Initially you may think Cycling and Street should be separate retail segments. Sure, you can divide them but there’s an argument for classing them together thanks to their similarities. Cycling gear as a category seems pretty straightforward – bikes, cycling clothing, bike carry such as panniers and saddle bags. But then you’ve got backpacks and messengers used by cyclists as well, since no matter how hard you try your laptop isn’t going to fit in a small saddle bag or handlebar bag. Cyclists need space and versatility from their carry, items that can handle their EDC and adjust to their lifestyles. Yes, a pannier may be convenient for whilst you’re on your bike but when you go into work or the supermarket etc. you might look a bit weird carrying such a bag in with you.
So what about Street? Well you may associate Street with hip-hop but it originated with the surf and skateboarding cultures and is still very much a thriving part of these cultures today – think the iconic Stussy for example. Surfers and skateboarders lead active lifestyles, they require flexibility in their gear, tough construction that will stand up to some hard knocks, plus it’s got to look cool. So essentially Cycling & Street carry share some key criteria – the need for good looks combined with functionality and toughness that will allow people to lead the lifestyles they want to. Hence, a lot of relevant carry gear straddles the two categories.
Where do you find such carry that will keep up with a hectic pace of life? The following three retailers are a great place to start.
WHEREHOUSE is a Korean-based retailer that stocks the likes of Incase as well as Korean brands T-Level and Espionage. The offering of Espionage carry items is pretty light but there is a nice-looking 3-hole leather keyholder and a stylish leather card wallet. In contrast there’s a lot of action in the T-Level department, with a wide choice of backpacks, messengers, totes, casual bags and waist bags. You can read WHEREHOUSE’s international order guide here and check out the T-Level Infinity Rolltop pack below. Plus if the video isn’t enough of a fix, find more cyclist-oriented videos and images here.
Wiggle is an online retailer of bike parts and cycle accessories. The history of Wiggle originated with a small UK bike shop called Butlers Cycles, which gave rise to Wiggle due to its initial retail success. Wiggle ships to over 100 countries, with dedicated sites for a number of international countries. You can find out more about Wiggle and order information here. There’s a wide variety of bag styles to choose from, including panniers, saddle bags, handlebar bags, hydration packs and messengers. You’ll find the likes of Chrome, Camelbak, Timbuk2 and The North Face to name a few. The bags below are the Alchemy Goods Messenger (Alchemy Goods use upcycled materials such as inner tyre tubes) and the Brooks Challenge Tool Saddle Bag (classic style with top-quality construction and materials).
Originally a Tokyo-based online shop, Tokyo Fixed opened a store in the London Soho area in 2009. They build custom bikes and offer cycling clothing and accessories from brands around the world. They offer a diverse array of carry products such as backpacks, panniers, pouches and messengers, along with a range of brands including the likes of Chrome, Mission Workshop, T-Level, Eastpak, SAG and Philosophy Bags. Get a taste of the Philosophy Bags Intrans Pannier and SAG Messenger below and check out the ordering info here.