Emilio Santoyo-Illustrated Team Dream All City Macho King Disc
Words and process photos by Sean Talkington, bike photos by John Watson
Custom bikes are one of the coolest traditions continued within modern cycling (IMO). The idea of having a bicycle custom tailored to your specific needs is pretty amazing and being able to (sometimes) participate in the finished aesthetic is the big fat cherry on top. I have always been drawn to the idea of having a bike that looks nothing like the ones my friends are riding. Its the reason why people like all of us visit sites like The Radavist. We come here to see cool bikes (generally speaking of course).
As awesome as custom bikes are, the simple truth is there are a lot of people who can’t afford to buy or quite possibly, just flat out don’t want a custom frame with custom paint because of the cost. Lets face it, bikes can be “Artisanal As Fuck®” nowadays but that doesn’t mean you can’t create something unique and awesome on a lower budget too (or as I like to call it…”Blue Collar Balling”). Lately, I have been really drawn to what Squid Bikes is doing with one-off spray painted frames. Especially on a bike that you are going to thrash on. Devon Tsuno also recently painted my friend Mick’s old Cannondale for Trophy Club (which turned out awesome). Seeing these got me thinking about doing one for myself.
So…why not take a stab at customizing your own frame? If you are artistically challenged, that’s ok. All of us have friends. Well, at least I hope you do (If you don’t you can always adopt some cats). Chances are that one of these friends of yours can draw/paint a bit. I am lucky enough to know quite a few talented artists, so in this case I asked my pal Emilio Santoyo to have a little fun and do whatever he wanted with my new All-City Macho King Disc. The only thing I asked was that it said “All-City” on the down tube and have a cat somewhere on the bike.
I slowly collected/traded all the parts for this build over the last year. Buying old stuff from friends and picking through parts at a few swap meets. The cranks are a bit longer than I usually ride and the bars are a bit wider too. The gear ratio isn’t exactly ideal for the riding I do either, but i’ll swap parts over time. This bike was definitely built on a budget. That being said, my friends and I just got back from a 3 hour ride where I popped the cherry on this new bike and none of those issues ever crossed my mind once we were pedaling. This bike really rips and I love the fact that my friends helped make the bike awesome for me. Its sure to be one of my all time favorites! :)
Thanks again to Jeff at All-City, my buddy Emilio for the paint and to all my pals who gave me deals on the parts (especially the ones I still haven’t yet paid for (sorry-not-sorry John…jk).
Note- I still love fancy bikes that happen to be “Artisanal As Fuck®” so I hope this doesn’t come off as a dig. I have quite a few of them and am actually having another made right now. I just think we can still build dreamy rides on a budget with a little creativity, patience and outside the box thinking.