Words by Alexa Daugherty
This year, as it stands, Tenspeed Hero has seen a lot of firsts. We’ve kind of begun to like Matthew McConaughey, updated two-year old TSH cycling classics (because in a world where most things change with the swipe of a finger, two years does a classic make!), and started to apply our design expertise and enthusiasm to a full line of women’s cycling clothing. This line is an expansion of the first women’s jersey we released last fall and represents our continued commitment to provide all lovers of cycling with top-rate gear. It also, simply, is an expression of our belief that clothing should reflect the devotion, taste, and skill of each hard-working individual who, rain, shine, snow, or more snow, gets up everyday to ride. From TSH designer/collaborator Neil Donnelly to the company’s co-founders, Jonathan Sadler and Luke Batten this new line entails a lot of things, a lot of people, and a lot of bike-able miles! It makes me think back to two boys TSH saw resting outside a small, shuttered Wyoming restaurant. Biking on a cross-country trek from New York to Portland, these young cyclers were at the halfway point of their trip – a critical moment in their inspiring journey westward. Similarly, TSH is at a critical moment. We’re collaborating with designer Lauren Ayers to get more women’s voices into the technical side of cycling, working with cyclist Danielle Smith to make sure our products are fit for their intended audience, outfitting Brown University’s cycling team, and constantly being inspired by you, the TSH fans. With this Aby Warberg-like grid of different connections, actors, and muses, TSH aims to start a dialogue.
Cat 123 IL State Cyclocross Champion Danielle Smith
Designer Lauren Ayers
And so, let’s talk about our new women’s line. Which really means, let’s talk about women’s cycling. Once neglected from technical conversations and trapped in what the insightful Collyn Ahart called “Beginnerism,” women’s cycling is now beginning to truly get the attention it deserves from the cycling community. Just look at the latest news from the Tour de France, which this year will host “La Course,” a one-day women’s stage accompanying the men’s final stage down the Champs-Elyseés. Think of Marianne Vos, Evelyn Stevens, Collyn Ahart, Heidi Swift, Emily Maye or Emma Pooley, six women changing the way we think, write, talk about the world of cycling and sport. And look at Girl Bike Love and Cyclo Femme, blogs totally devoted to talking about the grit, goals, and culture of women’s cycling. As a company that firmly believes in these re-framed perspectives on women’s cycling, TSH is doing everything it can to acknowledge and support the amazing feats of athletes both on and off the bike.
From classic jerseys to stowaway jackets, everything in this upcoming Spring 2014 release represents an increased refinement of fabric, fit, and function. We went to the factory in Casel d’Ario Italy where TSH jerseys are made, ate some Paste e Fagioli, and worked to craft the best products out of the most premium materials possible. With the help of architect Maude Glasel, we reconfigured our studio space to better suit the bursting, unpredictable needs of an ever-growing, ever-learning company. And with designers Neil Donnelly, Samuel Copeland, Lauren Ayers, Julie Krasniak and Michelle Vondiziano, we turned rambling discoveries into concrete jerseys (with insulating cuffs and wind-resistant fabric!) made just for you, the devoted cyclist. Through all of this, Tenspeed Hero continues its wandering, inquisitive, and joyous philosophy of heroism. This philosophy is manifested in the positive energy supplied by the Tenspeed Hero family of fans and collaborators. We look to Jim Masahiro’s spelling of TSH with water-bottles on a tarmac, Lauren Ayer’s orthogonal Bosquets du Midi swinging over the Seine, and our fans’ instagramed photos of winding trails. All of these serve to render Tenspeed Hero’s philosophy more a reality of inspiring and supporting people through design.
Designer Michelle Vondiziano
Architect Maud Glasel
And so, this launch (and a few more to come this spring and summer) increases support for women on bikes while also continuing Tenspeed Hero’s unique take on the sport of cycling. It includes jerseys and vests produced for the four-women cycling team Les Petites Victoires, kits made for the Brown University cycling team, and updates on our classic Tenspeed Hero gear. Giving new name to a podium-finish, this Tenspeed Hero spring is meant to support the cycler who basks in the glory of effort more than the glory of completion. It is for the people passionate enough to regularly work towards new paradigms and think about a broader, more encompassing view of what it means to be a cyclist. So read Girl Bike Love + Cyclo Femme, wear a jersey fit to your body-type, and do everything with a passion for the undiscovered. Think about all the moments and all the people that make your placement on that bike special and return to them, again and again, in a perpetual spiral out from comfort towards a sense of fresh enthrall.