Greetings, and happy new gears. It’s Taylor here on the Stayer blog. Last month I paid the wonderful Alex Dyson and his new Stayer All Road a visit at his place of work. Alex is a Brand Manager and does all things creative and visual for Restrap; makers of technical bikepacking bags and gear, so it was only fitting to go see him at the Restrap factory and get a tour of the place, while I was at it.
Oh, and we went for a ride, of course!
Okokok so the word on Alex’s bike. It’s freaking cool, and coordinated. It’s a made-to-go-far Stayer All Road and it has a custom paint job by a Leeds local named Jack Kingston. Alex, being the savvy designer that he is, subtly parodied well-known industry logos on the insides of his chainstays to respell relevant bikepacking words such as ‘s-porks’, ‘pizza’, ‘dope’, and his surname. Most visible is the Slayer-made-Stayer logo on the outer drive side. Rock on, roll on, etc. His whisky fork is painted to match as well as his stem and GPS computer mount, all the way down to his bottle cages and the rails and rivets on his Brooks cambium saddle. Pretty metal.
Having already taken his All Road on an adventure in Turkey as soon as it was ready, Alex will continue to take his beloved new ride on bikepacking trips far and wide. He took us out for a local spin from the factory on a frosty morning along beautiful Yorkshire lanes and routes that he’s long been riding with the Restrap crew and friends from early fixie days. His solid rig looked right at home in these Northern landscapes, complete with a light suite of made-in-Yorkshire Restrap bags; a bar pack, large race frame bag, and race saddle bag. Nice.
I knew vaguely of the birth story of Restrap and their founder, Nathan Hughes, rummaging through car junk yards as a teenager, and salvaging seat belts to craft hardy pedal straps for him and his fixed gear grinding mates in Yorkshire. Yep, there was a strong fixed gear scene in hilly Yorkshire back in the 2010s (it ain’t dead though!) and a good bunch of these fixie mashers-turned bikepackers now work at the matured Restrap business in Leeds. Restrap started out humbly enough, with a couple of sewing machines and some Youtube videos to start. I listened intently to a welcoming woman named Helen who was leading my one-person tour around the factory. She knew so many details about Nathan and the various turning points of the business, sharing with me so passionately, that it only made sense when she finally revealed that she was in fact Nathan’s mum! How wholesome is that? A lot has changed since those modest beginnings, and things have gotten pretty real for Restrap, with some of the most influential and highly performing ultra racers and bikepackers running Restrap gear on their bikes.
Restrap isn’t only for the extreme, though. The folks at Restrap are friendly, down-to-earth humans who make you feel like you don’t have to be more than ordinary to do something extraordinary. If you’ve ever met any of the core Restrap team, you know the vibe I’m describing. Restrap give off a chilled-out, anti-elitist feeling that inspires you to find adventure, and that anybody can, and YOU can too! Yeah you!! In the t-shirt! As I walked between sewing stations, eyed intriguing machines, and met busy Restrap employees, I found a relaxed yet focused flow in the air. Restrap bags are reassuringly robust and solid. They are also simple and streamlined in functionality and purpose. A Restrap product is a product for life, no matter what cycling discipline you practice.
Restrap has not and will never not be made in the UK. A sentiment that we have a huge amount of respect for here at Stayer.
Alex Dyson himself says:
“To me, Restrap is an entity that I feel like I’ve grown up with. Having met Nathan (founder) over eight years ago while I was at university and working with him not long after, it feels like we’ve both developed so much personally and professionally along with the brand. When we started, we were riding brakeless track-bikes up and down hills in the Yorkshire dales using pedal-straps made by him and Helen (Nathan’s mum, who now oversees Production and HR), but these days we are riding across countries using bags that we’ve designed from the ground up and made here in Leeds using technical fabrics and high tech production tools. It’s a bit mental.”
Cheers to that. You can browse Restrap’s full range here. We’ll see you and your bike out on the road, or groad, or whatever, Alex! Thanks for hosting us and showing us around 🙂
Before perusing our awesome website which we have been cultivating over many moons, please allow us to tell you about our newsletter giving you VIP ACCESS to everything that goes down in Stayerland. Every now and then we even do some newsletter-getter-only deals.
We highly recommend you SIGN UP so as not to miss out :)
Thank you so much for being into what we are doing.
Judith, Sam and the team ♡