At the start of this year we were invited to work alongside Tokyo Bike on a very special project with the Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo.
We were both commissioned to build a custom bike & curate a selection of products to be featured alongside the bike in the new Uniqlo flagship store on London's Oxford Street.
The store is a monster, spanning over 5 floors & also featuring a spectacular roof terrace for hosting special events. The project is part of the new 'Life WearHouse' space & can be found on the 4th floor, alongside a finely selected range of products from the heads of the new Uniqlo campaign which include Skepta, Cate Underwood, Benji B, Munroe Bergdorf, Sean Frank & Hana Tajima, all of which are home-grown stars of London's creative scene.
The Pedal Pedlar x Uniqlo custom cycle. For your chance to win this one-off machine, head over to Uniqlo.
We decided the most appropriate marque for the custom bike was Koga Miyata, a brand that started in 1976 as a partnership between Miyata of Japan & the Dutch brand Koga. The brief required that the bike was built in Japan, and we have a great network of suppliers in the Netherlands that provide us with some of our finest bikes, so the decision was a no-brainer, especially as this year marks their 40th anniversary.
The model is the Pro-Luxe, Koga Miyata's top level race machine from from 1979, as ridden by IJsboerke-Koga-Miyata-Warncke, one of the most famous teams in cycling history.
The IJsboerke-Koga-Miyata-Warncke cycling team on Koga Miyata Full Pros - the professional race bike that super-seeded the Pro-Luxe in 1980.
The frame was completely re-finished in the Uniqlo brand colours by Argos Racing Cycles of Bristol, the company we use for all of our paint refinishing. Quite simply the best in the business. As expected with projects of this nature, the timescale was tight, and we need to say a special thanks to the guys at Bicycle Decals Ltd for producing a custom set of decals in next to no time. Not only was the turnaround incredibly speedy at a particularly busy time, the quality was superb too. Thanks guys.
The final piece, and in our eyes the icing on the cake, was the custom headbadge. A piece of beauty, hand-made out of brass by Hatton Garden goldsmith & engraver Castro Smith. It really is a thing of beauty that needs to be seen in the flesh to be truly appreciated.
Obviously the whole bike features Japanese components in the form of a late 1970s Shimano Dura-Ace EX groupset & SR finishing kit. Simple, classic kit.
The finished machine looks astonishing, it really does. But there are also another couple of parts to the project that must not go without a mention.
To sit alongside the bike are some limited edition cycling figures. Made in France since the 1950s, these collectible little figurines were hand-painted by a local artists in Uniqlo brand colours & feature a miniature version of the Uniqlo x Pedal Pedlar custom bike. Limited to only 50 models, they're available to buy through us here, or you can find them on the 4th floor of the Uniqlo 311 Oxford Street store.
Finally, one last thing we're particularly excited about is the introduction of our Pedal Pedlar Polishing Kits. The kit contains everything you need to bring your bike back to showroom condition.
There's all the necessary paraphernalia for rust removal & polishing materials for both metal & paintwork. It all comes in one very robust box for £20. Again, these can be bought directly through us here, or can be found in the Oxford Street store.
Alongside these products, we also supplied some of the items we love the most, including various designs of our Classic Cycling Caps, Rustines Patch Kits, NOS A.L.E. water bottles, Cycling Top Trumps - The Legends Edition. All available to buy on our website here, or at the Uniqlo store.
The whole project has been a heck of a lot of fun to work on, sure we've lost a few hours sleep but it's all been worth it.
Extra special thanks goes out to Tom & Cam who are always working hard to keep things moving, and also thanks to the excellent Michael Drummond for the in-store shots. Last but most certainly least is a huge thanks to Christian Ashton for the weeks spent designing everything, this genuinely wouldn't have been anywhere near as good without you on board.
Gosh. That felt like an Oscar speech.
For a chance to win the Pedal Pedlar X Uniqlo custom bike, head over to uniqlo.com/uk/pedalpedlar/
I'll stop typing now.
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