Category Archives: Reportage
Sycip Designs, Shimano and ENVE Created Trans Cascadia Trail Work Rigs

Trail work is tough and that is a massive understatement. For the crew that runs Trans Cascadia each year, it means loading up chainsaws, fuel, and other tools, usually on their back, as they pedal into the great unknown that is the wild Oregon backcountry. Usually, the singletrack is overgrown, with felled trees, and other obstacles the crew needs to clear. In years past, the team has utilized motos when possible, but they can be large and cumbersome, so this year, the team at Trans Cascadia worked with Jeremy at Sycip Designs to make something extra special, just in time for Sea Otter… (more…)

Apr 19, 2018 22 comments
Inside / Out at White Industries in Petaluma, California

In 1991, with the advent of Shimano’s XTR drivetrain, Doug White felt a pinch. That pinch turned into a financial punch and it was the first time since White Industries opened in 1978 that the small fabrication shop was worried about shuttering their operations. Ironically, the thing that saved White Industries from Shimano’s pursuit of mountain bike drivetrains is the single speed freewheel and the community that embraced SSMTB racing and riding.

Stories like that really resonate with me. Hearing about a small company – by comparison to Shimano anyway – make it after fears of breaking it thanks to a grassroots scene like SSMTB shows just how much companies like White Industries matter to us, the consumers within the cycling industry. (more…)

Apr 18, 2018 30 comments
Curtis’ Rigid Retrotec 29+ Trail Cruiser

Before we jump into the world of Retrotec Bikes and Curtis Inglis, let’s look at one of Curtis’ personal rigs; this 29+ rigid mountain bike, what I like to call the “Trail Cruiser.” Now, calling this a cruiser has nothing to do with the speed at which Curtis rides trails while on this rig and has everything to do with the history of Retrotec; a company that began modifying actual cruisers into off-road machines. (more…)

Apr 17, 2018 12 comments
My-ma-ma Manzanita Sklar MX All Road with Industry Nine i9.35 Disc Wheels

While we tend to see a lot of experimentation with MTB geometry, specifically hardtails here on the Radavist, I feel like the good ol’ all-road and ‘cross bike geometries, for the most part, stay mostly the same. Sure, head tubes might steepen or slacken a half or so degree, and bottom bracket height can vary, along with seat tube angle, but for the most part, these bikes all look similar in profile. Is it a by-product of design perfection or longevity? Who knows but the bottom line is; I rarely see a road bike geometry that piques my interest and begs the question; I wonder how THAT rides.

Then Adam Sklar sent me an email, asking if I had any desire to review one of his “team” MX all road bikes. I glanced at the geometry, saw the top tube length and thought it was going to be too long for me, especially for how I’d use it. Adam informed me of this bike’s design philosophy, which is part ‘cross geo and part modern MTB. Paradoxically, in short, Adam lengthened the bike’s top tube, slackened the head tube and lowered the bottom bracket. The bike is designed to run a shorter stem, a 70mm, versus a 110mm and with a longer head tube, puts the riding position a bit more upright. (more…)

Apr 16, 2018 71 comments
A Solo MTB Outing on Papoose Flat in the Inyo National Forest

Inyo County. Home to the lowest and highest point in the contiguous United States. Home to Death Valley, the White Mountains and parts of the Eastern Sierra. When I think about Inyo County, I think of a certain sense of exploration, of all-day, or week-long excursions into the unknown. I think of the very thing that motivates myself and many others to drop everything, pack up the truck, and just go.

This sense of exploration has fueled so much of the content of this website over the years and when I look at just last year’s best stories, most came from Inyo County. From our Triple Header out of Lone Pine to the Prospector’s Pack Mule bikepacking trip, and countless other stories from the region, this beautiful place has inspired me, and others, hopefully, to take full advantage of our beautiful public lands.

All this goes without saying, but there is an obvious underlying message in much of this content; be smart, be safe, and be kind, to the animals, the land, and other humans. (more…)

Apr 13, 2018 30 comments
Riding the Trails and Camping at Klondike Bluffs Outside of Moab

One of the things I’ve learned while spending time on the road is going with your gut. When I found out Easter Jeep Safari conflicted with our time in Utah, I knew we’d have to find camping outside of Moab. A few locals told me that town was mobbed, forcing them to seek refuge in Green River while people from all over the United States arrived in the Jeep mecca to drive the trails and show-off on Potato Salad Hill. I was bummed out, since I had been looking forward to this trip for some time, but figured something new and hopefully better would arise.

That’s when it happened, in a serendipitous way, as it often does. At the Green River Rock and Mineral Festival, we were mistakenly lead to a zone called Klondike Bluffs to rock hound with the group. Turns out, our group was supposed to be rockhounding nearby, but not at the bluffs specifically. While there, I noted what appeared to be an extensive trail network nestled in the rocky outcroppings and rolling hills. This zone backs up against Arches National Park, so it had views as well. Not Moab views, but views nonetheless. There was also free dispersed camping and a pit toilet. We were there on a Saturday morning and it was packed, with mountain bikers of all sorts from families to guys with pads and full face helmets. It seemed that I found our zone. (more…)

Apr 12, 2018 4 comments
Jonny’s Azuki Pro with Joe Bell Paint is Ready for Eroica California

When Jonny first rolled through the doors at Golden Saddle on this bike, I honed in on it. There was something familiar about the bike, yet I had never heard of the brand painted on the downtube. For some reason, it reminded me of an Eisentraut, or a Sachs. After talking to Jonny, he told me he works for Joe Bell, a literal living legend in the framebuilding world. Joe Bell, or JB as Jonny calls him, paints and has painted the frames of some of the most outstanding builders over the years. (more…)

Apr 11, 2018 22 comments
Carbon Artistry and the Allied Alfa Disc All-Road Bike

The Allied story is one that has been touched on briefly here on the Radavist. A brand that was formed through the foresight of one man; Tony Karklins and his ability to acquire a Canadian brand Guru’s assets at auction. This included the machinery, technology, everything; down to the paint booth. Upon winning the bid, Tony then moved this equipment to Arkansas, hired a few key players and began cranking on this new brand, dubbed Allied Cycle Works, which operates under the umbrella of HIA Velo. I could go more into this story, but people like Patrick at Red Kite Prayer have done an exceptional job covering the beginnings of Allied, so if the story of the brand is what you’re here for, head to RKP for an exceptional write up.

Now, when Patrick wrote his piece about Allied, they had but one model; the Alfa road bike. Later, the brand developed this beauty, the Alfa All-Road. While the Alfa road has all the lines and functionality of a proper carbon, rim brake road bike, the Alfa All-Road opens up the door a little wider to the sorts of rides we really enjoy over here at the Radavist; dirty and dusty fun! (more…)

Apr 10, 2018 24 comments
Riding Ridges at Sunset and Scratching the Sandstone Surface in Fruita… Also, Fanny Packs

Fruita, it’s the mountain bike mecca you’ve most certainly heard about before and it was the meet-up location for our group after our road trip to Green River. We had people coming in from Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Bozeman, Northern California, and Southern California so Fruita seemed like a good starting point.

Then some bad news hit. While I was in Green River, I met some people who had fled their home base of Moab due to the Easter Jeep Safari. Oh yeah, it was Easter Sunday! Each year, supposedly 100,000 Jeeps register for the event, overrunning the small town and its trails. With this news, I immediately realized camping at Kane Creek was most likely not going to be able to happen, especially over the weekend. All this was in the back of my mind as I drove from Green River to Fruita on that Sunday morning. (more…)

Apr 9, 2018 54 comments