I’ve gotten a lot of emails regarding this bike. We’re dialing in some details and you can expect a thorough review and gallery in the next few weeks… For now, poke around on the Vanilla Workshop Instagram and the #UrbanRacer hashtag for more teasers.
One of my favorite trails in Los Angeles recently became the backdrop to a photoshoot for a brand that I’m very excited about. Ringtail is a new company, started by Sean Talkington from Team Dream and Kyle Kelley from Golden Saddle Cyclery. Their intent is to make great fitting, practical cycling apparel and accessories in the USA. As of now, everything is made in the Los Angeles area, which is an added plus for the dudes, seeing as though they like being a part in the production process.
Slack and low, with bigger tire clearances this time. That’s the main difference between this bike and its predecessor. As noted in the previous bike’s gallery, the first version of this bike wasn’t what I wanted. Luckily, Seth Rosko is a good friend of mine and a very capable frame builder. He’s also human and humans make mistakes. What makes a human a great human and a great framebuilder is their ability to rectify those mistakes.
We had a miscommunication, and there was a fabrication error that resulted in a frame with clearance for 2.0 29’r tire in the rear. It’s something that happens from time to time. Framebuilders make mistakes. Chainring clearances, missing or incorrect cable stops, off-square rear triangles. You’re getting a functional piece of art and art has character. Right? Maybe not so much. It needs to function, above all.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move onto what I’m calling my “Agave Slapper” hardtail. This version clears a 2.4 Ardent on the rear, has a 69º head tube angle, a mid-range BB drop and an option for a 2x or 3x front ring. It’s easy to get it low through corners and in Texas, that means the occasional run in with the blue agave plant, where its color was inspired.
One of my favorite cycling photographers, Jered Gruber has a story up on Exposure, showcasing the art of photography, cycling and story telling. Head over to Exposure to check it out now. When’s the story on Ashley Gruber going up?!
Fluoro and functionality. That’s what caught my eye when I first saw Justin‘s Serotta T Max mountain bike. That and the big ol’ Columbus Max OR sticker (I have a crush on that tubeset). Justin took what many would consider an obsolete 26″ frame, added mustache bars to it, a rack with a Wald basket and flat pedals, resuscitating it back to daily use. Of course it still shreds dirt, but it also shreds to and from work. Now we gotta find you a front derailleur dude.
Bum tracks, fire roads, singletrack beware, this Serotta T Max is looking for lunch!
Photos by Morgan Meredith
New bike day is the best. It’s a special occasion that sometimes merits special attire. Like a suit… Wait, what? Morgan and Brian went up into the San Gabriel mountains to shoot some photos of Brian’s new Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt. Loving the #RubberSideUp photo! Check out the rest, including a short video at Vernor Film.
Taking on the #FlowShiv
Photos and words by Chris Riekert
Here in the hallowed halls of the big red ‘S’; you know, the Death Star of the cycling world… you might be surprised to see there are some real people roaming around. Real people that are, first and foremost, big fans of bikes.
People like my buddy John Friedrich, the only man I know who would happily talk about the different weights of DOT brake fluid and what they offer to the rider, literally, until you’d choose water boarding over continuing the conversation… Or like our mechanic Patrick “Tree” Miller who seems like someone delivered to earth in one of those rescue pods shot through space as the planet Krypton went through nuclear collapse. Patrick is the NICEST most willing to help person I’ve ever met… and yes, he is a bicycle mechanic! How about that?
The idea of a shuttle run is something very foreign to me. You gotta earn that descent! Still, a few friends here in Los Angeles have been trying to get me to wake up at 5am to hit the Mt Wilson shuttle with them and this morning, I finally gave in.
In Los Angeles, if you don’t have a cross bike, you’re fuckin’ up. Seriously. There are so many dirt roads and tracks to explore, all within the city limits that you’ll quickly realize your road bike or mountain bike’s limitations.
For Yanco, he wanted a frame from a California pedigree. He had put a deposit down with Hunter Cycles a while back, way before the second year of Mudfoot Stinners popped up. So when his spot in the Hunter queue finally came up, he contacted Geoff McFetridge and Aaron about setting him up with a Mudfoot-painted ENVE fork for his Hunter.
At first, no one was sure how it’d look, but after Rick posted a photo of the grey frame with blue logos, we all knew it’d look incredible. Matched with mango Chris King, some Paul skewers and a little sumpin’ sumpin’ locked into the downtube bottle bosses, this bike has some real style…
Then it fell over and I felt horrible! Sorry Yanco! Hopefully it’s not the last time this bike goes #RubberSideUp…
It might snow, there might be rain, the temperature is dropping tonight.
Still wanna ride? Of course. While the whole adoration of the inevitable clusterfuck or yard-shitting makes for interesting stories, sometimes just appreciating the spectacle that is mother nature’s mood swings merits documentation, regardless of how ethereal tales told on the internet tend to be.
Four hours. We had four hours to ride before the day’s responsibilities would set in for us. Kyle from Golden Saddle and Brian from Brian Vernor Making Blog (heh) wanted to ride Strawberry Peak in the Angeles National Forest. I’ve never been, but was promised picturesque San Gabriel shredding. While Strawberry Peak is strictly XC riding, there are plenty of places for unbalanced placement potentially resulting in catastrophe or consequence. I.e. exposure and lots of rocks.