North South takes a unique approach to touring the Faroe Islands in their latest video.
Team Space Horse and the Luxury Horsepower Route through the Sierra Nevada!
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
In the Spring of 2016 Jeff from All-City asked me if I’d like to do a party ride in the Lake Tahoe area before Saddle Drive! As you probably already know, anytime the word party and ride are in the same sentence, I say yes. Jeff then asked me if my better half would also like to come along, and of course, I just said yes to that too! In reality, I probably should have asked about the route and the terrain, but I didn’t. Liz and I would be riding 600 miles on the northern portion of the Divide just before, so I figured this would be a walk in the park. Boyyy…was I wrong. (more…)
This teaser has me hooked for the full-length video.
Robin from Blackburn always brings the best bikes to Ranger Camp. Over the years, I’ve showcased his steeds, most notably the Santa Cruz Highball drop bar tourer. This year, since our route is mostly restricted to roads, rather than singletrack, Robin brought his Caletti touring bike, loaded with Blackburn bags. Although, calling this a touring bike undersells it entirely. As anyone with a tourer will tell you, these bikes become commuters and occasional trail shredders. Robin’s is no different. He commutes on it, sometimes taking dirt roads and bum trails home. This week, his Caletti will serve as his Ranger Camp bike and a city bike as he and I explore the streets of Bilbao after the Ranger festivities are over.
Some of my favorite details include the segmented fork with a sensible amount of braze-ons, the simple paint, and Robin’s clever hacks like that bell mount. There’s one other ingenious hack that I won’t even point out. Perhaps you’ll notice it…
Today we’re all building bikes, preparing for our 7am roll-out from Madrid, en route to our campground high in the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains…
The Japanese Odyssey is a self-supported race across Japan, totaling 2,400 kilometers. This race takes you from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, through the mountains, onto the island of Shikoku, before ending in Osaka.
Raymond wanted a bike. One that wasn’t available from any of the touring brands. He wanted a 29+ tourer with rack mounts and provisions for extra water carrying capacity. Sure, there were the Salsa and Surly offerings but they weren’t quite what he wanted. That prompted Raymond to contact Rich at Moustache Cycles, his local builder in Flagstaff, Arizona to build his dream tourer.
Moustache Cycles is located at the base of Mt. Elden in Flagstaff and is capable of designing and fabricating some truly unique bicycles. What Rich built Raymond is a very interesting rig. Complete with a custom bullmoose bar, a truss-supported rack and a plate chainstay yoke. For bags, he contacted local maker Rogue Panda. Raymond and this bike are heading to Australia today to tour with the boys from Crust Bikes and as you can tell, he’s stoked!
You boys be safe down there. Watch out for the drop bears and hoop snakes.
Watch Blackburn’s history of bikepacking, “Comes with Baggage” today, tomorrow and forever for free.
These days, the options for a touring bike are plentiful, especially when tapping into the framebuilding community. Yet, many of these US-made frames will set you back thousands of dollars. For people who can’t quite drop over $2,000 on a frame, Crust Bikes offers up the Dreamer. With clearances for 2.2″ 27.5″ tires with fenders, tons of braze-ons for extra bottles, a steel fork and lightweight tubing, these Dreamer frames are made right here in Los Angeles and come in at $1,450, painted. This is not a heavy duty touring bike, it’s a lighter, zippier version of the Crust Evasion.
Having watched Darren, the builder of these frames, shred the shit out of this bike, I’m sold. Sign me up. If you’d like a Dreamer, head to Crust Bikes for more information. They’re expecting these framesets any day now.
Each year at NAHBS, I like looking for innovative design solutions and this year, the bike that really resonated with me was this Steve Potts Silk Ti soft tail mountain bike. It’s got S&S couplers and a rear rack for touring. These days, you see nothing but bikepacking rigs for MTB tourers at NAHBS and on the internet, so seeing a ride like this is almost out of place. Then you look closer. Yes, the chainstays are made from a piece of laser-cut titanium, but check out the rack! Steve engineered a leaf-spring stabilizer on this rack, so when you hit a rough patch, the 1.75″ travel rear “shock” absorbs the terrain and this rack, due to its design, remains free of any jostling that might jettison your panniers onto the road or trail.
It’s hard to even begin to display how it works, but when you sit on the bike and compress the shock, the rack, with or without weight, keeps its normal height. Kooky? You bet. Smart? Uh huh. After all, this is NAHBS…
NAHBS isn’t just about the builders. It’s also about makers. People who produce bags, hubs, headsets, saddles and other components or accessories. For Vlad Cycles and Andrew the Maker, this year’s event became the perfect venue to display ATM’s newest bags, including a zipper closure porteur rack bag, saddle bag and his Many Things sacks, all on Andrew’s own dirt touring bike.
Because it’s NAHBS, Andrew reached out to Carson Leh to make bartape and a custom saddle to top off this loud, but beautiful rig.