Urgent but RAD! That was the start of John’s email this past April of 2016. Coffee fresh in hand, what followed was a request for commission that instantly caught my attention: A 27.5+ bikepacking frame and fork with all the trimmings for a Mr. Ryan Wilson. Was I interested? Now, I know John. He’s always up to something rad. And I’ve seen a few images here and there of what Ryan’s been up to… More radness. What followed were a series of emails and phone calls with Ryan as we put our heads together, hammered out the details discussing his set up, riding style and terrain he’d be tackling. It would be my job to listen to what Ryan wanted and distill that into what he needed. This wasn’t just any bikepacking trip. This was something different. He’d quit his job of 10 years. Pack this bike with the bare essentials. Point it south and head for an extended stay in Peru. This bike needed to be designed and built to handle the rigors that lay ahead. Of course I was in! (more…)
Jordan Hufnagel is one of my favorite framebuilders. Or I should say, was one my favorites. After he decided to lay down the torch, he and close friend James Crowe began West America. Together they rode motorcycles to Patagonia and documented the whole journey with 35mm film. Upon returning after a year on the road, the two began fabricating everything from more motos to furniture and eventually, Jordan began his own metal working business. Sometime prior to taking off for Patagonia, Jordan made this frame for Kyle of Golden Saddle Cyclery. Now, I don’t know if the frame was made to specifically pair with this Death Spray Custom fork that Kyle has had hanging on the shop wall, or if it was the plan all along, but soon enough, the two were mated and awaited parts.
Fast forward for literally two years and Kyle was ready to build the bike up, as a result of his Mudfoot Stinner getting side-swiped by a car. Kyle poached some parts and built it up, ready to rip the trails in Los Angeles and up until his Red, White and Blue Stinner 27.5 ‘cross bike, it’d been his go to bike for dirt riding. With a prototype 44RN ‘cross ring, SRAM Force 1x, Paul Minimotos, Chris King and ENVE bits, it’s a pretty tricked out build, but the last piece of the puzzle just landed from Japan.
Sim Works‘ Pop Up at Golden Saddle Cyclery this weekend will have literally everything from the brand’s catalog in stock and in person, including these Homage tires in Michelin green. Made by Panaracer, these tires measure 43mm on a rim like the H+Son Archtypes and even wider on a more modern carbon disc rim. They set up easily tubeless, on a tubeless rim and with the center file tread pattern, roll fast on pavement with the side knobs adding extra traction on loose corners. They are available in 650b or 700 diameters.
This bike has had a long life in the build racks at Golden Saddle Cyclery but in its short time being built up, has lived a pretty exciting life, as evident by the dirty fork crown.
Designing and building frames for shorter riders, particularly women can be quite challenging. You’ve got to ensure there is enough standover and leg extension without compromising the feel of the geometry too much. There aren’t a lot of production frames out there for 5′ tall women either, forcing many people to look to the custom market.
Rick from Hunter Cycles has had a long relationship with Sim Works, a component brand in Nagoya, Japan. So when Rie from Sim Works moved to Portland to open their US-distribution, Rick wanted to surprise her with a new mountain bike. There are, after all, a plethora of trails to be ridden in Oregon and California.
While visiting Santa Cruz en route to Los Angeles, Rick surprised Rie with this Japanese curry-colored Woodrat 27.5″ hardtail. Santa Cruz locals, X-Fusion sent over their Sweep fork and dropper post to offer all the squish needed for this rowdy hardtail. WTB’s KOM rims, laced to XT hubs with Trail Boss 2.4″ tires would give Rie plenty of confidence while cornering. The Praxis works Turn 1x MTB cranks with a SRAM GX derailleur keep those wheels turnin’. The SRAM Level TL brakes and GX shifters round out the build with the Sim Works Ronda Stem with the Smooth Booth Hunter bars would give her the control she needs.
Overall, this is a jammin’ bike and Rie has been loving it here in Los Angeles on our dusty trails! Don’t worry Rick, we’re taking care of her down here!
Golden Saddle Rides: 44 Bikes 27.5+ Rigid MTB
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson
As I was planning for this trip to South America I started thinking about what bike would be ideal to tackle a broad range of terrain and would be comfortable over the long haul. I went back and forth through a number of options, but I never quite found a stock option that fit all of my criteria (and fit me). I knew I wanted a rigid steel frame that could fit a plus sized tire, have loads of mounts, thru-axles, ample mud clearances, and a good amount of space for a frame bag. I started to focus in on B+ as the happy medium between 29 and 29+. I also liked the versatility of being able to put on a standard 29er wheelset at some point in the future without it throwing the geometry way out of whack. (more…)
Photos by Jarrod Bunk, words by John Watson.
While at Saddle Drive, Jarrod met up with Patrick and Nate, two All-City owners to shoot their bikes. Versatility is the name of the game here, with Patrick’s All-City Mr. Pink built on Zipps with Onyx Racing hubs and 32mm dirt tires. He’s built this “road” bike up with Force 1×11 as well. Meanwhile, Nate Choma’s All-City Spacehorse is a straight forward light tourer build with Hplus son TB14s, a Swift bag, Paul Mini Motos, Brooks Cambium and a SON Edelux lamp powered by a Shimano dyno hub.
These two bikes are ready for a fun weekend of dirt riding in California’s most excellent Sierra mountains.
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Editor’s note: Jarrod recently attended Saddle Drive, Quality Bicycle Product’s outdoor showcase for their forthcoming products. This included components, accessories and complete bicycles from brands like Salsa, Surly and All City. Jarrod spent two days there, photographing new components on day one and on day two, complete bikes. Here’s that gallery.
The New Bike Models from Saddle Drive
Words and photos by Jarrod Bunk
Northstar at Tahoe is the perfect venue to showcase product, for day two I set aside most of my day between seminars to shoot some of the new bikes from Salsa, Surly and All City, Including the new BigBlock, Warbird Carbon/Alloy and Woodsmoke 27.5+. If I could I would’ve stayed the rest of the week just to be able to swing a leg over all of the other bikes. Check out the gallery for some of my favorites.
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Adam Sklar has been building bikes for five years now. Among his first customers was Sam, a good friend from high school. Sam had Adam build him a single speed 29er, but Sklar #4 has since been through many iterations over the years. Recently, Sam was feeling like his original Sklar, while abundant with character and nostalgia, was ready to give way to a new Sklar. Adam’s style has certainly developed over his time building bikes, and Sam wanted to honor his friend’s success by commissioning another frame. (more…)
During our journey along the Sverigetempot, we had a few riders join in for bit of riding. One of which was Patch, a local who met our group on the last day’s journey. Patch showed up in this fluoro Rapha jersey and this rusted road bike, built with mis-matched parts and older aero bars. It immediately caught my eye, even in my groggy state, which was heightened by a fresh knee injury from the evening before (I clipped my knee cap on a rock while sprinting to set up a photo).
The story behind this bike was pretty rad, considering the bike’s current state. To summarize, one of Patch’s friends was beginning to build frames, so he helped Patch braze this bike together. Over time, it broke, so he repaired it and in that time, it’s been his go-to bike, taking him on brevets and tons of road miles. After a mishap, he ended up with mismatched wheels, which, I might add, really work here. The patina has come from years of riding it raw, through Swedish winters and the frame bag dons patches of both victories (like the Sverigetempot completion badge) and personal mantras.
Patch is a designer, a person who usually controls details and aesthetics yet this bike seems to have designed itself. That, to me, merited a photoset.
As you might have noticed in the previous two galleries, not a lot of riders in the Sverigetempot are on traditional randonneur bikes, or even touring bikes. Rather, many of the participants are on carbon fiber road bikes, with a few select modifications to their components and of course, bikepacking bags. While there have been many excellent examples of bikes on this trip, I managed to photograph three in particular from the riders in our troop: Johan’s Focus, Daniel’s Roubaix and Johan’s Venge. Each have very similar specifications in terms of gear range and tires, but as you’ll see, are built to be lightweight, long-distance rigs. (more…)
Photos by Keith Trotta
Chris Bishop is in the process of making a series of project bikes. Each one with be a collaborative effort between various artists and painters, will be one-offs and best of all, for sale. This being the first, a collaboration between Ben Falcon, the New York-based painter. It’s a size 52cm and is built with Dura Ace, Ritchey and ENVE. Head to Bishop’s Flickr for more photos and holler at Chris if you’re interested in purchasing it.