Category Archives: photography
Ended Today With a Great Sunset
Jonathan_Topo_Sunset-14

Today’s been a busy one, but those are usually the days where a quick ride will do wonders to reset your mind. Earlier this afternoon, Jonathan and I hit the trails, before shooting photos of his SWorks Epic. The lighting was perfect and this time of year, Central Texas does not disappoint on the weather.

More on this to come…

Feb 17, 2015 1 comment
Riding the Charming Creek Trail on the New Santa Cruz Stigmata
Which made for some interesting climbs.

After settling in New Zealand, just outside of Nelson, we awoke to one of Mother Nature’s most memorable spectacles of the year in the form of a full-nuke sunrise. Skies were scorched, clouds were obliterated and as it began to mellow out, I put down my camera and began to grind my coffee beans in preparation for my morning ritual.

When I was first contacted for this media launch, I heard four words: Santa Cruz New Zealand. During what I call the slow and sleepy first of the year, news like this is exactly what I needed to kickstart my stoke for 2015. All I could think of were the sick trails that photographer Sven Martin had been sharing on his Instagram and what HouseMartin seems to be best known for: trekking into insane singletrack and ending rides at the beach.

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Feb 17, 2015 12 comments
A Resurrection of the Santa Cruz Stigmata Cyclocross Bike
Santa Cruz Stigmata Cyclocross Bike

The original Stigmata marked its territory inside the well stacked lineup of Santa Cruz mountain bikes in 2008. Made in the USA from Easton EA6X tubing, these ultra light race machines were quite the hit. Although, at the time and into the near future, ‘cross was and would be going through some changes. Disc brakes, through axles, pressfit 30, tapered head tubes and other technological advancements were on the horizon, many of which being already implemented by various companies.

This constant evolution and the crossing over of Easton’s tubing no longer being available in smaller batches made the guys at Santa Cruz a bit weary. They decided to sit out from a few cross seasons…

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Feb 17, 2015 38 comments
Three Appropriate Bikes for Eroica California
A tryptic of beautiful, vintage bicycles.

Selecting the appropriate bicycle for an event like Eroica California can be daunting if you don’t know what you’re doing. While these three bicycles don’t represent your only options, they do present some interesting notes. Ranking these noble steeds in rarity (i.e. cost) helps put things in perspective. As stated however, these are not your only options…

You’ve got exactly two months to find yourself a bike. Start by looking local. Craigslist, your local shop, swaps, flea markets, classifieds and eBay. Don’t go overboard. If this is going to be a one-time deal for you, why not ask a collector friend to borrow their bike? Or, if you want to go down the vintage bicycle rabbit hole, there are two options in this trio that are sure to whet your whistle. Or bell…

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Feb 9, 2015 18 comments
Mark’s Team Telekom Eddy Merckx MX-Leader
Mark's Team Telekom Merckx MX-Leader

A few people have asked what bike I was pedaling around on the Eroica California course. While it doesn’t meet the pre-1987 guidelines, it’s vintage enough for my tastes. The MX-Leaders have always had a soft spot in my heart. Arguably the most significant bikes to ever leave the Merckx factory, these were race-ready, pedigree machines. Made with Merckx’s proprietary lugs and Columbus MXL tubesets, they were some of the stiffest steel frames at the time.

Perfect for the US team Motorola, or in this case, team Telekom. This frame in particular was Brian Holm’s and while a majority of the MX-Ls were raced with Dura Ace 7400, the bike’s owner, Mark Riedy, decided to go a bit more practical – and classy IMO – with a 10-speed Campagnolo gruppo. He then topped the cockpit off with an ITM stem.

There’s something about the Telekom paint jobs that always did it for me. Flashy, yet classy and an undeniable style. I’d love to add one of these to my collection some day.

Feb 6, 2015 31 comments
Saila Bikes Titanium Cross with SRAM Rival
Saila Titanium Cross

Simple, straight forward and built with no nonsense parts, this titanium cross is just one example of Lauren Trout’s frames built by hand in Austin, Texas at Saila Bikes. With so many people building with 44mm head tubes, curved stays and disc brakes, it’s nice to see one with a 1 1/8″ fork, straight as an arrow stays and canti brakes. That’s the beauty of custom thought: you get what you want.

Even with SRAM, ENVE and Chris King, you’re looking at a custom, handmade, titanium bike for under $5k as shown, which is a damn decent pricepoint for a frame that will most likely last you for decades and while others charge near that for a frameset, Lauren Trout learned how to weld and wield titanium at Seven Cycles.

Shooting builders in their workspaces is one thing, but their craftsmanship shines when you can photograph the finished product. Just look at those welds… stacking dimes.

Feb 3, 2015 29 comments
Saila Bikes’ Titanium Frames Are Made in Austin
Saila Bikes: Handmade in Austin Titanium Frames

Austin has a certain magnetism when it comes to framebuilders relocating here from Boston. Icarus, Tomii Cycles and now Saila Bikes have all made Texas their new home, bringing with them their successful framebuilding practices.

Lauren Trout began working at Seven Cycles, where she cut, prepped, welded and finished frames over the course of her employment there. If you’re going to learn how to work with titanium, Seven ain’t a bad place to learn. At some point, Lauren decided it was time to work for herself and began Saila Bikes. Specializing in titanium road, track, touring and cross frames.

Saila’s shop is nestled in an industrial complex a few miles from the Radavist HQ on the East Side of Austin. Inside her roughly 600 square foot space, Lauren has set up shop over the past few months and is currently building a queue.

I swung by Saila after all the Cyclocross Nats buzz had simmered and photographed Lauren working in here space, as well as a complete cross frame. More on that to come…

Saila’s frames begin at $2,400 for titanium and $1,300 for steel. Find out more information at Saila Bikes.

Feb 2, 2015 8 comments