Category Archives: FEATURED
A few months back, I expressed an interest in attending Frostbike to Jeff from All-City. Typically, it’s not really a huge media event, meant more for shop owners and brand reps. Wheels turned and viola, I found myself in freezing cold Minneapolis. While I had a few preconceptions about what I’d see, I was wildly impressed.
Frostbike is much smaller than I expected. It’s a QBP-specific tradeshow, only open to Q brands both in-house and distributed. In house brands include: Surly, Salsa, All-City, Whisky, Foundry, 45NRTH, Civia and others. Around 100 vendors total showed off products new and old.
Notable sights: iSSi, Q’s new in-house pedal brand – All-City‘s Macho Disk – Surly‘s new dropout designs – $250 fatbike tires by 45NRTH – the fatbike course outside QBP was a blast – the food was awesome – free beer! – Angry Catfish making coffee – Seeing friends, meeting and talking to readers!
Preface: it’s winter in the midwest and a lot of the new products were MTB and fatbike-related.
I don’t know what else to say. I had fun at Frostbike and hope to return next year. See some of the radness in the Gallery!
FOES‘ newest revamp to their line actually dropped back at Interbike this year and by dropped, I mean a few pounds. While keeping to their monocoque aluminum construction, Brent engineered a new, lighter tubeset and reshaped the rear swingarm, shaving almost a whole pound off the rear alone.
This 27.5 Shaver FXC is a cross country racer’s dream bike. Coming in around 23lbs complete, laced with SRAM’s XX1 group, Fox Float CTD shock in the rear and the trusty Rock Shox front fork, this 4.5″ to 5″ travel bike has adjustability built in at the rear shock. Sliding the bolt down the gusset at the linkage can change the front end.
I’ve ridden a fair amount of modern mountain bikes and I can say, this is one of the first 27.5 machines I was visibly salivating over. How can you go wrong with that color? Retail will be around $2,400 for the frameset… Expect these to drop later this spring. For now, see more in the Gallery!
Brent Foes is no stranger to metal fabrication. He began working in the automotive industry, designing trucks and other off-road vehicles for brands like Ford and Nissan before he opened Foes Racing in 1993.
Since then, Brent’s been pursuing the perfection of the long travel system (LTS) mountain bike at his shop in Pasadena, California, where, over the year’s he’s had race machines under some of the fastest pros in the world.
His bikes are no-nonsense trail machines. Most of the work is done on-site and Brent welds each frame himself. At Interbike last year, Foes unveiled a 27.5 XC machine that weighed 23lbs complete. That’s light for a full sus MTB, much less one that’s made in the USA.
Last week, I had the opportunity to tour the Foes facility before picking up a bike to demo, meet Brent briefly and see the man at work. It was an incredible experience and one that I’ll outline in the Gallery!
If you’re in the market for something different, contact FOES for your next build!
Granted, the last time I did this ride in Los Angeles, it was during sunset. The views were spectacular but I certainly missed a lot riding in the dark. What was originally going to be a scouting ride for the Mudfoot Dirty Hundo, became a slow and steady march to the top of Mt. Lowe.
We rode from Silverlake for 15 miles or so, then hit Cheney trail, the beginning of Mt. Lowe. It was hot, steep and after close to 10 miles, we had climbed 4,000′. Henry was on a road bike with 28c tires, the rest of us, on cross bikes. I don’t think any of us were really feeling all that well that day.
Good thing the views made up for it and the Cokes at Red Box. We totaled 54 miles and 5,400′ of climbing.
Tools of the trade:
Yashica T4 / Portra 400
It’s a shame when a name like Serotta shuts their doors after years of building steel, titanium and carbon frames in the USA. When the brand collapsed, The Pros Closet on eBay liquidated a ton of frames, which is where Chris scored this Pronto Ti frameset for a killer deal. It took him a little bit to gather all the parts. At the time, Deda Superleggera parts weren’t easy to find, SRAM was in the transition from 10 to 11 speed and he was thrashing the wheels on his cross bike. Once cross season ended, it was time to dial in his road bike.
Chris already has an insane Icarus, but he wanted something new. A new mistress if you will. Being a mechanic at Mellow Johnny’s, he was rather tedious with this build, dialing it into perfection…
See more in the Gallery!
Super Bowl Weekend. It’s an excuse for people to drink, eat and yell at the television while a bunch of men in spandex chase a ball around a field. Personally, it’s not my thing and luckily, not my friends’ thing either. So rather than spend the weekend indoors, myself, some friends and Beat the Clock Cycling decided to take advantage of the vacant Texas parks and plan a ride.
Well, I planned the ride. 100 miles, over half of it was dirt. I did one of the roads on the last Yonder Journal Brovet and I wanted to explore the area even more. We’d leave from Inks Lake and take a series of back-country, private roads and kick in Willow City’s popular loop before heading back to camp. Water? Food? None. We had to pack it all in. Most rode cross bikes or light tourers, with bags for food. There was maybe one stop along the way.
Because I had to drop Lauren off at the airport that Friday morning, I drove with two others. The rest either drove out that night after work or rode the 75 miles from Austin, fully loaded.
Since we wanted to convey only the chillest of riding paces and as a protest to the Super Bowl, most of us left the lycra at home. Giro was kind enough to supply some New Road apparel, shoes and helmets. I brought the bourbon. Spencer brought a dull hatchet and we were all stoked.
Did I mention cliff jumps in January? Yeah… Check out more photos in the Gallery, all shot with my Mamiya 7ii and Portra 400 / Kodak TMAX 400. Many thanks to Giro for supplying equipment for this ride!
The Yeti. A mythical beast, said to inhabit the Himalayan mountains, sought by Westerners with cameras. Or in this case, an American MTB company that began by selling hand made frames in the USA. The first frames of this purebred brand were crafted by Frank the Welder (FTW). Yeti’s early bikes are very much sought after by Westerners, much like their namesake spirit animal. But unlike blurry photos shot in snow-capped mountains, I managed to document one sharply in sunny Los Angeles.
This bike in particular is part of an ongoing collection from a Los Angeleian who knows where to take his bikes. His collection spans a few Chris Chance MTBs, various Yetis and this yellow Yeti Ultimate. Spec’d with period correct parts, a FTW stem and yes, built with care by Golden Saddle Cyclery, this beaut stared me down all last week while I was in LA…
See more in the Gallery!
It’s kind of nice living two miles from Icarus Frames‘ shop in South Austin. When Ian gets in a frame from paint, I can just cruise on over and shoot a few photos. When he gets a frame in like this singlespeed road however, I spend a little more time documenting it.
This is a custom bicycle. It’s a NAHBS-worthy bike, although Ian has never shown at NAHBS. The detailing is above and beyond your average frame. Everything is shaped, carved and sculpted to perfection. Stainless rear, stainless lugs, internal routing, polished everything, immaculate shorelines, covered by a wild wet paint job, courtesy of Fresh Frame.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen something so dialed come out of Ian’s shop and to think, his queue has a quick turnaround. I just wish I could have photographed the complete bike!
Check out more insane details in the Gallery.
Earlier last week, I showcased that red Cycles d’Autremont road bike and now, his 27.5 hardtail takes the stage. Much like the last bike, Hubert wanted to experiment with a simple, clean fillet-brazed frame.
Since it’s his own personal bike, he felt that it’d be the perfect platform to test out his geometry and construction. While he was in Arizona visiting family, he got to ride this thing on all his favorite trails. From what I gather, he’s pretty stoked on it.
After we shredded Pace Bend park while he was in town, I took some photos of this beaut on a crisp and clear Texas winter day. See more in the Gallery!
When I first saw this bike at Golden Saddle Cyclery, I was drawn like a moth to a flame by the purple Chris King parts complimented by the matte titanium finish. This Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel is one sleek road bike but it’s not without little build nuances.
SRAM Force cranks, Red brakes, Ultegra Di2 derailleurs, Ultegra shifters and ENVE wheels. There’s something about electronic shifting on a bike that pre-dates the technology that some would find maddening with all the wiring, but personally, I like it. Especially when the bike is easy on the eyes!
See more photos in the Gallery!