For the next stage in our global tour with Levi's Commuter collection, we hit up the Catalan capital of Barcelona. The most populous city on the Med, its easily navigable grid of streets, as well as its prime location between coast and mountain range means Barça is home to a thriving two-wheeled culture. Case in point: the city's Fixielab Crew and places like Pave Culture, My Beautiful Parking and C.R.E.A.M. Bike & Things that fuel the city's scene.
We caught up with two of the city's riders, Sami Sauri and Alex de Cortada of said Fixielab Crew for a tour of their Barcelona stomping ground, as they put Levi's Commuter collection through its paces.
Sami, who only rides fixie, styled her look with a pair of Skinny Jeans coupled with the Raglan Tee and the One Pocket Shirt over the top. To finish, Levi's versatile Trucker Jacket added an extra layer of protection against the coastal breeze, while the collection's Flap Backpack rounded out the look.
So what’s your ride? My ride is a Dosnoventa, made here in Barcelona. It's one of only 35 frames they've ever built!
Why do you ride? I ride because I'm in love with the sensation: the way to move, the way you have to calculate the timing of your reactions; I ride for new experiences, to see new places... I ride because of all these sensations and because it's free.
Name your favorite route. I coudn't really name just one. But, if I had to, then Mallorca was one of the nicest places I've ever ridden. Ever.
How long have you been riding? I've been riding since the C.R.E.A.M. Bike & Things shop opened. That was five or six years ago maybe...
What do you prefer or ride the most then: fixed, single speed or geared? And why? Fixed. Always fixed and no brakes. Yeah, it's just the most simple way to bike. It's easy and it's faster! That feeling you get riding crazy through the city with good music in your ears... I could ride until I'm exhausted (that's usually never by the way...).
What were your thoughts on Levi’s Commuter collection? - I tried these out and I can't stop wearing them! The fabric has this kind of stretch which means it's conformable. I love that! The other day, I forget my lights, so the reflective strips on the jeans and jacket were perfect for me. It's not a replacement, but it made me feel safer.
Meanwhile, graphic designer Alex, also with the Flap Backpack, is one half of the city's Fixie Lab cycling crew, which he started together with two friends, and which doubles almost as his own personal portfolio/cycling obsessed blog (think: bike porn, in the best possible way). "Biking has become a true lifestyle for me," he explained. "Now, the more I ride the more I get addicted to it."
What’s your ride? Again, I've got a dosnoventa too, except it's a steel Edinburgh frame and finished with a beautiful pearlescent cameo color.
Why do you ride? When I was a child I used to mountain bike a lot with my father and friends. Then, when I started university I decided to buy a fixie just to avoid taking the metro or the bus. Now, biking is my life. In a way, I’ve always been in the Barcelona scene, so that's why I started BcnFixielab with my friends. It's a fixed-gear crew which, cos I work as a graphic designer, offers all kinds of visual media around cycling.
Name your favorite route. Definitely downhill down the city's Muntaner Street. I’ve been riding this street almost every day for the last four years. It's pretty gnarly to do it with traffic and no brakes. But, y'know, always fun!
So you've been riding a long time then? Yeah, I haven’t stop riding since I was five. But it's been four years since I started riding fixed gear.
So fixed is the way to go? Yep – fixed gear always! It’s awesome how the bike becomes an extension of your body. You don’t have brakes. Your brakes are your legs.
What did you think of Levi’s Commuter collection? Beautiful, comfortable, useful and, what I like most, is that you can wear it even if you're not riding. I'd recommended it to every urban rider.