I’ve learned a lot in the past two years and so has Ben at Argonaut Cycles. He looks at his made in the USA, fully custom carbon road bikes as a project that’s ever-evolving. With each frame, he learns more not only about his customers, but his own process. My Argonaut was perfection in my eyes and while I loved it, some things about it made it less than ideal for my lifestyle and by that I mean, I travel. A lot. At the time, Ben didn’t offer a traditional seat post, only an ISP…
At this point, my Geekhouse Mudville is about as worn out as I am. It’s traveled the world multiple times and each trip to Australia, the build is slightly different.
Looking back, had I known this bike had clearances for up to a 42c tire, I would have ditched the 33c world a long time ago. For big, big rides, those 40c Nanos are the way to go. Surly’s Knard 41c looks like a great option as well, but I’ve yet to try them.
Over the past few years, this bike has proven itself to me time and time again. While there are a few characteristics that make a cross bike less-than-ideal for big tough dirt rides, I’d say it’s an all around, solid tool for the job. Even doing ‘road rides’ on a 40c ain’t as bad as you’d think.
Looking forward, I’m not sure what kind of bike I’d like to use for ‘dirt riding’ and travel. A road geometry with a slighly-slacker head tube angle is best suited for descending steep, rutted and sketchy fire roads, but the clearances for a larger tire make any rocky surface just kinda disappear, even on singletrack.
I’d love to make a bike with a road BB drop, a slightly slacker heat tube and enough room for a 40c tire but for now, this bike is ripping! Out of all of my bikes, it’s seen the most action and it shows, especially after a long ride like the two day Bush Blast (day 1 and day 2).
After that ride, I have had these photos on my desktop and figured I’d share them.
At this year’s NAHBS, I knew something. Deep down inside, amidst all the insane custom bicycles, I know that Cielo was onto something with their new Road Racer Di2. The custom market is amazing, don’t get me wrong, but the domestic production market is far too overlooked.
Today, FYXO and I took the trip down to Geelong to visit Darren at Baum Cycles. After we toured the new Baum facilities, we ate some lunch at a local cafe and took to the You Yangs trail system.
The next few hours, I spent all my energy chasing after a neon streak in the bush. In fact, it became a point of fixation for me, as I struggled to keep up with the extremely fit rider pedaling this machine.
Ryan works at Baum and he rides a Baum. This bike is the fruit of his labor at Baum and it’s one of the company’s most famous rides. Or at least one of my favorite rides from the company.
SRAM XX1, ENVE, Chris King, you name it, it’s got it and then some. Like a bright chartreuse paint job with neon pink accents and a carbon Selle Italia saddle shell – leather saddle just get wrecked on a MTB anyway…
For me, the thing I brought away from this ride was seeing a Baum completely smash these trails. In an age where digital presentation is everything, I rarely see a Baum outside of the photo studio. It really brought the reason why Darren builds these machines to the forefront.
Baum makes MTBs fit for thrashing their local trails and that’s exactly what Ryan did. All afternoon… Stay tuned for more photos from my Shop Visit and MTB shred sess with Baum. For now, check out more photos of this rad bike!
I love how even the simplest Bishop road bike has so much attention to detail. Seriously, look at that lug thinning! See more of Curtis’ road at the Bishop Flickr.
As a manufacturer of products built on the belief that quality is of the utmost importance, Chris King is always eager to learn about other like-minded manufacturers. One such business is Portland manufacturer Grovemade, makers of modern and sophisticated wood based office supplies and personal electronic accessories. See photos at Chris King!
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.
The work Brian is producing at Chapman Cycles is exceptional. Not that his work at Circle A was lacking in any regard, but going out on his own allowed Brian to really pursue his vision of what cycling truly means to him.
When I look at David Wilcox’s road frame, I see Chapman Cycle’s future, even though this bike was built years before Brian began building for his new venture. Geometrically speaking, this is a road bike with a traditional geometry, but functionally, it’s much more.
Rack, fender mounts and clearances for up to a 33.3 slick, this bike is a “long ride” road. It was built for the Oregon Manifest, specifically for David Wilcox, or as he’s known in the Northeast, “the Wilcox“.
Much like Chapman Cycles, David has gone off on a journey of his own. He just happens to be towing the new and improved Rapha Mobile Cycle Club, Tillie along with him. On his new path, he’ll be meeting up with countless group rides where, more often than not, watts and carbon are the nomenclature, not steel and plump tires.
Eventually, someone notices the brazed Circle A Cycles on the downtube, the large tires and mid-reach calipers. Or maybe they notice the spokes that were brazed onto the chainstays for chain slap protection and around the internal routing exit-port for a little added “pop”.
At that moment, David becomes the “hero” of the ride and all other technology present becomes obsolete… Well, almost.
Last weekend, I planned a route, dissected from our Super Bro Weekend ride. Four of us showed up and after five miles, my knee decided it wasn’t ready for the big day, so I bailed, only to return later in the day to shoot David’s bike amidst the rolling hills of the Austin area.
Every year in the months of May and September Chris King challenges his employees to commute to work by bike. Though the majority of our staff bike to work year-round we have a number of folks who happen to live too far away to make a daily bike commute plausible, but during our bike to work challenge months they find a way. Riders are tempted by their ability to earn two extra paid days off per month and are coaxed along by workmates.