Category Archives: frame builders
Six Months of Stoke on the Retrotec 27.5+ Funduro

Say what you will about hardtail mountain bikes. Die hard park rats think they’re antiquated, beginners often times think they’re hard to ride and the most common complaint I hear is that it’s hard getting bucked all over the place without rear suspension. Granted a lot of those common conceptions can have some truth to them, yet with the advent and availability of new rear spacing, dropper posts that work really well and bigger tire sizes, a hardtail can be pretty damn capable and even a lot of fun. For the past six months, I’ve been riding what I consider a new benchmark in hardtail mountain bike design: a 140mm travel, slack and low, 27.5+ hardtail, complete with a dropper post and a 1x drivetrain. This one in particular was built by hand in Napa by Curtis Inglis of Retrotec. So what does the creator of this beast call it? Well, what else? It’s a Funduro.


Aug 9, 2016 47 comments
Fat Chance Introduces the Semi-Custom Yo Eddy

Through using last year’s Kickstarter to reinvigorate the Fat Chance brand, the 2016 Yo Eddy offerings are able to be made a little more customized. From simple things like custom paint, or a rigid fork to more complex details like cable routing, dropper post options, single speed dropouts, Di2 routing and more. If you’ve got an idea, you can consult Fat Chance to make your Yo Eddy a dream build.

Holler at Fat Chance for more information!

Aug 3, 2016 Comments are OFF
A Circles DeSalvo painted by Landshark

Mike DeSalvo makes absolutely beautiful steel and titanium frames, with some of the best welds in the business. In fact, his construction is so wonderful that he teaches tig-welding at UBI. While Mike’s frames are gorgeous in terms of construction, he’s admittedly not the most creative in terms of paint designs. His job is to focus on the frame’s engineering, leaving the designs up to the owners. Truthfully, I’d never seen a DeSalvo painted until coming to Japan and seeing the Circles customer’s personal rigs. Titanium is great and all, but sometimes paint really makes the frame pop!

When it comes to pop, if I were to ask you who designs the most outrageous paint jobs for bicycles, you might answer “John Slawta of Landshark.” John’s a living legend and his paint designs have long burned the retinas of their owners and anyone who has feasted their eyes upon these bikes. John and Mike began talking and decided to make six frames with insane paint jobs. This is the first, for Circles Japan and if you’re wondering what the inspiration was, Mike told John to be “very aggressive…” See John’s full design below, which features street art and pop culture references from Warhol, Keith Haring and Banksy, with a balls to the wall spin. If you’re in Nagoya, make sure you swing by Circles to check it out in person! (more…)

Jun 12, 2016 14 comments
Massan’s Low – a San Francisco Giant! – Kyle Kelley

Massan’s Low – a San Francisco Giant!
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley

Massan has been around since the beginning of all this track bike shit. His fluid riding, effortlessly controlled hill bombs and huge Sugino Zen chainrings made his name a staple on bike forums and in bike shops long ago and his timeless style have earned him a lasting place in the bike industry as a whole. Unlike many of the early track bike videos, which are easily dated by old fixie tricks or bunny hops, Massan’s videos are only dated by the bike he is on. From the era of his blacked out Bianchi Pista Concept (remember the HUF bike?) to his time with Leader, his videos have always highlighted his effortless style and amazing bike control.

To say that Massan just rides is an understatement though. He never looks like he’s smashing, but he is. He never looks like he’s flying, but trust me, he is. Like many of the skateboarding greats, people have said Massan is boring to watch because he makes this shit look too damn easy. There’s never been a hill he wouldn’t drop or a gap he wouldn’t shoot. Massan’s calm/cool demeanor translates well to the bike, making him one of the most graceful cyclists on a track bike.

Years ago I was visiting San Francisco and made plans to hangout with Massan. Usually we spend our time talking about cassette tapes, hip-hop and b&w photography, but on that day I needed to swing by Andrew Low’s place to say hi and asked Massan if he wanted to come along. Andrew makes exactly the kind of bicycles that Massan likes to ride – oversized aluminum tubes, aggressive geometry and fast as hell! And it doesn’t hurt that they’re made in the city that he came from. The rest, as they say, is history. Andrew and Massan have been working together since that day and this bike is their latest collaboration.

Massan’s new Low is the SS Crit, the first production track bike designed specifically for the track bike criteriums happening these days. The first thing that comes to mind when I see this bike is the San Francisco Giants! I’m not sure if that was Massan’s intention, but what better way to show San Francisco pride than to paint your bike Giant’s orange. This build has Massan written all over it with the massive Sugino Zen chainring, Thomson post and stem, Vittoria rubber, Phil Woods and of course some HED Belgium Blacks!

Massan..I salute you!


Follow Kyle on Instagram and Massan on Instagram.

May 18, 2016 15 comments
Geekhouse Bikes: Titanium Mudville Complete

Boston is no stranger to titanium. Back in the day, Merlin ruled that market, and later, Indy Fab. These days Firefly and Seven are cranking out beautiful ti frames and now, Geekhouse can be added to that material roster. We’ve seen Geekhouse work with titanium before, with that flashy, painted frame, but here’s a look at what the new Geekhouse Ti bikes look like raw, leaving the welds exposed. Geekhouse works exclusively with USA 3AL2.5V tubing and the Mudvilles feature thru-axles, and a Loco Machine head tube. These bikes look great and you can see for yourself below. If you’re interested in a Ti Geekhouse, wait time is around 3-4 months. (more…)

May 17, 2016 2 comments
Ian’s 650b Seven Evergreen S Titanium All Road

The number of people that roll through Golden Saddle Cyclery with nice bikes on any given day is impressive. So impressive that often times, I shoot their bikes, dump the memory cards and literally forget about them until one day I stumble across the photos. Ian was visiting LA back in February from NYC, where he works in film. Knowing that LA has dirt roads for miles, he brought along his 650b Seven Cycles Evergreen S, a titanium “all-road” bike built for long days on dirt. His bike has a few trick details, including the sub fork race-Edelux light mount and those juicy Compass Babyshoe Pass tires. With the reliability of Shimano Ultegra hydro, solid Ritchey components, a titanium post and a vintage Flite, this bike is just begging for trouble in the mountains! If you see Ian, tell him LA says hi and to holler next time he’s in town!

May 12, 2016 31 comments
Stinner’s Interpretation of the Urban Cruiser

The guys at Stinner Frameworks have been killing it in terms of their new bike models and projects, many of which we hope to dig a little deeper into over the next few months. Santa Barbara is a surfer hotspot and a beach town. Having grown up at the beach myself, I can say for certain the bicycle of choice where the land meets the ocean is the cruiser. Maybe that’s what inspired this new steel urban bike, dubbed the Cabrillo? I think it looks great, but needs some damn balloon tires! See more details at Stinner!

May 6, 2016 12 comments
Standard Byke Co Rudeboy Hardtail 29r

Standard Byke Co has been pushing their offerings over the years. Beginning as a BMX company, they’ve branched into ‘cross bikes and now, rowdy hardtails, built specifically for all-mountain riding. The name of this long-travel 29’r frame is the “Rudeboy” which pays respect to the team that is bringing the party back to racing: Team Rudeboy. The first batch of Rudeboys are for a team of sorts in Colorado, who will be tackling longer distance rides in the front range. They’re built custom for each rider, all with head tube angles of around 67 – 68º, with a 424mm chainstay, 44mm headtube, a 140mm PIKE and with internal dropper routing. If you’d like more specs or photos, you can see them below and if you’d like to order one, holler at Standard! Thanks to Adam for sending this over! (more…)

May 5, 2016 8 comments