Schnee können einem schnurzpiepegal sein.


Natürlich ist das Schätzchen auch käuflich bei uns zu erwerben. Für 1195 € fährt man damit glücklich gleitend nach Hause. Probefahrten können gerne jederzeit bei uns gemacht werden.

Top Five- Raingear

22 Sep georgia_rani_pink

It’s pretty much the same every year. Summer is over and the days get dark and wet.

Yet nothing can stop us from riding our bikes to work, university or school in a stylish way, especially not with these little helpers:

  1. Bobbin Waxed Cotton Raincape. Handmade in London. Old-school. Onesize. Looks great with skinnies and boots


2. Brooks John Bultbee Cambridge Cape. Leightweigt. Stowable. With Leather Straps to attatch to your saddle.


3. Georgia in Dublin Rainwrap. Easy to use. Tres chic! Also works as a picnic blanket.


4. Carradice Overshoes. Mounted in seconds. Dry feet for hours.

carradice Überschuh1.jpg

5. Pedaled Rainfrog Jacket. Super sleek. With hidden backpack pocket.

Bildschirmfoto 2014-05-08 um 23.09.00All of these items are tested and selected by our team of experienced cyclists. You can purchase all of them in our online shop www.pret-a-velo.de

What are the differences between bikes?

5 Mrz Cooper Revival

Two questions that are often asked when looking at a bike are, “How heavy is it?” and “How many gears does it have?”
These are worthy questions, though important for different reasons in Berlin. A heavy bike makes little difference for just getting around the city if it’s relatively flat – which it is here, much flatter than London for example. This question of ‘hilliness’ also ties in with the second question, “How many gears does it have?”
Arguably very few gears are needed in this city (Berlin) – ask anyone with a fixie or single speed. However the lack of apparent need for a superlight, multi-geared bike in Berlin belies some other things to consider.
1: A lighter bike usually signifies a higher quality frame and components.
2: A bicycle with more gears usually has higher quality hubs.

These two points can be considered similarly to how many gears a car has. A new car with less than 5 gears today would be considered questionable, likewise 6 gears is considered a sign of the car’s relatively higher quality.

3: Lighter bikes are easier to ride for longer.
4: Better and more gears can increase pedaling efficiency. (Enabling you to ride for longer.)
5: Wheel sizes. A larger wheel is smoother over rougher roads. A smaller wheel is easier to get up to speed.
6: Size of the wheel base – that is, the distance between the wheels. A longer wheel base is more stable at speed. A shorter wheel base is quicker to change direction. (Or as we call it in the biz, ‘nippier’.)The last thing to consider is the riding position. Upright is more comfortable, but less efficient. A racier more forward position is faster, more efficient, but harder to just sit up and cruise with.
These may all seem like obvious points to a seasoned rider, but if you are not, or know someone who is not a bike enthusiast, I’m sure you will agree it’s good to have an idea of what means what on a bikeCooper Revival


19 Feb paris_army_partiel

New helmets.
The question of helmets on bikes continually arises in social media (search do bike helmets work?). Someone pipes up about how they work in a hospital emergency ward and everyone should wear helmets because of what they see. Someone else claims to have been riding since before they could walk and have never had a fall and therefore helmets and their mandatory use is a case of punishing the victim. Its easy to find arguments for and against helmets. However just like mudguards (Schutzbleche) not being needed in summer, we still sell them and this is written from the perspective of a shop that sells helmets.

Do you want to wear a helmet? If not, make sure you wear a hat in winter. Because a cold head is not fun.
If you do wish to wear a helmet, ask yourself why? Because it’s the law? Because if you fall on your head its safer? The majority of sports cyclists seem to wear them. Its rare to see a road rider or a mountain biker without one, having crashed many times I would always wear a helmet when off roading. When riding around town, Berlin for example, many people do not wear head protection outside of a wooly hat in winter or sunglasses in summer. In Australia the wearing of helmets is brutally enforced in most cities. If you don’t wear one its highly likely you will be fined. This compels many people to buy the cheapest helmet they can to avoid the fine. Which may not necessarily offer the best protection in a fall.
We advocate safe cycling, if someone wishes to wear a helmet we can offer them many types, but be warned some helmets are more aesthetically pleasing than others. More importantly, if wearing a helmet is a choice get a good one. It’s not always good sales technique to compare the relative safety of helmets as they all have to pass a test, but a helmet is sold on the idea of safety. It is not a fashion accessory. Though the number of people who don’t buy a helmet due to how it looks is quite high. Luckily, helmets aren’t (really) mandatory here, a study in Australia suggested that forcing people to wear helmets actually puts them off riding.
In sum, helmets, safer? Yes. But please get a good one if you can.


The Yakkay hardly even looks like a helmet.


What makes a good bike good?

6 Feb

What makes a good bike good?

The Cooper Revival 11 is a nice bike. It’s also around 3,000 Euro. The most expensive non-electric, non-cargo bicycle we have. It got me thinking about the oldest question known to bicycle shops, no, not, “Have you got any stickers?”

“What makes this a good bike?”

Cooper Revival 11

Looks aside, this is sehr schön.

I get asked this all the time by friends and family and of course customers.

Most people who work in a bike shop will instinctively answer that question based on years of built up knowledge about various products and their perceived worth. They may not be able to tell you exactly why it is good, but they know that it is. Or they may just shrug and say it’s up to you. (In which case, I’d say, go somewhere else.)

For me there are usually a couple of non-negotiable considerations.

Before riding:

Good bearings. Rubbish bearings need replacing more often and don’t feel as smooth. You’ll have to ask the seller about this.

Good paint. The quality of paint often signifies a general attention to detail. The thicker the paint, the less likely chips and then rust will occur. Also good paint is much more expensive than cheap paint. Never look a gift horse in the mouth, but always check the enamel of a bike!

Looks nice or has a unified aesthetic. Very important. For many people (myself included) I want a bike that I can enjoy looking at. My aesthetic is more functional than form which dictates the style I look for. However there is a plethora of bicycle shapes and designs out there these days,  so no reason to settle for an ugly or plain steed.

After riding:

(of course it must feel good, there is no reason today to own a bike that doesn’t feel good)

Parts make sense. Consider the parts on the bike. The three speed vs. the seven speed, how did they feel. Was the handlebar an acceptable width?

campag athena rear mech at pret a velo

This makes sense. Just check out old Campag Record prices…

Justifiable price. If the bike rode exceptionally well, better than anything you have ever ridden, the paint is thick and tasteful, then it is likely worth the money. There a very few bikes out there that are more expensive than they need to be. I always prefer to get a European or American made frame, they are usually smaller companies doing it this way, however some Taiwanese frames are actually pretty good. I have both.

On going service. Can you do it yourself? Do you want to?

These are all the questions I ask myself with a new bike, if you can’t come up with an answer, ask your sales assistant.

So then what makes the Revival a good bike? It looks great, with the best Mavic road rims and 11 speed Campagnolo group-set it offers great reliability and durability as well. The paint! Holey moley, its tasteful, thick, glossy and understated. It has the lightest possible steel frame. Brooks saddle and bar tape. Also it’s super easy to service. All in all a well thought out bicycle. Someone at Cooper bikes is very good at their job. Finally, did I mention it uses sealed bearing hubs….

So that’s what makes a good bike.

reynolds 853

If you see this sticker, it means „good“.

Brooks tape at Pret a velo

Perfect colour for the bike.

New Brooks Cambium

28 Jan

Winter is a time for reflection. Time to reflect on the warmer months, of blissfully sunny rides, picnics in the park and which of the Canary Islands to escape to for a dose of vitamin D.

Pret A Velo view of the world

Pret A Velo view of the world

It is also a perfect time to consider the most important things of all – contact points. Yes, handle bar grips, pedals and saddle. The three parts of your bike that you will spend an awful lot of time with over the years. It’s easy to get lost in the details of a bicycle, the gears, the rims, the compound of the brake blocks. But the contact points are super important.

So, the big news is a completely new saddle from Brooks. Made from rubber and cotton this is a completely new direction, but somehow totally in keeping with their existing design. Its made from organic cotton and rubber (vulcanized in Italy). Its called the Cambium, which is not a super hi-tech alloy used to make fins for cruise missiles, it’s actually the part of a tree that makes bark. Nice. If you’re eying a new bike or if you are considering a new saddle, you must test one, as the claim is they’re comfortable immediately. They’re a little pricier but are completely weather proof and repairable.  As with all Brooks saddles they’re designed to last a lifetime not a season.

Rubber and cotton Cambium.

Rubber and cotton Cambium.

Brooks newest creation for your posterior.

Brooks newest creation for your posterior.

Brooks handy-dandy display unit.

Brooks handy-dandy display unit.