Category Archives: cross bike
Ben’s Koi Dreamin’ Schemin’ Specialized Crux SSCX
Ben's Koi Dreamin' Schemin' Specialized Crux SSCX

As I’m pedaling away from Mellow Johnny’s on Ben’s bike to photograph it, I couldn’t help but try to think of some clever way to describe it or at least the back-story. These days, custom paint is divided into a few categories with the most prominent being either high-concept or merely aesthetic. Truthfully, I’m not sure where this one sits on that spectrum.

When I look at this orange, yellow and black steed, it reminds me of some menagerie. It was painted by Dustin at Violet Crown Finishing in Austin, Texas. Close my eyes. Open them. I see a koi fish. Or a tiger. Moreseo, a koi though. Perhaps it’s the sparkles? Tigers don’t have sparkles. Was that Dustin’s inspiration? Who knows. Ben, the owner (a mechanic at MJ’s) has a lot of traditional Japanese tattoos.

When you ride a bike like the Specialized Crux, it’s hard to stand out from the other fish on the field. They’re literally a dime a dozen. Affordable, performance-minded, lightweight and they look great, right out of the box. Sometimes though, you want something a little more flashy, without springing for a custom frame.

The frame was a cheap pickup, actually a trade. The Giant wheels came from a friend, for free. The rest of the parts were scrapped from a free bin, save for the Pro cockpit and post. I don’t want to tell you how much money Ben has invested in this frame, because it’ll make you mad. That and his friend Dustin wanted to really paint a bike.

You don’t need to go custom to have the custom experience. Painters are just as talented as builders and they have the ability to transform even a bike like the Specialized Crux into something that will truly stand out from the other fish in the school.

Case in point… wow.

Jun 11, 2015 22 comments
Through the Valley and Over the Pass – Ryan Wilson
Hiking by moonlight

Through the Valley and Over the Pass
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson

On many occasions over the last couple of years I’ve gazed at the old, abandoned road that zig zags its way beyond 11k ft, above an already stout paved climb outside of Bishop, CA. Thousands of feet up these rugged slopes is a gateway to the John Muir Wilderness. I’ve made quick forays a little ways up it in the past (on bikes ill equipped for the condition of this particular road), but I knew that doing this thing right would require a bit of time and planning.

(more…)

Jun 10, 2015 13 comments
Fundo One Hundo Video!

Once upon a time there was a very wise Ent living in the Angeles Forest that stumbled upon a gentle being who looked to be riding a road bike up to Josephine saddle and around the back side of Strawberry Peak, a route only walked or traversed via Boneshaker. This man was warned of the hazards that lie ahead and the inherent danger he was putting himself in by riding tires so skinny into these parts of the forest, but yet he pushed ahead. The Ent sent word via crow to the small village living at what we call Red Box today, these people were asked to send a smoke signal when the man arrived in the village, but the man never did.

This old folklore was the inspiration behind the first half of the Mudfoot Fundo One Hundo, a 100-mile route through the Angeles forest showcasing the drastic changes of climate and terrain of Southern California. The elevation gained is the equivalent of riding from sea level to the top of Mt. Whitey. Many started the ride, and some finished, but everyone had fun.

Tune in next week for the second installment of the Mudfoot Fundo One Hundo!

Thanks to Mudfoot, Ace from the Sleepers, Kyle from GSC and everyone that came out to boogie!

Jun 3, 2015 5 comments
Singlespeeds and Sunburn in the Lost and Found Race – Kyle Kelley
#Partybrand

Singlespeeds and Sunburn in the Lost and Found Race
Words and photos by Kyle Kelley

It’s not too often you get asked to hop in a car and drive 8 hours north, race (I didn’t do much racing though) a 100 mile “Gravel” Race with 7,000 feet of elevation on a Single Speed, then hop back in the car and drive another 8 hours home. So of course I said “Yes!”

While I said yes, I must admit I was kind of worried. I’d agreed to do something I really knew nothing about. I’m not in the best shape at the moment, definitely not in 100 mile Single Speed shape. This is kinda like hiking 16 miles round trip to Half Dome in brand new boots, which I’ve also done. I never said I made the best decisions, but luckily I’m still having fun and the 2015 Lost and Found Gravel Grinder was no exception!

(more…)

Jun 3, 2015 14 comments
Morvelo’s Doorstep Epic – Three Peaks

Here’s a nice one from Movelo as a part of their Doorstep Epic program:

“Three times Oli tried to enter the legendary Three Peaks cyclocross race. After being denied the final time he decided to replicate the challenge in his home town. More than that though, if he was to forgo the drive north he was to forgo the drive full stop. It was to start and finish from his front door. The first part of the Doorstep Epic trilogy sees Oli attempt to cram 5000ft of climbing and 38 miles in a landscape that never rises above 830ft.

Doorstep Epic is a reaction to pre-determined challenges and pre-made far flung rides. With some imagination, creativity and a map, a challenging adventure can be found right outside your front door.”

Jun 1, 2015 3 comments
Junk Yard Doggin’ Around Los Angeles one Morning
Junk Yard Doggin' Around Los Angeles

All-City’s Junk Yard Dog, or JYD for short, is a do-all, hobo trail cuttin’, curb jibbin, bar or delivery bike, built with burliness in mind. I’ve seen various permutations of this bike floating around in my travels. Some people build it up as a delivery bike with a porteur rack, others a drop-bar monster cross like in Kyle’s case.

Kyle‘s had this frameset for a while now and the potential build always centered around the Salsa Woodchipper 2 bar. Those bars, paired with White Industries, Paul Mini Motos and Bruce Gordon Rock n Road tires results in one mean, yet fun around town bike.

On my last day in Los Angeles, I went on a ride with Kyle (who modeled the new All-City Big Gulp Kit) as we left from our favorite pre-ride spot, Intelli Coffee on Sunset and made our way through bum trails and city overlooks.

Check out photos of the quick jaunt as well as the JYD bike-check in the Gallery!

May 18, 2015 30 comments