We’ve seen the Low CX bike evolve here at Radavist, so it should come as no surprise that this year’s CX offering is disc-equipped. The LOW CX Mkii is finally ready for pre-order, just in time for ‘cross season. It’s made in house at LOW in San Francisco from proprietary tubing, features internal routing, smooth welds and will clear a 40mm tire. Check out more at Low, read their PR below, pre-order a frame for $2,450 here and don’t miss the previous galleries over there on the left.
Jordan Hufnagel is one of my favorite framebuilders. Or I should say, was one my favorites. After he decided to lay down the torch, he and close friend James Crowe began West America. Together they rode motorcycles to Patagonia and documented the whole journey with 35mm film. Upon returning after a year on the road, the two began fabricating everything from more motos to furniture and eventually, Jordan began his own metal working business. Sometime prior to taking off for Patagonia, Jordan made this frame for Kyle of Golden Saddle Cyclery. Now, I don’t know if the frame was made to specifically pair with this Death Spray Custom fork that Kyle has had hanging on the shop wall, or if it was the plan all along, but soon enough, the two were mated and awaited parts.
Fast forward for literally two years and Kyle was ready to build the bike up, as a result of his Mudfoot Stinner getting side-swiped by a car. Kyle poached some parts and built it up, ready to rip the trails in Los Angeles and up until his Red, White and Blue Stinner 27.5 ‘cross bike, it’d been his go to bike for dirt riding. With a prototype 44RN ‘cross ring, SRAM Force 1x, Paul Minimotos, Chris King and ENVE bits, it’s a pretty tricked out build, but the last piece of the puzzle just landed from Japan.
Sim Works‘ Pop Up at Golden Saddle Cyclery this weekend will have literally everything from the brand’s catalog in stock and in person, including these Homage tires in Michelin green. Made by Panaracer, these tires measure 43mm on a rim like the H+Son Archtypes and even wider on a more modern carbon disc rim. They set up easily tubeless, on a tubeless rim and with the center file tread pattern, roll fast on pavement with the side knobs adding extra traction on loose corners. They are available in 650b or 700 diameters.
This bike has had a long life in the build racks at Golden Saddle Cyclery but in its short time being built up, has lived a pretty exciting life, as evident by the dirty fork crown.
Kerry Werner Jr. shreds the new Diamondback Haanjo Carbon Trail. Nice one, Diamondback!
Amy shows us how to load a Straggler with a frame bag and the things you can carry in it.
With the world of ‘cross bikes taken almost completely over by 44mm head tubes, oversized tubing and thru-axles, it’s nice seeing a 1 1/8″ steel fork, 135mm option out there, made from Columbus Zona. Factory Five’s new ‘cross frames are looking good and they only cost $525 USD for a frameset. They’ve got a few sizes in stock now, so head over to check them out.
Cue the speech from Independence Day, mashed up with Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA with a few fireworks and explosions, playing on a bluetooth speaker aboard a Ritchey from the 90’s (any one will do, just not those Lite Beam frames.) That was what inspired the newest from Stinner Frameworks and Golden Saddle Cyclery.
When I returned from Spain with that Monster Cross Crema Duo, rolling on 27.5 wheels and Maxxis tires, Kyle’s eyes opened wide, sparking a conversation. “Do you like those wheels?” Or something of that nature. After a few rides together, he called Aaron at Stinner, just as they were about to get started on his ‘cross bike and told them to hold off on design and construction. The following few days were spent problem solving how to fit that size tire and a traditional 1x crank. It ain’t easy and there isn’t Boost available for road / cross yet, making it difficult to get the chainstay clearance you need.
Why would you want those wheels anyway? See, Kyle and myself enjoy riding our ‘cross bikes on singletrack and dirt roads probably more than racing itself. What is essentially an XC tire fits in with this riding more, especially in LA, where the sandy and loose trails need as much rubber contact as possible. With a tubeless tire, you can run a low pressure and still have a large contact patch. So the 27.5 platform allows that, with some extra cushion too, but it’s nice to have an option to race. That’s what’s so versatile about a bike like this. It’ll fit a 700 wheel with up to a 45mm tire for racing ‘cross or it’ll fit a 27.5″ mtb wheel for thrashing trails and fire roads. The bottom bracket is designed to ride similarly with either wheel size. Coupled with the SRAM 1x system and its 10-42t cassette, you don’t spin out while you’re riding to the trail either. For wheels, I’ve been riding the WTB Horizon Road Plus system on my Firefly on and off, so I wanted to let Kyle get some time in on it too.
So what about that paint? Well, why not? That frame is made in the USA and today is the 4th of July! Stinner’s in-house design and paint team killed it with this one. My mind was blown when I saw this one…
Enjoy your 4th!
“By chance, ten years ago, I interviewed Brian Vernor, a filmmaker based in California who was shooting bike flicks on Super 8 film. It was his seminal but gritty ‘cross feature ‘Pure Sweet Hell‘ which instantly grabbed my imagination and that interview sparked my journey back into cycling, leading deep into the filthy, glorious world of off-road riding and racing.”
Check out more at Grit.cx!
After yesterday’s gallery, I received a number of emails requesting more photos of this bike!
Within yesterday’s epic gallery by Stan Engelbrecht, you might have spotted this blue beauty, albeit covered in a bit of dirt, dust, mud and Apidura bikepacking bags. This Stelbel Nina is something special. Made in Italy from one of the oldest tig welding builders in the world, the Nina is at home on the ‘cross course with 33mm tires as much as it is in the backcountry, rolling on 40mm rubber and unlike many of the frames on the market today, this one comes from a legacy.
Stelbel has arguably brought more to the tig-welding alignment table than anyone else. When Stelio Belletti first founded the company in 1973, there weren’t a lot of builders out there experimenting with tig welding and not just with bicycle frames. Belletti was responsible for improving the chassis for the Grand Prix monster machine, the Honda 500 GP as well as a fuselage for the P19 Scricciolo, a small plane and the vehicle of choice for the Aero Club d’Italia. This knowledge spilled over onto the Stelbel name and to this day, the workshop is creating impeccable examples of tig-welded steel. See more of this beaut in the gallery and for more information on the Nina, head to Stelbel!
Breadwinner’s presence in Japan is huge. At the Gourmet Century Asuke, I saw so many Breadwinners, from the Lolo to the Holeshot, just about every group of riders sported at least one of these made in Portland frames, all built to the same general spec: Chris King everything. This one just looked so good after a morning rain that I had to shoot photos of it.
Our buddy Jeff Curtes is an exceptional photographer and part of the Speedvagen family. Living in Sydney means ‘cross season is here and this season he’s racing for MAAP, an Australian apparel company. When Jeff told me about his new team bike, I requested some photos. It sounded like an awesome build with Di2, a race geometry and no bottle bosses. Yeah…
I can’t even begin to paraphrase Jeff’s words, so check them out below, along with more photos! (more…)