Category Archives: Reportage
Riding the Oregon Outback on the Ren Cycles Ivan – Gabe Tiller
REN Ivan on the Oregon Outback

Riding the Oregon Outback on the Ren Cycles Ivan
Photos and words by Gabe Tiller

Earlier this summer I set out for my fourth journey on the Oregon Outback. Each time I had ridden a different steed ranging from touring bike to plus bike and this round was no exception: I had the chance to borrow REN’s titanium cyclocross race machine: the Ivan. It’s an adaptable beast, perfect for those masochists who like to race singlespeed as well as Cat A/B. Luckily I was doing neither, and instead going on a 360 mile jaunt through Oregon’s famous Outback. (more…)

Aug 25, 2016 18 comments
RJ’s Golden Falconer 27.5″ MTB
RJ's Golden Falconer 27.5" MTB

Cameron Falconer makes some of the nicest hardtails. What they lack in ostentation, they make up for in construction and thoughtfulness. RJ‘s bike is no exception. His 27.5″ hardtail is straight as an arrow, with a few key details to make life on the trail easier. Take for instance the asymmetrical chainstay yoke. Cam uses a plate yoke on the drive side and a smooth, non-crimped bend on the non-drive. This ensures ample tire and chainring clearance. He also uses stealth routing for a dropper, leaving a lot of interestingness going on at the bottom bracket cluster. The nice weldline at the seat tube cluster is so he can step down the seat tube diameter to fit a standard size dropper, without having to go super oversize or use a shim. Even the thru-axle and disc brake support just looks beautiful. All these details were then coated in a sparkle gold powder and vinyl decals, which as you can tell, show plenty of use!

We all know that the frame is only part of the bicycle. RJ selected some tried and true components to keep his bike rolling with minimal upkeep. Including a Shimano XT drivetrain, Race Face ring, XFusion fork, Giant dropper and a specially-machined dropper remote that began as an XFusion trigger, hacked to work with the post. It’s hard to explain… but it works! For wheels, RJ is testing and providing feedback on some carbon MTB wheels for Ritchey. That’s all I can say about those.

Yeah, this bike rules, it looks great sitting here, propped up in the Los Angeles morning sun, but looked even better during our weekend of trail riding!

Aug 24, 2016 7 comments
4,000 Miles of Collectibles: The Adventure Cycling Bikecentennial Memorabilia Show
The Adventure Cycling Bikecentennial Memorabilia Show

4,000 Miles of Collectibles: The Adventure Cycling Bikecentennial Memorabilia Show
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley

For the last 10 years of my life I’ve been staring at photos, patches, maps, and booklets from the Bikecentennial. When the track bike world was in a lull, I’d pull from the hundreds of amazing photos on Flickr of the Bikecentennial for Tracko content. The touring bike goes in and out of fashion quite often, but has always been something special in my book. A bike that can carry everything you need to live, smoothly and reliably across the open roads of America will always be the perfect bicycle to me and the people who ride them will always be the most interesting to talk to. The bicycle tourist may be the one that keeps the great American story teller alive. You’ll find eccentrics, artist, musicians, dirtbags, and all types of bike punks zigzagging their way across the world on these bikes and I think this is what originally drew me to the Bikecenntenial and vintage bicycle touring memorabilia. (more…)

Aug 23, 2016 4 comments
The Adventure Cycling Association Bikecentennial Salsa Marrakesh Touring Bike – Kyle Kelley
The Adventure Cycling Association Bikecentennial Salsa Marrakesh Touring Bike - Kyle Kelley

The Adventure Cycling Association Bikecentennial Salsa Marrakesh Touring Bike – Kyle Kelley
Photos by Kyle Kelley, words by John Watson

When June and Greg Siple teamed up with Dan and Lys Burden to found the Adventure Cycling Association, I doubt they anticipated their impact on the bicycle touring world. Now, 40 years later and the ACA helps cyclists from all over the world navigate the trails, roads and dirt tracks all over North America with their route maps and magazine.

The ACA exists solely to grow the spirit of cycle tourism and a large portion of its funding comes from memberships and the sales of their maps, along with donations. Some of those come in the form of projects like this: the ACA Bikecentennial Edition Salsa Marrakesh. Between now and December 31st, 2016, each cyclist that you refer to ACA will land you a chance to win this bike.

While in Montana at the Bikecentennial celebration, Kyle got access to one to photograph it in an attempt to stoke the fire for the ACA and bicycle tourism! Head over to ACA’s Share the Joy website to find out more information and to enter for your chance to win this bike.

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Follow Kyle on Instagram and Adventure Cycling on Instagram.

Aug 23, 2016 3 comments
A Pair of Honeymoon Hunqapillars – Morgan Taylor
A Pair of Honeymoon Hunqapillars – Morgan Taylor

Photos and words by Morgan Taylor.

Being out on tour for the past six weeks Stephanie and I have met a lot of other people traveling by bike. The different ways people travel on two wheels has become a point of interest for us: despite the fact that we can get caught up in gear nerding and finding the perfect setup, it’s so rad to see all the different approaches to problems that anyone traveling by bike faces.

Troy and Jen were part of the larger group of people who descended on Missoula for the ACA’s 40th. It turned out that they, like us, were also on their honeymoon, on matching bikes. Since they’re from Nutmeg Country their tastes trend toward traditional aesthetics, and their Rivendell Hunqapillars are all class – and pieces of flair. These bikes were shaken down on east coast toodles through backroads with good friends before setting out on tour. (more…)

Aug 22, 2016 13 comments
Golden Saddle Rides: Matt’s Blackened and Dirty SOMA Wolverine
Golden Saddle Rides: Matt's Blackened and Dirty SOMA Wolverine

It should come as no surprise that this is the third SOMA Wolverine to roll out of Golden Saddle Cyclery and onto this website. These bikes are a great value, extremely versatile and they look damn good, especially in the murdered-out matte black option.

Matt has wanted to build a 27.5″ dirt tourer for exploring the fire and frontage roads in the Angeles National Forest for some time now. The Wolverine fit the bill, with massive clearances, rack mounts and an affordable pricepoint. He pulled the trigger and began ordering components through GSC, including a SON hub, Velocity Blunt SS wheels, Maxxis Crossmark tires, E3 lamp, a JANDD bar bag, Haulin Colin rack, PAUL Klampers, Thomson bits, Cowchipper bars and a Sram 1x drivetrain.

This beast is more than capable to climb the steep and loose roads in the local mountains and rip like a rocket back down. Earlier this week, I took Matt up on my favorite morning ride to shoot this bike in action. Enjoy!

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Visit Golden Saddle Cyclery in Silverlake, Los Angeles and follow them on Instagram.

Aug 18, 2016 65 comments
Mark’s Crust Bikes DFL 26+ Dirt Tourer – Morgan Taylor
Mark's Crust Bikes DFL 26+ Dirt Tourer – Morgan Taylor

Photos and intro by Morgan Taylor, words by Mark Reimer.

Does bike travel in the backcountry have to look a particular way? No, of course not. As you can see by the range of bikes being ridden in Spencer’s gallery, the #DFLtheDivide crew was a group that largely did not fit the mold of bike touring or bikepacking. That ride was all about doing things differently, living on the fringe and pushing the ideas of what traveling by bike looks like.

The Crust Bikes DFL occupies that space: not quite a touring bike, not quite a mountain bike – simply a bike built for traveling over whatever terrain you want to cover. John looked at Matt’s early version of this bike – at the time called the Evasion – and over a year later the DFL remains an intriguing idea that gets people asking questions and thinking about how they might build their own adventure bike.

Mark’s DFL hosts a great mix of domestically produced hard and soft goods, with a parts bin build kit carefully collected and selected over the years. The 9-speed XTR derailleur is hooked up to an indexed 10-speed Dura-Ace bar end shifter, using a Wolf Tooth road link to help the derailleur wrap around the SunRace 11-42 cassette. The Schmidt dynamo and Nitto racks and Carradice bags, so many details to pore over…

I’ll leave the rest to Mark because he captured the essence of this bike so well… (more…)

Aug 17, 2016 30 comments
DFL the Divide: A Group Tour in Celebration of Adventure Cycling’s 40th
Photo by Spencer Harding

DFL the Divide: A Group Tour Celebration of Adventure Cycling’s 40th
Words by Spencer Harding, photos by UltraRomance, Mark Reimer, Locke Hassett and Spencer Harding

It all started over beers in Colombia last fall. We had just crossed the pass over Nevado Del Ruiz and we were on our way to Medellin and of course we got to talking about what the next adventure was gonna be before the one at hand was even over. Kurt really wanted to get to Missoula for Adventure Cycling’s 40th celebration and he thought we should ride the section of the tour divide from Banff to Seeley Lake. I was pumped because I missed riding that section with him a few years back. The plan was set, get to Banff on July 5th and get to Missoula by July 15th. (more…)

Aug 16, 2016 37 comments
This One Goes to 12: SRAM Eagle and the Stinner Prototype Hardtail MTB
Golden hour glow!

Who gets the reference? It’s from the following: “These go to 11” – the hilarious excerpt from Spinaltap? Why not just make ten louder?

When SRAM’s new Eagle drivetrain was announced, it received mixed impressions. 12 speed on a mountain bike seems excessive and the pricepoint is pretty alienating. Needless to say, “the internet’s” opinion was divided. Personally, I find new tech when it comes to drivetrains the most interesting and relevant. Anything that can bring more versatility to my current rides is ok by me and hopefully, as we’ve seen in SRAM’s other products over the years, the tech will trickle down into more affordable groups like GX and NX.

So what does it have to do with a Stinner Frameworks mountain bike? (more…)

Aug 15, 2016 29 comments
Ain’t No Misty Mountain Hop with the Cub House and OrNot
More rasta mountains

There doesn’t have to be a fire to have our mountains scorched all summer here in Los Angeles. “June Gloom” didn’t come this year, not in June, nor in July and come August, the overbearing warmth cast from afar by our sun has certainly required our vegetation to abstain from hydrating.

It is however the desert. We’re just lucky enough to have the ocean to cool everything down each night. Yet, the lush green mountain tops we had all winter have certainly changed their hue. Yellow flowers made way to yellow plants and those intense purples and greens we had shifted to red, leaving our tracks and trails lined with red, yellow and green. Now if you look out across the landscape, it looks like everything has been anodized Rasta like some MTB skewers from the 90’s. (more…)

Aug 14, 2016 7 comments