Category Archives: dirt
Golden Saddle Rides: The SOMA Electric Wolverine Turn On Your Bike
Golden Saddle Rides: The SOMA Electric Wolverine Turn On Your Bike

Golden Saddle Rides: The SOMA Electric Wolverine Turn On Your Bike
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley

One part inspired by the band Electric Wizard and six parts inspired by Erik’s Di2 Alfine 11 Peacock-Nuke AWOL.

While this customer may not be heading off to Europe to participate in The Transcontinental anytime soon, he is riding this thing through the urban jungle we call Los Angeles and participating in daily jaunts through the Santa Monica Mountains.

The new Soma Wolverine was our canvas and the picture which we would paint took longer than some of the most famous oil paintings. Most of the components were no-brainers. While questions like whether to use a belt or chain took a bit longer.

I hope you guys enjoy looking at this bike as much as we liked building it!

p.s. The Soma Wolverine was also reviewed in the latest issue of Bicycle Quarterly. So if you’d like to know more about the performance of this bike, I’d suggest heading to your local bike shop and picking up issue No. 51 of BQ.

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Follow Kyle on Instagram and visit Golden Saddle Cyclery in Silverlake, Los Angeles.

Mar 23, 2015 59 comments
The 2015 Rouge Roubaix Builder Challenge: Mosaic
Derek's Mosaic RT-1 Road

For Boulder, Colorado’s Mosaic Cycles, the Rouge Roubaix Builder Challenge was the perfect epilogue for the 2015 North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Many of the bikes featured at NAHBS found their way to the RRBC and rightfully so. Why build something if it’s not meant to be ridden… Into. The. Ground.

The Mosaic line is divided into a number of specific uses. There’s a binomial nomenclature of sorts, or a key, to deciphering what bike is made for what and out of what material. Each member from Team Mosaic chose a bike that best fit their riding style. Be it steel or titanium, disc or rim brake, each of these bikes were built specifically to reflect their own preference.

As for the application process and the overall team, Aaron selected Boulder shredmeister Brandon Newcomer on an RS-1 (road steel), Velo Magazine correspondent Spencer Powlison on an RS-1 and finally, Derek Yarra, the RRBC winner on an RT-1d (road titanium disc), which matches Aaron’s own bike selection.

Derek and Aaron’s bikes will fit a fat, plump tire and because titanium is a naturally forgiving material, they offered a bit of compliance during the 100 mile race. If you’d like a further break down on each of these riders and their bikes, head to Mosaic to read up.

… there’s more coming soon on what else Mosaic brought with them: a wild card group of ladies…

As for Derek’s RT-1d, it’s built with Shimano Ultegra Di2, R685 hydraulic road disc brakes, Shimano Pro Vibe cockpit, and Shimano RX80 tubeless-ready wheels. My personal favorite detail: the Shimano mtb pedals!

Team Mosaic would like to thank Shimano, q36.5 Kits and Rothera Caps.

Mar 18, 2015 31 comments
The 2015 Rouge Roubaix Builder Challenge: Breadwinner
BRRRAPPPPPWINNER

Breadwinner Cycles was one of the brands that took up the torch, or tig welder rather, for the Rouge Roubaix Builder Challenge. Ira Ryan came out to St. Francisville with a stacked team, including Bicycling Magazine’s head editor Bill Strickland and a loyal customer Jake Rosenbloum from Asheville. Their selection was pretty much a shoe-in. When Ira began sifting through the applicants, he selected Hurl Everstone from Minneapolis.

With the Rouge Roubaix’s 40-ish miles of gravel and horrible road conditions, Ira and Hurl began discussing which bike would make the most sense for the race. Truthfully, both the Lolo and the B-Road would be ideal steeds for such an undertaking with their bigger tire clearances and geometries dialed in for all-road terrain.

Hurl selected a disc B-Road with Shimano Ultegra, Mavic Ksyrium Pro disc wheels, Pasela 28mm tires and Thomson bits.

… and as demonstrated, the bike shreds just fine.

The guys had an exceptional placement in the 3/4s, with Jake finishing 6th on his Lolo and Ira Ryan coming in 20th on his Lolo.

Team Breadwinner would like to thank Castelli, Mavic, Bikeflights, Hifi Wheels and Challenge Tires.

Mar 18, 2015 10 comments
The 2015 Rouge Roubaix
The 2015 Rouge Roubaix

Last year, Argonaut Cycles, Brian Vernor and myself traveled from our cushy locales to the Deep South for one of the United States’ most unique races. Since 1999, the Rouge Roubaix has been a classic tough man’s race. Coming in around 100 miles, with approximately 3,000′ of elevation and 40 miles of loose, unforgiving dirt, this course challenges even the most experienced of cyclists.

Fast forward a year and we’re back. This time with three framebuilder teams and a women’s team from Boulder, Colorado. The course stayed mostly the same and the stage was set, with a new cast of characters. In the time since the last race, the event itself has grown. Larger sponsors came on board and yet, the roots of the race remain the same. I noticed an increase in internet chatter as everyone’s anticipation grew.

While this is hardly the last you’ll hear of this year’s race, or the builders and their teams, this gallery offers a unique vignette into a truly unique race. You’ll see true back-country roads, lots of dirt and dust, with all the pain and anguish of a truly difficult race. Expect coverage of each of the Rouge Roubaix Builders Challenge teams, as well as galleries of the bikes.

For now, enjoy this selection of photos…

Mar 17, 2015 30 comments
Navigating the Old Ghost Road: New Zealand’s Longest Singletrack – Day 02
Logan and I grew a little anxious, so we went up ahead on the trail and shot some photos.

Waking up to unfamiliar sounds, namely from animals, is highly underrated. Like an alarm clock going off full tilt, your brain processes new audio notes with a different intensity. Maybe that’s why I sprung from my bunk in our hut at 6am that morning. Scratching my head, semisomna, asking myself “what the hell was that?”

We’re too far south for it to be a Bunyip – the Australian Yeti – and too high in elevation for it to be a chicken. There it is again, now multiple times, surrounding the cabin. I grabbed my coffee kit and headed out to the porch to see what the commotion was all about. Immediately, I began to witness these wingless birds chasing each other around, making this unique call.

The Weka had welcomed us to the Old Ghost Road. A flightless bird, a bit bigger than a kiwi, diurnal, and very vocal. At a certain point, the need for coffee and a few sunrise photos overtook the interestingness of a damn bird.

Pardon the brief nature geek moment, we’re here to talk about bikes.

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Feb 19, 2015 17 comments
Navigating the Old Ghost Road: New Zealand’s Longest Singletrack – Day 01
Boogie train.

Europe is blessed with ripping trails, from the seas to the tops of the alps. Many of these trails began as footpaths, or cattle trails, or even military roads, traversing mountains, connecting towns or other trade routes. New Zealand, however, had very little need for such intricate trail networking. Being an island, it was easier to go around the mountains, than over them, even in colonial times.

However, if anything can motivate man, it’s gold.

Which is why and how some of the first mountain trails were made in this country. The path we rode on the Stigmata the day before, the Charming Creek Trail, was the beginning of a network of mining rail lines, which stopped just before our home base for the remainder of the trip, the Rough and Tumble Bush Lodge.

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Feb 18, 2015 8 comments
Castelli: Gorge Roubaix Recon

On March 28th and 29th, in The Dalles, Oregon, the Gorge Roubaix will take place. A two-day stage race with views for miles on end. Castelli followed a group of riders out onto these empty roads for a bit of reconnaissance. This looks like a good time.

Feb 17, 2015 1 comment
Riding the Charming Creek Trail on the New Santa Cruz Stigmata
Which made for some interesting climbs.

After settling in New Zealand, just outside of Nelson, we awoke to one of Mother Nature’s most memorable spectacles of the year in the form of a full-nuke sunrise. Skies were scorched, clouds were obliterated and as it began to mellow out, I put down my camera and began to grind my coffee beans in preparation for my morning ritual.

When I was first contacted for this media launch, I heard four words: Santa Cruz New Zealand. During what I call the slow and sleepy first of the year, news like this is exactly what I needed to kickstart my stoke for 2015. All I could think of were the sick trails that photographer Sven Martin had been sharing on his Instagram and what HouseMartin seems to be best known for: trekking into insane singletrack and ending rides at the beach.

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Feb 17, 2015 12 comments