What do cycling fans like better than riding in a traffic-free zone? Spending money on cycling related stuff. I’ve decided to have a little trawl through the Tour de France goods on offer and pick out some of my favourites. I like design, I like cycling – I like well designed cycling stuff. So that’s what you’re going to get!
Tees me …
The 100th edition of the Tour has given teeshirt designers the opportunity to do some nice typographical tees. I love Velolove because their designs are simple and bold, they have great customer service and the shirts are top quality. These are shirts that will continue to look magnificent for years to come! They have a great range of Tour-related tees but the ones I’ve picked are TdF + 100 (available only in white) and FroomeDog, (available in white on blue or blue on white).
The teeshirts are 100% cotton and supersoft; screen-printed with organic inks and Velolove complies with the Fair Wear Foundation Code of Labour practices. So you can buy these shirts in good conscience! The teeshirts cost £25 each; worldwide delivery is free during the Tour, so order by 21st July 2013.
Romster Bike Wear also do a great line in teeshirts, very much with a British sensibility, so you’ll find Wiggins, Froome and Simpson designs. Their nod to the Tour’s centenary is the Year 100 teeshirt. This intricate, Victorian design is the illustrative work of Otto von Beach and is perfect for the cycling history buff in your life! My other Tour-related favourite tee is Maillot Vert – lovely bit of typographical work on that and perfect for sprint fans.
The teeshirt is £19.99; made from 100% pre-shrunk jersey cotton; comes in either yellow or white; men’s and women’s cut.
Another 100th edition teeshirt – and a very limited edition at that – is from Velocast. Simple, graphic design with some subtle touches – the red and green dots is a case in point.
This tee is 100% certified organic combed cotton (soft!) and is £25 for UK customers and £30 for orders outside the UK (incl P&P for both). This teeshirt is only available until Saturday 13th July so if you fancy it, order it now.
But what’s a Tour without mountains? Two of the most iconic of the Tour climbs – and ones which might very well have an impact on this year’s podium places – are Mont Ventoux and Alpe d’Huez. These official Tour de France tees available from Always Riding are really rather wonderful. Made from supersoft cotton, the tees are marked down to £22.49 with free UK delivery on all purchases.
Honestly, when it comes to original artwork for your wall, we are spoiled for choice.
First up is again from Velolove – they have a selection of posters by Michael Valenti and I love El Diablo. The poster is printed in the UK on heavyweight stock with archival ink, the print is rolled and shipped in a tube. It comes in three sizes: 12″x18″, £55; 20″x30″, £70 and 24″x36″ at £85 and UK postage is free.
We featured an interview with Bruce Doscher and his Tour posters last year. He’s busily working on this year’s 2013 set, as he only starts working on them after the stage has finished. I like his posters because they’re as much about the landscape and spectacle as they are about individual riders. Each print measures 27x39cm, hand signed on the front and back, and posted out in a sturdy shipping tube. Each print is c.£27; delivery charges vary but about £5 for UK delivery.
Neil Stevens of Crayonfire has done some brilliant posters full of typographical beauty. His 100 Years poster namechecks some of the iconic climbs and riders of the Tour, while his 21 Stage posters have a lovely retro jersey feel to them. Beautiful and unique, you’ll be hard-pressed to pick just one. Posters cost £30 for A3 and £46 for 500x700mm, are printed on 315gsm uncoated paper and sent out wrapped and rolled in a sturdy tube.
These musettes from il Soigneur are versatile and hard-wearing – so you can use them on your ride or just use them for everyday if you don’t want to lug around a full-sized messenger bag. This Fun musette is perfect if you want just a pop of yellow to make your Tour statement. It’s made from heavy cotton canvas with a single 1m strap and is £20.
il Soigneur are also putting together a special Tour Madison musette – including a badge with all the jerseys represented. It’s so new, we’ve got a shot of it from the factory – they will be ready on 15th July so make sure you have a look on the site next week to see the finished item. The cotton musette is £12.50; the badge itself is £5.50.
Something for your coffee table
And finally, there are tons of books being published around the Tour de France, from rider biographies and autobiographies, history-ofs, etc. But I picked this, Tour de France 100, a photographic history of cycling’s most iconic race, by Richard Moore. Great photographs with intelligent extended captions in a large format – what more could you want? It presents the Tour for what it is – pain, glory, disgrace, joy, shame, triumph – and it doesn’t try to whitewash this great race’s history. A great keepsake for any cycling fans in your life (or even yourself!) Published by Bloomsbury, RRP £30.
All prices and details correct at time of posting.