Category Archives: portraits
Ended Today With a Great Sunset
Jonathan_Topo_Sunset-14

Today’s been a busy one, but those are usually the days where a quick ride will do wonders to reset your mind. Earlier this afternoon, Jonathan and I hit the trails, before shooting photos of his SWorks Epic. The lighting was perfect and this time of year, Central Texas does not disappoint on the weather.

More on this to come…

Feb 17, 2015 1 comment
Three Appropriate Bikes for Eroica California
A tryptic of beautiful, vintage bicycles.

Selecting the appropriate bicycle for an event like Eroica California can be daunting if you don’t know what you’re doing. While these three bicycles don’t represent your only options, they do present some interesting notes. Ranking these noble steeds in rarity (i.e. cost) helps put things in perspective. As stated however, these are not your only options…

You’ve got exactly two months to find yourself a bike. Start by looking local. Craigslist, your local shop, swaps, flea markets, classifieds and eBay. Don’t go overboard. If this is going to be a one-time deal for you, why not ask a collector friend to borrow their bike? Or, if you want to go down the vintage bicycle rabbit hole, there are two options in this trio that are sure to whet your whistle. Or bell…

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Feb 9, 2015 20 comments
Mark’s Team Telekom Eddy Merckx MX-Leader
Mark's Team Telekom Merckx MX-Leader

A few people have asked what bike I was pedaling around on the Eroica California course. While it doesn’t meet the pre-1987 guidelines, it’s vintage enough for my tastes. The MX-Leaders have always had a soft spot in my heart. Arguably the most significant bikes to ever leave the Merckx factory, these were race-ready, pedigree machines. Made with Merckx’s proprietary lugs and Columbus MXL tubesets, they were some of the stiffest steel frames at the time.

Perfect for the US team Motorola, or in this case, team Telekom. This frame in particular was Brian Holm’s and while a majority of the MX-Ls were raced with Dura Ace 7400, the bike’s owner, Mark Riedy, decided to go a bit more practical – and classy IMO – with a 10-speed Campagnolo gruppo. He then topped the cockpit off with an ITM stem.

There’s something about the Telekom paint jobs that always did it for me. Flashy, yet classy and an undeniable style. I’d love to add one of these to my collection some day.

Feb 6, 2015 31 comments
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
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
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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