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Cycle commuter bags: Vamper reviews the new Knomo Harpsden and Cromwell backpacks

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Knomo Cromwell 15″ Roll Top Backpack, £89 (reviewed by Matt)

We both love the look of the Knomo Cromwell Roll Top Backpack – the styling is great. It’s certainly roomy – if anything, rather too big for a commuter bag. We both felt a bit like snails wearing it. If you have to carry a lot of gear then it’s a great choice, but for a change of clothes and your day-to-day items, it’s a whole lotta bag. However, we’ve been fighting over it for weekends away – it holds everything you need for a weekend break.

Knomo Cromwell

What did I carry?

I carried a 13″ Macbook Pro, a pair of brogues (size 9, since you’re asking), jeans, pants, teeshirt and water bottle.

Comfortable?

The straps are very wide. I’m no weed (at a 40″ chest, last time I looked) but these straps are too wide for me. However, they are nicely padded and there is a chest strap and hip belt to keep everything in place. The whole rucksack is gigantic and I found that the roll top blocked my hearing: when Victoria rides behind I like to be able to hear what she’s saying and to know how close she is, but I couldn’t hear anything wearing this. (For some that might be a selling point, I can appreciate).

Verdict?

The Knomo Cromwell is a great backpack for weekends away – I can comfortably fit a weekend’s clothes plus Macbook, charger and washbag inside. Victoria and I fight over it for weekend breaks. But as a commuter bag, it’s quite cumbersome – do people carry that much to and from work each day? It’s a good looking bag though, and keeps belongings dry in the rain which is a big plus. I also like the slots for cards and pens and so on – it’s a good bag for keeping things organised.

Knomo Cromwell – technical details:

Dimensions: H62 x W33 x D15.5cm
Laptop Pocket: H27 x W29cm
Fits (up to) 15″ Laptop
Weight: 1 kg
Capacity: 27.5L

Knomo Cromwell – features:

  • High-Frequency welded Nylon, backed with ultra water-resistant polyurethane. I used the Cromwell in the rain and my belongings stayed dry, which is always good. Nobody wants a waterlogged Macbook.
  • Main compartment: padded section for laptops; additional pockets for cards, pens and other small items; main compartment to carry clothes, shoes, and more.
  • Padded laptop section: fits up to 15-inch laptop.
  • Water-resistant: backed with ultra water-resistant polyurethane for protection from the elements;
  • Roll-Top closure: with secure plastic clips; for near air-tight security and protection inside;
  • Cushioned mesh back;
  • KNOMO ID: you can register your bag and if it is lost, the finder can return it to you through the Knomo portal which is a nice idea.

Knomo Cromwell Roll Top Backpack

Knomo Harpsden 14″ Laptop Bag, £89 (reviewed by Victoria)

I had been planning to test the Cromwell, but when the bags arrived I realised it was really too big for my frame so I opted for the Harpsden instead. The Knomo Harpsden is still a generous size, with more than enough room for what I carry to work: a change of clothes, a Macbook Air, a makeup bag and slip on shoes.

Knomo Thames Harpsden

It’s a smart bag with good functionality: it’s definitely waterproof and it can carry a lot of stuff. Its city styling means that it can double as a work bag once your commute has ended – it doesn’t look out of place with a working wardrobe. The Harpsden also features a chest strap but for me that’s a complete no – chest straps and boobs just don’t mix!

It’s a shame the style of this bag means it crumples when you’re wearing it (as you can see in the photograph above.) A bag this smart really needs to look sharp and upright. In terms of styling it isn’t as cool as the Cromwell roll-top, but it is slightly more compact.

Knomo Harpsden Backpack

Knomo Harpsden – technical details:

• Dimensions: H48 x W33 x D14.5cm
• Laptop Pocket: H25 x W2cm
• Fits (up to) 14″ Laptop
• Weight: 0.9kg
• Capacity: 20.3L

Knomo Harpsden – features:

  • High-Frequency welded Nylon, backed with ultra water-resistant polyurethane. Like Matt, I used the bag in the rain and my belongings stayed dry.
  • Main compartment: padded section for laptops up to 14″ – more than enough for my small Macbook Air, plus pockets for cards, pens and small items; main compartment to carry clothes, shoes, chargers and so on.
  • Cushioned mesh back;
  • KNOMO ID.

Knomo Thames Cromwell & Harpsden Backpacks: our overall verdict

In terms of styling, the Thames range is great for city types who want a smart urban look. For comfort, we both prefer the functionality of our Lowe Alpine rucksacks which stand away from the back, allowing air flow on our 13-mile commute. However, if you are more of an urban cyclist and want a bag which takes you smartly from your morning commute to meetings, then this is a highly functional and stylish range.

View the full Knomo Thames collection here.

Cycle ClothingNews

Rapha Celebrates a Century of Style and Panache with special Giro d’Italia Coppi Collection

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Rapha is celebrating the 100th edition of Italy’s Grand Tour with events and rides in Clubhouses and a beautiful special edition collection honouring Fausto Coppi.

Events in Clubhouses Worldwide

www.rapha.cc/madeinitaly-events

Watch the racing at Rapha Clubhouses worldwide and join in the excitement of Italy’s greatest race. Rapha will be screening every stage (where time zones allow). Each Clubhouse will be offering delicious Italian food and drink as well as prizes during the live screening. Ride with Rapha on specially-planned routes; join a Clubhouse-led ride or download the file and do it yourself. Completing the route will earn riders a special edition Coppi poster, and there will be prizes for best dressed on the Rapha-led rides. Celebrate at special Coppi and Italian-themed events at Clubhouses worldwide – please visit rapha.cc/clubs to find events happening at specific Clubhouses.

The Coppi Collection

www.rapha.cc

Fausto Coppi (1919-1960) was one of the greatest cyclists of all time. Beloved by fans and fellow riders alike, the man from Piedmont, Italy, became known as Il Campionissimo – Champion of Champions. Coppi’s achievements were numerous. He remains one of the most decorated cyclists of all time and his palmares set new standards for the sport. For the 100th edition of the Italian grand tour, Rapha has created a stylish, luxurious range of on-and off-bike clothing and accessories to commemorate Italy’s most stylish sportsman and the golden age of Italian cycling. Using similar manufacturing and stitching techniques to the jerseys worn in the 1960’s, the collection pays tribute to the styles of the time. The design, patterns and details of each piece reflect different aspects of Coppi’s style and victories, drawing inspiration from glorious summit wins and his signature sartorial style. From lightweight and technical cycling attire to a full merino tracksuit, the range covers every aspect of a cyclist’s life on and off the bike.

Rapha Coppi Rosa Merino Jersey, RRP: £170

Rapha Coppi Rosa Merino Jersey

Inspired by the iconic pink jersey. Made in Italy, from thick double-knit merino wool with exclusive ‘headline’ graphic prints woven into the front, the jersey is designed to be worn on and off the bike.

Coppi Celeste Merino Jersey, RRP: £150

Rapha Coppi Celeste Merino Jersey

Inspired by colours Fausto Coppi wore throughout his career. Made in Italy using a fine merino wool, the jersey is designed to be worn both on and off the bike.

Coppi Nera Merino Jersey, RRP: £150

Rapha Coppi Nera Merino Jersey

Inspired by cycling’s famous Black Jersey and Giuseppe Ticozzelli, the footballer who rode Italy’s three-week tour in 1926, in turn becoming the basis for the jersey honouring the race’s last man. Made in Italy using a fine merino wool, the jersey is designed to be worn on and off the bike.

Coppi Flyweight Jersey, RRP: £100

Rapha Coppi Flyweight Jersey

A special edition cycling jersey inspired by Fausto Coppi’s first great victory, at Abetone in 1940. Designed for riding and training in hot and humid conditions, the jersey is made of a technical, perforated fabric that wicks sweat away.

Coppi Classic Bib Shorts, RRP: £180

Rapha Coppi Bib Shorts

With the same construction as Rapha’s bestselling Classic Bibs, these cycling shorts celebrate Il Campionissimo and are made to match the rest of the Coppi collection. Made in Italy.
Coppi Tracksuit: Warm up with wool

The tracksuits worn by bike racers from the era of Fausto Coppi were style classics. With simple, elegant colour blocks and logo prints – and paired with smart loafers on their feet – the riders looked as good off the bike as they did on it. The Warm Up Trousers and Warm Up Jacker pay homage to the great Italian and his effortless flair. Made at a factory in Italy that specialises in high-end knitwear, these luxury merino wool garments are crafted using a honeycomb texture double knit which provides a premium feel and finish.

Coppi Merino Warm Up Jacket (Limited Edition) RRP: £200

Rapha Coppi Merino Warm Up Jacket

This luxury Coppi Merino Warm-up Jacket is designed to be worn with the warm-up trousers. A distinctive rose-silver plated zip and puller echo those used in jerseys of Coppi’s era. Other special inclusions on the jacket include Coppi’s signature, which has been embroidered above the right sleeve cuff using intricate chainstitching, and a Rapha logo which has been needle-punched onto the left arm.

Coppi Merino Warm Up Trouser (Limited Edition) RRP: £180

Rapha Coppi Merino Warm Up Trousers

Luxury jogging pants made in Italy using the finest merino wool, with a design inspired by the off-bike clothing worn by riders in the era of Fausto Coppi. Pairs with matching warmup jacket. Woven using a honeycomb texture double knit which provides a premium feel and finish and cut in a slim, tapered fit.

Coppi Pack Jacket RRP: £150

Rapha Coppi Pack Jacket

Rapha’s popular City Pack Jacket with added elegant detailing including a new, glossy material, internal French seaming for a clean aesthetic and rose-gold zip as well as design details referencing Coppi and Italy. Made in Italy.

Coppi Silk Scarf RRP: £50Rapha Commemmorative Coppi Silk Scarf

A commemorative silk scarf detailing the unmatched palmarès of the great Fausto Coppi. Made in Italy of luxury silk to keep you both warm in the cold and cool in the heat.

Coppi Merino Socks RRP: £15

Rapha Coppi Merino Socks

Constructed from a merino-rich blend that is soft, breathable and naturally anti-bacterial, the socks are short and ribbed-knit, matching the trend in Coppi’s era. His signature is stitched on the sole along with Fausto’s First Flight – a reference to Coppi’s first great victory at the Tour of Italy in 1940 – in pink. Made in Italy.

Coppi Cap A, RRP: £35

Rapha Coppi cap

A special edition, 100% lightweight, cotton, four-panel cycling cap featuring graphic prints and motifs inspired by Fausto Coppi. Made in Italy.

Special Edition Coppi Glasses RRP: £200

Rapha Coppi Glasses

The perfect blend of classic style and modern performance for road riders, in a special edition design inspired by Fausto Coppi. Handmade in Italy with Mazzuchelli 1849 pink-hued acetate, with world-class Carl Zeiss green hued lenses. Based on Rapha’s popular Classic Glasses.

FeaturedNewsSportives

Time is running out to pre-register for the 2017 Vélo Birmingham sportive

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Prospective participants have until 5pm BST today to pre-register for the first ever Vélo Birmingham – a 100 mile fully closed road sportive taking place on Sunday 24 September 2017.

Entries will go on sale exclusively to those who have pre-registered at 8am on Thursday 29 September and will be sold on a first come, first served basis. With tens of thousands of pre-registrations and just 15,000 entries up for grabs, demand for places is expected to be huge.

 

Vélo Birmingham

Starting and finishing in the heart of Birmingham city centre on Sunday 24 September 2017, the 100 mile closed road sportive will take riders of all levels of ability on an unforgettable route through Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Sandwell and Dudley, before returning to Birmingham city centre.

If you want to #RideTogether with your friends, you need to pre-agree a team name as you will be asked to input this as part of the entry process. This will give you the best chance of starting in the same wave as each other.

For more information, please visit www.velobirmingham.com, or follow on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

Vélo Birmingham is part of the Birmingham Cycle Revolution, an exciting Birmingham City Council initiative to inspire more people to cycle in and around the City, making Birmingham healthier, greener, safer and far less congested.

Cycle ClothingFeaturedNews

LUMO launches third Kickstarter campaign to bring even more style and safety to urban cyclists

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LUMO KickstarterLUMO’s latest range of city cycling apparel offers urban cyclists the perfect mix of style, visibility and comfort – on and off the bike.

Having launched via two successful crowdfunding campaigns in 2015, urban cycling brand LUMO is returning to Kickstarter with three new products this autumn. The Clissold Bomber Jacket, the Brixton Messenger Bag and the Holloway Gilet are all inspired by London and classic British design, but feature LUMO’s signature LED lighting system to ensure their wearers are visible in traffic from up to 400 metres away.

The LUMO Brixton Messenger Bag

LUMO Brixton Messenger Bag

From £99 on Kickstarter, the LUMO Brixton is a spacious, light and classically styled messenger bag crafted for comfort on your daily ride. Made from rugged cotton canvas with Italian leather trims and a waterproof inner lining, it’s designed to withstand the most demanding of daily wear and tear. Features include a padded inner laptop compartment, stabilising waist strap, and the LUMO lighting system hidden in the front strap and main body, which is visible to traffic 400 metres away when switched on.

The LUMO Clissold Bomber Jacket

LUMO Clissold Bomber Jacket

Inspired by the military issue MA-1 flight jacket, the LUMO Clissold bomber jacket has been adapted for life on the bike and is the perfect crossover from cycling specific clothing to stylish outerwear. The lightweight Schoeller® 3XDRY® cotton fabric is both water resistant and breathable, with waterproof LED lights on the front and back. From £125 on Kickstarter.

The LUMO Holloway Gilet

LUMO Holloway Gilet

From £99 on Kickstarter, the LUMO Holloway gilet has been designed to provide protection from the unpredictable British weather. The luxurious wool is windproof and has a bonded waterproof membrane as well as a mesh lining to keep you warm and dry on the bike. It’s lightweight and easily packable for spring and summer commutes when mornings can be cool and showers come from nowhere. The LUMO lighting system runs across the front and rear hem of the jacket, and is visible to traffic up to 400 metres away, yet is completely concealed until switched on.

City cyclists dress for their destination as well as their journey, and walking into an office, restaurant or bar looking like a radioactive lemon just doesn’t work

While LUMO apparel helps cyclists be seen when it’s necessary, the LED lighting systems are completely hidden until switched on making them an understated, elegant choice for cyclists who want to look as good in a bar as they do on a bike.

Road traffic accidents are twice as likely to result in fatalities in darkness than in daylight, yet less than a third of cyclists wear high-visibility clothing,” says LUMO co-founder, Lucy Bairner. “Why? Because city cyclists dress for their destination as well as their journey, and walking into an office, restaurant or bar looking like a radioactive lemon just doesn’t work!

For our autumn 2016 collection we have had the benefit of feedback from the hundreds of backers from all over the world that supported our launch campaign. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and one thing that we have been consistently asked for is to make some of our range more affordable. So, having scoured the world to source the best value fabrics and manufacturers, we believe we have found the perfect mix of style, visibility and comfort all for under £100.

The inspiration behind LUMO was born after co-founder Doug Bairner had been knocked off his bike in London for a second time, yet still found himself too vain to wear hi-vis clothing.

We want to inspire more people to enjoy the freedom of their city on two wheels,” explains Doug. “So we decided to make clothing that makes city cyclists feel safer on their bikes without having to compromise on how they look when they walk into an office or bar. Urban commuting is as much about the destination as it is about the journey and everything LUMO does aims to deliver the best experience for both.

Whether that’s fabrics that look like they’re straight from a catwalk (yet come from a science lab), the hidden functionality or the built-in LED lights, everything is designed to make getting from A to B on a bike easier, safer and more stylish.

You can visit the LUMO Kickstarter page here. You can also read our recent 60-Second interview with Lucy here.

FeaturedNews

Hiplok launches Airlok: A high security bike hanger funding campaign on Kickstarter

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British bike security brand, Hiplok has announced the launch of a Kickstarter campaign to develop a high security bicycle storage hanger dubbed the Airlok.

Airlok has been designed to the maximum Sold Secure Gold rated security level. It features secure wall fixings, hardened steel framework and a secure lockable bolt combine to keep your bike safe while displayed on your wall. The addition of an impact resistant outer casing further prevents access to the framework and fixings.

The systems unique triangular shape provides stable storage for multiple styles and sizes of bicycle while the fully rubberised mouth prevents frame scratch and further adds to stability.

Hiplok Co-Founder Ben Smith commented: “When we started Hiplok, we set out to solve real world problems encountered by cyclists. To date there hasn’t been a stylish yet secure means of storing your bike – the choice has been unsightly ground anchors or beautiful wall hangers with no security. Airlok solves this problem combining top level security with elegant, functional design.”

For more information and to support the Kickstarter funding campaign visit: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1560850697/346282697?token=89306082

Cycle Clothing

Bon Courage Cycling Apparel: off-bike clothing with purpose

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It’s always good to be able to indulge your passion for cycling, even when you’re off bike.

We met Bon Courage Cycling Apparel owner Beth Hillier at Spin London earlier this year and her cycling-inspired teeshirt designs have seen us sorted for off-bike wear this summer.

Bon Courage Cycling Apparel

We like the brand’s philosophy. The phrase ‘Bon Courage’ epitomises the attitude of the cycling fraternity; don’t give up, draw on your inner strength, keep going in the face of adversity. Taking the theme of endurance and durability as its starting point, Bon Courage Cycling Apparel will appeal to anyone who loves cycling.

Bon Courage Cycling Apparel

The quality is lovely; the teeshirts are super soft and keep their shape wash after wash. The hoodies are madly cosy, with fleecy linings to keep you snug. (Order a size up for the hoodies, though, as they’re quite a snug fit). It’s proper off-duty comfort wear.

Teeshirts are priced at £26 and hoodies retail at £46. If you want to kit out the whole family, Bon Courage Cycling Apparel also makes cute bike-themed babygros and teeshirts for children. And if you need to demonstrate your love of cycling beyond the clothes on your back, you will also find a range of posters and mugs to complete the theme around the house.

Visit Bon Courage Cycling Apparel for more information.

Bon Courage Cycling Apparel