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I Wanna Look Good On a Bike.. But where?

Friday Features.

I ask friends what they would like to know or ask about Bikes or Cycling.

This came up in varying ways…

I want to get a bike and I want to ride my bike, BUT not on the road “am scared ” or a Cycle Lane “it’s intimidating ”

images                     blackfriars-bridge-junction-cycling


As someone who’s cycled safely since a kid, has confidence and awareness on a bike, I take it for granted… and have



Here are some great options for INTO the CYCLE LANES OFF the Roads.

This is just to show HOW much we can do on designated paths.


Two of my  Favourite Local rides are along the Thames Cycle Path

Start at The Cutty Sark Head East keep going until the Thames Barrier for light refreshments and a loo break.

If still energised and loving the traffic free Flat scenic ride, keep going to Erith.

Where you can jump on the train back into London.

Or from the Station in Erith and finish up in one of the many pubs along the Thames in Greenwich!

I will give more Traffic-free routes that have plenty to offer along the way, from Country pubs to city Shopping.



Another great place to cycle Traffic free IS the local royal parks , Cyclepark in Kent ,  Lea Valley , Canal Paths , Norfolk ,

all over the country check out for cycle routes all over the UK.


Happy Friday And Here’s our  Fun Track for the Weekend, about a River, by James Bay

James Bay – Hold Back The River 

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Brake is NOT a Hipster Brand…

And this is why…

A Hipster:

Defined by following the latest trends and fashions, especially those regarded as being outside the cultural mainstream.

The bikes generally accepted by the hipster, are ” retro” ” vintage “or “classic”. Its components could have been sourced from old bikes found in the shed , or off grandfather’s old favourite Bone Shaker.   A hipster will have a heightened importance of then assembling these variants; age, colour and size components into their very own Hipster Fixie. Whether built over a short time or a drawn out process. Will likely look a mix mash, and look like so much care has been put into it looking different it actually is just BAD!!

tallbike 100_3070 100_3072

I came across other views on Hipsters that thought rather amusing

Dan Fletcher in Time seems to support this theory, positing that stores like Urban Outfitters have mass-produced hipster chic, merging hipsterdom with parts of mainstream culture, thus overshadowing its originators’ still-strong alternative art and music scene.[11] According to Fletcher, “Hipsters manage to attract a loathing unique in its intensity. Critics have described the loosely defined group as smug, full of contradictions and, ultimately, the dead end of Western civilization


Julia Plevin In a Huffington Post article entitled “Who’s a Hipster?”, Julia Plevin argues that the “definition of ‘hipster’ remains opaque to anyone outside this self-proclaiming, highly-selective circle”. She claims that the “whole point of hipsters is that they avoid labels and being labeled. However, they all dress the same and act the same and conform in their non-conformity” to an “iconic carefully created sloppy vintage look”

We will Gleam and Glamourise tomorrow more on WHO Brake IS for…

Thanks for reading


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Look away Hipsters & Elitist Bike Snobs !

Brake has not been up to date on Blogging or keeping the story alive.

It’s not so easy to  convey Brake and who our unique audience is. So let’us give it go with a series of Blogs

One thing is clear who we are NOT aiming at, and this is easier to convey in conversation, face to face yet not so much via a google search!

So a good place is here, to start telling our story and making it clear WHO BRAKE is FOR by making it clear Who They ARE NOT for.

Bike Geeks : sourced from the Urban Dictionary

“Someone who is interested in cycling extends beyond mere enjoyment of the sport, and who is overly infatuated with the equipment itself. Obsessed with purchasing, or at least admiring, the very latest, overd frames, components, and even the apparel worn like spandex shorts and carbon fibre shoes.”




Unless the Carbon fibre Shoes are Gucci or the amazing  Zaha Hidid for United Nude Or  Nike Le Bron 9’s or Zoom Kobe 7’s

url                            1-nike-elite-carbon-fiber-sneakers-1


Spandex can it be stylish?  Or is it just for wearing it extremely tight or maybe it’s functional. Also known as Lycra or Elastane, Invented in the US in the 1960’s changed the Clothing Industry

This wonderful synthetic is used in an array of clothing, including Skinny Jeans, Ski wear, Bra’s , Underwear , leggings , dresses, pants, swimwear, spanx …. Not just for the tight Cycle shorts and tops…

We can ALL wear Carbon Fibre Shoes and wear our Spandex / Lycra anytime any day

Lets have some fun making a clear reference who BRAKE isn’t for …

Zaha Hadid blog by Artsy 


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Jumble & Pearls

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 10.40.50


This is such a fun, event we are looking forward to taking part, also we will be introducing our collaboration with b-lista clothing in bespoke bike poncho parker jackets. Limited and made for Brake. Hand made for the customer and the bike range.

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Conran estates interviews

What is your name? 

Rachel Thomas

What is your business called and where are you based?Brake bikes in Blackheath

Why did you choose the location?

I am a life resident in the area so an obvious choice.

How did you come up with your business name? 

My nick name from city trading days is RAK my favourite number is 33 so I came up with 3-RAK E-brake

What is your business?
Limited edition single speed fashion bicycles.

What made you set up your own business? I am passionate about bikes being a cool fashion accessory and people to feel that their bike can put them on the Urban Catwalk whilst being fit for purpose.

Are you online? Where can you be found website? here

Are you active on Social Media? Yes of course.  Like, Conran Estates I feel it is vital to be active on social media and therefore I am a keen user of twitter, facebook, instagram /brakebikes

What are your opening hours? It varies really. We are at events, pop up shops, markets, window displays so it depends upon that market we trade in!

Describe how you your customers? As much as it is possible I really take care that the customer meets me (the designer and owner) as much as possible. I want each customer to share the passion I have for the design, the look and the idea of looking good and keeping it simple.

What service/product is your seller, and why? The bikes are all equally good sellers.  Boys tend to pick one colour and ladies another!

Outside of your business hours, how many extra hours a week do you work for the business?  Ha ha, I am always working on the business, I live and breath it and as a start up I feel it has to be 100% priority.

How important is the support of your family when running a business? Yes off course, even cover for a lunch break is super albeit rare!

Is running your business harder than you thought it would be? If so, why? Yes, I deal with everything from time scales to managing everything else outside the communication with manufacturer and the face to face events, meeting people (which I love), the unloading, loading bikes, collecting payments from some stockists, and time consuming meetings. This seems to fill 24-hours of my day!!

Would you buy into the same sort of business again? Yes I can’t wait to order the second edition range, and expand the range, I have some really big ideas.

What is your biggest challenge? Converting sales! 99% of those that see the bikes LOVE them, the consumer nowadays has to think about a large spend and not slapping everything on credit cards.

What advice would you give someone who wants to set up their own business? Get advice from success stories, not from those giving advice from their couch (they will make an idea …. stay an idea…). If you are thinking about doing something GO small, do not break the bank, get into debt, do not make rash decisions and do not be forced into any deals!

What makes you enjoy what you do?  I love the bikes, I love the idea of people buying into street art as well as a decent bikes for £350.

Why do you like trading in the area? I am locally born and breed, and like the owner of Conran Estates, I love the idea of supporting local businesses and to revive shopping local.

Would you recommend to others to be a business owner? Definitely, only if they have the stamina, and do not have a fear of rejection!

What is your biggest business achievement thus far? Taking 4 Brake bikes to Amsterdam to feature on an episode on a huge TV show called “I will make you a supermodel”.

What exciting plans do you have for the business going forward? I have clients in Milan, Barcelona and Amsterdam. In 2014 I will be in NYC, LA and Austin

What is your biggest achievement in your personal life? Being an open out cry Future trader.

What interests do you have outside of your work commitments? Spinning, swimming and a Kabbalah student

Where do you live? Blackheath

Why do you like living there? The Village for the shops and restaurants, The heath and park for running in, and easy access to central London

What is your favourite food and your restaurant of choice in the local area? Chapters, Blackheath

What do you love? Turning challenges into opportunities.

Name 3 things that makes you tick? My parents, good friends, travel (although that’s been on hold for a year).

What 4 words would describe you? Mad, ambitious, caring, and empathetic.

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Hello Storm Brakers

At Brake HQ we have been busy. We have extended the Brand into East London which has proved a successful market, No wonder Brick Lane Bikes and look Mum no Hands started there.

We have showcased at a Designer Show and have been at The Old Truman Brewery Backmarket. Where I will be doing my Christmas shopping this year, there are some wonderful gift ideas.

Some exciting news is that, we where in the Netherlands, Amsterdam for almost a week, filming with my good friend Paul Fisher, on his new TV series I can make you a supermodel It is the concept of the TV show “Remodeled”  one step further.

Quote from RTV

“Each episode finds Paul and his team seeking out a specific girl or boy for a specific brand that might include the likes of  Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Massimo miu miu, Prada, or Louis Vuitton. Paul stated, “Me and my team are scouring the streets of Holland to find this one kid, this one special face for a very, very special designer…. In the season premiere, I take a pig farmer, a 17-year-old pig farmer, and watch what I do with her. I put her on the f’ing map.”

Brake bikes will be used by the team in episode 5 biking around  Amsterdam to find their next Supermodel.

The last Girls Paul found the two Ju’s opened for Prada, Miu Miu and Barcelona Gusto at NYC fashion week 2013.

The show starts Monday 14th March 9pm on RTL 5.

We then came back to reality when standing in a field at Cambridge Freshers week 2 days later.

November is looking really busy & fun we have been invited to exhibit by the great Toby Gwazdacz  fromVision nine at the Freeze Festival on  Clapham common from 27th Nov. We are doing an event alongside DJ Lisa Loud and friends at Pearls and Jumble (vintage) and Designers show at The Book Club. This friday we are having a fun open day at The dry Goods store in Maida Vale that Yasmeen and her great coffee shop is hosting.

keep up to date on &

Keep warm, and lights  on the Urban Catwalk this Autumn.

Rachel xxxx

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We Got Press!

Article on Brake: The Resident magazine:

Spotlight on Blackheath 

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Summer 2013

Hello Brakers.

Wow what an amazing summer we have had.

Brake has been busy and having a great time too, we’ve  showcased the bikes at some really fun places. From Watergate Bay to Penge,  From the Kings Road to the Olympic Park, it’s been a ride.

Rachel has had a few personal journeys along the way too!!!!

With the excitement of being part of  Boardmasters, a surfing and music festival at Fistral beach, came the horror of ZERO accommodation being Cornwall’s busiest week of the year. Keenly being advised part of the festival you get allocated “staff’ camping. I asked about the VIP site where I believe it may have just been a case that the grass maybe greener. Having fallen into the illusion of what now, I reassured myself it would be only for 3 nights and will be good for the soul and a life experience. To then receive the full press kit notifying that all retailers had to set up on the Tuesday for the  start of business on Wednesday morning.

This turned a three night camping experience into an unrealistic living nightmare, SIX nights camping (still zero hotel accommodation). With advise,  comfort and next  to counselling efforts from dear family and friends, along with loans of all the elitist camping gear. One is ready as can be for the challenge ahead.

After a six hour solo drive, to beautiful Cornwall with it’s magnificent waters and sandy bays. I unload the Bikes and Brake products i need to set up shop and head to the overwhelming campsite 4 miles along the coast.

Totally out of any possible scenario one could have pre determined,  with the task of setting up the huge tent i insisted i took ( where would my wardrobe of clothes go huh??) i looked as daft as i could, (non intentionally one must add) i soon attracted of a neighbour. He  and his wife where soon putting the tent up and kindly engaging the steps of erecting the tent. Even after diagrams, video’s and instructions my father kindly delivered, to a non plus daughter who said Look i am not putting the tent up, i will get a man too.

Being a newly celebrated feminist,t here are still boundaries where it is good for a man to man stuff and for a woman to gracefully… let him get on with it.

First night – terrible, cold and damp,

Second night – i got a loo for the porch way, what a dream, slept well.

Third night –  torrential rain and wind, tent needed 2am repairs. WOKEN up by the greenest, prickllyist, biggest cricket in my hair. my heart rate went through the roof

Forth night – slept like a baby even had a lie in! and almost late for work at the beach.

Fifth and sixth partied at the music festival to bassment jaxx and grandmaster flash slept great.

The bikes where loved on the south coast as much as the are in London, i  was encouraged with the range to leave a limited amount of bikes in the Cornwall area, waiting on a preferred supplier now to choose.

We have also exhibited at The Urban East festival at the first Anniversary for the Olympic park in July, that was very special and a humbling day for all. Check out our for the fun we had there.

We tried the new Pop up shop on the Kings Road, which was an experience working with 10 other strong minded designers, and showcasing the bikes to another location.

As an ex city trader,  financial market maker and an attempted Hollywood film producer, nothing ever comes from relying on others I believe hard work along with humility and determination.  I am experiencing and developing in so many ways that i could not imagine. And thriving along the process. And why?  because i believe in BRAKE and I love the Bikes.

I would love to mention with thanks to Michael Caine (RAFFLES CLOTHES SHOP BLACKHEATH) for continual support of local businesses and Brake as a start up. David Wright for becoming the famous shop in Blackheath with “the bike in the window” Louise at Urban East Bazaar, Toby from nine vision, Lewisham Bike shop, Paul and Rob for all the advice on bikes, customers, and how to be real in business. Mister Greenwich @mistergreenwich for all the Re-Tweets, and Frazer & Julia for all the camping advise and camping equipment. (i had all the gear and no idea)





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Spring is here Brakers


Hello Brakers

Spring is making the odd PA. Looking forward to the momentum of  Sun, Healthy, Outdoor living and getting ourselves on that Urban Catwalk.

We have had lots of exiting news in the last month. Bikes are selling, notching up the collectable Street Art status. We have  secured a shop in  Barcelona,  We took part In a Street Urban Arts Festival,   We have had tweets from our friends Balthazer Getty,Steve Smith, DJ Paul Harris, Dirty Vegas, Emma B, Rob Morris, Blake Samson and alike.

Keep your eyes out for our social media videos, with a few  cool collaborations. Shooting again in June, look out for the shoot Location on our twitter feed.

BIg shout out to  Dave at Chandler Wrights, Michael and Dan at Raffles Clothes Shop, Mick at Valentine Vintage, The lewisham bike shop, Vernon Thomas- GB triathlete, Brendan Tyler- Film maker and not forgetting  Paul and Rob Meopham of Harry Perry cycles.We guess you are as happy as we are… The Sun has shone, the rain has halted.

Lets get healthy, happy and do this on our bikes. Calling all good looking people in Blackheath, Greenwich and London to add to this with a Brake bike.

The amount of  “Wows” “Beautiful” and road blocks, lets Whoop this into our Single gear bikes, NOT “fixies” or Fixed  Gear, bikes.  We can freewheel through Greenwich Park and surroundings.

We have he look and style of a ‘Fixie’ with simple  smooth ride with nano hassle .

Let the Sun Shine, and let us all get on a Brake bike with love health and ease.

SPRING HAS SPRUNG- happy- Rachel Thomas

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Happy February Brakers.

As spring approaches… We hope, the bikes look even better. We have secured a bike shop to show and stock the range,

and have had lots of interest from Fashion Bloggers, so look forward to posting the Guest Blog spots soon.

Meanwhile to have a test ride and see the range e will be at The Raffles Forecourt every Sunday. Also private appointments to view the range can be arranged on Mondays and Thursdays.

Thank you all for your support and for loving the bikes and colours.


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