Category Archives: Reportage
Shige and His Monotone Sklar Monster Cross

Shige is in town for the Sim Works pop-up at the Cub House. Normally, he works at Circles, the bike shop that created Sim Works in Japan. His job is to work in the “custom lab” at the shop, where various frame builders display their creations and the Circles customers can choose components and frames to make their dream bike. Remember our Shop Visit? Circles is a beautiful shop!

After the Chris King Swarm event, Shige made his way slowly down to Los Angeles, where we rode bikes and I shot his Sklar Monster Cross, which as the name implies, fits a massive 2.2″ 27.5 tire. The rest of the build is quite balleur, so excuse the excessive bling, but when you’re in the business of selling custom bikes for Circles, your bike has to look this good!

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Follow Shige on Instagram, Sim Works on Instagram and Sklar on Instagram.

Jun 12, 2018 17 comments
Golden Saddle Rides: Ryan and His Avery County Cycles Light Tourer

It’s always fun to see projects like this unfold. A few years back, Josh from Avery County Cycles built this 650b light tourer up for a customer, who returned it shortly after due to it not fitting the size tire they wanted to ride. It’s a bummer for a builder to deliver a product that doesn’t please their client, but it happens. For a while, Josh just kept the frame as it hung in his shop. Eventually, Josh decided to close Avery County, and posted the frame up on his Instagram with a note saying it’s for sale.

Ryan is a customer at Golden Saddle and a regular. You’ll often find him ripping around on his Ritchey or hanging out at the shop on a Saturday afternoon. When he expressed an interest in building up a light tourer, Kyle showed him the Avery and they made it happen. Ryan built this bike with a mindful component selection, ranging from the rare Paul Component Van Halen Mini-Motos, to a Pass and Stow rack, Sinewave Beacon light, running from a SON hub and various other tried and true components. He wants to take this bike on a tour this summer, once he can get some time off work, but for now, he takes it all over the dirt roads surrounding this bustlin’ city.

Builds like this are really special, especially with the backstory on this frame.

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

Jun 11, 2018 29 comments
Scenes from the Sim Works Convenie Pop-Up at the Cub House

Over the past few months, the Cub House has been host to a number of pop-up shops inside its San Marino space. There’s a 10’x10′ room which happens to make for a perfect space for brands to display their product. This round, Sean, Danny, and Carla reached out to Japan’s Sim Works to open a “convenie” – Japanese slang, shortened from convenience store – filled with Sim Works, their outdoor brand, RAL, as well as Japanese snacks and trinkets. In the Cub House fashion, the team decided to make a big deal about it, throwing a group ride, and pinging Mick from 100 Tacos to cater the event.

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, be sure to swing through the Cub House to see the Sim Works Convenie Store!

The Cub House
2510 Mission St
San Marino, CA 91108

Jun 10, 2018 13 comments
Biting Off More Than You Can Chew – Locke Hassett and Sam Schultz

Biting Off More Than You Can Chew
Photos by Locke Hassett and words by Sam Schultz

Often times, the best adventures begin with high-noon departures, loose planning, and biting off a bit more than you can chew.

It was my first bikepacking trip, and though I have backpacked and traveled by motorbike quite a lot, I was clueless about how to pack a bicycle–and I must say, quite skeptical of this trending form of travel. Who would want to ride a fully loaded bike on singletrack?, I had always thought. Visions of struggling up climbs, only to be rewarded by awkward flow-less descending had always come to mind. (more…)

Jun 8, 2018 11 comments
Wade’s Vulture Cycles Klunker

Wade from Vulture Cycles is one rad atavist. While he and I had never formally met before, I’ve long admired his work. Last year, we saw his travel bike and this year while up in Bend, Oregon at the Chris King Swarm event, I met Wade formally and shot this Vulture Cycles Klunker, modeled after a 1938 Colson Imperial. Now, klunkers are not supposed to be perfect, so turn off your detail-vision, and put on your shred spectacles.

Wade made this frame from Tange Ultra Strong MTB tubing, which he shaped and bent to fit his precedent. It was built around a Morrow hub that Cameron Falconer handed off to him years ago. Fresh Air Cycles, Travis from PAUL’s old shop, had the hub and Cam bought it from Travis, before handing it off to Wade. Remember Travis’ Falconer klunker-inspired MTB? The rest of the parts Wade had “laying around” like all builders and makers do, including the 1980’s Ashtabula forged steel cranks – who coincidentally made tons of components for Schwinn back in the day – and a S&M Redneck stem. The pedals are Suntour XC Pro and those bars are custom made by Wade. Oh and a Campy hub… just because.

Yeah, this bike just oozes cool, style, and the Vulture Cycles ideology. Wade’s a pretty cool guy too. We talked about Death Valley, core samples in Dry Bone Canyon, White Top Mountain, park rangers finding dead tourists and other tales from the desert. Exactly the kind of conversation I like having at a bike event. Party on Wade!

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Follow Vulture Cycles on Instagram.

Jun 7, 2018 29 comments
Introducing the Made in Portland Parsec Bicycles All Road

Jumping back in time a bit to the Chris King Swarm event in Bend, I was able to document a new brand’s all-road offering.

Parsec Bicycles is a new brand out of Portland, Oregon, offering up these beautiful all-road bikes, designed for everything from races like the Lost and Found, to bikepacking, road riding and beyond. As the name implies, the flashy space-age bikes look like something from a Star Wars movie – ATMO – with a vibrant metallic paint job and elegant bends.

The man behind the brand is Erik Fenner from Chris King. He’s designing these bikes, while Oscar from Simple Bicycle Co. is building them from a mix of Columbus tubing and ex-Cielo painter Steven Smith is painting them. The rough plan is to have the bikes launch on Kickstarter soon, with a $5,000 complete price tag as shown, minus the Andrew the Maker bags, which, I’m sure he’d be willing to make you a set for your Kickstarter bike once you receive it.

This bike is one of those examples of a machine where photos do not do it justice, although I tried my hardest to capture just how beautiful it is.

See more at Parsec Bicycles.

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Follow Parsec Bicycles on Instagram.

Jun 6, 2018 22 comments
Team Scrapin’s Rock Lobster Relationship Accelerator – Amanda Schaper

Team Scrapin’s Rock Lobster Relationship Accelerator
Words by Amanda Schaper, photos by John Watson

Some people might call tandems divorcycles, but I like to call them relationship accelerators. Wherever your relationship is headed, a tandem bicycle will get you there faster.

The Lost and Found Bike Ride is always one of my favorite weekends of the year. The camping, the riding, the lake, the people, the beer…it all just makes for one heck of a good time. But this year was extra special. My fiancé Scott and I toed the line for the 100-mile gravel race on our amazing Rock Lobster tandem in the first of the Triple Crown events. We’re planning to race the full Lost Sierra Triple Crown on the tandem as our form of premarital counseling. What could go wrong, right? There was some competition in the tandem category at Lost and Found, with two other teams giving us a run for our money. After about 6.5 hours of racing and getting both wheels off the ground more than once, we crossed the line in victory! It wasn’t easy, but it was a heck of a lot of fun. Our relationship and the bike survived 100 miles of gravel grinding, and now we start prepping for the gnarly technical trails of the Downieville Classic. (more…)

Jun 5, 2018 31 comments
Recreation as a Resource: The Sierra Buttes Lost and Found

“The Forest Service deals with resources and we need to convince them that recreation is another resource.” This quote, from Lost and Found founder Chris McGovern really resonated with me the entirety of my stay in the Lost Sierra. Is recreation a resource? Can it be? Should it be? Over the years, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship has been fighting the good fight, working alongside the US Forest Service, a subsidiary of the Department of Agriculture, who deals with our nation’s resources, from wood to minerals and even water. The federal government monitors how each state manages its resources. (more…)

Jun 4, 2018 43 comments
Builders for Builders: a Lost & Found Custom Bike Raffle for the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship

This year, I’ll be covering the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship’s Triple Crown events: Lost & Found, Grinduro, and the Downieville Classic. My intent with this is to grow the Stweardship’s presence, help them raise money and spread the stoke for the Lost Sierra. Jumping on board with this project is just the icing on the dirt cake!

“Custom frame makers Sklar, Stinner, Mosaic, and McGovern have teamed up with world-class component makers ENVE, Chris King, SRAM and WTB to create four unique and beautiful custom bicycles that will be raffled after the gun goes off for the Lost and Found Gravel race. All proceeds will benefit the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship.

Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship is a non-profit organization that builds and maintains multi-use trails in the Sierra Buttes, Tahoe, Plumas and Lassen national forests. Their mission is building sustainable recreation-based communities through stewardship, job creation and hosting world-class events. SBTS has donated an estimated 72,000 hours of volunteer labor, maintained over 800 miles of shared use trails and created nearly 80 miles of new trails since 2003.

The bikes will be exhibited at the Lost and Found gravel race and the raffle will be live, with $20 tickets, from June 2nd through June 15th, hosted by The Pro’s Closet. All donations and raffle ticket purchases are tax deductible.”

Check out more details on these bikes and how to buy a raffle ticket below! (more…)

Jun 2, 2018 13 comments
George’s Landyachtz Titanium Drop Bar 29+ is a Beast! – Morgan Taylor

As the lead designer at Landyachtz Bikes, George Bailey sees his ideas come to life through the company’s made-in-Vancouver custom steel frames as well as their factory production models. Yet even those whose ideas regularly come to fruition have their dreams, and that’s exactly what George’s titanium drop bar 29+ is. No holding back, just setting every detail where he wanted it, and creating a one-off frame with a very long ride in mind. (more…)

May 31, 2018 35 comments