Category Archives: frame builders
Todd’s Black Cat Disc Dirt Road
Todd's Black Cat Disc Dirt Road

I finally had the chance to actually ride bikes with Todd from Black Cat this week, rather than just talk about them at a trade show. There’s something to be said about a frame builder who makes time to ride his own bikes and Todd definitely does that.

Two of my favorite bikes that I’ve featured on the site came from Todd’s workshop at Black Cat Bicycles – and they just so happen to be owned by two great people. There’s something about Brian Vernor’s Hardtail MTB and Eric’s MAX disc road that just do it for me.

Watching a frame builder rip on his own bike is something else and midway through our ride yesterday, I had to take the time to shoot his bike.

Funny side story: Todd was inspired to build this bike by the titanium Campagnolo seat post he came across after seeing what they fetch on eBay… He couldn’t just sell it, he needed a new bike for it!

Apr 9, 2014 31 comments
Todd from Black Cat Had a Trail Friend Today
Santa Cruz Effect-1

Today we went on an insanely fun ride from Giro’s HQ through Mount Charlie, Highway 236 and now, we’re in cabins on the coast where we’re staying the night… As always, there’s more to come but for now, here’s a banana slug that enjoys Black Cat fillet brazed stems.

Apr 8, 2014 2 comments
Eli’s Punk Rock Lobster Road
Eli's Punk Rock Lobster Road

It’s the week leading up to Sea Otter and each year, Giro invites a group of media heads to come out to Santa Cruz, ride bikes, talk product and soak in the #SantaCruzEffect. That means it’ll be slow for the next few days while we’re out riding, exploring the local roads and sleeping in cabins.

After our intro ride this afternoon, I scooped up this special Rock Lobster for some very quick photos – I literally had a few minutes with this awesome machine. Eli is the lead visual designer at Giro and he’s got a thing for punk rock, prompting him to add a few custom logos to his Rock Lobster. Many of which you should recognize.

The thing I like about this bike is its no-nonsense build, the simple color palette with matching stem and one of a kind graphics. Those Rock Lobster logo treatments look so good!

Apr 8, 2014 15 comments
Limited Edition Speedvagen Family Racing Figurines
Speedvagen Family Racing Figurines

Speedvagen is so Portland and I don’t mean that in the Portlandia, ironic, hip sense. When I think of Portland brands – those of which who have made it to international credibility anyway – I think of people who obsess over the details. The Vanilla / Speedvagen family is one such brand.

Friday afternoon, I received a package from the great V. Inside was this meticulously-wrapped package, with coasters on the back and a little brown box with a twine bow. Inside, a hand-painted Speedvagen racer was tied to a padded backing.

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Apr 6, 2014 No comments yet
The Festka Hunter 29r with Gates Carbon Belt Drive
lesnik5

I love what Festka is doing. They have been cranking out some gorgeous bikes with incredible finishes over the past few months, the latest being the Festka Hunter 29′r hardtail. Gates carbon belt drive, a Rohloff hub and Columbus tubing. Not bad! Make sure you follow @Festka on Instagram for daily photos and see more of this Festka Hunter below!

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Apr 4, 2014 6 comments
An Icarus Road Bike with Shimano Ultegra for My Mom
An Icarus Road Bike with Shimano Ultegra for My Mom

It says a lot when someone buys the two most important women in their life custom frames from one builder. Ian Sutton from Icarus Frames is a good friend of mine, so when I realized that my mom was in need of a new road bike, I called him up and got the ball rolling.

This is the third custom bike I’ve bought from Ian. The first being my Viking Track, then Lauren’s Porteur and now, this True Temper road bike for my mom.

The geometry is clearly road, but the drivetrain is geared more towards a cross bike. Up front, I chose Shimano‘s Ultegra cross crank, with a mid cage Ultegra rear mech and a 32t cassette in the back. This will help my mom get up steep hills with ease, while giving her the range she needs while riding coastal North Carolina roads.

Circle A nailed the paint, coating the frame and the ENVE fork in a bright “marine” blue.

Easton was kind enough to send along the bars, post, stem and even bar tape. I couldn’t be more thankful! For her wheels, I bought a set of the NAHBS display Chris King Alloy Ride wheels. Taking advantage of the trade show pricing, I also bought some King Cages.

When I dropped the parts off to Mellow Johnny’s I still needed a headset – NoThreadset in Sotte Voce black, a saddle – Fizik Vitesse- and tires – Continental Gran Prix 28c. In the end, it came out great. As shown, it weighs 17lbs on the head.

There is no greater feeling in this world than to see your mother happy, healthy and riding in style. Cycling has no doubt changed her life for the better and to me, this bike was worth the investment. She did her first century last summer and I’ll be pressing her to do another this summer!

Apr 2, 2014 25 comments