Junkyard cats are notoriously difficult to wrangle, which is why we don’t have any portraits of Casey Sussman or Stephen Bilenky from this year’s Philly Bike Expo. What we do have, however, is a photoset documenting the duo’s new Tracklocross bikes from their collective endeavor Junkyard Cats. Paying homage to Junkyard Cross races of yesteryear, bikes that Sussman (Mars Cycles) and Bilenky (Bilenky Cycle Works) build together will feature the Junkyard Cats name, including a five-size, five-color run of handmade, lightweight steel, raw, un-filed fillet brazed Tracklocross bikes. Jarrod Bunk pulled one of these Tracklocross builds aside to photograph at this year’s Philly Bike Expo, which we’re looking at in detail below.
The name “Junkyard Cats” was born after the pair built Stephen’s daughter Bina a travel road bike, which needed a name. They all share a love for cats, are a little rough around the edges, and Stephen’s shop is located in a junkyard, so voilà: Junkyard Cats! Following Bina’s bike, the second Junkyard Cats project was a filet brazed tandem built for the winner of a fundraiser raffle the pair held for the Philly for Real Justice after George Floyd’s death. They ultimately raised over $16,000. Displayed at the Philly Bike Expo, the fully modern gravel tandem is equipped with wireless shifting for both riders and hydraulic disc brakes.
The Philly Bike Expo also witnessed the unveiling of the first two Junkyard Cats Tracklocross builds. Casey brazed the clear-coated frame (pictured here) and Stephen build the black frame. Available for pre-order now, the Tracklocross bikes go for $2,000 (frame + fork) and represent a more affordable option than custom offerings from Bilenky and Mars. Full-build pricing for the brakeless version is $3100 with the option to add a front TRP Spyre brake assembly (caliper, lever, rotor, hub upgrade) for an additional $200.
The frames will accommodate 40c tires, with either track or road cranks, and are intended to run whatever track wheels you have laying around. Though, if you’re looking for something a bit fancier, Excitement Wheelworks builds the wheelsets on the show bikes with Bitex fixed/fixed rear hubs and either Bitex track or disc brake front hub, which are laced to tubeless compatible DT Swiss 470 rims. Brakeless versions of these wheels are available separately for $400 and their disc brake-compatible counterparts run $450.
A Whiskey No.7 1-1/8′ quick release disc brake cx fork, Sram Rival 1x cranks, and Ritchey Comp cockpit round out the complete builds. Chainrings on the show bikes are from Aaron and the top caps from Cobra Frameworks. Frames will be available in five sizes (XS-XL) and five colors with an additional five decal color options. Vermont-based Race Metalsmiths handle all powder coating for the framesets.
If you’re interested in a pre-order, head over Junkyard Cats and slide into their DMs.