Category Archives: randonneur
Audax Alpine Classic

This is phenomenal – it’s like a vignette into a miniature world. I love Australia!

“Earlier this year I worked with cycling club Audax Australia to capture a tilt-shift time-lapse of their event the Alpine Classic. Starting in the town of Bright 2,200 cyclists tackled several different courses of up to 250km which included ascents of Mount Buffalo, Mount Hotham, Falls Creek and Tawonga Gap. In my four days of shooting I covered nearly 2,000km through the Victorian High Country capturing cyclists, landscapes and the local towns.”

Jul 28, 2014 3 comments
David’s Circle A Cycles Long Ride Road
David's Circle A Cycles Long Ride Road

In the past few years, Brian Chapman has shifted interest in frame building. Initially, he was half of Circle A Cycles but recently, he began building under the moniker, Chapman Cycles.

The work Brian is producing at Chapman Cycles is exceptional. Not that his work at Circle A was lacking in any regard, but going out on his own allowed Brian to really pursue his vision of what cycling truly means to him.

When I look at David Wilcox’s road frame, I see Chapman Cycle’s future, even though this bike was built years before Brian began building for his new venture. Geometrically speaking, this is a road bike with a traditional geometry, but functionally, it’s much more.

Rack, fender mounts and clearances for up to a 33.3 slick, this bike is a “long ride” road. It was built for the Oregon Manifest, specifically for David Wilcox, or as he’s known in the Northeast, “the Wilcox“.

Much like Chapman Cycles, David has gone off on a journey of his own. He just happens to be towing the new and improved Rapha Mobile Cycle Club, Tillie along with him. On his new path, he’ll be meeting up with countless group rides where, more often than not, watts and carbon are the nomenclature, not steel and plump tires.

Eventually, someone notices the brazed Circle A Cycles on the downtube, the large tires and mid-reach calipers. Or maybe they notice the spokes that were brazed onto the chainstays for chain slap protection and around the internal routing exit-port for a little added “pop”.

At that moment, David becomes the “hero” of the ride and all other technology present becomes obsolete… Well, almost.

Last weekend, I planned a route, dissected from our Super Bro Weekend ride. Four of us showed up and after five miles, my knee decided it wasn’t ready for the big day, so I bailed, only to return later in the day to shoot David’s bike amidst the rolling hills of the Austin area.

Jun 10, 2014 18 comments
Joshua’s Bryant 650b Fatrob Dirt Road Tourer
Joshuas_Bryant_Dirt-13

Joshua Bryant is a frame builder out of Portland (who looks an lot like this dude Franco650b on Instagram). He specializes in road / touring / randonneur / dirt tourers and coincidentally builds out of the old Hufnagel studios off Burnside.

This frame in particular, dubbed the Fatrob, is a special bird. Built as part of a collaboration with Matt from Folly, it’s a 650b, tubeless, neon pink, SON-powered “get rad machine” – although I didn’t see Joshua get rad on it during this ride. We’ll have to follow up at a later date.

Why do I like this frame? How could you not? It’s pink and a playful mix of old and new school components. Oh and with the Plug, Joshua can keep his iPhone charged to get the ‘gram mid-ride…

May 14, 2014 24 comments
Boyz on the Hoods: Indians Road [DNF]lèche 2014

I have always loved the concept of a Flèche, which is the French word for “arrow”. It’s a 24 hour straight rando ending in a city, which in this case, happens to be SF.

For more information on the 2014 Flèche put on by the SF Randonneurs, head over to Boyz on the Hoods.

Related note: I really want to ride Indians Road after watching this!

May 5, 2014 2 comments
Pass the Torch with Mitch from Map Bicycles
Some of the first batch of Randonneur Project bikes using NOS stamped lugs. These were easier to manipulate than cast lugs, but obviously, supplies were limited...

Pass the Torch is a concept I’ve been thinking about for some time. Its intent is to allow frame builders to share stories from their workshops. Whether it’s technique, random thoughts, or even, as in this case, production procedures, Pass the Torch will (hopefully) be a great, well-rounded resource for builders and nerds alike (myself included).

The first person to contribute is Mitch Pryor from Map Bicycles. Mitch creates some of the most elegant randonneuring frames and he documents his process with apparent ease. It’s not easy for frame builders to take the time to photograph their work, so I appreciate the time and energy Mitch puts into doing so.

These 3D printed lugs caught my eye and prompted me to reach out to Mitch and ask a few questions. Read on below and in the Gallery captions, as Mitch discusses a recent development in lugwork for his Randonneur Project.

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Words and photos by Mitch Pryor

The laminate process is unique in that it allows a LOT of options in joinery and a more modern aesthetic than a casting, in my opinion. With the bi-lam, you not only get total flexibility of joining tubes of any size at any angle, but you get a very clean look with a traditional feel, and more personality than a straight fillet.

When I started doing the Rando Project, I was using lugs and building all those different sized bikes using the same castings was not ideal. Fit up has to be just right for everything to turn out spot on, and I wasn’t happy. It was a fight. Inspiration to try the bi-laminate approach came from looking at pictures of the French constructeurs tandems.

Here is where they had the same problem as me – no lugs would work. I made the switch to this approach in 2010 and have been doing it since. It’s a lot of work for style, so it costs, and that’s why I started working with Steelman on the S&P frames. It’s been working out great, but the urge to complete the look of a lug of my own design has been hard to resist.

That’s where Jono came in. Since I work primarily with physical things, it’s been hugely helpful to be able to model different design possibilities with Jono’s help. The 3D printed lugs you saw are what we arrived at over the past year of fooling around and tweaking the design. With the 3D samples we can actually miter tubes and set up the fixture as if these are actual lugs, to check angles, fit, and proportions.

3D printing makes it easy to dream, but reality is that tooling for the casting molds, and required minimums, make turning these laminates into investment castings very cost prohibitive to a company of my size. I’m planning to do the extra work of building with them as two laminates for now, fillet-brazing them together and then silver-brazing the frame, until I’m convinced there is enough reason to pursue a new casting.

Maybe a Kickstarter approach marketed to the framebuilder community to gauge interest. We’ll see.

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Follow Mitch’s work at the Map Bicycles Flickr.

Apr 2, 2014 7 comments
Vanilla Bicycles: 2006 Horton Collection Randonneur
Vanilla_Randonneur

This very special Vanilla randonneur was featured on the cover of the book, Custom Bicycles A Passionate Pursuit. It’s owner, Brett Horton, curates the Horton Collection, his own private museum of all things relevant to the golden age of cycling. I would post more photos on the site of this incredibly elegant bike, but you should just go to the Vanilla Flickr and see them for yourself!

Mar 10, 2014 5 comments