Category Archives: Austin
John Slawta’s work is easily some of the most recognizable in the world. While many have attempted to emulate his paint jobs over the years, even a subtle coat like this one is still strikingly unique. Landsharks are known for one thing: their paint, which is a shame. It’s only a disservice in the sense that Slawta’s fillets are undeniably clean.
Whereas some builders need to cover their work with flashy paint (called the pig with lipstick phenom), Slawta could walk away with a single color just fine. Yet, his bikes are all wild. Even when it comes to just two or three shades of blue (don’t mind the gypsum road residue splatted on the seat tube).
Spencer bought this frame off eBay and began to scrounge up parts. While it appears to be a balleur build, it was still done on a budget. The wheels were gifted to him by his dad (the bike would have still looked great with a box section rim), who also rides, the bars and stem were from his local shop’s spare parts bin. The SRAM Red though, that was purchased new.
Taking a vintage steel frame and dressing it up in a modern component group is by no means anything new, but there’s something special about seeing one done so tastefully…
See more in the Gallery!
This was very, very painful, but incredible. I am by no means in proper shape at the moment, nor do I think it’s time to start training, or spending time looking at numbers, but I will say, riding a lot and then racing from time to time has been fun!
Now if I was only in town enough to race more.
Yesterday, I got the hair brained idea to race the 2014 Mellow Johnny’s Classic at Flat Creek Ranch outside of Austin. I’ve never raced MTBs before, but figured what the hell? My buddy Hanson Little and I drove out, paid the $40 and raced. I started at the back and made it up to 4th. Hanson got 3rd. We were stoked but the highlight of the day for me was watching the UCI Pro Women absolutely crush the course. Check out the recording from the day here and the results here.
Team LUNA Chix was in top form, absolutely shredding every lap, leading the pack by well over a few minutes. It was really great watching these women rip the course apart! While I didn’t make a big deal about shooting photos today (man, it was hot), I did manage to get a few worth sharing. Check them out in the Gallery!
It’s a shame when a name like Serotta shuts their doors after years of building steel, titanium and carbon frames in the USA. When the brand collapsed, The Pros Closet on eBay liquidated a ton of frames, which is where Chris scored this Pronto Ti frameset for a killer deal. It took him a little bit to gather all the parts. At the time, Deda Superleggera parts weren’t easy to find, SRAM was in the transition from 10 to 11 speed and he was thrashing the wheels on his cross bike. Once cross season ended, it was time to dial in his road bike.
Chris already has an insane Icarus, but he wanted something new. A new mistress if you will. Being a mechanic at Mellow Johnny’s, he was rather tedious with this build, dialing it into perfection…
See more in the Gallery!
When I first saw Festka at NAHBS last year, their High Voltage track bike caught my eye. How could you miss it? It’s been a busy year for the Czech-based frame builders, as they began to ramp up fabrication and finally, their international presence. It just so happens that a local shop here in Austin is the official importer of the brand. Cycleast is beyond stoked to be working with Festka and already, they’re receiving orders.
Take Andrew’s Zero carbon road bike for example. With a bright blue custom paintjob and a build comprised of Fizik, SRAM Red, Ritchey and Rolf wheels, this Czech-born machine is rolling thanks to Russell and his staff right here in Austin. Coincidentally, this is the first Festka in the United States.
Interested in one of these beauts for yourself? Holler at Cycleast and Czech out more details in the gallery!
The 970, one of the last made in the USA, lugged MTB frames ever produced by Trek. In recent years, there has been a resurgence in interest for these bikes. Especially seeing as how a XO-1 can set you back a pretty penny. They’re Wisconsin-made, rugged and actually pretty lightweight, considering. Frames can be found on eBay for around $200.
These bikes are, one of the best options out there for those looking for to convert a 26″ MTB to a full-bore 650b Shred Sled. Which is exactly what Benedict began doing a few years back. After procuring the frame, he immediately stripped it, then acquired new decals and treated it with shellac.
Next up: the fork. He wanted to keep the frameset Wisconsin-made but needed an upgrade to replace the stock unicrown. Clockwork did the job for around $200 – a Pacenti crown, with a nice, classic bend to the blades. From there, it was pretty straight forward: Suntour Cyclone rear derailleur, XT front, XTR cranks, Suntour power thumb shifters, Nitto post, Brooks saddle, Tektro cantis, Bullmoose bars and some older 650b wheels a friend gave him. Oh and a Campy Record 10 speed chain, drizzled with garlic-infused, extra virgin cold press olive oil, because what else do you lube a Campy chain with?
Benedict’s added numerous personal touches to this bike. The Sackville bag carries his stealth camping gear, pipe and tools. Newbaum’s cloth bartape provides ample grip, protection against chain slap and an additional wrap on the brake lever ensures proper skids.
With all those details, most people would scoff at the thought of riding in Austin on it, with its rocky and technical trails, but little do they know, the captain of this shred sled is a master at roosting. Besides, he’s got a lucky penny on the fork crown!
I don’t really know what else to say about this bike, especially since the photos do the talking! See more in the Gallery!
This one’s too good to not share! Morgan Wade is a beast, but a controlled beast. Check it out as he rips for Empire BMX.
… and the photos are just as good as the video.
Over the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of sampling the MTB industry’s best 29r’s on the market. All of which, I might add, are exceptional machines and with the right parts and group, can easily be tailored to your riding style and home terrain. While my Indy Fab rigid has proven to be more than fun on my local trails here in Austin, it’s still a rigid bike, limiting not only the lines you can take, but the speed at which you can take them. The latter being one thing I’ve found out the hard way: the faster you thrash, the harder you crash.
One might argue that riding a new bike on unfamiliar trails is a true test of the bike’s performance and the rider’s ability. While I’ll surely agree with that, seeing as how my experiences with many 29r’s have been on new trails, I will say that ripping your local trails on a new bike is the true test. Especially a more than capable ride like Santa Cruz’s Tallboy LTC. Add a Sram XX1 group and ENVE‘s tubeless-ready wheels and you’ve got more than enough reason to thrash fast.
At this point, I’ve spent enough time on a Tallboy to back my bold claims and even with this bike’s accumulated accolades since its inception, I don’t think anyone will disagree with me.
Check out more of my Trail Tested review of the Santa Cruz Tallboy LTC below!
Since moving to Austin, Ian from Icarus has been making custom steel frames for my friends. Many of which have requested an all-arounder of sorts from him. Ross already has a pretty deep stable of frames. A Richard Sachs cross, a Speedvagen road and now this Icarus light tourer.
I say light tourer because Ross is a bit of a camping weight weenie. Usually a bivy sack will do the trick on top of his titanium Tubus rack. For the front end, Ross chose a Wound Up fork for its fender mounts and tire clearance. He didn’t want ‘cross clearances’, just room for a 28c and fenders. Right now, he’s got it set up for a few weekend outings and just the other day, he put over 300 miles on it.
Other highlights are the split-paintjob chevrons, precisely finished by Bryan Myers at Fresh Frame and full Campagnolo gruppo. Personally, this is one of my favorite Icarus frames, mostly because it’s so tailored to Ross’ idiosyncratic tastes. Check out more below!