Bike Week: Cycle Chic for Ralph Lauren Magazine

This post kicks off a series on bicycles that will carry us through the week. First up is a story on “cycle chic” — defined by Wikipedia as “the culture of bicycling in fashionable clothes” — that I wrote for Ralph Lauren’s online magazine:

The modern gentleman’s style arsenal includes bespoke suits, bench-made shoes, Egyptian-cotton shirts, seven-fold ties, and Swiss watches. But parading good taste on the sidewalk runways of the metropolis is becoming passé.

In the silent skirmish for style supremacy waged every time two dapper gents pass each other, a trump card is needed. Long ago it was a polished carriage with tufted seats. Today it’s a bicycle — preferably a rare, custom-made, and extremely elegant bicycle.

In urban style centers such as Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen, modern boulevardiers are increasingly turning to stylish and high-tech velocipedes for the final stamp on their fashion statement — the first time since the golden age of bicycles in the 1890s.

You can read the complete story here.

Above is a detail from a beautiful Italian bike by Cicli Adriatica. Below are a handful of Ralph Lauren and Rugby images featuring bicycles:

Finally, a preview of what’s to come tomorrow. Stay tuned. — CC

16 Comments on "Bike Week: Cycle Chic for Ralph Lauren Magazine"

  1. Yes! I’m totally excited about this, Christian. So what do _you_ ride, these days?

  2. P.S.: so many nice English 3-speeds in _Take Ivy_…

  3. I’ll unveil my own ride at the end of the week. Not that it compares to the bikes in the RL story.

  4. Only a single bike listed under a grand, i guess that’s to be expected from RL! If you want easy to ride style buy a Linus for the best bang for your buck. If you want something a little unique find an old lugged road bike and throw on a sprung saddle and backswept bars then bam- you’re in business.

  5. I was definitely told to go look for expensive bikes. As for your last sentence, that’s pretty much what I did.

  6. I definitely believe that! Looking forward to seeing your ride, I just installed a new Velo Orange cockpit that I’m going to share sometime soon.

  7. I just installed Velo Orange fenders. But what’s a cockpit?

  8. you know, the stuff up front- stem, bars, grips, levers, lights, etc.

  9. PLH in Princeton | April 26, 2011 at 10:57 am |

    Dear Christian,
    First, I am a dedicated reading of your writing, especially the fine articles that appear outside of the Ivy Style blog.
    Just a quick note: You may want to have the folks at RL check the blog post, as it appears that a number of the bikes have the wrong description. It certainly is the case with the Pashley Roadster Sovereign.
    P. Langdale Hough

  10. Thanks Langdale. I caught that too and already alerted them.

  11. Michael Mattis | April 26, 2011 at 1:40 pm |

    Cockpit? Handlebars are now called a cockpit? The horror… the horror… Please tell me it’s not a fixie, too.

  12. Fixie Girls rock. Tune in tomorrow.

  13. Not too excited about Brooks saddles showing up in Ralph Lauren ads. I’ve been riding brooks saddles for 40 years. They are expensive enough without adding the Ralph tax!

  14. Wonderful fashions here! Christian you and your reader should check out some of The Tweed Rides, very much up your alley fashion style wise! May I suggest this post or this one just for starters.

  15. Planning to do the next Brooklyn tweed run. Should I grow a beard for it?

  16. Christian,

    Great article. Glad to see you’ve touched on the Cycle Chic craze. Your blog and Mikael Colville-Andersen’s blogs (Copenhagenize & Copenhagen Cycle Chic) are two of the blogs I check everyday. Can’t wait to see the rest of series.

    FYI: Tweed Rides are usually in the fall, but If you are looking for a summer dose of Cycle Chic and find yourself in Washington DC on June 4th you may want to check out the Seersucker Social.

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