Golden Saddle Rides: Sam Potts Modern Classic Road

Golden Saddle Rides: Sam Potts Modern Classic Road
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley

There seems to be small resurgence in frame building here in Los Angeles. GSC has been working with a few builders first hand and I’d guess there are even more working with other shops around the city. It’d be interesting to see how many people are actually building bikes in and around Los Angeles at the moment.

This frame and fork was built by Sam Potts at the Yamaguchi Frame Building School in Rifle, CO. Being that this is Sam’s first bike, it is also the rarest bicycle Golden Saddle Cyclery has ever built and it’ll hold that title until he builds 5 more. After that, the Dirt Research Cyclocross Bike will resume that spot in the GSC history book.

We’ll just call Sam’s bike a modern classic. He chose to build a lugged frame and use a traditional 1 inch threaded fork. The wheels were built with silver White Industries hubs, black Archetypes, silver spokes, and black Salsa Skewers to give them a more modern look to match the Ultegra gruppo. The skinwalls bring us back to the past, and the Shimano AX post is just the icing on the cake.

Hey “It could be worse”!


Follow Kyle on Instagram and visit Golden Saddle Cyclery in Silverlake, Los Angeles.


  • Ace Carretero

    What film is this shot with?

    • John Watson

      I dunno but it’s got a lot of cyan in it!

      • Sean Talkington

        That film grain…These photos must be modern classics as well!

      • Kyle Kelley

        Definitely more blue than cyan.

  • D.J. Bolles

    I’m a sucker for all of this. Potts should be proud of his “Frame No. 1″

    • apmoniac

      It could be worse

  • mywynne

    Great choice of design and parts for a “modern classic”. Kudos.

  • AttackCowboy

    The design and paint job on this bike is the best. Did Sam design/paint it as well?

    • Tinj

      It could be worse…

  • barry mcwilliams

    I used to rock climb in Rifle. I had no idea there was a frame building school there.

  • Tyler Johnson

    The graphic design on this bike is wonderful. He really should keep this going with the rest of his builds. There’s so many wonderful details. Thanks for capturing them all Kyle

  • Jimmy_Melnarik

    Incredible design. Drool on the keyboard.

  • Eric Hancock

    Really nice graphics for bike #1. It looks great, except for that tape on the caliper…

    • Kyle Kelley

      That is 100% my fault! I should have noticed before I started shooting, almost left that image out, but then I was like FUCK IT!

      • Eric Hancock

        Still a great looking bike. I’d ride it all day.

  • Pablo Matus

    Favorite road bike of the year.

  • Gabriel Lyman

    There are a few things I want to say, first being props to Kyle for the photos of this bike, they’re rad! To Sam, well done. Really this bike is fucking killer. I too want to be a framebuilder and had to the opportunity to build my first frame this last February at UBI so all I have been thinking about is paint, builds, and how badly I want to braze again.. all I can really say is this is hands down the nicest first build I have yet to see. Well. Fucking. Done.

  • Harry

    Aaron Draplin would definitely approve! (as do I)

  • Dylan Buffington

    This is great, so great.

  • Sam Potts

    Thanks, y’all! really appreciate these comments. And I love the “modern classic” description, Kyle — perfectly captures my hopes for the bike.

    The Yamaguchi class was a dream come true and I recommend it to everyone. I left with an unpainted frame, and got it powder coated here in LA. I’m a graphic designer so I have a lot of opinions about bike typography, but it was actually not so easy deciding on a final design. All inspired by the late 60s Faema Masi that Merckx rode, plus a some other personal stuff.

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    • nspace

      As a fellow designer, the design background pays of huge on this bike. Beautiful work in all respects (overall aesthetic, graphics, workmanship). So many bikes suffer from poor graphics IMO. If for some strange occurrence we ever meet up over drinks, I will definitely pick your brain on bike typographic as I’m sure we probably have many of the same opinions! Great work!!! Looking forward to No. 2 :)

    • Ed Barlow

      Beautiful machine, Sam. Doesn’t get much better (or custom) than that.

  • Jon X Mack

    This bike is the business

  • Nathan Parks

    In love with that, I really want to do the yamaguchi class

  • thnwmd

    paintjob of the year!

  • Theodor Rzad

    Lovely seat cluster; I’m such a sucker for a fastback.

  • kt

    Wow. What a ride.