If you’re not aware, Strava is like a more aggressive version of Nike+, designed specifically for cyclists and runners. It tracks workouts via sport-specific apps for smartphones and from connected GPS devices like Garmin. Its interface and community are leagues beyond competitors in its verticals; this is most evident in Strava Challenges, which draw their own community and brand support.
My cycling buddy Ilya noticed an awesome new beta feature over the weekend: Strava Nutrition. Based on the looks of the sign-up page (accessible only after sign-in), it’ll use your workouts to customize a nutrition subscription program so you never run out AND have the right food for your particular training regimen. Presumably this is another way for them to monetize the platform, on top of the paid annual membership model.
When launched, this will be an amazing opportunity for Skratch, Nuun, Osmo, CLIF and others to drive trial, and probably a lower-cost option for distribution, with built-in marketing and fulfillment.
Not sure if any of you watched the Tour, or if you’re into cycling, but I think Strava just killed it with the promos (mostly inspiration, very little discussion of features, etc.) and featured segments.
No idea what I’m talking about? Strava is an app that runs on the iPhone (or connects to a variety of GPS-enabled devices) that tracks runs and rides. It’s easy to use and it looks tremendous. In the app, you can designate “segments” – bits of road, an entire route, whatever, that are used to measure performance: he/she who goes fastest through the GPS gates wins. Strava connected with the Tour de France to highlight key bits of the race, like the one above: the Col de la Madeleine.
Gorgeous (important in the cycling world) and smartly integrated. Quality stuff.
First, one I saw outside Equinox this very morning. It’s a Cinelli Vigorelli, cut from Columbus Aluminum. It’s a bad-ass track-only frame. Here it’s been kitted for the street with a vintage Campy crank, Velocity Deep V rims laced to Phil Wood hubs, and white-painted stem and handlebar. Thoroughly modern save the crank. In my eyes, this is at the pinnacle of street-machine cool. It’s like a cafe racer: stripped down from its full race shape, capable of high speeds and certainly not really built for NYC streets. Very cool.
This is quite literally bicycle pornography.
And then there’s this concept bike, from Seattle-based design company Teague. They sought to re-think the idea of a commuter bike, complete with style, function, and an understanding of what makes bikes great already. Thus, it’s not over-complicated in its approach, looks great, and probably would live up to its billing in real life. The main triangle is a C-channel, which would trap water on rainy commutes. I’m not sure how stiff it could be, but with enough money it could definitely be made rigid with today’s composite technologies. And while I’m not yet sold on integrated electronics, they’re becoming a reality in the ProTour peloton, so I suppose we’ll see them trickling down to our everyday bikes. Pretty cool stuff. Check out their paper on it here to see all their design thinking.
Trek and Lance have been doing a lot of big things lately, from staging a massive comeback in the Tour de France (latter) to being the ride of choice for this year’s tour favorite, Alberto Contador (former). And now there’s The Bikes of Stages, a collaboration between Mr. Armstrong, the kind folks at Trek, and a bunch of highly-talented artists. From top to bottom, there are collaborations from Damien Hirst, Shepard Fairey, Marc Newson, and Yoshitomo Nara. Lance rode Nara’s take on the Trek Speed Concept today in the individual time trial of the TDF. Pretty cool to see a big(ger) bike brand like Trek playing around and doing cool stuff. I hope Lance takes the Hirst bike up Mont Ventoux.
My favorite, though, is this one-off by Barry McGee for the introduction of the Stages project.
So bad-ass. A top-end (admittedly, not in the components, which look to be SRAM Rival) Madone with a flat bar and platform pedals? With gold chainring bolts and a painted-on fork crown? Rad.
Sign me up. Nice work, Trek.
It’s not that often lately that you see a fixie with box-section wheels that looks so damn stylish. And that’s a shame. While deep-section rims just look plain ‘ol bad-ass, there’s an art to classicism. Whoever put this one together got all the pieces right. The San Marco saddle has a subtle print on it, I dig the smallish chainring, and the ITM quill stem (into a Time carbon fork) is decidedly old-school without going too far. And the radial lacing up front is a nod to modern, if deviant, wheelbuilding practices. I’m totally digging the full-drop ergo road bars (and hoods), especially given that this is a traditional road frame, with derailleur-ready dropouts and shifter bosses. Nice work. Crosby & Prince, NYC.
Apologies for the blurry picture, but I didn’t want to be “that guy” holding up foot traffic. A couple things here: large-diameter aluminum frames look better on larger frame sizes, and this is a monster of a bike. And I’m feeling the modern/classic component mix, from the San Marco saddle to deep-section rims. Dare I say…dope fenders? Outside Equinox, NYC.
Totally rad. Old-school OCLV fork, stripped steel frame, gears, and a super clean King headset. Nice work, whoever this is. Outside Gimme! in Manhattan.
UPDATE! This bike is owned by Gimme! barista Theo, and now features sweet clear platform pedals.
A little more affected here, but the Paul brake lever, straight purple ano bar and grey paint kill it. A King headset, this time in gold, and a Mavic front wheel skewer, really bring the room together. Digging the SLR saddle and the American Classic post. I bet a girl rides this, and I bet she looks super hot while she does so. Outside Equinox, Manhattan.
UPDATE! I was right! A girl does ride this. She has curly blonde hair and a white Specialized helmet. I like being correct.
A steel Colnago with a basket? Nice. And everything, down to the hubs, is vintage Campy. While my uncles used to call that stuff “Cramp and go slow” (instead of Campagnolo), it’s still totally perfect on an aging classic frame. Outside Equinox, Manhattan.
This bike oozes style, but in all the non-affected ways. Celeste is beautiful.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s this totally affected, totally hipster machine found in SF, at the Blue Bottle Coffee. Cool hubs, cool rims. But the cork grips and freewheel are pretty lame on a bike like this. Best part? The re-painted Felt frame: cool tube shapes, fatty chainstays, very cool.
My ride is lame in comparison. But I’m fast on it.
First there’s this, a short from San Francisco, where the topography is a canvas for BMX-inspired fixed-gear art. Via a comment on PSFK.
And then there’s this, from the UK. Again, pure cycling beauty. I wish I could do this. If you didn’t know, this is called “Trials” riding and this guy is Danny Macaskill. Sick.
Two VERY different examples of how cyclists express themselves.