A shipment of P&K Lie stands is on the way. Anticipating the arrival produces a childlike excitement in me that I’m sure is familiar to many of you. Some items have a beauty and uniqueness that never fails to dazzle.
Wish I could have seen the crowd at the P&K booth at Eurobike 2014. There was no hope of my attending but I can imagine the stunned expressions of amazement, appreciation, and lust. A frame as beautiful as exquisite wheels is no surprise. Bike design benefits from a balance of quality. Truing stands to match (and exceed) the beauty of fine wheels are rare.
P&K stands have owned the “Most Beautiful and Effective” title for years now but it still comes as a visual shock to those seeing them for the first time. This year they jazzed up their display at Eurobike. When Kerstin was in the fashion trade, Peter built futuristic furniture for her studio. Wow, right off a film set.
Against these arresting pieces was a colorful array of stands. When our shipment arrives, we will have blue, red, green, and black!
The best news for many is the return of P&K’s famous spoke wrench. We’ve been without for a full year. The new production includes five colors (green, black, blue, silver and red). Welcome back, trusty 3.25mm model.
I have recently corresponded with Mike Tierney, a wheel builder and writer from Ontario. He epitomizes one of cycling’s healthiest habits: avoiding high tech glitz. This runs deep in our industry and sport. Bicycles at very modest cost can deliver such joy and function. And wheel builders are among the most rightfully proud as it requires next to no tooling investment to make great wheels. From Mike’s mouth:
I’ve always been the champion of motivating people to build wheels by using the least amount of equipment (less initial investment = more potential Newby wheelbuilders). So I practise what I preach! Heck it wasn’t until about 3 years ago that I owned a wheel stand! I used frame and fork for 48 years!
Mike’s practical view powers cycling across the globe, nearly irrespective of economic conditions. While we dearly hope that never changes, there are good excuses to own fine tools. Wheel building tends to short itself in this department.
In the US, most $2000 wheel sets are built on $200 stands. Nothing wrong, but for many working hard on their skills and careers, a stand like P&K is justifiable. Perfectly executed as the highest level cycling components, genuinely effective for speeding and improving building, and fabulously good looking.
Eurobike 2014 saw Vittoria debut a high end wheel line . Check this artistic video of their service center. Vittoria values both beauty and function.
Let’s finish with a shout out for one of USA Cycling’s oldest and best programs, the annual Bill Woodul Race Mechanics Clinic. The 2014 session was a big success, graduating 64 mechanics. Next years (usually late November/early December) fills up fast, so stay tuned.
I was proud to bring a P&K Special250 stand. Here it provides background to one of the Clinic sessions.
I hope some of you have the opportunity to attend a Clinic or try a P&K stand. Or both!