Category Archives: cross bike
A Stelbel Nina All-Road Bike for South Africa
Photos by Tino Pohlmann, cover photo by Stan Engelbrecht and words by John Watson
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!
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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…)
Big tires, disc brakes and thru-axles. Those parts of the equation are pretty standard issue these days when it comes to production bikes. Yet when you want something different. Something special and something with, I dunno, steez, sometimes you just gotta go custom. In the world of ‘cross and off-road bikes, there are many options out there, especially in California yet Nathan contacted Paul Sadoff of Rock Lobster to build him his new bike.
Why? Well, Rock Lobsters have a certain appeal, or legacy if you will and having feasted his eyes for years upon Paul’s handywork, when he finally had enough money for a deposit, Nathan could only think of one man for the job…
Granted he didn’t request a standard issue racing machine. He wanted something a little more unique. Again, steez. Fluro yellow, magenta and big. This bike pops after the sun goes down and screams down dirt roads with ease but style isn’t everything. Paul had to design a rigid steel fork with disc mounts and a thru-axle, something he doesn’t do a whole lot of.
Great custom bikes fit not only the rider themself, but their personality and riding style. When you meet Nathan, there’s no doubt that this bike is in fact a chip off the old block.
Kinfolk Bicycles began making track frames in the mid-2000’s. They tapped into the Japanese Keirin community and began working with Kusaka-san to make frames for the US market. Years passed and rider’s interests grew to road and finally ‘cross bikes. Now Kinfolk primarily works with geared bikes and in Japan, they employ Akira, who finds himself in LA usually once a year during Japan’s “Golden Week.”
This year, Akira brought this super slick Kinfolk ‘cross race bike. As you flip through this Gallery, don’t miss that Shimano crank beausage photo. I think that, along with the Paul skewers are my favorite details on this bike.
It’s been fun having Akira in town and I look forward to seeing him in Japan soon!
You can never have too many options for a steel disc ‘cross frameset in my opinion, especially when they come in affordable completes like the new Brother Cycles Kepler. Head over to Brother Cycles for more information!
Back when a lot of bmx companies were in the throes of making fixed gears and track bikes, Standard decided to just jump right into making cyclocross bikes. They’re made-to-order, super clean with internal routing and a powder coat color of your choice. Huy has a BMX background and when he found out about the SBC ‘cross bikes, he had to have one. A few months later and this beaut showed up, with a candy blue powder coat, awaiting parts. At the MWBA Pancake Breakfast I took some time documenting this no-nonsense race or fire road-ready frame.
Sea Otter, ORNOT
Words and photos by Nich Barresi
Sea Otter is great. There’s lots of new bike stuff, racing, camping, beer, and friends, but we had a hankering to get out on some dirt roads after hanging out with Ritchey on Friday. We had heard of an abandoned dirt road down in Los Padres National Forest and we felt this was the perfect opportunity to check it out (and maybe test out a few new products). Indians Road can be accessed by Arroyo Seco Campground and leads south into the wilderness. Our plan was to camp near the trail, ride it in the morning, and then get back to Sea Otter in the afternoon.
We spent the evening in the woods and woke up to birds chirping and warm morning light kissing nearby hilltops. Try waking up like that at Laguna Seca campground… After a bit of camp coffee and ride preparation, we were on our bikes and headed up the hill.
The pavement ended first, and then our ride, temporarily.
Matt managed to slash a nice hole in his brand new tires’ sidewall 10 minutes into the ride. We booted with a greenback, threw a tube inside, and were on our way. Enter ‘day long anxiety about being stuck in the middle of nowhere with a blown out tire’. We knew we were on borrowed time with a boot, but we weren’t about to give up so soon.
Indians Road is a pretty special place. The road was shut down in ’94 after winter storms caused two landslides along the road, and it remained closed due to pricey and non-ecological repair estimates. The military finalized the closure after 9/11 when the stated the road, which is right next to Fort Hunter-Liggett, would ‘require an increased law enforcement and USFS patrol’. The double track road is now overgrown and full of fallen rocks and sand. There is some dodging of said rocks, and of course a climb over the landslide, but it is certainly rideable on skinny(ish) tires. All together, it is an extremely enjoyable ride very similar to what you might find in Marin, but with a more Southern Californian look.
While you’re only 20 miles from Arroyo Seco campground, the remoteness of the ride and the great expanses you see along the way make it feel like you’re really “out there”. Be sure to pick an instagramable lunch stop…don’t worry, there are plenty.
Little did we know, Murphy Mack (Super Pro Racing) went and planned a route straight through Indians Road for his Spring Classic this weekend. Their ride starts down south and heads up through this same portion of Indians Road, and then into the valley via Arroyo Seco, and up to Gilroy. Should be an epic day for those who go. We never did make it back to Sea Otter, but it was a fair trade by every measure. After sampling a bit of the Indians Road goodness, it’s safe to say that we’ll be planning another longer trip. Hopefully not in the middle of the summer when this place must get HOT, Ornot.
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You’ll have to excuse the overdose of Santa Cruz Bicycles posts these past few days. It’s merely coincidence that they just launched a new Tallboy around the same time this bike was scheduled to be published…
The Santa Cruz Stigmata wasn’t always a flashy carbon race bike with clearance for 43mm tires and disc brakes. It began as a made in the USA aluminum machine with a very traditional cyclocross racing geometry and posts for canti brakes. While I loved the modern reincarnation of the Stiggy, I still absolutely love seeing its aluminum predecessor in the flesh. Especially one that’s so tastefully built.
There’s nothing super flashy or tricked out about this build. The owner found the frame, NOS online for a deal and built it with mostly used parts but some fancy DT Swiss 350 to H+Son wheels. Ultegra became the platform it’d be built upon and Paul Mini Motos would provide the stopping power. It’s still a new build, so he’s working on the fit, hence the “top hat” spacers, but other than that, this bike is dialed!
Oh and I love the green! It matches the mountains of Los Angeles right now.
Emilio Santoyo-Illustrated Team Dream All City Macho King Disc
Words and process photos by Sean Talkington, bike photos by John Watson
Custom bikes are one of the coolest traditions continued within modern cycling (IMO). The idea of having a bicycle custom tailored to your specific needs is pretty amazing and being able to (sometimes) participate in the finished aesthetic is the big fat cherry on top. I have always been drawn to the idea of having a bike that looks nothing like the ones my friends are riding. Its the reason why people like all of us visit sites like The Radavist. We come here to see cool bikes (generally speaking of course). (more…)