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March 13, 2012 No comments

Brooks At The Berlin Bike Show

Events Bicycles Art & Design
By BREGAN
Brooks At The Berlin Bike Show
The outside hall of the Berlin Bike Show (photo: Dimitri Hempel) Stateside around this time of the year, cycling fans who eschew the Conveyor Belt in favour of the Bespoke gravitate towards the annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show. And on this side of The Pond, similar-minded people are finding themselves drawn each spring to the German capital for the Berliner Fahrrad Schau. The incomparable Klara Geist Bullitt (photo: Berliner Fahrrad Schau) First impressions 2012 from BERLINER FAHRRAD SCHAU on Vimeo. The BFS has only been running for a few years, but has quickly won a reputation as an important fixture in the European calendar of bike shows. The unique mix of exhibitors on display make this show decidedly "urban" and a welcome platform for many smaller brands to exhibit their unique focus on products that fit in with the cycling lifestyle. Discerning BFS browsers spent a lot of time at the PEdALED racks. (photo: Dimitri Hempel) Visitors to the Brooks stand at last weekend's Berliner Fahrrad Schau. (photo: Dimitri Hempel) By way of example, the display of cycling apparel ran the gamut from Levi's (who have a new cycling line), to contemporary genre pioneers Swrve, Chrome, and Mission Workshop, through to our own crowning jewels John Boultbee and PEdALED. And even all the way over to Blow Up Press, a local independent Berlin clothing label whose limited textile prints feature motifs of human-animal mutants riding bikes. (photo: Blow Up Press) According to their website, Blowup Press "creates collages that tell stories about the synthesis and approach between human, animal and nature. The bicycle is the main focus in the collages of the vélographique series at Blowup Press. The bicycle is beautiful, it is technically so simple, it is elegant, it is practical, and it stands for independence." Well, right-ho, then! (photo: Bregan Faika) Nina Reisinger from Blowup Press has a great tip for anyone finding themselves with an overabundance of t-shirts whose value cannot be measured in dollars or pounds.  From Monsters of Rock to Monster Track, your old t-shirt may have some life left in it yet. (click on "great tip" if you wish to know the tip but have never used a blog before) The guys from Brooks Dealer of Excellence BikeDudes and Schindelhauer Bikes worked together on this clever wall of bike boxes (photo: Dimitri Hempel) "Going back to Cali? No, I don't think so." Lyle and the boys from Mission Workshop came all the way from SF for the BFS (Photo: Matt McKee from Bicycle Coffee) But of course this was also about the bike itself and we saw  a great many of those on hand  who actually make bikes.  Alex Moulton, Bullitt, Paripa, Schindelhauer, Seven, Cannondale, Gazelle, Pashley, and many more. Alex Moulton Berlin, Klara Geist, and Larry Vs. Harry in an unholy alliance (photo:Berliner Fahrrad Schau) We were delighted to meet a Californian artist now based in Stuttgart who goes by the name of Toons One. Toons has built an interesting career preserving the some-might-say dying art of hand painted lettering and enamel detailing. Be sure to see more from Toons in the future. Toons One of Bikestyler Customs pimping the ride of Suicycle rider Malow (photo: Bregan Faika) The BFS takes place in the spectacular yet intimate surrounds of The Station, a pair of naturally lit, high ceilinged halls just a stone's throw from Berlin's famous Potsdamer Platz. The Station is also home to PREMIUM, one of Europe's largest fashion shows. The Brooks/PEdALED booth in all its understated glory (photo: Dimitri Hempel) No translation needed, everyone spoke the International Language of Two Human Powered Wheels. Everybody's favourite Short-hop Conversation Starter, the Velocino, was available from us for test drives on receipt of a written liability absolver.  Eventually being ridden by Berlin karaoke anticelebrity, Joe Hatchiban. (see below) Five minutes on this is more relaxing than an hour of Yoga. (photo: Dimitri Hempel) But, sadly, we brought the Abici Velocino for the first, and possibly last time as hardly a minute went by without someone asking to borrow it in exchange for their personal communications device. On the up-side, we were able to call Smethwick worry-free. (Seriously though, great fun with the Velocino, we are definitely bringing it along in the future.) Since 2011, Brooks produces limited numbers of the B17 in a few non-Brown and -Black colours. (photo: Dimitri Hempel) Of course we were also gratified to bask in the warm glow of praise-filled rider testimonials which verily chimed around the Brooks Pavilion from Saturday morning till Sunday night.  However, as usual we were also to go blow-for-blow with local bicycling historical experts. This weekend's championship bout pitted Brooks against a German upstart who contended that the Draisienne, or dandy horse,  was invented by a Frenchman.  Our smart telephone had the last word and verified the ironic knockout. It certainly didn't leave Smethwick looking like this. (photo: Dimitri Hempel) We also finally were able to catch up with the affable Dirk De Ginder whose one-of-a-kind interpretations of our saddles and grips (not to mention what he does to the rest of the bike) are certainly worthy of your attention. The Brooks leather is underneath, in case you are wondering (photo: Dimitri Hempel) One Less Turquoise Coloured Snake. (photo: Dimitri Hempel) Elsewhere, we found plenty to interest supporters of local bike related innovation. The default Berlin biking bag was there, as were the builders of the default High-End Mobile Sound System . Berlin's native Beast of Burden was also in attendance... and even the Miniature Wooden Track Enthusiast was catered for. "Game Face" finally gets its pictorial dictionary definition (photo: Dimitri Hempel) Sadly, we did not walk away with the top prize on the mini drome, but our Velocino won the even more coveted Most Versatile Photo Op Accessory. In truth, though, everybody who made it for a stroll in the BFS halls last weekend was a winner. We've already pencilled in a spot for 2013. And any cycling enthusiast within shouting distance of Berlin, be it by Plane, Train or Pashley would do well to consider booking a weekend break there next spring, when the BFS again puts together its individual and thoughtfully crafted mix of color, engineering and style. Markus from Discernism playing it cool at the Berliner Fahrrad Schau. (photo: Dimitri Hempel)