Spin London is coming to Soho for what promises to be a weekend packed with good food, drink, music, art, fashion, and most important of all, bikes. I’m no stranger to bicycle shows, but generally expect to be bamboozled by space age fabrics and new methods for laying carbon. The Spin London Cycle Show is pitching itself towards a broader market, a celebration of the culture behind cycling, and the huge variety in how cycling is experienced and enjoyed. Stalls have been booked up to cater for everything from the weekend club runner to heavily stylised one off creations, mixed in with some craft beer and clothing for on and off the bike (as well as the best bicycle insurance company). In absence of a rundown of the highlights, I thought I’d have a look through the companies exhibiting, and pick out a few I’m looking forward to meeting.
Technology moves quickly with road bikes; shapes are dictated by materials, and the materials dictate the shapes. I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s wasted a morning poring over articles explaining how a slight change to the formula of a resin or orientation of some fibres can improve rigidity or shed a few grams. The bikes we ride, or the bikes we wish we could ride, are beauty informed by function and technology, which is why I’m particularly excited to check out an Italian manufacture, Selva.
From their website, we only get a glimpse of the Selva bicycle. At first glance it appears unremarkable, a fairly smart cherry red and tan fixed wheeler with a slightly bulky frame; then you see the grain of the wood, polished to a mirror shine. Selva expound the benefits of wood in modern bicycle design; a smooth comfortable ride from a ‘stylish, natural and renewable material,’ and stylish it certainly is.
Their demonstration bike twins the warm natural wood tone of the chassis with a bright, blood red on the rims and chainring, and a slightly more familiar pair of black carbon front forks. The result is stunning, and a far cry from the laminated plywood curiosities I’ve seen before. I’m not sure what the odds are on Selva letting me have a go on Spin London’s test track, but I am going to try at least, If only so I can say I have.
It seems sometimes as though our media is swamped with infographics. Newspapers and television love them as a tool to convey information quickly and intuitively, but often achieve the neither. Every once in a while however, an infographic will come along and with a glance, we will understand exactly what the designer is trying to say, and at the same time, they seem almost effortlessly beautiful. Eleanor Lutz’ infographic on animal flight on her blog Tabletop Whale sums up what I mean perfectly; the difference between a clunky image rushed for a newspaper and an infographic done right is unmistakable.
Massif Central have made curating sports data into pieces of art their business, with a particular focus on the cyclist. If you visit their site, you can begin to get an impression of what they produce through their pieces on events such as the 2013 Tour de France and Il Giro d’Italia, but these are primarily example pieces.
Massif will work with their customers to curate any information you have to share with them; from the wattage, climb and distance data stored on your Garmin, to the weather conditions and even crashes.
We currently have two members on our team who have completed an Iron Man event. I have no plans to join them myself (perhaps I am the sane, rational member of Yellow Jersey) but I can see how valuable something like a Massif Central print would be to someone who has. The distance involved in an Iron Man is difficult to grasp on its own, but when you consider the cumulative miles put into training, the daily hours, I can’t imagine even someone who’s finished would be able to completely grasp the extent of the data.
To have a print designed to be a beautifully constructed memento of a race, a trip, or a once in a lifetime achievement hung above your desk must be continuously satisfying.
Yellow Jersey will be at the exhibition from Friday to Sunday, with the whole team making an appearance over the course of the weekend. It would be great to meet any customers who fancy coming over for a chat; we’ll have freebies to give out, and we’llbe talking about our product and what we offer to cyclists which goes above and beyond other bicycle insurance options.