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Brilliant + Great = Perfect

  • Posted by alex
  • 9 August 2013

Our women’s Stretcher jean. Made using a brand new 'powerstretch' denim.

Powerstretch denim is the perfect mix of 75% cotton, with 22% polyester and 3% elastane, made by a brilliant denim mill in Portugal.

It took them years of trial and error, energy and effort to find the right mix. But by using the best ingredients from the start, they’ve managed to cook up a great denim.

The lightweight cotton makes them soft and comfortable and easy to wear. The polyester makes them tough and durable. And the elastane makes them stretch and move, fitting your body perfectly along the way.

It’s that quality of ingredients, as well as the time and energy and skill they’ve put into manufacturing that makes these Stretchers just about the comfiest, most shape-flattering pair of women’s jean we’ve ever made.

Proof indeed that you only ever get out exactly what you put in. True of life of course, but also true of a pair of jeans.

Shop Women's Stretcher Jeans >



howies Powerstretch Stretcher jeans

howies Powerstretch Stretcher jeans

Jeans from the Wild West (of Wales)

  • Posted by alex
  • 9 August 2013

Our new men’s Rancher jean has just arrived. And we've made using a special 'broken twill' denim.

Popularized by rodeo riders back in the 1960s, broken twill is a style of weave famous for it's unique zigzag pattern; invented to combat the twisting effect you can get with regular denim.

If you're a denim geek, you'll know that traditionally a twill is woven either to the right hand or the left hand, which can cause tension in the fabric. It's that tension which can make the outside seam of a regular jean twist around to the front or back,
after it's washed.

A broken twill weave contains no distinctive direction though. Instead, alternating right and left in an intentionally random zig-zag pattern. This texture gives the denim a more balanced construction and eliminates the twisted leg effect. It will also give your jeans a wonderfully irregular, streaky fade pattern as they age. And as a bonus, it also makes them softer than a traditional jean too.

Sounds pretty good to us. Then again, who are we to argue
with a bunch of cowboys anyway?

Shop Men's Broken Twill Rancher Jeans >



howies Broken Twill Rancher Jeans

howies Broken Twill Rancher Jeans

howies Broken Twill Rancher Jeans detail

Vai, vai, vai!

  • Posted by alex
  • 11 June 2013
The pace was so hard and fast that your lungs and throat burned when you came off from a set of laps and back to the tent.
We've just got back from a long weekend in Italy, racing bikes at the Castelli 24 hour criterium.

24 hours with Phil Collins*

“I would rather have a kidney removed with a plastic knife in a branch of KFC but we’ll sign up again for next year”

Every June in the foothills of the Dolomites the centre of Feltre is closed off for 24 hours of thundering thighs. The relay criterium event around a 1.8km circuit is organised by our old friends at Castelli and is about as much fun as you can have on a bike unless you own a tandem with the seats very close together.

100 teams of 8-12 riders take to the line with strategies that vary from “we’ve paid for a pro- rider so we are going to get our money’s worth” to “I’m sure the rest of the lads will be along in a minute, I’ll keep going until they get here”. For sheer guts I admire the tenacity of the latter.

The course goes up for longer than is entirely necessary, down for a disappointingly short time and has a long straight section that provides useful thinking time for composing an excuse should you decide to hand over early and a nearby canal if you just want to end it all. The lap finishes on a cobbled section sponsored by the local dentist.

Notable features apart from all the cycling stuff are the tannoy operators taste in music, which lurches from abysmal (Genesis) to please make it stop (Genesis), the chance to see a former world champion emerge from a putrid port-a-loo and the local Sprizzone which seems like an ideal pre-race drink. Like Italian footballers or Michael Douglas it goes down easily.

The combination of sleep deprivation, Sprizzone dehydration and trying to ride as fast as you can tests your mental strength so you WILL hate it for a bit but 5 minutes after it’s over you are booking the hotel for next year.

Great event. Fantastic people. Get some friends together and do it one year. You’ll never look back.

Thanks Castelli for a great event.

*As you can see from the picture Hazel’s bike is a Genesis.

Warming up nicely

Rooftop views and mountains

Assembling our bikes

Fuelling up

Practising the 2 Laps Signal

24hr Start / Finish Gate

Fatigue starting to show

Carbon fibre galore

Busted Cleats

Rain stops racing

Last year's event video.

They're Back - Wallpapers

  • Posted by alex
  • 15 May 2013

Free Porridge

  • Posted by alex
  • 10 May 2013
  • Dorset Cereals Porridge

Our Porridge tees have been making a bit of a stir (sorry) amongst breakfast enthusiasts. In fact it's our best-selling tee of the year.

Our friends at Dorset Cereals love it too and have given us a few boxes of their porridge to give away for you oat lovers.

So, for a lucky few who order a Porridge tee this weekend, we'll be putting a box of their tasty porridge in with your t-shirt.

As always, first come, first served.

Update: We're all out of Porridge now.

Men's Porridge T-Shirt >
Women's Porridge T-Shirt >

howies Porridge organi cotton t-shirts

Dyfi 2013 - Cramp or Glory

  • Posted by ruben
  • 9 May 2013
  • Dyfi_1
  • Dyfi_2
  • Dyfi_3

On Sunday, we made our annual pilgrimage to Machynlleth for the 12th annual Dyfi Enduro. A mountain bike event like no other. The course is tough, but rewards hard work with some of the best (if occasionally terrifying) descents and singletrack sections around.

For Ade and I it's become a bit of a yearly battle for the title of "fastest howies rider." In 2011 I beat him for the first time but the result was questionable as he'd dragged himself round suffering from some kind of manflu. I was left hungry for a more honest win. In 2012 we battled it out within sight of each other the whole way around but I wasn't able to close the gap and finished 10 minutes slower.

This year, with us both feeling equally unprepared, we rolled out from the start line through town and into the hills. With 800 riders jostling for position, I soon lost track of where Ade was in the pack, but knew he was ahead. I kept my head down and pushed on at a steady pace.

The miles passed. The uphill ones slowly, the downhill ones fast. I was losing hope of catching up until 2/3rds in, I rounded a bend and reached the feed station. Ade was there. My spirits lifted out of my tired feet. Maybe it's possible after all! I hurried to fill my bottle and grab a banana before heading off. Just ahead.

Now the mood of ride changed. For one thing, I had Somewhere Over The Rainbow stuck in my head after Ade had let me know it had been on his iPod. I pushed a little harder up the hill, trying to get a feel for how his legs were holding up. The gap opened a little but now cramp began to rise it's ugly head, snapping at our legs each time we slipped a wheel or dabbed a foot down. .

On the climb before last, I looked back and couldn't see Ade. I thought this was it. Turning into the last descent I was faced with a mire of rutted muddy tracks, I lost my wheels more than once and had to fight building cramps to keep things going in the right direction.

Dropping out of the descent onto the last bit of fire track, my chain came off. As I was trying to get it back on, I was passed by Ade. Laughing. I jumped back on the bike as quick as I could but with only 800 meters to go I knew there was little chance of closing the gap again. I finished 30 seconds after Ade. The closest honest gap yet.

Elsewhere in team howies, Chris had a great first time at Dyfi - finishing 7th of the short course riders and 4th in his category while Hazel rode an anonymous ride after forgetting to attach her race number before setting off.

At the end of the day, we all got what we really came for. The event mug to add to the collection. Post race brews never taste better than in those Dyfi mugs.

And what do I have to say about Ade's mirth while passing me with my chain woes?
Not much. I'll just let this video do the talking.

And here's a lovely little edit of the weekend from Will Sanders.

2013 Howies Dyfi Enduro on Pinkbike

A big thanks to Jon Brooke from rightplacerighttime for the photos of the weekend.
If you rode the Enduro, he's probably got some snaps of you too on his website.

howies Dyfi Enduro 2013

Ade-and-Ruben

howies Dyfi Enduro 2013

howies Dyfi Enduro 2013

howies Dyfi Enduro 2013

Our New Outback Jacket

  • Posted by alex
  • 11 April 2013
Schoeller 3XDRY water-resistant soft-shell with Merino wool bonded fleece inside - it keeps you dry from the outside, dry from the inside and it dries in a flash.

There's no such thing as bad weather. Just bad clothing.

Most of the weather we get in the UK is neither onething or the other. Some days it's bright and sunny, but freezing cold. Others, lovely and warm but chucking it down with rain. You can’t win.

The Outback jacket is our answer to thesedays. We've set out to design somethingthat feels and performs like a Merino wool base layer, but at the same time is wind and water-resistant.

So we've taken the same soft, itch free, anti-microbial Merino wool we use in our base layers and bonded it with a Schoeller 3XDRY softshell outer fabric. The Merino fleece wicks moisture away from your body, transporting it to the outer shell, which in turn lets it evaporate without letting any moisture in.

The result is a performance weatherproof jacket that keeps you dry from the outside, dry from the inside and dries in a flash.

Perfect for sport, the outdoors and those days when the weather just can't make up it's mind.

Outback-licorice-thumbs

howies Outback Softshell jacket - Men's Licorice

howies Outback Softshell jacket

howies Outback Softshell jacket

We've been putting the Outback through it's paces too. It's fast wicking Merino wool inner sends moisture to the 3XDRY outer really fast and in early spring downpours has kept the rain at bay on rides home.

The jacket is super-stretchy too with contoured panels making movement easier and with two zipped map-sized hand pockets a zip chest pocket with a headphone port, this jacket is perfect for sport, the outdoors and those days when the weather can't make up it's mind. Which around here is most days.

Shop Men's Outback Softshell >
Shop Women's Outback Softshell >

Easter Breakout

  • Posted by alex
  • 28 March 2013

howies Easter Breakout

We're taking the next few days off and heading out on some Easter Breakouts.

Chris is running the mountain ridges and forests of the Nantlle valley from Waunfawr to Beddgelert in north Wales.

Hazel is heading down Whitesands with a her parent and surfboards to brave the cold and score some waves.

Naomi is hoping for surf too - dipping in at Freshwater West for a deserted early morning surf in the West corner. Out for a hot brew and lunch. Back in early evening after a blood warming, coastal walk. And then a night around the woodstove, recounting the day’s adventures and laughs.

Emma is off with family to follow in the footsteps of pilgrims and walking some of the North Downs Way.

Ade will be running his favourite local trail; a 10 mile loop up and down small valleys with river crossings, pine forest and twisting single track.

Alex is conquering the Preseili's on the road bike (and hoping not to need a rain jacket).

Jules will be strolling along the beach at Llangrannog with her dog "Juno" and chatting to people from different walks of life.

While Tom will be fixing freezing and burst pipes on his Caddy in hopes to get out further afield.

Let us know what you're getting up to on your Easter Breakouts.

Come say hello

  • Posted by alex
  • 28 March 2013

Categories:

come say hello

Chris and Rich from our Cardigan High Street shop have been busy all week
ferrying boxes up from HQ for their Easter Sale.

They've got some great pieces in just for the Easter weekend;
lots of last in the box items, 1 offs, tees, jeans, jackets, Merino
and more. All Gold at Silver prices.

They also know some great trails to run and rides along the coast
that start from the shop, so if you're in town, pop in and say "hello".

They'll be open on:

Friday 10am - 4pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 10am - 4pm
Monday 10am - 4pm

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