There no better day than a NEW BIKE DAY!
5 years ago, to celebrate the launch of Vulpine, I collaborated with Ricky Feather of Feather cycles on this step, Campagnolo equipped road bike. Still so in love.
2017, and my love of steel is just as real. I love attention to detail, subtle innovation, high performance and real world comfort of British framebuilders. Much as I have used the same ideals for Vulpine’s apparel. We love frame building, six of my family’s eight bikes are steel. Hell, half our friends are framebuilders!
Last year we launched our Made in Britain range and shot it riding a pair of august Bicycles. I got to ride both and was taken aback by what Gavin Buxton of august, based in Norfolk, England, had achieved. They chimed perfectly with our design ideals. It turns out Gav and his wife Amy were already massive Vulpine fans. It was all falling into place. We needed to create something together.
To add to this, my wife Emmalou had recently left her job in music to manage Vulpine with me. She has always been the silent (read: not attention seeking) second founder of Vulpine and now, we can run things side to side. Its a dream come true (you don’t spend 21 years living together without knowing how to work with each other!). Apart from me, nobody understands Vulpine and what we are trying to achieve better than her. Plus we are as much a women’s as a men’s brand, and that is as much informed by her as me. We are equals in all, as is our brand.
With our 5th birthday coming up, it all fell into place. Vulpine x August bikes for us both, each reflecting our own individual styles of riding, but still very much a matching pair. Like the two of us…pass the sick bag.
Emmalou? She’s a stylish urban rider, but also likes a bit of gravel action. She’s fearless but isn’t interested in the fitness side of cycling life. She’s not a high heels and tiara kind of girl. She’s mature but silly, tough by soft, feminine but you wouldn’t mess with her. She wanted a handsome but distinctly female bike. Something highly practical, high performance, but elegant.
She loves the low top tube mixte shape but hates the all too often low-end choices and ‘girly’ connotations they can bring. So Gav worked with her to make something that reflected a different vibe. The Handsome Mixte.
Stainless steel head tube, down tube & fork. Campagnolo Potenza silver, with his own innovative adaptation of Campag Time Trial bar-end shifters to elegant thumb-shifters. He hand built the wheels on polished Record hubs and we all decided upon Vulpine’s Made in Britain navy blue for the paint, with red highlights for a subtle, friendly British feel.
Me, I’m a bit of a lump, I go up stuff slow and down fast. I don’t care about the terrain, as long as I’m comfortable (I have six knackered discs in my back). We went for a kind of go-anywhere urban street fighter, where I can wang round corners, chuck it around dirt paths and even take it to Alpine switchback descents. Its my ultimate descending, traffic gobbling, do everything road but gravel etc bike. The Aggro Urban Road bike.
An absolute must for me was disc brakes. I used to race MTB as well as road (badly) and I’m very firmly pro road hydraulic disc brakes. I love hard braking and tight leaning for corners, its my cheap thrill, and I love riding in crappy conditions, so maximum braking control was a non negotiable. We wanted an aggressive but dapper bike, so Gav combined 40mm aero rims with simple design cues. You’ll find so many subtle details, which both of us love.
Both of these bikes can be and will be ridden together, as a pair. You can see them at Bespoked Bristol and in future shoots, representing the company. I just hope we don’t have to wait another 5 years for the next additions to our steel family!
We promote British craft in clothing and bikes, and to that end we have decided to sell these bikes. There will be 5 strictly limited edition copies of The Handsome Mixte and The Beyond Urban in Vulpine’s Made in Britain Navy & Red livery. You get to choose components and which wheels Gav builds for you. And of course it’s all fitted to your geometry and style.
Register your interest HERE.
Emmalou’s Build: The Handsome Mixte
Columbus Zona, Columbus XCR and Aircraft grade 4130
Nick’s Build: The Beyond Urban
Columbus Spirit and Life tubing
Each bike ordered will come with a custom August bike stand, colour matched to the frame, with a stainless august logo.
*RRPs shown here are for the exact models shown and costs will vary according to build kits selected and availability/price of parts.
Images: Tristan Holden