SO GOOD. SO FREAKING GOOD! Thank you Chris. Also brings up a good segue into that Thomson 27.2 dropper conversation…
Going into NAHBS this year, one builder I was very interested in chatting with was Kris from 44 Bikes. I’ve enjoyed watching his brand gain so much notoriety over the past year and wanted to find out more about what made him tick.
We chatted a lot, went over all his bikes, talked about New Hampshire life, dirt, trails and what inspired his insane DIY workshop project. At the end of the show, I realized that I shot all three of his bike, essentially giving more coverage to him than any other builder.
There’s no real reason for that, other than since Kris was new to NAHBS, I really wanted to give him some exposure because I really admire his work.
Case in point: this 1×8 Retroshift Cross Bike. Kris used the Retroshift system on his TRP Hylex hydro disc brakes, Industry 9 wheels, along with the Retroshift BURD rear derailleur. Tech aside, this bike has stance. Bright red, crisp lines, no-nonsense language and yes, as I like to say, it’s utilitarian art. See more in the Gallery!
Alchemy has been through a lot over the past few years. Originally from Austin, the shop moved to Denver in 2013, prior to NAHBS. While they’ve gone through a few hiccups in the process, the shop is cranking out some incredibly nice steeds.
Cody’s cross bike is a prime example. There ain’t no ISP on that baby, the topper is welded onto the seat mast. The internal cable routing is clean, CX1 with custom painted Rotor cranks, and damn that paint job. This is one of my favorite bikes in the show and it doesn’t hurt that the owner is a damn great guy.
See more in the Gallery!
YES! This looks so good. I never wanted to run a clutch MTB derailleur on a cross bike because they’re tanks, but with the new Force CX1, it looks like they cut down on weight and simplified it a bit. I am stoked.
“SRAM Force CX1: One Less Barrier to Cross The new SRAM Force CX1 groupset is a complete high-performance 1×11 cyclocross drivetrain created by blending the best of SRAM’s revolutionary XX1 mountain bike and road technologies. This is a single-ring, 11-speed complete drivetrain that is lighter, simpler, and tougher while offering a clean look and optimal gear selection for cyclocross. SRAM Force CX1 offers better chain management and smooth shifting no matter the conditions or terrain. It is the only true 1x dedicated cyclocross system.”
See more at SRAM!
I’d like to think the kind of riding my friends and I enjoy would be considered “dumb”. From the freestyle on track bikes, all the way to the trail riding on cross bikes (even road bikes), sometimes, it’s just more fun to use the lesser-capable tool for the job. When Sean from Team Dream asked if Ty, Eric, Kyle and I wanted to ride Backbone trail during my last trip in LA, I said hell yes. Then I asked “which bike should I bring to LA?” The answer was what I had hoped for: cyclocross.
My bike has been through the ringer and it’s still one of my favorites to ride. Climbing some serious mountains, both on sealed and gravel, blasting trails in Texas, Vermont, California, Australia, Minnesota or where ever my travels take me. It’s been the most diverse beast in my stable. This ride however, this ride outdid just about everything else.
The day would be big. 60 miles and 7,500′ of climbing. 85% on dirt. Most of it on legitimate / illegitimate singletrack. There were very few chill spots. This was a MTB ride on 33c tires and drop bars. Even as part of our group passed a guy on a full sus MTB riding a downhill section, the dude had the audacity to label our cross bikes as “cheater bikes”. Ok Mr. fullface helmet and pads.
For as many fire road climbs, there were 1-track descents. Nothing was too technical or difficult to ride down, but some parts were too steep to climb with a 34/28. To top it off, I broke my fucking pedal in half at mile 20, Eric was just getting over a serious injury from a car hitting him and we were grossly unprepared for the lack of water.
High points: finding water that had been stashed in the bushes for months (the labels were bleached out, condensation formed at the top – i.e. it had been forgotten), the damn Coke machine at the Malibu Creek State Park (make sure you have plenty of $1 bills – I had 10), the subsequent swimming hole and wearing a hip bag, stuffed with a mushy breakfast burrito from Pedalers Fork.
THE HERO OF THE DAY WAS CARLA, SEAN’S GIRLFRIEND FOR DROPPING US OFF AND PICKING US UP!
We started at the Yerba Lot trailhead (one, 10 mile section is closed to bikes, so we had to re-route around that) and ended at the Santa Monica pier inside the photo booth.
I know I post a lot of ride photosets, but this one is not one to be missed! Check out some narrated photos in the Gallery!
Tools of the trade:
Yashica T4 / Kodak Portra 400
Aaron Stinner’s work with Mudfoot and Geoff McFetridge might have been one of the raddest collaborations last year. For those of us who grew up skateboarding, Geoff’s name resonates with unique design and seeing it translated to something we all love – cycling – was both exciting and frustrating. The latter because, well, we couldn’t buy a piece of that pie for ourselves! Seriously, the bikes came out sick!
The most important thing to walk away with from this conversation is that you too can make rad shit happen in your town, with your local artists and your local builders. It just takes initiative.
For more what went into this collaboration, head over to Stinner Frameworks’ blog!
As for more 35mm shots from this ride, they’re coming…
All-City as a brand has grown so much over the years, largely due to the killer team working their asses off designing their bikes from the ground up.
For Frostbike this year, they unveiled three new disc cross models: the highly anticipated Reynolds 853 Macho King Disc, a Macho King Disc Limited Edition and a Nature Boy Disc. While the whole line is impressive, my favorite detail is the singlespeed dropout on the Nature Boy Disc…
Earlier this summer, I posted photos of an early prototype of the Macho King Disc and people were stoked. The bikes All-City unveiled tonight are dialed. See more details and photos below.
The Hump Hundo was such a rad time that the guys from Mudfoot are throwing the Dirty Hundo Cyclocross edition. In typical Mudfoot fashion, it’ll be a fun, but tough ride. 90 miles, 9,000′ climbing and 35 miles of dirt. We did part of this ride the other day and it’s amazing.
Head to Mudfoot to find out how you and two of your friends can ride.
I’ve known Crihs for a very long time and each time I see him, he’s got a new bike. Not a new, new bike, just a different bike. I don’t think anything Crihs owns stays new, or at least looks new. His rides are all street-ridden and thrashed. Basically, his bikes are very, very happy.
This Legor Cicli singlespeed cross bike is an incredible machine. Vintage Shimano levers, PAUL cantis, vintage ATAC, a thrashed Flite and the rest of the components don’t distract from the impeccable fillets and halftone paint job. I even love the mis-matched black Thomson with a silver face plate!
See more in the Gallery!
This is it, the final race of the year for #SVENNESS. This one takes place in Hoogerheide, Netherlands for the 2014 UCI Cyclocross World Championship. Surely by now you’ve seen how brutal this course was, so sit back and enjoy!
Excellent job this year, CX Hairs!