Austin, Texas has changed so much in the past four years since I found myself living here and I’m not talking about the constant construction. Every time I come back from a trip, or a month on the road, there are new people here, with newer bikes and I’m always thrilled to see people riding made in the USA frames, like Al’s new Signal Cycles road bike.
The grass is good and dead here in Austin. That means cyclocross season is nigh. Jonathan recently relocated from Omaha to Austin, at the height of the summer heat, to replace the wrench of my buddy Chris at Mellow Johnny’s.
Even though it’s well over 100 degrees here, Jonathan’s Falconer cross bike scorches the ground it traverses. This thing is molten lava and the paint even matches the dried, dead grass. I think this might be one of my favorite bikes I’ve shot this year.
Accent points are the Chris King Mango bits, orange PAUL Minimoto brakes and a nice sparkle clear coat. My favorite detail however are the seat stays and Solid’s tapered head tube to match the ENVE fork.
I can’t wait to see this thing at the races this season!
Austin’s Division 1 is having a swap meet this Saturday in Austin. Here’s all the info:
“Our FIRST Ever Swap Meet and Sale is coming Saturday August 30th at 9am. Have you ever missed crazy deals on new product, overbuys, and closeout stock? We are warning you not to miss this one. Shop outside with industry reps and D1′s blowout central area, everything bike related and more will be 40-80% off. Get here early for our $1, $5, $10 AND $20 BINS. Gates open at 9. In-store save 20% and up on select brand bikes, apparel, parts and more. There will be music, tasty beverages, food, a raffle benefiting the Austin-based Kids Cyclocross Project 2015 and more for the whole family to enjoy.”
This is the eighth layout of the Radavist 2014 Calendar, entitled “Hot Summer”. The camera and location are noted on the bottom left of the document.
In Texas, we can ride two times during the day: early morning and late, late afternoon. The sun just cooks us the rest of the day, so each night, we take to the hills and watch the sun set on Central Texas.
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2014 Calendar – August. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
I love long-term reviews. “Here, take this bike, travel with it and shred it for around six months, then send it right back to us.” Pretty ideal, huh? Especially when there’s a no-strings-attached policy. If you like it, do a review, or don’t, no big deal. Just get out and ride it. For The Radavist, that’s how I like to do product reviews: honestly and with no commitments. The problem is, you’ve got to be really stoked on a bike to want to ride it a bunch, and then photograph it / write about it.
Reviewing bikes is something I don’t often do, partially because I rarely get the chance to ride anything else besides my own bikes but mostly because so few companies contact me to review their bikes. One of the companies that has embraced what I’m doing over here is Santa Cruz and I can’t complain. Great company, great bikes and as I said before, no strings attached.
When Santa Cruz offered to send me out a Tallboy LTC with SRAM’s new – at the time – XX1 groupet back in December, I obliged! Who wouldn’t? I traveled with it, raced it a few times and rode the shit out of it for half a year.
While the world of the $8,000 – $10,000 MTB is certainly saturated at this point, I’ve ridden a few of them and yet I keep wanting to come back to the Tallboy and its unique riding characteristics. The best way I can describe the way this bike rides is solid. There’s no “plastic feel” to the frame, no annoying resonance when you hit technical sections and when the bike tells you to go in a particular direction, it’s usually on point… What often requires honing are your own skills and your confidence on that bike in particular.
Let me begin this post with the phrase: don’t blow up the spot, bro. Now, I know I’m posting photos of a few hidden gems, but you don’t have to name them… That said, we also were given “special permission” to access these spots from land owners, so, again #dontblowupthespot, bro. Also, also, remember one thing: this is Texas, people have a lot of guns and a particular connection to their private property. I’ve dealt with angry land owners before. Let me tell you, it ain’t worth it.
Now that that’s out of the way…
Central Texas can be quite unforgiving in the summer months and the only bastian for relaxation are limestone swimming holes, sink holes, aquifers, lakes and other vessels for holding water. The problem is: every frat boy bro and his messy friends camp out with coolers of beer and boom boxes, littering and ruining a lot of these swimming locales, leaving my friends and I seeking refuge in lesser-known locations.
Be it on a mountain bike, cross bike, or in this case, simply driving outside of the Austin area to swim has proven to be quite fruitful this summer in particular. We hike in and leave nothing but footprints and tire tracks.
Last sunday, we ruled summer as we partook in some classic Central Texas cliff jumps and lounging… enjoy the Gallery!
Tools of the trade:
Mamiya 7ii / 80mm
Kodak Portra 400
There are very few experiences like riding a custom bicycle, but when it comes down to it, there are plenty of frames out there that are completely fitting for most people. These frames were designed to be raced, or just plain ridden, like many of the bikes on the market today. While they might not be custom-fit, they were fine-tuned for their intended use. In short: if the frame fits, shred the shit out of it.
Cole was looking for a new road frame last year and while it was tempting to go continue saving for a custom steel rig, he decided to keen an eye on eBay and Craigslist, in hopes that something, light, tight and Italian might pop up in his size. Low and behold, it did. A NOS Rossin crit frame from the early 90′s hit eBay one day and soon, it arrived in Austin. All for around $700.
He chose Campagnolo Athena 11, Mavic Open Pro rims, a classic 3TTT Pro Chrome Columbus stem, Deda bars, Zipp post, Fizik Antares VS saddle, Speedplay pedals and some reliable Conti rubber. The build is very tasteful and the lines of this classic race bike are seducing enough for even the seasoned carbon ‘pro-minded’ consumer to second guess their recent ‘upgrade’…
Thanks for dropping by the office today Cole!
My lady gets back after being gone for two months, so I’ll be spending the rest of the day with her, leaving you guys with this photo to make you want to get out on your bike even more this weekend.
A while back, I featured Andre, my new intern’s Stoemper Cross. Well, since then, he got in a wreck and folded the top tube in half. He was pretty bummed, as you might imagine, but luckily for him, a friend who used to work at Co-Motion had this magenta Lucifer frameset sitting in his garage since the 2005 Interbike when he bought it…
When Austin, Texas based Fairdale first came onto the cycling market, it all began with the Skate Rack. Soon, ex-pro BMXr Taj Mihelich and his team at OTX began designing commuter bikes and other around-town / get outta-town rides.
From there, Fairdale grew and in my opinion, it wasn’t until the Weekender OG that the company reached its full potential. A 1×9 disc, townie bar cruiser quickly took over. Now just about every city has fleets of Weekenders rolling around, all built up differently, as per the customer’s specific needs. Even the production models have options now: a drop bar with disc and a canti version.
For 2014, Fairdale is set to release their most ambitious project yet: the Goodship road bike. A race-inspired geometry, paired with Fairdale sensibilities. Utilizing the Odyssey integrated head tube, scaled for a road bike, an ENVE road fork and a custom pulled Japanese Drawnright tubeset. This tubeset is custom butted, heat treated, custom shaped and tuned to Fairdale’s specifications.