Pedal-powered coffee grinder: ultimate hipster accessory or spoof?

As important as discovery of fire, says inventor

by John Stevenson   December 19, 2013  


This might be the ultimate East London hipster accessory: a coffee grinder powered by a fixed-wheel bike. But it might also be a very deadpan spoof. The Hoxtonite collision of cycling, coffee and beards has got so silly we’re struggling to tell. You decide.

According to its website, Gear Grinder mounts on the left seatstay of your singlespeed, is driven by the fixed sprocket on a flip-flop hub and can grind up to 20g of coffee.

It’s the brainchild of Dan Hill and Dave Buonaguidi, a couple of beardie fellas from London ad agency Karmarama who say that it “allows cycle loving coffee aficionados to grind their morning brew the best way possible, by foot.”

Dan Hill said: “There's a clear, often moustachioed, overlap between those who love great coffee and ride fixed-gear bikes to work every morning. We saw that as a brilliant opportunity. As far as I’m concerned this is up there with the discovery of fire and the creation of the internet in its value to the people of earth. We are massively excited about bringing something totally unique to market.”

Dave and Dan

Dave Buonaguidi added: “I have been riding fixed wheel and drinking double espresso religiously for ten years. I also believe that hand or foot grinding is better than machine grinding because the imperfections in the ‘analogue’ grinding process creates an unevenness which adds to the subtle notes of the coffee flavour. The Gear Grinder is a personal dream that has finally been realized.”

Discovery of fire? ‘Analogue’ grinding process? We sincerely hope they’re not serious. If they are, they're asking £350 a time for a Gear Grinder.

You may remember Karmarama as the ad agency that rode into a storm of adverse publicity last year over a cack-handed bike safety campaign that suggested not being a “stupid twat” as a solution to the problem of cycling deaths.

Signs appeared around London with limericks detailing the deaths of fictitious cyclists, and referring to a website - - that pointed out that 3,000 cyclists per year are killed or seriously injured.

The site went on to claim: “Cyclists riding like stupid twats cause a percentage of these accidents so lots of accidents, injuries and deaths could therefore be avoided." The site listed the most twattish things you could apparently do, which in order of twattishness were jumping red lights, cycling with headphones, not having lights at night and just "being stupid".

We critiqued the campaign in some detail, and it was widely pilloried by cycling groups and safety experts. Karmarama subsequently apologised and claimed that the campaign was cooked up by an employee acting alone.

26 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Well at least they didn't try and pimp it on kickstarter....they would have made a fortune Smile

posted by jason.timothy.jones [305 posts]
19th December 2013 - 13:56



I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's

KiwiMike's picture

posted by KiwiMike [905 posts]
19th December 2013 - 13:59


I suspect that Dan and Dave could benefit from having their cocks kicked off.

posted by farrell [1912 posts]
19th December 2013 - 14:03


You're being laughed at, guys...

nowasps's picture

posted by nowasps [344 posts]
19th December 2013 - 14:38


If it had a milk frother/heater then there maybe.

posted by jason.timothy.jones [305 posts]
19th December 2013 - 14:54


I'll stick to the dynamo driven charger for my beard trimmer.

It's designed by a bunch of passionate and committed engineering artisans in Portland who were tired of The Man (as represented by big electric companies) profiteering fron those needing to keep a really well trimmed beard that doesn't catch the macchiato froth.

It's available in recycled packaging from all good Hackney bike shops, craftsmen made in China by people equally passionate, so much so that they left education early and willingly work 18 hour days lovingly crafting them. Or is that Apple?

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
19th December 2013 - 15:05


Pretty funny

posted by jellysticks [92 posts]
19th December 2013 - 15:17


What was that they were saying about twats?

posted by factor41 [19 posts]
19th December 2013 - 15:33


But Karmarama was also responsible for the "don't be a tw*t" adverts targeted at cyclists a while back. "not officially sanctioned" allegedly.

Need to take their own advice

posted by gazza_d [408 posts]
19th December 2013 - 15:43


farrell wrote:
I suspect that Dan and Dave could benefit from having their cocks kicked off.

This made me snort tea across my desk.

posted by Jones The Steam [29 posts]
19th December 2013 - 15:44


Actually I wish they'd had the balls to stand by their 'Twat' campaign.

If you took it as cyclists talking to cyclists then in some ways its quite good, and using humour (albeit of very questionable taste) rather than patrician preaching might have struck a few chords. I can however see how a non cyclist could have perceived it

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
19th December 2013 - 15:49


Further proof that riders of fixies should be kept at arms length or more

posted by jarredscycling [457 posts]
19th December 2013 - 15:49


Must have; want; will surely die without.
Nah, I'll pass, thanks.
Prefer instant, anyway.

posted by Cauld Lubter [126 posts]
19th December 2013 - 16:37


First thoughts: 'Nice gimmick. Incredibly unnecessary.

After seeing the price: 'This is the worst invention on the planet.'

posted by MPMax [9 posts]
19th December 2013 - 17:02


You'd never hear your bottom bracket bearing failing would you.

We're all entitled to a reasonable opinion!

posted by Guyz2010 [298 posts]
19th December 2013 - 18:17


This is so Portlandia it's untrue.

Doctor Fegg's picture

posted by Doctor Fegg [142 posts]
19th December 2013 - 18:24


Either the indignant squealers are taking the piss or the hardened readers of Road.CC are more gullible than I thought. It's a hoax. They'll have the Viz Top Tips puncture detector next. The tin bath full of water on the rear rack?

Silly me. You're probably right....

MercuryOne's picture

posted by MercuryOne [1195 posts]
19th December 2013 - 18:59


Is it a conical burr grinder? No hipster worth his salt would consider anything else!

posted by gmrza [15 posts]
20th December 2013 - 3:20


350 quid?


posted by offshore_dave [59 posts]
20th December 2013 - 9:27


I think it is a burr, beans in the top, comes out the bottom....

Im so disappointed that no one has made a joke about using it to grind a particular herbal product that is favoured by certain hipsters....shame on you all Rolling On The Floor

posted by jason.timothy.jones [305 posts]
20th December 2013 - 9:28


Dan looks like he could do with riding a few more miles to help get rid of his belly.


posted by OldRidgeback [2553 posts]
20th December 2013 - 9:48


Yes its a probably ceramic burr grinder. It appears to be a japanese porlex coffee hand grinder (£32 - and I thought they were expensive), with a bit of aluminium riveted on, and a sprocket, shaft and gear. £350? I guess this is what passes for 'creative marketing' these days (used to be called hustling).

posted by joncrel [8 posts]
20th December 2013 - 15:17


Out a Rapha sticker on it and £350 sounds about right

posted by Veloacciaio [19 posts]
21st December 2013 - 9:20


jason.timothy.jones wrote:
If it had a milk frother/heater then there maybe.

That is available as well I believe, but only for girls' bikes Kiss

Northernbike's picture

posted by Northernbike [217 posts]
21st December 2013 - 10:06


This is a different thread I'm afraid. I was just incensed by their cowardly excuse for the campaign.
No professional media outfit launches anything, let alone a whole campaign, without oversight by executives. Blaming "an employee" is a plain lie and inexcusable.

posted by GrahamB [3 posts]
21st December 2013 - 21:47


farrell wrote:
I suspect that Dan and Dave could benefit from having their cocks kicked off.

[[[[[ What cocks?


posted by PhilRuss [328 posts]
25th December 2013 - 3:19