Category Archives: Beautiful Bicycles
Konga Bicycles Isn’t Yoking Around

In preparation for NAHBS, I like to crank up my framebuilder observation scope, resulting in obsessive Instagram stalking of my favorite builders, even if they’re not attending the show. If you were to ask me the number one challenge builders are presented with currently, in terms of construction techniques, my answer would be swift and without hesitation: 27.5+ yokes. Designing a yoke that will clear the tire, maintain optimal chainline and allow the use of a range of ring sizes is not easy. The issue is sometimes you’ve only got millimeters to spare and while machining or casting a yoke would be an easy solution, you sacrifice weight. If you use normal chainstays and crimp to allow clearance, you weaken those points considerably. A few builders have cleverly designed their solutions. My current favorite is Cameron Falconer, who uses plate steel at the drive side and a normal, bent stay on the non-drive side. The asymmetry doesn’t bother me, yet when I see this design by Konga Bicycles, my mouth begins to water. Check out more at the Konga Flickr!

Feb 22, 2017 2 comments
Don’t Call it a Cross Bike: the Caletti Scrambler Flat Bar City Shredder

Ok, maybe you can call it a ‘cross bike, because that’s truly what it is at its roots. Before we get ahead of ourselves here, let’s take a step back. There are stigmas attached with the words “commuter” “city” “townie” and even “cross” bike. There are certain checklists that apply to each of those permutations. The most notable being fender and rack provisions. Even with the latter, “cross” purists want drop bars and 32mm tires for a bike to be true to its UCI roots. This bike has no provisions for racks or fenders, is sold with a 40mm tire, flat bars and a bell. It’s not as much as it is. It is whatever you want it to be. (more…)

Feb 22, 2017 101 comments
Seven Rider Portraits from a Winter Overnight – Morgan Taylor

Photos and words by Morgan Taylor.

Here in Vancouver we’ve been experiencing one of the coldest winters in decades, with more days below freezing than I can ever remember. Over the past six weeks, since firing up #coffeeoutsideyvr, there’s been much talk of packing up and getting out for some overnights. And lately, with sunset already an hour later than it was at solstice, it was imminent that the talk become action. (more…)

Feb 16, 2017 21 comments
My Retrotec Funduro is Rollin’ Again with SRAM GX, Level ULT Brakes and Terrene Chunk Tires

It’s a damn shame. Yeah, it really is. It’s a shame that this bike sat in my storage room, with no drivetrain or brake parts for so long. After reviewing this Retrotec Funduro 27.5+ hardtail a few months back, I couldn’t send the frame back to Curtis. I just loved it so much. After some emailing, he agreed I could buy the frame, but I had to send the Shimano parts back to Retrotec HQ in Napa and buy him a new Chris King 40th group.

Months later, Chris King asked to have the bike for their 40th Anniversary show, so I cobbled together a partially working build with a new SRAM Eagle group and sent it to Portland for display purposes only. Partially working? Huh? You see, SRAM and Shimano do chainring offset very differently and SRAM’s Eagle ring isn’t available in 0mm offset, like their other drivetrain systems are and like Shimano’s XTR cranks are designed, so even though it looked damn fine with all that glistening gold on it, the chainring wouldn’t clear the stay… (more…)

Feb 13, 2017 27 comments
Jon’s Sabrosa Dirty Drop Bar Travel Tourer

As with any fabrication job, resolving design challenges creatively is just part of the job. When Jon at Sabrosa Cycles wanted a travel touring bike, he didn’t want to order an S&S or Break-Away kit, he wanted to design something from scratch that would be special and unique to his brand. The result is clever and hardly noticeable unless you know what you’re looking for.

When I first saw the details, I asked Jon if he had seen Rick Hunter’s Bushmaster. He hadn’t. Yet, whereas Rick’s design was used to resolve the problem of chain tension, Jon designed his so you could unbolt the rear triangle from the front, making it easy to travel with.

If you love details, this frame’s got’em, since just about everything on this has been hand machined and made from scratch. The segmented fork and stays harken back to Fat City Cycles and Jon’s roots as a MTB fanboy, where he grew up admiring the early creations from Salsa and the like. The Paul Neo Retro Cantis have plenty of stopping power and a good, ol’ fashioned triple gets Jon up and over mountain passes in the St. George area.

This bike is unique without being overly ostentatious and capable without being overbuilt. Photographing it was sheer pleasure! Don’t forget to check out our Shop Visit at Sabrosa Cycles and give Jon a follow on Instagram!

Feb 10, 2017 26 comments
Josh from Angry Catfish’s Oddity 27.5+ Hardtail

We’re here in Southern Utah, soaking in all the red dirt we can and riding some of the area’s finest trails. While Kyle and I had a short drive to St. George, Parker and Josh from Minneapolis’ Angry Catfish had a staggering 24 hours of driving on icy, winter roads to reach our meet-up point. The boys finally showed up and Josh unpacked his Oddity Cycles 27.5+ hardtail.

Josh commissioned Sean from Oddity to build it up last year, where it was displayed at NAHBS and he’s had it on display at Angry Catfish ever since. He’s ridden it throughout Minneapolis’ trails but this is the first road trip this bike has seen and man, what a trip it’s been so far.

I love seeing show bikes being shredded, especially against such a wonderful backdrop.

Feb 6, 2017 16 comments
Jaybe’s Kirk Frameworks Road with Campagnolo Record 11

I shoot a lot of road bikes and these days, it’s very rare you see one without a 44mm or tapered head tube. Whereas most people that want a steel frame with oversized tubes, Jaybe from Team Too Late wanted something more classic, something that would dance with him as he climbs and descend like a race bike from the 90’s. He spent a lot of time browsing NAHBS galleries, looking at various framebuilders and was attracted to the work of David Kirk, the Bozeman, Montana builder known for his impeccable fillet and lugged frames.

Jaybe didn’t want your typical, straight-tubed frame however. He requested curvy stays and the result is one of the most beautiful road frames I’ve ever photographed. Built with Chris King’s 40th-anniversary olive drab hubs and Campy Record 11, Jaybe’s David Kirk is sure to perform and look damn good while riding in the hills and mountains of Los Angeles.

David from Kirk Frameworks will be at the 2017 NAHBS in Salt Lake City, Utah and personally, I can’t wait to see what he brings with him.

Feb 2, 2017 34 comments