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23 March 2012 No comments
Fahrradies HamelnFriends Saddles, Bags, Etc.
A Vintage Ambrosio laced to, ahem, a rather apt six inch diameter piece of vinyl. The town of Hameln, as we all know, is famed chiefly for its Pied Piper, who back in the Fifteenth Century or thereabouts and armed with a magical flute, enticed all of the local children away with him, never to be seen again. This dastardly act was his way of meting out revenge upon the adult citizenry of Hameln who had refused to pay for his services as rat catcher par excellence at some unspecified time earlier. Anyway, nowadays if anybody is doing any luring in Hameln, it's Carsten Slabon at Fahrradies with his magical array of the finest in English leather saddle work. And it seems that neither Man nor Child is immune to their charms. Carsten has been in business since the early Nineties, and was one of the first of our German sellers to start collecting Rivets at a furious rate when we launched our Dealers Of Excellence program in 2008. He has at this stage amassed the maximum obtainable number of six Copper Rivets, promoting him to the status as a Brooks Supreme Dealer. And even a brief visit to his premises in Hameln's town centre will show you why Fahrradies justifies such lofty praise. Carsten specializes in custom assembly for his clients, or Friends, as he prefers to describe them. German frames from Patria and VSF (in use by at least one rider of the WCR Grand Tour) are married to the finest componentry he can source, so the finished article will typically combine a Rohloff hub with a Schmidt Dynamo and some Magura brakes. The locals don't have it all their own way, however, and we are pleased to report that rather unsurprisingly, it's usually a Brooks atop seat post when a Friend rolls his new wheels out Fahrradies' front door. Unless, of course, it's a Recumbent that's getting rolled. But that's another story... The shop itself is cosy without being cluttered, and Carsten goes for Less Is More when it comes to finding room for display pieces. One of them was recently donated by a Touring Friend, who had put up nearly 200,000 km astride his trusty Team Profession. Said Team Pro' was decommissioned last year, and framed on one of the Fahrradies wall, and titled simply "198,189", and we trust this has something to do with an odometer reading. Such munificence clearly deserves reward, and Carsten's trusty coffee machine was at hand to dispense a Latte on the house! They don't make 'em like that anymore. Well, actually, we do. From a personal perspective, Carsten is a big fan of the Brooks Aged line, opening, as it does, new avenues of possibility for any rider who desires the renowned comfort of a Brooks without wishing to persevere through the initial traditional breaking-in period we usually associate with riding on a new leather saddle. And obviously, as a Supreme Dealer, his shop also stocks items from the Brooks portfolio that aren't available from any old bike shop. Certainly nowhere within reasonable riding distance of Hameln. By car, even. But as if further proof were needed of Carsten's full and cooperative engagement with Brooks, we also frequently receive suggestions from him with ideas for new Brooks products. His most recent suggestion was that we make a Gents' leather belt, perhaps with a pressed stamp of the buyer's favourite Brooks saddle at the buckle! It's one we've admittedly heard before, but who knows, maybe one day we'll be able to send him a John Boultbee B66 in brown, to go with his Criterion Mk.1! It would be the merest token of our esteem for his work in establishing one of the finest Brooks Dealers Of Excellence on the European continent. Or anywhere else, for that matter. Yes, those glasses are real. Go see for yourself!