Category Archives: photography
Geoff’s Raphael Cycles Touring Bike
Geoff's Raphael Cycles Touring Bike

Like many framebuilders, Rafi Ajl began his love for the bicycle at a young age but it wasn’t until after graduating from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design that he began pursuing his love for building bicycle frames. Ajl’s background is fine art and as such, his bicycles began functional art. Something you would not only love to look at, but would love to ride and would be able to do so for the rest of your life.

Perhaps it was Rafi’s passion for art, design and the bicycle that drew Geoff from Box Dog Bikes, a local, owner run co-op bicycle shop in the Mission of SF to Raphael Cycles’ work. Or maybe it was the proximity. Rafi Ajl is no longer making frames, but when he was, Raphael Cycles was literally blocks away from Box Dog Bikes.

Geoff wanted a classic touring bike with external routing, fender, rack mounts and a 1″ threaded headset. A seasoned tourer, randonnée, cyclocross racer, shredder of vintage mountain bikes and all-around capable cyclist, Geoff knew exactly what he wanted and has been thoroughly enjoying this bike. As evident by the years of use.

A SON hub powers the S3 lighting and a well-positioned and broken in Brooks saddle cushions and inviting a ride, so much that I pedaled this bike for an hour or so before finding the perfect spot to photograph it.

Aug 11, 2015 34 comments
Saturday Night Hillside Special
Wheelie king

I was long overdue for a work-related trip…

After packing my bags and my bike into a box, I boarded a plane for one of my favorite cycling destination cities in the US: San Francisco. Let’s backtrack a bit first though. In SF, it’s essential to stay with friends, if you have any that live there. Luckily, I have a few and one couple has been my go-to host home in recent trips: Erik and Sofia from the Great Escape.

When I asked Erik if I could crash with him while I was in town, he obliged and then invited me on a impromptu camping trip the Saturday I arrived into town. My flight got in late, so as I was packing my bike, I loaded my Porcelain Rocket bags with the gear I’d need for a sub-24 hour jaunt into some Marin hills.

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Aug 9, 2015 55 comments
The Rapha Prestige Midwest: Humidity Reigns – Kevin Scott Batchelor
The Rapha Prestige Midwest: Humidity Reigns

The Rapha Prestige Midwest: Humidity Reigns
Words and photos by Kevin Scott Batchelor

The last time I got the call to cover a Rapha Prestige event, I found myself wondering how any of the teams were going to handle the brutal course that had awaited them. More than 130 miles with 14,000 feet of climbing, on mixed terrain, with dizzying temperatures, sounded much more like a stage in the Vuelta than something my friends might ride. LA was a monster, complete with jagged teeth and scorching breath. With only a fraction of the teams finishing what was surely the hardest ride of their riding lives, this would be the last of the pro tour level parcours, right? (more…)

Aug 7, 2015 12 comments
Jacob’s Vintage Team Fat Chance MTB
Jacob's Team Fat Chance

$600. That’s how much Jacob paid for his Team Fat Chance frame on eBay. It was in pristine condition with the original Yo Eddy! fork and a brand new paint job. Here’s when the collector would begin to scrounge up all the NOS parts to restore it to its original glory, yet all Jacob wanted was a bike he could ride Austin’s Greenbelt trails on. Even with the rebirth of a Fat Chance brand, there’s something to be said about 20-year steel frames. Especially with a legacy like Fat City.

While most of the build is straight forward, the Bullmoose bars and Velocity Cliffhanger rims, laced to Deore hubs are the standout details. Now his Onza tires are tubeless, which means he can run lower pressure and not worry about snakebikes on limestone ledges and the Deore hubs will be easily serviceable after the rain brings creek crossings.

His 1x setup was made possible by a clutch Deore derailleur and a Wolf Tooth ring, mounted to vintage Shimano cranks and braking is being taken care of by Chico’s finest, Paul Components.

For around $1,500, Jacob built up a vintage mountain bike with style and while it might not tackle a rock garden as fast as a modern full sus bike, sometimes the ride isn’t about being timed.

Cole and Jonathan at Mellow Johnny’s did a great job on the build and this bike looks so good covered in limestone dust. Shred on, buddy.

Aug 6, 2015 44 comments
Faster than the Wind at RIH in Amsterdam – Kevin Sparrow
RIH track

Faster than the Wind at RIH in Amsterdam
Words and photos by Kevin Sparrow

“From riding through the sands in Baghdad to fighting thieves in Istanbul, Kara Ben Demsi ventured all around the world without ever leaving the saddle of his horse” – Rih.

It’s said that the stories of Karl May are the inspiration of the near-century old RIH Sport. And though Demsi is considered a German legend, RIH Sport is a legendary name in the global cycling community.

RIH, in Arabic, means faster than the wind. And RIH Sport racing bikes has lived up to the name. RIH Sport riders have combined for 63 Olympic and World Championship titles dating back to the 1940s. Among them is Gerrie Knetemann – winner of the 1974 Amstel Gold Race and of the 12th stage in the 1975 Tour de France. (more…)

Aug 5, 2015 9 comments
Racing and Riding the Fairdale Goodship – Andre Chelliah
The Fairdale Goodship with SRAM Force 22

Racing and Riding the Fairdale Goodship
Words by Andre Chelliah, photos by John Watson

When Taj from Fairdale reached out to us and asked if we were interested in testing their steel road bike, the Goodship, I had a hard time containing my excitement. Fairdale, who has an office in Austin is a staple of the cycling community here. You can’t go to a downtown restaurant, East Side bar, local swimming hole, or ride through campus without spotting a Fairdale between the legs of an excited Austin dweller. The company radiates positive vibes and makes quality bicycles. (more…)

Aug 4, 2015 37 comments
Free Coffee at Heritage General Store – Kyle Kelley
Free Coffee at Heritage General Store

Free Coffee at Heritage General Store
Words and photos by Kyle Kelley

Earlier this year when I was visiting Louisville for NAHBS I met Mike Salvatore, the owner of Heritage in Chicago. I had heard of his operation through the special edition collaborations he’s done with builders like Stinner and Humble, but honestly didn’t know much else about the business. Mike filled me in a little bit on his past, what he is working towards and invited me to stop by for a visit before my flight out of Chicago.

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Aug 3, 2015 3 comments
Do I Have to Send it Back Already? the Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer with Gevenalle Shifting
Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer with Gevenalle Shifting

While we took a look at my own touring bike yesterday, I will say this with confidence: had I ridden the Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer prior to ordering my Woodville two years ago, I would have drastically changed my views on 650b, disc brakes and trail.

The National Forest Explorer is a low-trail, 650b bike with disc brakes and a decent, not copious amount of tire clearance. These NFE’s are made by Glen Copus in Spokane, WA and pack quite the wallop of versatility in a beautiful, forest service green package. They’re made from lightweight steel for just the amount of liveliness. (more…)

Jul 29, 2015 69 comments