Category Archives: how to
A Guide to Buying Your First Custom Bicycle

I’m sure it’s maddening as a viewer of this site being constantly bombarded with high-end, custom bikes on a daily basis. Meanwhile, your apprehension and financial situation has you riding something from [insert big brand here]. Not that there is anything wrong with that. The best bike for you is the one you are able to ride.

In the time I’ve been covering frame building, builders and custom bicycles, I’ve dealt with this internal debate: am I being exclusive here? Custom and production frame building is anything but exclusive, it is however something that requires financial planning. I’m here to break it down for you in what I’m so nonchalantly calling “A Guide to Buying Your First Custom Bicycle”.

Check out more below.


Sep 30, 2013 36 comments
How Shooting Film Made Me a Better Photographer

Clothing Cart, China, 2013 / Mamiya 7ii / 80mm / Kodak Portra 400

Like many design students, my first experiences with photography came from an educational environment. In architecture college, we were taught some very simple, fundamental ideas to capturing space through light and composition. While I wouldn’t consider my early experiences with photography the same as actual photo students’, I would say that it greatly influenced my eye and in a lot of ways, hindered my ability to produce a decent photo.

The most pressing reason being the architectural ‘rules’ of photography: vertical lines should always be straight, view a space like a 2-point perspective, before examining other possibilities, rules of thirds, etc. We were told to idolize Francis Ching, which can make for great architectural photos but when it comes to moving, vibrant moments, can make life rather boring and stagnant. Unless you’re into that sort of thing.

One of the biggest downfalls with my introduction to photography was the lack of precedents. It’s a shame for me to admit that most photographers I studied, or had any interest in learning about shot only (or mostly) buildings. Which, as I would find out later on, during a major ‘career shift’, wouldn’t apply as much as I had hoped.

If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you’ve probably noticed a change in my photography. The only reason I’m even bringing this up is because multiple people have pointed it out to me. Now, I do not like talking about my ‘work’. It’s not that I’m overly confident with it, it’s that I have a hard time considering myself a photographer. I’m confident with what I do, just not presenting it in any artistic light.


Aug 12, 2013 36 comments
Notes on Flying with a Bicycle

If anyone can tell you about traveling on an airplane with a bike, it’s me. I spend just about every other week flying with my bike, all over the country and the world. In doing so, I’ve established a routine that works without issue but it takes a little bit of planning before you even begin to pack.

Check out more below.


Jul 30, 2013 82 comments
Fixpert Comics: How to Fix a Flat

Sure, most of us can fix our own flats (at least I hope so!) but for those who can’t Fixpert Comics put together this informative how-to guide, complete with illustrations. Check out the preview pages here.

Jul 11, 2013 Comments are OFF
A Common Problem: Avoided and Resolved

If you happen to have a girl wearing a skirt and a beanie living in your tool shed, then you obviously don’t have to worry about the inevitable galvanic corrosion that can plague your trusty steed.

But if you don’t, then you need to check that your stem is greased quite frequently or you’ll end up like these two. Let me just say that the only reason I posted the top video was to offer a striking contrast between the latest from Fyxomatosis. I don’t know about you, but Andy’s shorts are getting me all hot and bothered. Good thing Gonz has that facemask on…

Feb 12, 2013 10 comments
Fyxomatosis: I Hate Surprises

Packing a bike shouldn’t be that hard to do and yet, I’ve seen some horrid examples. Boxes made from three, with the edges exposed and the cardboard literally falling apart. Like everything FYXO, Andy did a little tutorial on his site not necessarily showing how to pack a bike, but how he packs a bike. Check it out here.

Jun 5, 2012 4 comments
How a Bicycle is Made

This is one of those videos that I watched one night and blanked on posting, then I received a flood of emails from readers sharing it with me. Though rudimentary by today’s standards, this 1945 video depicts how Raleigh bicycles were made in England. I love the dry and sterile explanation, reminiscent of an old sex ed video you’d watch in grade school, but with better visuals. Don’t miss the hub packing clip…

For more sexiness, head to Raleigh‘s website to see how far they’ve come.

May 14, 2012 1 comment
Learning Curves

I mentioned yesterday that Cody Nutter gave me a little tutorial on color-correction recently. In 5 minutes, I began the process of learning curves. In the past, I’ve messed around with color curves but looking back at some of the photos, I cringe. They’re either too blue or too red and ultimately, they just look like a photo lab mixed the wrong chemicals when processing film. Andy from Fyxomatosis gave me the best advice anyone could give: the photo should look like it was taken with your eyes. With digital photography at an all-time high and apps like Instagram going viral, people love the nostalgia associated with a high-contrast, cross-processed image. But I’m not sure that’s where I want to go with my photos. Sure, this isn’t a rule but it’s a direction I want to stay clear of.

Back to the learning curves. The photo on the right is the original photo I posted of Matt Spencer during the LBC in ATX trip. The photo on the left is after balancing out the blacks and whites. Quite a difference huh?

Check out more below.


Apr 11, 2012 15 comments
44 Bikes on Garage Journal

Over on Garage Journal, there’s an inspiring story about how 44 Bikes began building frames in this run down barn. I don’t wanna give too much away, so head over and check this rad story out. Thanks for sharing Michael!

Mar 13, 2012 Comments are OFF