Category Archives: Beautiful Bicycles
Caletti Ultra Light Rando Roadie – Chris Corona

Caletti Ultra Light Rando Roadie
Photos and words by Chris Corona

Lately, I have been doing longer mixed distances with a camera, sandwich and a couple of extra layers of clothing. I have a couple bikes that are great for cross riding but nothing that really fits the bill for 80-120 mile (mostly road with some dirt) rides that I’ve grown accustomed to. In late July, I approached John Caletti with a concept to create a bike that is on the ultralight touring side of road bikes. (more…)

Jan 22, 2019 20 comments
Sarah’s Madrean Pinion Gearbox S&S Dirt Tourer

Last week, we took a look inside the shop of Madrean Fabrication and Hubert’s own dirt tourer. Now we get an up close and personal look at Sarah’s Pinion gearbox, S&S coupler dirt tourer.

Both Sarah’s and Hubert’s Madrean have very similar details in terms of construction and stance. They’re both designed to be a multi-day bikepacking machine, where the only limit in terms of trip time is the rider’s schedule. For Sarah, she spends a lot of her year bikepacking or touring all over the world, so having a stout and reliable bike is of the utmost importance, hence the Pinion Gearbox. (more…)

Jan 14, 2019 32 comments
Hubert’s Madrean Dirt Tourer Prototype

While kicking around his shop one afternoon, I shot two of his recent builds, this one and Sarah Swallow’s Pinion gearbox dirt tourer. Expect that next week!

It doesn’t matter what you’re designing, the best products come from direct experience, and take more than one iteration to get right. This persistence is part of the process for Hubert from Madrean. He wants to design and develop a few production frames, to be made in house at his shop in Tucson. The first is this rigid mountain touring bike. Complete with internal routing for a dynamo hub, 1x clearance, front and rear bag support racks and if you ask nicely, maybe even a set of those bars, although that’s probably unlikely. Bars are a real pain to make!

Hubert coated the bike with a blackened steel treatment and some rattle can at a few key areas. He likes the Fabio’s Chest bags by Ultra Romance and Swift Industries and had a custom Rogue Panda bag made for the front triangle.

Bikes like this have such a presence in space. They command your attention and are full of details. I hope you enjoy viewing this as much as I did shooting it! Regarding price, availability and other details essential to purchasing, hold tight. We’ll post updates here as events warrant.

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Jan 11, 2019 28 comments
Cicli Noe Salsa Track with Campagnolo Pista

There’s something about a classic track bike that makes me get a little trigger happy with my camera. While I was in Tucson for New Years, I swung by Cicli Noe, a small bike shop in South Tucson. I’ve met Noe before over the years at trade shows and the like, so I was stoked to see his shop. As soon as I walked in, we began looking at his collection of vintage frames, including this gorgeous US-made Salsa track bike, with a full Campagnolo Pista group.

Noe exclaimed how he used to have it on display at the front of the shop but later decided to put it in his storage area. This bike is mint. Everything is perfect on this bike. My main question comes down to who made the bike? Ross Shafer built Salsa Cycles frames in the USA, but so did Waterford. Now, Ross was best known for his mountain bikes. I’m sure he built road frames too but track bikes? That’s news to me. Perhaps one of you reading this article will have a better idea.

We’ll look more at Cicli Noe next week, with a recap gallery from Tucson but for now, I wanted to give you this bit of eye candy to feast upon.

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Jan 9, 2019 15 comments
Small Package but Big Fun with the Santa Cruz 5010

In a world dominated by big hitters and in a lineup celebrated by names like the Bronson and Nomad, the 5010 is often overlooked as being a capable all-mountain trail bike. When it was first released, five years ago, the SOLO, as it was called, was marketed as the little-wheeled brother of the Tallboy, which many people regarded as an XC bike. There’s no denying the allure of the almighty enduro bike, which has largely dominated the mountain bike industry over the past many years.

There was always something about the 5010 that has been attractive to me but for whatever reason, I never got to throw my leg around one until we rode them here in the mountains of Los Angeles with a few of Santa Cruz’s employees. People have said the current 5010 is the best yet and since I have no benchmark for comparison, I’m going to have to agree.

So what changed? Other than the standard approach of lengthening, lowering, and slackening? Seriously, how many years can the “industry” state those three geometry adjustments as a reason for the upgrade and most importantly, your money? (more…)

Jan 8, 2019 36 comments
Ultra Romance and His Rivendell Atlantis Mountain Bike

“The kinda danger I’m into is riding tubes in the desert”

“Any bike can be a mountain bike if you ride it in the mountains”

These are just a few quotes pulled from the freshly shaven mouth of Ultra Romance, the cycling sensation, turned Rivendell sponsored rider and mobile dealer. Bené, as I like to call him, is wintering in Tucson where I was spending my New Years with friends. Turned out, there were a lot of out of towner cyclists around, so we organized a ride at the 50 Year trails. More on that later… (more…)

Jan 7, 2019 56 comments
Sarah Swallow’s Sick Flatbar 27.5 Sequoia

The general rule of thumb is if you build it, people will cram the biggest tire possible into it. I wish we lived in a world where tire clearances were maxed out with drivetrain efficiency in mind, but it’s not always the case. However, when it is the case, you end up with a very capable bike. So yeah, if you build it… with ‘it’ being the Specialized Sequoia. While people have certainly put mountain bike tires on this bike before, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone fit as big of a tire as Sarah Swallow did with the Ground Control 2.1″. This bike is her recon bike for her 125 mile race next month, the Ruta de Jefe, in Elgin, Arizona. While there is no singletrack per se on the course, the roads can get rowdy, where a wide bar and fat tire will soften the blow from the washboard and ruts.

It’s built with a Rogue Panda framebag, SRAM Force 1, PAUL Klampers, a Revelate Feed Bag, one of those WTF Bikexplorer bidons, and a set of those S-Works Overendz Bar Ends.

Some might call it a hybrid, or just a rigid MTB, so that nomenclature is welcome, but bottom line is, I doubt anyone foresaw a build like this arising from the Sequoia platform!

Also, as a personal note, happy birthday Sarah!
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Jan 4, 2019 51 comments
Mattia from Legor Cicli Made this Beautiful Paganotti Classic Road – Kyle Kelley

Mattia from Legor Cicli Made this Beautiful Paganotti Classic Road
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley

I know you all of heard of Legor Cicli before, but I’m guessing you all haven’t heard of Paganotti. Well, Paganotti is the embodiment of all the Italian masters who taught Mattia Paganotti how to build. Gino Lissignoli, Pietro Serena, Tiziano Zullo, and Dario Pegoretti all played a very special role in the fabrication of this bike. Very few frame builders can say they’ve studied with a master, much less multiple masters. Even fewer can say they’re a direct link to their master’s style and craft, but this is something Mattia says with confidence. If you have ever rode one of Mattia’s bike you know he’s telling the truth. (more…)

Jan 2, 2019 10 comments
The Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2018

We shoot a lot of bikes here on the Radavist. A lot. From my estimates, including tradeshows, and events like the Chris King Open House, or the Moots’ Employee Bikes, and even the Speedvagen Build Off, we shot 220 or so bikes in 2018. That’s a lot of bikes. A lot of details. A lot of component selection, build styles, and uses. From road, to mountain, and everything in between, noting the permutations that exist in this ever-so-special era in the cycling industry, I really feel like we’ve shown you just about everything you could see this year.

Out of those 220 bikes, I looked at the data in the form of traffic metrics, social chatter, and comments to pick the Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2018. While many bikes had a lot of comments, some had higher traffic or social media shares. Compiling all the numbers, a very compelling list was formed. Not included in this lot are bike reviews, of which Morgan’s review of the Midnight Special and Kyle’s review of his Chubby Cosmic Stallion took the highest metrics from all others on this list. I guess they’re in a league of their own!

At any rate, check out the complete Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles of 2018, in no particular order, below! (more…)

Dec 27, 2018 46 comments
Rodeo Labs Spork 2.0 Builder Series: Alchemy Custom All-Road

Rodeo Labs Spork 2.0 Builder Series: Alchemy Custom All-Road
Photos by Me Fitzgerald words by Stephen Fitzgerald

When you work for a custom builder like Alchemy it must be quite a thing to stare at a blank sheet of paper and decide what sort of bike you want to create for yourself. I guess that’s why Drew went custom-custom with this bike. This Alchemy gravel bike most closely resembles the company’s ‘Chiron’ model, but there is nothing stock about it. Geometry, tubing, cable management, and even paint design were all worked over and personalized. (more…)

Dec 22, 2018 8 comments