Category Archives: photography
Black n Gold Black Cat Disc All Road
Black n Gold Black Cat Disc All Road

I gotta say, out of all the expo bikes at Grinduro, Todd from Black Cat‘s creation is most up my alley. Black bikes look mean, but then you add in a custom-machined lower headset cup, a beautiful stem, custom in-house gold paint details, those ENVE M‘s with RockNRoad tires and SRAM’s 10-42 rear cluster, resulting in one very dialed machine.

There’s nothing else to say, other than enjoy!

I also wanted to thank Todd from Black Cat for organizing the builder’s expo at Grinduro!

Oct 17, 2015 26 comments
CommUtah’s 421 Miles of Dirt from Salt Lake City to Moab
CommUtah's 421 Miles of Dirt from Salt Lake City to Moab

CommUtah – 421 Miles of Dirt from Salt Lake City to Moab
Photos by John Shafer and James Adamson with words by Kurt Gensheimer.

Two weeks ago, James Adamson, Justin Schwartz and Kurt Gensheimer – known as The Commute Crew – completed a historic eight-day, 421-mile trek with 45,000 feet of climbing on dirt from Salt Lake City to Moab in an adventure called CommUtah. According to several local backcountry guides, nobody has ever attempted such an adventure consisting of 95 percent dirt, nearly half of it on single track. (more…)

Oct 15, 2015 16 comments
Retrotec Disc All Road
Retrotec Disc All Road

Grinduro was a weekend-long event, filled with music, food, booze and a killer ride (or race, depending on how you party) but one of my favorite features was the expo, which featured a series of California-based frame builders, all designing what would be the ultimate “Grinduro bike.”

The first one to be featured here on this site is a unique Retrotec “all-road” which was built using signature Inglis details like a double, curved top tube, a seat tube cluster gusset, a hotrod-inspired paint job and extra sexy thru-axle dropouts.

It’s easy to swoon over a bike with such curves, but once you look at the build kit, the practicality really shines through. By using SRAM’s massive 10-42 cluster cassette and the CX-1 long cage rear derailleur, this bike can tackle anything, including China Grade’s intimidating average grade.

For the client, a Whisky thru-axle fork and wheels topped off the build… Which he then took right off the display shelf and rode the next day. If only I had gotten a post-race portrait.

Oct 15, 2015 14 comments
Dario Pegoretti by Derek Yarra for Above Category

Photo by Derek Yarra

Dario Pegoretti is a true artist. A builder who’s known for his elaborate paintings as much as he’s regarded for his frame design and construction. His work evokes varied reactions spanning from awe to confusion and yet, there’s a beauty in each brush stroke.

Derek Yarra from Above Category recently visited Pegoretti’s shop in Italy and took some great photos, including this portrait. Head over to the AC Blog to see the rest!

Oct 14, 2015 2 comments
A Weekend in the Sierra Mountains at Giro Cycling’s Grinduro!

When Joe Parkin approached Giro’s Dain Zaffke about a new race format a few years back, the initial reaction the two had was more than a chuckle, rather than any degree of seriousness but the seed had been planted…

Why not make a new race format? Part gravel grind and part enduro. Grinduro. You get the best of both worlds, competition and socializing on bicycles. A few segments would be timed: a fire road climb, a fire road descent, a road time trail and a singletrack descent. The event would prove to bring about a rather interesting dialog: what is the most diverse bicycle in your stable? (more…)

Oct 12, 2015 29 comments
Coming Together at the Trans Cascadia – Dylan VanWeelden
Coming Together at the Trans Cascadia

Coming Together at the Trans Cascadia
Photos by Dylan VanWeelden, words by Kyle Von Hoetzendorff

“I love it when a plan comes together.” – Hannibal – Every single episode of the A-Team.

Picture this, you arrive at a parking lot just off the main road of very small town that is set alongside a river amidst vast stretches of timber covered mountains. Waiting for you is a series of off road ready shuttle vans. You load in your bike and gear then you’re whisked away to a remote, wifi-less, electronic less, civilization-less beautiful mountain lake. This is your idyllic base camp, and during the day you will be racing blind on little known trails where deep loam sits just ready for the shredding. Over four days and 21 stages you will gradually race your way back towards the better known trails of Oakridge, Oregon. (more…)

Oct 7, 2015 4 comments
Matt’s 44 Bikes Commuter
Matt's 44 Bikes Commuter

This was an interesting experience. It wasn’t part of the festival and it didn’t look like anything special at first. Matt’s commuter has the #4 serial from Kris at 44 Bikes. It’s a singlespeed made for zipping around town with three unique details: a Mike Flanigan fork with a custom 44 Bikes rack and a special cable hanger Kris machined and mounted to the Thomson stem.

My favorite thing about bikes like this is the amount of use it has seen…

Oct 6, 2015 23 comments
A Father and Son’s Sunset Speedvagen Shred Sled
A Father and Son's Sunset Speedvagen Shred Sled

Yesterday, Jonathan and I rode up to the blacktop in Griffith Park to catch the sunset. As we’re sitting there, talking about life and this transition I’m going through, up rolls Bryan and his son Alden in a Burley trailer, being drug up the crazy steep hill by an older Speedvagen team ‘cross bike. It literally happened in slow motion for me. Maybe it was the light, or the fact that a young human being is having the best introduction to cycling. Whatever it was, I was engaged.

Luckily, I had my camera on me from shooting a few photos of Jonathan for the #HotBoyzofCycling calendar, so I was able to capture this moment in the last seconds of sunlight. I love the logos, especially the EDGE logo which really dates this frame. The asymmetric Paul touring canti is a nice touch as well, but like with all Speedvagens, the paint was so good!

I’ve seen a lot of amazing stuff in Los Angeles, but this just made my day…

Oct 2, 2015 17 comments
When This Hub’s a Cookin’

Without a doubt, the most polarizing bike of the year on the site (thus far) is the Speedvagen Urban Racer. A veritable atavist catalyst, this two-speed internal coaster brake bike is meant to keep you on your toes and out of the saddle the second you throw a leg over it.

Its one caveat is the coaster brake. Fun for around town for sure, but I found after prolonged use, especially in the hot hot hot summer months, once it’s cookin your ability to brake safely is jeopardized. Granted, that’s the fun of it, right? Sure but last month I put on a Paul Klamper disc brake as a bit of added protection. Luckily, since Speedvagen uses an ENVE ‘cross fork on the bike, it was an easy install.

So far, so good and it’s still one of the most fun bikes I’ve ridden… Now it’s just a bit safer.

Sep 23, 2015 31 comments
James’ PBP Soma GR v1 Randonneur
James' PBP Soma GR v1 Randonneur

You don’t necessarily need a custom frame to compete in PBP. In fact, you don’t even need a true randonneuring frame. James started that way, with a Trek touring bike which he converted to a 650b wheel size. After that didn’t work out as planned, he sought out an affordable 650b frameset before finally landing on the Soma GR v1, which he promptly stripped it of its logos and repainted.

Now that he had a frame, he wanted to make the build something unique. You see, he has a penchant for customizing otherwise overlooked details with his bikes. Logos stripped, levers and derailleurs polished. In fact, one of the only logos visible on his bike are the Rene Herse cranks.

This year James competed in PBP and after he landed back stateside, he reassembled his bike and promptly dropped it off at Golden Saddle Cyclery, where the guys fixed an issue with his rear Powertap hub.

My favorite details on this bike happen to be the brake dust swirls on the tires and the dented fenders. This bike has been through the shit, for sure.

Sep 21, 2015 32 comments