Category Archives: Los Angeles
Second Spin Mantis Valkyrie MTB
Second Spin Mantis Valkyrie MTB

Martin from Second Spin has quite the vintage MTB stable and at last weekend’s MWBA Pancake Breakfast, he brought out his grail. Growing up worshipping Klein, Yeti and Mantis, Martin was able to own various Yetis and Kleins, but never a Mantis in his size. When a trade presented itself, he jumped on the deal for this Valkyrie.

The build spec is period correct, down to the Campagnolo skewers, which many mountain bikers used on their builds. The Cook Brothers crank and Ti bottom bracket have Specialized chainrings bolted on. Martin went with a WTB theme on this particular build with WTB roller cams front and rear, with WTB classic Grease Guard hubs. A Cunningham stem with internal cable routing holds Cook Brothers bars, M730 shifters and four finger calipers.

Even with this nice mix of parts, nothing takes away from this bike’s stance. It’s confident in its funkiness yet still elegant in its form. Having never seen a Mantis in person before, I now understand why Martin was so attracted to these frames.

Vintage mountain bike collectors will swoon over this one, but that goes without saying.

May 8, 2016 8 comments
Akira and His Kinfolk ‘Cross Bike
Akira and His Kinfolk 'Cross Bike

Kinfolk Bicycles began making track frames in the mid-2000’s. They tapped into the Japanese Keirin community and began working with Kusaka-san to make frames for the US market. Years passed and rider’s interests grew to road and finally ‘cross bikes. Now Kinfolk primarily works with geared bikes and in Japan, they employ Akira, who finds himself in LA usually once a year during Japan’s “Golden Week.”

This year, Akira brought this super slick Kinfolk ‘cross race bike. As you flip through this Gallery, don’t miss that Shimano crank beausage photo. I think that, along with the Paul skewers are my favorite details on this bike.

It’s been fun having Akira in town and I look forward to seeing him in Japan soon!

May 5, 2016 22 comments
Riding With Ringtail and Stinner Frameworks on Mt. Lukens – Kyle Kelley
The whole gang!

Riding With Ringtail and Stinner Frameworks on Mt. Lukens
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley

A while back the boys at Stinner asked Sean from Team Dream / Ringtail if he’d host a ride beginning at Los Angeles’ hub for the discerning cyclist, The Cub House. For those of you who don’t know, The Cub House is the Team Dream Team and Ringtail headquarters. It is located just below Mt. Lukens, the highest point in the city of Los Angeles. With an elevation of 5,075 feet it makes Los Angeles the largest city with the highest and lowest elevations in North America. So, why not take everyone up there? Well… maybe because it has a steep, rocky and rutted 7 mile fire road climb with a 4.5 mile single track descent back down to Highway 2. And this was supposed to be a road ride after all. No matter, good sense shouldn’t get in the way of a good time.

We gathered at The Cub House at 8:30am and filled up on Nitro Cold Brew. Everyone was there, from racers to randos. Tires ranged from 25c to 40c. Some people bought vests and jackets because it looked cold up in the mountains, but I just stole a patch for a photo at the top! (more…)

May 4, 2016 4 comments
Nathan’s Bridgestone XO-1 Touring Bike
Nathan's Bridgestone XO-1 Touring Bike

The Bridgestone X0-1 should need no introduction. These 26″ touring bikes carry a cult-like following all over the world, sometimes fetching a pretty penny on eBay, especially when it comes to this livery. When you think Bridgestone and Grant Petersen, this bike usually comes to mind first. At least it does with me and my favorite part of the history of this particular model of Japan-built Bridgestones is how evident its DNA is in the Rivendell lineage. There’s something magical about this bike and when I saw Nathan wheel this bike in through the doors at Golden Saddle Cyclery, with his shit-eating grin, I actually hated him for a split second.

But you can’t hate Nathan and I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather see with this bike. Especially once you hear what he paid for it. Sheesh. Since this is a special machine, I took some extra time with the photoshoot. I hope you enjoy!

May 3, 2016 24 comments
Good Times at the Mt Wilson Bicycling Association Pancake Breakfast
That'a way!

Each year, the Mt Wilson Bicycling Association throws a Pancake Breakfast early in the spring on a Sunday morning. Its intent is to bring the mountain bike community together for a fundraiser, raffle and of course, gorge on pancakes! This year, it coincided with the re-opening of the Ken Burton trail, which happens to end right at the campground where the breakfast took place. Last night, the guys at Golden Saddle Cyclery organized an easy bikepacking trip out to camp at the grounds where the event would take place the following morning. This made for an easy wake up as volunteers arrived to set up the grills and pack in all the supplies for the afternoon.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t join in the festivities until this morning, but I arrived just in time for some hotcakes, coffee and camaraderie… and to see the park fill up with mountain bikers of all kinds!

Many, many thanks to the volunteers of the MWBA for throwing such a great event and for everyone who helped in the re-opening of Ken Burton! Enjoy the slide show and stay tuned for a few bike Galleries!

May 1, 2016 10 comments
Josh’s Watanabe Street Fixed
Josh's Watanabe Street Fixed

Compared to the early 2000’s, the NJS track frame market has had its bottom fall out. Now you can pick up a like new frame for a couple hundred bucks, versus a couple grand and there’s plenty to choose from, in various sizes. Hype has died out on these frames, which is perfect for guys like Josh who still love to ride a fixed gear on the street for a living. He works for Chicken Hawk Courier and makes various deliveries around town here in Los Angeles on this Watanabe frame. Aside from the fluoro paint, I was immediately drawn to the build: all black Nitto, Dura Ace hubs, Sugino Zen, ATAC pedals and a Spurcycle bell to top it off.

Say what you will about fixed gears and track bikes on the street but you’ll be hard pressed to find beausage like this elsewhere. Much less shorelines like that on the lugwork. Dang!

Apr 28, 2016 34 comments
Come Ride with Stinner Frameworks and Ringtail at the Cub House this Saturday
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“We’re heading to the Cub House in Pasadena, Saturday April 30th to check out the local riding and to hang out with the Ringtail and Team Dream Crew! We’ll be converging on theCub House at 8:30 AM and leaving at 9 AM to go for a 35-ish mile ride across mixed terrain along Highway 2 in the Angeles National Forest. Look for about 3,000 feet of climbing. The ride will be doable on a road bike, just bring flat repair! At noon, we’ll be meeting back up at the Cub House to drink beverages, eat food, hang out, talk bikes, and talk Stinner. Come join us for the ride and mingle, just the ride, or just the shop talk afterwards, we’d love to have you!”

I’d suggest a cross bike, but it’s been done on a road bike before. I’ll be there, so come along and join in on the fun!

9am roll out
The Cub House
1412 El Centro
South Pasadena, CA

Apr 28, 2016 4 comments
MWBA Pancake Breakfast this Sunday!
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This Sunday MWBA is holding their annual Pancake Breakfast and raffle. Coincidentally, they’re also celebrating the opening of the newly re-worked Ken Burton Trail. We’ll all be there, so if you can make it, please do so! RSVP at the Facebook Event Page.

Apr 27, 2016 Comments are OFF