Beeld: Mirko Meerwaldt
Handpicked by Soigneur
During the Wiener Fahrradschau, a three-day fair that celebrates all aspects of cycling culture, Soigneur Cycling Journal handpicked products and initiatives that excel in design, usability, innovation, integrity and durability. These products have been selected because they expand, challenge and change the horizons of how we experience cycling. Read more about this collaboration between the Fahrradschau and Soigneur here.
A clean, no-nonsense aluminium racing frame with Tune wheels and SRAM’s 1x gruppo, the Standert Kreissäge is made to tear up crits. The boys behind the brand are stalwarts of Berlin’s grass-roots racing scene, so they know what works and what’s superfluous and that you can beat the poseurs on a frame that costs less than a grand.
We’ll always be partial to the leather hairnet. No rider will ever look as cool as Maurizio Fondriest did in his black Brancale. Thankfully, Carrera has come out with a modern hardshell reminiscent of those leather-bound icons that doesn’t compromise on safety.
Slovakian brand Arko Bici was named after its founder Marek Parajka’s dog, who used to sit under his workbench while he plied his craft. A metalsmith for over 20 years, Marek turned his attention to bike building a few years ago and has established an impressive collection of made-to-measure frames and custom accessories, with an aesthetic that ranges from retro to modern.
Heineken brought together small manufacturers from each of Vienna’s 23 districts to capture the spirit of the city in this beautiful bike. We’d love to see one for Rotterdam.
It’s about time Berlin’s cycling infrastructure caught up to its reputation as one of Europe’s most progressive cities. The city’s senate is finally making a strong effort. We were particularly impressed by their crowdsourced map of dangerous intersections, which includes feedback from both cyclists and drivers. Great cities work for both.
Urwahn is breaking the mould with its city bikes. The stainless steel frame is glued together to create a unique hyper-modern shape, and the Kappstein FlipFree hub allows you to switch from a fixed gear to a freewheel with a simple flick of a lever. Commuter bikes ought to look different in the 21st century.
Cut to the chase. With events in Berlin, Koblenz, Cologne, Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Vienna, the Rad Race series zeroes in on what bike racing’s all about — riding fast and trying to beat your buddies. Where else do you see fierce competitors cheering for each other? Or a cross course with wall rides and a quarter pipe? We really liked the positive atmosphere.
Ever been stranded without a bike in a faraway city? It’s often just not worth it to travel with your own, what with all of the hassle of packing and unpacking it and finding a good place to store it, not too mention the outrageous fees airlines charge. Already becoming known as the AirBnB for bikes, listnride have built a platform that allows you to rent a bike from a fellow cyclist in the city you’re visiting, so you’ll never have to spend a free morning whiling your time away in a hotel room when the roads are calling. We picked up a couple of Cervelos through them and hit the hills around Vienna. At home, you can earn some extra cash by renting out your own bike too.
Kristin Heil handsews the bags for her Gramm-Tourpacking line in a workshop she shares with Fern Cycles in Berlin. When we met her, she was just back from a multi-week trip around Iceland, where she and her partner faced some of the worst weather conditions the northern island has to offer. Her bags held up well. Made from material developed for sails, they are super lightweight and waterproof and are designed to maximize the storage space you have on your bike in the most unobtrusive way possible. We love to see people bringing their enthusiasm for the bike into the studio to make great equipment.
What’s cycling, really, but frolicking around in lycra? The peloton’s a moving outdoor disco, full of playful extravagance and exhibitionism. Young Viennese brand Unicorn displays this attitude. Don’t take their light-heartedness for a lack of substance though. The kids behind the clothes are all serious riders. Cycling needs a fresh approach every once in a while.
Too often, great works are lost to history. Wiener Mechaniker Räder is a treasure trove of a book, packed with outstanding bikes that reveal the richness of the city’s cycling past in carefully executed photographs. By preserving the legacy of their forefathers, Vienna’s cycling community has created a source of inspiration for future bike builders all around the world.