The stick that held up the bikes in this Gallery…
I shot a lot of bikes this year. In fact, I shot more Galleries this year, than any other two years combined. From April 1st’s launch of the Radavist, until last week, the entire team worked hard on bringing a full photo gallery just about every weekday, sometimes twice. Pulling in those metrics took some time, but rather than limiting this year’s selection to just ten, I found the following bikes to be all within the same realm.
Some of these bikes never dropped a chain in terms of year-long momentum, still churning in pageviews and social media chatter to this very day. Surprisingly to me, a few were completely stock bikes. These were all chosen for their Facebook likes, social media engagement, comments and overall traffic. I feel like there were a lot of bikes that were flops as far as traffic was concerned, but I wanted to be fair in selecting the list.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s back up a bit.
We began the year with a few big stories, all leading up to one of the busiest weekends of the year, NAHBS. After record-breaking traffic, the world of Beautiful Bicycles culminated in the 2014 NAHBS Drive Side Gallery. From there, it was onto traveling for stories and documenting Beautiful Bicycles along the way… We’ll start off in Prescott, Arizona for the Whiskey Off Road.
What’s not to love about someone taking creative control over an otherwise stock frameset, both in functionality and design. Robin from Blackburn’s Santa Cruz Highball got a digital camo wrap, dirt drops and racks, making this one hell of a bikepacking rig.
Designed by Team Wooly Mammoth for Rivendell, Allen’s Hunqapillar touring bike was one of my all-time favorite bikes of the year. After his entire collection of bicycles were stolen from his Austin, Texas home, Allen decided he only needed one…
Classic Italian steel, made more functional – for my fiancé anyway – by modern Italian componentry. Oh and, that dreamy mechanic building ‘er up!
One trend I noticed was an increase in social media chatter for bikes like this. They’re hardly in the same realm as a frame builder, yet they’re far from a Taiwanese production. Garrett’s XCR Cinelli road is made by hand in Italy.
Coincidentally, Clement’s Trek Madone was also from the ATOC, yet this bike’s reach exceeded far beyond the mountains of California. This bike was one of the first to break the 20,000 visits in a day for the year.
As preparation for the Oregon Outback, Joshua from Cycles J Bryant did a ride up to the top of Diablo with a group of us during the ATOC. It’s hard to not want to shoot photos of a bike like this, especially after spending all day being blinded by the paint job!
What’s so special about this, you ask? Well, I really think Fairdale knocked this bike out of the park. It’s got that custom, framebuilder aesthetic with the pricepoint of a production bike, because it is a production bike. Hanson’s Goodship surprised even me!
For me, seeing a bike like this spread like wildfire over the extents of the internet, was huge. From car, to firearm, running and yes, even fishing blogs and forums, the Cielo Road Racer had a far-reaching impact for this year’s Beautiful Bicycles. Oh and it rode damn nice too!
Another, completely stock, well-ridden machine. Erik’s AWOL x Poler touring bike jettisoned the launch of this complete bike with record breaking numbers.
I could tell cross season was coming with all the love Jonathan’s Falconer got. Oh and, it doesn’t hurt that it’s so easy on the eyes.
Jah blessed, with a story. This Velo Cult bicycle had pizzaz to spare and it’s not even scratching the surface of what that shop has flying in its rafters…
Ambiguous, all-rounder bikes have become quite popular these days, especially with all the gravel grinding, bike packing, cross racing you can do on them. Some of which, I’ve been able to see first hand on this brilliant bike by Austin’s Icarus Frames.
Kyle’s contributions to the Radavist are always good… this one was exceptional though!
These next two bikes of the year were interesting to me in that they’re both converted to cargo machines. Even if it’s just toting a few kilos (that’s kind of like a pound in Canada), Chunks’ Nagasawa had so much character. It also marked the first contribution for the Radavist’s newest contributor, Morgan Taylor.
Now, I would never have guessed this bike would have had everyone so happy. All-City’s rigid, non sus-corrected, singlespeed MTB was marketed as an all-around shred sled, not a Los Angeles courier Cadillac!
Last year’s list ended with a Mudfoot Stinner, so it should be no surprise that this year’s list would too. These bikes are some of the most unique team bikes I’ve ever had the pleasure of photographing and I’m thrilled to be able to ride this one.