Category Archives: Beautiful Bicycles
Stephanie’s Surly Wednesday with Studs and Sim Works
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor
Stephanie’s Surly Wednesday represents layers of history, each meaningful and useful in their own right. When studying architecture and art history, I learned that such layers of history are referred to as a palimpsest. Rome is the classic example of a palimpsest, a city in which successive generations have built on top of what came before. New additions have been built on top of existing infrastructure, though the original shape and character still shines through.
Stephanie’s Wednesday has been successively repurposed over the past couple of years, moving away from its original life as a fat bike with trail geometry, to where you see it currently as a cold weather commuter with signs of its enjoyment along the way. Used and adapted, used some more, collecting knicks and character throughout. Our bikes are where we layer our history: through experience, they become greater than the sum of their parts. (more…)
Anodizing titanium with advanced patterns and ombré fades is just the icing on the meticulously-welded Firefly cake. These new designs I’ve seen on their social media platforms are certainly pushing the brand’s abilities. Follow Firefly on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.
Bicycles are often the by-product of their environment, their peer group, and their community. Sure, that might be extending a lot of credit to an inanimate object, but over the years, it’s easy to see that people often kit out their bikes based on these conditions. For people like Annalisa, from Endurance PDX and the We Got to Hang Out podcast, her road bike is a by-product of her community in Portland.
Next door to Endurance PDX is a little company called Breadwinner Cycles. Perhaps you’ve heard of them? Tony and Ira, along with a very talented team, build beautiful bikes, designed to be ridden hard on various terrain. The Lolo is their classic, rim brake road bike with room for chubby road tires and a beautiful paint job. Annalisa built her bike up with Chris King parts, another Portland, Oregon-based company and wheels built by none other than Sugar Wheel Works, you guessed it, yet another company that calls Portland home.
While Annalisa was in town doing bike fits at Golden Saddle Cyclery and interviewing Jen Whalen for their latest podcast, I took this Red 22 eTap-equipped roadie to the photo wall for some up close and personal photos.
Thanks to Annalisa for being such a positive and supportive voice in the cycling industry. I can’t wait to come hang with y’all later this summer.
Last year, we got an early, early look at the All-City Cycles Gorilla Monsoon when Jeff came to town and brought the bike with him to ride in LA and the Mojave. It was like having an elephant in the room everywhere we went, or I suppose a gorilla. No matter where we took the bike, people were blown away, but quickly were told to keep it under wrap. We couldn’t acknowledge its existence. Well, last week during the NAHBS madness that ensues here once a year, All-City finally released the Gorilla Monsoon, which means I can now share my photos of this bike and a few riding shots I took during that week. (more…)
Whisky Part’s Private Stock: Ben’s Rock Lobster and Steve Potts
Photos by Kyle Kelley, words by John Watson
Private Stock. A term reserved the best of the best when it comes to distilling American whiskey, Scotch whisky, and bourbon. For Whisky Parts Co, a brand within the umbrella that is Quality Bicycle Products, their aim is to design the best parts possible and get the most people using those parts as possible. Part of that comes from OE sales and the other brands within QBP using Whisky Parts when it makes sense, yet there is a growing demand from Domestic and International frame builders, to create products specifically for niche market requests. We’ve seen Whisky do so with their road, cross and mountain forks, as well as their wheels and components over the years.
For Ben Witt, Whisky’s marketing and sales director, he felt the need to not only embrace the niche market of frame building, but to use the parts for two of his own bikes; a Rock Lobster all-road and Steve Potts dirt drop mtb. We’ve seen a number of Private Stock builds from the Whisky team here on the Radavist over the years, but these two are some of the best.
Thanks to Ben for taking the time to let us showcase these bikes and Kyle for the great photos! My fingers are cold just typing this up!
Follow Kyle on Instagram and follow Whisky on Instagram.
Tristan Rawlence’s Loaded Santa Cruz Highball for the 2018 Tour Aotearoa Brevet
Photos and Audio captured by Sven Martin, intro by John Watson
The preparation for ultra-endurance bikepacking events is of mind, body, and bicycle. The latter of which there is no shortage of interest in, both in terms of this website’s audience and my own curiosity. I’ve seen a lot of various gear setups over the years, from Trans America winners taking on 1000 mile road rides, Baja Divide rigs, Stagecoach hardtails, Tour Divide and everything in between. There’s something magical about a fully loaded bike, especially when the owner has put so much thought into every detail, specifically, gear selection.
Photographer and all-around badass Sven Martin caught up with Tristan Rawlence, prior to his departure for the 2018 Tour Aotearoa Brevet, a 3000km brevet which traverses from Cape Reinga at the Northern tip, to the Bluff at the Southern tip in New Zealand. Not only did Sven bring a camera to document Tristan’s setup, but some great audio equipment, which makes for an extremely interactive experience and quite frankly, something entirely new and exciting for the Radavist. (more…)
In the world of folding bikes, there are many brands which come to mind, starting with Brompton, the high-end manufacturer based in the UK. Here in the US, there are a handful of companies that offer folding bikes, but to my knowledge, the only manufacturer making frames Stateside is Bike Friday. Believe it or not, this came as a surprise to me – due to my lack of knowledge on the subject – and I was very thrilled to find this bit of information out. I guess I just never saw one that sparked intrigue or even a conversation. Then Bill walked into Golden Saddle before NAHBS with this build.
We talked about the practicality of folding bikes and how I wish a manufacturer made one that was a bit shreddier than what we’re all used to seeing. Bill’s a life-long BMX rider, who works in the airline industry and thus, travels a lot. He wanted to build a Bike Friday that fit his riding style and offered him the same comforts as his BMX, albeit not in riding position so much as familiarity. Familiarity formed by a timeless build spec. You’ll note the use of PAUL Motolites, PAUL Hubs, Maxxis Holy Roller tires, and Sim Works Smooth Moove handlebars. While that unicrown fork might not be engineered to hit any dirt jumps, the parts spec on this unique Bike Friday sure gives bill the same familiar feeling of his BMX while on the road.
Posting this bike after our NAHBS documentation just goes to show, you don’t need fancy paint, insane lugwork and carbon components to make a balleur bike.
Straight from the horse’s mouth:
“Because of our shared obsession with bikes, beer, and American manufacturing and innovation, we’ve begun a collaboration guaranteed to grab the eyeballs of every attendee at this year’s Sea Otter Classic (the biggest US bicycle event of the year). Our vision is a frame manufactured and custom painted here in Northern California by Squid Bikes, covered in Sierra Nevada Logos, then outfitted with glistening parts machined by us right here in Chico, that have been anodized a beautiful, sparkling, Pale Ale Green.
This bike re-ignites most people’s first sensations of bike lust as a kid, with shiny colorful anodized parts, wild paint, and classic chrome, on a style of bike that probably gave you your first childhood experience with adrenalin (and a scrape on the knee): a BMX bike. Bumped up in size to fit adults who are bored with fancy road bikes and in need of a good excuse for bringing a 4th bike into the garage, this bike is stripped down to the bare essentials of fun, a bike that was indeed conceived while brainstorming the most fun way to go on a beer run.
Frame: Squid Bikes Made in California
Hubs, Seatpost, Stem, Brake, Blake Lever: PAUL Component Engineering Made in Chico, California
Cranks, Freewheel, Headset, Chainring, Bottom Bracket: White Industries Made in California
Rims: Velocity Made in the USA
Debut: Sea Otter Classic April 19-22 2018″
Surly’s Midnight Special is Truly a Fat Tire Road Bike
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor
The Surly Midnight Special is a drop bar bike that fits big tires – real big tires. Beyond fitting huge tires, what makes it unique among the expanding options in this category is that its geometry is derived from a road bike rather than the ‘cross bikes that most “Road Plus” bikes have descended from. Chainstays are short and head tube angles are relatively steep across the board, making for a quick-handling bike that loves to carve corners at any speed – but especially when you’re going fast.
Don’t let the massive tire clearance fool you; despite the wide 650B tires, it handles on the road more like bikes you’d expect to see narrower tires on. Because of this, the Midnight Special is difficult to classify. It fits big tires and it’s got disc brakes and drop bars, but it’s not a ‘cross bike and it’s unlike any bike being marketed as gravel. It fits more tire than a Straggler but its geometry is more like that of the Pacer. So let’s get into that. (more…)
Every year, I find myself staring down the barrel of my telephoto lens in a convention center, documenting some of the year’s finest bikes, yet there is very little time for reflection of these bikes on my end. At some point, I jokingly said “I should do a Radavist Awards for NAHBS this year…” to which whoever was on the receiving end agreed. While I commend the judging panel at NAHBS on their choices, what goes on behind the scenes there might not necessarily reflect this website’s subjective perspective towards bikes. In a lot of ways, the selection of bikes chosen for documentation have already made it through an initial “judging” process. I usually walk into a booth and pick my favorite bike to shoot. Even then, I have no idea what the scope of NAHBS will show me and it isn’t until it’s all said and done where I can finally reflect on what I saw. So, all I ask of you is to flip through this gallery of drive-side bikes before reading any further. (more…)