Category Archives: Austin
Lauren and I have done plenty of camping and she’s done her share of cycling around town, but we’ve never gone on a bicycle camping trip together. Yesterday morning, I was surprised to hear her ask if I wanted to get in some tent time before I headed out on the road again on Friday.
So last night, I packed up some bags, a tent, my trusty Lodge cast iron skillet and food for two meals. We headed out to the closest state park in the area: McKinney Falls. The route there is pretty easy, even loaded down with a bunch of gourmet food, wine, a hatchet and a skillet. I took it slow and coached Lauren through the climbs, we stopped for photos and tried our best to ignore the impatient rush-hour traffic zipping past. The weather looked nice, with bright blue sunny skies. It didn’t rain this go-round, but it was still quite enjoyable…
I didn’t think this mandated a whole gallery, so check out a scrolling story below.
Blending steel with stainless can yield marvelous results, especially when done so through the use of chevrons. To then carry those lines into a frame’s paint is whole ‘nother level of beauty. Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames‘ latest road machine was recently built up at Mellow Johnny’s.
The owner, Lucas, wanted a classic road with modern componentry and a 26.0 bar. Campagnolo Athena 11-speed with a Nitto M179 STI bar and a custom fillet stem delivered the perfect kit for this bike, resulting in an elegant road machine. White Industries T11 to H+Son Archetypes and Paul skewers offer one of the nicest wheelsets for those looking for a classic flair and modern tech.
There are so many details in this bike, that I might have gone overboard with the photos: Stainless stays, stainless fork blades, internal routing and that head tube cluster, all matched with a beautiful chevron design at the bottom bracket. Ben Falcon at the Horse Cycles delivered one hell of a paint job!
Enjoy this bike, Lucas!
“Take the path less traveled going west and find me atop a metal nest….”
This morning on a quick road ride, I snuck down into an old trestle bridge and hid the Strawfoot pouch, containing stickers, top caps, a pair of Strawfoot Arcade socks and a special coupon for the prize. Before Jonathan and I had finished our ride, a handful of people had shown up around the same time to snipe the egg.
Gavin was the first to the bag, yet he shared the bounty with the other easter egg hunters. We met up shortly after and I gave him his prize: the James Brand knife. Color me jealous!
We’re all stoked on this contest and would like to thank all parties involved!
After a few, um, hiccups, we’ve re-posted the Crash Nationals I and Crash Nationals II photosets. I know a few of you were looking for these, so they’re back, in all their bandit glory:
Cross Nats Were Cancelled So We Threw Our Own Event
Face Plants and Frito Pies at the Crash Nationals Night Race
Thanks for understanding!
This morning we had a solid group of riders show up for an easy spin to start the day off. Tomorrow, let’s do the same but on dirt.
Let’s meet up at Flat Track Coffee on Cesar Chavez at 9am (please be on time – we’ll leave at 9:15) for a super chill trail ride. The forecast is calling for rain, but these trails drain quick, so show up regardless. Bring a few tubes, because it’s thorny. Don’t feel pressured to kit up, shorts and a t-shirt will be fine.
Bring some cash for coffee and we’ll finish up at a bar for some food and a beer or two.
Pardon the short notice. I didn’t want to make this a huge event, but I know some of you are in Austin for SxSW and you might have brought your road or cross bikes.
Let’s meet up at Flat Track Coffee at 9am for a casual, slow ride into some of Austin’s scenic hills just west of downtown. Anticipate around 15 miles and 2,000′ of climbing, so plan accordingly. This is a no-drop, no jock ride. Let’s spin those legs and sweat out that booze.
Also, If anyone wants to do a MTB or a cross ride, mention it in the comments and we’ll make it happen.
Photos by Emiliano Granado
A few months ago, my friend Emiliano (of Manual for Speed internet fame) contacted me about doing a quick Guide to Austin for Without Walls. We went to my favorite spots, drank coffee, rode bikes and I had a little interview at my favorite cocktail spot in town. Head on over to the Without Walls blog to read up!
When South African, World Cup champion Burry Stander suffered a tragic death on a training ride in 2013, Specialized lost not only one of their riders, but one of their family members. To honor his death, they released an S-Works Epic 29r under their Specialized Projects line.
Based on their FACT World Cup geometry, this flashy frame is covered in a sparkly orange paint, adorned with African art and features a graphic inspired by the South African flag and Stander’s unique personality. The resulting product makes for an orange blur that glows in the late-afternoon sun (and is rather hard to photograph).
As far as tech is concerned, this S-Works Epic frame features a FOX/Specialized remote Mini-Brain with AUTOSAG, pushing 95mm of travel and a Rock Shox Sid Brain. Built with Sram XO1 and rolling on Roval Control SL 29 with Maxxis Ardent gumwalls set up tubeless, this thing is ready for blast off.
While I’m sure it’d take a while to truly grasp what this frame represents, Jonathan has taken quite a liking to it. All I can say is damn, look at those chain stays!
Austin has a certain magnetism when it comes to framebuilders relocating here from Boston. Icarus, Tomii Cycles and now Saila Bikes have all made Texas their new home, bringing with them their successful framebuilding practices.
Lauren Trout began working at Seven Cycles, where she cut, prepped, welded and finished frames over the course of her employment there. If you’re going to learn how to work with titanium, Seven ain’t a bad place to learn. At some point, Lauren decided it was time to work for herself and began Saila Bikes. Specializing in titanium road, track, touring and cross frames.
Saila’s shop is nestled in an industrial complex a few miles from the Radavist HQ on the East Side of Austin. Inside her roughly 600 square foot space, Lauren has set up shop over the past few months and is currently building a queue.
I swung by Saila after all the Cyclocross Nats buzz had simmered and photographed Lauren working in here space, as well as a complete cross frame. More on that to come…
Saila’s frames begin at $2,400 for titanium and $1,300 for steel. Find out more information at Saila Bikes.
In Seattle, a local staple has closed its doors. Back in September of last year, Elliott Bay Bicycles, home of Davidson Cycles, shut down. Luckily the in-house brand of frames, made by hand since 1973, by Bill Davidson lives on.
Even though Davidson is a Seattle-based framebuilder, his work can be seen from coast to coast, from vintage steel to modern composite. Although Bill only currently offers road frames, he makes them in a variety of materials. As a Davidson customer, you can chose between composite, steel or titanium, all of which are done in house. While the modern bikes have their own character, there’s something about a frame from the late 80’s and early 90’s. They all have a certain finesse that’s harder to achieve these days with modern materials.
This particular frame was most likely made in the mid to late 1980’s, if the 1″ threaded steerer and internally-lugged unicrown fork is any indication. Chris scored it off eBay as he was looking for a traditionally lugged frame to kick around town on. Fit with a mix of Campagnolo 10-speed, the bike looks like a classic road from the 80’s, yet has the technology from a modern road group.
Bottom line, she’s a looker. See more in the Gallery.