Category Archives: Reportage
Spencer’s Icarus Forest Service Green Light Tourer
Spencer's Icarus Forest Service Green Light Tourer

Ian at Icarus has been making random frames when he has free time in standard stock sizes, ranging from road bikes to everyday commuters or light tourers like this bike. He then sells them on his site and lets the customer pick out a paint color. That way, they can skip the queue and they only have to wait for paint, not the entire frame building process.

Spencer pounced on this bike when it went up on Icarus’ Instagram and immediately knew what color he wanted: Forest Service Green.

From there, it went to Circle A for paint and was built up with mostly spare parts. I sold him some shifters, he had a spare Wolf Tooth ring, some old race wheels and other random (well loved) bits and pieces. He ordered the PAUL-specific Paragon cantilever posts to give the touring cantis some added stiffness.

Yesterday, he took it all over town, on trails, roads and various errands. We shot it in front of a new mural over here on the East Side of Austin and you know what? I really, really like this bike.

Oct 22, 2014 40 comments
From the Bontrager Vaults
... with a rigid "composite" fork.

Last year, I had the opportunity to photograph Keith Bontrager both at a Q&A session at Mission Workshop and his home in Santa Cruz. Between those two events, I was commissioned by Bontrager / Trek to document some of, as they described, Keith’s Relics.

Everything from early integrated bars to the first rolled rim, jerseys, musettes, hubs and yes, complete bikes. Normally, this would be a job any photo and bike geek would take their sweet time with, but my window was two hours, including studio calibration.

It was a blur but I got to spend some quality time with these products and I did my best to document their details and nuances. Remember, at this stage in the game, Keith was making these frames in a tiny garage in Santa Cruz…

Check out some of my favorite selections in the Gallery and please, feel free to add anything you’d like in the comments!

Oct 21, 2014 12 comments
Scott’s Rock Lobster Cyclocross Race Bike
Scott's Rock Lobster with SRAM RED

If I were to ever want an aluminum cross bike, I would go to one man: Paul Sadoff of Rock Lobster. His signature mint green frames are iconic and every time I see one, I can’t help but stop the owner and ask them about their bike. Everyone builds these differently, there’s no official Rock Lobster build group. While many prefer the “team issue” golden Paul touring cantis, Scott went the way of the black MiniMoto, matched with SRAM’s Red cross group and White Industries hubs. My favorite little detail, however, are the Paul quick releases.

At this weekend’s races, I snatched this bike from Scott’s team, Embros’ tent and took it out for some photos. It was remarkably the same size I’d ride so I got a feel for what it’s like to ride one of these iconic bikes.

Best of luck this season, Scott and remember, Rubber Side UP!

Oct 20, 2014 11 comments
Setting the Hook at the 2014 Cyclocross Scuffle in Elgin
Here's where he caught fire!

While this is a gallery showcasing the 2014 Cyclocross Scuffle in Elgin, Texas, it’s also a tale of what I believe is one of the best cross courses of the season thus far. Let me preface this by saying most courses in the Austin area are jokingly called “grass crits.” That means, a lot of straight ways, usually 4 – 6, which gives a lot of riders who might not have bike control the upper hand over those who aren’t in prime fitness coming off road season.

As someone who doesn’t race road, but rides a lot of trails on his cross bike, I hate these courses. Even with recent weight loss, I still huff and puff on all the straight aways and tear apart the technical “features.” Meanwhile, it’s the opposite for the fellas who raced road all season and didn’t touch their cross bike all summer…

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Oct 20, 2014 11 comments
Pulling the Trigger on the Bullitt Cargo Bike – Kevin Sparrow
Lily before the Riverwest24.

Pulling the Trigger on the Bullitt Cargo Bike
Words and photos by Kevin Sparrow

Bakfiets, bucket bike, cargo bike, or long john; no matter what you call it, this is a true workhorse of a bike. The Bullitt from Copenhagen, seem to be the cargo bike of choice for working messengers around the globe. My first opportunity to ride one was when I was working for Breakaway Couriers right here in Milwaukee. I have always wanted one for myself but had no idea just how much until my last trip to Amsterdam. There, I borrowed a friend’s bakfiets from the brand Work Cycles and took my wife Dani and daughter Lily for a riding tour of the city. After that one afternoon, I was convinced that I needed one. As soon as I got back from that trip I started researching what was available and affordable within the U.S.

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Oct 17, 2014 29 comments
Chasing Peaks In The Cascade Range: Part 2 – Ryan Wilson
Golden Hour descent from Paradise visitor center.

Chasing Peaks In The Cascade Range: Part 2
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson

I woke up on day four in Bend, Oregon at 6am, in what is likely the shittiest motel the (otherwise quite nice) city has to offer. Next door I could hear the muffled sounds of what seemed like an escalating argument over who stole whose bag of weed. Rather than stick around for the thrilling conclusion to this one, I quickly packed up and headed straight to Smith Rock State Park just a few miles north.

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Oct 15, 2014 12 comments
Michael’s Serotta Cross Bike
Michael's Serotta Cross Bike

There are many seasoned road cyclists here in Austin and a few of them try their hand at cross racing once their season ends. Michael is one of these dudes. He’s got a big motor and is honing his skills in the dirt. This season, he’s made it out to the Beat the Clock Urbocross series and other USAC-sanctioned races.

If you’ve attended any, you can’t miss him. Or this bike. NY-made Serotta Ti frame, State wheels and Dura Ace, lightened and made more efficient with a Wolf Tooth narrow wide ring. Since Michael’s still getting used to the dirt, he’s taken a few spills, but always gets up, ready to rip. Note the missing faceplate on his right shifter.

I love titanium frames, especially on off-road bikes and this one’s a great example of the quality that Serotta produced.

Oct 14, 2014 13 comments
Free Fun at Urbocross – Gideon Tsang
Free Fun at Urbocross – Gideon Tsang

Free Fun at Urbocross
Photos and words by Gideon Tsang

Cycling is usually fun, often not free and occasionally funny.

Racing a criterium is not free, usually fun and funny only when an armadillo crosses the road during the race. (True story and a problem isolated to racing in Texas.)

A deep tissue massage is not free or fun but funny as fuck when your Kiwi masseuse tells you farting stories. (Also a true story).

Bike camping is alarmingly fun and almost free. Insert naked cliff jumping and/or mushrooms for funny…

Urbocross is a free and fun four week cyclocross series on the urban trails of Austin, TX thrown by Beat the Clock Cycling Club and CycleEast bike shop. The series ended last week straddling the end of our road racing season and the beginning cross season.

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Oct 14, 2014 15 comments
Jolene’s All-City Space Horse Commuter
Jolene's All-City Space Horse Commuter

All-City’s entire lineup is incredibly versatile and the Space Horse is a prime example. The frame’s paint is so classy that just about any component group or build kit will look great on it, especially silver parts. Jolene’s All-City Space Horse is one of my favorite to date. Little details like the blue nipples, Brooks Cambium, PDW Bird Cage, Balloon tires and the interesting 1x for commuting simplicity really make this production frame unique.

If she ever wants to do a tour, she’ll add rings, a shifter and appropriate cables but for now, this bike pedals her to work at Brew & Brew each day just fine…

Oct 13, 2014 27 comments