Category Archives: Reportage
A Ponderosa Cyclery + Tour Capricorn ‘Cross Bike
Photos by Kyle Kelley, words by John Watson
If it’s a Ponderosa Cyclery + Tour bike, from the shop’s archives anyway, then it’s Vince’s. As Kyle mentioned in his Shop Visit galley, Vince is a collector of rarities, including this Capricorn ‘Cross bike. Bradley Wilson builds under the name Capricorn, out of my home state of North Carolina. His bikes have a constructeur feel, with a clean aesthetic, devoid of ostentation. Instead, Bradley’s bikes have a personality that beckons to be used, just not abused. This build is top notch, with the DA7400 shifters, XT rear mech and original Chris King headset.
Vince from Ponderosa Cyclery has clearly used this bike, with lots of beausage present and knowing bike shop owners, he relishes every pedal stroke.
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Everyone’s welcome at Ponderosa Cycle + Tour!
Words and Photos by Kyle Kelley
Ponderosa Cyclery + Tour was the first stop on my most recent Bike Shop Tour through middle America. Ponderosa is a relatively new shop compared to the two other shops I’d be stopping at on my way back to California, but it sure didn’t feel that way when I got there. Maybe that was because of Vince’s 14 years of experience in bike shops, or it could be Vince’s love of bicycle tourism and many of the amazing products once produced for the bicycle tourist around the time of the Bikecentennial. Or just maybe it has something to do with the build out of the shop. As I looked around I was astonished by many of the antique fixtures and reclaimed shelving in the store, when I asked about them, before Vince could even get a word in, Jessica, his partner, and co-worker at the shop told us all about Vince’s addiction to Craigslist. (more…)
A Ponderosa Cyclery Eisentraut Road with Mavic Zap
Photos by Kyle Kelley, words by John Watson
If you think Shimano and SRAM were the first to the e-shifting market, you’re mistaken, my friend. Mavic blazed that trail over a decade before Shimano put its tires down on it. Back before they shifted focus to wheels and apparel, Mavic developed and manufactured component groups. Their “Starfish” cranks are as iconic as their unique headsets, but one group stood out from the rest of Mavic’s catalog. Zap was the name for Mavic’s electronic shifting system and while it was way before its time, it wasn’t underused, making several Tour appearances. Even Chris Boardman secured several victories in the Tour back in 1994 and 1997. (more…)
Squid Bikes: Taking Over the World One Rattlecan at a Time!
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
Ever since meeting Emily at numerous bike races all over California, and following along with Squid Bikes on Instagram, I must say I’ve become somewhat of a super fan of the brand. First, they’re making bikes in the US, and of course, everyone knows that’s my jam and it’s been my jam since I started jamming! Second, they’re awesome! Third, they have given the world the ability and the confidence to turn any bicycle into a blank canvas! If you aren’t already a super fan too then hopefully these photos and words will change your mind, because these two are going to be bigger than the Beatles! (more…)
International Kook Exchange Part 02 – Velvet and Gold Edition – Previously Part 01: Milk and Honey Edition)
Words and photos by Jorja Creighton
Part two lead us to ride the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Metal Ray as our spiritual leader (or father as we now call him). The Grand Canyon was a dream come true.
An extra special trip because I was on my very new, gently sparkling Evasion frame from Crust Bikes, which had arrived from Crust HQ all built up ready to shred. The Limp Dick stem and Salsa Cowchippers combo is making me feel like a wizard up on 7/10 difficulty terrain. (more…)
Getting High in the San Gabriel Mountains at Mt. Lowe Trail Camp
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
Each year everyone at Golden Saddle Cyclery gets super excited when Swift Industries announces their annual campout and then every year we become more and more worried about killing everyone because it is always way too hot to ride a fully loaded touring bike up a mountain. Yeah, it’s summer and yeah it’s hot everywhere, but we’re talking Buster Poindexter “HOT HOT HOT!” (more…)
Bailey lives and rides in Chicago, where he’s one of the owners and operators at Comrade Cycles. He and Kyle from GSC are buddies. They met a few years back at QBP’s Frostbike tradeshow. At some point, Kyle left an open invite for him to visit Golden Saddle, so Bailey rolled out to Los Angeles to soak in the sun, ride some mountains and officially break in his new Pachyderm Bikes dirty 650b tourer with his girlfriend Allison. The two of them took on some of the rides in the area, during one of our gnarliest heat waves of the year and even braved our psychedelic camping trip up in Chilao one night. I swear, the spider chicken had eight legs.
This bike was inspired by randonneuring bikes, yet Bailey wanted something he could fit a chunky tire on, namely something like the WTB Byway. For this trip, since they’d be sticking to mostly sealed and dirt roads, he went with the 48mm Compass Switchback Hill. Other details include White Industries cranks to an XTR derailleur and Shimano cassette, a Shutter Precision hub powering a Luxos light, with a USB recharging node, powering his Garmin.
For me, the paint is what really sets this bike off, aside from its owner, obvs. The painter masked mountains wrapping the seat tube and top tube, giving it a subtle contrast before finishing the head tube in a bright orange. Brown and orange bikes remind me of A&W root beer and mountain sunsets, with at least one of which I know for certain Bailey and Allison enjoyed on their recent trip. My only complaint was not being able to shoot the bike at sunset!
Raidō is the r-rune of the Elder Futhark, an old proto-Germanic language, used by northern European civilizations. Its meaning translates to the ride or the journey and has been the icon of this website for years, at least in spirit. For Cari’s birthday this year, we wanted to do something new and challenging. We both had our picks for a vacation. Mine was a bicycle tour in Madagascar and hers was backpacking in Iceland. Luckily for Cari, it was her birthday, so she had the final say in the matter. All she wanted was to be on a trail during the Summer Solstice and her birthday, so we began planning… (more…)
A Goodbye to Perú Through the Ausangate
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson
For my final stretch through Perú (for now), I jumped onto the instant-classic route that Cass Gilbert and Michael Dammer founded one year prior (http://www.bikepacking.com/routes/tres-cordilleras-boliva-peru/), with a few tweaks. The highlight of this area is unquestionably the circuit around the 6,384m aka 20,945ft wall of rock and ice known as Apu Ausangate. The majority of which is pure backcountry single track through seemingly endless glacial peaks and pristine lagunas. (more…)
My Celestial All City Spacehorse Disc – Jarrod bunk
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk
All City’s Spacehorse Disc ticks a lot of boxes for me, I fell in love with my canti version two years ago, since then I probably spent the most time on that bike of all of them. It just felt right, the geometry was fun and it climbed, descended and shredded so well. Fast forward to Saddle Drive last August, I happened to check out the new Spacehorse Disc, it solved one of the only issues I had with the canti version, the braking. I ordered up a frame, but my mind wandered and I decided to add a few small things to the build, based on what I wished the canti bike had, warranty be damned. I had Maestro Frameworks braze on a third bottle, pump peg, and add some internal wiring for my rear tail light.
Since the bike was getting the paint stripped off for the frame work I had Wanderlust Paint make something special for me. I printed a picture of All City’s geo chart and broke out my markers, I’ve always had something for brown on bikes, so that’s where I started. I think that paint can make a bike, so I even had my Simworks stem painted to match. Years ago my friend Jesse turned me onto Pass and Stow racks, I always wanted one, and since then have been waiting for the right bike, this was that bike. I knew I would be using a dynamo system on my Spacehorse and loved that I could run wiring through the rack for a cleaner look.
I used a little Newbaums tape to cover the wiring safely and protect the powder coat on the rack. I think this worked out well. Aside from those details, I’m running a Chris King rear hub, SON front, and Supernova lights. Other parts include a CK40 headset, Silca frame pump, White Industries cranks, Chris King bottom bracket, and Velocity Cliffhanger rims. I build custom bikes 6 days a week and breaking bike parts should be my job, so I built this bike with the most bombproof parts I could. Enough about the build, I’ve got to spend a bit of time on this commuting and riding, and its as good as the old canti bike, just a little bit better for my needs. For whatever reason the disc fork feels a good bit stiffer, which is real nice for front loading, and adds some confidence under hard fast braking descents.
Swift Campout was a blast this year thanks to the Spacehorse which handled the muddy, slick, steep terrain perfectly, hence the dirt on it. I can’t say enough about just how damn fun the Spacehorse Disc is, the versatility of the bike is out of this world, from commuting, to touring, to just shredding gravel I love this bike. It didn’t take much but I turned a stock frame into my dream bike, one I will have for a lifetime. If you haven’t ridden one I recommend checking one out at your local dealer, you won’t be sorry.
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