A few months ago James Scriven from Niner Bikes reached out and asked me to go on a bike ride with him. I agreed as soon as he asked and only afterwards began to understand what I had signed up for. As the details trickled in I found out that I wouldn’t be riding my own bike, but instead would be on a Special Edition Niner RLT. The bike would be auctioned off after the ride to benefit the International Mountain Bike Association. I wouldn’t even be using my own gear. The bike would be equipped with Blackburn bags, Big Agnes was providing the camping gear and Kitsbow even made a special pair of custom jean shorts for me to wear. Side note: my signature model can be expected to appear sometime in the year 2020. (more…)
The Travelin’ Man’s Firefly!
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
Yo! What time the plane leaving?
I met Nick at LA River Camp Coffee a few months back. He was traveling through California on a true cyclist’s holiday, riding anything and everything that the state had to offer. While in LA Nick was staying at another cyclist’s Airbnb, which is how he heard about River Camp Coffee. I have never used Airbnb personally, but if I do, this sounds like the way to go. Nick had access to a local’s endless knowledge of events, rides and the best local bike shop to have a beer! Long story short, Nick knows what he’s doing when it comes to travel and I don’t just mean in the way of booking accommodations. He applied his knowledge to building his ultimate travel bike, too.
Nick’s base was a stainless steel Firefly road bike with S&S Couplers. He chose stainless steel because of the coating that naturally forms when the chromium in the steel mingles with the oxygen in the atmosphere. The passive film protects the stainless from rust and corrosion without the necessity for paint. A smart choice in my book because traveling with a painted bike almost always ends poorly. Nick also chose to use as many Ti and alloy parts as possible because of their ability to take a beating and hide scratches from afar. Even though this bike was purpose built, in no way did Nick skimp on any of the components. From the cult classic Campy gruppo to the skewers used with the White Industries wheelset, this bike is dialed.
Any travel bike is going to get beaten up, but Nick has planned ahead and I imagine his bike will look almost exactly same when we meet again. I’m just hoping it’s not in Los Angeles. I’d prefer for it to be at Shifter Bikes, where this bike was built, while I’m on my own holiday staying at a cyclist’s Airbnb in Melbourne!
Follow Kyle on Instagram.
Brooke is an experienced cyclist and when the time came to order a custom ‘cross bike for not only racing but everyday dirt riding in San Francisco, she contacted Aaron and his team at Mosaic Cycles to get her fit on a custom XT1 disc ‘cross.
You see, for someone with Brooke’s proportions, it’s hard to fit on a stock bike from many of the big-named companies, so a custom bike which would be tailored to her body seemed like an obvious choice. She didn’t just want to fit on a bike, she wanted the bike to fit her. The end result was a confidence inspiring feel without toe overlap and enough standover to make unexpected dismounts easy. Key build details are the SRAM Red 165mm cranks (since Force CX1 doesn’t come in that length, that new and fancy TRP thru-axle ‘cross fork and some great I9 to Pacenti wheels.
When Brooke and her friend Tessa were in Los Angeles for a wedding, I met up with them to go on a quick ride and couldn’t resist documenting this bike, but bringing my camera along for a little sunset ride…
Photos by Marc McShane
A reader sent this along and I am completely floored about how beautiful this Flickr stream is. If you’ve got the itch to hop on a tour this spring, check out Marc McShane’s photography!
Look. I’m not a super über tech geek. I don’t really care about stiffness or compliance in terms of data or coefficients but I do like riding bikes and developing stories about them, in terms of my personal experiences. When Argonaut and Chris King asked if I wanted to come along for a very informal launch of a new bottom bracket standard, I had a few questions:
-Do we need another BB standard?
-Where is this launch?
-Will there be booze?
Two out of the three answers met my standards, so I agreed. (more…)
Back in 2012, photographer Nick Czerula visited frame builder Richard Sachs and photographed him and his work space. It wasn’t until recently that his work was reformated to fit a long-form narrative. Head over to see all of Nick’s words and photos!
Born to Run: Whitney and Her 20/20 Cycle’s Kalakala
Words and photos by Kyle Kelley
She sweats it out on the back roads of an American Dream, riding through the mountains on a life saving machine. Sprung from the city on a one way line, polished wheels moving her forward most of the time. Whitney let us in, we wanna be your friend. We’ll ride till we drop, and we’ll never look back again.
The above words are from a song Bruce Springsteen never wrote, but I’m almost positive he would if he ever met Whitney Ford-Terry. She is a woman so enthralled with hitting the road that I wasn’t sure she knew any other way of life until I read her profile on Adventure Cycling. A life revolving around art galleries, alternative education, artistic research, working at non-profits, and most importantly getting lost in the woods on her bicycle. Whitney is equally comfortable working in museums like the MoMa or shooting the shit and drinking the boys under the table at whatever local bike shop she happens upon in her travels.
I became acquainted with Whitney when she reached out to me to discuss routes for a tour she was planning. She needed to get from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree for an artist residency and wanted to make the journey fun. We bounced ideas off one another for awhile and the route Whitney ultimately mapped out was hard enough to make most people call her crazy and shake their heads in disbelief. She decided to go straight up the San Gabriel Mountains, along the ridge and then over Mt Baldy to the high desert. With her route settled Whitney shipped her bike to Golden Saddle Cyclery to be built up.
Whitney’s 20/20 Cycle Kalakala is purpose built and can be configured to handle just about any bicycle tour you could imagine. Complete with DFL Stitchworks bags. This bike has never had a place to call home, Whitney has been riding it around the world for the last couple years and with that in mind I had no question about its ability to make it over the mountains I call home and to the Southern California High Desert that I love. Since photographing this bike it’s changed only ever so slightly with the addition of one more National Park badge to the fender, Joshua Tree.
Next time we wanna go with you, Whitney we were born to run!
P.S. If you happen to meet Whitney someday, ask her what hobo tattoos and Bruce Springsteen mean to her.
Black and orange. Candy. Costumes. Excessive partying. Pick two. We opted for the first and the last in the list as a hasty jaunt into the Angeles National Forest became our most enticing opportunity on Halloween. Ty and myself would ride mountain bikes the following morning (today), Liz and Kyle were going trail running since Kyle’s hand is still messed up from the tandemonium crash on Lukens. Others were planning on joining, but succumbed to the body numb of alcohol and parties. (more…)
“If Ferrari made an off-road vehicle, that’s what it’d be like to ride the Santa Cruz Stigmata.”
That’s been the simile I’ve used countless times when describing how this bike rides. In fact, I still can’t think of a better way of describing the Stigmata’s handling and capabilities.
Seven months is a long time for a review and honestly, I wanted to get this up before ‘cross season began but with very little expectations to race this season, I quickly realized that I had been using the Stigmata in every other way than it’s market intention. That’s the beauty of ‘cross bikes though, right?
Let’s step back a bit and look at what this bicycle is. (more…)
Photos by Derek Yarra
Above Category continues to visit the places where their utmost talented suppliers build their frame. First with Pegoretti and now with Mosaic Cycles in Boulder, Colorado. Derek continues to document the space with beautiful simplicity, so if you’ve ever wondered what Mosaic looks like from the inside out, be sure to check out this feature over at the Above Category blog!