Cyclechic’s mission is to promote cycling as a desirable lifestyle choice and encourage more women to take to two wheels. We aim to provide urban cyclists with the best range of stylish yet practical cycling accessories and The Cyclechic Blog offers tips, advice and style inspiration.
The greatly anticipated new version of the Weathergoods Urban Tote, now called the Urban Shopper, was introduced to us in June (2019). It comes with some added benefits and as you would expect from Weathergoods is beautifully made. We’ve had one sent to the office to try out.
Weathergoods is a Swedish brand founded by Victoria and Katarina Klingenstierna in 2015, who believe “choosing to cycle shouldn’t mean sacrificing your style” and have designed a range of bags in line with this ethos, whatever kind of cyclist you are.
We have been stocking the Weathergoods range since Spring 2016 and it has proved to be one of our most popular pannier bags. The original Tote bag was featured in the Independent as the best Commuter bag 2017.
On opening the package, the quality is immediately obvious. Beautifully packaged in its own shoe bag, it was a delight to unpack. The vegan leather is fabulously soft and the finishing touches, like the Weathergoods label stitched into the side of the bag, YKK zipper with leather pull and stamped poppers makes it worth the price tag of £85 and will be a smart addition to any outfit for work or leisure!
Some of the changes are subtle, but on comparison with the older version, clear.
The vegan leather is of a much higher quality, a deep cognac tan colour, beautifully soft and with a lovely authentic grain. It is not only lovely to the touch, but wipe-able and very durable.
They have re-designed with a reinforced solid base, ensuring the bag holds its shape and is more durable when off the bike.
The long, over the shoulder straps are lined with tan webbing and are stitched the full length of the bag giving the bag more strength and a lovely design feature.
Fitted with the best pannier hooks on the market, Rixel Kaul, which are adjustable to your rack, with a locking system to hold it securely to your bike and hidden inside a pocket so that when off your bike this looks like a normal shopper style bag and won’t catch on your clothing.
This pocket and the back of the bag has also been re-designed and reinforced so it is flush and will not catch in the wheel spokes
The laptop sleeve has been removed, but with a volume of 10L it will still carry a large laptop and is smart enough as a business bag, as well as being good for shopping or leisure cycling.
All in all the changes made to the bag have improved the quality, but retained the key features making it so popular, and if the shopper doesn’t meet your needs check out the other bags in their range, with more coming later in the year.
I’m not quite sure how I would live without my Weathergoods pannier bag. I have been using mine to cycle to the office and for any meeting I go to with or without my bike for over 2 years now. It hooks onto the rack in seconds and I am always assured that my precious laptop is safe, that it looks smart and stylish and goes with everything!"
On Sunday 11th August 2019 we are going to be at The Pilgrims Hospices' women only ride, Divas on Wheels in Kent. If you are taking part please come over to our stall at the Independent Pedaler and say hello.
Are you doing a longer ride this summer? Or perhaps adventuring on a cycling holiday. If so here's a few accessory suggestions:
A helmet: If you thought all helmets are ugly, think again. We have a great section of stylish and flattering helmets to keep your head safe on your ride and keep the air flowing to your head. One of our favourites for summer cycling is the Bern Brighton in Rose Gold, £39.99.
Gloves: Cycling mitts are a great way to prevent sore hands on longer rides. Try our Retro Crochet Cycling Mitts, £17.99. They are breathable with soft leather padding to protect your palms and will add a touch of vintage charm to your ride.
Packable jacket: Hopefully the sun will be shining and there will be no need for a coat, but with the English weather you just never know. We love the Polar Duck Down Mac in a Sac, £79.95. It’s great for chilly mornings and that occasional shower. It folds down into a tiny bag to be stowed away super-easily.
Panniers: Rucksacks can give you an achy and sweaty back on a longer ride, so we wholeheartedly recommend swapping to a pannier. All you need is a rack on the back of your bike and you can hook your pannier bag on in seconds. Let the bike carry the weight, not you. We love the Linus Sac, £59.99.
Chain Lube: Is your bike making strange noises when you ride? Your chain probably needs some oil. Simply spray on this eco-friendly lubricant from Green Oil, and hey presto! Your chain will be as happy as can be, all set for your big ride.
Padded knickers: The Bikenicks’ padded cycling knickers are an absolute saviour if you suffer from saddle sore. Designed by cyclist and yoga teacher Lilli Miller, these knickers are really pretty and cushion you just where you need it. We can highly recommend this product if you are not usually in the saddle for long amounts of time.
Good Luck to everyone embarking on a ride or cycle challenge this summer. Hopefully we will see some of you at Divas on the 11th August!
" Excellent quality product. I've been searching for a long time for a pannier bag, that also works well as a messenger bag and looks the part. This bag from Linus is great so far, really good quality, and fits both purposes. Very speedy delivery from cycle chic and item arrived as described. Perfect service." Marko Anstice
The Women's Festival of Cycling 2019 has begun - YouTube
On Monday, over 150 women took to the streets of London on their bikes to kick off the start of Cycling UK's Women's Festival of Cycling.
Cycling UK have come up with a really clever idea of how we can all come together to make a difference and get more women on bikes...
They are asking all us cycling ladies (and men) to take a female friend or family member who doesn't cycle out for a bike ride throughout the month of July - so they can experience the joys of riding a bike!
I really like this grassroots approach and have been having a think about who I can take...
I have pledged to take my sister, Nat, pictured below, hanging out with my daughter on the beach. Nat is recovering from a knee operation. She has cycled in the past but isn't cycling at the moment and it would be really good, gentle exercise for her knee. I think she has an old one at the back of the garage, so I'll do some investigating and help her get it roadworthy.
Many women who don't cycle have certain barriers preventing them from taking it up and Cycling UK's recent research shows that worries about the roads and safety still remain the biggest turn offs.
Results from Cycling UK's survey: Non-cycling women were asked which of the following would encourage them to take up cycling.
Better infrastructure, segregated lanes
If someone helped me build up my confidence
If drivers were more considerate
So how can we help ladies overcome these barriers? While taking them on a bike ride is a fantastic start, combining this with some advice and support is super- important to help them build cycling into their everyday lives.
Whether it's helping them get their bike out of the garage and fixing that puncture or helping them overcome safety fears, a little bit of time and advice can go a long way. Here are a few tips:
Encourage them to take a lesson - I had a lesson when I first started cycling in London as an adult and it did so much for my skills and confidence. Cycle Confident do adult classes
Help them find a route that's off-road or avoids busy roads - We still have a long way to go at improving infrastructure for cyclists but if you plan out your route you can often find ways to do some of your journey off-road, through parks or on smaller, quieter roads.
Emphasize the 'get off and push' message - This helped me so much and still does. If I ever feel unsafe cycling on he road, I simply get off and push on the pavement.
So don't forget to take that pledge and let's really make a difference this July.
Hill & Ellis is one of our most loved brands here at Cyclechic; based in the UK since 2013, they make beautifully crafted leather satchel-style bags designed for cyclists who want a real investment piece that works on and off the bike. Sadly are they not for everyone’s budget, so when they launched the new canvas range we were excited to see the results.
Starting at £88 for a plain fabric, available in navy or charcoal or £98 for a patterned fabric; including a leopard print and our favourite the Rusty – a charcoal grey canvas with a splattering of copper leaf!
The Rusty is a great size bag for carrying all your essentials, but still lightweight and not too bulky. It will hold a 15” laptop and has a good sized zipped inner pocket for keys and purse or other small items you don’t want to lose in the bottom of your bag.
The quality of the fabric, stitching and hardware (copper plated nickel) is clear and the extra details they have thought of when producing this bag, makes it, in our opinion, one of the best options for this style on the market:
Water-resistant canvas and a water-repellent base means you won’t worry about setting your bag down and the inner contents getting wet or getting caught in a rain shower. It can also be wiped clean, to ensure your bag stays looking great longer!
An adjustable/ removable shoulder strap made from cotton webbing, means you can go from pannier to handbag simply.
As with all the Hill & Ellis bags they come with concealed pannier hooks. On the canvas range they are zipped away in their own padded pocket, so when off the bike you can carry as a normal bag – over the shoulder using the adjustable shoulder strap or with the handles – meaning they won’t get caught on clothing. The Rixen Kaul pannier hooks are spring loaded and designed to fit on a back pannier rack from 6mm-16mm, with a central locking system to secure it on the rack so there is no worry of this falling off during your ride. These hooks are built to last but also come with a 1 year guarantee and can be fully replaced.
If you are looking for a practical and stylish pannier for work or every day and want something that will stand the test of time and stand out from the crowd, this is the bag for you. Produced in small batches and hand checked, it is stylish with a splash of colour, but not too bright or garish and will go with nearly any bike or outfit!
Available now on the Cyclechic website here for £98.
One More Croissant For The Road is a non-fiction book that combines Felicity's passion for cycling and eating in one epic narrative. Published today, it follows Felicity on her very own Tour de France, cycling 2,300km across the country in search of culinary perfection. Yottam Ottolenghi said of this book "Whether you are an avid cyclist, a Francophile, a greedy gut, or simply an appreciator of impeccable writing – this book will get you hooked." So if you, like us, love cycling and food, you will love this book!
How to enter
To be in with a chance of winning this lovely prize, all you have to do is pop over to Instagram follow @cyclechic_uk and @felicitycloake and tag two of your best cycling or foodie friends. The competition runs until next Thursday 20th June and the jammy winner will be announced w/c 24th June. GOOD LUCK.
Panniers are the ideal way to carry stuff with ease on your bike and these days you can get some really stylish and practical designs. All you need is a rack fitted to the back of your bike and away you go. Take a look our rundown to the different types of bike panniers available to ensure you get the right one for you.
Single pannier bag: Our recommendation for carrying your belongings with the least amount of hassle, has to be the singe pannier bag. They are one of our biggest sellers here at Cyclechic and will transform your commute. The pannier usually has two clips on the back of the bag (some models have a zip-up cuff to cover the hooks and stop them catching when you wear the bag off the bike) and they usually have a handle or shoulder strap so when you are off the bike you can carry them like a regular bag. And most excitingly they come in some really great styles so pannier shopping can be just as fun as bag shopping.
Top brands: Linus, Hill & Ellis and Basil.
Shopper Pannier: A more boxy shape with a bigger capacity so you can pack them full with shopping! Whether it’s a trip to the farmer’s market or just the routine supermarket shop, take two of these with you and you will be surprised how much you can get home. A great all-round pannier for days out with the kids or cycling to the gym or pool as they have plenty of space and often have zip up pockets and handy compartments at the side. They hook on and off super easily as the single pannier bags do.
Top brands: New Loox, Basil, Linus, Fastrider
Laptop Pannier: A single pannier but with a padded laptop compartment to keep your precious device super safe as you cycle along. For all busy, working cycling people, a laptop pannier is a total game-changer. I personally could not live without my Weathergoods Pannier bag.
Top Brands: Weathergoods, Basil, Fastrider.
Rucksack Pannier: New on the scene is the rucksack pannier. It has straps and can be worn on your back like a regular rucksack but also hooks on your bike. A very handy versatile bag for cycling, walking or general life! We particularly like Good ordering version with on-trend roll-top to close.
Top Brands: Goodordering & Bike Belle.
Double Pannier: Double panniers straddle the rear rack and usually attach with straps or buckles. They are ideal for cycling holidays and adventures when you need to carry lots of luggage. They can be fiddly to get on and off the bike so may not be ideal for commuting or city use. However if you are able to leave your bike indoors you can keep them on the bike. Double panniers can take a good deal of weight, they also usually come in some pretty designs ad can really brighten up your bike.
Top brands: Basil, New Loox
So there you have it, a run through of the very best bike bags and panniers. And they are all available to buy at Cyclechic.co.uk.
We have been having a little spring clean here at Cyclechic and have found a few one off items you might be interested in...
Cath Kidston Helmet - These were super popular but unfortunately the powers that be at Cath Kidston decided to stop making them. We have found one in our warehouse. Its a S/M 54-58cm,. The first person to email firstname.lastname@example.org will get it! (Price £35)
Bobbin Gold Helmet - A classic helmet, we have 2 left that have a few scratches on. (Reduced from £39.99 to £25) First come, first served - email Sales@cyclechic.co.uk).
Chapeau Jerseys - 80% off. We only have XS' s left. They would fit girls 10+ as well as ladies. (reduced from £69.99 to £13.98) Shop now(3 styles left)
Meame Mia Reflective jacket 80% off: These jackets are beautiful- extremely well made and tailored. We have one left in XS and it's going at a snip of the price (reduced from £325 to £65)
SFR Helmets 50% off, We only have XXS-XS left so are selling them at half price! Great for kids.