FOREWORD: Back in May and into June, I had the pleasure of helping the crew at Angry Catfish for a couple of weeks as their summer season began to pick up. The following is a series of entries from a journal I kept during my time there. My hope is that through these vignettes you will get a glimpse of what it’s like to not only work at one of the most successful bike shops in the country, but be a bicycle salesperson and mechanic in the city of Minneappolis. Think of this as an extended shop visit, one where I get my hands dirty and experience the area and community the way those at Angry Catfish and other locals do. All photos are film, shot on 35mm and 120mm. Enjoy!
“A collaborative collective of businesses in Minneapolis, Minnesota go beyond retail and thrive in a community built by each other and those around them. In 2010 Angry Catfish Bicycle Shop + Coffee Bar(ACF) opened to accolades amongst its local patrons and followers across the country with a simple concept to provide the best bicycles, coffee, and environment to enjoy them possible. Not long after the launch of ACF Mend Provisions, a life style fly fishing, men’s apparel, and outdoor goods brand was created and opened around the corner from ACF. Mend was followed by Northern Frameworks the in house frame/bicycle company to Angry Catfish allowing a curated, tailor-made bicycle experience with in the brick and mortar retail establishment in South Minneapolis. Finally in 2017 Northern Coffeeworks took an already refined third wave coffee model offered and ACF and added locale sources food and beverage in a Minneapolis Downtown East setting. The teams of all four businesses not only work together, but also eat, drink, and play together and with their community at large. ”
These guys are the best. Smoochies, Josh!
We’ve got a bigger story on the way, but for now, I wanted to introduce Northern Frameworks, building bikes by hand for Angry Catfish. Head on over to their newly-launched website and drool over these custom builds.
We’re here in Southern Utah, soaking in all the red dirt we can and riding some of the area’s finest trails. While Kyle and I had a short drive to St. George, Parker and Josh from Minneapolis’ Angry Catfish had a staggering 24 hours of driving on icy, winter roads to reach our meet-up point. The boys finally showed up and Josh unpacked his Oddity Cycles 27.5+ hardtail.
Josh commissioned Sean from Oddity to build it up last year, where it was displayed at NAHBS and he’s had it on display at Angry Catfish ever since. He’s ridden it throughout Minneapolis’ trails but this is the first road trip this bike has seen and man, what a trip it’s been so far.
I love seeing show bikes being shredded, especially against such a wonderful backdrop.
BEHOLD: THE LOG JAM!
It’s the Midwest; trails here often ‘require’ neither suspension nor gears. Having been born and bred in an area where the White-Tails carved much of the early singletrack, the folks at All-City created a capable ripper, with tight angles, classic lines, and a few touches of modern flair.
I had the chance to first ride the Log Lady down in Los Angeles before All-City announced it to the masses, and I fell in love with it almost immediately. Having grown up on rigid 26″ single-speeds, the LL really appealed to me.
When the frameset first showed up, I had to make a couple changes to it to make it mine. First, the color had to go; no offense to the wonderful folks over at All-City, but the Red/Black/White fade was not my jam. After that, I jammed the biggest rubbers I could between the stays: Derby’s AM rims with a 35mm internal width and Panaracer’s FBN tire, which measures out roughly 2.7. And finally, I did what any good human should do these days and put dropper on it! Just a little frame modification and the Fox Transfer post was good to go.
Obviously, this setup is a far cry from All-City’s stock build, but it should help showcase what the bike is capable of, and how well one can make it their own.
With the growing popularity of events like the Tour Divide, more and more people are riding and sharing their stories from this memorable journey. This Saturday night, join the Angry Catfish team in Minneapolis for a Tour Divide Recap!
Up Nort’ With Angry Catfish
Words and Photos by Kyle Kelley
Every year QBP invites people from all over the world to visit Minnesota during the coldest part of winter for Frostbike. Why they chose this time of year I don’t know but I’ve gone twice and wouldn’t trade it for any other bicycle industry event or convention. The people at QBP, and everyone else I’ve met in Minneapolis for that matter, are exactly the kind of people you wanna be hanging out with when it’s below freezing. They want to keep you warm and comfortable and a bit liquored up and I am A-OK with that.
When I found out I was heading to Frostbike again this year, I put the feelers out to see if anyone wanted to do any partying after the event and Josh from Angry Catfish was the first to respond. All he told me was to bring warm stuff and he’d take care of the rest. So, the Monday after Frostbike Josh picked me up and we headed Up Nort’ to the Angry Cabin with Thomas and Parker, also from Angry Catfish. I made a quick assessment of the supplies packed in the truck and all I could see was loads of beer, tons of cured meat, a comically large flask full of Booker’s and four fat bikes!
I promise you, I’m working while I’m here in Minneapolis. One of the places I really wanted to check out was Angry Catfish. There’s a full Shop Visit coming but for now, I thought everyone would enjoy this photo… The weekend’s here and I hope you can make it out the All City Championships events. See you tonight at the track bike crit!
The Northern Frameworks Process
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk
While Minneapolis might not be on everyone’s list for travel plans in the middle of winter, mine was a little bit different. You see, I wanted to finalize some stuff for an upcoming build of mine. I took the opportunity while in the fridged midwest to spend some time getting a fit at Angry Catfish catching up with friends, and documenting some of the build processes that go into a custom Northern Frameworks.
Alex Cook started building bike under the name A-Train a few years ago now and honed his craft to the point at which the collaboration with Angry Catfish was born, which is Northern Frameworks. Each Northern Frameworks is built around custom geometry for the rider and comes in a stock color palette to simplify the process and allow Alex to make his bikes the best they can be. Tight miters, sharp tungsten and a steady hand are apparent in his welds and a meticulous work ethic which I watched first hand. I have to admit it was great to watch someone who cares so much about their craft, work. Inside of Alex’s shop, he has a backlog of builds but keeps the lead times small thanks to the process he’s developed with his time behind the torch. If you’re interested in your own bike, give him a shout.
If You Were Wondering, Frostbike’s Still the Best
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
Especially for newcomers! It was really rad seeing Sean and Danny from Team Dream and the Cub House experience this unique event for the first time. It really got me thinking about a few of my first Frostbikes, and how a lot of my really good friends have actually spawned from this event. I’ve even seen other friendships flourish from introductions at Frostbike. Going to Minneapolis in the middle of winter as a cyclist probably seems like a bad idea, but when you actually think about it, it’s genius.
Upon arriving at Saddle Drive in Tahoe, I was surprised to see that many, if not all of the bikes here are under embargo, meaning, I can shoot them now, but can’t post them until the embargo is lifted. I’ve spent my morning scouring the booths for bikes that are free to share, hence this beaut…
Minneapolis’ Northern Frameworks is the in-house brand of Angry Catfish. Each frame is made in house, per the customer’s measurements and desires. This disc road bike was designed to take on long days in the saddle, with clearance for up to a 32mm road tire and SRAM’s Red22 eTap. Laced with Zipp components and a beautiful Chris King Mango headset, this bike has plenty of visual pop where it matters.
MinneCycle 2017: Northern Frameworks All Road with Dura Ace
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk
I first heard of Northern Frameworks when it was just a whisper. Josh from Angry Catfish and Alex from A-Train Cycles decided to team up for a new custom frame brand to be sold in-house at the shop. The first time I saw one in person I was stoked: custom made steel bikes that keep the Twin Cities proud.
Northern Frameworks produces a bike with clean lines, tailored fit, and brilliant paint. The build on this bike is just as good as the aesthetic though, sporting Dura Ace 9100 series components, painted to match fenders, pewter Chris King headset and an ENVE cockpit. Those Derby rims laced to White Industries CLD hubs, hand built by Haute Bacon, tie it all together. The internally routed hydraulic line is extremely clean and the T47 BB keeps this bike somewhat future proof should the owner choose to build it differently down the road.
A bike like this screams versatility (with an inside voice), as it’s not overbearing in any way, but can tackle several different types of riding pretty well. I can’t wait to get back to Minneapolis to see more from these guys. For more info check out Northern Frameworks.
The prefrontal cortex is relatively well-developed in my brain, meaning self-control and personal safety awareness is high. Honed even. Other riders out there might have a more underdeveloped PFC, meaning they’re willing to huck themselves down massive step-downs and over canyons without more than a few moments of hesitation. In the world of mountain biking, I’d rank myself and my friends as capable riders. Obviously, many of the riders I photograph have skill levels that are a few notches higher than mine. Some of them grew up riding BMX or motocross and a mountain bike just feels natural up in the air, oftentimes one wheel or two at a time. Photographing these rad atavists is just one of the reasons why I love my job, yet all it takes is a change of scenery to feel like you’re in over your head. This sea change was found once we left the common trails in Hurricane, Utah for a neighboring outpost called Virgin. Home to RedBull Rampage and other free-riding spots, Virgin is in many ways, the home base for the sport.
A few months back, the boys from Angry Catfish in Minneapolis invited Kyle from Golden Saddle Cyclery in Los Angeles to meet them in Utah for five days of riding mountain bikes in St. George – aka St. Geezy – and Hurricane – aka Herahkun. The only problem is, Kyle doesn’t have a car and he didn’t quite feel like pedaling all the way to Utah from Los Angeles on his singlespeed mountain bike. That’s where I came into the picture. I’ve got a car, with a bike rack and enough room to carry all our shit for a week. Now Kyle had a ride, I got to ride in Utah and everyone would get some sweet-ish photos out of the whole shindig.
Today, Kyle and I are packing up the ‘Cruiser with mountain bikes and camping gear to spend a week in Utah riding the trails of St. George, Hurricane and Gooseberry with the boys from Angry Catfish in Minneapolis. We’ve got content coming in through the Radar and Reportage, so stay tuned!
This bike, upon first glance, might just seem like a cross bike with some flashy paint and while that is mostly true, the thing that struck me the most about Parker’s A-Train all road is the drivetrain. Well, the drivetrain and that killer paint!
Knowing that he wanted to ride this bike on more dirt than sealed road and being a fan of Shimano, Parker mixed his Di2 with XTR and Dura Ace, relying on not only the clutch of the XTR rear mech, but its cage length, allowing him to wrap a big cassette around his chain. You don’t see this a whole lot, but it makes total sense, especially if you like the idea of SRAM’s 1x system but the feel or ergonomics of Shimano. Is it working out for Parker? You bet. While he was visiting Los Angeles from Minneapolis, where he works at Angry Catfish, he took full advantage of steep frontage and fire roads…
The thing I love about local bike shops is their reach. Monkey Wrench, Golden Saddle, Angry Catfish, Vecchios and the like all have great branding, which results in people wearing their products. Yo Jimbos in Chicago is doing a pre-order for tees and sweats right now. For something new in your wardrobe, head over to support them!
Niner’s ROS 9+ One Hell of a Good Time
Words and photos by Kyle Kelley
The White Rim Trail in Utah’s Canyonlands NP has been on my radar for awhile. I imagined I would do it on a cross bike, carrying only the necessary food and water, one small camera and riding from the early morning to early evening. The reality ended up being quite a bit different. I rolled out on a Mid-Fat outfitted with custom bike bags, carrying 7 liters of water and enough food to feed a kindergarten class for two days! Shit… I even brought an abnormally large camera (at least for me) in addition to my standard point and shoot just because there was still room in the bags. I was rolling in luxury and the bike that made that possible was the Niner ROS 9+!