Brands don’t often take the time to offer insight into their inner workings, so when they do, I take note. Kitsbow just posted an interview of sorts with Charlie Cronk, their lead designer about base layers. Head on over to Kitsbow for more.
If there is any pump worthy of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, it’s the Silca Superpista Ultimate Floor Pump. These puppies are hardly your standard-issue shop pump. For starters, they’re machined in Indianapolis, Indiana, using the highest quality materials including race car engine hosing. Silca then dumped the standard issue +/-5% industrial gauge for a +/-1% laboratory grade gauge that reads from 0-160 psi. There’s also a stainless chuck and a magnetic bed, keeping it in place when not in use. All this with a rosewood handle and weighing in at 7lbs.
Anyway, back to NAHBS and Silca’s presence there. New for 2015, Silca is offering their pumps at a paint-grade finish, along with various gauge and hose colors, allowing for customization. What you’re seeing here are a few examples they had on deck with them at NAHBS. From a Pegoretti-painted (center) to a classic Martini racing Silca (right) and even half of a his/hers pairing (right), you can see the options are endless.
I felt like giving these unique pumps a treatment on par with the unique bicycles I shot at NAHBS. Contact Silca for more information and I can’t wait to see what people come up with.
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!
SF’s TCB Courier always delivers when it comes to their kit offerings. This spring, they went in a lighter direction, using dots and stripes in various pastels. Their pre-order is available in a total kit, including arm warmers, vest, jersey and bibs, or as individual pieces for men and women. Made in downtown LA by ENDO Customs. Head over to TCB to see more.
One of the best new products I saw at NAHBS this year were these Enduro Bearings 24mm outboard pista cranks. You might ask why these somewhat simple looking cranks would have piqued my interest and guys like Trackosaurus Rex so much and the answer is easy: why not!?
Made in the USA, with 144bcd chainrings in the works as well, these outboard bearings and cranks will retail for approximately $800. Guess what? Road cranks are on the way! What’s old is new again, just way, way better.
In the meanwhile, follow Enduro Bearings‘ Facebook.
For Alchemy Bicycles developing a new frame takes time. With a busy production schedule, an in-house paint department and juggling the day to day operations, there isn’t much time for R&D. So you can imagine how long this bike has been in the works. As their first carbon MTB frame, the Oros translates to mountain in Greek. Naming it was easy, developing it was not. The Denver based brand had to completely rethink construction.
Because Alchemy is using a unique tube-to-tube technique, they’re able to visualize the frame as a whole, while engineering and developing each section of the frame individually. The stays are shaped and continue to flow with the top tube, ending in a beefy head tube. While I can’t go into to much detail about their technology, I am eager to take it for a spin. Moves like this aren’t easy for small frame builders, but it’s evident this bike has a promising future ahead of it.
Fit with Shimano’s Di2 XTR, Fox suspension, ENVE carbon and Maxxis tires, this bike is a trail ready machine. While I don’t have a scale, the Oros feels well balanced and yeah, pretty damn light. The geometry is still in the prototyping phase, so we’ll omit those details. Once the Oros is ready for production, I’ll post updates. For now, see it in person at NAHBS, booth 501.
Aptos, California’s Black Cat Bicycles is a jack of all trades and a master of them all. Fit, frame construction and paint are all done in house by Todd Ingermanson, the self-described one man dance party. His bikes are purpose-driven with elegance. Todd will always fit a bend or two in one of his bikes.
Having been shredding a mountain frame from him over the past few weeks, I can attest to how they ride.
For NAHBS this year, Todd brought a couple of gems with him. An Operation Thunder Monkey rowdy 29’r hard tail and this all-road disc bike. Fitted with Clément X’plor USH tires, a Brooks Cambium, Shimano from head to toe and a custom fillet stem it’s hard to overlook this cherry red beauty. Oh and that paint, yeah…
LoveBaum is a framebuilder pairing from Denver, Colorado started by Chad Lovings and Bryce Baumann. The two initially met in Rifle, Colorado at Yamaguchi’s framebuilding school. Shortly after leaving, they decided to begin building together under the name LoveBaum.
The two bikes at NAHBS bearing the LoveBaum name immediately caught my attention in the rookie builder hallway. The first being this curved seat tube track bike. Made from a mix of True Temper and Columbus Life tubing, Bryce intends to put its stiffness and design to the boards at his local velodrome.
White Industries hubs laced to no-name carbon rims and Challenge Pista tires are powered by the AARN chainring and Dura Ace cranks, polished to a shine. With custom leather work by Carson Leh, the contact points on this bike are different than your average track bike.
A Leh top tube protector keeps the custom fillet brazed bar and stem from chipping the top tube’s beautiful pearlescent paint. This is probably one of the most elegant track bikes at the show and has won me over.
On the eve of NAHBS, Zipp invited a handfull of journalists to visit their facilities in Indianapolis, Indiana. Back in 1988, Zipp first launched their products with a disc wheel at Interbike, which back then was in Anaheim, California. Over the years, Zipp has stayed true to their roots, constructing both disc wheels and aero sections by hand in their facility.
Having moved from Speedway to Indianapolis a few years back, Zipp’s facilities themselves are far from space-aged, yet the technology used to cut, mould and form their carbon fiber aren’t that dissimilar from military-grade carbon facilities. Everything is precise, clean and for most of the process, done in secret.
While Zipp will gladly open their doors to media, a lot of the how’d they do that remains a secret.
What better way to segue into NAHBS and documenting handmade bicycle frames than to visit a facility that produces handmade carbon wheels. Today I’ve been touring the Zipp factory in Indianapolis where I got to see the process from cutting sheets of carbon to testing current and future products. As you could imagine, a lot of this process is top secret, but Zipp allowed photos of specific areas throughout the afternoon.
Expect more reportage to come before NAHBS content begins.