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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/

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Berlin Bike Show – part 2: The Show

Having finished putting together the last bike a few minutes after the show officially started, we were ready. From the moment door opened at 18:00 until they closed at 23:00, it was on. And not just a people wondering around, but ON. We managed to take a moment to have a quick look around and we understood why it was so busy for us. It is best put by a set of maritime designers who visited us on the 3rd day – ‘you guys have the best ideas here.’ I’m sure not everyone thought that, but there must have been at least a few more.

Day 2 was largely the same, a lot of people, cool ideas bounced around, The Bike Hangers continued to sell good, and we continued to enjoy attention. After Station Berlin, the venue, closed its doors at 19:00 it was time for beers, and time to witness a mad race on a go-kart track. It was a criterium type race with fixed gear riders blasting around in heats, leading to a superfinalé. Event boasted a great atmos and we really started to go from liking Berlin to loving Berlin. Check out a short summary here:

The last day – day 3 – could be summed up as the most productive one for us. We nearly sold out our hangers and got some exciting interest from other companies. Having personally followed the growth of Berlin based Steel Vintage Bikes team, with their truly rare restorations, having them as a reseller in Berlin feels very heartwarming. And there is more news to follow on reseller front soon.

Steel Vintage Bikes at Berliner Fahrradschau 2016
Steel Vintage Bikes booth at Berliner Fahrradschau

As the show was slightly slowing down during lunch hours, it also gave us a nice moment to reconnect with friends. Having met Pelago folks during last year’s Tallinn Bicycle Week’s alleycat race, it was god to see their new lineup for 2016, and hearing that they have now reached as far as opening a shop in Japan. Over the weekend we also enjoyed our personal tour guides , and ex-berliners from Czech – SegraSegra. They are the ones who can also be blamed for our participation, after talking us into it during 2014’s SPIN London show. If you’re not only into nice bikes, but also want to look good when cycling, then give them a look – they have off-shelf and made to fit clothing for cyclists.

Pelago Bicycles at 2016 Berlin Bike Show
Pelago Bicycles booth
SegraSegra at Berlin Bike Show 2016
Friendly picture with SegraSegra people.

Over and out. Berlin, thank you for treating us well, we’ll surely be back next year.

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So how did it go at the Berlin Bike Show?

Preparing for this year’s Berliner Fahrradschau was a full on obstacle course. With the argon tank for TIG-welder and the lasercut sidecar mounts not arriving, it really pushed us to be creative to get everything ready in time. Luckily we are surrounded by excellent people, namely Jan and Arne, who borrowed us gear, so it was possible to start welding on Tuesday, to be ready by Thursday evening. And so, after working 12-13 hours every day, the sidecar and materials for the stand we’re ready, just minutes before our production area alarm is armed on Thursday evening. Unfortunately with no time to paint the sidecar.

The Sidecar Bike is almost welded
The Sidecar is welded, just need the woodwork.

So we loaded everything on the car by 21:30, and after a quick sleep, we were ready to hit the road at 4:30 in the morning with my friend Birk. Roll your clocks some 6,5h forward and we’re unpacking at Station Berlin, the venue for 2016 Berliner Fahrradschau, only to discover that we had forgotten the smallest, yet one of the most important components of the Sidecar Bike – the bearings that connect the sidecar to the bike.

Packing the car for Berliner Fahrradschau 2016

With 1 hour to go before opening, I grab one of the show bikes and make my way to a tech shop. With no lock on me, I take the bike inside the shop and set it standing next to the counters. A very grumpy older lady-worker appears and takes the bike outside, I’m nervous about thieves, but I hope to be out of the store in 2 minutes, and take my chances. So I’m directed to the right department and waiting as the man over the counter speaks to a client about RC helicopter blades in a deeply disturbing pervert tone – oh well, at least I’ll get my stuff soon. Some anxious 5 minutes pass, I ask about the bearings and he tells me to look at a shelf, if it’s not there then they don’t have it. OK, Thanks for not checking your stock on the screen, they are not there. Out and gone I am, luckily the bike is there.

Googling for help, the only option is to hit up the store from the same chain, some 20 minutes by bike. I’m quite pissed off by the manners of the service person, but as I cycle and absorb more of Berlin, I start to feel more and more relaxed. Berlin has a really nice vibe and I decide to give it one more chance. On my way, I come up with a plan to ask a person on the street to mind my bike as I run to the store.

Berliner Fahrradschau Bike Show and Sidecar Bicycle

I arrive by the shop, a man is just walking out the shop – ‘Can I ask your help, I’m here for a bike show and need something from this store. Do you have just 5 minutes to look after my bike? I don’t have a lock‘. After taking a moment to process English, the man says ‘Yes‘ with a nice smile. Faith in Berlin restored. Running in, I show a picture of what I need. I’m immediately directed to right department. I ask the person there, this time to be greeted in perfect English, he checks the computer, they 2 bearings in the back room. I’m out in about 7 minutes and after thanking the person outside, I make my way back to the show, 6 minutes after the doors opened..

I guess everyone is quite tired of reading by now, so we’ll post the part 2 about the actual show next week.

For all the new subscribers from Berlin: The lucky winner of Magnetic Lights is Katharina. Congratulations, we’ve send an email to you with details 🙂

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Hey kid, you’re hired!

The interweb is a vast place, and every once in a while you tumble on something hilarious.

We’ve never thought of opening an electric bicycle division, but maybe we should..? If only we could hire this kid.

Check out his ingenious homemade eBike. We can only imagine lawyers taking their electric-drill-powered bikes between their meetings.

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A week in the life of Olaf the Cyclist

As  the sun is rising higher and higher above the horizon, Olaf has become more and more busy. Between preparations for Berliner Fahrradschau in the land of bier, wurst and no-speedlimit horseways; taking moving-pictures for a new villagefunding campaign and production of goods, there has been very little time for sleep. But mythical as it may sound, under the label of labour of love, it has been a very enjoyable week indeed.

So what is Olaf making for the villagefunding campaign?

Villagefunding platform by the name of Kickstarter has been a huge help to Olaf’s business thusfar. After the first campaign, Olaf has been on a quest to design the perfect urban bicycle. He has been looking for the perfect balance between comfort, practicality, speed and personalization. After testing of different components since the end of the summer, Olaf is now happy with the setup. He won’t go into details just yet, but took a selfie to give a first glimpse:

What will be new for Berliner Fahrradschau?

After thorough tests of the bicycle-whale-carrier, Olaf has been perfecting production methods and equipment. He has prepared the tubing for a new version of the bicycle-whale-carrier with lovely laser cut frame attachments. The TIG type blacksmith machine still needs a barrel of Argon, and the new version will be ready next week. In addition Olaf has prepared a bunch of prototype elk-horn-antler-bike-rests that will be sold for quite a few gold coins fewer than the normal models.

So make sure you stop by Berliner Fahrradschau if you’re in Berlin between 18-20 of March.

There was also a day when Olaf managed to curb his enthusiasm for selfies and took pictures of the upgraded new elk-horn-antler-bike-rests. Upgrades include a chromed pipe vs previously painted pipe and a laser cut logo. Head over to our shop and treat yourself to a lovely storage solution for the new season: http://kpcyclery.com/

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

Lastly a pro tip from South Africa – get a fast bike or you’ll get run over by an ostrich.

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Lucas Brunelle – a living legend in urban cycling

At KP Cykler, we have many friends in the cycling community across the globe. In this series of articles, we will be profiling just some of them, to give you an insight into some of the exciting developments going on in the cycling world right now.

Lucas Brunelle in NYC Traffic

Lucas Brunelle is something of a living legend, a film maker focused on urban cycling. He began cycling aged 15, but soon found that the conventional racing world just didn’t provide enough of a thrill for him, so soon he moved onto something more – taking cycling to the extreme. Lucas has built up a dedicated following thanks to his videos of bike stunts and intense alleycat races.  He has been featured in some of the most well known publications in the world, including Rolling Stone and Vice – a testament to his skill as a film maker and his passion for cycling.

Lucas Brunelle filming

Because of his huge reputation, Lucas was one of the first people we got in touch with when we set up our Kickstarter to get KP Cykler up and running. From first moment you meet Lucas, you can see that he has a huge heart. We are eternally grateful that he was willing to play such a big part in our success, spreading the word of what we’re doing wherever he went. Having Lucas behind us let people know that we provide an excellent service, as he only works with the best, and it is largely thanks to Lucas that we are up and running right now.

We have continued to keep in touch with Lucas, and to closely follow his career. From Africa, to South America, even to Chernobyl, he travels the world in search of the next big thrill. You can check him out for yourself at www.lucasbrunelle.com – an absolute must for anyone with an interest in cycling on the edge.


Lucas’s films and videos: https://www.lucasbrunelle.com/shop/

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5 impressive Sidecar hauls

Ever since we finished the 1st Sidecar Bike prototype in mid-November 2015, we’ve been throwing everything at it to test its limits. Here are 5 different loads we’re most impressed about.

Sidevogn Cykel i Odense Havn

5. Groceries – perhaps it’s not as impressive as the rest, but it rightfully deserves a place in the list. You can probably relate to this one if you’re like 44% of Danish households and don’t have a car. The weekly grocery run can be quite annoying if non-motorized, especially if you end up buying something larger you didn’t plan. Carrying it on handlebars can be hassle, but throw it on a Sidecar and you’re not even thinking about it.

4. Ice hockey gear – us, hockey players, are known for having a crap-ton of armor. Without a car, it’s almost impossible to transport. But luckily a sidecar can easily handle one large bag, just make sure to strap it properly.

Sidecar Bike transporting ice hockey gear

3. Two sidecars – or rather the material for 2 more sidecars. I must say I was a bit nervous about loading the 2,7 meter long steel pipes and wooden planks on the Sidecar Bike. But the 4 km ride turned out to be smooth as a baby’s behind.

2. Six frame sets – instead of taking the van, I thought of seeing how well the Sidecar Bike can handle a longer ride – 14,5 km one way to be precise. The climbs were a bit slow, and I admit that I got a bit pissed after chasing a group of roadies for a few kilometers without being able to catch them..

Sidecar Bike taking 6 bicycle frames to Otterup

1. My lovely fiancée – this one was more for fun than anything, but it does work. You can see her filming the ride on the following video:

From heavy to super long to super high, our Sidecar Bike has not fallen short with any cargo we’ve thrown at it. It has been far more valuable and versatile than we first imagined. As we produce all Sidecar Bikes in-house, it can be customized for practically any special cargo, but what would you use it for?

Our Sidecar Bike: http://kpcyclery.com/product/the-sidecar-bike-by-kp-cykler/

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Why steel is still the king of frame tubing?

Steel is the material that has been on an irreplaceable position throughout the history of cycling. From the boneshakers of 1860s to modern custom builds, it has been the material of choice for many builders.

KP Cykler Boneshaker Animation

From the early 1900s to 1990s, steel was almost the only material used in producing bikes. In 1990s aluminium began its rise as the top choice in racing, only to be dethroned as the end of the decade saw a new material’s rise – carbon fiber. Composite materials have large advantages over metal such as aerodynamics, as it can be easily formed into any shape, and most importantly for racing – weight. Carbon road racing frames have been built as light as 642 grams with a ‘light’ steel frame being around 1400g. With carbon conquering most of the professional cycling, steel is not very likely to make a comeback to the performance world.

But if dreaming of the fastest time on Alpe d’Huez doesn’t give you a boner, then steel is most probably the best option for your urban bicycle. Sure the stiff aluminium gets you up the hill fast, but it also makes for a depressingly bumpy ride on most streets. Get into a crash on a carbon frame, and you better have a plastic bag with you to pick up the pieces – try to google shattered carbon bike frame. Steel frames give you a nice smooth ride on most city street with its lovely little flex. If you get into a crash, it will stay in one unit and hopefully still giving you a chance to guide your bike, or get to your destination once you get back up.

A shattered carbon fiber fork.

These are the exact reasons why at KP Cykler, we love steel  frames – their design is beautifully simple, they age gracefully, and they give you the most comfortable ride for the best possible price, what’s there not to like..?

KP Cykler bicycle 21

The lightest bike in the World: http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/article/the-worlds-lightest-bike-36902/

History of the bicycle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_bicycle

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The Bull’s Head aka How Pablo Picasso designed our Bike Hanger

Okay, we can’t really ‘employ’ Pablo Picasso – though we would love to. But we, a bike company, are surprisingly taking his heritage to more homes..

During the 2nd World War, Picasso’s style took a turn, the vivid colors were replaced with shades of brown and grey. The theme was turning ever morbid. Yet from the bleakest of times, comes a sudden demonstration of whit and unseen creativity – The Bull’s Head from 1942.

It wasn’t a painting or a drawing, but a simple combination of handlebars and the seat of an old bicycle. It has been hailed as Picasso’s most striking and exciting works, and it inspired our Bike Hanger. The beautiful piece is not only practical in its efficiency to rest your precious bike’s wheels, but a striking piece of art. Many bike hangers have the unfortunate fate of looking unsightly when the bike is taken down, but with the lovely architectural taste of Picasso’s inspiring 20th century statue, you’ll be amazed at how it blends right in.

The Bike Hanger is available in limited edition (50 pcs) and the regular production model. You have the choice of a fine black finish or a soothing brown theme, both of which give you a wide variety to fit your home’s color scheme. Picasso’s Bull’s Head was meant to inspire and be playful, which is exactly what the art of biking is. Add on to the adventure of a lifetime and allow your bike to relax in style.

The track handlebars are made of a gorgeous silver finish and the premium handlebar grip tape is a great, soft place for your weary bike to rest. As a reminder, only 50 of the limited editions will ever be made, so as the wise Picasso once said, “Action is the foundational key to all success.” Act now!

Pablo Picasso’s Bull’s Head is part of the permanent exhibition in Musée National Picasso-Paris: http://www.museepicassoparis.fr/

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4 of the Most Popular Urban Bike Shows in Europe

Talk of bike shows and Eurobike is the first to come to most people’s minds. While Eurobike is the biggest cycling trade show, it’s commercial and profit-making aspects make it corporate and cold for those looking for an authentic experience.

So let’s take a run through four popular bike shows for a more urban feel:

SPIN: London (20.05 – 22.05.2016) At The Old Truman Brewery

SPIN: Manchester (06.05 – 08.05.2016) At The Victoria Warehouse

Revered as the “world’s first dedicated urban bike trade show”, SPIN: London & Manchester houses a curated collection of cycling’s most creative inventors, designers & pros.

Not only does the cycling show demonstrate innovative and exciting start-ups but also promotes stuff like superior bikes, art installations, craft beers, bicycle film premiers, street food, live music shows and a wonderful atmosphere.

Having participated in 2014 Christmas event, we suggest you to take time for attending this cool bike show in 2016.

KP Cykler at SPIN London

http://spinldn.com/

Berliner Fahhradshau (18.03 – 20.03.2016)

At Station Berlin

Offering an excellent fusion of velophile passions atop six exhibition spaces—Handmade, VELO Couture®, Ambition, Travel& Tour, E-Mobility and Urban Lifestyle, Berliner Fahrradschau takes the corridors of the STATION-Berlin for the 7th time.

With its modern curatorial twist, easygoing festival atmospheres, cycles extending from start-up insignias to international players, sleek bicycle fashion paraphernalia and cult celebrations, BFS has become a real dernier cri of contemporary bicycle culture.

This is THE one event we wouldn’t dare miss this year – see you in Berlin!

KP Cykler Sidecar Packed
We will be packing our bikes and Hangers for Berlin 18-20 March. See you there!

http://berlinerfahrradschau.de/en/

Like Bike Monte Carlo (03.06 – 05.06.2016)

In Monaco

Celebrated as “the most illustrious bicycle lifestyle show”, LikeBike Monte Carlo debuted in 2015. This international premium cycling event attracts robust media interest, favorable coverage across the globe and exhibitors from diverse interest areas.

Favorable media exposure helped the 2015 bike show to uplift cycling from a recreational and sporting enterprise to a fashion and lifestyle activity while lauding all features of cycling.

While the Like Bike Cycling Show is perhaps too ‘glossy’ and perhaps ‘refined’ for the urban hipster, it has a lot to show.

http://likebikemc.com/

Wiener Fahrradschau (21.10 – 23.10.2016)

In Vienna, Austria

The world’s dominant cycle lifestyle show comes to Vienna this year with Wiener Fahrradschau.

Organized by Berliner Fahrradschau folks, the first WFS scheduled in Marx Hall will boast the style that Berlin Bicycle Week has been showcasing for years.

From a modern blend of esteemed global brands, cultural attractions and live events to a laid-back cycle show atmosphere, this urban bike show will be a home to many thrilling and inventive concepts.

So, we can all expect the same quality as Berlin show, and who knows perhaps a new spin on things?!

http://www.wienerfahrradschau.at/

Remember to sign up for the blog updates for a chance to win a set of Magnetic Lights in the end of this month.