Category Archives: photography
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
The Long Road to Titus Canyon – Ryan Wilson
Horseshoe Meadows looms beneath the clouds.

The Long Road to Titus Canyon
Photos and words by Ryan Wilson

It started for me two years ago when I made my first trip to Death Valley National Park. I was rolling along the road to Ubehebe Crater when I passed a little dirt road named “Titus Canyon” that gradually sloped out of the valley floor until hitting a seemingly impassable rock wall a few miles in the distance. No signs of the road switching back and climbing over it… just abruptly ending.

Fast forward to a year later, I had done a bit of research and found that the road does in fact go through the range and over the Nevada border. It’s a 25 mile stretch of dirt that is a one-way road from the Nevada side into California. Plans were set, and I was going to give it a shot. Only hitch was that I wanted to climb it rather than descend it (on a road bike), so I would be heading up going the “wrong” direction, then looping around over a paved pass back into Death Valley…

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Jan 29, 2015 38 comments
Wet and Wild On Mt Lowe – Sean Talkington
Wet and Wild On Mt Lowe

Wet and Wild On Mt Lowe
Photos and words by Sean Talkington

There is indeed a stigma attached to Southern California’s weather.  Outsiders envision year round palm trees, 80’s style picturesque sunsets, flip-flop sandles, tank tops and oceans of suntan oil being slathered on daily.  For the most part that assumption is absolutely true.  We have it pretty good!  So good in fact that this place will make you soft.  Send me your toughest east coast transplant wearing his/her shorts in negative degree weather and put them in a LA’s treacherous “low 50’s” for a few years and I’ll send that person back to you in some Ugg Boots, “Juicy” sweatpants, Dior sunglasses, a fashionable parka and a tiny chihuahua that fits in a purse…because that’s how we do in this city!

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Jan 28, 2015 26 comments
Chris’ Davidson Impulse Road with Campy 10-Speed
Chris' Davidson Impulse with Campagnolo 10 Speed

In Seattle, a local staple has closed its doors. Back in September of last year, Elliott Bay Bicycles, home of Davidson Cycles, shut down. Luckily the in-house brand of frames, made by hand since 1973, by Bill Davidson lives on.

Even though Davidson is a Seattle-based framebuilder, his work can be seen from coast to coast, from vintage steel to modern composite. Although Bill only currently offers road frames, he makes them in a variety of materials. As a Davidson customer, you can chose between composite, steel or titanium, all of which are done in house. While the modern bikes have their own character, there’s something about a frame from the late 80’s and early 90’s. They all have a certain finesse that’s harder to achieve these days with modern materials.

This particular frame was most likely made in the mid to late 1980’s, if the 1″ threaded steerer and internally-lugged unicrown fork is any indication. Chris scored it off eBay as he was looking for a traditionally lugged frame to kick around town on. Fit with a mix of Campagnolo 10-speed, the bike looks like a classic road from the 80’s, yet has the technology from a modern road group.

Bottom line, she’s a looker. See more in the Gallery.

Jan 26, 2015 20 comments
Wilis’ No 22 Bicycles Broken Arrow Disc ‘Cross
Wilis' No 22 Broken Arrow Disc Cross

No 22 Bicycles grew from a longstanding framebuilding tradition in Upstate New York. By keeping production of their frames Stateside, they’re able to tweak geometries easily and even develop new models. Their latest addition to the No 22 family is the Broken Arrow disc cyclocross bike.

Developed with the help of Wilis Johnson of Deluxe Cycles, the Broken Arrow was designed to be a racing frame, but as we all know, a cross bike’s versatility is quickly realized as the season comes to a close.

Wilis raced ‘Cross Nats on this bike, as well as shredded trails while he was in town. The subtle branding and black componentry really give this bike a beautiful silhouette and I can’t think of a more appropriate bike for that Cadence x Ritchey stem. Photographing titanium outdoors can be difficult, especially on an overcast day, but these photos came out great. Those who raced Crash Nationals will recognize the bamboo tunnel…

Jan 21, 2015 52 comments
Benedict’s Romantical Clockwork Bikes Dirt Droop 29’r
Benedict's Romantical Clockwork Bikes Dirt Droop 29'r

Yes, that says “dirt droop”, rather than “dirt drop.” You see, there are magical and medicinal qualities to the fabled “LD” stem – pardon the acronym, we don’t need to spell it out for you.

Benedict, aka Poppi, aka @UltraRomance is a wild one. One that cannot be tamed by modern ideologies, or technologies for that matter. His Clockwork Bikes frame is a time capsule of the old days of yore when men would gather or hunt for their food in the woods. Even when something appears to be modern, it’s executed in a way that harkens back to the early days of klunking. Disc brakes? He slices fresh mushrooms on them and truthfully, he only uses them to stop for a tanning session. The throwback version of the narrow wide chaingrings is just a “narrow narrow” ring. An outer “bash guard” ring pressed up against an inner ring with a spare “rabbit” personal massager holding it in place. Even his “marsh mud” tubeless setup is pulled from nature. Literally…

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Jan 20, 2015 44 comments
Amanda’s Caletti Cross and WD40’s Cleaning Crew
Amanda's Caletti Cross and WD40's Cleaning Crew

Even with all of the letdown on Sunday morning at the 2015 Cyclocross National Championships, it was still a damn successful event up until that point. Wednesday through Saturday, races went off without a hitch and everyone was having a hell of a time riding the muddy and technical course. With adverse weather, comes adverse conditions and one group of individuals helped cope with the super sticky Texas mud moreso than your average pit crew.

The team at WD40 had a well-lubed process running just adjacent to the limestone runups. Outside of their heated tent, was a pressure-washing station, then inside their – yes, heated tent – a team of highly capable mechanics were on hand to give your bike a dry down, lube and even a quick tune up. All while you toasted your toes on their heater. Not bad huh?

Amanda Schaper is one of the women who hammered it during the Industry and Master’s races. An employee at Giro Cycling, she likes to support the local Santa Cruz framebuilding industry by racing for Caletti Cycles. Her titanium, Di2 machine is what many would consider a dream machine, yet she thrashes it, crashes it and in general, uses it to its full potential.

A potential that was a lot easier to photograph once WD40’s crews had cleaned off all the Dillo Dirt™…

Jan 19, 2015 9 comments
Manual for Speed: Human Athlete Visual Showcase – Team Clif Bar x The Radavist
manualforspeed_2014crossnats_clifhavs-35

It was last Thursday morning, I believe, when Daniel and Emiliano from Manual for Speed hollered hard at me via SMS about doing a Human Athlete Visual Showcase (HAVS) with Team Clif Bar at our house. Bear in mind, there were about 8 people sleeping at my house during Nats, so it was a mess but who can say no to such adorable photographers?

Saturday morning rolled around and promptly at 11am, MFS and Team Clif Bar entered the house, made us all get into skinsuits and began to do their thing. The resulting photos and a short Q&A is now over at Manual for Speed, so go check it out!

Jan 17, 2015 8 comments