Category Archives: portraits
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
In many cases, I’m not a huge fan when someone swaps parts from a chromoly bicycle to an aluminum one, but in this case I was a-ok with it. This particular customer went from a frame sourced in China to this delicious Low, locally sourced and homegrown right here in California!
Follow Kyle on Instagram and visit Golden Saddle Cyclery in Silverlake, Los Angeles.
Since 1866, Brooks England has been making bicycle saddles in the UK. While their original facilities were located in Birmingham, the current factory is nestled in the industrial town of Smethwick.
We’ve all probably owned a Brooks saddle at one point in our life and can attest to their longtime comfort and character that develops from heavy use. Before a saddle ever touches a seat post, they begin as just raw leather and steel. The process by which they make the transformation to a bicycle saddle is complex, yet streamlined in their bustling factory.
Dozens of employees make Brooks England tick and each has their special task. While they will transfer stations every few months, a unique marker on the saddles can tell you who was doing what, when. This catalog of information spans decades and is what makes Brooks so unique. If something goes wrong with a batch, Brooks can asses the situation and make their end product better.
For me, the most interesting part of the process was talking to the workers and watching them move through their tasks with efficiency… In an age when Great Britain has shipped much of its industry overseas, it’s great to see heritage and craftsmanship are still alive at Brooks.
See more in the Gallery, as I walk you through this process.
Seek and Diverge, Deux North’s Hunt 4 in California
Photos by Andy Bokanev and words by Dylan Nord
In the months leading up to the trip, Deux North’s Hunt 4, we were all focused on miles. Like most of us, I’d done a few big days on the bike before, 8+ hours in the Rapha Gentleman’s Ride or a trip upstate, but never back-to-back-to-back. None of us knew exactly what to expect on the third day, when we would all line up to race the King Ridge Grasshopper Adventure Series.
Richard Hallett is the author of The Bike Deconstructed: A Grand Tour of the Modern Bicycle and part-owner of Sportif Magazine, a new publication in the UK that focuses on, you guessed it, sportif rides. While at the L’Eroica Britannia last weekend, I had the pleasure of both seeing Issue 01 and having the opportunity to shoot Richard’s newest frame, his vintage road.
Laced with Campagnolo Nuovo Record throughout, built with Columbus Zona tubing, Cinelli 1a / CdM bars and a Turbo saddle, this is about as classic Italian as you can get, coming from the UK, anyway. The polished stainless seatstay caps and head badge pop from the classic Gios-inspired paint. All this, topped off with a custom painted Silca pump from the 70′s and rolling on Challenge Strada tires. Sorry, tyres…
For added stiffness, Richard used a bi-lam construction on the bottom bracket (not pictured – you’ll have to figure that one out on your own). Richard’s bike took him across the L’Eroica Britannia 100 mile course with ease, which is partially a testament for his own fitness as a life-long bike racer.
While I enjoyed photographing this bike in the morning sun, as it kissed the Peak District’s green hills and cow pastures, I had even more fun shooting the shit with Richard each night. I’m very impressed with both Sportif Magazine, Richard’s frames and wish both of them the best. Holler at him on Twitter for more information.
Themed rides are quite popular. You know, where you dress in vintage clothing, on a vintage bike and the whole time you ‘gram with a brand new iPhone as photographers shoot away on the best DSLRs available. These rides take you, en masse around a town as on-lookers wonder what brought all these people to their streets. You ride for a little while, drink for a long while and head home, remove your garments and pack them away for the next ride.
The L’Eroica is not a themed ride in that sense, although many of those traits apply here. You must ride a vintage bike older than 1987. Your attire should be of similar age, as well as your shoes, gloves and other accessories but don’t be mistaken, this is no casual jaunt around the park. This is no leisurely stroll, only sated by a cold beer at a pub. The L’Eroica Britannia is a ride for cyclists.
The L’Eroica Britannia was born from its mother event, L’Eroica in Italy, a race where vintage rules everything and aside from the random cell phone in the palm of a rider, everything is period correct. Brooks England brought various media sources out to ride on their team and I was lucky enough to score a position.
Here in the UK, the event is in its first year and with a crowd of over 2,000 riders in attendance, they need a place to call home base. Located in the town of Bakewell, UK, riders have set up camping tents in the pleasant valley along the river.
Rolling hills and picturesque landscapes await, but until then, there is music, drinks and food to be had.
We began our morning with a cold-start descent from our cottages at the top of the hill range, down to town for a sausage sandwich, pudding and some coffee – at least that’s what they called it… From there, we rode out to Chatsworth to tour an old estate, showcasing art that was “procured” from around the world before ending back at the festival for late-afternoon food and drinks…
Today the 2014 L’Eroica Britannia awaits.
A while back, I featured Andre, my new intern’s Stoemper Cross. Well, since then, he got in a wreck and folded the top tube in half. He was pretty bummed, as you might imagine, but luckily for him, a friend who used to work at Co-Motion had this magenta Lucifer frameset sitting in his garage since the 2005 Interbike when he bought it…
The 2014 Schwarzwald Giro – Kevin Sparrow
Photos and Words by Kevin Sparrow
Most of us got a good night sleep in our camper. The nights in Freiburg are chilly and it doesn’t start to warm up until the sun peeks over the tree line later in the morning. Everyone met at Biosk at 9:30, for a planned roll out at 10. It would have been nice to get a decent breakfast but Josh and I downed a bowl of cereal and I took a nutrition bar for a reserve. Others stuffed their jerseys full of snacks. We all knew we had a long day ahead of us…
When Austin, Texas based Fairdale first came onto the cycling market, it all began with the Skate Rack. Soon, ex-pro BMXr Taj Mihelich and his team at OTX began designing commuter bikes and other around-town / get outta-town rides.
From there, Fairdale grew and in my opinion, it wasn’t until the Weekender OG that the company reached its full potential. A 1×9 disc, townie bar cruiser quickly took over. Now just about every city has fleets of Weekenders rolling around, all built up differently, as per the customer’s specific needs. Even the production models have options now: a drop bar with disc and a canti version.
For 2014, Fairdale is set to release their most ambitious project yet: the Goodship road bike. A race-inspired geometry, paired with Fairdale sensibilities. Utilizing the Odyssey integrated head tube, scaled for a road bike, an ENVE road fork and a custom pulled Japanese Drawnright tubeset. This tubeset is custom butted, heat treated, custom shaped and tuned to Fairdale’s specifications.
The Road to the Schwarzwald Giro: Amsterdam
Photos and Words by Kevin Sparrow
The Schwarzwald Giro is a yearly ride in the Black forest of Germany. Phillipp of Europeantouches.cc invited me last year while I was living in Paris. It was such a great time I couldn’t miss the 2014 edition. I hopped on a flight to Amsterdam with the plan to drive to Frieburg with Sammy and Frank of Pristine Bike Shop.
Amsterdam is the bicycle mecca of the world. With 300 bike shops and 1.5 million inhabitants its no wonder why it’s the city of bikes. There is this beautiful buzz of freewheels in the air and the people are some of the friendliest I have ever encountered. They say the average resident of Amsterdam has 3 three bikes. One that kind of works, one locked up somewhere they forgot, and one in the bottom of the canal. I only had one day to explore this time and with my wife and daughter in tow we made the most of it.
My buddy Jon (@twotoneams) generously set us up with a bed and a bakfiets to explore the city for the day. So I loaded up my girls and headed out to get a taste of what this great city has to offer…
Follow Kevin on Instagram and check out photos via #schwarzwaldgiro