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10 October 2012 No comments

The John Boultbee Blackwell Cycling Jacket.

Saddles, Bags, Etc. Style & Fashion
The John Boultbee Blackwell Cycling Jacket.
Most readers will hopefully already be aware of our associate clothing label John Boultbee. It produces limited run pieces of bikewear to standards associated with the Brooks name. The first jacket to come off our cutting table was, of course, the award-winning John Boultbee Criterion Mk. 1, late in 2010. We are pleased to announce that it will now be joined on coat racks by our newest accessory to stylish all-weather cycling, the Blackwell. It's perhaps rather timely that with Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour this year, we should release a jacket which wouldn't look entirely out of place at a Mod-Revivalists convention, but the Blackwell is much more than just a pretty face. That said, the pretty face is certainly worth tarrying over for a while. Good work in this field often derives from a certain amount of creative tension, and our new jacket certainly provided us with many seemingly contradictory boxes to tick. Master Tailor Timothy Everest's brief for the Blackwell was to find a decidedly... unbicycular?... cycling garment in collaboration with us for the John Boultbee line. This time, we were after a slim fitting, stripped back garment which at first or second glance should not even conjure the image of a bicycle in the beholder's mind. We settled notionally on a Harrington, a tailoring style of which many at Brooks are personal fans. It is, of course, an iconic British cut for a jacket, but whose essential lines do not necessarily lend themselves to High Performance on a bike. We felt sure Timothy could do something to change that, without making any grand departure from the overall classic look. To this end, his ingenious minor adjustments of the Harrington form now provide cyclists with ergonomically cut sleeves to ensure complete comfort even when at full stretch. Untypically for a Harrington, the rear of the jacket also runs a little further than the front, which finishes at waist height. We need hardly mention that Timothy is both a keen and useful rider... Copper finished details throughout understatedly set the Blackwell's timeless darker green tones off, yet its various pocket modules are manifest concessions to Modern Living, sized as they are to accommodate all manner of things prefixed with "i" or "Smart". Designed for year-round use, the Blackwell is made from Ventile, a densely woven yet pliable cotton fabric. Ventile manages the neat trick of combining high levels of breathability with excellent impermeability, so there isn't a season, or corner of the globe, where the Blackwell won't do a good looking job for you. On two wheels or otherwise. Available from our online shop and selected Brooks Dealers Of Excellence.