Category Archives: Reportage
Tyler’s Icarus All-Road Disc
Tyler's Icarus All-Road Disc

It’s not a cross bike, it’s a road bike with clearances for bigger tires. Sure it uses an ENVE disc cross fork, but the bottom bracket drop, chainstay length and angles are more in line with what many would categorize as a road bike. A road bike that likes to gobble up rugged and rutted roads.

The Bruce Gordon Rock n Road tires were the starting point for Ian at Icarus Frames to build Tyler his new all-road machine. He wanted hydro disc brakes and road gearing, which he may or may not swap out in the forthcoming months for a clutch and a wider range cassette. With a burnt orange paint and subtle Icarus branding on the downtube, Tyler’s bike has a confident stance without being overly gaudy. Keep it clean with the paint and get it nice and dirty…

Truth told, I’ve been wanting a bike like this for some time now and it was a pleasure being able to document it both for Icarus Frames and Tyler.

Thanks to Jonathan from Mellow Johnny’s for the build!

Jun 30, 2015 21 comments
Matt’s Crust Bikes Evasion 26+ Tourer
Matt's Crust Bikes Evasion 26+ Tourer

Austin has a certain gravity. It attracts cyclists of all wheel types and for Matt, he wasn’t drawn here for the road cycling, or mountain biking. Matt began his experience with the bicycle on a BMX. He’s from Australia and Austin has always been the mecca for BMXing in the US. His friends here range from pros to companies like T-1, where he stays while in town.

It wasn’t until a surf trip in Mexico a while back where he finally got a bicycle. If you’d call it that. A clapped-out rig took him for hundreds of miles to visit a friend before he finally realized what he wanted in a bike. Later, a custom Bilenky allowed him to tow his surfboard on trips and the touring hook was set.

Fast forward a few years and Matt wanted to do something on his own. Since he’s not a framebuilder, he met up with a friend who’s dad was. They began talking about cycling and what it meant to Matt before drafting up a CAD drawing and getting a few prototypes made overseas. Crust Bikes was born. Sort of. Still incubating, this company right now spreads the stoke over Instagram, where Matt shares his travels and sells small items like patches, bottles and trucker caps.

Matt hopes to be building frames here in the States, under the welder of an experienced builder up in the North East. His first model would be this Evasion touring bike. Built for 26+ (Knard 3″), 650b or 700c wheels, the Evasion has the clearance and the confidence for everything from a sub 24 hour camping trip to full on excursion style riding.

I caught up with Matt last week and shot some photos of this unique rig. Built with a Rohloff, it’s virtually maintenance free. The Swift Industries bags, Brooks Saddle and other companents tell a tale through their patina. One that you too can follow along at @AFewSketchyMoments and @Crustbikes on Instagram

Jun 29, 2015 38 comments
Summer Solstice on the Swift Campout with Beat the Clock in Austin
Summer Solstice on the Swift Campout with Beat the Clock in Austin

Summer Solstice on the Swift Campout with Beat the Clock in Austin
Words by Gideon Tsang, photos by Gideon Tsang and Spencer Brown

On the morning of the Summer Solstice, Beat the Clock hosted a Swift Campout in honor of the longest day of the year. We awoke to the familiar cloud cover that has come with Texas’ rainiest year on record. Swampy barely beats the scorching summer sun but beggars can’t be choosers, eh?

13 of us rolled out from Sa-Ten Coffee and Eats onto the desolate roads of central Texas towards Bastrop State Park. The protagonist of the route is Old Sayers, a 10 mile gravel road filled with rolling hills and handsome oak trees. It always feels like we’re riding into a Terrence Malick film. If the storybook setting weren’t enough, we pulled over for a nature break at a tree swing. We swung with giggles and ‘Grams.

As we arrived in Bastrop early in the afternoon, the rain gods welcomed us by opening the heavens. The remainder of the evening was spent fashioning coyote scarves, camp coffee and of course, whiskey. If all days could be spent bike camping with friends, make them days longer!

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Follow Gideon on Instagram and follow Spencer on Instagram.

Jun 29, 2015 8 comments
Sorry Guys I Wasn’t Feeling So Hot Today! #GetSickDay Austin
This shot embodies the afternoon!

I got food poisoning. My allergies are killing me. I have a fever. It must have been the shrimp I ate. Whatever the excuse was people all over the world got sick today, calling into their jobs and taking the morning off to ride bikes. The idea is genius and also a bit sketchy. You could get fired! Or you could just spend a day on your bike instead of in an office. That was the intention anyway.

When Sean from Team Dream Team first brought up the idea of #GetSickDay – which at the time was called “fuck work day” – I thought it was brilliant. After a bunch of emails behind the scenes, he organized a bunch of group rides in cities all over the world. Portland, SF, Los Angeles, NYC, London… the list goes on and on.

I happened to be home in Austin, so I led a mixed terrain ride and Andre led a road ride, both leaving from Mellow Johnny’s downtown this morning. We rode around 40 miles after determining the original route would take even longer. Rides like this take forever and that’s the intention.

Take your time, eat tacos, drink a beer and hit a few swimming holes!

Jun 25, 2015 15 comments
Riding in the Tetons with Mavic – Ryan Wilson
As far as bike paths go... this one is up there.

Riding in the Tetons with Mavic
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson

A couple weeks ago Mavic invited a group of journalists, athletes, and myself to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to put a few pieces from their revamped Ksyrium lineup through their paces in and around Grand Teton National Park. This was my first time in Wyoming and really my first time riding in the Rockies at all, so it goes without saying I was excited to see what the riding was like.

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Jun 24, 2015 15 comments
Get Pitted, So Pitted on the White Rim! – Kyle Kelley
Sunset

Get pitted, so pitted on the White Rim!
Photos by Kyle Kelley and Liz Browne, words by Kyle Kelley

Before I begin to tell you about my trip along the White Rim Trail, I’d like talk about the rising popularity of bike packing and other two-wheeled exploration. With the current events surrounding “The Death of The Oregon Outback” I feel the responsibility to say a little something about wilderness etiquette. It might seem like common sense, but we have an ever-growing responsibility to this earth and the wild places we’d like to keep wild. Be it car camping, back packing, or bike packing – please always clean up after yourself and even the visitors who came before you. Do not leave campsites as you found them, leave them cleaner! I’d also suggest taking the same approach on rides as well. Take care of your own trash, but go a step farther and pick up everything you see. And always stay on designated roads and trails. Fragile ecosystems don’t need you making things any harder.

When Golden Saddle Cyclery first opened one of our customers told me about a 100 mile bike ride in the Island In The Sky portion of Canyonlands National Park. I had just been in the park a week before, but without a bike so I was especially interested in hearing about the ride. As a big fan of the area, and the desert in general, I returned for a handful of visits before finally bringing along a bike this past March. And let me tell you, it wasn’t until riding the White Rim Trail that I felt like I had really experienced this magnificent place.

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Jun 23, 2015 21 comments
The Over Under Red Bull Mini Drome – Chris Lee
The Over Under Red Bull Mini Drome

The Over Under Red Bull Mini Drome
Photos and interview by Chris Lee

On June 19th, Red Bull hosted its annual Mini Drome race in an industrial neighborhood of Maspeth, New York. In keeping with tradition, the event had no shortage of rave lights, bass pounding DJ sets and Red Bull flowing out of every corner of the room. But unlike years past, this Mini Drome had a twist: a figure 8. Named the “Over/Under”, this miniature velodrome, sporting a cool figure 8 design, is a faster and tighter version of the already infamous “Human Powered Rollercoaster” or “La Ocho”. Teams of two and single participants, called “All Stars”, duked it out for the number one spot on the podium. In the end, team Deluxe Cycles of Brooklyn took home the team title and Red Bull’s own Addison Zawada from Jacksonville, Florida, the individual title.

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Follow Chris on Instagram and at his website.

Jun 23, 2015 1 comment
Ride in Peace Jacob Smoller: A Tribute Jacobs Track Bike – Kyle Kelley and Billy Sinkford
Ride in Peace Jacob Smoller: A Tribute Jacobs Track Bike - Kyle Kelley and Billy Sinkford

Ride in Peace Jacob Smoller: A Tribute Jacobs Track Bike
Photos by Kyle Kelley and words by Billy Sinkford

Preface: Jacob Smoller recently passed away in Boston. Coinciding with this unfortunate event, Kyle came across a Jacobs track bike in Los Angeles. To celebrate Jacob’s life and work, we reached out to Billy Sinkford, a good friend of Jacob to write a memorial piece:

Try Harder. That was Jacob Smoller’s motto. His creed. Jacob would have turned thirty a few weeks ago and passed just a few days before his birthday. He was a Boston bike messenger, frame builder, beloved member of the international messenger family, and urban cycling community at large.

Be it music, racing, building bikes or riding them, Jacob was an artist with a strong creative drive. His commitment to the cycling community even stronger. Over the past 10 years Jacob had a hand in organizing countless cycling events and races, all with the emphasis on fun and inclusion, he was happiest bringing folks together.

Jacob loved this community, he loved bikes, and he loved Boston. Try Harder, never settle and give your all. He gave everything to the messenger community, his friends and family and we will miss him all the more for it. As everyone does, Jacob had his demons. It’s important to remember our friend for the light that he shined and not the shadow that he cast. He was a beautiful man who didn’t ask of anyone and stood tall with his decisions.

Jacob and I met over a decade ago during my transition from messenger life in Boston. I had some of the best times of my life with him, late night antics, exploring the country by bike, and candid conversations over the years. He is a friend that I hold close and his loss has rocked my world. I miss him with all my heart, ride safe my friend. I will miss our talks.

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Follow Kyle on Instagram and Billy on Instagram.

Jun 22, 2015 6 comments
Futurism and the Specialized Enduro Expert Carbon 29 – Kyle Von Hoetzendorff
Futurism and the Specialized Enduro Expert Carbon 29

Futurism and the Specialized Enduro Expert Carbon 29
Words by Kyle Von Hoetzendorff, photos by Ethan Furniss

Before we begin let me give you a little background about who I am and how I found myself writing this review. I grew up in Bishop, CA. I raced mountain bikes there as a kid. Then I stopped, the reason is a tired story, and one that you have most likely heard before, it has to do with hormones, cars, beers, and girls. When I moved to Santa Barbara, CA to attend college and I started working at a shop called Velo Pro. This is where I started riding downhill bikes. Then I stopped, did some rock climbing, school, babe chasing, etc. A decade ago I moved to Portland, OR and once again I found myself at a shop, working at the Fat Tire Farm and riding downhill bikes. This is where it gets interesting. First came seat droppers and with it a yearn to explore more trails. I started riding trail bikes, then picked up riding road bikes and cross bikes. For the past three years I worked for Chris King, and my job gave me the chance to ride a wide variety of bikes. Through mutual friends and shared adventures John and I became friends and I have been lucky to post a couple rides and adventurers all the while sharing with him some of my favorite MTB videos and articles from around the web. It turned out that John needed a bike reviewed, so here I am. Lets get started.

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Jun 22, 2015 9 comments
Shaking it Down on the Salsa Cutthroat
Shaking it Down on the Salsa Cutthroat

There’s nothing like taking a brand new bike and throwing it into the proverbial fire.

Bikes like this are not meant to be babied, nurtured, wiped down with a micro-fiber cloth and sprayed with chemicals to make them look shiny. They’re meant to be abused, smashed, shredded and put to the test, straight out of the gate. Especially bikes specifically designed for arguably one of the most intense endurance races in the Continental United States.

The Salsa Cutthroat is what I would call a first for the company. In the sense that it’s a bike designed for a specific event: the Tour Divide Race.

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Jun 18, 2015 62 comments