Category Archives: portraits
An Icarus Road Bike with Shimano Ultegra for My Mom
An Icarus Road Bike with Shimano Ultegra for My Mom

It says a lot when someone buys the two most important women in their life custom frames from one builder. Ian Sutton from Icarus Frames is a good friend of mine, so when I realized that my mom was in need of a new road bike, I called him up and got the ball rolling.

This is the third custom bike I’ve bought from Ian. The first being my Viking Track, then Lauren’s Porteur and now, this True Temper road bike for my mom.

The geometry is clearly road, but the drivetrain is geared more towards a cross bike. Up front, I chose Shimano‘s Ultegra cross crank, with a mid cage Ultegra rear mech and a 32t cassette in the back. This will help my mom get up steep hills with ease, while giving her the range she needs while riding coastal North Carolina roads.

Circle A nailed the paint, coating the frame and the ENVE fork in a bright “marine” blue.

Easton was kind enough to send along the bars, post, stem and even bar tape. I couldn’t be more thankful! For her wheels, I bought a set of the NAHBS display Chris King Alloy Ride wheels. Taking advantage of the trade show pricing, I also bought some King Cages.

When I dropped the parts off to Mellow Johnny’s I still needed a headset – NoThreadset in Sotte Voce black, a saddle – Fizik Vitesse- and tires – Continental Gran Prix 28c. In the end, it came out great. As shown, it weighs 17lbs on the head.

There is no greater feeling in this world than to see your mother happy, healthy and riding in style. Cycling has no doubt changed her life for the better and to me, this bike was worth the investment. She did her first century last summer and I’ll be pressing her to do another this summer!

Apr 2, 2014 25 comments
Chris’ Spectrum Track Bike
Chris' Spectrum Track Bike

Over the years, Tom Kellogg has produced some insane track bikes, most of which go for a steal on eBay, Craigslist and at swaps. These machines have tight clearances, little details, great paint and you’d be hard pressed to find any two of similar breed.

Chris bought this frame off the Boston Craigslist years back. He’s raced it at Red Hook Crit and while it spends a fair amount of time hanging on the wall, sometimes he takes it for a spin into work at Mellow Johnny’s, where he wrenches.

Details include: custom fillet stem, insane seat stay cluster with bi-lam lugs, clearances for a 19mm tire up front, that fork, the clincher Shamals (rear rim was a road Shamal, laced to track Shamal hub) and yeah, that paint!

Apr 1, 2014 7 comments
The 2014 NAHBS Drive-Side Gallery
nahbs.chopped

At a glance, this chop-job might actually appeal to some of you. Hey, it’s got everything you need. Low-riding porteur rack, shifting options, multiple paint finishes, massive tire clearances, rim options, disc brakes (hydro or cable) and a reasonable saddle to bar drop.

Doing this little exercise made me realize one thing: damn, there were a lot of disc brakes at NAHBS this year!

While I enjoy detail photos, the drive side of a bike lets you see so much, especially when it’s shot at a nice and level side profile. You can see clearances, BB drop, overlap, trail and reach.

The drive side photo is the most important portrait you can shoot of a bike, in my opinion anyway… This Gallery breaks it down. Flip through for easy comparison and if you missed any of these photosets, check out the 2014 NAHBS archive.

Mar 27, 2014 9 comments
Mars Cycles Track
Beautiful Bicycle: Mars Cycles Track

In my groggy state at this year’s NAHBS, I met Casey Sussman, the builder of Mars Cycles, a small frame builder out of Oakland. His bright magenta track bike caught my eye but in a world of mail-order “fixies”, I didn’t initially register the bike as a hand made frame.

Once Casey introduced himself, I quickly realized that was no mail-order, made in Taiwan bike. It’s a legitimate, hand made track bike. Clean fillets, racing geometry, non-nonsense details and that tapered head tube. Mars Cycles’ work, at this point, is focusing on crit-ready track bikes and Casey’s bike is a prime example.

Mars Cycles will have a few racers rolling these frames at this weekend’s Red Hook Crit in Brooklyn, so if you see them, make sure to wish them luck!

Leave a comment in the Gallery with any comments or concerns.

Mar 26, 2014 26 comments
e r t z u i ° film – Crema Cycles Static Rigid 29′r
CremaStatic_04

Joe Wignall and Ken Bloomer, from Crema Cycles attended the Berliner Fahrrad Schau last week where they showed their new Static rigid 29′r shred sled in this limited edition configuration.

It features ENVE’s new MTB fork and a custom made carbon seat tube. The frame was built by Alchemy in Denver, especially for Crema Cycles and they will be offering 10 of these framesets (frame, fork, headset and seatpost). Each frame comes in a nice coat of custom paint and the Static is slated to be released later this summer.

Price is to be determined.

Props to the boys at e r t z u i ° film for the photos! See more in the Gallery!

Mar 25, 2014 17 comments
SRAM Trail House Day 03
Seriously, every turn opened up a vignette into an oil-painted landscape. Tyler getting it!

Everyone, in the history of friends who’ve been to Utah, particularly Moab, have said “broooo, you have to ride Porcupine” – which is followed by Enchilada – “ohhhh man, you gotta do Enchilada too!”

Let me just say that Utah is completely wild. It’s like a hipper Nevada. The word “Adventure” is literally everywhere you look – Adventure Raft Tours, Adventure Desert Guide, etc – I could have done a post on the vernacular of adventure x companies. Next time.

Back to Utah – I’ve been here once before.

Moab, however is a lot different than I expected. The trails are incredible and yes, Porcupine did indeed deliver. If you’ve ridden it, then you know. If you haven’t… broooo. The morning began with a quick cup of coffee and a breakfast burrito. Then came the sunblock lather, kit check and bag-stuffing. Snacks, water, tools, camera, check. In the interest of time, we shuttled to 7,000′ and ripped back to town.

Part of the SRAM Trail House media launch experience is getting to have some talented photographers shoot photos of you ripping down the mountains. To give you a point of reference: we stopped about every 10 minutes or so and went down the trail one by one. That results in a very long day – but for me, it just means I got to shoot my own photos in the downtime, some of which, I’m very stoked on.

Photographing MTB riding is pretty new for me, but I think this photoset captures what it’s like to ride in Moab, particularly Porcupine. At least in a pretty ok manner. What I’m saying is, I’m stoked on a lot of these, so don’t miss ‘em!

Mar 24, 2014 4 comments
SRAM Trail House Day 01
Elbows out.

Over the past four years, SRAM MTB has invited a handful of media representatives out to Moab, Utah to unveil new products, talk tech and most importantly shred the abundance of trails just a few short miles from town. Getting an invite to an event like this is as exciting as it is unnerving. Dude, you have to like, ride new stuff with like 20 people. Most of which you just met that morning…

The trails in Moab are unlike anything I’ve ridden before. Some are infamously techy, then others envelop you in smooth, flowy 1-track ribbons. Today, we hit the HyMasa – Captain Ahab loop and I had an absolute blast. Once you get over the whole new bike / new trail / new terrain and just embrace your surroundings, the anxiety subsides and with each break you take, it’s easy to fall into the environment. Or, in my case you OTB, get up, laugh and everyone is stoked. Then you all get to hang out as the sun sets over the cliffs.

I’ve only been in Moab for 24 hours and I can see why it’s a favorite for many of my friends…

See more of the weird Utah vernacular and mind-blowing landscape in the Gallery!

Mar 22, 2014 9 comments
2014 NAHBS Mega Huge Oversized Gallery
I snuck into NAHBS on Thursday to see what everyone was doing... Surprise! Cleaning their bikes!

Much like the road, cross and MTBs found at the 2014 NAHBS, this gallery has a 44mm headtube and is built from OS tubing. In fact, there’s so much packed into the gallery, that I had to give it hydro disc brakes, electronic shifting and through-axles. So descend into the rock garden of Galleries at your own risk…

This year, NAHBS was in my old stomping grounds of Charlotte, North Carolina. I went to architecture college there, slaved away for five years, got my degree and walked away, never looking back. Nothing against the city, because Charlotte has its rad moments, I just never found myself close enough to make the trip. So for me, NAHBS was kind of a homecoming. While I didn’t recognize a lot of the downtown or surrounding areas, that’s to be expected. It had been over 10 years…

I knew a few things were on the agenda: eat at Bojangles fried chicken and biscuits, try to shoot as many bikes outside of the convention as possible, chat with Chris Bishop (who wasn’t showing this year) and somehow, avoid getting wasted each night, because working 14 hour days with a hangover sucks.

Then I got sick. Sicker than I’ve been in some time. Musta been some bayou bug I caught down at Rouge Roubaix. Whatever it was, I could barely focus on anything, my head hurt, my throat was swollen and it was hard to stay indoors with the horrible lighting. So I lost a full day of work, didn’t get to chat to Chris Bishop (sorry dude!) and missed out on the late night shenanigans (thankfully).

What I did accomplish was a selection of bikes I felt were significant and a pretty ok Gallery, showcasing the highlights of the show (for me anyway). I also managed to catch a few friends meandering the aisles… See more in the Mega Huge Oversized Gallery!

Mar 20, 2014 21 comments
Quiros Tange Aero Track
Beautiful Bicycle: Quiros Tange Aero Track

In the midst of all the NAHBS madness and in between nearly overdosing on Dayquil, I bumped into Armando Quiros, a frame builder I’ve featured on the site before, way, way back. Armando usually pops up at NAHBS with some insane track build. This time, he didn’t disappoint.

Like most builders, Armando keeps an eye out for vintage, rare tube and lugsets. A few years back, he acquired a set of the uber-scarce Tange Aero lugs, knowing good and well that the lugs aren’t worth anything without the tubes, or the post.

Some time passed and a random search on eBay revealed the tubes and the post, with a note stating: please note, the lugs are not included. He now had all the pieces to the puzzle so to speak.

He got cracking to it, built up a mean track frame and got it powdercoated before the show, building it up in the hotel room the night before. I bumped into him, outside the convention and shot some quick photos, which you can see in the Gallery!

Mar 20, 2014 6 comments
2014 NAHBS: Breadwinner Bad Otis 27.5 MTB
2014_NAHBS_Breadwinner_MTB-COVER

At this point, Tony Pereira of Breadwinner has won three “best MTB” awards at NAHBS over the years. So when this Bad Otis was getting built up on Thursday night before the show, I was interested to see what he had up his sleeves… Boy, was I surprised and impressed. Both Ira and Tony had killer personal bikes at the show.

Tony’s Bad Otis sports a Rockshox 160mm Pike front fork and it’s a hard tail. While that might be an issue on a 29′r, this 27.5 bike will destroy about anything Tony throws at it (or anything he hucks it off, rather). The Reverb Stealth dropper adds another level of adaptability for trail conditions.

With a head angle of 66 degrees and some nice, plump tires, this bike wants to go down things, fast. I just wish I could be there to see him shred on its maiden voyage.

See more in the Gallery!

Mar 19, 2014 16 comments