Category Archives: portraits
Ben’s Cicli Spirito Porteur
Ben's Cicli Spirito Porteur

At the Melburn Roobaix yesterday (more to come on that), I bumped into my friend Ben Kamenjas from Sydney, who I met a few years back when he worked at Deus Ex Machina. Ben’s a wealth of cycling knowledge, especially the obscure / idiosyncratic world of French components and frames. At a certain point in your life, you tire of looking at others’ work and decide to start building for yourself.

What you see here is Ben’s first bike, under his moniker Cicli Spirito (no link yet). It’s a fendered porteur with a customized VO rack that mounts to the vintage center pull mounts and classic French parts with a classic geometry.

It’s always difficult to shoot a porteur with weight on the front, so I asked Ben to act as the kickstand while I snapped a few, very quick photos.

With this weather, I’m sure Ben was stoked on his Swift Industries Pelican bag, fenders and nice, plump tires during the Roobaix. That’s a great looking bicycle!

Jun 30, 2014 23 comments
Splatter Somec Road with Dura Ace 7400
Splatter Somec Road with Dura Ace 7400

Man, the Italians knew how to paint a bike. Rides like this will forever have a soft spot in any cyclist’s heart. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to bikes, or a seasoned, life-long rider. There’s something about a splatter paint job, a neon palette and vintage Dura Ace that just screams style.

I’m in Melbourne and staying with FYXO during the Melburn Roobaix, which is like having a museum of classic steeds at your disposal to ride and photograph.

Since the Eroica Britannia, I’ve been hankering for a classic steel road bike, scouring forums, eBay and the local Craigslist. Once I arrived at the FYXO HQ, I saw this bike and asked one question: you selling this? To which Andy replied “mate, everything has a price.”

It’s tempting… Columbus Extra Legger tubing, Dura Ace 7400, clearance for a 28c tire and yes, that paint job. It might be the vintage bike I’ve been looking for. What do you think?

Jun 27, 2014 17 comments
Golden Saddle Rides: Low Track
Golden Saddle Rides: Low Track

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!

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Follow Kyle on Instagram and visit Golden Saddle Cyclery in Silverlake, Los Angeles.

Jun 26, 2014 19 comments
A Look Inside Brooks England
Luckily, Eric's got steady hands!

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.

Jun 25, 2014 5 comments
Seek and Diverge: Deux North’s Hunt 4 in NorCal – Andy Bokanev
Seek and Diverge: Deux North’s Hunt 4 in Northern California

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.

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Jun 25, 2014 10 comments
Richard Hallett’s Classic Road with Campagnolo Nuovo Record
Richard Hallett's Classic Road with Campagnolo Nuovo Record

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.

Cheers!

Jun 24, 2014 7 comments
The 2014 L’Eroica Britannia
Into the hills.

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.

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Jun 23, 2014 28 comments
Saturday at the L’Eroica Britannia Festival
Holdsworth team car.

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.

Jun 22, 2014 20 comments
Andre’s Co-Motion Lucifer Cross
Andre's Co-Motion Lucifer Cross

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…

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Jun 18, 2014 8 comments
The 2014 Schwarzwald Giro – Kevin Sparrow
Jon’s 2009 Speedvagen road.

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…

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Jun 18, 2014 12 comments