By Luke Batten and Jonathan Sadler
The first part of this guide is to thank our #fans and all the #tenspeedheroes around the world for making 2014 a reality. Somewhere along the way you gave this little fanzine and store that sends packages by U.S. mail a chance. Whether you have bought a single water bottle or every single sock we made….Thank you! The funny thing is Tenspeed Hero just happened and then it kept happening thanks to you. Two years ago we decided we wanted to make a few more items beyond one jersey and two pairs of socks. In philosophical discussions on rides, while drinking coffee on our front stoop or staying up late and musing with Nextflix we would say things like “everyone should be a Hero and feel like they belong and they can celebrate their friends and families as the Heroes they are!” or “building a brand should be like starting a relationship–be honest, be transparent, be dreaming, be hopeful, be romantic, be in love, and become!” So thank you for your instagrams, mail art, emails, encouraging words and choosing to purchase this brand that no one ever heard of! We hope our photographs, writing and design encourage you to lead a creative life on and off the bike. We launch today with a large selection of high quality stuffs and will continue with releases of new spring + summer products through July.
Thank You Again
Yes there is a second thank you from Jonathan and me. This goes to the young women and men that work at Tenspeed Hero and make everything happen. Photography, word-smithing, shipping, communications, graphic design are not possible without them. Specifically we thank Aleia, Hannah, Alexa, Samuel, Lauren, Maud, Lena and Joseph for spending your day, days or weeks with us. “Lets do this” is always met with “and lets do this!”
Les Petite Victoires
Last year we launched our clothing line and we wanted to support a women’s team along with our newly formed Tenspeed Hero / J.P. Graziano Men’s squad. Starting this endeavor called Tenspeed Hero was not going to begin without a dedicated Women’s squad so we called Cady Chintis from Les Petites Victoires Racing Team and she said yes but they already had designed a jersey for 2013. Improvising for 2013 we came up with a water bottle to raise money for their travel (Sadly, water bottles were stolen out of their car!), and provided the team with socks, caps and arm warmers. We all agreed our perfect union would come in 2014 and the time is now. This little guide is not an official launch as Alexa has written a beautiful team introduction that will only be released when their Lauren Ayers designed bib shorts arrive from Italy! However we must tell you this team is about racing, supporting the larger mission of women’s athletics with a partnership with Girls in The Game, and of course searching for “little victories” as their team name LES PETITES VICTOIRES suggests! If you happen to be in the midwest and you see Cady (actually in Seattle), Madi, Jannette or Mia please say hello. We are so lucky to be involved!
How long has it been since we had a pair of Men’s bibs in the store? FOREVER! Please forgive us. We have big plans for you. Let’s just say we have been working on new leg grippers, straps etc. and these things take time. Our first bib for 2014 has a new 11 millimeter thick chamois with wicking fabric + the same new silicon leg gripper that our women’s shorts have. We are calling these Classic Bib shorts as it they have no logos and just a single Tenspeed Hero Tag on the front leg. Our thoughts were to make a truly classic black short that Heroes could wear with a TSH kit or any brand you happen to choose. Keep an eye on the store in the summer months for TSH logo-ed brilliance and thank you, thank you for your patience.
Where do we start……? Honored that you wear our jerseys racing, training or during early morning conversational pace with your friends. By the end of 2014 we promise to have one of the largest women’s lines on the planet and it is quite possible it will surpass the men’s in quantity of pieces. For instance, we have four bib shorts planned for women for this year alone. Designers Lauren Ayers and Samuel Copeland have been busy cooking up things to inspire you. Beyond our women’s squad we also have Danielle Smith helping us as our official tester for everything we make + she will be joining us and LPV Racing team on a series of challenging rides in her Stealth Club Jersey. Her everyday team is EGO presented by Sammy’s Bikes and she moonlights helping TSH make better clothes. We first noticed Danielle during last year’s cross season. She had one of those dream seasons where she started out at the bottom and ended up winning the Pro 123 State Championship. You know, one of those. Last weekend she just podium-ed at Barry Roubaix! Of course she is strong! and driven! but also terribly funny and her generosity with Tenspeed Hero is only going to make us better. We asked Danielle to come with us to France and Colorado to climb mountains and scream down mountains. The adventure begins. As we grow this line we need feedback so please send us your thoughts. If we are running low on sizes just send us an email and we will give you our best estimate of when the items will get in stock.
We bumped into Lauren Ayers at a design reunion for the University of Illinois over a year ago and she looked like she always does, wonderfully dressed with an easy elegance. She is a designer at VSA Partners and works on design projects for national and international companies. Deep inside we knew the world of sport needs Lauren’s thinking. Last year she started with socks for our La Girafe Sportive line and she has now offered the men and women of TSH a series of stowaway jackets. When the women of Les Petites Victoires saw what she was doing for us they asked to work with her on a jersey, jacket and bibs for their 2014 campaign. If you are a fan of what she does then you will want to keep a close eye on Tenspeed Hero as this spring and summer will have more offerings. Sportswear had a great tradition of patterned fabric in the 80′s and 90′s (think Ellesse and Giordana) and it all but disappeared in the last decade. Lauren is changing this with every piece she contributes. Her sense of color and what is possible as they collide is a treat to witness.
Original Club and a Team of One
Say hello to Jonathan Heile and the original club jersey now in race fit. We get an email about this jersey every week asking when it will be back in stock and specifically when it will be offered in race fit. On the side panels we have spelled out two very special towns: Castellania, birthplace of the greatest cyclist of all time and Meensel-Kiezegem, birthplace of the other greatest cyclist of all time. Fausto Coppi and Eddy Merckx: both names are synonymous with greatness in the sport of cycling. You will find yourself in the middle of these two locales right? Correct! Now back to Jonathan Heile. He is our team of one; this Cat 2 break-away artist residing in Madison Wisconsin has volunteered to fly our original club colors for the season solo. We are honored to have him on board flying our brand colors!
Sometimes the cycling industry can be a bit heavy handed with #Watts, #Data, #Big-Ringing, and general #Epic-Ness and amazingly manages to come off more macho than a NFL locker-room. Dave Stoller where are you? To tip the scales back to the innocence of Breaking Away we offer a bit of #fun, #joy and #humor in our caps and water bottles. The person behind the Merino Sheep T-Shirt, The Storm Cap, the Kitty Cat Cap, the Rain Drop Cap, the Rain drop water bottle and the Shark Tooth Cap is Samuel Copeland. Ask every woman and man of Tenspeed Hero and they will tell you he is our rock and our very calm sea beyond his amazing design. We are lucky to have him at TSH everyday.
Just in time for a chilly spring we have produced our first jackets. Under the banner that “You can never have enough Green!” We have designed Men’s and Women’s Green Wind-Blocking Utility Jacket (3-Rear Pockets, 4th Rear Zipper, insulated cuffs and Reflective Tenspeed Hero graphics). Designer Lauren Ayers adds some sleek race capes (Les Petites Victoires Stowaway, Bosquets du Midi Stowaway, and Saint Trophime Stowaway) that are perfect stow-aways with insulated cuffs and Reflective Tenspeed Hero graphics. Wear these on transition days when you know the weather will change, to early morning jaunts to the the farmers market or hey, why not line up in the front row of the criterium wearing it because you earned that spot. Moments before the USA cycling official reads you the rules of the race, gently pass the jacket down the line to your best mate or partner. It will be there for you when you step on the top step of the podium. If the day is not yours there is always next Sunday.
Design for Brown University Cycling Team
Amateur racing is important to Tenspeed Hero. In total we sponsor a women’s Cat-2 team (LPV-TSH), a men’s team (Tenspeed Hero-J.P. Graziano), Ride with Heart, Jonathan Heile and since this autumn, Brown University Men’s and Women’s Cycling Team! Team President, Tom Nguyen, called us last autumn and asked if we could help the team out with a jersey. Neil Donnelly, lots of coffee, input from Brown and several versions later and this is what we came up with. Discerning eyes will notice Brown is spelled in a newly designed five letter typeface pulled from the shape of our TSH emblem. We just love this jersey and we have a few men’s and women’s race cut for those in love with the color brown and the school.
And…And…And Could you help spread the word please
First we just ordered this jacket in a women’s cut so it will be awhile before it gets here (Our friend Claire in the yellow skirt just happens to be wearing a men’s small). The reason this image is here is to ask a favor. If you love our little cycling brand and want to assist us in spreading the word. Just grab this image and gram it, tweet it, or pinterest it for anyone that needs a little color in their lives. Aim it at #tenspeedhero or @tenspeedheroluke on instagram. We thank you in advance for your support and getting the word out!!!