PRODUCT REVIEW - CRAVE AXE2 HORNET KEVLAR LINED SHIRT Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer. Warm air, dry roads, long days, it’s what it’s all about. What I don’t like is sweltering in a leather jacket in an attempt to stay safe, so safety often gets discarded for comfort. Bart from Crave has come up with a great solution, the AXE2 Hornet shirt. The cotton/polyester/lycra check shell is fully lined with Kevlar and comes with Knox elbow and shoulder CE approved armour. There is also a compartment for an optional back protector. The shirt has two breast pockets, one inside zipper pocket on the left side, a sleeve pocket for phone or ID, and an arm pocket for money or keys. The shirt has a heavy front zipper and concealed velcro fastening, and the useful detail of a reinforced hanger. The armpits have ventilation zippers. Crave is the passion of Bart Krzyzaniak, a Warsaw based biker and snowboarder, a man used to taking tumbles. His mission with Crave is to create a series of jackets and shirts that can be worn on the mountain slopes or in the saddle. I wore this on the first warm weekend we’ve had, and it’s really comfortable.The armour is unobtrusive, and the fabric breathes well without the need for opening the ventilation strips. The shirt is fitted, so doesn’t bellow with air, and the lining is soft enough to be worn against the skin (a welcome relief from the often itchy texture of some Kevlar weave). This is a shirt well designed for application. The Crave is a great option for the summer, offering a good level of protection, and works well with Kevlar lined jeans. It also looks great off the bike. The Shirt also comes as the AXE2 Bear option, with a warmer wool shell. Crave IRONHEART IH-2634 PARAFFIN COATED JEANS 22oz COTTON DUCK JEANS Iron Heart are a premier manufacture of extra-tough denim and work-wear. I’ve invested in a few pairs of their jeans over the years and they’re as tough-as-nails. The IH-2634 are an incredibly rugged pair of Paraffin coated duck cotton work jeans that are fit for purpose both on the bike and in the workshop. These are a heavy and dense weave, and offer sturdy resistance to abrasion and stubborn insulation against the elements. Like all of Iron Heart jeans, they’ll take a while to break in, but once they do they’ll fit you like a second skin. When ordering pay close attention to the sizing details, as sizing varies between different products. The IH-2634 are available in limited numbers in brown and black. Iron Heart were originally made for bikers, and that focus guides the design and construction of the clothing. The garments are made from heavyweight fabrics and designed to be durable, and to an extent protective for bikers. The rivits, buttons, and zippers are incredibly solid and reliable. Some designs, such as their 25oz extra heavy selvedge denim jeans, are at the limit of what can be woven and sewn. Iron Heart is the collaboration of denim gurus Shinichi Haraki and Giles Padmore. Their products are ethically manufactured in Japan, the mills and workshops used are mostly small and family run. “Over-engineered is our starting point”. http://www.ironheart.co.uk ANVIL TRIFOLD LEATHER WALLET Ryan at Anvil aims to provide the toughest custom built biker wallets that combine contemporary styling with old world craftsmanship and quality. Founded in 2004 in Springfield, Missouri, Anvil is a one man business described as a “jewel hidden in the hills of the Ozarks”. The Trifold wallet is a substantial piece of kit, built from Grade A, full grain Cowhide sourced from the Hermann Oak Tannery in St.Louis, Missouri, the oldest tannery in the USA. Liners are a tough 7 oz US woven cotton duck, and all the hardware is sourced in the USA. It is a priority for Ryan that his products are 100% American made. Ryan uses the greatest quality thread, rivets and leather he can find, and is so confident in the build quality of his wallets he offers a lifetime guarantee against manufacturer defects, but be warned, he specifically excludes damage as a result of using the wallet as target practice or damage incurred whilst wrestling alligators (what does he get up to in his spare time?) You can customise the Trifold to meet your whims. You can chose a colour, the interior liner and the wallet art. It comes with a standard 18” wallet chain, but for a premium you can customise with handmade chain-mail chains. The Trifold is 5x4” closed, 12x5” opened with three card slots and two half-sized note sections. All of Anvils products are made to order by hand by Ryan himself, so you need to allow two to four weeks for delivery. Ryan is a creative craftsman, and promises: “I will always use my creative freedom to bring you the most cutting edge, best possible product available.” So allow for a degree of creative variation, because as Ryan states “I will be creating MY products MY way....this always works out best for everyone involved”. Who are we to argue with that? http://anvilcustoms.com DARN AND DUSTED - TRADITIONAL MENDING So it’s not always about buying new gear, sometimes it’s all about fixing the old. I like my denim, and I get very attached to it. It’s always really annoying when a pair of jeans are just settling in with good fade lines and an oil and brake-fluid patina, only to go split. I’ve ruined many a pair of good jeans trying to patch them back together with superglue and my all thumbs sewing technique. Darn and Dusted is the passion project of Luke Deverell, who sees clothing showing signs of wear and tear as not being ready for the bin, but “...the beginning of a new life”. Working without machines, Luke offers a completely bespoke service mending by hand, using both traditional methods and materials. All his finishes are tailored to the customer. His repairs are strong and designed to prolong the life of the garment, and give years more wear out of your threads. Looks pretty good too. www.darnanddusted.com PRODUCT REVIEW BOYZ TOYS - TELESCOPIC MAGNETIC PICK UP TORCH So at Christmas there was a gift price limit between my girlfriend's family. Five quid was the top amount. I do like these challenges, it really makes you have to think about what you are buying someone. You can be rubbish and buy some garden gnome, or you can put some effort in finding a great gift. So, my girlfriend’s mum found the prefect gift for me. It is a small LED torch that has a telescopic head that’s flexible at the end. But what makes this torch so smart is that the very end is magnetic. So if you are like me, half blind and clumsy as hell, this will become your shed's best friend. Quite often I am working on my old bikes trying to get that last nut on, when, shit, I dropped it. Grab the small torch and not only can you feed it through the fall path, and as most often than not it will land in a place your over sized sausage hand can't fit, the torch will get to where you need it and retrieve the little metallic sap sucker!! As a torch it's pretty good. It won't give you the million foot-candles that some torches will, but the three LED lights will not blind you either. It is a good light for those nooks and crannies that always seem to live in shadows. It's length extends from 9cm up to 81cm. It comes in various colours, just in case you want it to match those new wheels you drunkenly bought on eBay. The torch is light enough to pop in the top pocket of your jacket, it only needs a couple of AA batteries, and is useful in many situations. Especially when removing gravel from a friends leg... http://www.boyztoys.com/products/ry667_telescopic_magnetic_pick-up_torch.php COTTER PIN DIRECTION WALLET Cotter Pin, our mates over in Brooklyn, have come up with another simple but genius product. The Directional Wallet. Whether embarking on an adventure across Africa, or to your new girlfriend’s house for the first time, this is a low profile easy solution for holding your phone, a map, or handwritten instructions. Made from highly water-resistant Martexin waxed canvas and a quality plasticine clear window, its four magnets keep it secured to the tank of your trusty ride. When off the bike it folds into a back pocket wallet size sealed closed by the magnets. You can also slap it to the side of your tool chest with a list of mods you promise yourself your going to do to your bike, but will probably never get around to. This is a hardy little item that will get you where you need to go. It’s 7 x 9" open and 3 1/2 x 4 1/2" folded. http://www.cotterpingear.com
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