Oowee, we got wheels!
Oh the glorious days of being a kid, flying everywhere on a bike. Jumping footpaths, squeezing past grid-locked cars, down alleyways, balancing a sled under your arm.
There was a beautiful summer in my late teens when, three times a week, I’d pack a bag with roast chicken sandwiches and a litre of apple juice, shove my brother’s old ten-speed on a ferry to Rottnest Island and cycle a dozen clicks to ride empty mid-week waves. I’d concoct so many potential futures on these long rides: maybe I’d make surf movies, magazines, books, maybe I’d learn to fly planes or front a band. The cool afternoon offshore in my face. Ears plugged into garage punk. Complete freedom.
Anyway, a few months ago, I figured I’d get back in the bike game. The topography in my part of Bondi is flat enough to make it an easy run to the beach. To stores. I did a little research, and found a company called Chappelli. Simple, classic bikes that weren’t overtly hipster.
The owner is an English guy called Pablo Chappelli, whose dad used to compete in the Tour de France. Pabs grew up assembling bikes. Figured that was his future. But en route to creating the eponymous Chappelli bikes in 2009, he was an industrial designer for Dyson and, later, headed the innovation team at Breville.
I bought a matte black ride with Louis Vuitton-style leather seat and grips.
Me and Pabs got talking over the cash register. Turned out my ol pal Jim Parry did all the graphics. Pabs said he liked BeachGrit, liked our monochrome aesthetic, and said, how about we do a collaboration?
It took a while. But this is it. The Urban 29er, also know as Fat Tony.
It’s a wild sonofabitch.
Pabs tells me it’s “got all the best gear including best of breed Avid BB7 cable disc brakes, sliding drop-outs, Sturmey Archer 3 Speed internal hub and 29 inch wheels for steam rolling your local hood. All teamed with a CrMo frame.”
What’s that mean? There’s a throttle-style gear selector under your right hand. It’s a three-speed but with the ratios of six. So you gonna eat up hills. The fat tyres bounce you over kerbs. And it ain’t gonna rust.
Pabs says he can ship it anywhere in the world.
Note: If you go to the site you won’t see an option of matte black or for BeachGrit. Punch BeachGrit into the discount code pane at checkout and you’ll get an eighty-buck lock (which you gonna need) for free and Pabs knows you want the BeachGrit version.