Category Archives: road bike
On a Steel Horse I Ride: the Speedvagen OG1 Road Bike
the Speedvagen OG1 Road Bike

The Vanilla Workshop has multiple tiers in terms of frameset design and production. At the highest tier is a Vanilla. These are 100% custom, lugged beauties made entirely by Sacha White. Their wait list is so long, it’s not even worth mentioning. Then on the more readily-available tier is a Speedvagen frameset. These used to be only available as a 100% custom geometry with multiple options from paint, ranging from a simple, single color with detail hits to complex, “Surprise Me” paint jobs that are so wild, they’ve inspired how other builders tackle paint design.

Now, Speedvagen has a third option in its pricing catalog: the OG1 road frameset. These are stock frames, already painted and in stock now, ready to ship to you in days or weeks, not months. The OG1 also carries a pricetag that won’t make you choke on your morning breakfast, when it comes to a made in the USA frame anyway.

The OG1 is still made 100% by hand in the Vanilla Workshop and it’s painted in house with a custom Speedvagen design, usually two per year with the first year’s designs being limited to a matte lavender or a burly-looking matte olive drab! It’s obvious which color you’re seeing here.

These frames are a deal, but there’s a catch… (more…)

Jun 29, 2016 54 comments
Jeff Curtes for MAAP: Passes in Italy
Maap


Words and Photos by Jeff Curtes

My first big magazine assignment took me to Italy. Nearly the exact same spot that now, nearly 25 years later, we set off to basically do the same thing. Ride, explore, get lost, drink up the local everything, and have as much damn fun as possible. Back in 1994, it was a Transworld Snowboarding Magazine feature, and having never been to Europe before, I was wide eyed and so amping for just everything that Italy does so incredibly well. We were in Italy, riding, search for snow, and just loving every minute of it.

And when the next season’s Volume of Snowboarding dropped, our trip was front and center, my first TWS cover and a full feature of our debauchery and wanderlust in Italy. Thousand of images and memories which came back the second we set foot in the country again a few weeks ago with the Maap crew to shoot their new Winter 16 collection and mostly, to ride, get lost, and have as much fun as possible. We’d also eat and drink and love everything that makes Italy, well, Italy. Doppio espresso came easily back to the tip of my tongue. (more…)

Jun 29, 2016 4 comments
Firefly Bicycles: May the Wind Be At Your Back
Firefly

Fūjin is the god of wind in Japan and this rendition can be found on traditional Japanese designs dating back to the 700’s. Perhaps these little wind bands are present on this Firefly road to ensure the presence of a tail wind at all times? See more of this beautiful work at the Firefly Flickr.

Jun 28, 2016 2 comments
Akiyoshi’s Hunter Cycles Road Bike
Akiyoshi's Hunter Cycles Road Bike

This bike is so Japanese. Well, it’s a Hunter Cycles frame, so technically it’s American but the build, the character, the colors and the size are very indicative of the scene at Circles. Sim Works parts, Chris King and that bag, which believe it or not, was the reason I wanted to shoot the bike.

Akiyoshi is an architect who makes bags in his spare time. Like the tensile structure from an Olympic stadium, this bag relies on a chord’s tension to maintain its stability. The most interesting detail for me however is the tie-down bottle boss bolt. When the bag is loaded and the chord is pulled tight, the bag doesn’t sway at all. It’s a pretty impressive design and it’s a bit of added character to an already beautiful frame.

Thanks for letting me shoot your bike!

Jun 9, 2016 17 comments
Circles Japan Personal Bike Show: Takayoshi and His Clever Dobbat’s Commuter
Takayoshi and His Clever Dobbat's Commuter

I’ve documented a lot of bicycles in my day and I’ll be honest here when I say, it’s been a long, long time since I’ve seen something as clever or unique as this bike.

At first glance, this Dobbat’s commuter looks like you’re run of the mill 1x road bike. Then you notice the flat, stand-off headbadge, which leads your eyes to the asymmetric brake routing in the top tube, which you then notice is actually quite confusing in terms of construction. Stepping back from that detail, you begin to notice the light support rack simply dies into the fork blades and it takes a moment to find the set screws.

Details like this are NAHBS-level in terms of concept and execution, yet Takayoshi has never been to NAHBS and he doesn’t spend time on the internet looking at other bikes. In fact, when we asked him what inspired these details, he said “it just popped into my head.”

If Japan keeps rolling out bikes like this, my shutter finger is going to get tired!

Jun 3, 2016 23 comments
Morgan’s Death Spray Stinner Frameworks Stainless Road
Morgan's Death Spray Stinner Frameworks Stainless Road

It has been scientifically proven that if you add a Death Spray Custom fork to any bike, it’s destined to get even more attention, even when it comes to a slick bike like this. Morgan’s Stinner Frameworks is brushed stainless, kitted with Jones wheels, PAUL Skewers, Chris King, Dura Ace and ENVE. A completely tricked out road bike by all accounts, yet he wanted to do something to spice up a completely mono-tone build so he contacted David at Death Spray Custom to do something special.

Visibility doesn’t have to end with your apparel, as evident by this 80’s geometric-inspired fluorescent disruptive pattern coated fork.

Suddenly this bike went from being a 10 to an 11! Nicely done fellas and great meeting you, Morgan!

May 26, 2016 36 comments
Getting Dirty with Kyle’s Campy Athena Mr. Pink Chubby Road on Dirt Mulholland
Keep on skidding with the free wheel...

You’d be surprised how big of a tire you can squeeze into some of the older road bikes. My Merckx fits a plumb 28mm tire with ease and those Campagnolo NR mid-reach brakes can wrap their arms around, reaching the braking surface. Now what happened between the 1980’s and modern bike design is up to anyone to debate. Clearances got tighter, more aero, stiffer and a mentality that a smaller tire is faster took over the pro peloton. Like it always has, the trickle down effect hit store shelves and consumers did what they do best: consume. I know this is a bleak picture of tire clearance on road bikes, but it’s mostly unexaggerated. Mostly…

It seems that now with the whole “adventure / gravel grind / blah blah” trend, companies are designing bikes that fit big tires with the aid of disc brakes. Now we’ve got “all road, road plus” and various other terms to describe these machines, designed for riding off-road.

But what about the classic steel race bikes from back “in the day?”

Enter the All-City Mr. Pink. We’ve reviewed one before here on the site and while I stuck with a moderate 28mm tire, I could clearly see this bike was made for more rubber. With a caveat though. Putting bigger tires on the Mr. Pink means you’ve gotta go for a mid-reach brake, like the Paul Racer, or in this case, the Velo Orange Grand Cru long reach brakes. With those, you can fit a 30mm tire, with ease, making this one capable chubby road bike. (more…)

May 25, 2016 56 comments