Category Archives: Beautiful Bicycles
The Radavist’s Top 10 and Then Some Beautiful Bicycles of 2016

Call it what you will, but 2016 was an interesting year and I’m not just talking politics! There were a lot of incredible bicycles featured here on the site, many with even more interesting stories and some were even affected by the events of 2016. We’ll get into that a bit later. Grading these beautiful machines is anything but easy and usually requires a few days of data compiling, including but not limited to social media chatter, visits, comments and time spent on that particular page. Since all bikes can be beautiful, this list includes both custom and production bicycles. Some of these will be a no-brainer, others even surprised me. Without further adieu, here are the Radavist’s Top 10 and Then Some Beautiful Bicycles of 2016, in no particular order. (more…)

Dec 27, 2016 53 comments
My OD OG1 Speedvagen Road with SRAM Rival

Ever since first reviewing the All-City Mr. Pink and then the lavender Speedvagen OG1, I really wanted a steel road bike again. After some finagling, I managed to buy an OG1 frameset, along with a few painted-to-match parts from the Vanilla Workshop. Now, since the OG1 is a ready-made, off-the-shelf geometry, it’s not as pricey as the other Speedvagen frames. I also didn’t feel the need to go custom for this frameset, since the OG1’s stock geometry fit me pretty well. All I needed was a spacer under the stem to get the same reach and extension as my Argonaut road bike.

For me, a road bike is the simplest tool in my quiver. There are no rack mounts, no disc brakes, it’s just a straight-forward road machine. (more…)

Dec 20, 2016 84 comments
Sven Nys’ SSCXWC PDX Trek Crockett Cross Bike

Sven Nys’ SSCXWC Bike
Photos by Jeff Kennel / Justin Blumer and Sean Talkington, words by John Watson

Each year, SSCXWC lands in the lap of some innocent city, only to have its parks, streets, and bars invaded by hundreds of singlespeed-wielding maniacs in search for mud. This year the event found itself in Portland, Oregon, the bastion of debauchery when it comes to illicit bike races but I’m not even sure the organizers of the PDX event knew what was in store for them or their event. At some point, Trek felt that it would be a good idea to bring a recently-retired ‘cross world legend into the party. Yes, the one and only Sven Nys. For the guys at Trek and Sven, it would prove to be the perfect opportunity to create a special bike for the event and maybe up the ante for future SSCXWC races.

Justin Blumer from Trek described the design process as:

“Like most great ideas, the appearance began as a somewhat whimsical “what if we…” conversation amongst designers at Trek, who went on to make it happen and collaborated on the bike’s custom graphics. The scheme is a collage of tattoo-style art highlighting Sven’s career and celebrating the debacherous spirit of the event.”

As soon as the event unfolded, the internet was filled with “Jump the shark” memes, but isn’t that the role of events like this? Surprise the attendees, no matter how ridiculous and even if there is some shark jumping to unfold, it’ll most likely be in the mud pit.

Thanks to Sean from Team Dream and the boys at Trek for sending these images over! And to Sven for keeping the stoke high.

____

Follow Trek on Instagram, Sean on Instagram and Sven on Instagram.

Dec 19, 2016 19 comments
Bishop Bikes: Super Aero Track Bike for Sale


Photos by Keith Trotta

If you really want to shock someone for the holidays, deliver them this Super Aero track bike from Bishop Bikes. It’s 54.5cm ST by 55.5 TT, made from Tange round-aero-round DT, ST Aero seat stays, Columbus Gilco TT and CS, Kaisai aero fork blades, Eisho HT lugs, Kalavinka seat lug and drop outs, with paint by Ben Falcon at Horse paint. It’s a looker so even just checking out all the detailed photos at the Bishop Flickr might be all the holiday goodness you can handle!

For pricing, holler at Bishop Bikes.

Dec 19, 2016 7 comments
Above Category’s Twelve Days of Breathtaking Builds: Day 01

I like the look of this one!

“We felt it apropos to circle back to last year’s finale with yet another bike featuring Zio Ziegler’s patina, this time a bit more dirt-oriented. This is Zio’s personal Open UP, a bike that since its introduction at AC six months ago has been a consistent favorite, both amongst us and our clients. Usually offered in only two colors, orange and brown, we’ve been more recently asking for UPs in a raw, unpainted carbon finish, giving us the latitude to lend an Above Category flair to an otherwise stock carbon frameset.”

… and can’t wait to see what they have in store for the other eleven. See more photos at the AC Blog.

Dec 15, 2016 6 comments
The HIA Velo Co-Founder’s Personal Founder Road

The HIA Velo Co-Founder’s Personal Founder Road
Photos by Bryan Clifton, words by John Watson

Doug Zell is best known for his success with the coffee brand Intelligentsia Coffee, but as a lifelong cyclist, Doug has recently invested in a company that has made recent headlines with their new, US-made, production, carbon road bikes. HIA Velo was co-founded by Tony Karklins and Doug Zell. The two wanted to bring full-on production of carbon fiber back to the US, resulting in a $3,000 USD frameset, painted in-house with a variety of color choices. These bikes use the highest quality materials and are manufactured by using the same technology as you’d find in the pro peloton bikes. All from their facilities in Arkansas.

Photographer Bryan Clifton met up with Doug Zell on a recent trip to HIA Velo and shot his Lucky Charm Founder road bikes. It’s built with SRAM eTap with Carbon Quarq Power ReadyCranks, Ksyrium Pro Carbon SL C wheels, EE Cycleworks brakes, Cane Creek Forty headset, and Fizik parts. These bikes have all the flash, without the excessive branding. In my personal opinion, there’s no need for heavily-branded bikes let the frameset and its detailing do the talking…

Follow HIA Velo‘s story at their website and stay tuned to the Radavist for future projects involving the brand.

____

Follow HIA Velo on Instagram.

Dec 15, 2016 19 comments
A Look at the Bikes from the Chris King 40th Open House

A Look at the Bikes from the Chris King 40th Open House
Photos by Billy Sinkford, words by John Watson

Portland was a buzz in December. With the SSCXWC bringing hordes of cycling fanatics to the area, Chris King decided to throw an open house in celebration of their 40th anniversary. After a few months of calling out to select framebuilders, the team at Chris King displayed a wide variety of bicycles all built with select King 40th components. Then, to round-off the display, a few “vintage” bicycles made their way on display, including the matching bike to Chris King’s own classic Cielo. Since I can’t be everywhere at once, many thanks to Billy for taking a few photos of these bikes.

If you’re bummed that you missed out on the 40th collection, they’ve still got some of the Chris King wheels for sale. I bought a set of the Hed Belgiums for my Speedvagen!

____

Follow Chris King on Instagram and Billy on Instagram.

Dec 14, 2016 30 comments
Golden Saddle Rides: With a Cherubim on Top Track Bike – Kyle Kelley

Golden Saddle Rides: With a Cherubim on Top Track Bike
Photos by Kyle Kelley, words by John Watson

A gilded ride deserves a few balleur upgrades. This Cherubim track bike was picked up from Tokyo’s Sexon Super Peace, one of my favorite shops in Japan. I visited this storefront back in 2009 and regrettably, didn’t make it back on my last trip to Tokyo. At any rate, that shop is known for having an incredible stock of track bikes and coincidentally, that’s where this golden Cherubim came from.

When Jeremy, the owner brought the frame and parts over to Golden Saddle Cyclery for a pro build, everyone was drooling over not only the frame, but the parts as well, right down to the Toshi bar tape. Berthoud saddle, EAI gold cog, vintage Campagnolo hubs laced to H+Son TB14 rims make for practical, vintage-inspired build kit.

There are few bicycles that are as well balanced aesthetically as a track bike. Their simplicity makes for a pure form that is not only easy on the eyes, but a balanced and proportioned ride quality.

____

If you want a custom build like this and live in Los Angeles, hit up Golden Saddle Cyclery.

Dec 8, 2016 20 comments
Zipp Speed Weaponry: Chris’ Mondrian LOOK


Photos by Joe Vondersaar

Look, ok, I didn’t mean to use a pun here, but seriously, look at that bike. I’ve known Chris for years. Probably close to ten if my math is right and in that time, his interest in cycling has grown from track bikes on the street, to road bikes, mountain bikes (which didn’t go so well for him), cross bikes and eventually back to track bikes. This time on the velodrome. The last time I saw Chris, he was working for Mellow Johnny’s in Austin before moving to Indy after accepting a job at SRAM / Zipp. That was almost two years ago, so I was stoked to see this bike pop up on Zipp’s website. Mondrian fans will be equally as stoked!

Have a look (dammit) at more of Joe’s photos of Chris’ bike below, or mosey on over to Zipp’s blog for the full breakdown.

(more…)

Dec 8, 2016 4 comments