Category Archives: Golden Saddle Cyclery
Talk to anyone familiar with the trails in this area and they’ll tell you that we went up to Inspiration Point the wrong way. Truth is, however, we’ve been going up the right way too often (on cross bikes) and wanted to try something new. Riding, or in this case, hiking up a downhill line ain’t fun. Especially on a long travel bike.
Kyle from GSC, Sean from Team Dream and myself had a lotta fun on the mountain that day. I was riding the Foes F275, we did a quick review, stopped a lot for photos and blasted down one of my new favorite trails.
Our route for the day: lower Merrill to upper Merrill, to Inspiration Point, back down upper Merrill, down a trail called Monkey Face, to Sunset, Brown and El Prieto. It was a short day on paper, but a big ride on the legs. Any MTB riding in Los Angeles is tough on the legs…
If you’re from the area, you know how fun that is. If you’re not, well… check at the photos in the Gallery!
From snowy Minneapolis to sunny SoCal…
What better place to shoot this bike in Los Angeles than a spot that Kyle calls “Little Big Sur”. In actuality, it’s near the top of Griffith Park, just 30 minutes and 1,000′ in elevation gain from Golden Saddle Cyclery. This is the shop’s official sunset beer spot.
Just about every time we ride up, Kyle’s been on his All-City Space Horse. We’ll poach the horse trails as the sun is setting, rather than take the road and climb in half the time (they’re freaking steep). Usually, I’m huffing, out of the saddle on a cross bike, but Kyle kicks it into his triple and spins on up.
This bike is setup for the kind of rides Kyle enjoys: fully-loaded dirt S24 camping trips in the Angeles National Forest. He’s taken it up Mt. Lowe in the middle of the night, down a dirt track off the backside of Gleason and all over the San Gabriel Mountains. The build specs tell the tale:
Surly’s do-all Rack up front holds his E3 lamp, powered by a SON hub. Sitting on top is the JANDD Briar beer cooler rack bag (in stock at GSC). His shifting relies on Retroshift and Shimano. PAUL Minimotos provide the stopping power. A well-used Selle Anatomica saddle has seen its share of spills and thrills and those Bruce Gordon Rock n Road tires keep his rear wheel roostin’ turns.
This is probably one of the nicest Space Horse builds I’ve seen! I love the brown Chris King NoThreadset too. See more in the Gallery and remember, if you’re in LA and want a similar build, the guys at Golden Saddle Cyclery can make it happen!
The Yeti. A mythical beast, said to inhabit the Himalayan mountains, sought by Westerners with cameras. Or in this case, an American MTB company that began by selling hand made frames in the USA. The first frames of this purebred brand were crafted by Frank the Welder (FTW). Yeti’s early bikes are very much sought after by Westerners, much like their namesake spirit animal. But unlike blurry photos shot in snow-capped mountains, I managed to document one sharply in sunny Los Angeles.
This bike in particular is part of an ongoing collection from a Los Angeleian who knows where to take his bikes. His collection spans a few Chris Chance MTBs, various Yetis and this yellow Yeti Ultimate. Spec’d with period correct parts, a FTW stem and yes, built with care by Golden Saddle Cyclery, this beaut stared me down all last week while I was in LA…
See more in the Gallery!
I’ve found, more often than not, that rides with Golden Saddle Cyclery in Los Angeles usually turn into hike a bike trails at some point. Even on “road rides”. The Locals Only ride is one of my favorites. It’s short, steep and sweet. Just long enough to get your heart rate going and early enough in the day that the light is usually nothing short of spectacular.
Last week’s Locals Only ride came right after some rain. The trails were sticky and the light was insane. A dense fog moved in from the sea and began to envelop the hills and mountains. I don’t think I’ve ever seen something like that in LA before. It was one of those mornings where you almost wreck because you’re staring off at the distance and not at the singletrack in front of you.
Like I said, we did some hiking, but the descents were nothing short of intense! See more in the Gallery!
The guys at Golden Saddle have just re-stocked their Righty-O! sweatshirts in heather grey and navy. Also back in stock are the Tracko Not So Winter caps!
No matter what, my friends are always goofing off. All I’m trying to do is compete with the bigger sites by offering video reviews of products!
… wait, no. I’m trying to goof off as well!
Don’t worry, a full review (in photos) is coming on the FOES f275!
Thanks to Ace Boogie of the Sleepers for the edit, Sean from Team Dream and Kyle from Golden Saddle!
Yeah yeah yeah, blah blah blah, caps. Pick one up at Golden Saddle Cyclery!
When it comes to Los Angeles mountain biking, Brown is one of the most common trails. On the weekend, it’ll be packed with people climbing up the fire road and then bombing down El Prieto, a technical trail, best described as having lots of consequences.
Drop-offs down ravines, sharp turns, protruding rocks, slippery descents. It’s a blast. One morning Moi, Sean, Kyle, Ty and I headed to do a quick 14 miles and 2,000′ before Golden Saddle Cyclery opened for the day.
Tools of the trade:
Yashica T4 / Fuji Neopan 400
One person that’s constantly inspiring me in life is Ty from Golden Saddle Cyclery. From crushing the Tour Divide, to riding his fatbike to the top of Baldy (10,000′) in the middle of winter and just general radness. Ty’s always got a camera on him when he seeks out one of his epic rides and I’ve rarely seen any of the photos.
Now he’s got a Tumblr called Tytanium Life. Head over, follow him and stay tuned. I’m sure you’ll see some familiar faces in the mix.
Shops like Golden Saddle Cyclery do a fair amount of balleur customer builds. Just look back at my Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2013. Most of them were custom machines, built at GSC. Now, the team at Golden Saddle have started ordering Cielo bikes, made by hand in Portland at the Chris King facilities. Starting with Sean’s Cielo Cross Racer!
If you live in Los Angeles and would like to get on a new Cielo, swing through the shop and have a chat (or a beer) with the guys!