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Cycling – the healthy choice of transportation

Office businessman cycling to work with a helmet
Commuting to work by bike? Your body will thank you.


Whether it’s to get to a friend’s house or school in the morning opting to go on a bicycle could perhaps be the best decision you make all day. Apart from the perk of having a good looking bicycle, riding on it can help you in ways that you didn’t think possible; especially in terms of your health.

When you ride a bicycle you’ll be surprised to know that your body is actually hard to work, and cycling involves a lot of muscle movement both in your arms and legs. Cycling regularly can increase the strength and flexibility of these muscles. With a constant stimulus your muscles not only grow in size but also strengthen up. After only a few months of cycling you’ll find extra strength in your legs that you didn’t have before. This can help you in sports other than cycling as well, for example soccer.

Cycling is also very good for your heart, not only does it strengthen your heart rather it keeps it young and healthy. The heart is the most vital organ in the human body responsible for pushing blood to each and every single muscle in the body. When you ride a bicycle, your heart rate increases and your muscles demand more blood. In this way the heart receives its daily exercise that is incumbent for a long and healthy life.

Senior man cycling in the woods with a helmet
Riding for health and fun!

People who want to lose weight and want to do it fast can also opt for cycling for it is one of the surest ways in which you can lose weight within days. The amount of exercise the body goes through during cycling helps your body break down fats which automatically results in low fat levels in your body. It also helps maintain those of us who want to maintain our bodies and works as a perfect tool for fitness as it increases you stamina.

Cycling is also optimal if you want to increase your brain power. It lightens up your grey matter and helps build new brain cells in the hippocampus (the region responsible for memory). It also boosts blood flow and oxygen to the brain which fires and regenerates receptors which adds to the basic health of your brain.

You can also expect to live a lot longer if you decide to take up cycling as a habit. King’s College London compared over 2,400 identical twins and found those who did just three 45-minute rides a week were nine years “biologically younger” than their counter parts. What we take from this is the fact that those who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from a cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, all types of cancer and obesity.

With cycling, you can do no wrong and there is absolutely no reason for you not to take up this habit for it can lead to a better and healthy life that ensures a bright future for you and your kids when you grow up.

Senior woman cycling in the park
Staying healthy up to high age
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Kickstarter, Bicycle Sale, Product photos + more – This week’s news

So much has been going on during the last week or two that our ambition of writing an update has fallen flat on its ass, sitting in the back of our minds. Luckily, last day of this week happens to be a bit more relaxed to take a few minutes to give a quick update on what’s been going on.

New product photos & new frame colours – Last week was largely spent on something that had been long over-due, product photos of all our bikes. So we took a couple of days, built all the different combinations of bikes and took nice clean photos of them. You can see the results when looking at the product page of our bikes and designing your bike. PS! Life as a KP Cyclist just got a lot more colourful – many new frame colours! Check it out HERE.
KP Cyclery Bike - California Sun x Bullhorn Handlebars x Brown B17 Brooks

We have some bikes for sale for a bargain – Over the years we’ve accumulated some frames with small scratches or defects by the paint shop. We took some time to look through them and uploaded them to our website as a separate product. It is a full spec bicycle, with very small paint defects, but a huge discount of 200€. Check it out, you might score a bargain! KP Cyclery Bicycle – Scratched Frame Sale
KP Cyclery Bike - Laguna Blue x Drop Handlebars x Black B17 Brooks
This Laguna Blue frame in any components configuration is one of the bicycles available.

Moving a head with prototypes – All the buzz around our Kickstarter (more on that coming below) has not been able to keep our hand off our prototype products, we’ve meen making steady progress with both the Sidecar Bike, which is now also available for purchasing separately from a bicycle and our front rack.

Bicycle front rack by KP Cyclery

The biggest news last – our KICKSTARTER IS BLASTING THROUGH THE ROOF – After launching the Bike Hanger 2.0 firstly on Indiegogo where it really didn’t pick up, we were feeling a bit beaten down, especially given the past experience with Kickstarter. We took a few deep breaths, and decided to try again on the latter platform. We’re really glad to say it has taken off like no other project we’ve launched in the past. With the first 5 days, it’s already over 300% funded with more than 50 backers! We couldn’t be more thankful for all our backers, it’s a nice ray of sunshine during the years of hard labour, labour of love, but none the less a lot of it. Here’s the Kickstarter video if you haven’t already seen it:

Thank you all for keeping an eye on us, and wishing you a fabulous weekend!

Your KP

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Critical Mass – a phenomenon on two wheels

Critical Mass Hamburg 2012
Critical Mass Hamburg 2012

Some of you might have already heard about “Critical Mass” events. However, for those not in the know, they are an excellent way to join in with the cycling community in your town or city, and take back the roads from the backlog of cars that often prevents people from getting on their bikes more often.

Held on the last Friday of each month, Critical Mass now takes place in hundreds of cities all over the world. However, the event has humble beginnings- it started off in San Francisco in 1992, when a small group of cyclists sought to take back the streets from cars. Just a few dozen people showed up to what was then called “Commute Clot”, as it was intended to make a stand by reclaiming rush hour roads. Afterwards, they all retired to a local bike shop, where a documentary about how Chinese road users worked together, queueing up at intersections until one side had reached “critical mass”, when they would then move forward. From this inspiration, a whole new movement was born.

Critical Mass Budapest 2013
Critical Mass Budapest 2013

Just how big each Critical Mass event is depends on where it is held, and who turns up. Sometimes there isn’t really any organizational structure to things and it is more of a spontaneous event, and whoever takes part simply goes with the flow. But in other cases there are highly dedicated people who put a lot of work into organizing it. Some groups choose to plan a route beforehand, and pass out flyers to show riders where to go while others even put up a live GPS to track the current position of the mass. These more regular rides tend to be a lot smaller, with a dedicated group who frequently get together, but in major cities like Berlin (June 2016: 2800 riders) or London (May 2016: 1000+ riders) they are massive. In some places, such as Budapest, Hungary, there are just two Critical Masses per year- on Earth Day and International Car Free Day (April 22 and September 22 respectively) tens of thousands of people join in, making for quite a spectacle. These are great opportunities for people to join together, make new friends, and show the world just how powerful the cycling community can be.

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3 + 1 News From the Past Month

Kicking things off on a +1 personal note, our founder Kaspar got married in the end of August. The wedding day went really-really well and some other ‘all-familiar-KP-Cyclery-faces’ were represented like our filming mastermind Birk and hustler Gedi.

A photo posted by Kaspar Peek (@kasparpeek) on

At the same time, we’ve been designing our new logo and planned the slight re-branding to go hand-in-hand with our growing popularity outside of Denmark. Madis from Uus Stuudio is the person to blame over the revamped logo. From now on we will be called KP Cyclery. For some time we will run the two names side by side to make the transition smoothly. Soon the main domain will be kpcyclery.com.

KP Cyclery new logo

Over the last 2 weekends you might have noticed us out on 2 design markets. Firstly Designerspace market conveniently located on the same premises as our studio. It went pleasingly well with many new Bike Hanger owners, and even some custom orders. The next weekend we were at Finders Keepers in Valby. A nice venue with a lot of space was equally greeted by strong interest – resulting in Bike Hangers now being out of stock. Which leads to our next and biggest piece of news..

KP Cyclery ladies bike and Finders Keepers market

..We are ready to start producing The Bike Hanger 2.0! The 2nd generation will be even better looking, easier to mount on the wall, and really stable. We’ve been shooting the video over the past 2 weeks. It’s been a tiring work, but it’s now being edited. As we value your input in this the most, and feel like you deserve the first look, then here is the preview link: https://www.indiegogo.com/project/preview/2eb02e98

The Bike Hanger 2.0 - What's new

The campaign is not yet finished, but if there is anything you’d like to see, that we have not covered, or any ‘excess fat’ on it then we would like to hear from you. The campaign will launch around the 10th of October – so arm your sharing guns – you, spreading the word will make all the difference in the World 🙂

xx

Kaspar

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Cargo Bikes – A Brief History

Freight bikes started out, unsurprisingly, as a way for tradesmen to easily transport their goods around without the need for a horse, or to pull the carts themselves. Originally, they would simply be ordinary bikes with large carriers attached at either the front or the back. It wasn’t long, though, before bicycle manufacturers began to manufacture specially designed freight bikes that were just the thing that businesses needed.

Cargo cyclists in front of Posten
Bicycle messengers of By Posten company (The City Post)

Freight bikes were particularly popular in Copenhagen during World War II, when King Christian X would ride through the streets without a guard of soldiers, to provide some much-needed morale to citizens. However, he did have an unofficial guard, in the form of freight bike messengers from the Achilleus company. (Source: Copenhagenize)

King Christian X and Bike Messengers
King Christian X and bike messengers from Achilleus company

As the twentieth century rolled on, and motorised transport became more accessible to the average consumer, freight bikes fell out of fashion in Europe and America. However, elsewhere in the world, and particularly in Asian countries, they remained a popular choice for people who needed to get goods from A to B cheaply. In recent years, though, they have started to make a comeback, as people in the West start to adopt more eco-friendly lifestyles. They are a fantastic way of getting the job done in a more environmentally friendly way, and you’ll now find that plenty of people have adopted this greener method of transport.

Our take on the cargo bike is of course the Sidecar Bike. And we are happy to tell you that the first one-off project has reached our friend Jeremy in the UK:

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Sunday read: Brooks Leather Saddle Maintenance & Care

Leather saddles have a ton of advantages over synthetic materials – they adjust to your anatomy, they get more comfortable with time, and if maintained well, they last forever and only look better with time. At the same time, if not looked after at all they might start cracking and lose their colour and character. Looking around Copenhagen shows you both ends of this line, the beauties and the beasts. No-one does leather saddles better than Brooks, so we will share 4 easy steps of leather saddle care to make your saddle last a lifetime.

  1. Give it some grease

    Even if you keep your bike indoors, never ride in the rain and only wear velvet pants, leather will have its natural wear. The saddle on the picture is a 1-year old B17 that I’ve ridden in all sorts of weather almost daily. As you see, it is starting to look like someone rubbed a sandpaper over the edges, this is to be expected. Easy medication against it is to take a piece of (clean) cloth and some leather fat. Brooks tells you to only use their saddle polish, but anything will do as long as it is natural and doesn’t have chemicals in it. Personally I would suggest bee’s wax, you can use it for saddle, grips, shoes, handbags etc.

    Leather fat for Brooks Saddle maintenance
    Natural leather fat by Gold Quality
    1-year old Brown B17 Brooks Saddle
    A year old Brooks Saddle with signs of wear.

    Brown Brooks B17 saddle care and maintenance
    Same saddle after a layer of natural leather fat. Rub it on, let it sit and rub excess fat off with a clean piece of cloth.
  2. Cover from rain

    Leather is not a huge fan of water. Just have a plastic bag in your backpack or under the seat for when it rains, pull it over the seat and keep your saddle in order and your rear end dry.

  3. Keep your bike indoors

    This one is not a must, but a rule of thumb is that your bike will last longer the less sun and rain it receives. The Bike Hanger is the perfect solution for bike storage on the wall if you have small spaces or you just want it to be out of the way in the corridor or garage. If you don’t want to keep it indoors then cover the seat with a plastic bag during the night so it won’t soak in the rain.

    White bike hanging on the wall with The Bike Hanger by KP Cyclery
    The Bike Hanger 2.0 in brown stores this bicycle in style
  4. Tighten your seat every once in a while

    In most cases, it will be needed only once a year, but still, it is a good idea to do it. All Brooks saddles come with a special key to tighten them as leather stretches. If you’re not sure when to do it then jump into the closest bike shop and they should give you a good idea and probably do it for you. NB! Don’t tighten a wet saddle!

    Tightening Brown Brooks B17 saddle
    Use Brooks saddle key to tighten stretched saddle. Quarter of a turn at a time, tighten until you reach desired tension.

And that’s as easy as it is. Our leather saddle care regime probably takes less than an hour of work a year. It will keep your Brooks leather saddle looking good for ages, and who knows, maybe one day you’ll sell it on eBay for a nice dime.

*We’re happy to do the above steps for you for free in our Copenhagen shop 😉

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Long time, no see – we’re not dead, just busy.

It’s been a while since we last had a moment to properly sit down and write something. And no – we have not been lazy, quite on the contrary – there’s just been so much happening. So we will try to cover the 5 biggest leaps that we’ve taken since May.

  1. The beautiful ladies’ bike – The question ‘Do you have a bike for women?’ has been asked countless time. It took us time, but it’s here. A beautiful women’s bike in what we like calling Rivera Yellow. It boasts a gorgeous lugged mixte-style frame, a nice front rack and mudguards as standard. If you like it, act fast, we currently only have one left!
    Pastel Yellow Bicycle KP Cykler
  2. The Perfect Urban Bike – We curated the best bits of some of the most popular configurations to create The Perfect Urban bike, which we launched through Kickstarter. The project was a large success, we hit our goal fast, after which it slowed down a bit, but we’re very thankful for everyone’s support. Along the way we learned a few new lessons which we will discuss in another blog post to help others with crowdfunding.
    Features of the perfect urban bike by KP Cyclery
  3. Sidecars – We started building sidecars for different bicycles. We are in the process of testing a universal way of mounting the sidecar on almost any bike, and we’ve created a completely one-off for a client in the UK. Unlike other sidecar we’re making, this one does not allow the bike to lean in corners. This was a request by client as it will be installed on a chopper bike, and the goal was to make the ride more stable at low speeds.
    Custom Sidecar for Bicycle
  4. The Bike Hanger 2.0 – Based on feedback and our own ambitions, we’ve continued to develop our most popular product. Tests of our innovations have been very pleasing, and we are nearly ready to start full production of the 2nd generation Bike Hanger. As to do so will require a little boost – we will be preparing an Indiegogo campaign very soon.
    KP Cykler The Bike Hanger in Black
  5. New name and currency – And the biggest news will be last. Our image will get a little overhaul as our client base is growing rapidly outside of Denmark. We will be slowly transforming from KP Cykler to KP Cyclery to have a more sticking name and brand outside of our beautiful Denmark. With those news, we have updated our online store and changed the currency from Danish Kroner to Euros.

Thank you for reading. Hopefully the next post won’t have to wait this long. I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer and it is as warm where you’re reading as it is here.

xx
Kaspar

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Hangers, Sidecars and Bikes – news from all the fronts

It’s been quite busy over the last month to say the least. There was a huge order of our Bike Hangers by Monoqi from Germany of just under 100 units, production version of The Sidecar Bike finished and a new version of our bikes is rolling out.

Thus far we have been selling the Hangers to resellers like Steel Vintage Bikes from Berlin, Jooks from Tallinn, Westside24 from Düsseldorf, Omniia.dk, Monoqi and others for just a few pennies staying in our pocket after production. As there is more and more interest from resellers, then we will be pushing the price up next week from approx 100€ to about 120€ per Hanger (coupled with the launch of The Bike Hanger 2.0 – more on that soon). That means it is a good idea to order one from our webshop now 😉 Above mentioned shops will still have it for about 100€ until the current stock sells out.

The Bike Hanger on a wall with a bicycle - KP Cykler

At the same time we’ve had great news from here in Denmark. Having just finished the first production-ready Sidecar Bike, we’ve taken it to the Danish Cycling Federation’s shop (Cyklistforbundet) close to Torvehallerne in the middle of Copenhagen. You can go and test it there + they will be stocking our Bike Hangers from June. There was more Sidecar news from Bike Rumor, as to our surprise we were featured on their website – http://www.bikerumor.com/2016/05/19/hang-bike-wall-like-trophy-kp-cykler/

KP Cykler Sidecar at Nyhavn Copenhagen

Lastly, perhaps the biggest news of the 3. We are just about to launch a Kickstarter campaign for our latest creation – The Perfect Urban Bike. We’ve noticed people getting slightly confused on all the different options we offer for building a bicycle. So we’ve created the ultimate package – puncture protection tape as a standard to save you from annoying flats; steel frame for a lovely ride;  Brooks leather as standard; our Porteur bars for a good speed/comfort balance; Kickshift for no maintenance gears and of course smoking looks. All this comes in at modest 6995 dkk (approx 935€). Here’s a preview link for you (yes it’s not live yet, but we love you, and should get the first look).

KP Cykler Perfect Urban Bike Kickstarter Cover

That will be it for now, stop by our new bike studio at Ingerslevsgade 103 when in Cph 🙂

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Leaning Sidecars

It’s been a little while since the last post – we’re looking to get back into it now as we’ve successfully moved the shop to our new location in Copenhagen (Ingerslevsgade 103, Kbh 1705 if you’re curious to stop by ;) ). Here’s a piece on something that’s been cooking for a while – leaning sidecar history.

Leaning sidecars were first invented by Freddie Dixon, an English motorbike racer, way back in the 1920’s. Dixon was the first to figure out that by having the sidecar passenger control the tilt of the car with a lever, instead of the sidecar being rigidly fixed to the bike, it was possible to take turns a lot faster, and he used this idea to great success in his motorbike racing career. Leaning sidecars were further popularized in the same decade in American motorcycle racing, although now the focus was on having the sidecar wheel tilt by itself, giving the bike rider control. The technology used in these tilting sidecars has come a long way, and we have now been able to come up with our very own leaning sidecar for a bicycle, allowing you to easily carry goods around without knocking the bike itself off balance.

Leaning motorcycle sidecar

Leaning sidecars have many advantages which they can bring to your bike-riding, that make them an excellent choice for anyone who wants to be able to carry things on their bike with ease. With a leaning sidecar, riding the bike feels normal, and you aren’t constrained by having to compensate for the added weight of the sidecar. You’re able to take corners as you normally would, leaning in and taking them faster, as the sidecar is able to tilt freely to match the curve of the corner. Furthermore, since the sidecar is able to move independently, you don’t have to worry about holes in the road knocking you off balance – the sidecar can move over these without affecting the stability of the bike itself. On a three wheeled bike, you might notice that the bike rocks around when moving over holes, but this is not a problem with a leaning sidecar.

At KP Cyclery, we’ve specifically designed our leaning sidecar bike to match the demand springing up for more efficient, effective bikes. With more and more households choosing not to have a car, it makes sense to enable your bike to carry goods such as groceries home easily. You’re sure to be impressed with how much weight it can cope with – in testing, we even managed to fit an armchair onto it!

Sidecar Bicycle by KP Cyclery from above
Our version of the leaning sidecar

Stylish and functional, this bike makes a great choice for those who want to cut through urban congestion with ease, and carry goods around safe in the knowledge that they are still doing their bit for the environment. The only constraint on what you can ferry around is your imagination, so you’re sure to find that it adapts to your particular needs perfectly. If you have good balance, and hang on tight, you can even fit a person on it, so it really is suitable for everyone. We look forward to seeing what you can do with yours!

**Rasmus K, if you’re reading this and haven’t checked you inbox, then do so, you just won a set of magnetic lights.

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Risto Kalmre – founding father of a country’s urban cycling scene

As we talked about Lucas Brunelle last time, this time we are going to take a look into the life of someone slightly closer to us.

Often referred to as one of the founding fathers of the bicycle culture movement in Estonia, man who has gotten thousands of people to gather up on their bikes, and a man who brought together people across different continents for Simple Session – Risto Kalmre.

Risto is definitely best known for organising one of the world’s biggest extreme sport competitions Simpel Session with his brother Mario. Hosted annually since as far as 2001, the event brings together BMX riders and skateboarders around the world, currently with the audience-base of over 1 million people, both at the spot and behind the screen.


This event has inspired the brothers so much that by the end of 2015 they opened the biggest extreme sport centre in the Baltics – Spot of Tallinn. Right beside Tallinn, with a great mission to offer better and more opportunities for the young & talented riders across the country.

The urban bicycle movement started in 2011 during Tallinn Bicycle Week, when Risto Kalmre, with a few other bicycle enthusiasts, organised a night ride (called Tour d’ÖÖ). Starting off as an event of organisers and their closest friends it has now turned into mass rides with over 2000 participants. This amount of people cycling on the streets directly shows the growth of the urban cycling culture in Tallinn. Events like these are a good way to show the growing existence of cyclists and through that have a louder voice in the future of city planning.

Seeing the growth of the urban cycling movement, Risto, back in 2014, made the next obvious step – opening a bicycle studio (called JOOKS) in one of the fastest developing parts of Tallinn. A studio, which serves purpose as a store for dapper urban bikes, serving coffee and is also known as the headquarters of Tallinn bicycle movement. Furthermore, it is used to host variety of events, for example few smaller concerts from Tallinn Music Week.

At the end of the day, Risto is a graphic designer by profession.  After all of this organising he still has time for running an agency.

Risto is truly a person, who “takes the bull by its horns” – if something isn’t right, he makes it right. He truly wants to make this place better and more liveable for all of us.

Where to next, who knows, but with the Simple Session coming right up, lets wish them all the best.

Sweet sixteen Simple Session! Watch it live this weekend at – http://session.ee/2016/otse/