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Knog Folk - Rafael Hernandez

17 January 2017 2:38:00 PM AEDT

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Name: Rafael Hernandez
Location: California, USA
Connect: Instagram

 

Knog caught up with the man-behind-the-lens, Rafael Hernandez to talk about his love of the fixed cog & photography. Read Rafa's Knog Folk story below.

 

How did you get into cycling?

My older brother was responsible for getting me into cycling, back when i was in middle school i used to ride 4 miles to and from school on a K2 Bmx bike but it wasn't until winter of 2012 that he built his first track bike. I had always wanted a track bike without knowing what it was exactly, i think it was the simplicity of the build that always attracted me to it. 

WHY FIXED GEAR?

The fixed gear scene in LA has so many cool people in it that it's hard not to get pretty involved in it. 

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...AND YOUR INTEREST IN PHOTOGRAPHY?

I've been interested in photography since elementary school but finally got around to taking classes in high school, learning how to shoot and develop my own film and eventually moving towards digital photography. I've been shooting now for 13 years and still find it's all i ever want to do. 

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WHAT WAS The first RACE you photographed?

My first bike event was the Wolfpack Hustle Marathon Crash Race, i responded to an Instagram post that @wolfpackhustle needed a videographer and that's really where i got my start. I set myself up at the finish line and waited for the racers to show up close to sunrise, the energy there was insane especially among complete strangers to me at the time which would later become friends. 

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THE MOST MEMORABLE RACE / RIDER YOU'VE COVERED?

I'd have to say my favorite race to have covered was the 2013 Civic Center Race put on by Wolfpack Hustle, it was a closed course around City Hall in Downtown Los Angeles. After following mash on instagram and watching youtube videos, i got to see Chas Christiansen and Walton Brush in person for the track race and i also got to watch Sean McElroy who was 14 at the time, come in first place for the mens road race. 

WHICH OTHER photographerS INSPIRE YOU?

My all time favorite photographer is Henri Cartier Bresson, i have always aspired to have his ability to adapt to many photographic situations and capture them in a way that would not only clearly illustrate what is going on within the frame but also do so in a compositionally attractive manner as well.  

What'S THE BEST THING ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?

The challenge and the fact that there's always room for improvement in both activities keeps me going and motivates me to push myself to be better. A small reward for myself would be to take a photograph after a worthy climb on a track bike, just to catch the view from the top. 

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Posted in Knog Folk By Knog

Knog Wins Victorian Premier's Design Award

19 December 2016 5:35:07 PM AEDT

Knog’s Oi bike bell beat out competition from 9 other category winners, from international architects to global advertising networks, to be hailed as the best piece of Victorian Design of 2016.

Minister of Creative Industries Martin Foley said, “These awards recognise Victorian designers and architects who go beyond the local to influence design thinking internationally”.

oi bell wins premiers design award

Commenting on the overall winner, Celina Clarke, Chair of the Premier’s Design Awards Jury said: “The Oi Bike Bell exemplifies excellence in industrial design and brings together clever manufacturing, smart use of materials and a unique design aesthetic that sets it apart from other products in its class”.

Another source revealed that Knog’s Oi won by a “country mile”, recognising the combination of simplicity, precision and elegance brought to an otherwise forgotten problem – that traditional bike bells don’t complement a bike’s aesthetics.

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Bells are the first thing you unscrew from your new bike” explains Knog CEO Hugo Davidson. “What if a bell looked great and sounded even better? If it was discreet, but really stood out through elegant design. With Oi, we have appealed to a breadth of personalities and riding styles without compromising any”.

Although Davidson himself designed the concept, his acceptance speech focused on the entire Knog team that brought the bell to life, and to market. Particularly Chris Bilanenko, the lead designer on the project.

team knog

Posted in Oi Bell By Knog

Cyclists Be Safe and Be Seen

6 December 2016 3:01:36 PM AEDT

The number one rule of cycling safety is to be visible to other road users. This is where Knog comes in to help protect your ass by designing the best bike lights and bicycle bells you need to enjoy the open road safely. A great article to read on this subject and one that is full of handy biking tips is  'Protect yourself with these cycling safety tips' by NSWCL. A fine read.

be seen on the road

When it comes to cycling, there is one easy way you can easily improve your visibility and be safe and seen, and that's by equipping yourself with a set of quality bright LED bike lights.

BIKE Safety Lights

It doesn't matter if you just ride in the daytime or when the sun is shining, you should always tool yourself up with a good set of daytime riding lights to help improve your visibility to cars and other road users. In Australia, early mornings and late afternoons are when most cycling accidents occur because that’s when there are the most motorists on the road commuting to and from work.

Small safety bike lights such as the USB rechargeable Blinder MINIs (outputs 20 lumens) are often bright enough for those well-lit city cycle commutes. However, on those darker unlit roads, you would want a more powerful bike light that can be seen by other road users and also illuminate the road in front of you. The Blinder Arc 640 (outputs 640 lumens) will light your path ahead as well as enable you to be seen at a greater distance by other motorists. Combine this with a powerful rear LED bike light, such as the Road R70 and you are guaranteed to be safe and seen.

blinder mini on bike rear

Blinder Mini Chippy rear light

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Blinder Arc 640 headlight

blinder road r70 rear light 

Blinder Road R70

 

LOCK UP - Keep Your Bike Safe

It’s not only your safety you are responsible for, make sure your pride and joy is well taken care of too. Especially in high-risk zones around the city. Luckily in most major cities, there are now plenty of places to lock up your bike beyond a lamp post. The most secure method is to use multiple bike locks. Use a u-lock (like a Bouncer or  Strongman) to attach your frame and front wheel to the bike rack. A chain or cable lock (like the Ringmaster) can be used to better secure all of your bike’s components. Also, never rely solely on a cable lock to secure your bike. A cable lock should be used as a secondary lock only and in conjunction with a much stronger chain or u-lock.

safely locking up your bike

Bouncer u-lock

knog ringmaster bike lock

Ringmaster cable lock

 

Ride safe & stay visible. x

Posted in Blinder Lights U-Locks By Knog

Red Hook Crit - Milano

5 October 2016 3:00:22 PM AEDT

Here we are! 

Today is the last Red Hook Crit of the season and the currently champion Ivan is getting ready!

This Red Hook will be his 8th crit. He started two years ago and felt in love immediately with that kind of scenario race. Since his childhood Ivan races and never stop to compete. From 2003 to 2005 he was a UCI pro racer in the Pro Tour but he stopped his career to dedicate himself to his family. Almost ten years after he discovered in his hometown the Red Hook. He became quickly one of the main challengers. He won Brooklyn N°8 and Barcelona N°3. We still have in minds that incredible battle with Mario Paz Duque under the Parc Del Forum’s yards.

We wish all the best to Ivan and to the all team. Be strong! 

Favorite Knog lights: Blinder Mob

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Training time for @istakillerb.  Qualifications are coming in Bovisa. 
#teamcinellichrome #fixedgear #race#rhcm7 #redhookcrit

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Ashley Jo, Jo Ashley.... #redhookcrit #rhcm7 #race #fixedgear#teamcinellichrome

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16 laps to go for for the women race.  #redhookcrit #rhcm7 #teamcinellichrome#fixedgear #race

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Always impressive to see how the crow is massive in Milan.  This is the end of the Red Hook Crit season. Was such an intense year, we're proud to take part of this races as sponsor of @teamcinellichrome. Congratulation to all the team. 
#redhookcrit #rhcm7 #race #fixedgear#teamcinellichrome

Words and Photos by @caropaulette

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Posted in Events By sean Wilkinson

E-robike to some, Oi-robike to others

21 September 2016 11:13:39 AM AEST

This was the show they said was all about e-bikes. But for us, it was all about Oi-someness. (Sorry).

But first of all, massive apologies to our friends Cristina and Alex at Surly who lived in the next door booth for a week. After 5 days of every single visitor ringing the Oi, hearing its – albeit beautiful – tone may mean they’ll never be able to look at us without being overcome with rage. We’ll make it up to you guys.

sam same

So, it was my first Eurobike, and I was assured that I got it easy. Our booth was simpler in construction than last year, where we had 4 people construct what looked like a hi-tech meth lab over two full days and had around 874 different parts. But again this year, as usual, our main criteria was “Will anyone else be doing anything like this? If not, let’s do that”. Our booth consisted of 4 elements:

1. INFINITY PLINTHS: We had 10x display boxes for our products. We make no apologies for making sure ours were the best-looking products in their category. Geeky on the inside, but very much gorgeous on the outside. The plinths had double sided mirror and LED rope to create a hole that looked like it might go all the way home, down under.

2. BIG FACE: Our giant friend Matthieu offered up his massive face to look down onto our Infinity Plinths. It was a challenge taking the shot. Even getting a man of his size into a photography studio required significant furniture rearranging.

3. DEMO WALL: We had a lovely big neon sign – only it wasn’t neon – it was that same funky LED rope. This sat above our wall-mounted locks and shelf-mounted lights and bells.

4. MEETING ROOM: This was a meeting room. We had meetings in here. And we met people. In this room.


eurobike plinths

 Through the looking glass

 
be seen

Our German distributor, Cosmic, has always been one of the biggest supporters of the Oi bell. Their team call it a “home run” which is a great endorsement and gives us real confidence. But we still didn’t expect to get the attention we did. Every few seconds Hugo had an interview to attend or a video crew was recording Prinzessin Leia, aka our very own Leah Hughes. We also won a Eurobike Award – so ours was one of only 4 winners in the Accessories category. We also found some people who weren’t cyclists who wanted it for equally worthwhile reasons. (This is not a crass set up…)

oi bell on wheelchair

bigger brighter

The other really big ticket item for us was the Blinder MINI. We’re launching this in conjunction with the Oi. The two go so perfectly together we have created the colours to match. This USD $29 light is an all over revamp of our wildly successful Blinder 1. Better straps, better LED tech, better styling, same price. This is the be seen light for the city. Mic dropped. Sales pitch over.

oi bells and mini lights

imitation

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well, thank you for your kind words, Xeccon. But seriously, we’ve had enough of our sales being shredded by rip-offs from all corners of the world. Chinese manufacturer Xeccon chose to exhibit their copy products of our successful Blinder MOB range, despite our warning that we had an injunction from the German authorities for IP protection. Once we found them to be in breach we had the customs police go to their booth and remove any evidence of the copy products. This is something we feel strongly about because it’s a simple equation: more copies = less incentive to innovate = inferior design = poor quality products.  This isn’t what we want for the bike industry, or – of course – our business. 

But whilst our attention was fixed on the Zeppelin hall where one copycat was being pulled up, some light-fingered individual was pulling up the glass top of our plinth that was displaying the prototypes of our next Oi products. It’s quite funny really, that they chose to steal two hardly functioning early prototypes, and left the most valuable thing on the booth – an Oi Classic, hand-engraved by a Japanese Buddhist monk.

…Say What?

Yes, after seeing the work by Kosuke Masada we asked him to engrave 6 Oi bells for us. He did this and… there are no words. 

engraved_japanese_oi_bell

(by Sam Moore, Head of Brand & Marketing @ Knog)

Posted in Events By Sam Moore

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