Who’s behind Morvelo and how’d you get the brand started?
Me (Oli Pepper) and Dave Marcar. We’ve worked as graphic designers for years with a focus on the sports, lifestyle and entertainment markets. However bikes are our passion having ridden and raced them all our lives so we wanted to do something that combined both passions. It started with £500 and a box of t-shirts which was the quickest and easiest way we could communicate our message that we love all bikes.
You’re designers by trade and thats obvious in Morvelos aesthetic, what are a few of your design inspirations?
They come from everywhere! Probably 50% from the cycle world and it’s heritage but then the rest is a mix of pop culture, film, art, design, music and skateboarding.
What I’ve always found appealing about Morvelo is its inclusion of various disciplines of cycling, is that just down to the variety of stuff you’re into?
Purely. Some people might think it’s a marketing ploy to get more customers but it’s solely lead by the fact we ride and race all types of bikes. I started in BMX in the 80′s, then XC MTB in the 90′s then into dirtjumping and DH MTB around 2000, then into road racing followed by track racing, followed by cyclocross. Dave’s ridden bikes his whole life in between skating and his uncle was a successful track racer. So we collared the term ‘Ride Everything’ to simply our love of cycling into one message. To us, if you turn your back on one side of cycling, you’re missing out. The greatest appeal of cycling, to us, is that different bikes take you on different journeys and create different experiences that can’t be taken to granted.
You’ve done some great collaborations in the past, (I was particularly excited by the prospect of one with Death Spray Custom). I know you shouldn’t have favourites but are any particularly memorable?
Well apart from the DSC one which we’re super stoked on, the one with Charlie Kelly is still the highlight. One of the founding figures of mountain biking, willing to take an original copy of the very first MTB magazine ‘Fat Tire Flyer’, scan it in and send it to us so we could do a tee. His fee? “Just send me a t-shirt” Awesome!
Whats the plan for 2104, any new products or ranges?
We have SS2014 coming out in mid-May and then AW2014 out in October. We run a strict six month cycle (if you pardon the pun) of creating a new limited edition range to keep things fresh and creative. But we’re more than just graphics as we’re evolving the products constantly with new fabrics, new details and using our Worldwide Test Team to help create products that perform as good as they look.
Whats your current stable of bikes and which gets the most use?
The whole spectrum as you could imagine. The fixed gear commuter gets daily abuse and also currently the singlespeed road bike. None ever get neglected though. It depends on the season, weather and mood. Which brings me back to saying that everyone should explore the whole range of bikes so you can pick and choose to keep things varied.
You’re Brighton based, how do you find the city from cyclists perspective? (aside from the occasionally baffling cycle lane)
It’s okay around the streets on the way to work but outside of that it’s amazing. First class skatepark for BMX, Preston Park circuit for track racing, lovely Sussex lanes for road riding and the awesome Downs and parks for MTB. We have it all right on our doorstep! I couldn’t live anywhere else!
Whats your most fondly remembered bike from childhood?
I would say my first BMX, which was a cream, gold and black Raleigh Styler but the bike that really got me hooked was my first proper MTB in ’91. A bright orange and green Saracen Andes. It opened my eyes to the world of bikes and not just because of the fluro paint job!
Favourite Brighton pubs?
Any in Hanover so I can stumble home!