If you ever visit the Incu office, you might be forgiven for thinking we moonlight as a bike store. On any given day you’ll find upwards of eight two-wheeled machines scattered around our studio; that’s a lot considering we’re a pretty tight knit team of fifteen.
This month we’re excited to be bringing the cycling-wear range Attaquer to our Sydney City Mens store for a fleeting foray in to what we think is the best cycling kit around. To celebrate the pop-up project, we spoke to Attaquer co-founders Stevan Musulin and Greg Hamer about the label, the evolution of cycling in Australia and how to not look whack in lycra.
Hey guys, tell us how you first get into cycling?
Stevan: I’ve always ridden all types of bikes since about age four. My passion for road cycling came about mainly from convenience and coincidence, when a couple of years ago I moved house and was no longer living near the beach. Soon after that I started riding a fixie to and from work. This quickly developed into a steel frame roadie with brakes and gears. To fill the void of not being able to surf daily, Road Cycling developed even further from being basic transportation to and from work, into a carbon ridden regularly for fun, fitness and socializing. Probably a familiar story to many cyclists.
Greg: Similar to Stevan, growing up in Australia in the 80’s we didn’t have the X-Box and Playstation keeping us inside. We left the house on our bikes early in the morning with strict instructions to be home by the time the street lights came on, that was life. When most others then gave the bike up I stayed on it getting into racing mountain bikes, etc. This racing led to getting onto the road bike for training purposes and from there the love for the roadie began.
What city do you most enjoy cycling in?
Stevan: I’d have to say Amsterdam has probably been the most interesting city-cycling city I’ve been to. The city is designed for cyclists and they have right-of-way over cars. The culture is completely opposite to how it is here. Everyone owns and rides a bike, it’s engrained in society. It can be snowing out and everyone will still ride to work. Women can be dressed to the nines and still be riding their bikes. It’s so different to Australia where we still see it as a pleasure sport as opposed to a cheap, clean, primary source of transport.
Greg: I would actually say Melbourne. Melbourne is blessed to have a nice, flat city which makes commuting easy and enjoyable and then good hills very close by when you want to get out and stretch your legs. Not only that but the drivers in Melbourne are much more aware of cyclists so you feel a lot safer. Just watch out for the tram tracks in the wet.
What ride do you most enjoy doing in or around Sydney?
Stevan: Any of the national parks, north or south of Sydney. (Bobbin Head, Akuna, Sutherland)
Greg: I am originally from the north so would have to say Church Point, Akuna Bay, West Head. To have such quiet, bicycle friendly and beautiful roads so close to the city is great.
FIVE YEARS AGO CYCLING WAS ALMOST A SUB-CULTURE FOR THE DIE-HARDS WILLING TO SHAVE THEIR LEGS AND DON THE LYCRA AT 6AM IN THE MORNING.
How do you think cycling culture changed in the last few years?
Greg: The cycling culture has changed considerably in the past few five years. I think the biggest change has come from the growth in the sport. Your white collar, corporate, executive types who used to walk the golf courses before work and on the weekends have all traded the golf clubs in for high-end road bikes. Five years ago cycling was almost a sub-culture for the die-hards willing to shave their legs and don the lycra at 6am in the morning. It’s now quite mainstream. This growth certainly has it’s pros and cons.
Where did the moniker Attaquer originate from?
Stevan: We brainstormed names for quite a while, but this was one that Greg came up with and we both liked. It’s a French word which means “To Attack”. In a cycling context, it describes an aggressive style of riding or a rider who likes to attack on climbs or sprints.
What made you want to create your own cycling kit?
Stevan: Since I was fairly new to road cycling and have a background in the street apparel business, I felt there wasn’t any cycling kit out there that I really wanted to wear or could identify with. Since Greg was already in the cycling business and was on a similar wave length to me when it came to cycling fashion, I suggested why not join forces and start up our own brand for the cyclist who might want an alternative to what’s traditionally been available in cycling.
Greg: Exactly as Stevan said, I could not find any cycling kit that I wanted to wear. Everything is either Euro-centric or panelled garments with very little creativity or individuality. Commercially it also made sense, with that growth of the industry there were a lot of new demographics entering the market, each with their own style and fashion sense. We like to think we’re providing an alternative for the guys that don’t want to look like that the new breed of 50+ cycling bankers at the cafe post ride.
Tell us a little about the Attaquer atheistic and what it’s inspired by?
Stevan: For our first season, the Attaquer aesthetic is about using clean, bold lines in such a way that our kits stand out and our hand writing can be easily identified from all other brands. We’re inspired by street artists; fashion, music, culture, architecture, design, food, people etc and we try to incorporate all of these things into Attaquer.
What’s one thing that you think separates cycling from most other sports?
Stevan: Lycra with padded bums ;)
Greg: There aren’t too many sport where you can spend 2-3 hours on a Saturday morning talking shit with your mates whilst enjoying the great outdoors and getting fit, and still be home in time to have breakfast and read the paper with the partner.
What’s the best thing to do after a long ride?
Stevan: Eat, stretch and shower. I’d say have a nap too, but if you’re in a relationship and you cycle, you’ll know your partner will never let you sleep after you’ve just spent the morning riding and should be spending quality time with them…
Greg: Plug the Garmin in and upload your ride onto Strava.