Category Archives: Beautiful Bicycles
Turner’s CZAR XC Lightweight Race 29r MTB
Words by Sean Talkington, photos by John Watson
I spent the last few weeks getting to know the Turner Czar and rode it just about everyday while in Austin post-Interbike. John had invited me to fly out on his private jet – the Jetavist. Our plan was just to chill and launch water balloons at Lance Armstrong’s house from his adjacent mansion (they’re neighbors you know). This was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up, but when we tried to pay the pilot with “internet dollars” he declined, so we were forced to drive out in an old pickup truck instead.
David Turner has been building legit metal bikes in the USA for 20 years now. He and his wife both ride/race regularly. The fact that he has been both building and riding for so long and is actually conducting R&D on his own products is apparent in the ride quality. If you talk to anyone that owns a Turner, they will tell you how great the ride is. Now he is offering carbon models like the Czar to keep pace with the current trend of making featherweight xc bikes.
This bike was perfect for Austin, TX. The place is basically one giant rock! You don’t really “feel” the rear suspension until you need it, which is nice. That paired with the fact that this bike weighs in at less then most hardtails and has two bottle cage mounts (why are people still making xc bikes w/ one cage mount!!!) makes it a perfect bike for long days and mixed terrain combined. It goes over rough sections effortlessly, yet climbs with ease… especially in the chunky stuff.
I’m no rocket ship down the super steep technical stuff, so it was easy to become a fan of the slacker head tube that this bike offers. The 69.8 degree angle makes steep downhill sections feel noticeably more comfortable than a bike with a more aggressive set up. The Turner sizing on this model is also shorter then most other brands. The Czar I was riding was listed as a medium, but felt more like a small/medium (smedium).
This made the bike feel more maneuverable and agile for quick or technical punchy climbs and switchbacks, but I did have to ride a 100mm stem. The demo I road had some skinny pizza cutter Schwalbe tires that would be better suited for a cross bike, but if you swapped those out for something a bit meatier and maybe even throw in a dropper post I think you could ride this bike just about anywhere.
For more information, including purchasing, build options and just plain browsing, head over to Turner Bikes.
*Photographer’s note: We haven’t had much sun at “golden hour” in Austin and it was raining when we shot these photos. That said, the photos don’t do this bike’s finish justice. It really looks great in the sun!
Follow Sean on Instagram.
Framebuilder Mitch Pryor teamed up with Brent and Katryn Steelman to join forces on a batch of half tig welded / half brazed randonneur framesets. Over the past few months, I’ve been watching the progress and finally, we’re seeing some of the final frames rolling out of production.
It’s interesting to me seeing the mix of tig and brazed construction. Something you don’t see every day coming from production batches and I for one can say that these bikes are looking superb. See more from the S&P Randonneur Project below and follow along at the Map Flickr.
Golden Saddle Rides: Yeti Pro F.R.O (For Rockin’ Only!)
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
This bike is pretty damn old and you’d think that the stem and fork were too, but they’re not. Anybody wanna try and guess who built them?
Everything else on the bike is very period correct, my favorite part is the NOS Onza Racing Porcs though. Those guys are probably the best looking tires ever made!
The owner of this bike is probably one of the funnest customers to work with here at Golden Saddle Cyclery, because all the bikes we build for him are BANGERS!
Follow Kyle on Instagram and visit Golden Saddle Cyclery in Silverlake, Los Angeles.
It’s not everyday you see a Firefly completely painted, especially in a bright cobalt blue. This one’s special and you should really check out all the details at the Firefly Flickr!
Remolino was the first company to go to market with all the crucial pieces that make a fat bike. Including 3.5” tires, 80mm rims, and a frame to accept the wide, plump tires. Ray Molina, the guy behind Remolino, donated a production model to help kick off QBP’s History of Fat exhibit at last week’s Interbike.
I had planned on shooting the exhibit, but every time I went by to check it out, the booth was swarmed.
Andy from QBP sent over a few studio shots of this bike, which you can check out below.
Woah!!! So far, this looks promising.
Hopefully I can track down Katie before cross vegas to shoot this bike because it looks great. Thanks to Adam from Stanridge for sending this one over…
Richard Sachs and House Industries tried something new this year for their cyclocross team, Four bikes, four different hues and they all look amazing. Thanks to Dan Chabanov for sharing! See all four bikes below.
Over at Giro, when they need bikes for their tradeshow booths, they simply look to the local builders in Santa Cruz. This year, when Eric Horton, the creative director at Giro wanted a new road bike for himself, along with a booth bike, he contacted John at Caletti Cycles.
The project was simple: make a pair of Columbus tubing, hydro disc brake, all-road, Di2 bikes that would tackle the surrounding hills and fire roads, all while matching the color palette of the Giro New Road line.
As many bicycles designed throughout history, Eric looked to classic sports cars for the paint-inspiration. His car of choice: the Singer Porsche.
See more below, as Eric explains these bikes in detail…
Sky at Velo Cult has the full scoop on how this bike came to be, but I’ll do my best at paraphrasing.
Back in 1988, Chris Kostman was in the throes of the Race Across America, when his mechanics stopped at a little shop called Sore Saddle Cyclery in Steamboat Springs, CO. Inside, there was a frame builder named Kent Eriksen who spent his time crafting Moots bicycles.
Later, Eriksen made Kostman this 1989 Moots Zerkel – originally in a zebra stripe paint, which Chris didn’t like, so he recoated it in a crazy “rasta” paint job. It was built for Chris to race Iditabike and later, to take a crack at the first-ever 24 Hour Mountain Bike World Record.
Built with full Ritchey Logic components and American Classic hubs, it’s like a specimen from an almost forgotten age. The double fork ends, “gator jaw” gussets, custom stem and insane chainstays make this a truly unique shred sled. Look, this thing is insane and if you’re into the full, in-depth story, you should head to Velo Cult to read it all!
I went over the top documenting this one…