Category Archives: dirt
A Weekend at Eroica California
Eroica

Like many people, we decided to make a weekend of the Eroica California. Rather than fly or drive in for the ride itself. The city of Paso Robles hosted the event this year and since it’s smack dab in wine country, there were numerous places to eat good food and plenty cheap wine to go around. Luckily, my friends at Giro had rented a house, so a few of us camped out in the yard, atop a bluff overlooking town, rather than have to spring on a hotel.

The first day was spent mostly working on bikes. There was a lot of late-night tubular gluing, cable stretching, brake adjustment and minor part replacements. Things like that are always last-minute, right?

Saturday brought around the festival and the Concours. Tons of vintage bikes were on display for people to ogle, ask questions about, reminisce and take photos of. My only regret for the weekend was not shooting a few of these unique rides…

Yesterday was the event itself and since I had already ridden the course earlier in the year and was rather pleased with my photos, I decided to opt for my Fuji X100T, rather than the DSLR setup I’ve been lugging around on these rides as of late. We got a later start than anticipated, but had a decent sized group.

We rolled out of the gate at 8:30, almost two hours late and headed into the morning sun. It’d be a long day, filled with rest stops, wildlife, wine and plenty of climbing. We’d lose some of our group to wrong turns and our minds on the climbs. After 130 miles and around 10,000′ of elevation on 7 speed freewheels, we were all a little shelled…

Check out more in the Gallery and many thanks to Eroica California, Giro and all the volunteers for making the day so memorable!

Apr 13, 2015 20 comments
Back in Cali for Eroica!
Inside American Cyclery

After another early morning flight and a three hour drive, I’ve arrived in Paso Robles for the Eroica California. The stories have only just begun, so stay tuned throughout the weekend for updates on Instagram

Also, shouts to American Cyclery for the Nuovo Record levers and Campy straps. Wait til you see the rest of the photos from that shop!

Apr 10, 2015 Comments are OFF
Kona Four Corners: Rove AL

Kona’s Four Corners project unfolds with this first video featuring their Rove AL. Some of the shots in this video are amazing. It’s like another world out there…

Apr 8, 2015 2 comments
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 68 comments
Moots’ ColoRADo Ranch Rally
Moots-Cropp

Looking for a fun 50 mile “all-road” ride in Moots’ backyard? Check out their Ranch Rally. Head over to Moots for details but HURRY, there are only 150 spots!

Mar 20, 2015 Comments are OFF
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.

(more…)

Feb 19, 2015 17 comments