Category Archives: road bike
2014 NAHBS: Festka Union Jack Di2 Disc Road
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One of my favorite builders this year at NAHBS were the Czech builders Festka. Their work with oversized Ti and stainless tubing is impeccable. While most of their paint jobs are pretty over the top, this Union Jack Di2 disc road was actually pretty subdued.

Built for Richard Hardy, this particular frame was constructed from Columbus XCR tubing and sported a British racing green coat of wet paint, overlaid with a pattern inspired by the Union Jack flag of the UK.

When people asked me what the overall theme of NAHBS was this year, my reply has been: Di2 and disc brakes. Staying true to that observation, Richard’s bike is equipped and ready to rip. The addition of Rocket Wheels and Tune hubs gave this bike some European flavor amongst the sea of Chris King and Enve.

Remember, if you are interested in carrying Festka, or ordering one for yourself, contact Cycleast in Austin, TX.

See more in the Gallery!

Mar 18, 2014 12 comments
2014 NAHBS: Breadwinner’s Throwback B Road Gravel Bike
2014 NAHBS: Breadwinner's Throwback B Road Gravel Bike

Don’t adjust your handheld or desktop computers, those are indeed indexed downtube shifters… This bike is a throwback to Ira Ryan’s personal history as a bicycle racer and frame builder. Ira is no stranger to gravel, or dirt road riding and racing. Years back, in the early years of the Rapha Continental, Ira was on 23c tires tackling some of the US’ most picturesque roads. Maybe that’s what inspired this ride? That and classic road frames, with an edge. Think of this B Road as an homage to the bikes of yesteryear, with modern upgrades.

Breadwinner‘s bikes this year absolutely slayed and this tangerine B Road “gravel” bike had so much zest. The project began with Ira and Tony modifying Dura Ace downtube shifters to fit 11-speed bar end internals (yes, it shifts like butter). From there, a tapered head tube with an ENVE CX fork and 32c Pasela tires provide more than adequate clearances for true all-road riding and racing. Then, Breadwinner added a third bottle cage and fender eyelets to the ENVE fork!

TRP’s Hylex hydro disc brakes (with custom drillium levers!) will provide the stopping power and modulation. The internal cable routing ensures the lines of the frame stay clean. I don’t know why I love this machine so much, maybe it’s a combination of it truly being unique or the color? For whatever the reason, I enjoyed photographing this in the morning light at this year’s NAHBS.

See more of this mind-boggling machine in the Gallery!

Mar 17, 2014 59 comments
2014 NAHBS: Ritchey’s New Breakaway Carbon Road and Swiss Disc Cross
2014 NAHBS: Ritchey Carbon Breakaway Road

Two production bikes that I was rather keen on at this year’s NAHBS came from the Ritchey booth. The Swiss Cross received what seems to be an industry-wide upgrade for cross bikes: disc brakes and a new addition to the family: a carbon Breakaway road bike.

Both come in black paint (not safe for non-metal heads) and aren’t too far off for production. I don’t recall what the MSRP was on the Swiss Cross but the Breakaway will retail for $3,199 – frame, fork and headset included. For the weight-conscious, the Breakaway comes in at exactly 15.10 LBS as shown.

One note: the Breakaway was made by Tom Ritchey and production will have clearances for a 28c.

See more in the Gallery!

Mar 16, 2014 11 comments
2014 NAHBS: True Temper S3 Mosaic Cycles Road
2014 NAHBS: True Temper S3 Mosaic Cycles Road

Yesterday after arriving in Charlotte, I made my way over to the convention center to see what the general vibe would be like for the next few days. After a quick pass through all the controlled chaos that is convention center setup day, one road bike really stood out.

This Mosaic Cycles road bike was built with True Temper’s S3 ultralight tubeset and painted by Spectrum, utilizing the new True Temper branding. While I’m not usually into red and white paint jobs, I absolutely love this bike.

SRAM, ENVE, Fizik and Chris King ain’t a bad way to finish it off either… the build comes in at 15.5 lbs. See more in the Gallery!

Mar 14, 2014 9 comments
2014 NAHBS: Geekhouse Bikes – Disc Mudville Cross and Disc Hopedale Road
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Each year at NAHBS, I love how much Geekhouse steps their game up. From brightly-colored fixed gears and track bikes to classic tourers and race-ready cross bike. This year, Geekhouse is unveiling their new Hopedale Disc. By partnering with SRAM, Vittoria and Selle Italia to lace out the builds.

Since it is the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, Geekhouse chose 100% made in the USA tubing, with a mix of True Temper’s S3 and OX Platinum, along with Paragon Machine Works “Low Mount” disc dropouts.

For me, the most notable detail on the bikes are the paint jobs. The paint uses a two-step process. All three show-bikes have a powder-coated base, and then Jordan Low masterfully applied wet paint in geometric patterns. The artwork, done by Adria Klora, was inspired by the Geekhouse HQ (yellow), dazzle camo (blue), and the Zakim Bridge in Boston (red).

The yellow Hopedale Disc will be heading to the owner of Cooks Paint Works in Japan, via Blue Lug Bicycle Shop after the show. The red Hopedale Disc belongs to Kyle B., in Texas, which he gave as a 30th present to himself. The blue Mudville is an extra special bike though, aside from the paint and HED wheels, SRAM Force, and Thomson components, this machine is going to someone close to Geekhouse.

View these bikes this weekend – Geekhouse Bikes is exhibiting at the North American Handmade Bike Show at booth #400.

For those who won’t be in attendance at NAHBS, each bike is highlighted in details through the lens of Heather McGrath. See all three of Geekhouse’s offerings in the Gallery!

Mar 13, 2014 11 comments
Tim’s Argonaut Disc Road
Beautiful Bicycle: Tim's Argonaut Disc Road

When Ben from Argonaut Cycles designed and developed his first road frame, he was content, but that didn’t mean his desire to create the best made in the USA carbon fiber road frame was sated. Ben knew the market was changing and wanted to have even more options for his customers to select when purchasing a custom bike.

With the popularity of gravel / dirt rides and races, he knew that his current racing geometry would need some finessing and with the increasing demand for disc brakes, the opportunity arose to adapt.

A bike suited for off-road riding has a few tweaks to the geometry. The rear end will be slightly longer, the bottom bracket, just slightly lower and the head tube loses around half a degree. This enables the bike to still handle fast on sealed roads, but really be at home on dirt. Tire clearances are important as well. These bikes fit a 28mm tubeless road tire with ease, which is all you need for gravel. Remember, this isn’t a cross bike.

The Argonaut Disc Road bikes that the Rapha / River City Bicycles team rode during the Rouge Roubaix were developed for off-road conditions, while staying true to their race machine pedigree.

For those familiar with the Di2 hydro system, you’ll note the front plate of the shifters were painted black. Other than that, it’s pretty straight forward. 140mm disc rotors, Argonaut Made in the USA frameset, ENVE bars, ENVE stem, ENVE wheels with custom decals and dripping with Chris King’s precision components.

Tim from the team has the first production model. After an afternoon of shooting photos and video of the bike in action, I took it out for some portrait photos.

This bike ripped apart the dirt and stood out from the pack at the Rouge Roubaix. See more in the Gallery!

Mar 12, 2014 39 comments
Manual for Speed Fan Club: Ted King
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The world of pop culture has fan clubs for everyone from Bieber to Katy Perry. Until now, professional cycling has been missing out… Filling the void: Manual for Speed’s Fan Club. Beginning with an interview of Ted King.

I kinda want posters or stickers of this….

Mar 12, 2014 2 comments
Bishop Bikes: Dichotomy
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I know this isn’t entirely all that surprising but I found this photo series that Chris Bishop posted to his Flickr very interesting. This is for a Di2 disc bike. It’s great to see new technology integrated elegantly into a traditionally-brazed steel stem but the contrast still gets me every time!

See you this weekend Chris!

Mar 11, 2014 6 comments
I’m at the Rouge Roubaix with Argonaut Cycles
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It’s wild out here. Ben from Argonaut has been developing a disc-version of his road frame, with a slightly different geometry suited for off-road / gravel riding. The Rouge Roubaix is the first testing ground for the bikes. More to come, including race coverage and a story about the design process that went into the disc bike.

Follow @Argonautcycles and myself on Instagram for more throughout the weekend.

Mar 8, 2014 Comments are OFF
Met Helmets: We Are Italian

This is perhaps one of the most beautiful cycling videos I’ve seen all year and it doesn’t hurt to have such great people in it! Juliet Elliott and Dave Noakes and got to ride in Talamona, a small town in the heart of the Italian Alps, where Met is based.

Mar 6, 2014 9 comments