Category Archives: touring bike
2017 NAHBS: Steve Potts Silk Ti Soft Tail MTB with Suspension Rack

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…

Mar 16, 2017 21 comments
2017 NAHBS: Vlad Cycles Dirt Tourer with Andrew the Maker Bags

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.

Mar 14, 2017 23 comments
Lee Craigie’s Inner Journey Along the Caledonia Way

I’m blown away by this!

“Lee Craigie of the Adventure Syndicate shares her short film about cycling the Caledonia Way Scotland. This video was filmed along NCN78, the Caledonia Way. The Caledonia Way is a long distance cycle route, linking Campbeltown in the west, with the Highland capital of Inverness in the east.”

Thanks for sharing this video, Whitney!

Feb 13, 2017 6 comments
Jon’s Sabrosa Dirty Drop Bar Travel Tourer

As with any fabrication job, resolving design challenges creatively is just part of the job. When Jon at Sabrosa Cycles wanted a travel touring bike, he didn’t want to order an S&S or Break-Away kit, he wanted to design something from scratch that would be special and unique to his brand. The result is clever and hardly noticeable unless you know what you’re looking for.

When I first saw the details, I asked Jon if he had seen Rick Hunter’s Bushmaster. He hadn’t. Yet, whereas Rick’s design was used to resolve the problem of chain tension, Jon designed his so you could unbolt the rear triangle from the front, making it easy to travel with.

If you love details, this frame’s got’em, since just about everything on this has been hand machined and made from scratch. The segmented fork and stays harken back to Fat City Cycles and Jon’s roots as a MTB fanboy, where he grew up admiring the early creations from Salsa and the like. The Paul Neo Retro Cantis have plenty of stopping power and a good, ol’ fashioned triple gets Jon up and over mountain passes in the St. George area.

This bike is unique without being overly ostentatious and capable without being overbuilt. Photographing it was sheer pleasure! Don’t forget to check out our Shop Visit at Sabrosa Cycles and give Jon a follow on Instagram!

Feb 10, 2017 27 comments
Tom’s Hunter Cycles 27.5+ Hardtail Loaded Up for the Baja Divide

For the past few months, all I’ve been reading and hearing about is the Baja Divide. Lael and Nicholas created a route last year that would take riders on a 1,700 mile journey from the US-Mexico border down the length of the Baja Penninsula, almost entirely on dirt. Well, dirt and sand. They are two completely different riding substrates. The grand depart took place last week and over 100 cyclists embarked on the journey, two of which being Tom and Sarah Swallow.

In order to prep for their 45-day ride – they’re going out and back on the route – Tom and Sarah rode for two weeks along the Baja Divide route in December. Afterward, they both described their ride as “the hardest thing we’ve ever done.” But at least they now know exactly what they needed in terms of gear. For instance, they left their filter at home, because there is no fresh water on the route, only bottled and filtered water. They’re also confident in their setups, which are very similar, save for Tom is riding a Hunter Cycles 27.5+ hardtail and Sarah is on a carbon S-Works hardtail.

Tom’s bike just looked so damn good all loaded up with Revelate bags the day before they left, so I had to shoot some photos of it. Not only to give Rick props for building such amazing frames, but I rarely get the chance to shoot loaded down hardtails. All of Tom’s little hacks – like those killer King Cage USBs – to make this a proper tourer simply add to the bike’s character.

I want to wish everyone who’s out on the Divide’s course good luck. You can follow Tom and Sarah’s trip on their Instagram.

Jan 5, 2017 35 comments
Benedict’s Silver and Gold Crust Bikes Romanceur Touring Bike

“The ROMANCEÜR is a swashbuckling tender heart of a fantasy warrior, who not only seduces its rider, but acts as a psychedelic aphrodisiac on the psyche. Together you become thee Romanceür, a sacred, lustful partnership rendering all riding surfaces swooned out and speechless, pining for an intimate evening including a tray of rosé Jell-O shots.” – Ultra Romance from his Crust Bikes Diary

Recently, Los Angeles was invaded by some of cycling’s biggest celebrities and no, not Wiggo, Sagan, Vos, or Bryceland. The cyclists that found themselves hanging out at Golden Saddle Cyclery are from a different walk, er, roll of life all-together. These nomadic raconteurs favor dirt to pavement and fully-loaded bikes to ultralight carbon. Not to mention, they’re always on the hunt for the latest cycling expedition, which brings me to Los Angeles… (more…)

Jan 3, 2017 61 comments