Jay’s Gunnar Cycles Dirty Road Bike

Gunnar Cycles has had some pretty tricked-out bikes featured here on the Radavist over the years, but Jay’s bike holds a special place in my heart. First, you need an introduction to Jay. He’s worked at Topanga Creek Outpost for a few years now, and in his spare time spends hours upon hours exploring the neighboring State and National Parks as part of the Unpredict Your Wednesday outings. Jay is a lover of nature and the magic herb our Mother produces here in California. He’s a smiling soul with love and stoke always present.

Jay’s bike has that special something that stops people in their tracks and requires further visual inquiry. In a world of disc-brake dominated bikes, Jay’s is a Paul Cantilever-equipped machine, with clearance for a 40mm tire and a relaxed road geometry. If it had provisions for racks, it could even pass for a lightweight tourer. That hasn’t stopped him from strapping bikepacking bags on it in the past, however.

This bike looks like a carton of American Spirits, or an old hotel sign in the southwest. It oozes Americana without being overly ostentatious. Like Jay, this bike is best observed and engaged with when you’ve got the time. Jay is moving up to the Bay Area and we’re all gonna miss him down here in Sunny So-Cal. That means it’ll be time to fender up this bad boy, right, Jay?

  • PGH_small_adventures

    The graphics remind me of canoe and kayak paddles. Love it.

  • BortLicensePlatez

    What are the shorts homeboy’s wearing?

  • Photo #1 could be the best photo you have ever taken!

    • the highest praise

      • Jay Barre

        the ultimate compliment

    • Patrick Jonathan Neitzey

      thought you were being facetious, then checked it out…seriously incredible shot

    • Totally! Best I’ve seen here, at least

    • Jay Barre


  • henrilefebvre

    perfectly symmetrical barcon cables….oh my

    • pastafarian9

      Haha you read my mind!

    • Tim Guarente

      Yeah, you have to get the coil set up right and then trim it after taping to make this happen. So satisfying when it happens.

  • Jon B.

    jeeeeez…. so rad.

  • boomforeal

    that’s a gorgeous bike

    i have a brown chris king headset i scrounged up… somewhere… i’ve never seen another one

    • I wish they still made the brown hubs and headsets. So rad.

      • Jon B.

        This. If CK is reading this, please open a limited run on brown.

        • Trent

          Apparently they didn’t do a production run because they had difficulty keeping the batches a consistent color. I saw that mentioned somewhere in the midst of NAHBS coverage. Hopefully they can figure it out and scale it up to production soon!

      • Cidertowncycles

        The running joke around these parts is that John Watson got all but one set of the CK goods in bourbon.

        Awesome looking bike. I recently converted to the Panaracer GK SK 700 x 40c. What a glorious tire.

  • Tom Burns

    What is the seatpost bag? Have a similar set-up and looking for a similar bag, but don’t recognise the brand…

    • bikecow
      • Tom Burns

        Thank-you both. Haven’t seen these in England, but just what I’m looking for. Thanks chaps.


        • Rob Courtney

          Mack Workshop makes some similar ones

    • Tom Braun

      I bought one a few months ago. The roll top feature is nice. I have no complaints.

  • S. Harris

    this bike somehow looks so contemporary cool whilst being 100% classic, simultaneously. loves it.

  • Jamieeeeeee

    Topanga Creek is a really cool spot, and Jay’s as helpful and friendly as they come. He’ll be missed!

    (Also sweet bike)

  • hans

    i remember seeing that bike for the first time on a super hot ride out to Topanga Creek. Super sick bike and Jay is such a rad dude! Best of luck up in the bay man!

  • Ornotbike

    We’re done with the rain up here. Seriously.

  • jh

    Love it! Is that a square taper BB?

  • Brian Richard Walbergh

    Real proper cage mount placement.

  • Hey Jay!! Need some new friends in the Bay?? Amazing bike thanks for the love Jay + John!

    • Jay Barre

      Let’s hang for sure! Love your bags, we need some more at the shop

  • Mike Spadafora

    awesome pictures of an awesome bike! Thank you! I have a Kona Sutra and I took the racks and fenders off. Same kind of vibe. Not as nice of a bike as this Gunnar. I am now inspired to get some nice bits and pretty it up. I have the same brake levers and they are so comfy. Those canti brakes looks great

    • Tom Burns

      That’s where I started. Had a Kona Sutra for some heavy touring. Now all that’s left is the frame – everything else has been rejigged/upgraded.

    • Charlie D

      You could do much worse than a Suta, and I own two Gunnars. Between the Sutra’s and Rove’s Kona is hard to touch…

      • Mike Spadafora

        Funny you mention the Rove, I just picked up a Rove. Slightly lighter build and the new one has a more gravel racer geometry. I used to work at a bike shop and its funny how some feel that the steel is low quality on the kona bikes…oh well, I honestly can’t tell the difference

  • Richard

    That is such a sweetly specced ride. Nice in every way.

  • Stoked you shot Jay’s bike! It’s so good!

    • Jay Barre


  • Jay Barre

    Thanks for the love! Not sure if fenders will ever make it on this bike John!

  • Moody

    Holy guacamangos, that photo of him about to round that corner really sells the lifestyle in a easyriders magazine kinda way! And the navajo modern scheme on the bike.. turquoise cable housing with root beer colored Chris King components is just outstanding.

  • Hollis Duncan

    Nitpicking but I don’t like the cables swooping from the frame up to the bar end shifters. Agree on the brown CK comments. I have an iron ore metallic IF Crown J that was calling for brown.

    • spencer harding

      seriously? what would you do differently?

    • That’s the traditional routing for barcons, but visually it’s not as “clean” as routing under the tape.

      • AlTilleythebum

        Just for kicks I tried routing my barcon cables completely under the tape once. Shifted like crap.

  • barbora

    this is such a cool machine!

  • Nealipo

    Great eye for detail with the paint, cable color, ano bits, etc. Super cool bike.

  • Joshua Meissner

    I’m going to be in San Diego this summer for three weeks with my cross bike. Where are those insanely rad trails in the background? What are some good areas to hit up for gravel riding and easy single track?

    • I haven’t ridden much in SD, but there are countless options in LA that I know. Usually, I just look on Google maps and Strava for windy, twisty roads close to where I am and just go ride them.

      • Joshua Meissner

        Great, thanks. So tight twisty roads usually suggest non-paved surfaces in SoCal? Can’t wait to get out there.

    • Aaron Beasley

      check out mission trails. some of it can be a bit technical for a cx bike but some of its great.

    • sofia

      gotta go up to mt. laguna if you have access to a car. heck, I’d be happy to drive if I’m around.

      • Joshua Meissner

        Yeah I’ll have access to a car for a bit, is Mt. Laguna a good road cycling destination from SD? So excited!

  • AdamBike99


  • Area45

    Good luck on the move Jay! Hope to pedal with you up in SF.

  • Alex(K)


  • kermitonwheels

    That’s a very pretty bike.

  • Austin Turner

    Jay is Americana.

  • DaymanDaryl

    That’s some lovely scenery! The bike is pretty marvelous, too.

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