Bicycles

“Peak Season” Colorado in the Fall, Yeti Cycles.

One of the things I like about a lot of the video advertising work that is being produced for the web is the lack of confinement. By that I mean the people producing these works aren’t locked into 15 and 30 second edit lengths, and there is less of a direct message push. Many of the videos I see that are sponsored by and produced for a specific brand these days have more of a lifestyle feel to them. Case in point is the beautiful video below for Yeti Cycles.

Filmed and directed by Craig Grant this video is as much about the joy of being in Colorado in early fall, as it is about Yeti Cycles. There is no dialog, no direct message, no in your face selling, just a guy on a bike riding through absolutely gorgeous mountain scenery. Grant does a masterful job filming the biker as he carves his way down the mountain, through the golden glow of the aspens. At the end, there is a single splash screen with the company logo on it.

I find this successful for a couple of reasons. First it created a lasting memory. One that I now associate with Yeti Cycles. Two, it is something people want to share, which in fact spreads brand awareness. This is the kind of ad I wouldn’t skip, mute, or fast forward over. It’s the kind of advertising that could in fact be compressed into a broadcast length and still be effective. Even the supporting editorial on Vimeo lack the in your face style so much advertising presents. It’s about the location, and the ride, not the product.

“Like every other season, fall is pretty magical in the Colorado high country. By the end of summer, cool winds are already moving over the mountains and the peaks are getting dusted with snow. The aspens shed their leaves, covering the trails in red and gold, and morning frosts dampen the dry summer dirt. Add it all together, and it means several weeks of absolutely prime singletrack—sticky, colorful, and emptied of the summertime foot traffic. It was in search of those conditions that we headed into the mountains with our SB66s and a checklist of our favorite trails.”

I hope this style of advertising catches on in a larger way.

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Talk About Skills. Bob Case’s Pedal Craft Poster Illustration Process.

I always find it to be a bit hard to explain why good design, photography, motion graphics, and illustration etc. is worth the money you pay for it. I often hear things like “It’s a soft skill”, from people that work in fields that are the polar opposite of the visual arts.

The poster below is by illustrator Bob Case. He has roughly thirty hours of time put in making this. If you have any doubt as to why, watch the video below it. The thirty hours of creative process, most of which is executed in Photoshop, is compressed into five minutes. It shows his skills as an illustrator, and proves beyond any doubt the visual arts are anything but a “Soft Skill”. As you watch the video, Case’s attention to detail is revealed as he works and reworks sections of the illustration.

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Growler, A City Bike With a Purpose… Beer.

Would you look at that, a city bike designed with a dual purpose. Transportation, and transporting beer.

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Designed by Joey Ruiter, the bike makes a statement with it’s rugged inverted J frame, monarch spring loaded front fork, oversized beer holder (hence the name Growler), matte black finish and two speed internal kick back hub. The bike concept is a working sketch prototype according to the designer, but I personally hope they make this into a production bike soon.

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The bike has such a unique profile that separates it from all other city and commuter bikes. The frame is heavy duty, but the shape lends an air of lightness to the profile. Placement of the seat low, and inline with the top cross bar add a feeling of toughness and an old school bike aesthetic. The oversized 29 inch wheels can take on what ever city streets have to offer. The disc brakes and other features let you know that this is a modern bike.

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Then there is the holder for the “Growler” a one gallon bottle of cold hoppy goodness. Not a required feature for a city or commuter bike, but definitely a feature that puts a smile on my face.

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The Life of Cycle, Gestalten and Velo – 2nd Gear.

velo2_sideOne of the reasons I like Gestalten, besides the fact that they make really cool books, is the fact that they produce short films to promote them. Really well made little films that sometimes extend the content of the book, and sometimes promote it. In the case of “The Life of Cycle” they are promoting their new book “Velo – 2nd Gear”.

The video not only promotes the contents of the book, it introduces you to individuals that are featured in it, places mentioned int he book, and shows of the wonderful page layouts that make up the book itself.

Velo – 2nd Gear illuminates and celebrates contemporary bike culture from classic to high tech. From the fixed gear scene to fashionable city cruisers. In addition this book showcases today’s most outstanding and unusual bicycles and their riders.

The book introduces coveted manufacturers, specialized boutiques, and historical tours. Velo – 2nd Gear also explains how each bike scene cultivates its own distinct codes through everything from the choice of bike frames, clothing, and by visiting specific events or establishments. The book shows why, for more and more people, bikes have  replaced their cars as the mode of transporatation that best express their identity.

Magnetic bike by Copenhagen Parts.

A little over a week ago my friend Markus showed me the new Civia bike he purchased for his daily commute to work. The thing is a beauty, and I have to admit that I’m a little jealous. The thing is since I have been suffering from reoccurring mild episodes of vertigo, I doubt I’ll be biking anywhere for awhile. The point of all of this is, that while perusing bike websites for that day that I can ride without falling over, I came across Magnetic Bike Lights from Copenhagen Parts.

What a great idea. No drilling, bolting, or ugly hardware to attach the light to your bike. The magnetic lights are designed to fit on any tubular steel frame. (Sorry carbon fiber, titanium, or aluminum  frame owners, your non-ferrous metal frames won’t work.) The lights turn on automatically when attached, and turn off when removed from the frame.

The lights use a battery driven LED which is mounted behind a lens that is designed to illuminate from the sides as well as straight ahead. This helps increase visibility to other bicyclist and motor vehicles you’ll be sharing the road with.

The lights are expected to be released this fall, and you can pre-order them here preorder@copenhagenparts.com.

Italia Veloce. Hand Crafted for You.

BESPOKE: custom-made <a bespoke suit> b : dealing in or producing custom-made articles.

The word bespoke itself is derived from the verb to bespeak, to “speak for something”, in the specialized meaning “to give order for it to be made”. The term bespoke in fashion is reserved for individually patterned and crafted men’s clothing, analogous to women’s haute couture, in contrast with mass manufactured ready-to-wear (also called off-the-peg or off-the-rack). While widespread in the United Kingdom, the term is rarely employed in the United States, although it may be used by some in the high-end tailoring business.

Italia Veloce creates top of the line bikes, that feature hand crafted artistic touches and cultural references. While the bikes might not be bespoke in the truest sense of the word, they are representative of fine Italian craftsmanship and quality; of a hand built object, a one of a kind piece of craftsmanship.

These hand built one of kind classical frames, are individually numbered and cataloged. Frame numbers are impressed by hand into the patch and attached to the bike when it is completed. The registration booklet that accompanies each bike is filled with detailed information about the frame’s characteristics along with information regarding the whole bicycle. Each modifacation of the bike or tuning is continuously noted in the booklet helping to maintain the bicycles provenance for the company’s historical archive. That provenance helps establish each bike as a unique work of hand crafted art.

 

Inverted Bike Shop, for 718 Cyclery by Show Love.

Show Love is a Social Content, Strategy, & Next Generation PR  company that has produced a number of videos for their clients to help extend brand presence. Thie latest release is “Inverted Bike Shop” for 718 Cyclery in Brooklyn New York.

This is a great example of how the back story behind a company can be a very powerful connecting force. This simple video documents the passion of the owner, his connection to his clients, and shows the very human side of his business. This is the kind of thing that is very hard to get from a website, a social network, direct mail, etc. By letting the owner of 718 Cyclery tell his story, in a short five minute film, Show Love has captured and presented something real, and captivating.This is the kind of thing that has real linger time. It gets you interested, and pulls you in for more. It works.

Do yourself a favor, and go to Show Love’s vimeo channel and check out the rest of the films they have produced. I think you’ll be impressed.