Category Archives: made in the usa
A 4th of July Red White and Blue Stinner Frameworks Monster ‘Cross
Kyle's Red White and Blue Stinner Monster Cross

Cue the speech from Independence Day, mashed up with Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA with a few fireworks and explosions, playing on a bluetooth speaker aboard a Ritchey from the 90’s (any one will do, just not those Lite Beam frames.) That was what inspired the newest from Stinner Frameworks and Golden Saddle Cyclery.

When I returned from Spain with that Monster Cross Crema Duo, rolling on 27.5 wheels and Maxxis tires, Kyle’s eyes opened wide, sparking a conversation. “Do you like those wheels?” Or something of that nature. After a few rides together, he called Aaron at Stinner, just as they were about to get started on his ‘cross bike and told them to hold off on design and construction. The following few days were spent problem solving how to fit that size tire and a traditional 1x crank. It ain’t easy and there isn’t Boost available for road / cross yet, making it difficult to get the chainstay clearance you need.

Why would you want those wheels anyway? See, Kyle and myself enjoy riding our ‘cross bikes on singletrack and dirt roads probably more than racing itself. What is essentially an XC tire fits in with this riding more, especially in LA, where the sandy and loose trails need as much rubber contact as possible. With a tubeless tire, you can run a low pressure and still have a large contact patch. So the 27.5 platform allows that, with some extra cushion too, but it’s nice to have an option to race. That’s what’s so versatile about a bike like this. It’ll fit a 700 wheel with up to a 45mm tire for racing ‘cross or it’ll fit a 27.5″ mtb wheel for thrashing trails and fire roads. The bottom bracket is designed to ride similarly with either wheel size. Coupled with the SRAM 1x system and its 10-42t cassette, you don’t spin out while you’re riding to the trail either. For wheels, I’ve been riding the WTB Horizon Road Plus system on my Firefly on and off, so I wanted to let Kyle get some time in on it too.

So what about that paint? Well, why not? That frame is made in the USA and today is the 4th of July! Stinner’s in-house design and paint team killed it with this one. My mind was blown when I saw this one…

Enjoy your 4th!

Jul 4, 2016 31 comments
On a Steel Horse I Ride: the Speedvagen OG1 Road Bike
the Speedvagen OG1 Road Bike

The Vanilla Workshop has multiple tiers in terms of frameset design and production. At the highest tier is a Vanilla. These are 100% custom, lugged beauties made entirely by Sacha White. Their wait list is so long, it’s not even worth mentioning. Then on the more readily-available tier is a Speedvagen frameset. These used to be only available as a 100% custom geometry with multiple options from paint, ranging from a simple, single color with detail hits to complex, “Surprise Me” paint jobs that are so wild, they’ve inspired how other builders tackle paint design.

Now, Speedvagen has a third option in its pricing catalog: the OG1 road frameset. These are stock frames, already painted and in stock now, ready to ship to you in days or weeks, not months. The OG1 also carries a pricetag that won’t make you choke on your morning breakfast, when it comes to a made in the USA frame anyway.

The OG1 is still made 100% by hand in the Vanilla Workshop and it’s painted in house with a custom Speedvagen design, usually two per year with the first year’s designs being limited to a matte lavender or a burly-looking matte olive drab! It’s obvious which color you’re seeing here.

These frames are a deal, but there’s a catch… (more…)

Jun 29, 2016 50 comments
AARN Plastics: Made in the USA Eyewear

I am always on the look out for domestically-produced products, including everything from kitchenware to cycling eyewear. In my opinion, buying local when you can and buying products made in the USA, or Germany, or Italy will help sustain our country’s and other’s industry from within. Naturally, when friends launch new products and make them in the USA, I’m immediately drawn to them.

AARN may be known for his chainrings, but as an industrial designer, he’s always on the hunt for the next design problem and subsequent solution. That’s where AARN Plastics come into play. He wanted to design a made in the USA eyewear system…

These frames are handmade in New York from the highest quality NOS Italian cellulose acetate, built around precision German hardware, and come stock fitted with Zeiss CR-39 lenses of your choice. Materials are processed using a combination of traditional and contemporary manufacturing processes and mechanical finishing techniques. Each set of eyewear is then hand made, hand inspected and packaged by AARN.

And contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need to wear performance sunglasses on the bike!

Jun 23, 2016 8 comments
ORNOT Cycling: the Bar Bag
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Handlebar bags are the best. I use one to carry my camera, or tools, a jacket or even a corndog. Think of them as a reserve tank for those long rides where your jersey pockets are already stuffed and you would rather not wear a backpack. ORNOT clearly feels the same way about bar bags, which is why they teamed up with Rickshaw to make their own. Head over to ORNOT for all the details!

Jun 22, 2016 4 comments
Enve and Manual for Speed
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Enve continues their limited-edition wheelsets in June with a collaboration kit and wheel package designed by those auteurs over at Manual for Speed. The kit is designed by graphic artist Rob Lowe aka Supermundane and is a visual interpretation of Light Speed. This design is then followed through on a set of Enve SES 5.6 disc rims with Chris King ceramic R45 disc hubs. Personally, this is my favorite MFS design yet! Head over to Enve for complete pricing.

You can also pre-order the kit-only at Manual for Speed and be entered into a raffle for a free wheelset!

Jun 21, 2016 3 comments
Bike Jerks: Superfriends Kit
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We’re stoked to be a part of this project!

“We are beyond stoked to bring you the next big thing in stretchy riding ensembles: The Bike Jerks Superfriends Team Kit. We’ve teamed up with The Radavist, Team Dream Team, Trackosaurus Rex, The Athletic, Golden Saddle Cyclery and Endo Customs to bring you this instant classic.

Bucking current trends in kit design, the goal was to create something that would be unique and yet instantly familiar. Calling together our favorite people and brands across the industry, we drew inspiration from early 90’s mountain bike designs to create the dream piece you see before you.

We couldn’t be happier with the results, and hope that you’ll be moved to fly the colors.
Kits will only be available through the Bike Jerks prebook which ends on June 10th. You can expect delivery Mid-July.”

May 31, 2016 Comments are OFF
Industry Nine: Backcountry 450 27.5+ or 29+ Wheels
I9_BC27.5+

These new Backcountry 450 wheels from Industry Nine are for plus sized frames, particularly the ones used for bikepacking. With a 48.8mm outer dimension and a 45mm inner, these are i9’s widest rims to date. Paired with the Torch hubs’ bombproof design, they’re prepared for whatever you can throw at them.

The 27.5+ are available now, for $1275, with the 29+ becoming available in late June at the same price. Head over to i9 to see the Backcountry 450 27.5+ and 29+ options!

May 30, 2016 3 comments