PAUL x SimWorks – LTD Turquoise Collection
SimWorks is pleased to offer this limited collection produced for us by the fine folks at Paul Components in Chico, CA. Paul has been in the business of making high-quality US manufactured bike parts since 1989. This collection of Turquoise anodized parts is exclusive to SimWorks and is emblematic of an effort for us to expand beyond our Japanese offerings to work in conjunction with other highly-regarded makers here in the United States.
This will be the third go-around with the group from Chico, but the first that we’ve run together since the ‘Chocolate’ parts that we developed together and released at the NAHBS show in Sacramento in February 2019. The hand-built shows have always offered a logical forum for us to release these kinds of limited run collaborative projects. We came away from our previous experiences working with Paul and knew that we would come back around to doing it again at some point. Fast forward over 4 years, and with the whole-hearted optimism that we could finally put the brunt of the COVID pandemic in the rearview, we looked to this years MADE bicycle show here in Portland, OR as a signal that we could return to more traditional trade show settings- and the enthusiasm in the lead up to the show provided a perfect opportunity to pick up our conversations with Paul again and hash out a fresh collection.
Turquoise had been a color that we had kicked around as an option for a while. It’s a color with vibrancy that seems to have stood the test of time. It evokes a feeling of tranquility and has strong ties to the natural world. We’ve seen it come and go in the anodized bike parts realm for decades, but it always seems to come back around and is received with open arms. Paul had recently run some truer blue parts for a collection of their own, and we’ve seen the green pieces that they’ve run over the years for the Sierra Nevada bikes that they showcase at the Sea Otter Classic- which are stunning in their own right. But we wanted something more unique that we could call our own.
The resulting collection is limited in it’s scope and it’s availability. Truly. We wanted to keep it pretty tidy this time around, and have folks who ended up with some product feel like they had invested in some very intentionally created pieces that had a dose of exclusivity built in to them. It’s exciting as a small business to get to work with talented makers who create benchmark products that have come to define a couple of generations of legacy cycling components. On a personal level, Paul’s parts were something I had coveted in my youth, and had always held in the highest regard when it came to US manufactured, thoughtfully designed and produced bike parts that would last a lifetime. I still have the packaging card from that first set of ‘Touring Canti’s’ that I bought while working in a shop back in ’06.
The collection this time around is comprised almost entirely of brake components- for rim and disc users. Paul’s Klamper brakes have firmly planted themselves as the gold standard in the industry for mechanically actuated disc brakes. We’ve opted to offer them in both Flat and IS/Post mount options to satisfy a range of frame and fork options, as well as in both Long Pull and Short Pull versions, so that flat bar and drop bar riders have an option. For our rim brake devotees, we’re offering Motolite linear pull brakes- which offer fantastic modulation, stopping power, and serviceability.
For levers, we’re offering Paul’s ‘Canti’ lever- a gorgeous blade of 6061 aluminum to articulate and pair seamlessly with the short pull variety of either Klamper brake option. Additionally, the classic ‘Love Levers’ are here for a more traditional long pull option for LP Klampers as well as Motolite brakes. There’s a braking solution for almost everyone.
To add another subtle ano hit and to get another rad company involved in our eternal quest for hatching esoteric bike jewelry, the good folks at White Industries were gracious enough to send Paul a grip of crank extractors to color match in both 30mm spindle as well as square taper sizes that will thread seamlessly with their fine line of crank arm offerings. Sweating the details.
Beyond components, the opportunity to collaborate with Paul on some parts had us wanting to offer up something that felt cultural and commemorative of the occasion, but also of SimWorks heritage. We decided on a custom engraving for the back side of their beloved bottle opener tool that acts as an alphabet lesson in Katakana characters- or Japanese syllabary. The Japanese writing system is comprised of these Katakana characters, along with kanji, and hiragana. Katakana is typically used for what we might in English typically italicize– such as technical or scientific terms, the names of plants or animals, but also to convey an emphasis or an attempt at onomatopoeia. Within the field of engraving on the tool are both the katakana characters for SimWorks as well as Paul Components. The bottle opener is a cultural artifact to serve as a reminder that the dynamic culture surrounding bikes, and riding them transcends national or political boundaries, as well as languages or other barriers and constructs. To use a tool to adjust your brakes, or to open a bottle of beer after a ride and offer it to a friend are universals. It’s a tool and a resource, but also a reminder. It would make for a keepsake gift for any bike loving friend- particularly one that finds themselves fascinated in the larger world and written languages beyond their everyday lives.
And the last piece in the collection is a Prismatic Blue water bottle- featuring those same katakana characters. Because water is life. The next time you’re out on a ride, lean your bike in the tall grass, take a sip of water, and a deep breath, and trace the paths you see on the bottle in the dirt or the gravel beneath you.
You’re learning to write a new language….