I’ve really been enjoying a copy of Robert Penn’s book and obsession: “It’s All About the Bicycle.” The basic premise is about a rabid cycling enthusiasts search to build his dream bicycle. He travels all over the world to find the best frame, best components and best wheel builders in a quest to find perfection.
It really makes you appreciate the time honored tradition and craftsmanship that is the very fabric of the bicycle industry creating fine quality products, innovated to keep up with cyclists needs, made to the highest level and forged to last.
“We don’t do planned obsolescence. We don’t have model years. We don’t change products annually. In fact the 1 inch threaded headset we still sell today is exactly the same model Chris King first started making and selling to friends in 1976.”
Perhaps its this paradigm of fine quality hand made products that has helped the bicycle reach new levels of popularity, a direct backlash to an age of dying manufacturing, cheap labor and products built to last about three years before you have to get the next ipad 7.
Recently I was given a product that truly honors the bespoke bicycle craft. The Campagnolo of soap bubble pipes.
Last week I hung out with the pole riders guy, innovator who brings the fine art of pole dancing to the streets on the back of a pedicab trike with a platform fully rigged with sound system and lighting.
I’ve always marveled at this guy, well to be honest, more about the spectacle he’s created on a bicycle.
That’s why I jumped at the chance to check out his latest creation. We went to his apartment rooftop to blow soap bubbles and talk.
With a nice early spring breeze in the air we reminisced about the good old days of biking in NYC when cyclists weren’t seen as terrorists by the NYPD and motorists basically ignored us because they didn’t feel threatened with their precious space being given to bikers on green paint. Also about city life, fatherhood and bringing our kids to alleycat races.
The we shifted our discussion to design and product building.
He has truly created the greatest pipe I have ever seen and chose to make it out of grade 2 commercially pure titanium.
In a quote from the Riderpipe site: Pure titanium is the ideal material for this application due to it’s strength, lightweight, low thermal conductivity, corrosion resistance, non-toxicity, elemental purity and neutral flavor.
It’s also indestructible and like a Chris King headset…it will last for ever! Not to mention won’t break on your ride.
Holding this in my hand, regardless of its application, I really didn’t want to put it down, like those Chinese massage balls or if you’ve ever had a tongue piercing, you just can’t stop playing with it. It’s kind of cool to hold a hand crafted pocket sized piece of titanium.
Another really great feature is the easy clean up which compliments this sleek design. A pointed multipurpose cotton cosmetic applicator found at your local CVS, works best.
The pipe comes with an air tight container and a ballistic nylon sheath, with a belt loop to wear next to your Topeak Alien multitool or leatherman.
The riderpipemiester has only made a limited run of these and the price is in accordance with the materials, and rarity of this great tool. $160.00. But in true bespoke fashion, like an Outlier handmade hoodie or a Cinelli drop handlebar…why skimp on perfection.
You don’t have to be Robert Penn, jet setting all over the world building the perfect bicycle, but if you’re a cyclists who appreciates high quality and fine craftsmanship…this is a must have.
For more info and ordering visit, www.riderpipe.blogspot.com.
*disclaimer: For soap bubble use only! Not intended for any illegal use.