Category Archives: Reportage
Jump Around with Kyle and His Niner RIP 9 RDO
Jump Around with Kyle and His Niner RIP 9 RDO

Bounce, bounce, bounce. Every time I’ve ridden mountain bikes with Kyle over the past year, he’s barely had both wheels on the ground. He’s been riding a carbon Niner RIP 9 RDO, with Shimano XT and all the dressings of one of Niner’s three-star build. It’s still an expensive bike, when compared to something like a hard tail, yet the $5,700 pricetag doesn’t pinch as much as some other full suspension bikes featured here on the site in years past. (more…)

Sep 27, 2016 11 comments
Where Nebraska Ends: The Champion and the Corner – Parts and Labor
Where Nebraska Ends: The Champion and the Corner

Where Nebraska Ends: The Champion and the Corner
Photos and words by Parts and Labor

Making the most of the weekends, that’s what we do. Close the shop on Saturday, high-tail it to base camp late that night. The goal, have 2 nights of camping, 2 full days of riding, and well, back to work by Tuesday morning. Ain’t nobody quittin’ their job or getting on a plane to do these trips; it’s all done in a weekend. Slowly but surely, we’ve applied that template to a dozen or so trips throughout our fine state. Aside from the main objective of having a good time, we were intent on a few other things this go around. One. Run out of Nebraska. (Well, not run out of it, but rather, get to the very Northwest corner of it.) B… Err, I mean, Two. Find the largest Ponderosa Pine within the domain known as, Nebraska.

The route was hatched out of a trip that we covered last fall. We had only scratched the surface on this region, so we knew we had to find time to come back. Pine Country. That’s what it is. Well, that, and grasslands. Oh man, the grasslands. Wide opens spaces and doubletrack like you wouldn’t believe. Or maybe ya can. I dunno. Hot, dry, and windy as all get out. But it’s sure worth enduring. Trekking along the prairie, in the company of cattle and wild pronghorn, well, that’s just a neat thing. And when it’s not open pasture, it’s badlands, or rocky escarpments.

But back to the common corner. The one that rubs elbows with South Dakota and Wyoming. We were out to find it. The end, as I said. We located it via GPS, decided to throw camp within a couple hundred feet and finish the trek by hoofing up to it at sunrise. Well, there ain’t much to it. Just a piece of granite dropped years ago by the BLM, and a sign-in register. Now, if pronghorn could write, that thing would be full. But as far as I know, they can’t. Within the last few years, there are only a handful of names. Humans. Mainly dudes out fixing the border fence. Or the “damn fence” as they referred to it. We signed the sheet, stood in WY and SD for a bit, and moseyed on our way. Next up, the Pine Ridge.

Located on the high plains, the escarpment is home to, arguably, the only native pine found within the state. The mighty Ponderosa Pine. Now, we ain’t got the mature fellers that y’all have out west, but there are some decent ones. And for one in particular, the Champion, we were out to find that sucker. Situated within Monroe Canyon and along the creek, there it was, standing tall. It was a goddamn beaut’, Clark. I smelled the bark, grab a few fallen pine cones, and we were on our way and onto the climb out of the canyon to start the trek back to Toadstool. Which is where we started the trip. Objectives met, good times had, and as usual, back to fixin bikes on Tuesday.

Check out the route at Ride With GPS.

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Follow Parts and Labor on Instagram and if you’re in their area, swing through Onion Velo and Ponderosa Cyclery!

Sep 26, 2016 10 comments
Jimmy and His Bridgestone XO-3
Jimmy and His Bridgestone XO-3

Jimmy, like many readers of this blog, have an appreciation for the work of Grant Petersen. Whether it’s his current work at Rivendell, or his work for Bridgestone in the late 1980s and ’90s. An XO series had been on Jimmy’s list for some time and when an XO-3 popped up in his size on eBay, he bought it without hesitation.

With a frame like this, there are so many possibilities in terms of overall build and parts selection, yet I feel like many people approach their bikes from a similar angle. Jimmy chose some Velo Orange Left Bank bars, along with the VO Grand Cru Drillium cranks to give the bike a vintage tourer feel and chose White Industries hubs, laced to Pacenti PL 23 650b rims for their resilience and ease of maintenance. My favorite detail is the Yanco Ramblin roll and Banjo Brothers bag, supported by a rear rack.

The rest of the kit just falls together and this bike is Jimmy’s round town machine. Thanks for swinging by Golden Saddle yesterday dude!

Sep 25, 2016 39 comments
The Rawland Cycles ULV Is a Bikepacking Slayer
The Rawland Cycles ULV Is a Bikepacking Slayer

Rawland had a reboot recently, resulting in two frames, the RAVN and the ULV. While the ULV is a 27.5+ drop bar bikepacking rig, the RAVN is an all-road, meant for more traditional touring. Both of these bikes use chunky rubber tires and drop bars and are part of Rawland’s Berserkerverks line, featuring a porteur rack with light mounts, and 12×148 Thru-Axle disc brakes. Both the ULV and RAVN look like tanks, but I was impressed with the weight, or lack thereof. A lot of bikes like this are light on the eyes, yet heavy on the hands, but not these Rawlands.

Both the ULV and the RAVN are available for pre-order now at Rawland, as both a complete for $2,999 and a frameset for $950*. Expect more to come as samples become available for review. I’m stoked to see Rawland back at it.

*kickstand not included. ;-)

Sep 23, 2016 27 comments
Interbike 2016 Mega Mega Gallery
I feel ya, bud!

24 hours. I’ve always wanted to complete a Sub24 Interbike and this year, it finally became a reality. Part of that had to do with the size of the show this year. It’s noticeably smaller. A lot of the bigger brands have pulled out and other companies are now doing private screenings in hotel suites. Consequently, you can now walk the entire show in half a day, so for someone who keeps their eyes on products and trends within the industry, it makes it easy to hop into a booth and spot the product that’s relevant to the Radavist.

Interbike isn’t only about products though. As a media outlet, I like to connect with the companies that I’ve gotten to know over the years and meet readers who might work in the industry, or are just visiting the tradeshow. Enjoy the Gallery and check out some of my favorites below. (more…)

Sep 22, 2016 44 comments
Emily and Her Squid Bikes Barrel of Monkeys B3 ‘Cross
Emily and Her Squid Bikes Barrel of Monkeys B3 'Cross

When your bikes are made by Sherwood Gibson of Ventana, who’s been constructing frames since 1988, you can spend all your time on marketing, designing and applying their paint jobs. For Squid Bikes co-owner Emily Kachorek, paint design and implementation happens in a whimsical way. All it takes is some inspiration, a precedent and she’s out in her paint booth with spray cans blazing. For her latest race bike, she chose the childhood game Barrel of Monkeys to be the theme. Then, to up the ante, she gave the monkeys neon pink sunglasses, save for one, who has black shades on.

This bike was at the WD-40 Interbike booth, built up with Zipp components, wheels and a fresh SRAM gruppo with a TRP fork. It’ll be thrashed in various UCI ‘cross races around the US this season and as with any cross bike, it’ll look so much better all muddy.

Thanks to Emily and Squid Bikes for making bicycle paint design look easy and fun! If you’d like a Squid of your own, check out their offerings at SquidBikes.com.

Sep 22, 2016 37 comments
Golden Saddle Rides: Tod’s Two Classic Cielos
Tod's Two Classic Cielos

Returning customers are a true testament to a brand’s quality. A few years back, Tod ordered a Cielo Cross Classic frame through Golden Saddle Cyclery and had the guys build it up to act as an inner-city singletrack machine and commuter. He went with Ultegra, a SON hub, an S3 lamp and Paul Mini Moto brakes. In the time that’s passed, Tod’s put a good amount of beausage on this bike, showing first hand how much he’s been riding it. When the time came for him to order a road bike, he looked at the Cielo Sportif, a classic road bike with clearance for bigger tires. Again, he chose Ultegra and Chris King for the components, with Velo Orange Gran Cru brakes and those nice n plump Compass 32mm Stampede Pass tires.

Photographing two bikes like this, one new and one that has been loved and ridden for years is a special occasion for me. Especially when you can flip between the two drive-side photos. I can’t wait to see how Tod’s Sportif looks after a few years of use!

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If you want a custom build like this and live in Los Angeles, hit up Golden Saddle Cyclery.

Sep 21, 2016 17 comments
All the Action from the Women’s Elite Trek CXC Cup – Kevin Sparrow
The look back.

All the Action from the Women’s Elite Trek CXC Cup
Photos and words by Kevin Sparrow

To me, the Trek CXC Cup is the official start of the midwest cyclocross season. The best of the best show up and battle it out on the Trek Factory grounds. This year was huge. World Champion, Wout Van Aert and a bunch of Belgians, showed up and, as expected, destroyed the rest of Men’s field. It was impressive, and it goes to show that they are (still) on a totally different level than the US. Although this seemed more like a training ride for Wout, a shout out to Stephen Hyde, the top US finisher, seems deserving.

I’m sure, by now you have read about (or watched) the results and highlights from this past weekend on all the typical media outlets. Yeah, having a world champion race in front of you was pretty rad, but when it comes to good ol’ fashioned racin’ the Women’s Elite race was where all the action was happening.

Most of the Women’s Elite raced both days, unlike the Men’s field who were saving their precious legs for C1 points. That alone says a lot about the Women’s field and about Women’s CX racing in general. It’s positive, healthy competition that seems to be based around the love for racing. The way it should be. I heard many words of encouragement and solidarity at the start, during the race, and at the finish line.

I could go on and give a play by play but that seems sort of boring. Instead, just enjoy some photos of some real rippers from this past weekend. Read the captions for a better feel for the course.

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Follow Kevin on Instagram.

Sep 20, 2016 4 comments
France, Ciao… Au Revoir… See Ya – Sean Talkington
France, Ciao... Au Revoir... See Ya - Sean Talkington

I would like you to close your eyes for a brief moment and imagine yourself sitting at home on a beautiful Summer evening and… oh wait, you can’t really read this with your eyes closed now can you. Let’s try this again. So, now that I have already wasted this much of your time, maybe just imagine (with your eyes open this time) that you get a call from someone asking if you would like to visit the Tour de France and ride your bike for a few weeks with “American Cyclocross Legend Tim Johnson” (he prefers to be called that to just plain old “Tim”.) Now imagine that while chasing the TdF you will also be traveling through the French countryside in a fully restored vintage Mavic Service Course Vehicle from 1974. Now please imagine that you have never been to the Tour de France but you have dreamed about it for years and now someone is offering you a Willy Wonka sized golden ticket in the form of an all expense paid trip. Mavic asked us to fly into France around the 8th Stage and create some videos for social media purposes. The goal was to ride with Go Pro Cameras and capture the energy of the tour to make 4-5 videos in a little over a week. That meant we would need a real life video editor, so I made a call to my buddy Ace Carretero and the trifecta was complete! (more…)

Sep 19, 2016 6 comments
Carter’s Glitter Dreams Straggler – Morgan Taylor
Carter's Glitter Dreams Straggler – Morgan Taylor

Photos and words by Morgan Taylor.

In the time we spent in Los Angeles, Carter’s Straggler was one of the bikes in for service at GSC. Now, as a bit of a background, the Glitter Dreams paint on the first year Straggler was actually part of the inspiration for the builds that ended up becoming our Wolverines. So when I first saw Carter’s bike leaning against the wall waiting for its turn in the service queue, with its pink King hubs and purple valve stems, it had already caught my eye.

Then, the work began. One day, the Straggler was hanging out with the new Sim Works Homage 43c tires in that throwback green. Whoa! I immediately deemed it a clown bike – not in a bad way, but in the way that there was no way this thing would come together in a subdued and complementary fashion. It was going to stand out, that was for sure. (more…)

Sep 16, 2016 38 comments