As you can probably tell, I’ve been really stoked on what Chumba is doing here in Austin, Texas. During MTB season earlier this year, I caught up with Vince, who was riding the first prototype Ursa 29+ MTBs. At the time, Chumba’s production was in Oregon, but in recent months, they’ve moved all production in house, using USA-made tubing…
Good Things Don’t Change at Mercian Cycles
Photos and words by Jim Holland
Sometimes good things don’t change, Mercian Cycles is one of those things.
The current workshop has sat in the same spot since 1965, watching as modern industrial buildings crop up around it and other older workshops disappear. Underneath the steeped, church like ceiling, little has changed and the intermittent clang of tubes and scraping of files ring out as they have done for the last 50 years whilst one by one, men make bicycles by hand.
Frames are still brazed free hand on an open hearth, as they have been since day one, amongst the very last practitioners of this method, Mercian believes it to be gentler on the tubes, which contributes to the longevity of the frame. Die hard Reynolds stalwarts, they don’t often stray from Birmingham steel and have a good stock of 531 for the true nostalgist.
One of just a handful of England’s traditional shop based builders that remain, the torches are still firing brightly and the benches are seldom dormant as the orders keep pouring in, one of them mine, I’m counting the days.
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This image is rad on so many levels. I’m thankful for two things: shops like GSC and my parents for giving me all their Dead albums to listen to when I was a kid. Unfortunately, these top caps aren’t available online, you’ll have to head to Golden Saddle Cyclery to score one.
Embracing the Aroma at the Buffalo Trace Distillery
Words and photos by Kyle Kelley
Last winter, while I was home in Indiana for the holidays, my parents and I decided to head across the Ohio River to Bourbon Country for a visit to Buffalo Trace. Unlike many of the other touristy distilleries in Kentucky, Buffalo Trace is not fancy and they sure as hell don’t pump perfume into the air to mask the smell of the sour mash.
The desert is a destination for many, who seek its healing potential and spiritual homeostasis. For us, we just wanted the red sands of Sedona, Arizona to cleanse us from Las Vegas and Interbike.
When I mentioned to Ty that Sean and I were driving back to Texas after the tradeshow, he was stoked for us. Then, when I said “yeah, I’m thinking we’ll head through Sedona for a quick ride”, he immediately wanted in.
That’s why I love Ty so much. Hell, that’s why I love my friends so much. They’re willing to go 7 hours out of their way to ride bikes for 3 hours. Ok, ride bikes for 2 hours and shoot photos, fuck off, play with snakes for an hour.
We rolled into town and couldn’t find an open camp site, so we set up at a hotel next to the Bike and Bean, a local MTB establishment at the trailhead. The guys were super friendly and then, out of the blue, a local named Duff asked us if he could join us. Uh, sure!
It turned out to be a short, but sweet trek through the desert and I’ll definitely be returning!
I pretty much wait all year to get this email. It’s short and simply reads;
“The bikes are ready. When can I expect you?”
When Tyler from Pearl Velo emailed me last month, saying he was going to be closing the shop’s doors on September 1st, I was pretty bummed out. Granted, the only time I have been to Pearl Velo was during the Denver NAHBS and the #Outsideisfree party, but I was impressed with the community’s support of the shop, even during a blizzard.
What Pearl Velo stood for is what we need in US bike shops: selling an experience, not just products. The shop was small, but you could see an intent through it all. Tyler really believed in what he was doing, unfortunately, like everyone, his life changed and as a father, he wanted to spend more time with his family.
If you’re in Denver, swing through Pearl Velo and give Tyler a high-five.
I always enjoy seeing articles and photos like this, and I’m sure you feel the same. Kinoko Cycles visited the Tokyo School of Cycle Design and the article looks great:
“During my last trip to Japan I was invited by Shin Ichi Konno of Cherubim Cycles to visit the Tokyo School of Cycle Design where he teaches twice weekly. You would assume with something as common as a bicycle, a object which exists in every village and town across the globe and requires very specific skills to design and manufacture, that colleges teaching cycle design would be common. But this is not the case.”
Golden Saddle Cyclery just added two new shirts to their web shop. Head over now to swoop. I know some of you were asking about when these would go online…