Mash SF: Film Canister Purist Bottles

As I was dropping a few rolls of film off yesterday, I thought to myself “I wonder who will make the first film canister bicycle bottles?” Well, that answers that. Personally, this is my all time favorite bottle flip.

See more at Mash!

Dec 18, 2014 5 comments
Pedal ED: Mido Riding Boots

Out of all of the Pedal ED products, the Mido Riding Boots are my favorite and what’s not to love about them? Made in Italy, by hand, these boots offer a weather-resistant exterior with a Vibram sole, perfect for gripping pedals and even icy sidewalks. While they don’t have any clipless capabilities, they make for great winter commuter boots.

And, they look damn sharp!

See more at Pedal ED!

Dec 18, 2014 10 comments
Ride Along: Yanco from Yanco Bags
Work station.

In the ground level of a beautiful home in Los Angeles, Javiar Yanco makes bags, caps and other accessories used by cyclists of every kind. From randonneurs, to bikepackers, road cyclists, MTB racers and cross bike explorers, Yanco’s bags have a cult-like following. One product in particular, the Ramblin Roll, sold by Tracko, literally launched him into full-time production recently.

But his work doesn’t stop there. From packraft bags, musettes, bar bags, bikepacking bags, caps and yes, still a few top tube pads, Yanco makes products that he’s inspired to make slightly different than the rest.

Through using bright colors, unique zippers and yes, camo, lots of camo, these bags will always fetch the comment on Instagram: “what kind of bag is that?…”

I caught up with Yanco last week in Los Angeles, as he was in the zone making Ramblin Rolls, and asked him a few questions for a Ride Along.

Check that out below!

John: I first found out about Yanco through your top tube pads. Your URL is still, yet you’re much more than that… Explain the evolution of your business and do you see any correlation between it and people’s growing interest in cycling?
Yanco: We, my wife Liz and I started making frame pads late in 2006. I was building up a sweet fixie and wanted a frame pad to protect my paint. I had taken basic sewing in high school and my wife is asian, not much more to say.

On the serious side, I’ve been riding a while and have seen a great shift in attitude amongst cyclist. Things were very b&w, not so much anymore.

John:What’s the most annoying thing you deal with on a day to day basis?
Yanco: Dirty diapers

John:What’s the most enjoyable thing you deal with on a day to day basis?
Yanco: My daughter

John:Tell us about the history of the Ramblin Roll.
Yanco: Ask Kyle b Kelley

John:Caps. Your caps rule. What makes them different from the rest?
Yanco: Caps are caps, just something that fits the way it should, gotta look good too.

John:I’ve seen so many prototypes of new bags, caps and other accessories, where do you get the ideas for these products?
Yanco: I’ve always been a huge fan of bags. I only make what I would use myself. It’s a really saturated market with allot of great stuff already being made. I just wanna refine what already works.

John:What’s the next “big thing” for small bag companies like yourself? Are you growing through social media?
Yanco: Hard to say what the next big thing is for small companies like myself. I think it’s gonna be more about sustaining the lifestyle you want. Focus on quality, make stuff you would use yourself then do it for a few years…

Social media is an interesting beast. Pretend like it’s not there, just a nice surprise.

John:You’re not just a cyclist, what are your other hobbies?
Yanco: Don’t wanna piss off the purists but I do dabble in mountain running. I live at the foothills of Angeles National Forest so venturing off by foot has been a natural thing.

John:Seriously, tell us about the 100 mile run you did where you lost your toe nails!
Yanco: I’ve run Angeles Crest 100 two times. Lost toe nails both times and pissed blood in 2012, good times!

John:If you had to summarize the work that Yanco does (as a company) using one word, what would that be?
Yanco: Functional

John:Any advice to new bag companies, looking to break into the industry?
Yanco: Stay fresh. Think things through before you waste your time and burn out.

John:What are other bag companies you look up to?
Yanco: Always been a fan of ReLoad and Freight. More recently I love what Porcelain Rocket has been doing, amongst others.

John:Out of all your products, which one(s) are the most successful?
Yanco: The success of the Ramblin Roll has been nuts. That little thing has been huge for us. Thanks everyone!

John:Favorite food?
Yanco: Sushi

John:Favorite beer?
Yanco: Whatever Kyle’s buying

John:If your brand was a song, what would it be?
Yanco: Do you even need to ask…Wu Tang’s C.R.E.A.M!


Follow Yanco on Instagram, where you can hound him for more Ramblin Rolls. Or just keep an eye on Tracko!

Dec 18, 2014 7 comments
Hope Cyclery’s Mean Green Salsa Blackborow Fatbike

Jarrod Bunk from Hope Cyclery has one rad looking fatbike. His Salsa Blackborow is kitted out with so many great components that it’s too good to not share. Industry Nine, Chromag and recently, he upgraded to NEXT SL cranks and Reverb dropper.

I kinda can’t wait to ride mine in the snow again. It’s so much fun. Thanks for sharing Jarrod and thanks for the bourbon at Interbike!

Dec 18, 2014 3 comments
FYXO: GSC and the Concrete Jungle

Photos by Andy White

Looking through the latest gallery on FYXO has all kinds of nostalgic gears spinning in my head. It was one of my favorite trips to Los Angeles and easily one of the best road trips on the west coast.

Many months ago, Andy visited LA and documented the whole trip, extensively. Seriously, the mate always had his camera on him. Over a year later and he finally shared them all in one gigantic gallery.

Head over to FYXO to see more!

Dec 17, 2014 4 comments
Sklar Bikes: Purple ‘Cross with Ultegra 6800

I have a penchant for purple bikes and even though ‘cross is almost done for the year, it doesn’t mean we can’t keep oogling bikes like the latest from Adam Sklar.

This frame is built from OX platinum with a 44mm headtube and 142×12 spacing. This offers a stiff rear end, but an ovalized top tube bent stays offer compliance when needed. Not a lot of cross bikes have internal top tube cable routing, but this one totes it with pride.

To round it out, Adam’s client is running Ultegra 6800 with Shimano mechanicals and a Stans/DT wheelset.

I love it when bikes are built with practicality in mind. See more at Sklar’s Flickr.

Dec 17, 2014 7 comments
Team Cinelli Chrome

Here’s that full length video from Team Cinelli Chrome, featuring clips from Red Hook Crit, a factory tour and interviews with the riders.

Dec 17, 2014 1 comment
The Radavist Guide to Surviving Austin During Cyclocross Nationals

Where do I eat? What’s the weather going to be like? Where can I ride? Where’s a good bar? What shop can I ship my bike to?

Trust me, this post is out of absolute necessity. The number of emails I have received over the past few weeks regarding ‘Cross Nationals is insane. Everyone wants to know what the locals know and you know what? That’s really rad. Austin is a great town!

Fear not. The crew at the Radavist has prepared an extensive list to help you prepare and enjoy the 2015 Cyclocross Nationals in Austin, Texas, beginning with your gear list…

See the full spread below.

Before we start, I should clarify a few things. First, the weather is unpredictable. Things can change overnight and without the proper equipment and gear, your vacation to race your bike could quickly become a nightmare. One day, you’re swimming in Barton Springs Pool or the Greenbelt and the next, you’re in lobster claw gloves smearing embrocation on your legs and freezing your ass off. Pack accordingly. Oh and if it’s warm out, there’s a high probability that cedar allergies will obliterate you. Be warned!

Some gear we’d recommend:
-Thermal tights
-Jacket (rain, hardshell and softshell)
-Wool Socks
-Gloves (trail riding, rain and cold weather)
-Two pairs of shoes (if you plan on riding trails, you’re going to get wet)
-Multiple kits
-Winter cycling cap
-Extra set of tires. Something big, in the 35mm – 40mm range for trail riding. 33mm is fine for racing.
-Trail lamps, for riding at night.

Next up, which is one of the most frequently asked questions: shops! The following shops have a presence in the local ‘cross scene and are worth checking out. Please bear in mind, these are the shops the Radavist enjoys to visit, not necessarily the end all, be all list of bike shops in Austin. These are, however all close to downtown.

Shops to check out:
-Mellow Johnny’s – good coffee, showers, lockers, exceptional mechanics.
-Austin Bikes – brand new facilities, smiling staff, close to downtown.
-Bicycle Sport Shop – title sponsor of the CX Nats. HUGE selection of gear, right over the river.
-D1 – boutique shop with just about anything you’d need to survive Nats.
-Cycleast – relaxed vibes on the East Side, bring a six pack!
-East Side Pedal Pushers – the chillest of chill shops on the East Side of Austin.

If you’re planning on shipping your bike to Austin, I’d chose Mellow Johnny’s because of their location. You can literally take an airport shuttle bus downtown, assemble your bike there and pedal off to your lodging.

Speaking of lodging

Hotels aren’t cheap until you spread out at least 4 miles from downtown. Look up Air BnB for rooms or rent a house with your friends. Hotel San Jose is on the high end and the Days Inn is on the opposite end.

So, you’ve got your gear packed, your bike is in your hands and you’ve found a place to stay. Time for food! Here’s where the list gets juicy…

Food Trailers:
-Vera Cruz All Natural (best Migas breakfast tacos in town)
-East Side King (multiple locations)
-La BBQ (get ready for a queue)
-Micklethwait Craft Meats
-Torchy’s (multiple locations)
-Kerlin BBQ

-Clark’s Oyster Bar (go here for happy hour, best burger in town!)
-Licha’s Cantina ($5 happy hour margaritas and snacks)
-Takoba (gringo mexican food)
-Sway (pricey but great thai)
-Bouldin Creek (vegan / veggie food)
-Live Oak BBQ (cheap, quick, but good!)
-Lambert’s (decent BBQ)
-Koriente (great japanese/asian health food)
-Juan in a Million (Austin legend, cheap mexican food)
-Texas Chili Parlor (oh my god)
-Polvos (tex mex and Everclear margaritas)
-Yellow Jacket Social Club (best bar, also good eats)
-Frank (gourmet sausages)
-Whole Foods
-24 Diner (yep, 24 hours)
-Magnolia Cafe

Oh yeah, if you’re like me, coffee is essential!

-Flat Track (love, love, love that shop!)
-Brew & Brew
-Juan Pelota (Mellow Johnny’s)

-Yellow Jacket Social Club (the official Crash Nationals afterparty spot)
-Brew and Brew (craft beers galore)
-The Liberty
-The Grackle
-Rio Rita
-The White Horse (two-steppin’)
-Enjoy a cold beer at any of the Royal Blue locations
-Avoid “dirty 6th” at all costs, save for the Jackalope

Maybe you want to do a scenic “road ride” on your cross bike? I’d recommend this easy loop. Is that enough to get you rolling? Now that we’ve discussed what to see while you’re in town, how about the main event?

Zilker Park isn’t exactly “epic”, but there are a few features that make it interesting. All of which I want to be a surprise, so you’ll have to just take my word for it. There will be thorns and lots of sharp limestone, so I would recommend a tubeless setup to avoid punctures and pinch flats.

For the most part though, it’s grass, so expect fast lap times. To familiarize yourself with the terrain, various groups will be doing rides throughout the week to Walnut Creek, McKinney Falls and the Greenbelt, all local trails.

-Crash Nationals – Thursday (meet at the Radavist HQ – details TBA)
-Chris King Breakfast at Bicycle Sport Shop Friday, 8:30 – 10:30am
-Rapha/Chris King party Friday at Mellow Johnny’s 6 pm.
-For the Love of Mud Premiere Friday at Stateside Theater 7pm.
-Saila Bicycles Cross Nat’s Open House
-Real Ale Brewing and Bicycle Sport Shop Parking Lot Party Saturday (post-race)
-Crank Brothers & Fizik Happy Hour with Jeremy Powers at Mellow Johnny’s, Saturday 5:30 pm.
-T$A’s Post-Nats Blowout at The ABGB – Sunday (post-race)

Oh and there’s that Nationals crossie race thingy, too…

Got any questions or other thoughts? Drop them in the comments!

Dec 17, 2014 37 comments
Cadence’s Dope League 002 Looked Like Fun!

Photos by Verdict Digital

On December 14th, a bunch of contenders turned up for the Cadence Dope League 002 Gentlemen’s Race. This year’s course included a good amount of dirt and scenic byways. You know, the kind of ingredients to make the rest of us extremely jealous! See more at Cadence’s Flickr.

Top 5 finishers:
1: Riley Marmesh
2: Nat Futterman
3: Andrew Goessling
4: Dan Russell
5: Jake Teitelbaum

Dec 17, 2014 1 comment
Rothera Cycling: Team Za Jersey

Oh, pizza. How I love thee.

Rothera’s got the perfect ride motivator (pizza) printed up in an homage to Team Z. Made by Castelli, these jerseys aren’t going to last long. Like a pizza at a bike shop on a Friday afternoon, they’re gonna go fast! Pick up a Rothera Cycling Team Za jersey while it’s still piping hot.

Dec 16, 2014 No comments yet
Kitsbow for the Ladies

Women’s apparel is often overlooked by companies, which is why it’s nice to see Kitsbow with a nod to the ladies. Introducing the new Kitsbow Women’s Base Shorts. Designed for women, with a female-specific chamois and a refined fit. I love the men’s version, so I imagine these are a suitable option for women as well.

Dec 16, 2014 No comments yet
Exploring the Versatility of the Cyclocross Bike in the Verdugo Mountains
So good.

With the advent of the 1x drivetrain, be it SRAM (who arguably brought the technology to the cycling industry), Race Face, Wolf Tooth or the hundreds of other options, the ‘cross bike lost a bit of its versatility, when compared to having a 34t inner ring. For racing, a 40t front and 11-28t cassette may be fine, but add in a substantial amount of climbing, on dirt roads exceeding 12%, for miles, and you’ll find yourself a bit “knackered” as our British comrades say.

My decision to drop the front derailleur on the Geekhouse came after a few misguided chains that cost me precious placing in a race. Truth: I was already ready for a 1x setup. So I went with a CX1 rear mech and the CX1 11-32t cassette.

The rear range is crucial. Especially when compared to the standard 28t cassette. SRAM’s CX1 made it easy with its 32t cassette and in January, the 36t cassette will be available. Now let me preface this by saying, I’m well-aware that most of you find CX1 sacrilegious due to its pricepoint or whatever, but let’s not steer off path just yet.

My bike feels great with a 40t front and 32t rear in racing, but riding fire roads, not so much. The 40t front ring and 32t max cassette had my legs burning on the first pitch, especially with 40mm tires. Remember, the larger your wheel’s diameter, the longer your gear inches. I couldn’t imagine an 8+ hour ride with the current setup. Maybe a 38t front would help?

After a few jaunts on familiar ground in LA, Sean and Moi offered to take me up into the Verdugos. A mountain range that sits across from the Western ridges in Santa Monica, and only a quick jaunt from South Pasadena, where Sean lives. My decision to carry my camera was the right move, after we crossed the gate. It’s really strikingly beautiful up there.

The plan was to climb up the fire road and bomb the singletrack down, then ascend once again in the dark to take yet another bit of doubletrack down, at night.

Plans < Photos

We were fucking about for hours up there and before we knew it, it was pitch black, save for the glow of the city lights. We all brought lamps and layers, ideal for descending down one track and avoiding rocks on the climbs but that doesn't mean we weren't ready for dinner.

The whole time, I kept thinking I'd love to have a 38t on the front of my drivetrain, as I began tick-tacking up the dirt. 40t x 32t with 40mm tires is no joke on a 15% grade. Especially when you're lugging a DSLR on your back. What doesn't kill you...

Still, at the end of the day, we surpassed expectations of the versatility of these “race bikes”, bombed plenty of steep, rain-rutted tracks, saw a bobcat – Sean freaked out, ate pizza, drank beer and proceeded to be enamored with just how rad cyclocross bikes are.

Now, where is that 38t Wolf Tooth ring I bought at the beginning of the season?

Dec 16, 2014 54 comments
The Team Mudfoot Stinner Cyclocross Frameset
The Team Mudfoot Stinner Cyclocross Frameset

Geoff McFetridge is a longtime legend in my book. Growing up skateboarding in the 90’s, there were a handful of artists that always had their finger on the pulse. Everywhere you looked, he was doing illustrations, or projects with brands like Nike – those Vandals were my favorite. About 6 years ago, Geoff, along with some like-minded friends started a team in Los Angeles called Mudfoot.

Years later and the team has grown, racing and riding the roads, courses, tracks and paths of LA and beyond. The team, it turns out, is a highly successful brand as well, planning rides in Los Angeles and selling out instantly of any good or product they list on their site. All of which is designed by Geoff.

Last year, the team looked to Santa Barbara’s Stinner Frameworks to design and fabricate a run of team bikes. They were a smash hit and looked exceptionally good bunnyhopping barriers, or taking beer handups. So when this year’s season drew near, Geoff worked with Aaron once again on designing a new frame.

Even though these frames were completed towards the end of the race season, we all know a cross bike is just at home in a race as it is on dirt and trails. I’ve got a few more races here in Austin, as well as Nationals, all of which I’ll be breaking this beaut in. Once it’s built, I’ll give a full parts break down and a proper photoshoot.

Before it got built up however, I took a few minutes to photograph it in my office. See more in the Gallery!

Dec 16, 2014 18 comments
Walton Brush’s California State Champion Cinelli Cross

Photos by Mike Martin

It helps a lot when your teammate just so happens to be a expert at frame design and painting, especially when you win the 2013 California State ‘Cross Championships. Garrett Chow recently completed and photographed this bike for Mash-teammate, Walton Brush. Even if it did come at the end of the season, it’s still an incredible machine!

Check out some words by Garrett and more photos below!

“In the Golden State–California–sunsets are seldom drab and uninspiring. The color-palette rendered as the sun slips below the edge of the Pacific is the concept behind Walton’s hand-painted, California State Cyclocross Champion race rig.”

“Sandwiched between walls of ink-black night sky lies the last sliver of daylight: the bike’s gold leafed front-end fades through orange to vermillion, then into violet, and finally, fuchsia…”

“You’d almost believe this photo was shot last July, instead of during the calm before the ‘Storm of the Decade/Century/Millennium’ now upon us.”

“Thank you, Mike! Thank you, Walton! Alongside our sunsets, you two are most golden. XO gc”

Dec 16, 2014 8 comments