Category Archives: Beautiful Bicycles
Garrett’s Team Fresh Air Hunter Cycles ‘Cross
Garrett's Team Fresh Air Hunter 'Cross

As fate, or at least the press circuit would have it, I’m back in Santa Cruz for the Blackburn Ranger Camp. I drove up from Los Angeles a night early and crashed with my friend Garrett, from Strawfoot Handmade.

The last time I was in town, I got to spend a lot of time with him, photographing his shop, his bikes and even he and his daughter Olive’s daily routine.

This round, time was precious, but I managed to get a few photos of his new bikes, the first being this Team Fresh Air Hunter Cycles ‘cross with a carbon seat tube. Garrett built this bike up as a strictly race machine. SRAM Force CX1 and PAUL Mini Motos with a DT / Pacenti wheelset will deliver all the reliability needed for racing in Santa Cruz, while a Sim Works’ cockpit and WTB saddle on a Sim Works post top the build off.

Balance is key for a ‘cross bike and this bike has it, both aesthetically and in terms of weight. Oh and I love the Fresh Air Cycles blue!

Apr 11, 2016 27 comments
Mosaic Goes Full March Madness
jrmynthn-marchmosaicness-15

To be honest, I’m not enough of a “ball sport” fan to really know what March Madness is, yet I appreciate the execution here. Then again, it is Mosaic, a framebuilder known for their precision. Here’s what’s going on with these two bikes!

“The timing of the NAHBS show happened to coincide with the start of the NCAA March Madness tournament. Paul Keodprom from Blacksmith Cycle in Toronto and his bud Eryn Stott made the drive down to Charlotte to hang with the crew from Mosaic Bespoke Bicycles, which organically turned into the production of these collegiate themed Mosaic RS­2 framesets. The two schools might not have met each other in this year’s tournament, but it’s a Syracuse vs. Michigan showdown whenever these two bikes hit the road.”

Check out more photos and details below! (more…)

Apr 6, 2016 10 comments
David’s Pink and Black Track Shark
David's Track Shark

Landsharks appear to be quite common in Southern California, especially in the San Diego area where David picked up not one, but two of these beautiful steel frames. The first being his own Track Shark and the second, a Road Shark for his brother. After scooping up the frame for a mind-melting deal, he built it with the spare parts he had from previous track builds, including some black Campagnolo Shamal wheels. In its current rendition, David’s got a platform pedal and foot strap so he can comfortably ride the bike in whatever sneakers he pleases. Fret not, pista purists, he also has a set of Campagnolo Pista pedals to completely dial it in… Personally, I think it’s awesome to see this bike being ridden still, with tons of potential for inner and outer city rides.

Also, that paint! Slawta never disappoints!

Apr 6, 2016 14 comments
Jeff’s Dekerf Ti Disc Road – Morgan Taylor
Jeff's Dekerf Ti Disc Road – Morgan Taylor

Photos and words by Morgan Taylor.

Since we moved up into the mountains – nearly two years ago, time flies – we have made our way back down to the coast to visit every few months. One of our regular stops is to see the guys at Mighty Riders for fit work and general bullshitting. On a number of these infrequent visits over the past year, this beautiful Dekerf was in the shop, each time becoming one step closer to perfection.

Before we drove down last month, Mighty put me in touch with Jeff to arrange shooting the Dekerf. Jeff and I spoke on the phone, and he was super excited to lay out all of the details in the build. What began as a conversation around Ed at Mighty’s freshly built Salsa Colossal quickly snowballed. Knowing Jeff had an eye for detail and the desire to be involved in the design process, Ed introduced him to Chris Dekerf.

The bike came together under a number of precedents and design constraints. First, Jeff wanted to accomplish a “zip tie free build”, which meant internal routing for hydraulic brake lines and Di2 cables. Second, he wanted a fit that would require zero spacers. In the rear end, he wanted one of Dekerf’s signature wishbone seat stays, with a silhouette influenced by the truncated Hellenic stays of his previous road bike, a BMC SLR01.

The end result is stunning, and a testament to the value one can find in working directly with a custom builder. Once Dekerf was finished with the frame, the rest of the build was handed off to Ed and Pat at Mighty to bring Jeff’s vision to life. As much as possible, Jeff wanted to avoid black components unless they were carbon. In sticking to the zip-tie-free requirement, they tapped the bottom of the K-Edge Garmin mount to attach the Di2 control box.

Beyond that, the bike has seen incremental changes to bring the build toward the ideal. There really isn’t much more that can be done with this bike, short of upgrading to a Dura-Ace drivetrain, which Jeff isn’t really concerned about. Now he just gets to ride it.

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Apr 4, 2016 19 comments
Parker’s A-Train All Road
Parker's A-Train All Road

This bike, upon first glance, might just seem like a cross bike with some flashy paint and while that is mostly true, the thing that struck me the most about Parker’s A-Train all road is the drivetrain. Well, the drivetrain and that killer paint!

Knowing that he wanted to ride this bike on more dirt than sealed road and being a fan of Shimano, Parker mixed his Di2 with XTR and Dura Ace, relying on not only the clutch of the XTR rear mech, but its cage length, allowing him to wrap a big cassette around his chain. You don’t see this a whole lot, but it makes total sense, especially if you like the idea of SRAM’s 1x system but the feel or ergonomics of Shimano. Is it working out for Parker? You bet. While he was visiting Los Angeles from Minneapolis, where he works at Angry Catfish, he took full advantage of steep frontage and fire roads…

Mar 31, 2016 63 comments
Jonathan’s Rivendell Joe Appaloosa Touring Bike
Jonathan's Rivendell Joe Appaloosa Touring Bike

If the Greek god Zeus rode a touring bike, it’d be a Rivendell and most likely, it’d be a Joe Appaloosa. Rivendell is straight forward with the Joe Appaloosa. First off, it’s named after a rather unique breed of horse, then, they took their two most famous touring bikes, the Sam Hillborne and the Hunqapillar, combined them and made one bad-ass road touring bike. These bikes are confidence-inspiring works of art, chiseled from stone and as timeless, or legendary as mythology. Ok, maybe that was too much… They’re just damn sexy!

Those frames scream fully-loaded confidence with a fist-sized gap between the rear tire and seat tube, ensuring that even if you want to dive into a turn, this frame will take its own, secure and smooth line. Which is great for a touring or city bike. Loaded on descents, this long wheelbase makes for a predictable and comfortable ride.

Or, to be more concise, the Appaloosa is:

“It’s not for stunts, boulder-bouncing, or loaded expeditionary off-road touring, but as a trail bike for sober non-yahoos who weigh less than 215lb, it’s ideal, perfect.. That 215lb isn’t a scientifically-derived number, just a hipshot suggestion based on the Joe having a heavier fork than Sam’s and lighter one than Hunqapillar’s.”

So, when Jonathan was looking for a new bike, meeting the above description, he went with a complete Appaloosa. After a few upgrades, namely Paul skewers, Paul brake levers, a Brooks Cambium saddle, SOMA rack, Swift saddle bag and a Tomii bell, this bike is ready for anything… For $2,600 complete, this is the best looking complete touring bike on the market. Find out more at Rivendell!

Mar 30, 2016 42 comments
Brooks Celebrates 150 Years with Dashing Bikes
Brooks_Canyon

There aren’t many cycling companies that have been around for 150 years. In fact, Brooks is the only one I can think of off the top of my head. It’s quite a feat. Especially when you consider that they’re not only still around, but they’re still making saddles in the UK. To celebrate, they’ve teamed up with a number of bicycle companies around the world to build limited edition bicycles, available to the public in small numbers, based on the copper rails. These “Dashing Bikes” are something else. One of which is Germany’s Canyon

See more at Brooks!

Mar 30, 2016 4 comments
Peter’s Geekhouse All Road
Peter's Geekhouse All Road

Taking a more “mountain bike” approach to fitting in terms of reach and fit has been a successful design characteristic of bikes like the AWOL. Shorter stems mean the top tube can be longer, giving the rider less overlap and the sensation of sitting “in” the bike, rather than “on” it. When Peter first contacted Geekhouse, he wanted a straight up ‘cross bike. Then he talked to a few people and he realized he wouldn’t be racing a whole lot. Rather, he wanted to take this bike up into the mountains of Los Angeles and disappear for hours on end. The triangle would be big to fit a frame bag and the bottom bracket a little lower to make it more predictable on descents.

It’s funny how the desire for a custom race bike is quickly quelled by the necessity for a vehicle to inspire escapism.

Fast forward to the bike’s completion. It just took a leap across the country to follow its owner as he relocated from Los Angeles to Austin, Texas. Essentially he and I swapped places… His relocation came at such a moment that the frame was shipped to Los Angeles first, before being packed back up and delivered to Mellow Johnny’s, where I photographed it this afternoon on a brief visit.

It’s great seeing a bike like this alive and well in a new and exciting city for its owner to explore. Enjoy this thing, Peter!

Mar 29, 2016 46 comments
Darrel’s Foundry Super Record Commuter – Morgan Taylor
Darrel's Foundry Super Record Commuter – Morgan Taylor

Words and photos by Morgan Taylor.

For the five or so years I’ve known him, Darrel has been obsessed with achieving slam with his bikes. Personally, I’ve never had the flexibility for it, so I live vicariously through those who are willing to cut their steerer tubes within millimetres of being rendered useless. The single 3mm spacer has become Darrel’s hallmark, though he’s given up on 17º stems for commuting.

Darrel’s Foundry Cycles Auger was originally built with Campagnolo Record a few years back. After two seasons racing cross, and a move toward regular year-round commuting in Vancouver, it was time for a refresh. In its current state with Super Record, SON dynamo, and Reynolds carbon rims, Darrel clocks an average of 40 km a day taking the quick way to work and the long way home.

Do you need carbon rims to commute? Is it sensible to run open tubulars and latex tubes on a bike that gets ridden year round in an urban environment? When you’re spending 8 hours a week in the saddle getting to and from work, these questions matter not. You do what you want.

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Mar 28, 2016 53 comments
Fuck Yeah Olive Drab Speedvagen ‘Cross
Fuck Yeah Olive Drab Speedvagen 'Cross

Fuck yeah olive drab! I love OD green bikes. In fact, I love anything OD green. There’s something so utilitarian about it. Take something completely ordinary and then paint it OD for it to be even more bad-ass. Even a Speedvagen. Not that Speedvagens aren’t already made from bad-assery, but the paint doesn’t hurt.

This one came waltzing in Golden Saddle Cyclery a few weeks ago, begging to be photographed. Seemed the current owner bought it from someone who maybe rode it two or three times. It’s immaculate and thankfully, now it’s being ridden a lot on Los Angeles’ fine dirt roads and trails.

There’s something so timeless about canti brakes on a ‘cross bike, especially with that seat mast-puncturing cable!

Mar 24, 2016 24 comments