One of my favorite shops, Blue Lug from Tokyo, visited one of my favorite US-made component companies, Paul, right after NAHBS. I’ve yet to spend time in Chico with the crew from Paul, but these photos make me feel like I was there. Thanks Blue Lug!
See more at the Blue Lug Flickr!
Photos by Jeff Curtes
California is the place to be and even some Portland scalawags like team Speedvagen know that. Ok, so they’re not scalawags, but they sure know how to have fun! Check out the amazing photos by Jeff Curtes over at the Speedbloggen!
After Paul went through an entire batch of these at Interbike, they decided to make another run for those who couldn’t be in Vegas. You can now pick up one of these fancy rasta openers at Paul.
This month, Paul Component is doing batch blue components. Everything, yes, everything in their line can be ordered blue. Read up and order over at Paul!
… and they’re going to have a small run of these #Jahblessed openers. See ya there!
From now until February 2014, Paul Components are offering up a different colored anodizing batch of all your favorite components each month, beginning with orange in August. They’ll also do custom anodizing for you at a flat rate of $75 per color. So if you can’t wait for green, or purple, you can place an order to get it sooner. Head over to Paul Components for more information!
Something I’ve been saying a lot this past year is how the crit track bike has become its own character within the world of “fixed gear”. Now, I don’t want to generalize too much (I’m guilty of that) but unlike track bikes used to actually race at the track, the crit track bike takes on more eccentric personality. Think of them like a racing machine found in F1 or Nascar. Bright colors, patterns, excessive details that jump out and catch your attention in the four or five seconds of each lap.
The most compelling example in recent months being the Stanridge Speed x Death Spray “magnetic” design or the hyper neon Dosnoventa bikes. Call it what you will but I’ll call it exhibitionist extravagance with two wheels. Case in point are the new Division 1 Cinelli Vigorelli frames. These are full blown, over the top, lightweight race machines.
Custom painted ENVE wheels laced to pink Phil Wood hubs, custom anodized PAUL cranks, custom anodized Thomson stem, Thomson post with a matching Thomson collar, Painted ENVE bars, custom Busyman saddle and bar tape. The guys went all out to match the Cinelli Vigorelli “Giro” pink paint scheme.
Would I ride it? No but I’m a little more reserved when it comes to paint. Besides, I’m a purple kinda guy. Do I think it works in the context of one of the most exhibitionist track bike criteriums of all time? Of course. It’s fun, colorful, will look great at night (in the rain nonetheless) and will match the Division 1 team’s Pee Wee Herman skinsuits to a T. Yes, they even have bow ties.
Call them what you will but Colin Strickland, a local racer, or beast have you, is sitting pretty at number 5 in the Red Hook Crit standings and he isn’t even warmed up yet… Now, if the rest of the team can work together, one of these machines might make it to the podium.
At any rate, a race is a race, a bike is a bike and you can check out more of this excessively extravagant track bike crit machine in the Gallery!
In a lot of ways, my first Geekhouse Woodville touring bike served as a catalyst for me taking cycling more seriously. It was my first custom bike and provided me with ample motivation to just get out there and ride. The first major tour being Portland to SF and from there, I took it on numerous other trips here in Austin. When it was stolen last year, I began planning out a replacement with Geekhouse. There were some things I wanted to change, but mostly I just missed having a touring bike to ride around on.
As it sat en queue, I couldn’t decide on how I wanted it to function. Initially, I wanted a dirt-drop 29′r pack-bike tourer for riding the MTB trails here in town, but then my Independent Fabrication took over that role, so I revisited what I loved the most about my first touring bike. The riding position is what I would consider traditional but having acquired the Bruce Gordon Rock n Road tires, I wanted to make sure it would roll at least a 50c. I also opted for external cable routing and passed on the S&S couplers.
I’ve had great luck with the SRAM XO rear derailleur and its 11-36 range matched with a compact crank. This time I went with White Industries VBC system and a Force front derailleur, converted to a top-pull. With a 50 outer ring and 32, inner, I’ll have a wider range than I would with a triple. Chris King classic hub on the rear and a SON hub with matching Edelux lamp on the front for light.
Paul components throughout: Tall and Handsome post, Touring Cantis. Other components include a Thomson seat post collar, Brooks Swift saddle, Salsa Cowbell 2 with SRAM barcons, TRP levers and MKS Lambda pedals. With all the Made in the USA bling, I got Marty and Brad at Geekhouse to fabricate a one-off custom stem as well as front and rear racks. The beauty of the front racks lie in their low-rider detachable hangers on the front…
I always load front and low on trips. The bike rides a lot better since the handling isn’t compromised as it would with a rear load and these low-riders are low. My large panniers sit about 6″ off the ground, which is perfect on a 43c tire. On top of just looking amazing, these racks weighed a lot less than the Tubus system I had been using previously. The fork is another highlight: internal cable routing for the Edelux lamp and the segmented shoulders have rack attachments.
Even with all those details and that component list, a build can still go south with a bad powder job. Brad really knocked this one out of the park. Olive Drab green with a matte clear adds to the utilitarian / military aesthetic I wanted. I’ve been scooting around town a lot on this beaut and took it on a few trail rides last week and am in love. Even the ride out to shoot these photos was super dreamy…
I still need to dial it in though. The derailleur cables are now routed under the tape, mostly to make it easier to mount a Swift Industries Ozette randonneur bag. I’ll also need to splice some more chain so I can use the 50t with more of the cassette but for now, it’s riding really well.
That said, it’s not a touring bike until you’ve at least camped on it and summertime in Texas will provide ample opportunities. Right now, I’m just pumped that it came together so well. Many thanks to PAUL, Bens Cycle, Chris at Mellow Johnny’s and the Geekhouse crew for making yet another dream come true.
… also, buy renter’s insurance! Most plans will cover your bikes when they’re stolen!
They’re back… AGAIN! This time, it’s for the Saturday shoppers. I’ll even throw in some Viking decals!
I love the PAUL Components Touring Cantis. I’ve had them on my touring bike, my cross bike and just about everyone I know has them on at least one of their bikes. They’re a classic, no-nonsense cantilever brake. Unlike many cantilevers, these arms are angled upwards. This gives the brake a much narrower profile without significantly reducing stopping power.
As a throwback to the 80′s MTB era of bright anodizing, I teamed up with PAUL to produce yet another run of purple Touring Cantis and matching Moon Units.
$240 Shipped in the USA, $250 shipped internationally. That gets you a pair of Touring Cantis (front and rear) and a pair of Moon Units at the PiNP Web Shop.
Any guy will tell you that putting a bike together for his lady can be an emotionally taxing event. Luckily for me, Lauren knew exactly what she wanted when I proposed the idea of buying her a new bike for her birthday. She loved my Icarus and Ian’s work but wanted something practical to commute on here in Austin. I was pushing for a full-on touring bike but she doesn’t like the idea of bigger tires and wanted something zippier.
What we agreed on is a mashup of a few things: primarily a long-reach caliper, lower trail road bike. It’ll fit 28c tires and fenders or 32c without, it has rack mounts on the front and the rear for any sort of light touring or camping we’d do but most importantly, the front cockpit is by no means racey…
She liked the riding position of her Tokyo Fixed Dream Machine build but wanted the bars a little wider and better stopping power than her cantis. After finally wrapping my head around figuring out what she wanted, we met up with Ian of Icarus Frames, who measured her and went through the new frame procedure.
In the meanwhile, I started looking for parts. Rather than going all budget, I splurged a bit and went with a lot of American-manufactured products. Ian was making a stem to accomodate the back sweep of Nitto Albatross bars to which we’d run barcon shifters on. Chris King had these “ox-blood” Sotto Voce headsets at NAHBS, so I picked one up. Then, I consulted my friend PAUL and kinda went all out. Soon, I had purchased Canti Levers, polished Medium Racers, Moon Units, Polished Tall & Handsome seat post, Funky Money cable hanger and it didn’t stop there…
As with any commuter, gearing is a key factor. Lauren had been riding a single speed to work consistently but some of the hills en route to her teaching job were a bit tough. We also want to be able to do longer rides out to the hill country, so I chose the White Industries VBC cranks (46/30) with a mid-cage Shimano 105 rear derailleur and a 12-32 cassette. Shimano 105 hubs to H+Son TB 14s are bomb-proof, budget wheels. Topping the build off are Panaracer Paselas 32c, Brooks B 17 S saddle and tape.
The paint would be from Fresh Frame and the color we chose is an elusive one. Was it blue? Or green? It changes with the light. In the shade, it’s sort of jade but in the sun, it sparkles blue. Whatever it is, the final product is stunning.
While the bike is shown here, sans racks, we’re in the process of tracking down a good front basket and a rear rack for panniers. The bike is light, coming in at just a hair over 19 lbs and it “rides like a dream”. If it were my bike, I would have done a few things differently but that’s the beauty of a custom bike, you get what YOU want and trust me, there are few arguments I’m willing to engage in with this lady. She always gets what SHE wants… who can blame her? Further down the road, I’ll look into new panniers and maybe a porteur bag but for now, I’ve spent enough money on this thing!
Many thanks to Austin Bikes for the build, Bens Cycle for the assistance in the components, Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames and Bryan Myers at Fresh Frame.