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REVIEW: Hackney GT Alpine Bobble Hat Recommended

by Nick Gregory

GB Flag
Price £22.50
Size One Size FIts All
Colour Red and White
Hackney GT makes even the most committed West London roadie want to grow a beard, buy a fixie and move to Shoreditch...

With the seemingly relentless transformation of cycling from anorak underground pursuit to the heart of the mainstream showing no sign of abating, you don't have to look far to find examples of the sport fusing with other elements of culture and society. 

Perhaps the most common instance of this is the cycling café. In London alone there's now Look Mum No Hands on Old Street (and Mare Street), Peloton & Co in Spitalfields Market, the Rapha Cycle Club just off Regent Street and many others in between. Once you're clear of the metropolitan hustle and bustle, you'll find G!RO Cycles, another café conveniently located in Esher - roughly the halfway point on the Lycra-clad worshipper's pilgrimage to the church of Box Hill. 

Of course there's also numerous examples of cycling and fashion meeting head on, led by figures such as world-renowned designer and cycling fan, Sir Paul Smith. This cauldron of creativity doesn't just produce 'on-bike' clothing either. Vulpine's Harrington jacket has become a regular fixture on the decidedly broad shoulders of Olympic hero, Sir Chris Hoy; and none other than Britain's first ever Tour de France winner, Sir Bradley Wiggins has his own mod-inspired collection with Fred Perry. 

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"Hackney GT: Where serious cycle apparel meets London's East End with a bang" 

So where does Hackney GT fit into all of this? Well, it's a celebration of cycling, music, fashion and all things East London. 

Hackney GT is the brainchild of DJ and racing cyclist, Russ Jones. Born out of passions for cycling, fashion with a quirky edge and music from around the world, the designs are unashamedly bold, vibrant and alternative. What was originally a one-off jersey for his music production company, Hackney Globe Trotter, has now spawned an entire label reflecting Jones' beloved East End. The company also sponsors a cyclocross team, and hosted the Beastway mountain bike series this summer, so are putting back into the scene as well. 

As a DJ, Jones has travelled the world, hosting his own festival in East London and festival stages at Glastonbury and Bestival. There have been mixes on BBC Radio 1 and 6Music, as well as releases with the likes of Basement Jaxx. He currently hosts a weekly show on SOAS Radio - which can be accessed on demand via the Hackney GT website - playing "one hour of global, tropical, psychedelic, funky, vintage, electronic and upfront music for your listening pleasure." 

Jones has also been involved in promoting and producing music events and festivals for many years. With the creation of the Hackney GT fashion label, this experience is now also being transferred into cycling as well. In fact, Hackney GT has been involved in organising the Christmas bash at the aforementioned Look Mum No Hands (Mare Street) tonight.  

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But to the hat... What can we say other than we love it! 

It's 100% super fine knit cotton and made here in the UK. It's a unisex, one-size-fits-all arrangement, so expect to see men and women, grandparents and grandkids alike all sporting it over the festive period. 

The sizing may be slightly on the snug side for adult men, but one positive that comes out of this is that there's no danger of it blowing off when you're wearing it whilst riding. It also means that it keeps you nice and warm. At £22.50 it's not going to break the bank either, making it the perfect Christmas gift for the cyclist who has everything. 

The exclusive Hackney GT design mirrors the company's already famous Alpine Jersey - based on the classic ski jumper but with a distinctly two-wheeled twist. The jersey, which proved extremely popular last winter, has been re-launched again this year with a Giro-themed colour scheme. 

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The Giro themed Alpine Jersey

Jones explains the idea behind the hat: "Buying Christmas gifts for cyclists can be a real pain; they either have everything, it costs a fortune or they are so picky that you have to ask what they want which kind of ruins the surprise. We wanted to make a garment that was unisex, wearable on and off the bike, and fun. After the success of the Alpine jersey we decided to recreate the pattern in a hat which is proving very popular as an affordable gift or treat." 

The hat is available exclusively through the Hackney GT website, with next day delivery in the UK available right up to 23 December.  For more information on this, and the rest of the Hackney GT range, visit www.hackneygt.com

"Casual to lycra, on-trend and reflecting the burgeoning cycle scene... Hackney GT isn't frightened about being spotted in the crowd."  It's enough to make even the most committed West London roadie grow a beard, buy a fixie and move to Shoreditch...





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