Issue 115 - The Design Issue

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The Design Issue

Is there any sport in which design is so intrinsically important as cycling? As cycling fans we follow the action in the races closely, and as cyclists we love to ride. But we also love to nerd out over great design, that combination of form and function that makes beautiful objects that work well. We like our bikes to be aesthetically pleasing and to function at a high level, and what is design if not the pursuit of these two goals? We love to wear smart kit, and we critically assess the new WorldTour team kits every year, from the stylish all the way through to Jumbo-Visma.

Good design is invisible, so they say. It’s something we wholeheartedly believe at Rouleur - we make a magazine that looks elegant and beautiful, but also educates and informs our readers. From the WorldTour pro with a side hustle in clothing and F1 helmet design, through the mountain biking pioneer who has been making components that just work for 50 years to the Italian who revolutionised handlebar tape with a nod to classical mythology and… fishing, we’re celebrating all that is best about form and function in the world of cycling in Rouleur 115: the Design Issue

Tom Ritchey: California Dreaming

We meet the innovative and influential bike designer who set up his own bike-making business while he was still at high school and who was instrumental in the invention and development of the mountain bike. Ritchey explains why good design means keeping things simple, tells us about making workaday bikes that change lives in Rwanda and reflects on a lifetime in the industry.

The Empty Diagonal

The Tour de France has always gravitated towards the epic climbs and roads of the Alps and the Pyrenees. But, Richard Abraham argues, the true heart of France, and therefore the Tour itself, is the vast expanse of La France Profonde. The ‘Diagonale du Vide’, far from being an empty or boring landscape of farmland, is rife with possibility and character, and whenever the Tour crosses it, there is a compelling story to tell.

Modernity, Classicism and Handlebar tape

What has Claudio Chiappucci got to do with the mythological Medusa and something as prosaic as handlebar tape? Emilio Previtali, the editor of Rouleur Italia, interviews Antonio Colombo, the former owner of Cinelli and who helped design the company’s iconic cork handlebar tape. This is a story of how design happens: flashes of inspiration in unlikely places, the codification of style and the willingness to defy norms and smash conventions.

Tiffany Cromwell: Free Radical

Tiffany Cromwell is a talented road racer who has achieved impressive results and been part of the inspirational growth of women’s cycling over the last decade. There’s more to the Australian than strong legs and bike racing craft, however. Cromwell also has a creative side: she designs helmets for her partner F1 racer Valtteri Bottas and has collaborated on ranges of clothing with Rapha.

David Gaudu: Best of Both Worlds

We’ve been wondering for a long time whether David Gaudu is a GC rider for the grand tours or a punchy classics specialist. It turns out he is both, having come fourth in this year’s Tour de France, as he points out, behind three riders who have all won the yellow jersey, but also third in the 2021 Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He also, he tells Rouleur’s James Startt, has his own Twitch channel, called ‘Coffee Ride’, on which he interacts with fans, talking about his racing exploits, but also playing the computer game Pro Cycling Manager… with the Groupama-FDJ team, of course.

Art Cycle: Edward Hopper Could Have Been a Trackie!

The latest in our series exploring the crossover between cycling and art looks at Edward Hopper’s 1937 work French Six-Day Bicycle Racer.

A Design for Life

We celebrate some of the iconic designs in bike componentry, with a photographic feature on some classic retro cycling tech.

Simon Clarke: Plan to Succeed

We take a deep dive with Israel-Premier Tech rider Simon Clarke into his spectacular stage win on the prestigious cobbled stage of the Tour de France.

Also in the magazine:

Fred Wright, BMC Masterpiece, Enve Melee, Canyon Ultimate, Ride for Charlie, Maghalie Rochette, the Vigorelli Velodrome, Ribble, CycloTour de Léman, Hammerhead & Desire.

Rouleur conveys the essence, passion and beauty of cycling culture via the very best writers photographers and designers in the business.

Rouleur gets inside cycling with previously untold stories from great racers, both past and present, intriguing tales from the pro peloton, and unique insights into the wonderful world of bicycles. Cycling culture for cultured cyclists.

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The best road cycling glasses i have owned

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An updated overview on the bicycle design.

Ettore S.
Italy Italy

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