2015 NAHBS: Machine Cycles Road

“The bike is just a vessel in a sea of play” is Machine Cycles’ mantra. Builder Kyle Ward is left-handed, an architect and an artist who happens to enjoy building bicycle frame. From the few moments we spent discussing design and custom bicycles, I could tell Kyle has that special spark that motivates people to do great things. Or at least really beautiful things…

This bike wowed me at first and continued to with each new detail that I discovered. That paint? Inspired by a pair of socks Kyle was wearing the day he painted the bike. The navy blue fork and saddle are beautiful touches and the turquoise notes accent the matte brown. For tubing, there’s a lot going on: True Temper OX Platinum with stainless stays and a custom titanium stem.

Days get long photographing bikes at NAHBS, but this one was a pleasure. That bike has a mean stance, yet a soft and playful demeanor. Machine Cycles has a really great website, so head on over and check it out.

  • Mitch Lomacz

    Sexy bike! Anyone notice that seatpost? New ENVE design perhaps?

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson


  • Keith Gibson

    color scheme is great

  • Joe Roggenbuck

    Cool note — he made the dropouts himself to match 1″ chainstays, because there aren’t many dropout options for 1″ chainstays on steel road bikes.

  • Warwick Gresswell

    I especially like how he ripped off the Pegoretti dropout design. Seriously?

    • Eli

      Bicycle design has been essentially unchanged for about 120 years. If you look far enough back, almost all “new” ideas have been done before. I would say the dropouts are inspired by the Pegoretti design, rather than ripping it off.

      • Warwick Gresswell

        Bullshit. It’s identical. Nothing new has been brought to the table here AT ALL. You’re a sycophant of the highest order John so nobody with any integrity listens to anything you have to say.

        • GioFio

          Settle down there, Internet Guardian.

          • Warwick Gresswell

            Damn, is my cape sticking out of my shirt again!?

        • Patrick Murphy

          Then please GTFO so the rest of us can enjoy the site.

        • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

          You’re a grown ass man who acts like a child, stomping their feet and crying. Please leave.

        • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

          And also… I’ve seen “your work” which is just filled with rip-offs of other builders. Like those Speedvagen rip-offs you “made” overseas.

        • david__g

          I’ve certainly had disagreements with John/this site but dude is stoked on a nice, hand built bike that looks *really* sweet. I’d like to see what you consider something new being brought to the table. Go on, show us! And try to only show us stuff that’s actually practical. I could show you all sorts of wacky out there ‘new’ shit that is next to useless for the sake of being different.

          • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

            *sends over a high five, tips glass to you, hugs, etc*

          • david__g

            well, back-atcha man!

        • Machine

          I’ve pulled two definitions from a reputable source (called the dictionary) one of which my dropouts can be categorized. The other which it cannot. I’m just saying I’m the only one that has put them both to the test.

          [ahy-den-ti-kuh l, ih-den-]
          similar or alike in every way.

          [im-proov-muh nt]
          a change or addition by which a thing is improved.

          -sincerely, -Kyle

        • wittyja

          Speaking from actually working with Kyle at Machine personally, he has made these from the ground up. I saw the original CAD drawings and the machining process it took to make those dropouts, along with the extra work he took into so they can be fully functional. Everyone takes inspiration from somewhere/something, and to take inspiration from Pegoretti and then add your own flair/design/improvements or whatever it maybe is not a crime, it should be applauded. Machine strives to use each material/part for its best purpose and figure out solutions to make the best possible end product without taking shortcuts. To try and shit on someones dropout design is like shitting on every builder for shaping their own lugs because they are similar to another, your argument cannot even hold water.

          I appreciate Vanilla (speedvagen) and what they have done, but they blatantly “copied” Raleigh sscxwc bikes with their “hollowtext” yet everyone applauds for their innovation.

          Not going to personally flame “your” bikes, but before you rag on someone else’s design you should focus on your own work or lack there of and applaud your peers for coming up with what they have done.

          I also appreciate Kyle taking time out of his week to begin to teach me a little bit about framebuilding while he is trying to start up his company.

        • kermitonwheels

          That’s all a bit unnecessarily harsh and all you’ve done is come off looking angry. Nothing new really needs bringing to the table. Surely that isn’t the only criteria to evaluate this bike? It’s a good looking bike, with some nice features, some inspired by a legendary builder, but so what?

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      Uh… No he didn’t.

  • leeon

    holy, fuck.

  • david__g

    There’s not enough (nice) brown in cycling. This is a good use of it.

    • http://theradavist.com/ John Watson

      This and the Repete Grizzly really opened my mind to matte brown powdercoating.

      • david__g

        I mean, brown can look really ugly when done badly. This is not an example of that. I need to check out the Repete.

      • david__g

        Oh yeah! That Repete is niiiice (I remember seeing it now)

  • tertius_decimus

    Horizontal top tube, yay! Glad to see this sloping bull goes away.

  • Jonathan McCurdy

    I consider Kyle one of my first cycling role models, and one of the reasons I got into bikes in the first place! I’m glad to see his work getting more exposure and can’t wait to ride my own Machine some day.