Ours is a world ripe with opportunity, one in which we have been blessed with the time and resources to pursue activities of leisure. I have spent a significant amount of time planning and accumulating a trove of memories that are anchored in recreational pursuits; time I mostly cherish, time like it or not I can never get back, because time is never in my corner. It races forward, thoughtlessly giving away it’s infinite increments, while I am left to selfishly consider how best to squander my finite tokens. We’re the singular results of our choices, moving from consequence to consequence with such persuasive and pervasive insistence as to appear pre-determined. Actionable or not, the appearance of choice haunts our rationale like a plague, at every turn a cross roads, at every stop a trailhead, skeins of choices beget skeins of choices towards a knotted and unpredictable future.
There’s something special happening right now within the US framebuilding industry. Something that ought not to be overlooked, no matter how too good to be true it might seem. Before we go any further however, I must make one note: a production frame is not a custom frame. There’s a misconception that everything made by a framebuilder is custom. A production run is a series of sizes, made in an assembly-line process, which drastically reduces cost on both the builder’s end and the consumer’s end.
With that come a few issues: one of which being fit and others include – often times – paint choice, or adding extras like braze-ons, pump pegs, chain holders, etc. The most important factor however is fit. Many people are driven to a framebuilder due to fit issues, but a majority of the population can be fit on a stock geometry with a series of tweaks. That said, the geometry for these stock sizes has to be able to accommodate.
Enter Wraith Fabrication, one of these new US-made production companies, headed by an existing framebuilder, Adam Eldridge of Stanridge Speed. Now, why would a framebuilder make another brand to sell bikes? Because of their construction: Wraith is tig-welded, Stanridge is fillet brazed. Adam isn’t the first fillet-braze builder to move onto a brand reliant on tig welding, either.
There exist a series of tig-only framebuilders who build production bikes for various brands, including Wraith Fabrication. Wraith now offers a disc cyclocross bike, the Paycheck and a road bike, the Hustle. These frames are built from Columbus Life tubing, with Ohio-manufactured head tube cups in Oregon and then painted or powder coated in Ohio.
Adam designed the geometries, specs and brought the project to life… using magic? Nope. Just a solid production. I got to take one of these bikes, the Paycheck disc cross bike for a series of rides over the past week. Check out an initial reaction below…
Photos by John Daniel Reiss
In the world of cyclocross team kits, you can go a few directions. First of which being the standard issue (and most common), three or four colored panels and a bunch of sponsor logos with a pixelated team graphic. Second, you can go just plain crazy. All-over animals, cupcakes, donuts, cats, pandas, whatever. The brighter the better, more is more, instead of less is more.
From the looks of the new TCB Cyclocross kit, they went the third route: classy, with just the right amount of logos and clearly inspired by Cali surf style of the 1980’s. Now, if they only all piled into a Datsun to get to the races. Ok, or a YOTA.
See more at JDR’s Flickr!
The idea of spending one of the last days of “extended summer” going to bars and sleeping in didn’t sit well with Josh Cates from Beat the Clock Cycling. So what did he do? He planned a multi-day camping trip / mini bicycle tour southeast of Austin. Four days, three camp sites, all fun.
Unfortunately, I could only make it to the first night, which was good enough for me. It got me out of Austin for Halloween and onto the Woodville once more. Something I had been missing as the mornings became cool and the afternoons short.
Buescher State Park was our destination. Just south of Bastrop State Park, where just a few years ago, forest fires laid claim to the lands.
We met up at 8am for coffee and breakfast tacos…
Tools of the trade:
Zeiss 50mm f1.5
Woah. This one’s a bit weird… Nice job Kitsbow. I love the colors of the trails this time of year.
The Cielo Road Racer is a favorite of mine and of Chris King dealers everywhere. Over at Mellow Johnny‘s, store manager Will Black ordered this size large around the same time I was reviewing the chartreuse x-large. He went all in with Dura Ace, Chris King, ENVE rims and the bright orange paint.
Mellow’s has had this bike on the shop floor all week and it’s creating a bit of a stir. Such flash for such little cash, when compared to bikes in the same pricepoint and higher even.
I couldn’t help but wish I could have gotten photos of this bike up in time for Halloween…
Well, he’s not selling it himself and it’s not your everyday bike. This one’s dripping with Campagnolo Pista. The price is $1,100 complete, as shown on Tracko’s Flickr. Head over to Tracko to see more details.
This past weekend, some buddies and I went on a little camping trip. Some of us had to be back in town the following day, while others went on through Monday. The lucky bastards… One of the early returnees, along with me, was Jonathan. It was his first camping trip here in Austin, since recently relocating from Omaha, so we wanted it to be a good one.
There’s more to come on the ride itself (oh and it was a good one), but I thought I’d take a minute to feature his rather unique Surly Disc Trucker…
Golden Saddle Rides: Haunted Hollows Stinner Off-Roadie
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
I guess this bike would be a little more Halloweeny if it was black and orange, but what the HELL, it’s not!
Stinner Frameworks provided the skeleton, and we installed the costume.
Matt, the owner of this bike knew exactly what he wanted. A no nonsense road bike that could take large enough tires to really get dirty. The Velo Orange Grand Cru brakes are what made his decision to go standard caliber, over a cantilever or Mini-Moto style brake. Besides the Chris King bits, the bike is outfitted with a full Ultegra kit. The ENVE bar and seatpost are keeping Matt comfy on long dirty rides. Be it road or dirt the bike is always outfitted with some skin walls, duh.
Mash has one of the most comprehensive photo galleries I’ve seen from this year’s Red Hook Crit Milano. The photos are spectacular. Head over to Mash to catch them all…