As you can probably tell, I’ve been really stoked on what Chumba is doing here in Austin, Texas. During MTB season earlier this year, I caught up with Vince, who was riding the first prototype Ursa 29+ MTBs. At the time, Chumba’s production was in Oregon, but in recent months, they’ve moved all production in house, using USA-made tubing…
Free Fun at Urbocross
Photos and words by Gideon Tsang
Cycling is usually fun, often not free and occasionally funny.
Racing a criterium is not free, usually fun and funny only when an armadillo crosses the road during the race. (True story and a problem isolated to racing in Texas.)
A deep tissue massage is not free or fun but funny as fuck when your Kiwi masseuse tells you farting stories. (Also a true story).
Bike camping is alarmingly fun and almost free. Insert naked cliff jumping and/or mushrooms for funny…
Urbocross is a free and fun four week cyclocross series on the urban trails of Austin, TX thrown by Beat the Clock Cycling Club and CycleEast bike shop. The series ended last week straddling the end of our road racing season and the beginning cross season.
All-City’s entire lineup is incredibly versatile and the Space Horse is a prime example. The frame’s paint is so classy that just about any component group or build kit will look great on it, especially silver parts. Jolene’s All-City Space Horse is one of my favorite to date. Little details like the blue nipples, Brooks Cambium, PDW Bird Cage, Balloon tires and the interesting 1x for commuting simplicity really make this production frame unique.
If she ever wants to do a tour, she’ll add rings, a shifter and appropriate cables but for now, this bike pedals her to work at Brew & Brew each day just fine…
The history of Chumba is one with a somewhat rocky past but it appears the brand has finally hit smooth trails with its recent rebranding and relaunch. When a couple of guys from Austin, Texas took over, they had one thing on their minds: steel. That and making mountain bikes in Texas, designed to thrash our local trails and still perform in the mountains of Colorado.
Earlier this year, we looked at their 29+ Ursa model and yesterday, I met the Chumba team out at Pace Bend Park, a 45 minute drive from Austin, to shred their new made in Texas Stella 29’r hard tail.
I love seeing my city getting recognition from brands like Castelli. Check out this neat piece over at the Castelli Blog.
What I said yesterday about Austin seeping with cross bikes stands true and I haven’t even begun to cover them. Mark from Majaco recently built up this sick singlespeed cross bike from True Temper OX Plat, specifically for the forthcoming Philly Bike Expo. His component choice is well thought out, putting the extra money where it counts and maintaining the aesthetics throughout.
Case in point: White Industries cranks and freewheel with Surly hubs. He then went with Paul and Thomson, resulting in a frame that by my judgement, weighs in around 16 or 17 lbs. It’s incredibly light!
I love the classic red to white livery and stainless head badge. For those interested in a similar frame, expect a pricepoint around $1400 for standard geometry or $1750 for fully custom.
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…
If you’re in Austin and want a friendly introduction to cyclocross racing, or you just wanna come out and party, check out the Beat the Clock Cycling and Cycleast Urbocross series. I’ll be there struggling to keep up with you!
See the related articles to the left for last year’s event documentation…
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!