Beautiful Bicycles

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Don’t Call It a Baxter: A Review of the All-New Moots Routt ESC Adventure Gravel Bike

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Don’t Call It a Baxter: A Review of the All-New Moots Routt ESC Adventure Gravel Bike

The Baxter was a blip in a long line of adventure bikes to grace Moots’ 40 years of building frames in the Rockies. Personally, I really liked the Baxter. It held its own in the Steamboat Ramble Ride and tackled our “Disconnected” project in the Inyo Mountains with SRAM but the Baxter had some quirks that needed to be addressed. With the Routt ESC, Moots did just that, abandoning the Baxter model altogether.

In an era where adventure, gravel, touring, and bikepacking bikes are seeing lots of permutation, there’s no time for nostalgia. Brands need to address their bike’s quirks and redesign as needed. That’s where the Routt ESC comes in. It’s like the Baxter and the Routt gravel line had a lovechild, which resulted in a completely new paradigm within the Moots catalog. Let’s check out this new Routt ESC bike in more detail below!

2021 Philly Bike Expo: LaMarche Bike Co. Town & Country All-Road

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2021 Philly Bike Expo: LaMarche Bike Co. Town & Country All-Road

For our final feature from the 2021 Philly Bike Expo, we’re taking a look at this beautiful Town & Country all-road from LaMarche Bike Co. Tom LaMarche (yes, that Tom LaMarche) has been on and around bikes for a good chunk of his life. In addition to being a sponsored fixed-gear freestyle rider and professional stuntman, Tom recently added framebuilder to his resume. He’s currently offering two framesets – one is a rowdy-looking 27.5″ hardtail and the other is the uber-capable Town & Country. Continue reading below for details on the Town & Country Tom had exquisitely built up for the Expo, as documented by Jarrod Bunk‘s luxe photoset.

2021 Philly Bike Expo: Relstone Cycles “New Trix” Custom Singlespeed

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2021 Philly Bike Expo: Relstone Cycles “New Trix” Custom Singlespeed

Jarrod Bunk referred to Guy Stone as a “bike superhero” following his time photographing Guy’s “New Trix” singlespeed mountain bike at the 2021 Philly Bike Expo. A tax accountant by day and framebuilder by night (and afternoon, early morning, lunch brakes, etc), Guy fabricates his own handmade lugs (sometimes handmade bottom brackets as well) and free-brazes frames without the use of a traditional fixture or jig. He also isn’t opposed to eschewing industry trends to achieve the perfect fit for his riders, allowing form to follow function. Below, we take a detailed look at Guy’s personal New Trix singlespeed, along with insights into his design process.

Catching up with Karl: Bikes for Buddies and his Rusty Trucker Mountain Cruiser

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Catching up with Karl: Bikes for Buddies and his Rusty Trucker Mountain Cruiser

Back in 2020, Cjell Monē and I wrote about our friend Karl Artis‘ eclectic bike collection and his collaborative “Bikes for Buddies” fundraiser with Matt Whitman, which raised enough money to purchase fifty bikes for youngsters in need. Since then, Karl has added even more bikes to his personal cache, including an enviable custom mountain cruiser, and finally found a home for the youth bikes after months of pandemic-induced hiccups. I recently met up with Karl and a crew of other friends – who were fresh off a weekend of building and donating bikes – to check out Karl’s new cruiser and enjoy some metamorphic chunder on the trails of North Phoenix.

Resurrecting the Revolution: Cinelli’s Historic Laser Rivoluzione Prototype “Dumpster Find”

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Resurrecting the Revolution: Cinelli’s Historic Laser Rivoluzione Prototype “Dumpster Find”

The 80’s and 90’s were a wild time for track bikes as design teams competed for gains through technological innovation. Cinelli was right there in the melee shaving power loss through aerodynamic design in partnership with Columbus tubing. The resulting Cinelli Laser changed bicycle design forever, winning more track world championships and Olympic gold medals than any other bicycle in the history of the sport. Andrea Pesenti’s hand-hammered steel gussets curved elegantly between tube junctions producing a fluid, edgeless art that slid through the air and whose DNA can be seen in all of today’s curvy carbon racing machines. Antonio Colombo brought vision and fidelity to art in design. Paolo Erzegovesi brought revolutionary engineering through liberation from lugs telling him where tubing should intersect and at what angle. These customizations nudged riders over the finish line first and set off raging bike crushes on Lasers that some of us never recovered from.

2021 Philly Bike Expo: Pachyderm Bikes Custom Cyclocross

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2021 Philly Bike Expo: Pachyderm Bikes Custom Cyclocross

Since 2014, Dan Schaumann has been a full-time professor at University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Design and runs a R+D lab within the Department of Ophthalmology. In addition to his teaching duties, various design-related past times, and riding/racing bikes, Dan has been building frames as Pachyderm Bikes out of the Chicago-based Bubbly Dynamics co-op workshop and now from his own garage shop space. Through peer and self-teaching at Bubbly, Dan honed his craft and has built race bikes for himself, teammates, and friends. He’s even started teaching others the art of framebuilding. Continue reading below for Dan’s description of the cyclocross bike he built for his friend Sam Scipio and displayed at the 2021 Philly Bike Expo, as documented by Jarrod Bunk‘s imagery.

The Radavist’s Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2021

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The Radavist’s Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2021

I hope your winter break was refreshing and that you got some miles in over the Holidaze. We’re back in 2022 with the first of our 2021 year-end recaps, beginning with everyone’s favorite: the Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2021. Like years prior, I compiled this list by traffic, comments, and social media/backlink chatter, also omitting bikes from Open House/Expo style showcases. There are some real gems in here, so let’s get to it!

2021 Philly Bike Expo: Junkyard Cats Tracklocross

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2021 Philly Bike Expo: Junkyard Cats Tracklocross

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.

Riding as Ceremony: A Vintage Road Bike is All You Need

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Riding as Ceremony: A Vintage Road Bike is All You Need

At some point earlier this year, I came down (again) with the vintage bug. I used to comb swap meets in search of a 58-60cm bike, NOS Campagnolo kits, hard-anodized wheels, and pantographed parts but it has been a while. Perhaps it’s because I feel so inundated with “new” tech announcements claiming “lighter, stiffer, faster, more aero” and at a certain point, it just gets to be too much. In the same way, I enjoy riding a rigid or a hardtail 90% of the time over a full suspension. Recently, I began to feel “tech fatigue” when it comes to drop bar bikes and have been looking at ways to simplify that riding experience…

2021 Philly Bike Expo: Swood Cycles Endurance Road+

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2021 Philly Bike Expo: Swood Cycles Endurance Road+

Stephen Wood, of Swood Cycles, has been making custom steel frames and racks in Richmond, VA for a couple of years now. At this year’s Philly Bike Expo, Jarrod Bunk linked up with Stephen to photograph his eleventh Swood frame, the “Irie” Road+. Below, Stephen offers a few insights into his trajectory of becoming a framebuilder and, paired with Jarrod’s photos, walks us through this stunningly detailed machine.

2021 Philly Bike Expo: Frontier Bikes’ Super Aero Hella Tukt Gravlosuit Bike

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2021 Philly Bike Expo: Frontier Bikes’ Super Aero Hella Tukt Gravlosuit Bike

Maybe you’ve been there — you’re sitting at a buffet, you’ve overloaded your plate, and you’re thinking “what am I going to do now?” Well, Beth Morford of Frontier Bikes has a voracious appetite for work and her plates have been pretty full balancing Olympic level massage with bike shop ownership for some tome now. More recently, she’s added in frame building to her repertoire and managed to put this singlespeed gravel time trial bike together just in the nick of time to be displayed as part of SRAM’s Inclusivity Scholarship Program this year at Philly Bike Expo

Stella McCartney + Cannondale

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Stella McCartney + Cannondale

The worlds of fashion and cycling often intersect but truth told, rarely are those collaborations worth sharing for a number of reasons. Yet when Cannondale partnered with British fashion icon, Stella McCartney, it piqued our interests. The two iconic brands worked on a series of limited edition SystemSix, SuperSix EVO, and EVO CX bikes. Featuring the designs of three artists: Ed Curtis in London, Myfawnwy (Maisie Broome) in New York, and Tom Tosseyn in Antwerp, the result is a unique interpretation of how the world’s fastest bikes can still embrace a completely different look. Head on over to the Cannondale mini-site to see the full drop.

2021 Philly Bike Expo: Rivendell’s Wolbis Slugstone

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2021 Philly Bike Expo: Rivendell’s Wolbis Slugstone

Leave it to Rivendell to create a new genre of bike design that harkens back to a simpler time in cycling history, while also employing modern production methods and componentry. The Susie W. Longbolts/ Wolbis Slugstone and it’s heavier-duty cousin, the Gus Boots Willsen, are what Rivendell refers to as “hillibikes.” Their design is modern, but their overall concept is influenced by early mountain bikes ridden on Mt Tamalpais, north of San Fransisco, in the ’80s. And, by the way, their names are all anagrams of each other. Rivendell had a decked-out Wolbis at this year’s Philly Bike Expo where Jarrod Bunk caught up with them to photograph the build and learn more about these hillbikes from Rivendell’s Will Keating.

The Otso Cycles Fenrir Touring Bike is a Drop Bar 29er Stainless Steel Monster!

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The Otso Cycles Fenrir Touring Bike is a Drop Bar 29er Stainless Steel Monster!

Is it a gravel bike? A drop bar 29er? Or something else entirely? When it comes to the nomenclature surrounding these modern touring bikes, I often scratch my head, pondering an answer to this question. My usual inclination is to envelop these bikes under the umbrella of “adventure bikes” but then this bike landed in my lap. The Otso Cycles Fenrir is aligned with bikes like the Kona Sutra ULTD and the Moots Baxter but Otso did something different – i.e. better – than its competitors. The Fenrir took it up a notch and has utilized boost spacing wheels, which in my mind, put this in the drop bar 29er category.

I’ve had the Fenrir for a while now, have taken it on an overnighter, and have ridden some of my favorite mixed terrain routes here in Santa Fe with it. On washboarded sandy roads to singletrack, doubletrack, and gravel, the Fenrir is a hell of a bike and one that I really resonated with, so let’s check it out in detail below…

2021 Philly Bike Expo: Royal H Cycles Bed of Roses Neo-Randonneur

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2021 Philly Bike Expo: Royal H Cycles Bed of Roses Neo-Randonneur

Bryan Hollingsworth of Royal H Cycles has shown bikes at each Philly Bike Expo since its debut in 2009. And he always brings the heat. This year, Bryan returned with another stunning creation, the Bed of Roses, which blends classic randonneur elements with modern accouterments. Bryan walks us through the design impetus for this artistic build below, along with Jarrod Bunk‘s illustrative imagery.

2021 Philly Bike Expo: Jubilee Manufacturing Cyclocross Bike

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2021 Philly Bike Expo: Jubilee Manufacturing Cyclocross Bike

The Philly Bike Expo often has a good mix of seasoned builders and others that are beginning to hone their craft. Sam Scipio just started building frames earlier this year under the moniker Jubilee Manufacturing and already had a beautiful cyclocross bike (her second build) ready to show off at the Expo. Today, accompanying Jarrod Bunk‘s detailed photos, Sam talks about her bike and why she’s inspired to be building frames.

2021 Philly Bike Expo: Bishop Bikes Columbus SLX/MAX Track Bike

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2021 Philly Bike Expo: Bishop Bikes Columbus SLX/MAX Track Bike

It wouldn’t be Philly Bike Expo coverage without a Bishop Bikes gallery and for 2021, photographer Jarrod Bunk selected this beautiful Columbus tubing track bike.

Where do I even begin here? At first, I thought Chris brought back the 2013 NAHBS track bike I photographed, and then I thought it was his personal blue track bike, stripped raw since it has the same Drillium Revival stem. Upon closer examination, this is true-to-form Chris Bishop doing his thing with the simplest form of bicycle. I just got off the phone with Chris Bishop where we spent a good forty-five minutes discussing this bike. There’s a lot going on with this “simple” machine so let’s get to it!

2021 Philly Bike Expo: Amigo Frameworks Bug Out Gravel Bike

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2021 Philly Bike Expo: Amigo Frameworks Bug Out Gravel Bike

Zach Small’s Amigo Frameworks in Nashville, TN recently announced a preorder for the new uber-adaptable Bug Out gravel bike. Featuring the ability to run one speed or twelve, flat bars or drops, adjustable headtube angle, modifiable wheelbase, and room for up to 700 x 50c tires, the Bug Out is designed to handle pretty much anything thrown at it. Zach had one built-up and on display at this year’s Philly Bike Expo where we were able to take an up-close and detailed look.