In this episode of The Pro’s Closet‘s video series Bicycle Kingdom, we take a deep dive into the Major Taylor Iron Riders, a cycling club founded by two sisters in Brooklyn in the 1970s. The club’s name is inspired by Marshall “Major” Taylor, a cycling champion and the first African American cycling hero, and the Iron Riders, a group of infantrymen that were commissioned to ride bikes across the country to determine the feasibility of using bikes in warfare.
In this episode of The Pro’s Closet Bicycle Kingdom, we explore the intricacies of Monster Track. Monster track mirrors the chaos of the city it takes place in, New York City. It is the pinnacle of Alleycat racing. It’s part party, part race, but in the end, it’s all about community.
Disclaimer: Riding bikes is inherently dangerous. That said, while we are not encouraging people to ride fixed-gear bikes in a crowded city, we do see value in sharing this story of a longstanding subculture in NYC and cities around the globe. Be careful. Ride respectfully. Spread bike love.
Bicycle Kindom is a new video series by The Pro’s Closet which investigates the many different orders, families, and genera of cycling. Some are well known to the general public or cycling enthusiasts, like traditional road racing. However, some subcultures of bicycle riding are lesser-known. In this episode of Bicycle Kingdom, we take a deeper look into riding bikes in New York City with the Central Park Raccoons.
One of the challenges of writing about and riding bicycles is finding your flow. Sometimes both just seem to propel themselves, and other times you hit a dead end. Luckily, my time on the Kingdom Vendetta X2 was not the latter. Rather, upon the first shakedown ride, I knew I was going to love riding this bike because of one reason: specialization.
Now, hardtails, while simple in their form, come designed for many specific uses. Within this realm of mountain bikes there is an endless combination of design and geometric tweaks, resulting in a bike that can either be tuned for a broad spectrum of riding, or a very specific niche. All this goes without saying, but you can design a hardtail that will climb exceedingly well and descend like a three-wheeled skateboard. Or descend like a banshee and climb like a one-legged pig. While most of these experiential data is subjective, a few key features are just straight up objective.
Currently, the cycling industry is at an all-time low, as in, the bikes are longer and lower – which is a good thing, but there’s a tipping point. A bike that rides well going up as well as going down, is going to have to strike a balance to reign supreme on the mountain. Luckily, that’s where the Vendetta rules in the Kingdom of mountain bikes.
A few weeks ago, the umbrella company of radical bicycles and components that is Tanglefoot Cycles reached out, sharing their parts catalog. Aside from their wild bicycle designs, the Discord Peeper Stem really grabbed our attention. In that post, we hinted at this showcase, which we’re delivering today so enjoy a long cruise with Tanglefoot at the helm…
After reviewing the Starling Murmur Factory early last year, I placed a deposit for one myself, springing for the made in the UK front triangle, made in Taiwan rear swingarm model, in a larger size than the demo large I reviewed. Joe and I discussed the bike, I sent in the money needed and waited. A few months later, Joe alerted me that the bike was done and he shipped it to the United States. Little did I know that I wouldn’t see the bike for almost 8 months later.
Fans of framebuilders, or at least those who have been visiting this website for a few years might remember the work of Cycles d’Autremont landing on these pages in the past. We’ve featured Hubert’s shop, as well as a few of his bikes in the past. Well, Huburt turned a new page in his career, when he moved to Tucson, Arizona two years ago to open a new operation, Madrean Fabrication. I had the pleasant experience of hanging out with this wonderful human for a few days while in Tucson and got to look inside his shop, as well as check out a few of his new bikes.