At the North American Handmade Bicycle Show last weekend, it wasn’t just the bikes that were cool and handmade. Simmons was showing custom carbon cycling shoes that looked like a cross between a Dutch clog and footwear for Storm Troopers. Biknd brought a high-tech soft-side bike case that uses inflatable air bladders to protect your bike in shipping. And Paragon Machine Works showed off a Gates Carbon Drive bike built with a Pinion gearbox—an alternative to internal geared hubs or derailleurs that boasts a 600 percent range.
And then there were the red saddles from Fi’zi:k.
The Italian manufacturer of shoes and accessories got in on the handmade action with 15 one-of-a-kind saddles in every manner of red top-coating imaginable. There was red cowhide, red ostrich leather, red stingray, and even red alligator skin. The company had some high-minded-sounding explanation about red being the color of “passion, action, and energy” and “signifying qualities of leadership.” And because they are auctioning the saddles and donating the proceeds to World Bicycle Relief, the red hues called to mind the Join Red AIDS campaign—even though this effort has nothing to do with that one. In the end, though, we think they chose red because, well, it just looks hot. What bike won’t look even better with, for example, a red suede Antares atop it?
Should you agree, you can get your very own red seat. Fi’zi:k is auctioning 11 of the saddles through Pro’s Closet, with all bidding set to close this weekend. The only potential problem we see with this Italian-style-versus-international-charity equation is just how smooth that alligator skin will feel on the inner thighs. Keep us posted if you win.