Admittedly, I was bummed when I didn’t see Japan’s Cherubim‘s name on the list of exhibitors of NAHBS bikes but was thrilled to find one in the Rolf Prima booth. This particular bike is Cherubim’s first ever “all road” bike and was made for Blacksmith Cycles. It features clearances for 38mm tires, fender mounts for matching Honjo fenders, flat mount brakes and custom-selected Kaisei steel tubing.
Out of all the new-to-me brands at NAHBS, I was most impressed by Dublin, Ireland-based Fifty One and their carbon road bikes. Everything about the brand was dialed, from the paint to the geometries, and the overall stance of the bikes. Take this Fifty One road, coated in a matte peach color, with bold, white branding, it looks almost uncomfortable just sitting still in a convention center. The overall package and presentation distracted me from the frame construction and the unique seat stays, which are made in-house at Fifty One’s facilities.
Baltimore’s Chris Bishop of Bishop Bikes hasn’t been to NAHBS since 2013 and this year, he brought what he’s known for and then some. You can always count on Chris for the finest fillet and lug construction, but I was completely surprised to see him soft-launch a production line called Item 4, named after the substrate specification used in gravel roads in the North East. Item 4 is a collaboration with Vicious Cycles, who is tig-welding the front triangle of these frames, with Chris fillet brazing the rear and all the accoutrement needed for a rim brake or disc brake road bike. Chris really wants to expand the Bishop Bikes lineup, to get more people out on bikes that he’s designed and to be honest, I can’t wait to see more of these roll out of his Baltimore workshop…
When a frame builder has access to an in-house graphics department and paint booth, great things happen. Thomas from Horse Cycles‘ partnership with Ben Falcon has really paid off. Ben’s paint mixed with Horse’s frame design and construction delivers show-stopping road bikes like this.
No matter how high tech the road bike gets, nothing beats the lines and elegance of a classic road bike. For this year’s NAHBS, Bryan of Royal H Cycles brought this beautifully-lugged road bike with equal parts practicality to functionality. At first, I didn’t even notice the Di2…
A few weeks back, around the time of the Giro x Radavist collection drop, Mosaic reached out, saying they had the perfect bike to display the goods with at NAHBS. I was into it, Giro was into it and I think you’ll be into it. This GT-2 build by the Colorado-based builder features a geometry more tuned for long day dirt rides and lightweight bikepacking, custom Spectrum-powdercoated decals with matching OD green King Kages, and a set of custom bikepacking bags from Colorado’s JPaks Bags. The beauty of the JPacks frame bag system is the nesting frame bag that fits under this partial frame bag, allowing you to either run bottle cages, or an additional bag for storage. You can see this bike for yourself at Houston’s Bicycle Speed Shop.
Breismeister Bicycles is a frame builder out of Queens, New York and for this year’s NAHBS, Doug, the owner brought along this beautiful 650b road bike made from Columbus Max and featuring a bi-lam head tube, Pacenti fork crown and a loud, vibrant paint job. The colors on this bike are just too good!
The latest from Brian Vernor checks all the boxes for those who either love this region already or hold a curiosity that could ignite a journey of their own…
“Three friends ride bicycles 192 miles through the California desert, from Badwater Basin to White Mt. Peak. Along the way they ascend over 24,000 vertical feet, and experience a 70 degrees shift in temperature. Before embarking the riders plan their ride carefully and leave food and water along the route in old ammunition canisters for later consumption. Unsupported from beginning to end, the riders carried small cameras and filmed themselves during the ride, capturing serendipitous moments like a dusk flyby of a group of owls and a desperate dive into a grungy bathroom to escape from the cold.”
Laboring up Mount Lemmon this winter with roadies on light bikes with rim brakes, I started thinking, I want a road bike! It rarely rains in Tucson, almost never in the winter. In the sunshine, rim brakes on carbon rims work fine. But what really is the difference? I was riding around on a Specialized Diverge, a performance carbon gravel bike with disc brakes and 38mm tires. I love the Diverge. It rides great. But I still had questions. What would a true road bike feel like? How would it feel after 100 miles or 200 miles or 1,000 miles? (more…)
“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” – Jack Kerouac, On the Road
We all have our favorite authors, our favorite books, and our favorite quotes. Many of these anecdotes for travel or life’s great lessons can be applied to cycling. For Mason, he was drawn to the writing of Jack Kerouac. Particularly, On the Road. This quote became his mantra for his new Stinner Gibraltar road bike. Mason selected one of Stinner’s “Vault” paint options, Paradise, and requested the Team Dream Team Chubby Bobcat to be added to the wild paint scheme. This little detail, along with his Kerouac quote really brought the whole build together. Not to mention the SRAM Red eTap, Boyd Wheels and Quarq power meter cranks. The whole package was assembled by Simon at the Cub House.
Straight up road bikes still do it for me, especially when they’re this clean, this light and this local. I love seeing all the Stinners on the roads of Los Angeles, both paved and unpaved.
Enjoy this bike, Mason!