The Radavist’s Top 10 and Then Some Beautiful Bicycles of 2016

Call it what you will, but 2016 was an interesting year and I’m not just talking politics! There were a lot of incredible bicycles featured here on the site, many with even more interesting stories and some were even affected by the events of 2016. We’ll get into that a bit later. Grading these beautiful machines is anything but easy and usually requires a few days of data compiling, including but not limited to social media chatter, visits, comments and time spent on that particular page. Since all bikes can be beautiful, this list includes both custom and production bicycles. Some of these will be a no-brainer, others even surprised me. Without further adieu, here are the Radavist’s Top 10 and Then Some Beautiful Bicycles of 2016, in no particular order.

Jonathan's Rivendell Joe Appaloosa Touring Bike

Jonathan’s Rivendell Joe Appaloosa Touring Bike

It is my humble opinion that everyone should own a touring bike and if anyone knows a thing or two about on-the-bicycle livin’, it’s Grant Petersen from Rivendell. Jonathan was looking for a classy upgrade from his Long Haul Trucker when a deal on the Joe Appaloosa tourer popped up. Built with all the bells and whistles, ok, maybe just one bell, this bike has already seen some Austin, Texas touring.

Parker's A-Train All Road

Parker’s A-Train All Road

If all you see is a flash paint job, then you’re missin’ out! Parker’s A-Train is a prime example of a custom bike that resolves problems in a classy, and still flashy way. Sure, that paint is divine, but the construction of this frame and component selection isn’t to be passed over. By pairing XTR Di2 with Dura Ace shifters, allowing him to get both a clutch derailleur as well as a longer cage to wrap around a bigger cassette.


Retrotec 27.5+ Funduro Hardtail

Getting to shred a bike like this for six months was a highlight of the year for me and seeing how stoked people were on Curtis Inglis from Retrotec’s creation was an added bonus. Curtis knows how to make a great looking bike that is also an absolute blast to ride. Even with those big tires, it was hard keeping the rubber side down on this one!


Speedvagen OG-1 Road Bike

It’s purple and it’s a Speedvagen. Even with its untypical subdued paint, the OG-1 is a great looking bike and one that had people buzzing, including myself, prompting me to buy an OG-1 after reviewing this one for a few months.


Death Spray Custom Hufnagel ‘Cross

There’s a lot of unobtanium pictured here. First, that Hufnagel frame is one of the last frames Jordan built before putting down the torch and then, you’ve got a Death Spray Custom fork, which is also nearly impossible to acquire. If you put those two together, along with those flashy Sim Works tires, you’ve got one good lookin’ bike.


Crema Duo Cross Bike

Smaller wheels and bigger tires are maybe the theme of 2016 in terms of bike design. This Crema Duo changed the way I ride bikes in Los Angeles and even inspired…


Kyle’s Red, White and Blue Stinner Monster Cross

The concept is simple: make a 700c ‘cross bike with enough clearance to run a 2.2″ mtb tire on 27.5″ wheels so it’ll be more shreddy on the trails. Whether or not you paint it in patriotic red, white, and blue is up to you.

Photo by Jarrod Bunk

Anna’s Peacock Groove Prince Tribute Bike

Yes, 2016 was a bummer in terms of the musicians we lost. Merle Haggard, Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Prince just to name a few. Perhaps the latter was the most celebrated, inspiring Anna to make a tribute bike with local builder Eric Noren of Peacock Groove. Something tells me this won’t be the last time we see this bike here on the site.


44 Bikes Rigid 27.5+ Off-Road Tourer

Wanting a more resilient, rigid mountain bike for dirt tours, and inspired by Ryan Wilson’s own touring rig, I contact Kris Henry at 44 Bikes to make a special rig just in time for Tasmania. With clearances for a 3″ tire, this unique rig will be romping its way around the desert throughout the new year.

Photo by Morgan Taylor

Morgan and Stephanie’s Soma Wolverine Dirt Tourers

Long live the touring bike! Morgan and Stephanie inspired all of us with their summer time tour from Canada to Los Angeles on their matching Soma Wolverines, each built with very specific uses in mind. These two bikes are some of the nicest builds on the site this year.

Now for the bonus Beautiful Bicycles:

Specialized Sequoia

Drum roll… the most talked about bike on the Radavist in 2016: the Specialized Sequoia Relaunch. The Sequoia stirred up things over here and it’s easy to see why.

2016 NAHBS: Oddity Fatbike

This Oddity Fatbike broke a site record for the highest traffic on any NAHBS bike, ever. Thus throwing me a curve… er ball? Tubes. Curve-d tubes. Yeah, that’s it. Oddity knows how to build one sexy mountain bike!


If your favorite didn’t make the list, call it out! Got any questions? Drop them in the comments. Thanks again for sticking around this year for the bikes, the stories and everything else that finds its way onto the pages of this website. Happy Holidays!


  • Stuper Ska

    Times are changing.
    2016: 9 one by, 2 Doubles, 1 triple, 1 road bike, 0 track bikes,6 cross bikes, 5 mtb
    2014:3 one by, 9 doubles, 2 triples, 5 road bikes, 1 track bike 6 cross bikes, 1 mtb
    2012: 2 one by, 2 doubles, 0 triple, 1 road bike, 4 track bikes, 2 cross bikes, 0 mtb

    Mountain bikes are getting beautiful and track bikes are too limiting. lets see what the trends will be next year.

    • I love that insight. For me, I think it’s great to see touring bikes – especially loaded down ones – making the list!

      • Matthew J

        Indeed. People getting into using bikes to go the distance. Definitely a good trend.

    • caliente

      Haha, came here to say the same — mainly about track bikes and disc brakes vs. cantis for the cx bikes.

    • Klampers and Cambiums and Jones bars, oh my!

    • Dr. Thunder Gladstone

      2016 9 of 10 disc

    • Richard

      That’s interesting meta-analysis! I agree with the comments below: the more surfaces the better!

  • Red

    Wish those 44rn 1x chainrings were available to the public.

  • Ham Sandwich

    oh look at that sean burns ass burns swooping in with worlds best prolly bike of 2016. five best rappers.

  • Oh we are in such good company! And we’ve got another chapter to present coming up this week. Looking forward to sharing.

  • kasual

    +1 for all

    Morgan and Stephnie’s Wolverines get my vote for being bad ass, well traveled and something that I can aspire to. Morgan’s bike was probably the bike that crossed my social media feeds the most for 2016 and helped to inspire my VO pass hunter disc.

    John, thanks for chronicling all these great whips.

  • Masterchief

    A reason for the Sequoia being number one, could be that it’s one of the only bikes in the top ten us readers can get our hands on ourselves. I really like the Rivendell and the Wolverine myself, they definitely deserves the attention.

    • caliente

      I also wonder what the specialized network does to influence the clicks; since they are a huge marketing machine. My personal favorite is the Crema.

      • They didn’t do a thing, believe it or not. Not that I saw in the analytics or on their social channels.

        • caliente

          Hmm, that is interesting. I’d think they would at least call-it-out on their facebook page. Thanks for the response!

          • They didn’t even share my Sverigotempot photos, believe it or not. :-

          • Demand and stoke has been overwhelming and the first big batch basically flew out the door already before Length of Sweden so we simply had to go stealth for a while on the Sequoia. John’s photo story is amazing but it doesn’t make sense to promote things that aren’t in stock, folks just get disappointed when they can’t get it right away. I had a good feeling about the bike but forecasting a brand new product without previous references is always tricky and markets are cautious with “new” bikes – this one blew our minds. Also the photo story is timeless (Sequoia relatively timeless to) and won’t go bad like other hot news do. Much more from Length of Sweden, including photos and the Length of Sweden documentary end of Jan.

  • bicyclecrumbs

    I can think of one you forgot! Joking aside killer year of work man. For me Randi Jo’s Hunter Cargo and that Dobbats commuter had some of the craziest details I’ve seen.

    • Agreed!

      • Seriously! Where’s the Crumbs Franco or better yet, the Philosophy! I demand a recount!

        Also, that blue oddity is at volker like sandwiched in between a bunch of shit. i’ve knocked it over like 5x.

  • Burnsey builds a hell of a bicycle. Oddity FTW!

  • PGH_small_adventures

    I surprised that monster from Rawland Cycles didn’t make the list. It was all over the internet after interbike.

    • Yeah, there’s no rhyme or reason as to why some bikes get higher “engagement” than others. I was surprised when I looked at all the numbers. There were a lot of bikes that kinda blew my mind that didn’t make the list.

      • M. Lopez

        what are a few you were surprised didn’t make the list?

    • Justin Hughes

      Does a production bike that isn’t produced really exist?

  • Nicholas King

    A drop bar bike without a Silca…


    I gotta go with the Crema. It is such a beauty. Also, to me, it looks like a bike that can literally be used daily and utilized with all sorts of disciplines in mind. My only gripe is that I reached out to Crema to build me a bike and never heard a word back from them. John, any thoughts on that last part? Was kind of a bummer. Great bike though.

    • Noel Smith

      If at first you dont succeed…

  • Sretsok

    I can’t believe your 44 Marauder isn’t on the list. It’s such a beautifully simple trail machine.

  • Peter Chesworth

    The Bombus Blue Steel Tourer. Something about the balance, the integration and the normal parts. Then Todd’s Cielos. Any NFE is a good thing. The photography is just a gift.

  • Lewy

    What a fantastic Top 10. It would be too hard for me to come up with just 10.

  • Angelo Medina

    The Curve GMX featured in here did it all for me… at least it changed me, somehow i guess.

  • Frank Groeliken

    Boner after boner after boner after boner….

  • James Maiewski

    What kind of togo container’s in the cage of the appaloosa?

  • Michael Askew

    Morgan’s and Stephanie’s Wolverines are pretty awesome but I really want an Elephant NFE like Cari’s!

    Thanks for the great content and beautiful photos!

    • alex

      Seconded! Her NFE is sick, thought it might land here as well.

      • Peter Chesworth


  • Erik Noren

    Wow.Thanks RADAVIST !! This is some pretty good bikes here, dang surprised and really honored being in the ranks. Making the Price bike was a huge emotional undertaking for me. I grew up on that music, and it was such a big part of going through life it was just a beautiful experience to look back on. That , and many other things, made it ever so more nerve wracking to make it. But I think it turned out okay…. thanks again !!

  • GT

    Great list! My personal favorite wasn’t a custom, per se: Mike’s Velo Orange Piolet! Moving to Manhattan and I can’t justify getting that bike/build–but I do so want it!

  • John Alcantara

    Crust didn’t make the list?

  • AntiPoliticallyCorrect

    Nice! I forgot there is whole world of bikes out there…’d never know visiting the local shops…..trek and cannondale as far as the eye can see.

    • Yeah, I guess it depends on your local shop. There are tons of shops in the US and beyond that get some amazing bikes roll through their doors.

  • That Oddity is my #1 for the year! A lot of bikes on this list did not stand out to me at all…

  • Robert

    My favorite was the Mike Varley Black Mountain Cycles!! Beautiful, practical, understated. Excited to have Mike build one up for me this month!

  • Nicholas Petersen

    Was looking for that Standard cross. My fave for sure.

  • Thiago Marangoni

    Stunning Top 10 John. The Crema Duo Cross is one of my all time favorites. Next time you’re over in Australia catching up with Andy White, try to come to New Zealand. There are so many “Epic” places to ride, some of the finest trails on Earth in all aspects. Cheers.

  • Davey Dinner

    awesome bikes all around

  • 7802mark

    Aside from the Rivendell, which is wonderful, and the Prince tribute bike, which is so so, the bikes here are among the ugliest I have ever laid eyes on.

  • Keith Erps

    @johnprolly:disqus Is the chainring on the Stinner a wide/narrow tooth profile (drop-stop)? I would love to have a latticed chainring for my 1×10.