Category Archives: cross bike
From the Bontrager Vaults
... with a rigid "composite" fork.

Last year, I had the opportunity to photograph Keith Bontrager both at a Q&A session at Mission Workshop and his home in Santa Cruz. Between those two events, I was commissioned by Bontrager / Trek to document some of, as they described, Keith’s Relics.

Everything from early integrated bars to the first rolled rim, jerseys, musettes, hubs and yes, complete bikes. Normally, this would be a job any photo and bike geek would take their sweet time with, but my window was two hours, including studio calibration.

It was a blur but I got to spend some quality time with these products and I did my best to document their details and nuances. Remember, at this stage in the game, Keith was making these frames in a tiny garage in Santa Cruz…

Check out some of my favorite selections in the Gallery and please, feel free to add anything you’d like in the comments!

Oct 21, 2014 13 comments
Scott’s Rock Lobster Cyclocross Race Bike
Scott's Rock Lobster with SRAM RED

If I were to ever want an aluminum cross bike, I would go to one man: Paul Sadoff of Rock Lobster. His signature mint green frames are iconic and every time I see one, I can’t help but stop the owner and ask them about their bike. Everyone builds these differently, there’s no official Rock Lobster build group. While many prefer the “team issue” golden Paul touring cantis, Scott went the way of the black MiniMoto, matched with SRAM’s Red cross group and White Industries hubs. My favorite little detail, however, are the Paul quick releases.

At this weekend’s races, I snatched this bike from Scott’s team, Embros’ tent and took it out for some photos. It was remarkably the same size I’d ride so I got a feel for what it’s like to ride one of these iconic bikes.

Best of luck this season, Scott and remember, Rubber Side UP!

Oct 20, 2014 12 comments
Setting the Hook at the 2014 Cyclocross Scuffle in Elgin
Here's where he caught fire!

While this is a gallery showcasing the 2014 Cyclocross Scuffle in Elgin, Texas, it’s also a tale of what I believe is one of the best cross courses of the season thus far. Let me preface this by saying most courses in the Austin area are jokingly called “grass crits.” That means, a lot of straight ways, usually 4 – 6, which gives a lot of riders who might not have bike control the upper hand over those who aren’t in prime fitness coming off road season.

As someone who doesn’t race road, but rides a lot of trails on his cross bike, I hate these courses. Even with recent weight loss, I still huff and puff on all the straight aways and tear apart the technical “features.” Meanwhile, it’s the opposite for the fellas who raced road all season and didn’t touch their cross bike all summer…

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Oct 20, 2014 12 comments
Just a Little Bigger: Surly’s Knard 41c Cross Tire
Surly_Knard_Tire-41c-1

It takes a bit of convincing for most people, but after you go with a fatter tire on your cross bike, you rarely will want to go back. Since riding the Nano for around 6 months, I’ve fallen in love with the extra cushion provided by a 40c tire and while I love the Nano, I really wanted to give the Surly Knard 41c a go. If, for any other reason than the allure of a smidge in additional width.

Trails, sure! But racing? For some reason, people are apprehensive about racing a 40+c tire – USAC allows it, so why not? My guess is, that age old myth that a “bigger tire is slower”… Oh but the contrary, with the right PSI, you’ll have the upper hand on just about any course.

I spent the weekend racing on my new Knards and have some thoughts below…

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Oct 20, 2014 46 comments
Some Austin Cross Racing

This video is from opening weekend here in Texas, at the Six-Shooter. In years past, it’s been a lot of fun. This year, I was out of town at a wedding, so I missed out. There’s lots of mayhem at the barriers in this one. Not to mention Tristan’s barrier beef as the last clip…

Oct 20, 2014 5 comments
CX Hairs: SVENNESS 3.2

Here you go, the second installment of this year’s SVENNESS series from CX Hairs. Just in time to get you stoked on the weekend’s races!

Oct 17, 2014 3 comments
Engin’s All-Road Bicycles
TiCross2014-1

You know what? I think Drew at Engin’s work is some of the finest in the world and when it comes to mountain frames, his titanium trail rockets are the things dreams are made of, so why wouldn’t he be able to make a sick cross bike, or all-road rig? Look at the body language and stance on that thing!

These bikes look the part and although I’ve never ridden one, I bet they rip just fine.

Check out more at Engin.

Oct 17, 2014 7 comments