I’d noticed this brand when browsing online, so, on a sunny though cold day I thought it would be an opportunity to try out how well my new laminated riding gear worked in the cold and see what this retailer had to offer.
Goldtop is in quite a rural location, though not far from Stansted airport. Turn off the M11 at the first northbound junction, set your TomTom to ‘thrilling route’ and it’s an hour or so of rural B roads and lanes. Much quicker if you stay on the motorway but who wants to do that? Warning – it is only open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The shop is in fact a detached house at the entry of a farm. I was immediately struck by the friendly welcome and almost club like atmosphere, with Bike Shed style sofas and books to leaf through. I mentioned that I was thinking of getting a new pair of winter gloves, however the owner, Casey took a look at my bike and immediately assessed that their products would not be suitable for me. I was nonetheless offered coffee and took the opportunity to browse upstairs and down.
As shown in the photos there is a good selection, particularly of gloves and leather jackets. These all tended to the retro/classic style, some possibly coming dangerously close to being fashion rather than riding garments and not therefore what most LAM members will be looking for. The shop’s strength however was in some of their base garments: there is a beautifully made merino base layer top at around £60, luxurious double layer merino neck tube and a selection of boot length socks. They also do a lively trade in sheepskin flying jackets and submariner style pullovers – just the thing when you’re in the MGB with the top down!
Goldtop is a ‘heritage brand’, originally based in Yorkshire. Casey told me that he bought the name around fifteen years ago and that the shop has been running for three years. The original brand logo was salvaged from the factory and is displayed on the outside of the building. Inevitably a lot of the goods are produced overseas, though if you order a made to measure jacket it will be UK made. Casey kept me and another customer entertained with anecdotes about supplying his wares to the film industry as well as to those with a more ‘specialised’ interest in leather.
Is Goldtop a rival to Motolegends or Helmet City? Definitely not, it’s a totally different market. Nonetheless it has some great products and has a very friendly and personal approach. Verdict: take a ride out there and see for yourself.
Disclaimer – I received a free cup of coffee and a 20% Black Friday discount on a pair of Merino socks.
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