Out of the Saddle is a video series spotlighting riders in the Above Category community and the dream bikes we build for them. In our second episode in the series, we feature Brazilian designer Xande Macedo, whose Above Category custom Prova Ripido connects the dots between his first mountain bike experiences in Brazil and the trails he now calls home in Marin. But Xande doesn't just send it on the dirt. These days, you're just as likely to find him flowing on the road aboard his Above Category Pegoretti Round. We'll let him explain.
Cycling has always been an extremely personal experience for me in so many ways. I cycle to heal. I cycle to excite. I cycle to discover. My name is Xande. I’m originally from Brazil and moved to the United States about 22 years ago. I’m a designer, and I work to make messaging accessible to everyone.
Growing up, I was bullied, and I ended up being a lonely kid. My dad worked at Xerox at the time, and he gave me free A3 papers, and I spent a lot of time drawing spaceships. Inside those spaceships was an alternative world where I belonged. Years later, those early drawings and the passion and curiosity they kickstarted got me into design and what I do today.
Around the same time I got into drawing, I also discovered cycling. My cousin was riding mountain bikes and introduced them to me, which opened up another whole new world. We rode individually and as a group, so there was that personal moment of solitude, but then there was a community around it. It pushed my limits and made me see my town through different lenses.
The idea of having a bike that was designed with an attention to detail in terms of how I ride was something that I thought wasn’t achievable. But fast forward twenty years, and I saw myself in a situation where that was a possibility.
After moving to Sausalito, Above Category came into my life, and the team there was just so kind and open to understanding what I wanted, which was a bike that was a reference to how I grew up. But also something that was an ode to Marin. And something that fit me. This was a chance to do it right. Above Category were able to translate what I wanted to experience, my memories of cycling, and the future of cycling - because we’re not in the 90s anymore!
My Prova rides like nothing else. It’s the bike that I’ll hopefully have forever.
Away from the mountains, riding on the road wasn’t something I thought I enjoyed very much, although I loved those bikes when I looked at them. I’ve always had respect and reverence for the simplicity and craftsmanship of Italian bikes. And Pegoretti is something that I always knew - about Dario, their studio, and how they translate the emotions of someone who wants their bikes.
One day I walked into Above Category, and they had a Pegoretti there. It was my size, and when I saw the paint up close, I could see the brush strokes of the handprinted frame. I remember that I hopped on the bike after I had just held the handlebar, and I wanted it. It had to be mine! So I went on one ride and fell in love with riding on the road. It felt pure. I felt the feedback of the brakes, the pop of the gears shifting up and down, the silence. I could hear my breathing. I felt like I was riding roads that I knew existed, but I was riding them in a way I never did before. And that’s the bike I’ve probably been riding the most and continue to fall in love with, with its simplicity and what it brings to me. It’s very cool.