A Ponderosa Cyclery + Tour Capricorn ‘Cross Bike

A Ponderosa Cyclery + Tour Capricorn ‘Cross Bike
Photos by Kyle Kelley, words by John Watson

If it’s a Ponderosa Cyclery + Tour bike, from the shop’s archives anyway, then it’s Vince’s. As Kyle mentioned in his Shop Visit galley, Vince is a collector of rarities, including this Capricorn ‘Cross bike. Bradley Wilson builds under the name Capricorn, out of my home state of North Carolina. His bikes have a constructeur feel, with a clean aesthetic, devoid of ostentation. Instead, Bradley’s bikes have a personality that beckons to be used, just not abused. This build is top notch, with the DA7400 shifters, XT rear mech and original Chris King headset.

Vince from Ponderosa Cyclery has clearly used this bike, with lots of beausage present and knowing bike shop owners, he relishes every pedal stroke.

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  • The leather carry handle and chanstay protector are really nice touches.

  • Brian Richard Walbergh

    Real Nice! By the looks of the lovely headbadge this one seems to have been built in Minnesota when he was still building/living there. He was my favorite builder when I was there, always lusted after his bikes, especially the tourers, I don’t like describing bikes as “timeless” but these certainly come close.

  • kasual

    Ooof! This is ticking all the boxes: clean lines, classic livery, (working) DA7400 STIs and that XT rear mech. Pretty much everything I lusted after when I came into cycling. I know discs are superior in almost every way to Canti’s… but there is something about the look of a canti bike properly setup and dialed in.

    • Nicholas Petersen

      So true.

    • Julius

      Didn’t those DA brifters have a unique actuation ratio that made them incompatible with non-DA Shimano rear mechs of the era? Just thinking. Of course, they are gorgeous, as is the whole bike. I dig the aesthetics of a rig that has clearly been used a lot.

      • planning_nerd

        Yes. Only work with 8 speed DA. Though with 8 speeds there’s more margin for slop. This setup likely shifts poorly.

      • kasual

        Exactly and they also can’t be serviced (at least, not with any certainty). When mine went I was pretty bummed, until I learned that 9 speed DA bar ends are also compatible with DA7400.

  • Ham Sandwich

    this bike is greater than the sum of its parts.

  • Trevor H

    Brad actually hung up his frame building torch, sold his equipment, and moved back to Wisconsin this past spring. Kind of a bummer because he’s an extremely skilled builder. He also used to make all his own racks/carriers for his builds, as well as selling them ala carte.

    • No more Capricorn? I followed him on FB, pretty much all of his frames were amazing. What a pity.

  • Zian

    Are there any pros to having the horizontal dropouts?

    • Draw Imagine

      ss setup ?

    • Renato Silvestri

      No pros. I had a MTB with horizontal dropouts. Didn’t like it at all.

  • Steve C

    original 8 spd dura-ace STI! god we lusted after that stuff when it arrived in the UK in the early 90’s. We could only dream of owning it the salaries we were on! Great bike.

  • breed007

    Love it.

  • Zac

    I cannot help myself. I love canti-cross bikes repurposed for touring. Lord help me.

  • Matt M

    Love the Cazaderos. Best all-around tire if you ask me.

  • Richard

    So much nice on this bike. The lines, the cable routing, the mix ‘n match components – especially love the lines on that seat post (maybe late ’80s Shimano 600 post?).