Category Archives: Beautiful Bicycles
MinneCycle 2017: Chris Kvale And His Classic Steel Road – Jarrod Bunk

MinneCycle 2017: Chris Kvale And His Classic Steel Road
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk

At the start of my trip to MinneCycle, I knew of Chris Kvale. His thin lugs are beautiful. He started racing bicycles at a young age. And these things you can see when you look at the vintage race aesthetic and precision in his builds.

I was able to get a small glimpse into his daily shop life right before he departed for his summer hideaway in Norway. Being that he’s Norwegian he’s extremely humble, and it was fantastic to have a mellow conversation about this beautiful bike. The Law of Jante keeps him reserved, and doesn’t let him romanticize about his process or his craft, but you can see a love he pours into each piece of steel he manipulates.

The way Chris takes extra time with each build – the bottom bracket, the DiNucci fastback seat clamp, his beautiful thinned lugs – Kvale is a true craftsman. He even makes his own tools, which I learned when I toured his studio right before he boarded the plane the next day. His workshop is always clean and extremely orderly and he still uses the same process he started with years ago. It was such a great experience to see his work in person. Check out more over at Chris Kvale Cycles.


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Jun 26, 2017 40 comments
MinneCycle 2017: Peacock Groove Polka Dot Cargo Bike – Jarrod Bunk

MinneCycle 2017: Peacock Groove Polka Dot Cargo Bike
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk

Cargo bikes aren’t something you see every day. Polka dotted bikes aren’t something you see every day.  Peacock Groove threw out those notions, because the Liberace of bikes builds anything you’d like, just with even more style, and deep custom.



The deep custom approach is found everywhere on this bike, from the headset to the rear rack, Erik Noren, made it all.  Erik is an artist, and you can see that in every bicycle that he manufacturers.

To think that something like this can come out of his mind and be formed out of steel is incredible.  Where others see a zany cargo bike, I see a masterpiece, from one of the most skilled craftsmen I’ve ever met.  I only got a small taste of his operation while in Minneapolis, but as a long-time fan of his work, I hope to make it back to be able to document his shop. I can’t get enough of his deep custom bikes.



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Jun 23, 2017 18 comments
MinneCycle 2017: Wyganowski Frames Minnesota Made Mixtie – Jarrod Bunk

MinneCycle 2017: Wyganowski Frames Minnesota Made Mixtie
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk

Paul Wyganowksi has a pretty unique build process, one that was passed down four generations of frame builders to him.  From the exterior of this commuter, it doesn’t seem that wild, until you look closer, the use of vents to open up the tubes and inhibit rust, the reverse “top eyes” used for the mid stays, the thinnest dropouts I’ve ever seen.

Finding all of the details on this bike was an enjoyable experience.  Extra attachment points, three sets of waterbottle bosses, fender and rack mounts, this mixtie can handle daily transit and then put on some gear for a weekend of touring.  The sedate lines and beautiful fillets, make for one special Mixtie that was built in Minnesota to last a lifetime.

Paul actually teaches a frame building class as well, continuing in the footsteps of the builders that passed the torch to him. For more information check out Wyganoksi Frames.



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Jun 23, 2017 7 comments
MinneCycle 2017: Appleman Bicycles Smooth As Silk Disc Road With E-Tap – Jarrod Bunk

MinneCycle 2017: Appleman Bicycles Smooth As Silk Disc Road With E-Tap
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk

The way that Matt Appleman manufacturers his bikes is nothing short of stunning. He starts with Minnesota-sourced tubesets, custom designed around the rider, at which point they are bonded together to create a seamless frame, that is smooth to the touch. This process allows him to make adjustments based on each rider’s needs. To me, I like the raw carbon look and the difference between the tube and the joint. Something about this bike just feels handmade.

Wood inlays with seamless decals make up the panels, which have a classic road aesthetic. Not to stop there, he also molds his dropouts into an apple, for an added touch. I couldn’t get enough of this bike and its rawness. There’s something extremely appealing to me about the lack of derailleur cables and internal brake housing that make this bike look fast, just standing still. For more information check out Appleman Bicycles.


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Jun 22, 2017 12 comments
MinneCycle 2017: Northern Frameworks All Road with Dura Ace – Jarrod Bunk

MinneCycle 2017: Northern Frameworks All Road with Dura Ace
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk

I first heard of Northern Frameworks when it was just a whisper. Josh from Angry Catfish and Alex from A-Train Cycles decided to team up for a new custom frame brand to be sold in-house at the shop. The first time I saw one in person I was stoked: custom made steel bikes that keep the Twin Cities proud.

Northern Frameworks produces a bike with clean lines, tailored fit, and brilliant paint. The build on this bike is just as good as the aesthetic though, sporting Dura Ace 9100 series components, painted to match fenders, pewter Chris King headset and an ENVE cockpit. Those Derby rims laced to White Industries CLD hubs, hand built by Haute Bacon, tie it all together. The internally routed hydraulic line is extremely clean and the T47 BB keeps this bike somewhat future proof should the owner choose to build it differently down the road.

A bike like this screams versatility (with an inside voice), as it’s not overbearing in any way, but can tackle several different types of riding pretty well. I can’t wait to get back to Minneapolis to see more from these guys.  For more info check out Northern Frameworks.


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Jun 21, 2017 15 comments
MinneCycle 2017: Vincent Dominguez Cycles Not So Mellow, Yellow Disc Road- Jarrod Bunk

MinneCycle 2017 : Vincent Dominguez Cycles Not So Mellow, Yellow Disc Road
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk

After I hopped off the plane and a short ride to MinneCycle 5, Minnesota’s handmade bicycle show, I waited out the harsh light and 90 degree temps outside by checking out the show inside.  One of the first bikes was this Dominguez. I wasn’t super familiar with Dominguez, but soon after observing this bike I wanted to be.

There is nothing mellow about this yellow bike, especially when you look closely, which I did!  The fully lined, internal cable routing, with some beautiful entry points into the frame, is what drew me in closer. Once I was there, I noticed things like the logo-less DT Swiss hubs, Campagnolo Chorus build – but most of all the frame details.

The mixture of fillet brazing and lugs to me was just the right amount of both. The way they integrate into the frame elegantly so as to not take away from each other really caught my eye. Scalloped seatstays and the slightly offset front brake housing – so as to not rub the headtube – were the final nails in this killer build. Check out Dominguez Cycles for more.


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Jun 21, 2017 14 comments
Stephanie’s Blacked Out 650B Straggler – Morgan Taylor

Stephanie’s Blacked Out 650B Straggler
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

For what is admittedly a bit of a mish-mash build, Stephanie’s Straggler has come together with a lot of character. The parts kit borrows heavily from other bikes, so you may very well recognize some pieces from other builds. It’s the collection of parts, and the stories behind all of them, that makes this bike something special. (more…)

Jun 20, 2017 64 comments
F*ck Yeah Desert Tan Stinner Frameworks Tunnel Hardtail with Box Components

When I first heard the news that Box Components had branched over from BMX racing products to mountain bike componentry, I was eager to get some hands-on experience with their shifter, derailleur, and big-range cassette. A few weeks later, the Box rep visited Golden Saddle Cyclery and I was able to see it. Albeit not on a bike, so when Stinner Frameworks offered to build a review bike for me, built with Box, for NAHBS, I was stoked. I love riding and reviewing hardtails and since Stinner is one of the local builders in the Los Angeles area, I like helping him out when I can, particularly when it comes to mountain bike design. Aaron Stinner had been working on their Tunnel hardtail design over the past year. Previous versions popped up here on the site and with some feedback, he had finally moved closer to nailing down the official Stinner Frameworks hardtail. The team had two bikes on display at NAHBS this year, Kyle’s Grateful Shred 27.5+ and this Fuck Yeah Desert Tan 27.5″. I was excited to try it out, but I was also looking forward to putting miles in on Box Component and Magura’s latest offerings. (more…)

Jun 19, 2017 11 comments
Calfee’s Manta RS All-Road is a Smooth Ride for Rough Roads

We’ve seen a lot of design gimmicks to make rough roads more pleasant on ‘cross or all-road bikes, mostly in the form of suspension forks, yet I personally feel like there’s more that could be done in terms of frame design. While I’m not an engineer, I feel like achieving comfort on rough roads can mostly be done in the frame itself. That with larger volume, lower pressure tires, a carbon fiber bicycle can really show its true potential when the going gets tough.

Granted, there have actually been a good number of attempts at this over the years, but mostly from the bigger brands with extensive engineering teams, with access to custom layups and large production numbers, but it wasn’t until I saw the Calfee Manta RS at NAHBS this year, that I really thought frame design and compliance had been approached in a different, honest design language. (more…)

Jun 13, 2017 20 comments
Jeremy’s Stinner Baja Buggy 27.5 Monster Cross Bike

The 70’s were the automotive paint design heyday, ATMO anyway. Earth tones and bright hues intersected along cars, vans and trucks via a network of chevrons and stripes. While many manufacturers embraced these trends, it was the niche hobby market who took it to the next level. A whole culture emerged with vans donning intricate designs, long before #VanLife, yet it was the off-road culture that has always piqued my interest, most notably the baja bugs and trucks. Jeremy from Stinner Frameworks has always had an affinity for the early 70’s Baja Bug paint designs, ultimately these became the inspiration for this two-wheeled off-road machine. (more…)

Jun 12, 2017 43 comments