I have been meaning to post about Groupe De Tete since Interbike, but I seem to be on a 3-week delay lately. A post on Bicycling magazine’s “This Just In” blog about the company got my attention because this boutique bike builder is located about an hour north of here in Asheville, NC. They are not a custom framebuilder, but appear to be an upscale shop that is basically in the business of putting together custom dream bikes for customers who want something unique and top of the line… and are willing to pay for it. They describe themselves as a “couture cyclery” and refer to their custom process as “expressionering.” No doubt this company is narrowly focusing on a niche market, but I would suspect that the number of wealthy customers who are willing to spend a lot of money on a truly unique bike will continue to grow. Take a look at this custom 6.5 pound Crumpton fixed gear bike (by the way, Group de Tete is the first worldwide Crumpton dealer). One interesting thing to note is that the bike uses an American Classic disc brake front hub on the rear with a custom titanium cog bolted in place. Check out a detail picture of the set up on Bike Hugger. Not only is this bike amazingly light, but you would never see another one like it on your local group ride.
Groupe de Tete has also partnered with Simmons Racing to create custom made cycling shoes that will definitely turn a few heads. At 900 bucks a pop, the custom shoes are not for everyone, but I am pretty sure that both companies involved already know that. I was interested to see these shoes because I am very familiar with Simmons and the quality boots that they make for inline speed skating. To be honest, I don’t totally understand the design of the Simmons shoes pictured on the website. They are definitely minimalist, but I can’t really imagine cycling in super lightweight high performance clogs. Maybe I am just missing something. If so, will someone please fill me in?
Photo from Bicycling’s This Just In