Friday, July 23, 2010

Style Icon: Richard Sachs

Reading all the 'Tour tech' from this year's tour has left me quite cold- sure there's plenty of nice bikes knocking about but I'm not looking at them in the way I might have looked at some of the bikes of years gone. A Specialized looks like a Trek which looks like a BBox Colnago. And as all the pro-tour bikes become more and more homogeneous I thought it would be a nice opportunity to do a sort of anti-bling style posting on one of the guys from the old school who seems to take from that fashion dictum of black never goes out of fashion. Except with Sachs it's red, white and yellow- in skinny steel. 

Of course, another famous dictum is 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' and so Sach's frames really haven't changed for the past 10+ years, yet his wait time for a frame is rumoured to be 10 years long. This is the sort of formula that doesn't wash with the big boys, but that's what makes him a style icon in my book- this man is the ultimate self styled anti-style icon. His marketing is limited to an obscure cyclocross team, yet when the the Museum of Art and Design decide to do a 'Bespoke' exhibition they call up this man. The below is an example of what they are displaying.

It shouldn't work, but it does. There's nothing flashy about the paint job and he's hardly the only guy out there who can build a nice steel frame. Yet a Richards Sachs just holds a mystique that few other frame builders can match. And when it comes down to the man himself you can't fault the no nonsense philosophy devoid of any BS. This rapha interview is probably most revealing about his personality, and the following are words to live by:

Epic for me is about food and how riding makes me feel. If I know I can eat anything I want and still be ahead of the game, whether it’s weight or calories or good tan lines. Tan lines become important when summer roles around, you come back and take a shower and you can see the difference in the mirror when you’re naked. These things are important. If I go out and come back feeling like I didn’t earn a donut or a pastry, then what’s the point of riding? So epic comes when you drain yourself so completely, somewhere along the line, that you can start eating whatever you can find. Most people wouldn’t understand that, but cycling is a vain sport.