Category Archives: cross bike
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.
Follow ORNOT on Instagram and Nich on Instagram.
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…)
Photo by Kyle Kelley
It’s been a busy week over here and it’ll be even busier next week… While I prepare everything, make sure you get out on the bike. Thanks for the photo, Kyle!
As fate, or at least the press circuit would have it, I’m back in Santa Cruz for the Blackburn Ranger Camp. I drove up from Los Angeles a night early and crashed with my friend Garrett, from Strawfoot Handmade.
The last time I was in town, I got to spend a lot of time with him, photographing his shop, his bikes and even he and his daughter Olive’s daily routine.
This round, time was precious, but I managed to get a few photos of his new bikes, the first being this Team Fresh Air Hunter Cycles ‘cross with a carbon seat tube. Garrett built this bike up as a strictly race machine. SRAM Force CX1 and PAUL Mini Motos with a DT / Pacenti wheelset will deliver all the reliability needed for racing in Santa Cruz, while a Sim Works’ cockpit and WTB saddle on a Sim Works post top the build off.
Balance is key for a ‘cross bike and this bike has it, both aesthetically and in terms of weight. Oh and I love the Fresh Air Cycles blue!
Yeah, technically I live in Los Angeles, yet this time of year, with all my travel, a duffel bag feels more like home. So when I do find myself at my home address, I like to get out on the bike as much as possible, with camera en tow. Earlier this week, I asked Kyle if he wanted to do a ride. Initially I was thinking of riding up Hwy 2 on a road ride, but that quickly evolved into a bigger undertaking.
Mt Lowe has been the subject of many rides here on the Radavist and rightfully so. It’s a doozie of a climb, much shorter than any other route up to Mt. Wilson’s 5,712′ peak and consequently, much, much steeper. The kind of steep where even MTB gearing is quickly bottomed out and your legs burn with each rotation as you climb in a series of necessary zig zags along the broken paved roadway. Eventually, the grade levels out once it turns to dirt, but for the beginning 6 miles or so of this climb, you’re in a dark, painful place.
No matter how many times I’ve ascended Lowe, I’m always humbled by it. Not necessarily through some suffer-induced form of personal gratitude, but through taking in the majestic views the San Gabriel mountains have to offer. These dry and arid peaks have been getting some rain this winter, resulting in a bloom unlike anything I’ve witnessed in Los Angeles. Every plant is a full-on pollen factory as it blooms with life after living for years, parched by the unforgiving sun. Plants weren’t the only thing sated on this ride. It’s exactly the warm welcome I was hoping for.
Once Kyle and I exited Mt. Lowe we headed up to the top of Mt. Wilson before heading back down Mt. Wilson Toll Road, a road I’ve only heard of. Here’s where it got fun, especially on my Crema 27.5 x 2.2″ machine. I railed everything, hit all the water boards with speed as they booted me into the air and further down the trail, only slowing up to roost a corner and wait for Kyle, who was having a slight mechanical issue.
We railed the dirt and surfed the somewhat sticky sand, stopping for photos, or appreciating the nuances that exist in a mountain range that is in a constant state of erosion.
As the sun fell, we descended back to the city of 10 million people, where fish burritos and coconut water awaited us, and where Max greeted us with a wagging tail… The route provided 55 miles and around 6,500′. All within the city of Los Angeles.