Our Saddle Drive photos continue with a custom-built Surly Karate Monkey, pulled together by the team at Teravail tires, specifically to model their Coronado 27.5+ tires. Painted Jade Green, I can’t help but think of it as a trail dragon, with the Teravail logo and tire tread being the scales. This thing scorches the trails and I love seeing in house brands at QBP work with the other family brands on something special like this.
Stephanie’s Blacked Out 650B Straggler
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor
For what is admittedly a bit of a mish-mash build, Stephanie’s Straggler has come together with a lot of character. The parts kit borrows heavily from other bikes, so you may very well recognize some pieces from other builds. It’s the collection of parts, and the stories behind all of them, that makes this bike something special. (more…)
Cool Stuff at Frostbike
Photos by Kyle Kelley and words by John Watson
Frostbike. It’s part party, part bike industry tradeshow and all fun. Each year, Quality Bicycle Products, the largest distributor for bike shops in the US, invites a handful of media and tons of shop owners to its facilities in Bloomington, just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Once within its walls, attendees get a sneak peek at many of the brands QBP carries’ newest offerings.
This year, we didn’t line anyone up to cover the event, but Kyle was there for his shop, Golden Saddle Cyclery. Because he is a shop owner and a regular contributor to the Radavist, Kyle’s eye for what is “cool” really resonates. You’ll see a lot from the brands commonly featured here on the site and if you’ve got any questions, just drop them in the comments.
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor.
In the time we spent in Los Angeles, Carter’s Straggler was one of the bikes in for service at GSC. Now, as a bit of a background, the Glitter Dreams paint on the first year Straggler was actually part of the inspiration for the builds that ended up becoming our Wolverines. So when I first saw Carter’s bike leaning against the wall waiting for its turn in the service queue, with its pink King hubs and purple valve stems, it had already caught my eye.
Then, the work began. One day, the Straggler was hanging out with the new Sim Works Homage 43c tires in that throwback green. Whoa! I immediately deemed it a clown bike – not in a bad way, but in the way that there was no way this thing would come together in a subdued and complementary fashion. It was going to stand out, that was for sure. (more…)
Editor’s note: Jarrod recently attended Saddle Drive, Quality Bicycle Product’s outdoor showcase for their forthcoming products. This included components, accessories and complete bicycles from brands like Salsa, Surly and All City. Jarrod spent two days there, photographing new components on day one and on day two, complete bikes. Here’s that gallery.
The New Bike Models from Saddle Drive
Words and photos by Jarrod Bunk
Northstar at Tahoe is the perfect venue to showcase product, for day two I set aside most of my day between seminars to shoot some of the new bikes from Salsa, Surly and All City, Including the new BigBlock, Warbird Carbon/Alloy and Woodsmoke 27.5+. If I could I would’ve stayed the rest of the week just to be able to swing a leg over all of the other bikes. Check out the gallery for some of my favorites.
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Amy shows us how to load a Straggler with a frame bag and the things you can carry in it.
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor.
I’m not going to get away without laying down some bad puns here. Sorry if that’s not your thing. 27.5+ tires have really blown up this year. Just look at this year’s NAHBS galleries. You couldn’t swing a cat without hitting a 27.5+ hardtail out there.
Last year, in my long term review of the Surly Ice Cream Truck, I casually mentioned that I thought this bike was a good candidate for a 27.5+ conversion. John told me he had a pair of WTB Scraper rims that had yet to be built up and, with a promise to keep my mouth shut for a while, Surly sent me a proto pair of their now-available 27.5 x 3” Dirt Wizards.
The 27.5+ Dirt Wizards both weighed in at a hair under 1225 grams. Heavy by mountain bike standards, light by fat bike standards. Nice thick sidewalls and big, gummy tread blocks. Promising. John surprised me by having Mellow Johnny’s lace the rims to a pair of Industry Nine fat bike hubs and the project was underway.
A bicycle can often times be a time capsule for an individual’s journey. Be it a tale told through road grime, dust, dents or a augmented addition like a cargo retrofit.
Nils has had this Surly Long Haul Trucker for over a year and a half. In that time it’s gone through various permutations with the documented version being the most current, obviously. A LHT is already a pretty versatile bicycle, yet Nils wanted the ability to carry more weight, lower and honestly, just wanted to try something new. The retrofit was done by the same talent that makes the Haulin Colin racks. It’s actually a pretty simple process. You supply your axle to crown and head tube angle to Colin and he fabs up a steerer extension, a downtube brace and a rack. A few weeks pass and viola. Cargo bike.
I have to say, this is one of the first bikes I’ve shot in a while that has whole-hearted character, not purchased style. The little brackets he bent by hand to hang his rear light off the Brooks saddle bag hoops and his hand-painted accents on the frame completely tie in with Nils’ character. The dude is tall, with a commanding beard, yet his energy fills the room through his smile and laughter.
During the day, Nils fills his hours as a part time middle school teacher and a part time ceramic artist. On the weekend, he’s out riding in the Angeles National Forest, or just kicking around town on this magnificent bicycle. I’ve met a lot of people through Golden Saddle Cyclery, but for some reason, Nils really resonated with me. Check out more photos in the Gallery and follow along with Nils’ rides at his Instagram.
26″ isn’t dead, it just took a back seat on an interstellar space trip for a bit. The newest tire from Surly, the Extraterrestrial proves that there’s a lot of fun to have on your 26″ bike. These 2.5″, 60TPI tires have been designed for multi-surfaces and will still enjoy a commute that’s mostly pavement.
Speaking of commuting, there are two racks coming in from Surly: the 8 Pack and the 24 Pack Racks. Surely you get the reference… See more at Surly.
Surly makes reliable, solid, affordable components and bicycles. Something we can all appreciate. Their newest dive bar is a spin on one of their first sweep bars. The Cheater Bar is a 11º sweep, 31.8 clamp, 4130 bar that’s 780mm wide, 427g and will cost ya $80 bones at your local bike shop. Not bad! Check out more babel at Surly.