When Brooks England decided to resurrect the legendary B72 saddle ($190), the brand reached out to John to use his 1980 Ritchey as a model to showcase the saddle’s history of being mounted to some of the first mountain bikes. Then, to offer a modern comparison, they built up a stunning Stooge Cycles Speedbomb. The resulting builds are eerily similar in some ways and worlds apart in others, yet the Brooks B72 looks right at home on both bikes. Let’s check out the new B72, including John’s quick review, below.
You’ll never know who you’ll meet while on the road, and sometimes, the characters floating around campsites within our National Forests are as colorful as the natural surroundings. While John and Cari were cashing in on some long overdue R&R last week in the mountains of New Mexico, they met a fella with a Ritchey Annapurna and quite the story to tell…
Germany is an epicenter of cycling innovation and production. Home to a lengthy list of big brands including Canyon, Diamant, Focus, Bosch, and so many more, the central European nation is also inhabited by an ever-growing community of smaller bicycle and gear fabricators, builders, and makers.
While we saw many examples of cycling-related German craftsmanship on display in our Bespoked coverage last month, those examples just scratched the surface. On his way to Dresden for the show, Josh stopped over in Berlin and spent his brief amount of free time learning about the city’s special place within the larger German—and global—cycling industry context.
These days, mountain bike brands are all about gravel bikes, but one company started its foray into drop bars way back in 2007. Santa Cruz Bicycles first launched its quirky and fun ‘cross bike, dubbed the Stigmata, back before disc brakes proliferated the drop-bar bike phenotype. It was made from Easton EA6X aluminum in the USA and had cantilever brakes. It was weird. Funky. Cool.
Then, in 2015, the brand brought back the Stigmata but in carbon with disc brakes. I spent some time in New Zealand on the bike and logged many miles in Los Angeles. I loved it. So much so that I copied its geometry for my custom Firefly in 2016. Later, the Stiggy got another refresh and the 2019 iteration sported 27.5 x 2″ tires and was a carbon monster truck. I posted that review the day we refreshed our web design of The Radavist.
So when Santa Cruz announced its 2023 model, with the full SRAM AXS kit, including the RockShox Rudy suspension fork, I had to try it out, too. I’ve been ripping around on this lightweight and capable bike here in Santa Fe through the remnants of a dry and dusty El Niño year and have some thoughts on what makes the Stigmata so magical. Check it out below!
There aren’t many modern bicycle brands that have a history quite as rich as Yeti, let alone a diehard cult following of collectors and fans for the early bikes. Coming into a steel F.R.O or Yeti Ultimate is usually enough to be considered a “Holy Grail” find for most. However, there is another bike in the early Yeti lineup that is so rare many will never see one in person and more modern followers of the brand may not know even exists. This is the story of an elusive Yeti Tree Frog…
Forever tinkering with his bikes, John recently wrapped up a complete restoration of the 1983 Ritchey Everest that we looked at last year. Remember? The gray one? The bike appeared to have been subjected to a sloppy respray at some point in the early 2000s, and John wanted to restore the bike to its formal glory.
He pinged Rick at D&D, the guy who has painted more Ritchey frames than perhaps anyone, to respray the Everest in Imron Bright Gold paint with the uber-rare Palo Alto Ritchey decals to finish the look. The Everest also had a “touring package” added when Tom built the frame in 1983. Since John acquired it, the Everest has always felt a bit naked without the proper racks…
We know John’s posted a lot of vintage projects over the past few years, but this might be the best yet! Let’s check it out below…
With this year’s Chris King Open House coming right after the 2023 MADE Bike Show, the event decided to shift gears and focus on the Portland area’s outdoor brands. Chris King opened its doors to the public, unveiling the process that goes into machining bike parts in the USA, while inviting the broader outdoor industry to display their products. It was a full day of bikes and more! Check out our Reportage, sent in by Chris King and let us know your favorite bike in the comments!
As a trail worker, cyclist, and product developer at Schwalbe tires, Michael Rudolph knows better than most that heavy, and often sharp and pointy, tools don’t make for the most convenient bike cargo. And, coaster brake klunkers don’t often make the most capable cargo bikes. But, with the announcement of Leafcycles Custom Klunker Challenge, Michael was on a mission to reconcile these incompatibilities. Read on for the backstory and build process for his winning custom klunker submission: the Leafcycles Trail Digger.
The 2023 Bespoked Handmade Bicycle Show just wrapped after three action-packed days of talks, parties, and drooling over the heaps of amazing craftsmanship on display. Josh was on the ground at the Dresden, Germany airport where this year’s event took place, and, below, shares his final gallery of bikes and a couple of interesting components. Let’s get right into it!
The 2023 Bespoked Handmade Bicycle Show just wrapped after three action-packed days of talks, parties, and drooling over heaps of amazing craftsmanship on display. Josh was on the ground at the Dresden, Germany airport where this year’s event took place, and, below, shares his second gallery of bikes and a couple of interesting components. Let’s get right into it!
The 2023 Bespoked Handmade Bicycle Show just wrapped after three action-packed days of talks, parties, and drooling over heaps of amazing craftsmanship on display. Josh was on the ground at the Dresden, Germany airport where this year’s event took place, and, below, shares his first gallery of bikes and a couple of very interesting components that will be launching soon. Let’s get right into it!
I’m in Germany for the 2023 Bespoked Handmade Bicycle Show, which is taking place this weekend, October 13-15 in Dresden. Prior to traveling to Dresden, I was in Berlin with Flo and Tine of Fern/Allygn Bicycles and Gramm Tourpacking where we had an action-packed day visiting various makers around their workshop in the east side of the city. One of our visits was to meet Dan Pleikies of Wheeldan Custom Bicycles. Dan isn’t able to make it to Bespoked, BUT I was able to pull aside a client’s stunning randonneur bike he had on hand to document. Let’s check it out below!
“It’s just a bike.” The late Bruce Gordon built bicycle frames to enhance his customers’ lives. Through all my interactions over the years, up until his passing in June of 2019, he would take praise for his work, but would always end the conversation with: “It’s just a bike.”
To talk about this bike in particular, you first have to know Bruce. Who he was, his ethos, the mythos, and what he brought to the “g” word: gravel. Bruce was making fat-tire road bikes for a long time. Long before many. He developed tires, toe clips, and helped foster an entire movement of makers in the Petaluma, California area and beyond.
But just like that, he was gone, and he left behind a legacy…
While he and his wife were on holiday in Santa Fe, John got in a few rides with Steve Rex who brought along his fillet-brazed hardtail. Since Steve wasn’t at the MADE Bike Show, John wanted to give the Sacramento-based builder a spotlight of his own, so read on for the full gallery…
This is the story of a perpetually unfinished project, but also of a really cool bike that’s taken me a lot of great places – and how it came to me is its own unlikely story. The fact that a custom Rock Lobster built for someone else has been the best fitting bike I’ve ever owned is pure coincidence, particularly as I would learn that it didn’t quite fit the original owner as they had hoped. Settle in for the Tale of the Humongous Rock Lobster.
Over the years, I’ve had the ability and privilege of throwing my leg over a number of fat tire, drop bar touring bikes. From the almighty Tumbleweed Stargazer to the readily available Kona Sutra ULTD, these robust bikes with an off-road and load-bearing geometry make for great interstitial, genre-bending machines for all sorts of riding.
Yet before brands like Salsa were even making high clearance, drop bar, 29er, disc brake, production touring bikes, a brand called Singular Cycles in the UK shifted the paradigm with its Swift in 2007 and, later in 2008, Gryphon models. These frames featured high stack numbers, fit big tires, and most importantly, had rack/fender/cargo bosses aplenty.
This year, Singular debuted its custom Gryphon Titanium, and once again, I’m questioning which bike to crown “best in class.” Check out my full-length review below…
Unveiled at the 2022 Philly Bike Expo to much fanfare, the Alumalith is a realization of Ronnie Romance‘s dream to incorporate his favorite aspects of vintage mountain bikes into a deciededly modern offering. Featuring a non-suspension corrected Switchblade-style fork, rim brakes, sharp angulation, and 6061 aluminum fabricated by renowned craftsman Frank Wadelton–but with internal dropper routing, clearance for 27.5 x 2.6″ tires, and a contemporary approach to geometry–the Alumalith is nostalgic delight for riders of today. Josh picked up an Alumalith earlier this year and has spent months building it, riding, refining, and riding some more. Continue reading below for his review of this niche yet capable and fun machine…
Adam Sklar has been building custom bikes for close to a decade—and we’ve featured plenty of them on this site! But, in 2022 he decided to move production of a new model overseas to Taiwan. Dubbed the SuperSomething, this first production Sklar has road bike bones while still (subtly) paying homage to Adam’s mountain biking roots. Hailey Moore has been riding our signature Radavist edition SuperSomething all summer and, below, shares her review, along with insights into Adam’s design intent for this all-steel gravel bike.