Carter’s Glitter Dreams Straggler – Morgan Taylor

Photos and words by Morgan Taylor.

In the time we spent in Los Angeles, Carter’s Straggler was one of the bikes in for service at GSC. Now, as a bit of a background, the Glitter Dreams paint on the first year Straggler was actually part of the inspiration for the builds that ended up becoming our Wolverines. So when I first saw Carter’s bike leaning against the wall waiting for its turn in the service queue, with its pink King hubs and purple valve stems, it had already caught my eye.

Then, the work began. One day, the Straggler was hanging out with the new Sim Works Homage 43c tires in that throwback green. Whoa! I immediately deemed it a clown bike – not in a bad way, but in the way that there was no way this thing would come together in a subdued and complementary fashion. It was going to stand out, that was for sure.

Carter's Glitter Dreams Straggler – Morgan Taylor

We met Carter when he came in to pick up his finished bike, and I was glad to find out that he wasn’t offended by my clown bike classification. He was super down with simply having fun and joking around about it, and the way it worked out, you could throw almost anything colorful at this bike and it would work.

Since we’d hit it off immediately, Carter suggested that we go for a ride the next day, and that he’d invite Nils. So, the Straggler’s inaugural ride in this iteration was a rad tour of Los Angeles’ hidden dirt with ice cream and tacos and beers at the shop afterward.

Carter's Glitter Dreams Straggler – Morgan Taylor

Carter was living in Memphis when he originally built his Straggler, using it for both exploring and racing in the south – including racing SSCXWC ’14 in Louisville. Before moving to Los Angeles, he figured that having some gears would be helpful for the bigger climbs, and the Straggler’s west coast metamorphosis began.

Since his original wheelset used a single speed King hub, he sourced a matching pink King hub – but it happened to be a 36 hole, and Blunt SL rims in 36 hole were long discontinued. He reluctantly built his geared wheel around a Blunt SS, and made the move to the west coast.

Carter's Glitter Dreams Straggler – Morgan Taylor

After a few months of living in Los Angeles, and a few too many close calls ripping the steeps, Carter decided it was time for another upgrade – this time, in the stopping department. In the meantime, he’d been busy tracking down a rim. Scouring the internet, he responded to a four-year-old post by Peter Bundy Frameworks in Australia, and it turned out they still had a rim.

Along with the rear wheel rebuild and hydraulic brake upgrade, he had the guys at Golden Saddle install the Sim Works Homage tires and Misirlou bar and topped that off with pink Manual for Speed bar tape. So, while it may look like Carter’s Straggler is a mess of unmatched parts thrown together, it’s actually the continuation of a long story and more care for the details than it may at first seem – and that’s just the kind of story we like!


Follow Morgan on Instagram and follow Carter on Instagram.



    • Meshkat

      At a bunghole near you, I assume.

    • arlcyclist

      MASH SF sold them.

    • carter

      Yep, MASH SF

  • sturtlovinggood

    Mmmm Skittles. So many good colors on this bike.

    • AdamBike99

      “Taaaaste the rainbowwww…” 8-)

      That’s what Glitter Dreams should be made of. Bravo!

    • carter

      Thank you! It’s been a journey…

  • Mario

    More of this class of bike pleeeease!

  • rjkl

    dayum, my LBS has these…might have to snag

  • Makes we want to ride my cross check so goddam hard. Awesome. Pure Awesomeness right there.

    • carter

      Go ride it! And if your ever in the Greater LA area hit me up!

  • Best paint job ever. The Surly sparkly frames are the tits! I have the deeper, darker healing-bruise purple sparkle paint job on my Pugsley and I love it.

    They did a Pacer run in sparkly red, that was SO good.

    • carter

      When I bought mine there was a black and this one. At the time “murdered out” bikes were so in vogue I decided to tend in the exact opposite direction.

      • Love that reasoning! Bikes should be fun so why not have fun colors right?

    • meaty_urologist

      bought one of those pacer frames for my then-girlfriend a few years back..”disco tomato” was the color…red with gold glitter flakes. so good!!

    • DaymanDaryl

      Which is funny cause they try so hard to make bad colours. The sparkelsarenice. They must have decided to forgo their bad attitudes long enough to make a color people would actually like.

  • Happy to see a Straggler up on the Radavist! I love my Glitter Dreams. I currently have mine set up for all weather commuting in NYC with fenders, racks and fat slick tires. I strip it down and switch over to Surly Knards for gravel and trail riding when I get out of the city. Such a versatile bike, and that paint job : )

    • carter

      Beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I’d like to outfit mine for weekend trips to the mountains eventually. The Soma Cazaderos would look really good on there too, and they mount up tubeless!

    • Dennis P Kramer

      Woah cool I’m also in NYC with a glitter dreams straggler! Rarely see another one around. Team purple bike!

      Got mine outfitted with fenders and Clement Xplor USH tires and find it plenty versatile either in the city or out on trails and dirt roads.

      • Yeah man, Team purple bike!

        Good to know about the Clements! I run Schwalbe Marathon Supreme’s 42s for city use. As you probably know the city just eats up tires what with all of the glass, metal shards and potholes. I’ve found the Marathon Superem’s to be fantastic for commuting. For a durable touring tire, they’re surprisingly light and supple, and after commuting on them everyday, for over a year I have yet to flat!

  • meaty_urologist

    i had a glitter straggler for 2,800 miles and the best thing i ever did to it was sell it and replace with a wolverine frame. i wanted to love it, and gave it more than enough time, but it just wasn’t there.

    • Moosemonkey

      Same thing here, Technically I had two Stragglers before my Wolverine. Since the first frameset had to be warrantied. I want to like Surly, I really do.

    • DaymanDaryl

      What do y’all like about the Wolverine (vs the Surly)?

  • Richard

    Man that’s an odd rear dropout. Can someone enlighten me as to the rationale for the set screws facing backwards? Never before seen that…

    • Jonathan Raspa

      Singlespeed dropout. The screw is backwards so you can adjust the chain tension.

      • Papi

        Jonathan- on the note of the dropout set screw, do you know if they extend into the dropout far enough to prevent removal of the rear wheel? They look long enough to completely close the gap at the bottom of the dropout.

  • Smithhammer


  • NoNo

    I thought the classic king hubs wouldn’t work work with an 11 speed cassette

    • carter

      You have a few options if you don’t want to run an XD driver. You can do a Sunrace cassette (the route I took) or a Shimano 11 speed. Also the new SRAM gruppo will fit a traditional 10 speed hub, and is the least spendy option. Boom! 11 speed on your 10 speed wheels!

      • Paul Seip

        Hang on!?!? Am I reading correctly you can run a 11 speed SRAM cassette on a “regular” 10 speed Chris King hub? Make my day Carter!
        Great bike and really like the tires, pristine sir!

        • carter

          You got it big guy. Originally the only option was sunrace, but now you have 3 to choose from!

  • AaronBenjamin

    Yeeee Carter!

    • carter


  • Gordon

    Who makes the bar tape?

    • carter

      Cinelli made it for Manual for speed

  • Peter Chesworth

    It is always nice to see a well ridden bike on this site. It means the owner loves it, and loves to just ride.

  • Bike looks sick. It’s always worth dropping Aspire VeloTech an email if you’re looking for CK parts, I’ve bought a few hub shells from them in the past.