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
I love seeing frame builders gain notoriety through supporting grassroots cycling teams. Not to say that Aaron Stinner wouldn’t be as popular today without building the Mudfoot racing cyclocross frames, but it certainly helped.
Aaron is lucky enough to have a decent sized workspace set up in his garage and he’s even luckier to have a great ride just seconds from his front door. As his queue stacks up, Aaron continues to crank out road, cross and MTB frames for customers, who happen to be mostly from California. Many of which are looking to race on a steel frame, made in their home state, rather than buy overseas production.
Stinner Frameworks is still new in the grand scheme of things, but if Aaron continues at the current momentum, he could vary well be the next big thing…
Yamaguchi’s framebuilding school has turned out some incredible talent over the years. While many enroll with hopes of becoming the next hot thing, some go to just learn the art. Chris Chou, a guy who probably has the most bikes featured on the Radavist, ever, went to Yamaguchi a few years ago to build a light tourer.
Like all Yamaguchi school frames, this bike was made from True Temper tubing and brazed by Chris over the course of a few weeks. When he was finished, he sent it off to Fresh Frame for paint.
Because Chris had never built a bicycle before, the original stem developed a stress riser, so Chris had his then housemate Ian at Icarus make him a stem. From there, the Nitto bars and Campagnolo 10 speed group add a considerable amount of class to what many would consider a utilitarian bicycle. PAUL e’rything, a Crane Bell, Mellow Johnny’s stem cap, my old Pentabike bar end and there’s a lil #JahBlessed going on with the Salsa Rasta Skewers and Ride Jah Bike button.
SON’s Edelux system and a Supernova E3 rear, lights the way and an Ostrich saddle bag holds the daily commuting needs. Cole rode this bike during the Yonder Journal (dis)Enchanted Rock Brovet and slashed a tire pretty badly on a river crossing, so Chris threw a Conti on, leaving the tires mis-matched, which I would add to the character of this bike.
I really love photographing bicycles like this.
Two Years on a Bike With the Fuji X-Pro1
Words and Photos by Kevin Sparrow
A follow up to: Kevin Sparrow Discusses the Fuji X-Pro1 and Cycling
It has been over two years since I switched over from Canon DSLR to the Fuji X-Pro1 and I haven’t looked back. I’ve traveled all over the world with this camera. I rode from Paris to Lausanne with her slung around my back. I’ve shot photos for commercial clients and for publications. This little camera has more than met my expectations as a professional use camera.
A while back, I posted about Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames trying to sell this prototype track machine here in Austin. Turns out, my buddy – and part time intern – Andre picked it up. Rather than go with a classy, wet coat, he got it painted dark black with a clear sparkle top coat. Something that neither Ian nor myself saw coming…
I’ll admit, both of us were apprehensive, but when I saw the bike in person, I knew exactly what Andre was going for and Circle A killed it!
Andre built the bike up with all Zipp components: seatpost, bars, bartape and stem. For wheels, he went PAUL track hubs to H+Son Archetypes and SRAM Omnium cranks. It’s a standard, classy build on a very unique frameset. Since he works at Mellow Johnny’s he had the mechanics dial everything in.
The Cervelo fork and its tight clearances are right at home with this frame, that barely squeezes in a 23c tire. It’s a mean steed with a bit of sassy sparkles.
Ride safe Andre!
When Erik and I committed to riding the Oregon Outback, we didn’t want to absolutely kill ourselves, but we wanted it to be tough. On paper, 360 miles is totally doable in three days without crushing your spirit. Hell, I think we could have done it in two and we still would have been ok but that’s not the point.
I had a responsibility. One that I take seriously and that’s documenting this trip. Granted, most of the time, I didn’t want to stop to shoot a photo, or hop off my bike, I just wanted to keep going…
The second day of any big ride is usually the toughest. Your body just assumes it’s going to be on the defensive for an unknown amount of time and begins to push back. Usually, that is. For Erik and I, we awoke in the Silver Lake Community Park f-u-c-k-i-n-g freezing. The weather said it would drop to 45 degrees as the low, so he and I brought hammocks and 40 degree bags in the interest of space and weight.
At 4am, my phone said it was 28 degrees. A cold front had moved in.
I was shivering uncontrollably, had I known it was going to be that cold, I would have brought a sleeping pad and a tarp, both of which I’ve used to alleviate the loss of body heat that happens in hammocks at such low temperatures. But alas, you reap what you sew. We would be cold on this trip.
All our field guide said about mile 120-240 was that we’d be crossing altitude desert and would be without water for up to 80 miles. I brought an Arundel Looney Bin to hold a 48oz Nalgene, which, after making breakfast, I filled up. Along with my two large Purist bottles. We had to get moving. Fast… It was 6:30am.
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