Category Archives: Reportage
It’s almost cross season here in Austin, with the first race of the season coming this weekend, everyone’s dialing in their race rigs. So it goes without saying that everywhere you ride these days, you’re being bombarded with balleur bike builds. Take for example, Peter from Mellow Johnny’s new (to him) Richard Sachs team cross bike.
While I’m not sure of the exact year, knowing Richard’s internet presence, I’m sure he’ll be able to chime in – especially with that fork crown detail.
Peter went with Campagnolo Chorus 11 speed on this bike, with matching Zipp bar, stem and post, topping it off with Chris King R45 hubs, laced to HED Belgiums. When you photograph a Richard Sachs, you end up just hitting all of his logos and lug work, both of which were given meticulous presence by none other than Joe Bell himself.
I gotta say, riding bikes to shoot them is fun, but this was a pleasure…
The Road to the 2014 NACCC
Words and Photos by John Daniel Reiss
The Road to NACCCs was not paved in gold. It was mostly laid out with cheap beer and great friends. For the 2014 North American Cycle Courier Championship organizers in Minneapolis and Chicago concocted an elaborate plan that spanned several hundred miles and two weekends. Starting with the Cuttin’ Crew Classic, an annual race that celebrates the local hustle of the Chicago messenger, many out-of-towners showed up for a piece of the action. Still hanging on to summer, we were blessed by the cool water of Lake Michigan and soaked by afternoon showers. My compatriots at TCB Courier and myself found ourselves taking it all in, from the beautiful stone buildings to cutty alleys, the city was a great motivator the challenges ahead.
It’s been a while since I’ve shot a bike from Mark Majaco‘s shop here in Austin. Four years if I count correctly. In that time, we’ve both finely tuned our art. Well, I can speak for Mark anyway. This True Temper road bike is heading to the Philly Bike Expo and is a prime example of what Mark describes as a straight-forward, fillet brazed road frameset.
Built, painted and assembled in Austin, TX, these frames run under $2,000. Paired with Ultegra and you’ve got one solid machine…
The 2014 Langtown “Cross Race”
Photos by Matt Irwin, words by Sean Talkington
What is Langtown? This is Langtown! This backyard venue was made famous when it used to facilitate motocross races in the late 90′s. If you like to party, then Langtown is easily Southern California’s best race.
I knew I wouldn’t be able to take part this year because of a stupid wedding (just kidding Jesse/Ariel and congratulations!) so I asked Matt Irwin to shoot “a few” images for the Team Dream Tumblr page. The gallery he created looked so fun and was larger then a Tumblr can facilatate so we thought it would be better suited here on The Radavist. Primarily because Matt’s images are awesome and realistically only my mother views the Team Dream site (I know this because I now have Google analytics).
Anyway, it’s a party. Or it’s a race. Actually, it’s both. It’s Langtown….
Follow Sean on Instagram and Matt on Instagram.
The 2014 Trek CXC Cup Pro Women
Words and photos by Kevin Sparrow
With a heavy thunderstorm moving through overnight I was secretly hoping for some mud. Turns out, the sun made another appearance late in the day making for almost identical conditions as the Saturday races. The wind did seem to kick it up a notch however.
Some of the biggest names in Women’s Pro cyclocross were in town and I’d be damned if I’d miss shooting some of the best athletes in the world.
Katie Compton, Georgia Gould, Gabby Durrin, Meredith Miller, Caroline Mani were all favorites for Sunday’s race.
The first couple laps there was a lot of bottlenecking going on. A group started to form in the front all heavy hitters. After the third lap Compton found her way to the front and never looked back. Gould chased but couldn’t seem to reconnect with Compton. Caroline Mani put in another huge effort, this time ending up taking third place.
Damn good show.
Follow Kevin on Instagram.
Turner’s CZAR XC Lightweight Race 29r MTB
Words by Sean Talkington, photos by John Watson
I spent the last few weeks getting to know the Turner Czar and road it just about everyday while in Austin post-Interbike. John had invited me to fly out on his private jet – the Jetavist. Our plan was just to chill and launch water balloons at Lance Armstrong’s house from his adjacent mansion (they’re neighbors you know). This was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up, but when we tried to pay the pilot with “internet dollars” he declined, so we were forced to drive out in an old pickup truck instead.
David Turner has been building legit metal bikes in the USA for 20 years now. He and his wife both ride/race regularly. The fact that he has been both building and riding for so long and is actually conducting R&D on his own products is apparent in the ride quality. If you talk to anyone that owns a Turner, they will tell you how great the ride is. Now he is offering carbon models like the Czar to keep pace with the current trend of making featherweight xc bikes.
This bike was perfect for Austin, TX. The place is basically one giant rock! You don’t really “feel” the rear suspension until you need it, which is nice. That paired with the fact that this bike weighs in at less then most hardtails and has two bottle cage mounts (why are people still making xc bikes w/ one cage mount!!!) makes it a perfect bike for long days and mixed terrain combined. It goes over rough sections effortlessly, yet climbs with ease… especially in the chunky stuff.
I’m no rocket ship down the super steep technical stuff, so it was easy to become a fan of the slacker head tube that this bike offers. The 69.8 degree angle makes steep downhill sections feel noticeably more comfortable than a bike with a more aggressive set up. The Turner sizing on this model is also shorter then most other brands. The Czar I was riding was listed as a medium, but felt more like a small/medium (smedium).
This made the bike feel more maneuverable and agile for quick or technical punchy climbs and switchbacks, but I did have to ride a 100mm stem. The demo I road had some skinny pizza cutter Schwalbe tires that would be better suited for a cross bike, but if you swapped those out for something a bit meatier and maybe even throw in a dropper post I think you could ride this bike just about anywhere.
For more information, including purchasing, build options and just plain browsing, head over to Turner Bikes.
*Photographer’s note: We haven’t had much sun at “golden hour” in Austin and it was raining when we shot these photos. That said, the photos don’t do this bike’s finish justice. It really looks great in the sun!
Follow Sean on Instagram.
The 2014 Trek CXC Cup Day 01
Words and photos by Kevin Sparrow
It’s not too often we get cross weather like this in Wisconsin. The sky cleared up and dried the course for the pro race. Its always a treat to have big names show up for races here and they didn’t disappoint.
The course was on the Trek Factory grounds in Waterloo, Just 15 miles outside of our state’s capitol. Riders from Chicago and Minneapolis were thick in attendance.
The big names in attendance were Powers, Johnson, Driscoll, Mcdonald, and Berden just to name a few.
From the get go Jeremy Powers had a pulled away, looking strong through the race as Tim Johnson and Shawn Milne battled for second. Most of the spectating was done on a super steep down and up section that many fell victim too. Powers held his lead and went on to win day one of the event.
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Hawaii is a haven for cycling. From Mauna Kea on Hawaii to MTB trails on Kona, this archipelago has it all. One island you mustn’t overlook however is Kaua’i. I’ve already touched on a few points here on the Radavist. Including Kaua’i Cycle and a few random photos from a quick cross ride I did, so let me further expand on those.
Chris and Jonny from Kauai Cycle take to the woods when they can on their mountain bikes. In the drier months, hog trails open up to form a dense network of singletrack. Other service roads open up, as the plant life withers and thins out, but right now, in the middle of summer, everything is overgrown.
While visiting Lauren’s parents, I brought my cross bike and ventured into the woods with Chris and Jonny, not knowing what to expect. I was promised “Jurassic Park” landscapes, a swimming hole and lots of ripping down dirt, well, mud roads on the island. We did 45 miles and around 3,300′. More than enough to leave your legs and shred sled, sated.
If you ever find yourself heading out to this island, do not leave your bike at home!
Golden Saddle Rides: Yeti Pro F.R.O (For Rockin’ Only!)
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
This bike is pretty damn old and you’d think that the stem and fork were too, but they’re not. Anybody wanna try and guess who built them?
Everything else on the bike is very period correct, my favorite part is the NOS Onza Racing Porcs though. Those guys are probably the best looking tires ever made!
The owner of this bike is probably one of the funnest customers to work with here at Golden Saddle Cyclery, because all the bikes we build for him are BANGERS!
Follow Kyle on Instagram and visit Golden Saddle Cyclery in Silverlake, Los Angeles.
Blackburn Central Smart Light Review
Words and photos by Kevin Sparrow
Tis the season for summer to come to an end and the days to become shorter. Having a good light is the key to riding all year round, especially if you are a commuter who ends your day at 5 or 6 pm. Over the last month or so, I’ve been testing out the Blackburn Central Front Smart Light. “What makes this light so smart?”, you may ask. Well, Blackburn has developed a light with a sensor that measures how much ambient light there is around you. The sensor then auto adjusts the brightness accordingly. This not only saves on battery power but is also really nice when you are riding through a city where light is constantly changing.