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10 Pedal Bikes That Might Cost More Than Your Car

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any better than this, you find out that car manufacturers have begun to branch out into bikes. In reality, carmakers have been producing and branding bikes for over 15 years. Mercedes-Benz started this trend by branding an AMP mountain bike.

The bike could be folded into a suitcase and put in the trunk of a car. Back in 1997, which was when this happened, the bike weighed 24 pounds. This wasn’t a bad weight at all for that day and age. The price wasn’t that out of this world either. It was just £3,300.

Soon, other car companies had begun to follow suit, with BMW creating an Olympic Games mountain bike that only cost $800. This was in 1997 as well. However, as car manufacturers began to rise in worth over the subsequent years, the cost of all their products increased as well.

Indeed, a Ferrari branded keychain soon cost as much as £30. This is a pretty big deal, considering that a keychain usually costs around £5. However, car companies actually began to make bikes for the wealthier consumer market.

They felt that this allowed them to promote their brand as caring about the environment. After all, it doesn’t get any greener than a bicycle. After a few years of creating mountain and road bikes, companies began to branch out into a relatively new technology.

This was the electric bike. The manufacturers did anything they could in order to appear environmentally friendly. Now, nearly all major automotive brands have manufactured bicycles that sport their logos. Sometimes, these bikes even share the same technology as the cars made by the automaker.

Of course, you aren’t going to find a bike from a major car company that costs £800 anymore. Today, most of the bikes from car manufacturers cost more than your family vehicle. They completely deserve the price tag, at times. Sometimes though it feels like the bike is only expensive because of the brand name.

Some people still go for these bikes as well, purely so that they can show off the flashy, premium logos that the bike features. While it is not recommended that you blow your retirement savings on a road bike made by Lamborghini that costs roughly the same as a mid-range sports car you can if you want to.

Without further ado, here are 10 bikes made by car companies, in recent years that are among the most expensive and innovative in the world. You can always find many more to come in the near future, as there are a number of concept auto bikes out there that may or may not be shelved later.

BMC Lamborghini Limited Edition Road Bike

1 – BMC Lamborghini Limited Edition Road Bike

Lamborghini has collaborated with BMC in order to design and produce this limited edition beauty of the streets. BMC is a Swiss company that is known for producing some of the best bikes in the world. One of their sub-brands, impec, is known for some of the best BMC bikes in the world.

Lamborghini has worked with impec to create a road bike that is definitely a step into the future. Exactly 50 of these premium bikes were made, in celebration of 50 years of Lamborghini. The bike is one of Lamborghini’s finest creations, and released with the Veneno supercar.

The frame, designed by impec, is made out of bespoke carbon fiber. It has been woven by robots and joined by their very own Shell Nodes. It features a 22 gear drivetrain, and Campagnolo Bora deep-section wheels. The bike is a truly sleek beauty, and is definitely one of the most exclusive out there.

It is true that the Lamborghini logo in itself is part of what imparts such a huge price on a road bike. However, it can’t be denied that the technology used to build the bike, as well as the branding on the build kit (Campagnolo Super Record EPS) make for a bike that is very nice indeed.

Price: £23,000 (on release)

Porsche Bike RS

2 – Porsche Bike RS

Porsche is one of the most famous brands of automobiles anywhere. It is the first bike with 2 accelerators to have been made by Porsche, which has actually been creating bikes for quite a while. Their bikes generally aren’t as expensive as you would expect, although they do still cost big bucks.

The bike frame is made out of high-end carbon, with carbon handlebars, stem and seat posts. All of these are ergonomically designed. The bike also features premium Shimano XTR drive, with 20 speed gears. The brakes are Magura MT8s, and the wheels are Crankbrothers Cobalt 3 wheels with Schwalbe Marathon Supreme Performance road tires.

It is a hybrid road bike, and is very beautifully made indeed. Although Porsche seems to have forgotten that roads have tiny bumps in them, leading to a noticeable lack of comfort, the lightweight fun to ride bike has definitely earned its place among the high rollers. The top speed of this bike has not been assessed, but it is definitely a speedster.

Price: 4K

Specialized S-Works McLaren Tarmac

3 – Specialized S-Works McLaren Tarmac

Specialized is a very famous premium sport bike manufacturing company. They have consistently been rated as one of the top bike manufacturers in the world. The bike maker and the world famous McLaren car company have joined forces to create the S-Works McLaren Tarmac road bike, which is one beautiful machine.

It comes in as a big brother to the S-Works Tarmac, one of the faster road bikes you will ever have the joy of riding. It offers 10% less weight than the standard bike, and uses a McLaren patented carbon fiber layup technology (FACT construction).

The handlebars are custom made by AeroFly, and the wheelset is a specially selected CLX40R tubular wheelset. The hubs and crankset are ceramic coated to reduce friction and make for a sleek, superfast road bike overall. The bike is limited edition, so only 250 are being made by Specialized.

The painting is done at the same location where the McLaren P1 is painted, and comes with an exclusive McLaren branded paint job. The bike comes with a custom fitted helmet, cycling shoes, and a name plate and wall plaque that are personalized to each buyer. This is definitely a bike worth buying, if you have the money for it.

Price: 15K

Aston Martin One-77 Bike

4 – Aston Martin One-77 Bike

The Aston Martin One 77 was one of the “sexiest cars ever made”. It sold out in record time after being released into the market. The British car manufacturer had truly outdone itself. Then, to celebrate the success of the car that was made famous for being James Bond’s ride of choice, they decided to go a step further.

Aston Martin partnered with Factor Bikes, one of the most premium bike makers in the UK, with a reputation for speed and elegant design. Together, they created and launched the Aston Martin One77 superbike. They called it the “most technologically advanced road bike ever”.

Like its namesake car, the One 77 bike also uses a carbon fiber build in order to minimize the weight, and features a high-end onboard computer to give riders a taste of the sheer luxury that the coupe offered when it was being sold.

The computer uses a range of sensors including those in the crank, rear wheel and GPS, in order to calculate and deliver accurate performance results to the cyclist. These results include a wide spectrum of calculations, including crank torque and force in each leg separately, along with wasted power, acceleration, friction, rate of climb and thrust.

Price: £28,600

Montante Maserati

5 – Montante Maserati

In 1940, Wilbur Shaw of the Maserati Racing Team won the Indy 500 with a crushing victory over 200 laps. 70 years later, Maserati decided to fly their colors by working with the Italian bike builders Montante Cicli to produce a truly retro road bike.

200 models of the bike were made, and all of them feature detailing that matched the Maserati 8CTF interior, as well as having a unique chassis plate for each example of the bike. The bikes aren’t even that expensive, for their carbon fiber frames and Maserati logo.

Price: £3750

BMW Cruise e-bike

6 – BMW Cruise e-bike

BMW has been producing electric bicycles for a while now, and they have always been top notch. The latest edition of the Cruise electric bike features a Bosch 400Wh battery, which is used in conjunction with the pedaling motion.

The top speed of this bike is 54kmph, which for a bike is downright fast. It boasts a gorgeous design, with the BMW logo adding a premium feel to an already great looking bike. It uses a lightweight aluminum frame and Shimano BR disc brakes. The bike is shipped only within Europe.

Price: £ 2800

Ford Super Cruiser e-bike

7 – Ford Super Cruiser e-bike

This bike was built by Pedego, and was designed by Tony Ellsworth himself. It is a gorgeous example of classic Ford quality. It uses a 500W motor to cruise around all day in the epitome of luxury and class. The throttle and the gear selector both have a very premium look and feel.

Unlike most of the bikes built by car companies, the Ford Super Cruiser isn’t your typical road bike. While most of the company’s focus on sleek, lightweight sports bikes or technological advancements like onboard computers, the super cruiser is a more humble electric cruiser, with some very cool looking Schwalbe Big Ben fat tires on it and the Ford logo sewn into the seat and emblazoned on the bike.

Price: £2800

Smart ebike

8 – Smart ebike

Smart is a company known for its….well, its smart way of getting its cars to be the greenest anywhere. This company is quite well celebrated for its innovation. The smart ebike is a prime example of this grand thinking.

The bike features a 300W electric motor that works when you use the pedals. It weighs 57 pounds, and uses an aluminum alloy frame as well as a 3 speed SRAM gear system. The pedals are Ergon PC2 platforms, and the brakes are Magura MT4 hydraulic disc brakes. It is definitely a bike that is worth considering as a step into the future.

Price: £2550

Ferrari CX60 Mountain Bike

9 – Ferrari CX60 Mountain Bike

This is the perfect bicycle for any enthusiasts in the field of trail and MTB riding, who are also fans of the famous Italian automobile manufacturer. It comes with a Rock Shox suspension system, and Suntour Epicon forks. The derailleurs and shifters are Shimano LX, and the frame is made from aluminum.

The bike also features Shimano Deore hydraulic disc brakes and Continental Explorer 26 tires, along with high density Wellgo pedals, and a Ferrari design saddle made out of high quality microfiber. Produced by Turbo in association with Colnago, this exclusive Ferrari MTB is everything you will ever need for the trails.

Price: £2850

Volkswagen Bik.e electric bike

10 – Volkswagen Bik.e electric bike

Volkswagen has come under a lot of fire recently because of “dieselgate”, a fiasco in which it was discovered that they had been using special devices to give false results on US emissions tests. The CEO of the company has already resigned, and it looks like there is no way out for what is the biggest automaker in the world.

Or is there? VW recently unveiled a concept electric bike in China called the Bik.e, which is a small, lightweight folding e-bike with rumored aluminum or magnesium construction and a weight of under 20 kilograms. Although not many details have been released concerning the bike, its release soon could coincide with the announcement of a new face for the company, one that is far greener.

Price: N/A

Are car company bikes an advertising gimmick?

It is doubtful that the bikes produced by car companies will ever gain traction in a world where people are already struggling to make ends meet. The hefty prices of the bikes they make will make anyone have second thoughts about getting one.

However, it is perfect as a marketing strategy to make themselves look better in the eyes of the public. To companies like VW, this is very crucial right now. If you have the funds to buy one of these bikes, do so if you absolutely have to. And then send us pictures.

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Lamborghini e-bikes: Electric bicycles with Raging Bull name and logo.

Lamborghini is venturing again into the bicycle business collaborating with Italtechnology for e-bikes with the raging bull branding. On at least a couple of occasions, Lamborghini has collaborated with bicycle manufacturers to create high-end racing bikes. Now, the automaker has teamed up with the Italian company  to produce a line of Lamborghini-branded e-bikes.

The announcement was made at the Lamborghini museum in SantAgata Bolognese. The E-Bikes by Italtechnology for Automobili Lamborghini currently consist of two models – a mountain bike and a road bike (pictured here are only the mountain bike). This is, in fact, not the first time Lamborghini has teamed up with bicycle manufacturers to build high-end race bikes.

The electric bicycles, being a product with Lamborghini name and logo, can be customised through the Ad Personam program – which means you can order your electric bicycle in the same colour as a Lamborghini Huracan Performante or others reserved for Lamborghini cars.

Both models, Lamborghini mountain e-bike and road e-bike, feature eight speeds and an anti-theft PIN that locks the rear hub to prevent pedalling. The rear wheel is designed to be removed in five seconds to facilitate transport, and the lithium-ion battery is integrated into the frame. Battery life in Eco mode of the Lamborghini e-bikes, according to the manufacturer, will be around 145 kilometres.

Full details on the specifications of the Lamborghini e-bikes are not known yet, but the manufacturer has said that the bikes have been designed for “customers who want ultimate performance on the road, with a bike that can quickly reach the maximum speed allowed by current regulations.”

Slated to go on sale in May 2018, expect a hefty price tag on these babies – it’s Lamborghini, for Pete’s sake. Lambo e-bikes will only be available at select retailers and online stores.

Both e-bikes were reportedly conceived, designed and built entirely in Italy, are the result of over five years of research, and feature four international patents. Lamborghini’s business I diversified – from farm tractors to 2+2 land missiles to the soon-to-debut Aventador SVJ, they’ve done it all. And now, a go at green mobility, a nice blend of contrasts.

 

 

On this day : The 18th April 1915

Blackbeard: History of the Dreaded Pirate

Pirate

The pirate Blackbeard is perhaps the most notorious of sea robbers.

He and other pirates plagued shipping lanes off North America and throughout the Caribbean in the early-eighteenth century: an era commonly referred to as the “Golden Age of Piracy.”

From Anonymity, a Life of War and Roguery

Despite his legendary reputation, little is known about the early life of Blackbeard. Even his true name is uncertain, though it is usually given as some variation of Edward Thatch or Teach.

He is reported to have served as a privateer during Queen Anne’s War (1701 – 1714), and turned to piracy sometime after the war’s conclusion.

In Pursuit of a Famous Pirate

N.C.-based Maritime archaeologist and historian David Moore spent considerable time tracing the history of Blackbeard.

The earliest primary source document Moore located that mentions the pirate by name dates to the summer of 1717. Other records indicate that by the fall of 1717 Blackbeard was operating off Delaware and Chesapeake bays in conjunction with two other pirate captains, Benjamin Hornigold and Stede Bonnet.

Blackbeard served an apprenticeship under Hornigold before becoming a pirate captain in his own right.

Learn More About Stede Bonnet

Queen in the Caribbean

Late in the fall of 1717, the pirates made their way to the eastern Caribbean. It was here, off the island of Martinique, that Blackbeard and his fellow pirates captured the French slaveship La Concorde –– a vessel he would keep as his flagship and rename Queen Anne’s Revenge.

After crossing the Atlantic during its third journey, and only 100 miles from Martinique, the French ship encountered Blackbeard and his company. According to a primary account, the pirates were aboard two sloops, one with 120 men and twelve cannon, and the other with thirty men and eight cannon.

With the French crew already reduced by sixteen fatalities and another thirty-six seriously ill from scurvy and dysentery, the French were powerless to resist. After the pirates fired two volleys at La Concorde, Captain Dosset surrendered the ship.

View Real Weaponry Found on the Ship

From La Concorde to Mauvaise Rencontre

The pirates took La Concorde to the island of Bequia in the Grenadines where the French crew and the enslaved Africans were put ashore. While the pirates searched La Concorde, the French cabin boy, Louis Arot, informed them of the gold dust that was aboard. The pirates searched the French officers and crew and seized the gold.

The cabin boy and three of his fellow French crewmen voluntarily joined the pirates, and ten others were taken by force including a pilot, three surgeons, two carpenters, two sailors, and the cook. Blackbeard and his crew decided to keep La Concorde and left the French the smaller of the two pirate sloops.

The French gave their new and much smaller vessel the appropriate name Mauvaise Rencontre (Bad Encounter) and, in two trips, succeeded in transporting the remaining Africans from Bequia to Martinique.

Sailing, Slaving, and PiracyLearn about the La Concorde’s journeys prior to its capture by Blackbeard.

View Artifacts: Tools and InstrumentsExamine some of the tools and instruments Blackbeard and his crew used to navigate and survive at sea.

An Increasingly Dangerous Pirate Force, 1717-18

Leaving Bequia in late November, Blackbeard with his new ship, now renamed Queen Anne’s Revenge, cruised the Caribbean, taking prizes and adding to his fleet. According to David Moore’s research, from the Grenadines, Blackbeard sailed north along the Lesser Antilles plundering ships near St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Nevis, and Antigua, and by early December he had arrived off the eastern end of Puerto Rico.

From there, a former captive reported that the pirates were headed to Samana Bay in Hispaniola (Dominican Republic).

By April 1718, the pirates were off the Turneffe Islands in the Bay of Honduras. It was there that Blackbeard captured the sloop Adventure, forcing the sloop’s captain, David Herriot, to join him. Sailing east once again, the pirates passed near the Cayman Islands and captured a Spanish sloop off Cuba that they also added to their flotilla.

Blackbeard Terrorizes Charleston, 1718

Turning north, they sailed through the Bahamas and proceeded up the North American coast. In May 1718, the pirates arrived off Charleston, South Carolina, with Queen Anne’s Revenge and three smaller sloops.

In perhaps the most brazen act of his piratical career, Blackbeard blockaded the port of Charleston for nearly a week. The pirates seized several ships attempting to enter or leave the port and detained the crew and passengers of one ship, the Crowley, as prisoners.

As ransom for the hostages, Blackbeard demanded a chest of medicine. Once delivered, the captives were released, and the pirates continued their journey up the coast.

Charles Johnson’s A General History of the Pyrates, p. 73″Teach detained all the Ships and Prisoners, and, being in want of medicines, resolves to demand a Chest from the Government of the Province… threatning [sic], that if they did not send immediately the Chest of Medicines, and let the Pyrate-Ambassadors return… they would murder all their Prisoners…”

Mishaps Off the North Carolina Coast

Soon after leaving Charleston, Blackbeard’s fleet attempted to enter Old Topsail Inlet in North Carolina, now known as Beaufort Inlet. During that attempt, Queen Anne’s Revenge and the sloop Adventure grounded on the ocean bar and were abandoned. Research by David Moore, and others, has uncovered two eyewitness accounts that shed light on where the two pirate vessels were lost.

According to a deposition given by David Herriot, the former captain of Adventure, “the said Thatch’s ship Queen Anne’s Revenge run a-ground off of the Bar of Topsail-Inlet.” Herriot further states that Adventure “run a-ground likewise about Gun-shot from the said Thatch”.

Captain Ellis Brand of the HMS Lyme provided additional insight as to where the two ships were lost in a letter (July 12, 1718) to the Lords of Admiralty. In that letter Brand stated that: “On the 10th of June or thereabouts a large pyrate Ship of forty Guns with three Sloops in her company came upon the coast of North carolina ware they endeavour’d To goe in to a harbour, call’d Topsail Inlet, the Ship Stuck upon the barr att the entrance of the harbour and is lost; as is one of the sloops.”

See Blackbeard Artifacts in BeaufortVisit the North Carolina Maritime Museum in Beaufort’s popular exhibit featuring a huge selection of artifacts from the Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Was the Loss of QAR Blackbeard’s Gambit?

In his deposition, Herriot claims that Blackbeard intentionally grounded Queen Anne’s Revenge and Adventure in order to break up the company, which by this time had grown to over 300 pirates. Intentional or not, that is what happened as Blackbeard marooned some pirates and left Beaufort with a hand picked crew and most of the valuable plunder.

The Reckoning

Blackbeard’s piratical career ended six months later at Ocracoke Inlet on the North Carolina coast. There he encountered an armed contingent sent by Virginia Governor Alexander Spotswood and led by Royal Navy Lieutenant Robert Maynard.

In a desperate battle aboard Maynard’s sloop, Blackbeard and a number of his fellow pirates were killed. Maynard returned to Virginia with the surviving pirates and the grim trophy of Blackbeard’s severed head hanging from the sloop’s bowsprit.

Buy “Blackbeard Reconsidered: Mist’s Piracy, Thache’s Genealogy”Read the book from North Carolina Historical Publications to learn more about Blackbeard’s family and origins.

Blackbeard Reconsidered

In 2015, historian Baylus Brooks examined official government records in Jamaica and Church of England records to gain new insight into the identity of Blackbeard. Brooks was able to assembly the immediate lineage of Edward Thache, a respected resident of Spanish Town, Jamaica.

Because of this work, Blackbeard’s actions now can be placed in an appropriate historical context. Brooks’s genealogical research is enhanced by Blackbeard’s family tree contained in the book he wrote on the subject, which also includes information on when the family moved to Jamaica.

Could Drinking Alcohol Be Better Than Exercise For Living A Longer Life ?

When you hear the term alcohol, you automatically associate it with negative aspects. I can’t fault you for this since alcohol has been proven to have many adverse health effects on the human body. But what if I told you that new research has surfaced that would suggest that moderate consumption of alcohol could lead to a longer life? (The keywords being moderate consumption). The Time has released an article which states that drinking alcohol can lead to a longer, more prosperous life.

drinking alcohol

The American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual conference is where this research was presented. The individual behind these findings is neurologist Claudia Kawas, who states that drinking two glasses of beer or wine a day can reduce the risk of premature death. In fact, she adds that it has even better statistics than those who exercise on a daily basis.

In order to determine this conclusion, Kawas and her colleagues took data from a long-term study that was conducted at the UC Irvine’s Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders and analyzed it. The study was called the 90+ study, which has been following elderly individuals who lived to be historic landmarks since 2003. The reason this study exists was to see which lifestyle practices gave people the best longevity.

After her team analyzed the data from the study, they concluded that individuals who consumed two glasses of wine or beer per day reduced their risk of an early death by an astonishing 18%. To compare that statement, individuals who exercised between 15 to 45 minutes per day cut the exact same risk, but only by 11%.

drinking alcohol

This new found research suggests that consuming alcohol could be the secret to living a longer life. But this study isn’t the first to link alcohol to a longer life though. A 2015 study published in the journal BMJ Open found that those suffering from mild Alzheimer’s and moderately drank were less likely to die. In addition, a 2017 study that’s published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that moderate drinkers reduced the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to those who didn’t drink.

drinking alcohol

For the 2017 study, over 333,000 people were surveyed about their alcohol consumption and the type of lifestyle they lived. They were tracked for an average of eight years. Those who were light and moderate drinkers reduced their risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease by 25 to 30%.

Although research does suggest that moderate drinking could contribute to a longer life, we still need to remember that consuming large quantities of alcohol has consequences. If you are trying to lose weight, alcohol contains empty calories that will contribute to weight gain. I would also like to mention that if you are drinking alcohol, always make sure that you have the proper transportation home. Never drink and drive.

drinking alcohol

Your Grandpa’s Jeans: A Primer on Raw and Selvedge Denim.

raw selvedge denim guide

While denim jeans have been a clothing staple for men since the 19th century, the jeans you’re probably wearing right now are a lot different from the denim jeans that your grandpa or even your dad wore.

Before the 1950s, most denim jeans were crafted from raw and selvedge denim that was made in the United States. But in the subsequent decades, as denim went from workwear to an everyday style staple, the way jeans were produced changed dramatically. With the implementation of cost cutting technologies and the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs to developing countries, the quality of your average pair was greatly reduced. Changes in consumer expectations altered the denim landscape as well; guys wanted to pick up pre-washed, pre-faded, pre-broken-in, and even pre-“ripped” jeans that “looked” like they’d been worn for years.

But about a decade ago, the pendulum began to swing back again. Men started pushing back against the low-quality, cookie-cutter, pre-faded jean monopoly. They wanted a quality pair of denim jeans and to break them in naturally. They wanted to pull on the kind of American-made dungarees their grandpas wore.

To give us the scoop on raw and selvedge denim, we talked to Josey Orr (fast fact: Josey was named after the protagonist in The Outlaw Josey Wales), co-founder of Dyer and Jenkins, an L.A.-based company that’s producing raw and selvedge denim right here in the United States.

Note: This is not a sponsored post. I just hit up Josey for the inside dope on denim because he’s a cool young dude who makes awesome jeans, has an awesome beard, and knows his stuff.

To first understand raw and selvedge denim jeans, it helps to know what those terms even mean.

What is Raw Denim?

If you’re reading this in the email, click here to watch our video intro to raw and selvedge denim. 

Most denim jeans you buy today have been pre-washed to soften up the fabric, reduce shrinkage, and prevent indigo dye from rubbing off. Raw denim (sometimes called “dry denim”) jeans are simply jeans made from denim that hasn’t gone through this pre-wash process.

Because the fabric hasn’t been pre-washed, raw denim jeans are pretty stiff when you put them on the first time. It takes a few weeks of regular wear to break-in and loosen up a pair. The indigo dye in the fabric can rub off as well. We’ll talk more about this when we go over the pros and cons of raw denim below.

Raw denim (all denim actually) comes in two types: sanforized or unsanforized. Sanforized denim has undergone a chemical treatment that prevents shrinkage after you wash your jeans. Most mass-produced jeans are sanforized, and many raw and selvedge denim jeans are too. Unsanforized denim hasn’t been treated with that shrink-preventing chemical, so when you do end up washing or soaking your jeans, they’ll shrink by 5%-10%.

What is Selvedge Denim?

vintage man on motorcycle rolled cuff jeans american flag background

To understand what “selvedge” means, you need to understand a bit of history on fabric production.

Before the 1950s, most fabrics — including denim — were made on shuttle looms. Shuttle looms produce tightly woven strips (typically one yard wide) of heavy fabric. The edges on these strips of fabric come finished with tightly woven bands running down each side that prevent fraying, raveling, or curling. Because the edges come out of the loom finished, denim produced on shuttle looms are referred to as having a “self-edge,” hence the name “selvedge” denim.

During the 1950s, the demand for denim jeans increased dramatically. To reduce costs, denim companies began using denim created on projectile looms. Projectile looms can create wider swaths of fabric and much more fabric overall at a much cheaper price than shuttle looms. However, the edge of the denim that comes out of a projectile loom isn’t finished, leaving the denim susceptible to fraying and unraveling. Josey pointed out that contrary to what you may hear from denim-heads, denim produced on a projectile loom doesn’t necessarily equate to a poorer quality fabric. You can find plenty of quality jean brands from denim made on projectile looms.

Most jeans on the market today are made from non-selvedge denim. The pros of this have been the increased availability of affordable jeans; I recently needed a pair of jeans in a pinch while on a trip and was able to score a pair of Wrangler’s at Walmart for just $14. But consumers have been missing out on the tradition and small quality details of classic selvedge denim without even knowing it.

selvedge vs non-selvedge jeans denim

Thanks to the “heritage movement” in menswear, selvedge denim jeans have slowly been making a comeback during the past ten years or so. Several small, independent jeans companies have sprouted up (like Dyer and Jenkins) selling selvedge denim jeans. Even some of the Big Boys (Levis, Lee’s) in the jean industry have gotten back to their roots by selling special edition selvedge versions of their jeans.

The problem with this selvedge denim revival has been finding the selvedge fabric to make the jeans, because there are so few factories in the world using shuttle looms. For a while, Japan held a near monopoly on the production of selvedge denim because that’s where most of the remaining shuttle looms are; the Japanese love everything post-WWII Americana, and they’ve been sporting 1950s-inspired selvedge denim jeans for a long time now.

Japan remains the world’s top producer of high-end selvedge denim.

But there are a few companies in the U.S. producing denim on old shuttle looms as well. The most prominent selvedge denim mill is Cone Cotton Mill’s White Oak factory in North Carolina. White Oak sources the cotton for their denim from cotton grown in the U.S., so their denim is 100% grown and woven in the USA.

Don’t Confuse Selvedge with Raw

A common misconception is that all selvedge denim jeans are raw denim jeans and vice versa. Remember, selvedge refers to the edge on the denim and raw refers to a lack of pre-washing on the fabric.

While most selvedge jeans on the market are also made with raw denim, you can find jeans that are made from selvedge fabric but have been pre-washed, too. You can also find raw denim jeans that were made in a projectile loom, and thus don’t have a selvedge edge.

Make sure to keep this distinction in mind when you start shopping for selvedge or raw jeans.

The Pros and Cons of Selvedge and Raw Denim

The Cons

Upfront costs are typically very high. There are varying price levels for raw and selvedge denim, generally ranging from $50 to $300. The lower-priced selvedge and raw denim jeans (like the kinds you find at Gap) are usually manufactured in developing countries. However, there are a few brands that make their jeans in China and still charge $200+ for a pair.

If you want to buy a quality pair of jeans made in the U.S.A, from denim manufactured domestically, look to spend at least $90-$120.

Always keep in mind that higher prices don’t necessarily equate to higher quality. Higher priced selvedge and raw denim brands usually make their jeans from the same White Oak denim factory fabric as the more affordable brands. While the higher sticker price might reflect stylistic details that lower priced denim brands ignore, the high price of most designer denim jeans is often an attempt by brands to artificially create a high value in the mind of the consumer. Remember, price does not equal value!

They take a while to break in. Unlike most mass-market jeans that are oh-so-soft when you first put them on, when you initially don a pair of selvedge/raw denim jeans, they’re going to be super stiff. Depending on the weight of the fabric, it may feel like you’re wearing two plaster casts on your legs. Give it some time, wear them every day, and your jeans will soon start to soften up.

Sizing can be tricky. This is based on my personal experience. Most major jean brands use “vanity sizing” on their jeans. Which means while you may have a 34” waist, the sizing label on the pant will say 32” to make you feel better about yourself. Most selvedge jean brands don’t use vanity sizes (grandpa wouldn’t approve), so you can’t use the size of your Old Navy pants to gauge what size you should buy in selvedge and raw denim. You’ll need to actually measure yourself.

They’re mostly available online. If you live in a big city, you can probably find a brick and mortar store that you can visit to try on a pair of selvedge and raw denim jeans. Because of the tricky sizing with selvedge denim, being able to physically try on a pair just makes things easier.

If you’re like me and live in a smaller city, your only option for buying raw and selvedge denim is online. This, of course, makes finding the best fitting pair of jeans a pain. I’d recommend buying two different sizes of the same jean so you can find the pair that fits just right, and send the other back; make sure the company offers free exchanges and returns.

Indigo can rub off. Because raw denim hasn’t been pre-washed, there’s a lot of indigo dye in the fabric that can easily rub off on whatever it comes into contact with, like seat cushions, car seats, and your shoes. Hey, you’ve always wanted to leave your mark, right?

After a few weeks of wear and a washing, the indigo bleeding stops. And even if you do experience an occasional indigo rub off, removing the stain isn’t all that difficult.

The Pros

They’re durable. Because of the selvedge edge and the often heavy weight of raw denim, selvedge and raw denim jeans can hold up for a long time, even with near daily wear. A quality pair of raw/selvedge jeans, properly taken care of, can last anywhere from a few years to a decade. And if they do rip or wear out, they can always be patched up and repaired and put back into service!

Better value. While raw and selvedge jeans can have a high upfront cost, because of their durability, the long-term cost-per-use can actually make raw and selvedge denim a value buy. Instead of replacing a pair of mass-produced globocorp jeans every year, your raw and selvedge jeans will likely last you for a long time.

They’re (usually) made in the USA. If you like to shop American-made, then raw and selvedge denim is for you. While Japan is still the leader in producing quality selvedge denim, the U.S. is quickly catching up.

While most raw and selvedge denim jeans available in the U.S. are made domestically, there are some brands that do make theirs in third-world country sweatshops, so always check the label.

They look great. Raw denim is dark denim and dark denim is probably one of the most versatile pieces of clothing you can own. Raw denim jeans look much sharper than a faded pair of Wranglers, and not only can you wear them with a t-shirt and a pair of Converse shoes, you can also pair them with a dress shirt and a sport coat for a night on the town.

They’re personalizable. While mass-produced jeans come with faux fading and distressing that is the same for every single pair, with raw denim, you create the fading and stressing based on your body type and how you actually wear them. There are different types of wear patterns that may appear in your raw denim such as honeycombs on the back of the knee or “whiskers” on your thighs. Each pair is uniquely yours.

whiskers fading on raw selvedge denim

honeycomb fading on raw selvedge jeans

How to Fit Yourself for Your First Pair of Selvedge Denim Jeans

Because you’ll likely be buying your raw and selvedge denim jeans online, it’s important you get the measurements right.

Measure yourself. There a few key measurements you’ll need for getting a proper fit on jeans. The most important are the waist and inseam, but you’ll also want to measure the front rise, back rise, thigh, and leg opening. Josey breaks it all down for us in the video below. Also, take a gander at the diagram from Real Men Real Style.

If you’re reading this in an email, click here to watch video on how to measure for raw denim jeans.

jeans measurements how to measure yourself diagram

Remember, unsanforized denim hasn’t been treated to prevent shrinking, so when you wash or soak your jeans for the first time, they’ll shrink by 5%-10%. When purchasing jeans made with unsanforized denim, you’ll need to buy jeans a few sizes larger than you normally would and soak the jeans before you put them on so they shrink to the appropriate size.

Decide on fit. Most raw and selvedge denim jeans come in two fits: slim and regular fit. What each brand considers “slim” and “regular” will differ, which is why it’s so important to double-check their respective sizing guides.

  • Slim fit. Slim fit jeans have narrow thigh openings and are designed to hug your body (avoid this fit if you have thighs bigger than your head). If a brand doesn’t offer a slim fit, but you want a closer-fitting style, just buy your jeans a size down. Raw denim stretches a bit (about an inch at the waist) so you shouldn’t have a problem with fitting into a smaller pair of jeans.
  • Regular fit. Your traditional blue jean fit, giving you more room in the thigh and the crotch than you get with a slim fit. If a brand doesn’t distinguish between slim and regular fit, and you want a regular fit, make sure to buy your jeans “true to size.”

How to Break In Your Selvedge Denim Jeans

“Just wear them all the time.”

That’s the answer Josey gave me when I asked him.

There’s a lot of selvedge/raw denim old wives’ tales floating on the internet about breaking in your jeans. Some folks say you need to wear them in the ocean and then roll around in the sand to break them in (preferably while reenacting the love scene from the film From Here to Eternity, I gather) or that you need to soak them in starch so you can get some really “sick fades” — high contrast lines/fading in your jeans. There are indeed things you can do to create “sick fades” in your jeans, but in my opinion that’s too pretentious for a pair of workwear. Just wear your raw denim jeans regularly and let nature take its course.

The only exception you should make for pre-soaking a new pair of jeans is if they’re unsanforized. Soak unsanforized jeans before you start wearing them so they shrink to the appropriate size.

How to Wash and Care for Your Selvedge and Raw Denim

soaking washing raw denim jeans in bathtub

Another one of the old wives’ tales out there is that you should never (and I mean NEVER dammit!) wash your jeans. Or if you do wash them, you should wait at least a year. And if your jeans get smelly, just put them in the freezer to kill the bacteria. Or something.

The reason people tell you not to wash your jeans is so you can achieve those wicked sweet fades in the fabric.

But all of that no-wash advice is bogus and will just leave you smelling like a hobo.

What you want to do is to strike a balance between distressing the jeans and washing out the fabric’s indigo and your fades-in-the-making too quickly, and them smelling like swamp crotch. To achieve this balance, wash them every two months. Remember, denim jeans are workwear. Do you think 19th century miners were holding off on washing their jeans just so they could get fades? No, and neither should you.

While washing your jeans every 2 months might seem too frequent to a raw denim purist, it probably seems too infrequent compared with how often you’re used to washing your regular jeans. But you honestly don’t have to wash your jeans all that often. If they’ve started smelling before the 2 months is up, then giving them a wash early is a-okay.

There are a bunch of ways to wash your raw denim jeans. The easiest is to simply turn them inside out and wash them in cold water in the washing machine using Woolite. The first few times you wash your jeans, you’ll probably want to wash them by themselves to avoid the indigo bleeding onto your other clothes.

Here’s the method Josey recommends for washing your raw denim:

  • Fill up a bathtub with lukewarm water
  • Add a teaspoon of detergent
  • Let jeans soak for 45 minutes
  • Give them a bit of a scrub to remove any dirt and grime
  • Rinse off with cold water
  • Hang them outside to dry (if it’s raining outside, line dry them inside — just don’t use the dryer)

Here’s a video lesson on washing your raw denim:

The Supersonic Mini Concorde

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London to New York in 3.5 hours: Mini-Concorde Baby Boom plane that will travel at 1,687mph is a step closer to take off after a ‘milestone’ engine delivery

Supersonic air travel could be making a return if a plane that aims to replace Concorde takes to the skies.

Richard Branson-backed Boom Supersonic expects a prototype of its passenger plane to make its first test flight by the end of this year.

The firm this week came a step closer to that goal after announcing a ‘milestone’ engine delivery for the two-seater, known as XB-1, or ‘Baby Boom’

CEO Blake Scholl tweeted: ‘Milestone coming up: XB-1 engines are on a truck and will arrive at @boomaero hangar within a week.’

‘Baby Boom’ is a 1,687mph (2,716kph) demonstrator jet designed to test the firm’s supersonic technology that could take passengers from London to New York in just 3.5 hours – around half the time it currently takes.

If its full-size 55-seat plane is approved, the first passengers could be travelling at supersonic speeds around the world by 2023.

Mr Scholl’s announcement means the Boom passenger plane’s test model is set to be assembled – 15 years after the last Concorde flight.

According to the company’s website, the XB-1 will ‘refine our design and engineering, test key supersonic technologies, and ensure efficiency, safety, and reliability’.

Reports suggest that five unnamed airlines are interested in purchasing 76 of Boom’s 55-seater jetliners.

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The aircraft will have one business-class seat on either side of the aisle so each passenger gets both window and aisle access. Tickets could cost as much as £1,700 ($2,500) according to some estimates.

Boom has confirmed that Virgin Galactic and Japan Airlines will operate the aircraft, with Japan Airlines investing £7 million ($10 million) in Boom Supersonic in December 2017.

As part of the deal Japan’s number two carrier has the option to purchase up to 20 Boom aircraft and will provide its knowledge and experience as an airline to hone the aircraft design and help refine the passenger experience.

XB-1 (top), also known as the 'Baby Boom', is a 1,687mph (2,716kph) two-seater demonstrator jet designed to test the firm's supersonic technology, but Boom is also developing a 55-seat passenger plane (bottom) that it says will halve trans-Atlantic flight times 

XB-1 (top), also known as the ‘Baby Boom’, is a 1,687mph (2,716kph) two-seater demonstrator jet designed to test the firm’s supersonic technology, but Boom is also developing a 55-seat passenger plane (bottom) that it says will halve trans-Atlantic flight times

WHAT ARE THE SPECS OF BOOM’S 55-SEAT SUPERSONIC PASSENGER AIRLINER?

US engineering firm Boom Supersonic is developing a 55-seat passenger plane capable of reaching Mach 2.2 that is expected to enter service by the mid 2020s.

The company says it will be 10 per cent faster, 30 times quieter and 75 per cent more affordable than Concorde.

– Crew: Two

– Length: 170 feet (52m)

– Wingspan: 60 feet (18m)

– Passengers: 45 standard (up to 55 in high density)

– Flight attendants: Up to 4

– Lavatories: 2

– Powerplane: 3X non-afterburning medium bypass turbofan; proprietary variable geometry intake and exhaust

– Aerodynamics: Chine, refined delta wing with swept trailing edge Long Range

– Cruise: Mach 2.2 (1,451mph, 2,335 km/h)

– Nose Temperature: 307°F (345°F on ISA+20 day)

– Maximum Design Route: 4,500 nautical miles without refuel (8300km)

Created by aerospace company Boom, the jet nicknamed 'Baby Boom' could pave the way for the larger Boom passenger jet (pictured) and usher in a new era of affordable supersonic travel 

US engineering firm Boom Supersonic is developing a 55-seat passenger jet (artist’s impression) capable of reaching Mach 2.2 that is expected to enter service by the mid 2020s

The aircraft is expected to produce a sonic boom that would be at least 30 times quieter than Concorde’s, which was dogged by high operating costs and fuel consumption and low capacity utilisation.

The Denver-based startup estimates that fares for its aircraft would be 75 per cent lower than Concorde’s and comparable to current business class tickets, due to its better fuel efficiency.

In a written statement, Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic, said in December: ‘We’ve been working with Japan Airlines (JAL) behind the scenes for over a year now.

Boom's jetliner aircraft is expected to produce a sonic boom that would be at least 30 times quieter than Concorde's, which was dogged by high operating costs and fuel consumption and low capacity utilisation

Boom’s jetliner aircraft is expected to produce a sonic boom that would be at least 30 times quieter than Concorde’s, which was dogged by high operating costs and fuel consumption and low capacity utilisation

Boom's huge passenger jet (interior pictured), which could begin commercial flights by 2025, will have one business-class seat on either side of the aisle so each passenger gets both window and aisle access. Tickets could cost as much as £1,700 ($2,500) according to some estimates

Boom’s huge passenger jet (interior pictured), which could begin commercial flights by 2025, will have one business-class seat on either side of the aisle so each passenger gets both window and aisle access. Tickets could cost as much as £1,700 ($2,500) according to some estimates

‘JAL’s passionate, visionary team offers decades of practical knowledge and wisdom on everything from the passenger experience to technical operations.

‘We’re thrilled to be working with JAL to develop a reliable, easily-maintained aircraft that will provide revolutionary speed to passengers.

‘Our goal is to develop an airliner that will be a great addition to any international airline’s fleet.’

Yoshiharu Ueki, president of Japan Airlines, added: ‘Through this partnership, we hope to contribute to the future of supersonic travel with the intent of providing more ‘time’ to our valued passengers while emphasising flight safety.’

In November, Mr Scholl revealed that commercial flights on the aircraft could begin running by the mid-2020s, the vehicle cruising at up to 1,687mph (2,700kph) – 100mph (160kph) faster than the infamous Concorde.

Mr Scholl was speaking at the Dubai Airshow, when he revealed the details about the Boom Supersonic aircraft.

He said: ‘Think about for a moment the families that are separated because of the long flights.

‘Think about the trips not taken because when you add up the lost hours, the trip just doesn’t feel worth it.

‘That’s where we come in. We are a team of engineers and technologists, brought together for the sole purpose of making our world dramatically more accessible.

‘You won’t have to be on the Forbes’ list to be able to fly, it will cost about the same as flying business class today. The ultimate goal is to make supersonic affordable for anyone who flies.’

The firm showed off a model of the plane at the Dubai Air show
In November, Mr Scholl revealed that commercial flights on the  aircraft  could begin running by 2025, the vehicle cruising at up to 1,687mph (2,700kph) – 100mph (160kph) faster than the infamous Concorde. Pictured is a model of the firm's XB-1 demonstratot

The firm showed off models of the plane at the Dubai Air show in November, where it also revealed the timeline for the project

The firm has previously revealed that initial test flights for its 1,451mph (2,330kph) aircraft, nicknamed the 'baby boom' (pictured) will begin by the end of 2018
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The firm has previously revealed that initial test flights for its 1,451mph (2,330kph) aircraft, nicknamed the ‘baby boom’ (pictured) will begin by the end of 2018

While you might think that flying on such a high-speed aircraft could be a daunting experience, Mr Scholl reassured that passengers won’t even notice the difference.

‘This aircraft will be as quiet as the ones flying around the airports today,’ he said, adding that it will also be ‘significantly quieter than Concorde.’

Its prototype, the XB-1 jet, was created by top aviation experts with collective experience working at Nasa, SpaceX and Boeing.

Learning from the Concorde, they combined advanced aerodynamics, efficient engine technology and new composite materials to produce a ‘safe and affordable’ supersonic aircraft 2.6 times faster than current jetliners.

The prototype, backed by Sir Richard Branson, has been subjected to more than 1,000 simulated wind tunnel tests and features a tapered carbon fibre fuselage, and efficient turbofan jet engines.

In March 2017, Virgin told MailOnline Travel: ‘Richard has long expressed interest in developing high speed flight and building high-speed flight R&D through Virgin Galactic and our manufacturing organisation, The Spaceship Company.

‘We can confirm that The Spaceship Company will provide engineering, design and manufacturing services, flight tests and operations and that we have an option on the first 10 airframes. It is still early days and just the start of what you’ll hear about our shared ambitions and efforts.’

According to the simulations, Boom’s design is quieter and 30 per cent more efficient than the Concorde.

To reduce weight, the seats are of the standard domestic first-class variety, so no lay-down beds.

To cut flight time, Boom’s plane will cruise at 60,000 feet, where passengers will be able to see the curvature of the earth, while going 2.6 times faster than other passenger planes.

Mr Scholl said about 500 routes fit the craft’s market, including a five-hour trip from San Francisco to Tokyo and a six-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney.

A mock-up shows the supersonic craft at Heathrow - its founders hope it will use existing airports once tests are complete

A mock-up shows the supersonic craft at Heathrow – its founders hope it will use existing airports once tests are complete

A BRIEF HISTORY OF CONCORDE: THE FIRST COMMERCIAL SUPERSONIC JET

Concorde was a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger jet that was operated until 2003.

It had a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound at Mach 2.04 (1,354 mph or 2,180 k per hour at cruise altitude) and could seat 92 to 128 passengers.

It was first flown in 1969, but needed further tests to establish it as viable as a commercial aircraft.

Concorde entered service in 1976 and continued flying for the next 27 years.

It is one of only two supersonic transports to have been operated commercially.

The other is the Soviet-built Tupolev Tu-144, which ran for a much shorter period of time before it was grounded and retired due to safety and budget issues.

Concorde was a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger jet that was operated until 2003. It had a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound at Mach 2.04 (1,354 mph or 2,180 k per hour at cruise altitude) and could seat 92 to 128 passengers

Concorde was a turbojet-powered supersonic passenger jet that was operated until 2003. It had a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound at Mach 2.04 (1,354 mph or 2,180 k per hour at cruise altitude) and could seat 92 to 128 passengers

Concorde was jointly developed and manufactured by Aérospatiale and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) under an Anglo-French treaty.

Concorde’s name, meaning harmony or union, reflects the cooperation on the project between the United Kingdom and France.

In the UK, any or all of the type are known simply as ‘Concorde’, without an article.

Twenty aircraft were built including six prototypes and development aircraft.

Air France (AF) and British Airways (BA) each received seven aircraft.

The research and development failed to make a profit and the two airlines bought the aircraft at a huge discount.

Among other destinations, Concorde flew regular transatlantic flights from London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to New York-JFK, Washington Dulles and Barbados.

It flew these routes in less than half the time of other airliners.

Over time, the aircraft became profitable when it found a customer base willing to pay for flights on what was for most of its career the fastest commercial airliner in the world.

The aircraft is regarded by many as an aviation icon and an engineering marvel, but it was also criticized for being uneconomical, lacking a credible market, and consuming more fuel to carry fewer passengers than a Boeing 747.

Concorde was retired in 2003 due to a general downturn in the commercial aviation industry after the type’s only crash in 2000, the September 11 attacks in 2001, and a decision by Airbus, the successor to Aérospatiale and BAC, to discontinue maintenance support.

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