When Mark DiNucci brings a complete bicycle to NAHBS, you better photograph it. Especially when it features such a bright paint job and SRAM Red eTap!
Aaron Barcheck and his team at Mosaic never cease to amaze and impress at NAHBS. For them, they don’t need to go over the top on show bikes because their work is just that: over the top. It’s the “every bike is a show bike” mentality. This minty green RS-1 road bike, with painted to match Silca frame pump is for Velo Smith in Chicago.
While you’ll see a lot of custom mountain bikes at NAHBS, most of them will be hardtails or rigids. You very rarely see a full suspension steel beast like this in the aisles. After meeting Matter Cycles last year at NAHBS, I was looking forward to seeing what he’d bring this year and was not disappointed by this Two Stroke full sus. Just look at it! Made in Colorado and ready to rip. I almost felt bad taking it back to its stand. Its like seeing an animal caged at the zoo…
Save the track bike! Year after year, the bicycle that used to over-populate NAHBS has a dwindling presence. That said, there are always a few on display that are customer’s bikes for racing at the velodrome and since they’re NAHBS bikes, they carry the slightest bit of ostentation. This Shamrock Cycles will catch your eye, as it did mine. That bright fascia paint with a printed Zipp disc helps without a doubt. Since this bike was built for a 130lb track racer, the tubes were kept classy and the fork steel, something you don’t see everyday…
Slumber killed by rays of the new red sun arising
Dreamer wakens to spectral gaze of light rays shining
Black steed carries him across the astral sand
Rides alone is the man from the magic caravan…
Leave it to Todd at Black Cat to name his new mountain bike model after Sleep’s magnum opus, Holy Mountain. Then, to top it off, he rendered his logo in the Dopesmoker typeface. As I stated earlier, this year at NAHBS, the 27.5+ hardtail is reigning supreme.
Todd built this bike up with Shimano XTR, RaceFace cranks and a Fox Fork. Oh and check out the dropper lever! You’ll have to mind the mis-matched wheels on this one, Todd must have been riding the dragon toward the crimson eye…
Over the years, NAHBS has become the launching platform for companies to release new products, utilizing custom frames as the backdrop. One of those new projects are the WTB Road Plus wheels and tires, finding themselves on this Hunter Cycles Disc All Road.
The concept is simple. Generally speaking, a 47mm 650b wheel has the diameter as 700 x 30mm tire. The tire they’re using for this system is the new Horizon Road Plus Tire. These new tires accompany WTB’s new 650b disc wheels.
Back to the bike. This Hunter Cycles really pops, with a wishbone rear, Shimano flat mount disc mount design and that elegant fork crown. The build is topped off with Praxis cranks and Sim Works cockpit. Enjou!
NAHBS is here and already on setup day, it’s evident what bike has dominated the show: the 27.5+ hardtail. While this bike isn’t currently built as one, it can be. Thanks to a new project… Sean from Soulcraft, Cameron from Falconer and a machine shop called E13 have developed a yoke that gives ample clearance for a 27.5+ tire, while still accommodating various crank setups. While you can run a frame such as this as a dedicated 27.5+ bike, Sean wanted people to be able to throw their 29r wheels on it as well.
This detail, along with a stealth dropper, curved seat tube, slack n low geometry provide more than enough opportunities for a highly shredable bike.
Oh and those White Industries cranks… More on those later!
Gunnar and its parent company Waterford don’t get a lot of attention in cycling media, unfortunately. In fact, I rarely see one here in California or if I do, it’s in passing and there’s no time to shoot photos of it. So when Pat rolled this beaut into Golden Saddle one afternoon, I wanted to do something special with it. I knew exactly what Pat was going for when I saw this bike. It has a body language, a certain air of confidence. It screams, “I can tackle Mt. Lowe on dirt and still be fun descending back down the smooth, paved curves of Highway 2.”
In Los Angeles, big tires and disc brakes can completely alter your everyday rides. We’ve got legit mountains here, breaking 10,000′ but between the ocean and these giants, there are tons of intermittent trails, some of which were cut by cyclists, or hikers, or hobos. These trails can offer more than enough entertainment right out of your front door if you can’t commit to a huge day in the mountains. That became the backdrop for where Pat and I would ride, shoot photos and eventually document this Waterford.
Initially, Pat didn’t want a Waterford. He wanted a Gunnar Grand Disc but after discussing all his add-ons and customization, they recommended he just get a Waterford. Their frames begin at $1,500 and go all the way up to however much accoutrement you’d like to add. Custom geo, check. Pump peg, check. 44mm head tube, check. Disc brakes, check. Custom paint, check. Clearance for a 40mm tire, check. When Pat gave them his list, the team at Waterford got to work and a few weeks later, the frame showed up, ready to rip Los Angeles and beyond.
The build kit is smart, without being flashy. An Ultegra long-cage wraps around the 32t cassette and White Industries VBC cranks make up the right amount of gear inches. King Hubs to HED Belgium + rims, fit with Teravail Cannonball tires keep the bike rolling and a Cambium atop an ENVE post offers some compliance on the saddle. A Thomson stem and 3T bars hold the Ultegra shifters. Yanco outfit this rig with some custom bags, including the DT stash pack and handlebar bag.
Now, Pat’s lived in LA his whole life, but only recently became interested in riding dirt. Perhaps you remember his bright LOW track bike? Yeah, he wanted something a little different than that for his new geared bike. As for his dirt riding, I think he’s got the hang of it.
Thanks for riding, shooting the shit and skidding around loose corners, Pat!
Nick’s Hub and Spoke Cycleworks Track
Photos by Kyle Kelley, words by John Watson
Just as news of the Southern California framebuilder and painter Brian Baylis’ passing made its way to Los Angeles, this bike rolled in through the doors of Golden Saddle Cyclery, immediately grabbing Kyle’s attention. Its owner, Nick Brock races for team Dos Llantas in the San Diego-area. When he wanted a custom frame to fit his obviously very tall stance, he contacted Hub and Spoke Cycleworks in National City who took the important measurements and got to work.
Once the frame was complete, it was painted by Brian Powell, an owner of Hub and Spoke who also paints at Joe Bell’s paint shop. From there, Nick built it up with a Chub hubset on H+Son rims, with a Sugino crankset, FSA cockpit, seatpost and a Fizik Antares saddle.
With NAHBS coming up this week, a bike like this truly embodies what small-time frame and paint shops embody: creativity and customization. You can have all the flash without burning all your cash. Even though we lost Brian Baylis, his legacy lives on with every new builder or painter that pops up in Southern California. If you ever get the chance to see a Baylis in person, take some extra time examining it and you’ll see what I mean.
If you live in the National City area, make sure you swing through Hub and Spoke Cycleworks to check out their shop!