Category Archives: portraits
Chris Lee at Monster Track XV
Guest Gallery: Chris Lee at Monster Track XV

Monster Track. The world’s most infamous, dangerous and in my opinion, most significant alleycat. In the 15 years it’s been thrown in New York City, it never ceases to surprise its contenders. There are only a few rules, the most important being two words: NO BRAKES.

Typically, there’s a weeding down process, at the hands of multiple manifests. Everyone starts with one, but only a select few make it to true completion by filling up to three. This year, mother nature smiled on the event, delivering somewhat favorable conditions (when compared to previous years being riddled with rain and snow). At the end of the event, the winners of Monster Track XV were Cooper Ray and Hannah Todd.

On the scene at the event and working the Williamsburg Bridge checkpoint was Chris Lee, who provided a few photos from the event. Check them out in the Gallery!

Mar 19, 2014 1 comment
2014 NAHBS: Mosaic’s Dura Ace Road for Crankstar Brisbane
2014_NAHBS_Mosaic_Crankstar-COVER

You gotta hand it to Mosaic Cycles out of Boulder, Colorado. They really do love their dealer shops. In fact, this year, each of their bikes were designed specifically for a different shop, around the world. My favorite happened to be for Crankstar in Brisbane, Australia.

Painted in a navy and baby blue rings, this road racer has an intimidating stance. Built with Dura Ace (yes! calipers!), Chris King Turquoise, ENVE wheels, custom painted Shimano Pro Stealth Evo bars, custom Busyman saddle and bartape, this bike caught my eye before the show even opened on Thursday night.

I had a lot of fun photographing this one. See for yourself in the Gallery!

Mar 18, 2014 11 comments
2014 NAHBS: Cielo’s Ultegra Di2 Road Racer
2014 NAHBS: Cielo's Ultegra Di2 Road Racer

“Step right up, come see the latest from Cielo / Chris King – this bike has it all: tapered head tube, ENVE wheels, Chris King e’rywhere, PF30 BB, Ultegra Di2, grippy, fast tires and even the latest in chartreuse technology.”

Kyle from Chris King is always peddling the latest from Cielo and Chris King. With good reason too. Made in the same facilities as their brightly-colored, or murdered out Sotte Voce headsets, these bikes bear the same precision as the rest of the Chris King line.

The newest model in their road line, the Ultegra Di2 Road Racer is a full-on production model – meaning from the time you place your order, till it arrives at your front door, you’re looking at 60 days. Maybe 61. But still.

One reason I’m so stoked on these bikes is that any Chris King dealer can carry the frames. That means – nudge, nudge – any shop employee with a Chris King account can order one. Retail price is $2,495 for the frame, fork, I8 headset and add $300 for the matching stem. Cielo’s Road Racer frameset is also available as a standard “cabled” option. Remember, there are always Stem options too…

This bike in particular came in around 16 lbs. It might be less than that, but I don’t want Kyle wacking my knuckles with a straight edge if I’m wrong… See more of this chartreuse beauty in the Gallery! I took extra time with this one…

Mar 18, 2014 25 comments
2014 NAHBS: Festka Union Jack Di2 Disc Road
2014_NAHBS_Festka_Disc_Road-COVER

One of my favorite builders this year at NAHBS were the Czech builders Festka. Their work with oversized Ti and stainless tubing is impeccable. While most of their paint jobs are pretty over the top, this Union Jack Di2 disc road was actually pretty subdued.

Built for Richard Hardy, this particular frame was constructed from Columbus XCR tubing and sported a British racing green coat of wet paint, overlaid with a pattern inspired by the Union Jack flag of the UK.

When people asked me what the overall theme of NAHBS was this year, my reply has been: Di2 and disc brakes. Staying true to that observation, Richard’s bike is equipped and ready to rip. The addition of Rocket Wheels and Tune hubs gave this bike some European flavor amongst the sea of Chris King and Enve.

Remember, if you are interested in carrying Festka, or ordering one for yourself, contact Cycleast in Austin, TX.

See more in the Gallery!

Mar 18, 2014 12 comments
2014 NAHBS: 44 Bikes Retroshift Cross
2014_NAHBS_44_Gravel-COVER

Going into NAHBS this year, one builder I was very interested in chatting with was Kris from 44 Bikes. I’ve enjoyed watching his brand gain so much notoriety over the past year and wanted to find out more about what made him tick.

We chatted a lot, went over all his bikes, talked about New Hampshire life, dirt, trails and what inspired his insane DIY workshop project. At the end of the show, I realized that I shot all three of his bike, essentially giving more coverage to him than any other builder.

There’s no real reason for that, other than since Kris was new to NAHBS, I really wanted to give him some exposure because I really admire his work.

Case in point: this 1×8 Retroshift Cross Bike. Kris used the Retroshift system on his TRP Hylex hydro disc brakes, Industry 9 wheels, along with the Retroshift BURD rear derailleur. Tech aside, this bike has stance. Bright red, crisp lines, no-nonsense language and yes, as I like to say, it’s utilitarian art. See more in the Gallery!

Mar 18, 2014 5 comments
2014 NAHBS: Breadwinner’s Throwback B Road Gravel Bike
2014 NAHBS: Breadwinner's Throwback B Road Gravel Bike

Don’t adjust your handheld or desktop computers, those are indeed indexed downtube shifters… This bike is a throwback to Ira Ryan’s personal history as a bicycle racer and frame builder. Ira is no stranger to gravel, or dirt road riding and racing. Years back, in the early years of the Rapha Continental, Ira was on 23c tires tackling some of the US’ most picturesque roads. Maybe that’s what inspired this ride? That and classic road frames, with an edge. Think of this B Road as an homage to the bikes of yesteryear, with modern upgrades.

Breadwinner‘s bikes this year absolutely slayed and this tangerine B Road “gravel” bike had so much zest. The project began with Ira and Tony modifying Dura Ace downtube shifters to fit 11-speed bar end internals (yes, it shifts like butter). From there, a tapered head tube with an ENVE CX fork and 32c Pasela tires provide more than adequate clearances for true all-road riding and racing. Then, Breadwinner added a third bottle cage and fender eyelets to the ENVE fork!

TRP’s Hylex hydro disc brakes (with custom drillium levers!) will provide the stopping power and modulation. The internal cable routing ensures the lines of the frame stay clean. I don’t know why I love this machine so much, maybe it’s a combination of it truly being unique or the color? For whatever the reason, I enjoyed photographing this in the morning light at this year’s NAHBS.

See more of this mind-boggling machine in the Gallery!

Mar 17, 2014 59 comments
2014 NAHBS: 44 Bikes Murdered Out Rigid SS 29′r
2014 NAHBS: 44 Bikes Murdered Out Rigid SS 29'r

This NAHBS I learned two things about 44 Bikes. The first being Kris and I are the exact same size – which comes in handy for any planned trips to New Hampshire I might have to make. Second, Kris doesn’t build anything that he can’t or wouldn’t ride himself. Although, I suppose if someone really wanted a road bike, he’d make an exception.

Regionally, the roads surrounding Kris’ shop and home are quite shitty. Rutted, washboarded, washed-out and rocky, the tracks and trails take quite the beating throughout the winter, so his bikes are tailored to this terrain. For NAHBS this year, Kris brought all three of his own bikes to show off, because, well. It just makes sense.

Here’s the show favorite from his booth: a murdered out singlespeed 29′r with a nice, fat Whisky Parts fork, Industry 9 wheels and a rear end so tight that it’d be hard to… No, wait, it’s so black metal that… Anyway, I digress.

Check out more in the Gallery!

Mar 17, 2014 14 comments
2014 NAHBS: Avery’s Smokey and the Bandit Homage Tourer
2014 NAHBS: Avery's Smokey and the Bandit Homage Tourer

At NAHBS, themed bikes are usually hit or miss and by that I mean, people usually get it or they don’t. If you can’t see the theme in this bike, then you probably didn’t grow up on the 80′s watching reruns of Smokey and the Bandit… Or… You just don’t get it.

Josh from Avery County Cycles went way over the top with this homage bike. Built for himself, as his new touring rig, everything was thought out and executed with precision. Down to the choice in tire: Michelin’s Country Rock. The stem is custom and Josh even got Coors-themed water bottles for the show.

For the saddle, Mick Peel from Busyman hand-embossed the firebird logo from Bo Darville’s Trans Am. Other details include PAUL Racers, hand-made carbon fiber racks – with Paragon ends (Josh isn’t 100% sure the front rack is structurally sound, these were mostly for show) and the exquisite Trans Am-inspired wet paint by Jordan Low.

I can almost hear the theme song playing as I’m typing this! See more in the Gallery!

Mar 16, 2014 14 comments
2014 NAHBS: Alchemy Cross
2014_NAHBS_Alchemy_Cross-COVER

Alchemy has been through a lot over the past few years. Originally from Austin, the shop moved to Denver in 2013, prior to NAHBS. While they’ve gone through a few hiccups in the process, the shop is cranking out some incredibly nice steeds.

Cody’s cross bike is a prime example. There ain’t no ISP on that baby, the topper is welded onto the seat mast. The internal cable routing is clean, CX1 with custom painted Rotor cranks, and damn that paint job. This is one of my favorite bikes in the show and it doesn’t hurt that the owner is a damn great guy.

See more in the Gallery!

Mar 16, 2014 23 comments
2014 NAHBS: Six-Eleven Track
2014 NAHBS: Six-Eleven Track

I know when I come to NAHBS, I can always count on Aaron at Six-Eleven to have a track bike on display. In years past, he’s had some of my favorite bikes at the show and out of his entire fleet (the dude brought like 12 bikes, seriously), this one was my favorite.

Built in Virginia, to be raced in Portland, this machine has some pretty jamming details. Personally, I love the color and the Chris King bits, but the seatpost topper and fork crown are next level!

See more in the Gallery!

Mar 15, 2014 18 comments