In the past few years, Brian Chapman has shifted interest in frame building. Initially, he was half of Circle A Cycles but recently, he began building under the moniker, Chapman Cycles.
The work Brian is producing at Chapman Cycles is exceptional. Not that his work at Circle A was lacking in any regard, but going out on his own allowed Brian to really pursue his vision of what cycling truly means to him.
When I look at David Wilcox’s road frame, I see Chapman Cycle’s future, even though this bike was built years before Brian began building for his new venture. Geometrically speaking, this is a road bike with a traditional geometry, but functionally, it’s much more.
Rack, fender mounts and clearances for up to a 33.3 slick, this bike is a “long ride” road. It was built for the Oregon Manifest, specifically for David Wilcox, or as he’s known in the Northeast, “the Wilcox“.
Much like Chapman Cycles, David has gone off on a journey of his own. He just happens to be towing the new and improved Rapha Mobile Cycle Club, Tillie along with him. On his new path, he’ll be meeting up with countless group rides where, more often than not, watts and carbon are the nomenclature, not steel and plump tires.
Eventually, someone notices the brazed Circle A Cycles on the downtube, the large tires and mid-reach calipers. Or maybe they notice the spokes that were brazed onto the chainstays for chain slap protection and around the internal routing exit-port for a little added “pop”.
At that moment, David becomes the “hero” of the ride and all other technology present becomes obsolete… Well, almost.
Last weekend, I planned a route, dissected from our Super Bro Weekend ride. Four of us showed up and after five miles, my knee decided it wasn’t ready for the big day, so I bailed, only to return later in the day to shoot David’s bike amidst the rolling hills of the Austin area.
My town is a revolving door for events and this week, the city of Austin is host to the X-Games. While I won’t be attending any of the games, I’ll be sure to swing through @DarrylNau‘s party at Holy Mountain. Here are the details:
Darryl Nau Presents ATX-Party!
Fri June 6th during @XGames
@HolyMountainATX 617 East 7th St.
9pm-2am. 18+ w/ ID, $5
Darryl is buying YOU beer from 9 to 10!
Check out more information below.
A while back, I posted about Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames trying to sell this prototype track machine here in Austin. Turns out, my buddy – and part time intern – Andre picked it up. Rather than go with a classy, wet coat, he got it painted dark black with a clear sparkle top coat. Something that neither Ian nor myself saw coming…
I’ll admit, both of us were apprehensive, but when I saw the bike in person, I knew exactly what Andre was going for and Circle A killed it!
Andre built the bike up with all Zipp components: seatpost, bars, bartape and stem. For wheels, he went PAUL track hubs to H+Son Archetypes and SRAM Omnium cranks. It’s a standard, classy build on a very unique frameset. Since he works at Mellow Johnny’s he had the mechanics dial everything in.
The Cervelo fork and its tight clearances are right at home with this frame, that barely squeezes in a 23c tire. It’s a mean steed with a bit of sassy sparkles.
Ride safe Andre!
You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t…
The last Yonder Journal Brovet in Austin was a clusterfuck of epic proportions. I planned the ride, which, in context was one of the best 300 mile loops in Texas Hill Country. That context though, is slightly mottled, since, you know, I live in Texas and these guys are from California and Oregon – which has some of the best riding in the country. Maybe they’re soft-skinned liberals and I’m ok with Texas being stuck in the 17th century, or maybe riding for 40 hours in the pissing – just above freezing – rain just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
Context aside, I planned a 300 mile route, the weather was nice – 80 degrees and humid – hey, it’s Texas – and everyone arrived in Austin.
Cursed. We’re all cursed. Or maybe I’m cursed? For whatever reason, mother nature took a shit on us, then smeared it on the route. 300 miles got cut in half, we had to bail so people could catch their flights. Ty got drunk – after he and Kelli got engaged. Moi got drunk. Kyle threw up in my yard. Hahn got drunk and raided dirty laundry.
The story goes deeper than this over at Yonder Journal! Head over to read about the Curse and (Dis)Enchanted Rock. See a few more selections below and follow Yonder on Instagram as they’re in the middle of another Brovet down South!
The Hunqapillar. A touring bike with massive clearances for mountain bike tires, tubing spec’d for off-road ripping (fully loaded) and a gorgeous green and cream paint job. Branded as a “Wooly Mammoth Bicycle”, this machine is meant to rip wakki 1-trakk and still make it to Poppi’s Pizza in time for a cold pint or a toke from the wizard’s pipe.
Back in the early 2000’s, here in Austin, a guy named Whitney Moyer headed to a mecca of hopeful framebuilders in the US, UBI. Upon returning with all the experience needed to build frames, he was looking to commission a local project. This was that frame. Moyer’s first…
Whitney reached out to Nick, a bike messenger in town at the time, to build a straight forward, classic track frame from True Temper OX platinum. Nick had a group for the frame. Made of mismatched components that he fell in love with over the years.
Nitto NJS steel cockpit, Suntour seatpost, Turbo saddle, Dura Ace cranks, Chris King Sotto Voce headset, Dura Ace hubs to Mavic Open Pro Ceramic and of course, Campy Super Record pedals with double straps.
This bike, although made in 2004, looks straight out of the 80’s. In the ten years Nick has owned his Moyer, it’s been raced on the track as well as the street, worked on for years and still to this day, Nick finds the time to pull it down from the wall and take it for a spin. It’s war torn, tattered but is still straight as an arrow.
If there were a track bike to represent Austin, this would be it.
Today, without an iota of hesitation, I loaded up two mountain bikes, some snacks, my Fuji X-T1 and took Lauren to McKinney Falls State Park. On the agenda: girlfriend (ok, fiancé) shred. Lauren had never, ever been on a mountain bike before and was eager to do so. She’s actually the one who recommended we take advantage of the overcast afternoon and get out on the trails. Anytime she wants to ride, I’m down and all I had to do was dissuade her from the Greenbelt, with its super technical, rocky terrain.
Instead, McKinney is where we do our Friday afternoon cross hustle loop. The trails are still fairly rocky, but filled with fast descents and narrow singletrack. It’s picturesque and this time of year, filled with wildflowers, birds and other animals.
Even with the relative ease of these trails, I have to say, I was a little nervous. After a 10 mile loop, she was grinning ear to ear and finished the afternoon saying “this was way more fun than road riding!” We ended the morning collecting flowers…
Side note: I had accidentally switched my camera to JPG from RAW, so I lost all the whites in these photos, hence the black and white. Although, I caught it before this photo.
This is the bike that really put Ian from Icarus Frames on the map. Well, at least that’s what I think anyway. My reasoning? It was one of the first truly over-sized / shaped tubesets he fillet brazed and the Fresh Frame paint job was so loud at the time, that I don’t think anyone was coming close to hitting that mark. Seriously, what the hell is up with those chevrons?!
When Chris built this up for the 2011 Philly Bike Expo, it had a Dura Ace group and Chris was still working on his fitness. Since living in Austin for over two years, he’s finally got this bike dialed in with performance in mind. Switching the King headset out for the Crank Brothers Direct SL Cobalt allowed him to lower the front end considerably. He then sold the DA, leaving this and his Serotta both full-SRAM.
What sets this build off the charts in my opinion are the wheels. Working at Mellow Johnny’s, Chris has access to some really great wheels, namely the Bontrager Aeolus 5 clincher. These lightweight race wheels are made in the USA and turn this every day road bike into a mean, lean race machine.
It’s hard to believe that Chris has had this bike since 2011. It seems so long ago. In that time, the neon orange paint has faded a bit, but the bike is every bit as stunning! See some more updated photos in the Gallery.
Cycleast in Austin is having a sale today, May 3rd. Make sure you swing by for discounts and deals!
I feel like I’ve known Tyler for years, even though that’s mostly because I’ve probably shipped a ton stickers, kits and shirts to him. We also have a few mutual friends in NYC and Austin, so there’s a lot of overlap.
Back when Tyler first moved to Austin, we went on a few cyclocross rides and I was impressed at his bike control. Riding cross bikes in Austin, on the trails, is treacherous but Nutter held his own. Last night, while testing out the Fuji X-T1, I interviewed Nutter for a Ride Along post. Check it out below!