15 November, 2006

Arts and Crafts- Updated

My wife has been bugging me to get her a thermos that fits into a water bottle cage. Actually I've wanted one too; we're both coffee addicts. Anyway, I found this little kit to make a leather covered stainless steel thermos bottle that fits perfectly into a water bottle cage.

All there is to it is sewing on the leather strip and putting some leather conditioner on it. You could also tool a design on the leather if you have an artistic bent. I just put neatsfoot oil on this one and it turned a nice light honey color. I'll try some shoe polish on the next one to make it brown.

The bottle holds 12oz and has a handy push button top and a lid that serves as a cup. We could sell these for about $20-$25. Should we? Would anyone buy one?

This has me thinking, macrame messenger bags, make your own leather saddle kits, assemble a derailleur kits, the possibilities are endless.

UPDATE: We'll have these next Friday and the cost will be $19.75. Let me know ifyou want one just to help me figure out if I've ordered enough.

40 comments:

James said...

How about some chater lea threaded tea set containers made out of teak wood?

Anonymous said...

I would buy one. Toting coffee has been an nagging problem for me. I'd probably buy one for my wife, too, who has taken to putting her thermous inside of a knit hat, then stuffing that into a water bottle cage. I'm dreading the day when all of that ends up in her chain.

neil m berg said...

I'm a little suspicious of a reputed coffee aficionado who would drink French press.
Can I put in a plug for Mark Ritz at Kinetic Coffee? Bicycle friendly, Fair Trade, small batch roast. He will send you two packs of your choice every month.http://www.kinetic-koffee.com/index.html

I have a thermos like the photo. I wrapped the base of the cage with a few turns of bar wrap. It works good, but the cage becomes thermos specific.
Also, Aherne Cycles makes a cage to hold your brandy hip flask.

Greg said...

Why do you think I bought TA steel cages from you? To tote my thermos, of course. With just a little bending it's a very good fit. I'll fire off a pic to you soon. This is a very, very good idea. The leather takes up some space to make a better fit as well as muting any rattles that might occur. Aren't there Nitto cages of various size and shape for these sort of aplications? Now if only you could source the coctail shakers for that perfect look.

fixedgear said...

I have s similr looking Thermos that I got at Dick's Sporting goods for about twelve bucks or so. It's nice, but I guess I'm more inclined to ride to the coffee shop, show off my Molteni wool trainer, and then ride back rather than bring coffee with me. Which part of the above statement is tounge in cheek?

neil m berg said...

I have the minimalist Nittos. They're not small enough to grab the thermos without a little padding on the back side. I also have one with a piece of cork wedged in between the cage wires to take up the slack.

patrick said...

have y'all seen this nifty gadget?

great for making fresh coffee or tea on a ride. Also good for camping, probably, but we haven't tried that yet ... just lots of tea so far.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Neil, Just for you I posted a photo of my little coffee machine. We have a local roaster down the street and so never have to buy coffee roasted more that a couple of days ago. Mail order coffee? Neil that's just not right.

Patrick, I want one of those!

James, I think we need a link.

AN said...

No, Chris, what I really meant when I said I wanted a thermos was a teeny tiny one that fits in my saddle bag that holds a double shot of espresso.

neil m berg said...

Somehow I knew you would rise to that one. Actually I was thinking you could use the French press coffee to clean your chain or derailleurs.
We're kind of in the boondocks here. We don't even have cups.We have to drink the coffee from our cupped hands.
The only roaster down the street is a Starbucks and I've never been in it. Even in the backwoods you can't get away from Starbucks.

Anonymous said...

I've been using a cheap (95 cents) key-chain level carabiner (not meant for climbing!) to secure the local bagel shop plastic refiller mugs to my rack trunk. It's OK for carrying a cup, but not a loaded cup! As in, a coworker asked "What's that brown spot on the shiny thing on the boack?" and I saw a brown spot on the rear derailler and told them it was blood, but probably not mine. I've got to stop doing that to my coworkers.

But seriously, this may be a neater solution than the Soma coffee mug handlebar mount, especially as a vacuum thermos tends to hold heat/cold in better than foam insulated plastic in a metal shell (the Soma mug).

Chris Kulczycki said...

Okay, I'm ordering a case of these tomorrow. They'll make good holiday gifts. Plus, I want a couple more.

William said...

Yep, I'd love a cuppa on cold days. But I'm waiting for leather brake lever hoods first.

Anonymous said...

Yep, I could drink a cuppa on a cold ride. But I'm waiting for leather brake lever hoods first.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chris:
Check me on this -- but you'd about 15 comments in less than three hours after posting this item (not including this comment). Is that a Velo-orange record? Is a decent coffee transportation method that much of an unsatisfired demand? Is the bicycling industry the only industry that hadn't taken a close look at Starbucks and its competitors? OK, there are those Polar thermal H2O bottles....

Chris Kulczycki said...

William, I tried making leather brake leather hoods, but I just couldn't make them look good. Heck AN laughed when she saw them. Sorry

You'll have to learn Japanese and order them from this guy:
http://www12.ocn.ne.jp/%7Ehishikaw/index.html

Scroll down. Of course they may cost more than a bike.

Anon., Yep, this may be a good idea.

nipponvelo said...

Both the OXO stainless steel Travel Mug and the Nissan (Thermos) stainless Backpack Bottle fit perfectly in my Delta cages. I've compressed the cages by hand to fit both of these bottles as well as the stainless Kleen Kanteen bottles that Chris sells. I don't have any rattling issues. The OXO holds an ounce less, is less attractive but easier to clean and use than the Nissan - I've retired the Backpack Bottle. Both are leakproof.

nipponvelo said...

I should have mentioned that both the OXO and Nissan operate very easliy with one hand. That said, the advantage again goes to the OXO - a simple click opens and closes the seal. The Nissan/Thermos has a spring loaded lid that flips up and has to be closed again.

Chris Kulczycki said...

NipponVelo,

The Nissan may now be unavailable in the size that fits a cage.

This bottle has a push button top which seems like a better design, just click it open or closed.

I actually looked at a whole bunch of vacuum bottles. There are so many factories in China making vacuum bottles that it's hard to keep track. I like that this one has little ridges to hold the leather band. I also saw a nice one that holds 18oz and fits in a cage; I'm trying to track down the importer.

John Price said...

Count me amoung those that'll buy a leather covered, bottle cage fitting coffee thermos (or at least a kit for making my own).

Hope you ordered enough Chris. Sounds like you're getting a lot of positives on this idea.

John Price

Hjalti said...

neil said:
Also, Aherne Cycles makes a cage to hold your brandy hip flask.

Brandy? Brandy!!!??? If you aren't putting a nice single malt in the flask, it's just a waste.

Don R. said...

Hjalti said...
Brandy? Brandy!!!??? If you aren't putting a nice single malt in the flask, it's just a waste.

Well, there's brandy, and then there's brandy. There's a reason the French export all the Cognac and keep the Armagnac for themselves.

And don't forget small-batch bourbons, the 100% American spirit. Be a patriot!

Single malts are good an' all, but everybody's doing those. ;)

neil m berg said...

Sorry about the single malts. I've tried, I really have. I like brandy, sometimes in coffee, when I'm riding in the late Minnesota fall or early spring.
Isn't that Japaneses gentleman a wonderful leather worker? I recall about 5 years ago someone on the CR list was taking orders from him for hoods and bags. Expensive, but certainly worth the price.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Don,

They just want you to think they keep the Armagnac for themselves. But what they really hoard is calvados. Ahh fine calvados: that is the nectar of the gods. ;<)

neil m berg said...

Cheap brandy. The Kossack knows I save the serious money for the wine with the meal afterwards.
Who would have thought that coffee would trip so many triggers? Maybe it's the late season.

Anonymous said...

That's a nice caffeine delivery system in the last pic, but the portafilter handle looks cold and lonely. You probably need to wrap it in leather.

What machine do you have there, anyway? And no PID on that thing?

don r. said...

Chris Kulczycki said...
They just want you to think they keep the Armagnac for themselves. But what they really hoard is calvados. Ahh fine calvados: that is the nectar of the gods.

On that I'll need to trust your judgment and seek out a better bottle than the first one I tried this year. It left me pretty cold, and took a solid 3 months to polish off. On your recommendation, though, I will give it another go. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Just a +1 for ordering the bottle kit. Especially if you can have them available before the holidays. I was already going to buy my wife a thermos and bottle cage for her bike, hand-sewn will be a nice touch. If you had a handlebar bottle cage or adaptor, I could do all my shopping in one place.

Alan said...

Sewing leather onto a thermos, more stuff to try to find time to do. I guess I'll have to free up some time.

Neil, these folks are from South Minneapolis and sell very good coffee. I still remember the first time I had the Guatemalan Dark Roast - a near religious experience. https://www.peacecoffee.com/home.htm

This guy is a bit of a coffee-on-a-bike nut. http://nordicgroup.us/bikecoff/

However, none of his solutions are nearly as elegant as the leather sewn onto the thermos.

Josh said...

RE: Calvados
Sorry to run off-topic, but in the general vein of liquids-to-carry-on-your-bike, I recommend a flask of Clear Creek Calvados. Distilled and bottled in Portland, OR. Smooth and nuanced. Delicious.

Back to coffee.

neil m berg said...

Alan, My daughter also recommended Peace Coffee. Kinetic is also organic, Fair Trade, and he has a booth at Interbike. He wins.

david_nj said...

Count me in. Super little kit. /d

Anonymous said...

One vote here for Blanton's Bourbon,, but it'd have to be an abstention instead from me, because I abstain when cycling....

Alan said...

Neil, have your daughter bring home a pound of Peace Coffee at Thanksgiving. You'll like it. Peace Coffee delivers beans by bicycle within a certain area, that should count for something.

AN said...

Last Christmas, my neice who lives in Boulder, CO sent me a pound of Holiday Blend from Veloce Coffee (www.velocecoffee.com) that was unbelievable (yes, Neil, especially French pressed with an equal amount of steamed milk...). They also support Fair Trade practices and deliver coffee locally by bike messenger.

neil m berg said...

Maybe I've just never had good French pressed. I do know that I was raised on really strong coffee and I prfer it straight, not cut with milk or cream.

On a blog is it feasible to list the more recent comment on the top rather than the bottom?

Chris Kulczycki said...

The big coffee machine is a Pasquini Livia 90, for those who asked. It's served us well for a few years now.

don r. said...

Thanks, Chris & Josh, for proclaiming calvados' virtues loudly enough for me to give it another chance. I found myself a pretty good one last night, and enjoyed a glass (well, two) after dinner.

Funny how the first impression of one bad exemplar can throw you off an entire category.

Now I'm starting to wonder about sloping-top-tube narrow-clearance welded aluminum bikes. ;D

Alan said...

Chris, what sort of sewing pattern did you use on the thermos?

Chris Kulczycki said...

Alan,

It's the same cross stitch weuseon our handlebar covers and flashlight covers.