This blog post has nothing whatsoever to do with cycling but if you have been a follower of this humble blog over the years, you will know that I have a soft spot for fountain pens and in particular a German brand called Lamy.
Lamy make some inexpensive pens and some that are very much at the luxury end. One of my favourites are the Safari and Al Star pens. Every year Lamy release a special colour in a limited run. Lots of people collect them and I have quite a few of these.
The Al Star looks identical to the Safari pens but it is just that little bit more special being made of aluminium and with a see-through window so you can see the nib feed.
The special edition for this year is the 'Cooper Orange' and it looks pretty fine to me.
The great thing about the Al Star pens is the fact they are built really well and are tank-like, being able to withstand the rigours of heavy day to day use.
The AL Star isn't a small pen either and fits in the hand well, being a comfortable all day writer.
The nib is excellent and even better you can replace the entire nib in seconds. There is a huge range of nibs: extra-fine, fine, medium, broad and italic ones and even left handed nibs. You can get them quite easily from good pen shops or online dealers for about £4 - £5.
The Al Star accepts Lamy carriages or for around £5 you can buy a converter, allowing you to use any colour of quality bottled ink.
This particular Al Star costs anything between £20 - £25 and as far as I am concerned is a bargain. I have written before that I have used fountain pens costing more than 10 x this amount and I actually prefer using the Al Star.
Lamy just seem to get things right first time and in addition to being a great little pen as far as this special edition 'Copper Orange' goes for some reason, I even like the colour!!