Crew Clothing Menswear
Good evening from a very tired Superbite. I ran cross country today and that 40 minute 10km time continues to elude me, but this time by only 50 seconds! There were some old guys ahead of me, which I found very surprising so be warned that some old men can run really fast.

I don’t know why I’m warning you about that, it’s not like you’re planning on stealing their shopping… are you?

I apologise for my lack of posting this week, it’s a tough gig keeping up the blog on top of silly things like paying the bills and eating food. But still, nurses and teacher’s have it worse so I can’t really complain about keeping a men’s fashion blog up to date when Clarkson is shooting people in front of their families.

Speaking of which (men’s fashion not Jeremy Clarkson) the good people at Crew were kind enough to send me a product to review so I thought I’d take a few pictures for you.
Crew 5
Given the choice, I went for the Crew College Stripe Shirt in sky blue/deep red stripe. I fought against my deep aversion to West Ham as I think in this case, the colours really compliment each other. The material consists of a texture cotton weave and I think you can tell by the more close up pictures that there’s a quality in the stitching and fit that you’d come to expect from Crew Clothing.
As Crew are traditionally the makers of clothing related to sailing and the outdoors, of which neither really appeals to me, I was surprised that there are plenty of items on their website that I could easily wear to the office.
A really nice shirt which I am definitely going to wear to work tomorrow so thanks to Crew Clothing and if you’re stuck for gifts this Winter and the man in your life is the rugged, outdoors type or just likes well made, sharp clothing, there are plenty of other items on the Crew Clothing website. I hope you’re having a nice weekend as I am - I’m going to get back watching Forbrydelsen (the Danish original version of The Killing). If you haven’t seen it yet, I urge you to give it a go. It’s awesome but very difficult to keep up with the subtitles when you’re typing!

Bye for now.
Extreme Fitness - Mountain Biking In Wales
As part of the “Extreme Fitness” section, Superbite regular Jess Spate writes about all the best ways to avoid the monotony of the gym but still get in shape. This week, Jess gives the low-down on the top trails to ride in the mountain bike mecca also known as Wales.

My top 3 Welsh cycling routesWales is criss-crossed with cycling routes of all kinds, from gentle and family-friendly country parkroutes to the toughest and dirtiest mountain bike trails. There is something for everyone- little kids,serious road cyclists, weekend cruisers, and downhill adrenaline junkies. There are literally dozens ofgreat cycle paths to choose from. Here are three of my all-time favourites:

1. Skyline Trail

Skyline_view

Part of the world-class Afan Forest complex, Skyline is 46km long and involves awhopping 2000m climb. Some of it runs over open, rolling hillside and some perches precariouslyon the mountainside. There are a variety of technical challenges dotted along the trail and certainsections have views that rival anything else in Wales.

From the path, rider can look across to theBrecon Beacons range or down on still lakes far below.The views don’t disappear in the famously damp Welsh conditions either. Because the most scenicsections of the trail are high up and exposed, a rainy sky is dramatic rather than dull and the windcan definitely add a little extra exhilaration. While Skyline is one for hardy mountain bikes and fairlystrong riders only, it’s well worth the effort.

Difficulty  

Incline 

Distance 

Views 


Recommended Bike: Trek 6000 2011 Mountain Bike

Trek 6000


2. Elan Valley Trail

ElanVT

This one is much gentler and hybrid bikes will do fine. Most of the trail is ok forroad bikes too but in the winter months it gets very, very cold around Elan and the trails and roadsdo get icy. The EVT starts on the edge of the town of Rhayader in Mid Wales (close to a bike hireshop, conveniently) and runs 9 miles up to Craig Goch Reservoir. It follows the route of the railwayline built to assist construction of the Elan dams, so most of it is nice and flat, easy going.

The trail hits the first dam a few miles out of Rhayader. Caban Coch is almost 120ft tall and withwater spilling over the top and thundering down to the river below, it really whets your appetite forfantastic views. There are plenty of them to come- Caban Coch is actually the smallest dam on theElan. For the rest of its length the cycling trail follows the waterside and still days thehills on either side are reflected onto the clear, dark water. It’s particularly beautiful in autumn whenthe leaves are changing colour.

Difficulty 

Incline 

Distance 

Views 

Recommended Bike: Cannondale Quick 3 2011 Hybrid Bike


Cannondale


3. Taff Trail

TalyBont 

Probably the most famous cycle route in Wales, the Taff Trail justifies its reputation witha spectacular start and an easy finish. It’s almost always cycled from the northern start in Breconto the southern end in Cardiff Bay. That way most of it (but by no means all) is downhill. Getting toBrecon is simple in the summer, when a special bus collects riders and bikes from Cardiff and dropsthem at the starting point.

At first the route winds through the Brecon Beacons and by Talybont Reservior, before droppinginto Valleys territory. It doesn’t always follow the River Taff but there is plenty to see even afterthe peaks have been left far behind. The last few miles into Cardiff take riders through broadleavedwoodlands, past Castle Coch, into Bute Park, by Cardiff Castle and Millennium Stadium beforefinishing at the Bay.

Almost all the trail is car-free but there are some sections with traffic.The Taff Trail is 55 miles long but there is no rule that says you have to do it all. Like the EVT andeven Skyline, bike riders who just want a relaxed hour or two in the fresh air can enjoy it too. Onegood tip is to start in Brecon and catch the train back from Merthyr Tydfil or Abercynon.

Difficulty 

Incline 

Distance  

Views 

Recommended Bike: Fuji Nevada 2.0 2011 Mountain Bike

Fuji Nevada

Jess Spate loves riding in Wales, from the muddy mountain bike trails to the well-paved country parks, and thinks more visitors should samplewhat’s on offer by pedal power.
Patrick Grant Celebrity Style
Unless you pay particular attention to the world of men’s fashion you can be forgiven for not knowing the work of Patrick Grant, but let me bring you up to speed: Patrick Grant is at the creative and commercial helm of Savile Row stalwarts Norton & Sons as well as iconic men’s tailor and Norton subsiduary E.Tautz. He’s also a regular columnist for GQ, nominated one of Britain’s best dressed men and an all round stylish devil.

There’s an excellent interview with Grant from 2009 in Swipelife which documents how Grant went from the manufacturing industry to buying Norton & Sons. It’s interesting that Grant goes to great pains to emphasise that the Tautz label is "never going to be [Paul Smith], it’s a very different product. It’s as close to a bespoke product as we can make a suit without actually making it for a person." 

But like Paul Smith, Grant has an eye for business and appreciates that his own personal style is an excellent way of cultivating the reputation of both Tautz and Norton. By combining traditional British style with a dash of flamboyance, Grant is the perfect fit as the face of both companies.

But business acumen is not why we’re here today. Grant’s growing profile is as much down to his sense of style as his shrewd understanding of how to embrace modern media. Not afraid of adventurous colours or patterns but never seen with less than an immaculately cut outfit, Grant proves that the unusual combination of eccentricity and uncompromising quality is the keystone of classic British men’s fashion. The image below with the red and blue check jacket with a canvas of a simple blue shirt and tie demonstrates a confidence with colours and patterns as well as an appreciation for a decent fit. I’m a big fan of this look; it says to me that one can be individualistic without acting the fool.

Patrick Grant 1


Patrick Grant 6

Patrick Grant 5Patrick Grant 4

Patrick Grant 2

Patrick Grant 3

If you were looking to borrow some of Grant’s ideas for your own wardrobe you should think about the following:

Suit Patterns

As you can see, Grant wears houndstooth, pinstripe and checks and it’s this willingness to diversify which is essential for any snappy dresser. Britain has an incredibly rich textile history and any fan of fashion should celebrate this. The good news is that due to a growing consumer demands for the aforementioned patterns, lot’s more shops are stocking a greater range of patterned traditional mens attire on your high street.

Cut

E Tautz items were a mainstay in Winston Churchill’s wardrobe. An avid rider and racing enthusiast, E Tautz were the designer to be seen in if you were a gentleman with a penchant for risky sporting pursuits. The picture of Grant in the blue double breasted jacket above looks like it was taken straight out of the 1920s and although I searched far and wide to find both the jacket and the trousers, it proved too difficult. I did find some E Tautz single pleat trousers which also look like an item from that period in the way they spread out from the pockets. Worcester twill, flannels, pocketsquares are all utilised to add variety to Grant’s wardrobe. The constant throughout is how each item is immaculately presented. I haven’t seen one picture of  Grant online in a baggy tracksuit.


Marks and Spencers Pin Stripe Black SuitJaegar Black Pinstripe SuitE TAUTZ FOR OKI-NI EXCLUSIVE SINGLE PLEAT TROUSER
Blue Double Breasted Vello JacketPrince of Wales Plaid JacketAPC Harris Tweed Jacket Mr Porter


A Dash Of Fun: The addition of a playful item of clothing such as a bowtie or pocket-square ensures that you’re not seen as taking yourself too seriously. I’ve also included this Winter’s must have item - a wool tie (in this case donegal) :

Donegal TieMonitaly-mens-Grey-Harris-Tweed-Bow-Tie-1D&G Bowtie
Can A Man Make His Own Clothes?
After months of depressing myself looking at the wonderful range of jackets, suits, waistcoats and trousers that can’t afford, this morning the thought occurred to me that maybe I could start making my own clothes. Easier said than done I know, and I’m sure that my first attempts are going to look like sartorial abortions. But I’d really like to one day make items and when people ask where I got them from, I can say “I made it myself!”I think I got the idea from a GQ article that I read on the designer Angelo Galasso, which detailed how he started life as a banker but used to make his own clothes.

I read another excellent article from the GQ archive on a Parisian tailor, Camps De Luca and the painstaking process they go through to create the perfect suit. Over 70 hours of 7 people’s time goes into the construction of a bespoke suit!

camps-de-luca-tailoring-sketch-490
Image GQ
I’m horrendously clumsy and I’m not sure I have what it takes, but I think I’ll maybe try to sew something simple and then look to enrol on a part-time tailoring course. I’ve had a scout around online and there are a handful of tailoring courses in the UK which run in the evenings. Here’s a 10 week course where over 20 hours, you make your own jacket.I’m sure I sound like a complete tailoring tourist and I’ll readily admit I’ve had plenty of hobbies that fall by the wayside, but I thought that about blogging and 200 posts later and I’m still here!

Grey Jacket

To investigate I spoke to my other half’s mother who is a craftsy-type and she recommended starting with a waistcoat. The idea of having a tweed waistcoat is appealing and after doing a bit of research, tweed is quite expensive (herringbone around £40 a metre). But I’m aspiring to create something like the jacket available from Austin Reed above. I know, good luck right?
Biotherm and Kiehls Gift Ideas
My good lady went to a bloggers event yesterday and brought me back a couple of samplesBiotherm Homme High Recharge Energy Shot and Kiehl’S Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap 7 Oz.I love how men’s products are all called things like “Ultra Refreshing Dirt Blast” whilst they probably bottle the same products and sell them as, “Natural Organic Skin Regeneration”.The Biotherm product contains amongst other things, bran oil, ginseng and magnesium whilst The Kiehls Body Scrub Soap claims to be a “fatigue scrubber!” with Sloughing Bran and Invigorating Citrus Extracts. I’m beginning to think someone is trying to tell me I’m looking tired!


Ok, I’ll start with the high energy shot first. The bottle is a neat design which if you are a bit of a goon like me, then it minimises the amount of mess you can create. Upon drawing some out of the bottle, it seemed to be quite thin and runny to me. But when I applied it to my face, it wasn’t immediately absorbed like some cheaper moisturisers, but left my face feeling cool and refreshed. I definitely felt my face was more hydrated and you don’t need to use that much each time. Thumbs up!

I really love Kiehls shaving products so I was quite excited about trying this product out. It has limonene in it which is the same product that you get in l’occitane verbena products and gives the soap a citrus smell. The oatmeal is a really good scrub and unlike most soaps, it didn’t dry out my skin.

2 out of 2 and I’d certainly recommend getting either one of these for any men in your life this Christmas.
Bee Specific With Your Gifts
I’m of the opinion that I am incredibly easy to buy for but my family sometimes disagree with me. So I decided to take a look online for some gift ideas and voila!


They’re called the Darwin Bee Onyx Crystal Cufflinks and they’re by Simon Carter. I stumbled upon them whilst on the My-Wardrobe website. The Simon Carter brand is reknown for innovative design, especially when it comes to cufflinks.

Simon Carter 3Simon Carter 1









Simon Carter 2Simon Carter 4

I know I right a British men’s fashion blog but I must have missed the memo with this one as bees appear to be  en vogue this winter. Paul Smith have also released their Stone Set Enamel Bee Cufflinks with a hinge bar fastening and engraved with the brand logo.

Paul Smith 1Paul Smith 5

Paul Smith 4

Paul Smith 3Paul Smith 2



I think in terms of design, I think the Carter cufflinks’ simpler design and opulent onyx settings swing it for me… what do you think?
Adventure Challenge + The Only Twilight Breaking Dawn Review Worth Reading
As is my wont, I usually review films on the blog the day after I’ve seen them. But when that film is the latest installation of the Twilight franchise, you’ll excuse me if I give it the shortest review possible:

Picture the two most irritating people you know. Now imagine that not only have they invited to their wedding, but you also have to take a front seat view of their honeymoon. In this instalment, for reasons I cannot and will not ever understand, King D-Bag played by Robert Pattinson asks man-repellent, Kristin Stewart, to be his partner for all eternity. 2 hours of Stewart’s constant facial twitching later and I’m hailing Twilight Breaking Dawn as a huge success… at making me want to end it all.

Nul Points.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand Kristin Stewart’s appeal; no talent, no charisma, no humour… she is the sexual equivalent of eating salted cold porridge. So why in God’s name would two people be fighting about her over the course of 5 films is absolutely beyond me.

When I was trying to get out of the theatre as the credits were rolling, a large lady wouldn’t let me pass, claiming “It’s not quite finished yet”. Such is the mental instability of the hardened Twilight fan, they will literally hold you in the cinema until the bitter end.

However, I had a better day today though whilst looking for some races with a bit of a twist to do in 2012 with some friends and came up with the following:

Adventure Challenge Series

What is it?

Organised by the Trail Plus, the same people who brought you the Hellrunner Series, Adventure Challenge is a gruelling 40km race the will push you and your team to the limit. Competing in teams of three, you must stick together to run, bike and kayak your way to victory, with lots of other little obstacles thrown in.

Adventure Challenge 2 

Runners, Cyclists, Triathletes and gluttons for punishment are all welcome at this multi-abilities event. The race costs £48 per team member and includes equipment hire, technical t-shirt and one of the best finish line bags I’ve ever received. If you don’t have a mountain bike you can also hire one too!

Adventure Challenge 3 


Where?

There’s are Adventure Challenge events all over the country - Surrey, Staffordshire, Hampshire and Cumbria to be exact.

Adventure Challenge 4 


Distance

Approx 10km run, 25 km mountain and trail biking and a 5km kayak.

Want to know more?

Visit the Trail Plus website here for more information.





Navigating GPS Watches
A friend of mine asked me which GPS watch he should add to his Christmas list this year. I can honestly say I haven’t the foggiest idea but as a keen runner, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t jealous of all the people at my running club who rock up with their fancy watches that beep every time they run a certain distance or when their heart rate rises.

FR60
The Garmin FR60

The most popular watch at my running club and I haven’t heard any complaints. I think if you are looking to get a entry level GPS watch, then look no further. The Garmin FR60 is waterproof in case you are into trail running or triathlons. The FR60 also displays training data such as training time, pace, distance, lap pace, lap time, lap distance, average and best pace.



The Polar RS300X

The Polar RS 300X is also in the entry level price range and includes a G1 GPS sensor combined with a heart monitor. That way, you can monitor your training to see if your fitness is improving as well as your times. The Polar RS 300X also tracks your latest 16 training sessions and your last 16 weeks of training and can transfer training data to polarpersonaltrainer.com with optional Polar FlowLink.

RS300X
But I think the feature that has really caught my attention is that the RS 300X measures your fitness level in 5 minutes. The result, Polar OwnIndex, predicts your maximal oxygen uptake (V02max). With the Polar Fitness Test you can measure your aerobic fitness by yourself, automatically and without any exertion. No other equipment other than a heart rate monitor is needed. According to the promotional material, the Polar Fitness Test is as accurate in predicting the VO2maxas any sub-maximal fitness test.

The test is based on gender, age, height, body weight, level of physical activity, heart rate and heart rate variability at rest. The OwnIndex ranges usually from 20 to 95 and is comparable to VO2max, the golden standard of aerobic fitness. It also has an event countdown timer as a constant reminder of that looming date… is that a good thing?

The Garmin Forerunner 305

Forerunner 305

This is probably the most popular watch amongst members of my running club. The Garmin Forerunner 305 has the heart rate monitor and ultra accurate GPS. You can download a range of previously-ran courses to compete against various workouts. I can only assume that the interface and GPS accuracy must be the reason for the extra cost but personally, I’m not convinced.

Nike + SportWatch GPS powered by TomTom®


Nike Sportwatch GPS

Nike have teamed up with Tom Tom to create the Nike+ SportWatch. There are someneat features like you can tap the screen to activate the backlight or you can mark a lap of your run. With standard features such as distance tracker, pace, time, calories burned and beats per minute compatibility as well as the capability to upload your data to the impressive nikeplus.com site, the Nike+ Sportwatch is an excellent middle range GPS running watch.


The Garmin Forerunner 610

And finally we come to the daddy of GPS watches. A guy at my running club thought he lost his and I thought it wasn’t too much of a big deal until I just looked at the 239.99 price tag. This watch is for serious runners and cyclists alike as it’s compatible with the GSC 10 speed/cadence bike sensor or the foot pod for tracking your treadmill running performance.

GARMIN FORERUNNER 610 GPS

The Garmin Forerunner 610 has a virtual partner function, a heart rate training zone function, workout goals, waypoints, you can transfer training/course data to other runners with the same watch or to your computer. It just stops short of doing the run for you. It does vibrate if you start slacking off your target pace however. A most awesome watch!
Introducing Holland Esquire
Evening everyone,

I was watching the second season of Boardwalk Empire last night and I was struck by some of the fancy wool suits, smoking and shooting jackets that Nucky Thompson, played by the excellent Steve Buscemi, wears in the show.

It just so happens that if you like a tailored jacket made with high quality wool, prohibition era style and a dash of flair in the detailing, you should check out the latest range of jackets by Holland Esquire. They’re a brand I stumbled across whilst writing my article on tweed and I really like what they have to offer.

Holland Esquire 2

Holland Esquire 3

Holland Esquire 1

Holland-Esquire-mens-SB2-Shooting-Black-White-Jacket-4

I’ve been reading Holland Esquire’s website which could be better unfortunately but that has absolutely no bearing on the quality of tailoring, they just need to ask for their money back from the web designer. 


Holland-Esquire-mens-Shale-Dogtooth-Check-Car-Coat-1
HOLLAND ESQUIRE
Shale Dogtooth Check Car Coat
Holland-Esquire-mens-Epsom-Loden-Lambswool-Coat-1
HOLLAND ESQUIRE 
Epsom Loden Lambswool Coat

Holland Esquire was founded by Nick Holland, a lifelong tailor whose father happened to be a tailor too and I really think there’s an amalgamation of sensibilities from different eras all in one item. In fact, it’s difficult to know where the draw the line between the 20s wear worn by the cast of boardwalk empire and that 70s style seen during the heyday of Holland senior. 

Holland-Esquire-mens-SB2-EPSOM-927-Black-White-Herr-Coat-1
HOLLAND ESQUIRE
Epsom Black & White Herringbone Coat

From what I can gather Holland had some involvement with Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green label which although I can’t stand Gallagher, I have to admit he’s definitely picked some capable people to manage the brand while I’m guessing he stays at home and counts the cash. 



Holland-Esquire-mens-SB2-Shooting-Black-White-Jacket-1
HOLLAND ESQUIRE
SB2 Black & White Shooting Jacket 

Holland-Esquire-mens-SB2-Lichen-Shooting-Jacket-1
HOLLAND ESQUIRE
SB2 Lichen Shooting Jacket 

There’s an emphasis on quality construction with Holland Esquire items and I think that just by seeing the items online, the jackets have all the hallmarks of something that could be mistaken for made-to-measure. This is despite the difficulty in achieving the right balance with ready-to-wear clothing. Holland Esquire’s collection is sold online through Coggles.
Men’s Health Survival Of The Fittest London Report
It was the Men’s Health Survival of the fittest London event yesterday and I’ve just arrived home after participating and then spending the night in London with some friends.

Quite a few friends of mine took part and considering that a lot of them were dreading it, they all finished in one piece and had a really great time. It was 10km and there were 17 obstacles in total but I think my favourite was the wall in the end as it was the one that loomed largest in my mind during the run-up to the race. I finished in 49 minutes which I was pretty pleased with considering  my personal best 10km time is 41 minutes so I must have got through the obstacles pretty quickly. At one point we were running through Battersea Power Station with helmets on and 10 kilo sandbags on which was fun. Kudos to the girls who took part too as they had to do exactly the same things as the guys

  Survival 1

After all the monkey bars, inflatables, water obstacles and waiting in a skip full of freezing water and mulch as a heavy set gentleman was lifted out, we got our finishers packs (which were awesome by the way - free issue of Mens Health, a couple of sports drinks, some food and appropriately, some muscle freeze spray) and went across the road for a well deserved pint. There was a Movemberfest beer tent at the race but it was absolutely heaving by the end of the day.

Survival 2

I’m really pleased with my time and I think it was through having a really varied fitness routine. I was lifting weights to increase my strength, a lot of core work such as swiss ball exercises and planks, working with my own bodyweight with push-ups and pull-ups, lots of explosive leg exercises and finally, pounding those pavements twice a week which amounted to around 12 miles a week.

Survival 4 

You really noticed some guys doing well with the strength obstacles but struggling with the run or vice-versa and I wouldn’t say that the people who flew through the race looked like Mens Health cover models - more like middle-distance runners.

Survival 5 

A great day all round and really well organised. My friends and I will definitely be signing up for Men’s Health Survival of The Fittest 2012!

Survival 3
Fail.
Survival 6

We went out for a night out in Shoreditch afterwards as my friends seem to talk about that area a lot. I knew it was going to be pretty exclusive when all the cash points in a kilometer radius charged £1.75 for a withdrawal. We turned up to the door of The Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen which must be really exclusive and the completely excluded me from going in. I felt like I was in an episode of The Inbetweeners and I’m a grown man!

I can only assume it’s because my shoes weren’t saying enough about the dire economic situation in Italy’s rural lower half or that my glasses had lenses in them but still, it was all a bit too Geek Pie for me… if you don’t know what I mean check out the video.