Category Archives: frame builders
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 Builder Challenge: Argonaut
Geronimo's Argonaut Disc Road

Part of my job during the Rouge Roubaix was to document the Rouge Roubaix Builder Challenge, or #RRBC2015 as the internet likes to catalog things. Last year, in a late night hot tub session, somewhere in SoCal, Ben from Argonaut, Billy from Echos, Aaron from Mosaic and myself were discussing NAHBS. Part of the frustration Ben was voicing was that he had infinitely more fun riding bikes with people, than sitting in a tradeshow booth for three days.

The idea expanded, phone calls were made and soon, the RRBC was born. Sort of. You see, it couldn’t be just one team, so a few were invited. Out of 5 teams, three committed: Argonaut, Breadwinner and Mosaic. Each team would send out a call for entries and select a team mate from the applicants, build them a bike and race the Rouge Roubaix with them.

For Argonaut, they chose Stephan Kincaid, a power house from Pennsylvania.

Since Ben had never met Stephan, who goes by the nickname Geronimo, the RRBC was just as much about the bike as it was new-found camaraderie. We arrived in Baton Rouge on Thursday and had two days to gather course intel, shoot photos, drink and prepare for the race on Sunday. This gallery represents those days in St. Francisville, Louisiana.

Stephan’s bike is an Argonaut disc road with Shimano Dura Ace, Chris King, Reynolds Wheels and ENVE cockpit.

Team Argonaut would like to thank ENVE, Shimano, Reynolds, ENDO, Rothera Caps and Chris King.

Mar 18, 2015 14 comments
Firefly Bicycles: Serpentine Seat Tube
Firefly_Serpentine_02

Firefly has a saying: “every bike is a show bike” and with projects like this, it’s easy to see why. Now, I’m not sure what this symbol is referencing, although it appears to be ouroboros-inspired but seeing something personal like this, executed on a beautiful titanium frame is enough to make anyone want to flip through more shots of this bike. Luckily you can do so at the Firefly Flickr.

Mar 17, 2015 6 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
What Makes the Vanilla Workshop and Speedvagen Move
AU6T1570

While the public may know about the Vanilla Workshop and Speedvagen, they might not know the inner-workings or exactly how the two brands operate under one roof. There’s a misconception that Sacha White runs the whole show with maybe one or two other people. When in reality, it takes a whole team to keep things moving.

Recently, the Vanilla Workshop and Speedvagen shared a little insight to help people better understand what really makes them move. Read on below!

(more…)

Mar 16, 2015 4 comments
2015 NAHBS: Retrotec 29+ Rigid MTB
2015 NAHBS: Retrotec 29+ Rigid MTB

Velocity Dually rims have been helping builders get a little plumper in the realm of rigid mountain bikes. One such builder is Curtis Inglis from Retrotec, who took advantage of the Dually platform with this rather gargantuan 29+ MTB.

Large frames tend to be on the gaudy side, but the Panaracer FatBNimble tires and seemingly-balanced proportions give this bike a rather pleasant stance. You almost don’t notice the gigantic head tube and massive standover.

Mar 13, 2015 20 comments
I’m in Baton Rouge for the Rouge Roubaix
Rouge_Roubaix-2014-95

Last year’s Rouge Roubaix coverage was a huge success, so this year, we’re heading back with even bigger plans. A group of American framebuilders have assembled teams to compete in the event and to make things interesting, each company chose one lucky individual to be on their team via an application process.

These wild cards each have a custom bike waiting for them in Baton Rouge where they will compete alongside their new teammates. The teams are: Team Argonaut, Team Breadwinner, and Team Mosaic. This has been aptly dubbed the Rouge Roubaix Builder Challenge. Last but not least, we’re all lucky enough to have Chris Diminno from Chris King Gourmet Century on hand to provide nutrition. We’re gonna need it!

The Radavist will be on hand, documenting the bikes, the teams, the main event and some of the vernacular found in this truly unique part of the United States. If you’re going to be at the Rouge Roubaix, say hello and if you’re racing this weekend, best of luck!

Mar 12, 2015 8 comments
Speedvagen: F’ Yeah Olive Drab Disc Road
Speedvagen_Disc_Road_

Photos by Bob Huff

Sure, the paint, the build kit and everything about this bike is dialed. However, it’s easy to overlook that disc caliper mount. On the chainstay, there’s a hole that punches straight through, reducing vibration from the frame to the disc. That’s pretty ingenious.

See more photos at the Speedvagen Flickr.

Mar 12, 2015 9 comments
2015 NAHBS: Moots Custom Design All-Road
2015 NAHBS: Moots Custom Design All-Road

Moots have been making moves over the past year to redefine some of their lineup. Their Psychlo X got an overhaul and inspired the Routt, which then spawned the Routt 45 and while that might be exactly what you want, or need, they also offer custom designs.

This all-road is one of those custom designs and it features one hell of a build kit. That super tricked out ENVE GRD fork made its first appearance on this bike, as well as those new 12mm thru-axle King hubs (more to come on those). One other detail worth noting is the prototype ENVE seat post, with a double clamp mechanism – a vast improvement over the current design.

Overall, this was my favorite titanium bike at the show because it not only looks capable, it looks confident.

Shouts to Mike Cherney for making every. single. one. of those Moots head badges by hand!

Mar 11, 2015 22 comments