Category Archives: Beautiful Bicycles
A True Trail Ute: Moots’ 2013 NAHBS IMBA Workbike

If this bike were made for the 2018 NAHBS, it probably would have had a Shimano Steps system. A lot has changed since 2013, yet a lot is still the same. Trail builders need help accessing trail and over the years, I’ve taken a real liking to documenting trail working rigs, some as simple as mountain bikes with a BOB trailer, others built with custom racks to carry chainsaws and e-assist.

Moots made this bike in 2013 for NAHBS, alongside IMBA. It was at the height of the 29+ fad, so naturally, that’s what the bike sits on. It’s a true deep custom bike, with racks designed to carry trail tools like a collapsible shovel, and a geometry tuned for the extra weight but boy will you have to work for it! Even pedaling up to this little knoll above the Moots factory, I was short of breath. It’s easy to see how e-assist is a big helper in trail access!

Still, this bike has seen plenty of work days in and around Steamboat Springs and to this day, it stands as one of my favorite Moots to leave their facilities! I hope you enjoy!


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Sep 21, 2018 5 comments
A Selection of Moots Employee Bikes!

With companies like Moots, it’s not the branding, or legacy, or history, or name that makes the frames, it’s the people that work there. Both literally and figuratively. One of the job perks at Moots is the incredible employee purchase program, the details of which I’ll omit here, to save them from a flood of job applications. Joking aside, the company knows that the best product research and development can come from within and pride can often result from ownership. While the workers might not own Moots, each of them is part of the process. In today’s world, that means a lot, ATMO anyway.

The first thing that really struck me as I walked the floor of the production facilities was how many amazing employee bikes there were, of all makes and builds. From full on road bikes, to fatty all-road, mountain, commuter, and bikepacking setups. While my time was limited at Moots, I did my best to grab a few of these bikes and shoot details. The one that evaded my lens was Peter’s rim brake Psychlo X, which I don’t even want to describe here because it’ll make me cry! I suppose you’ve gotta leave something to look forward to on the next trip to Steamboat Springs. That and Taco Cabo!

I hope you enjoy this gallery, as much as these employees enjoy their commutes!


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Sep 20, 2018 13 comments
Ramblin on the Moots Baxter Rigid 29’r

When the Ramble Ride popped onto the horizon in my late summer travel and photo shoot plans, the guys at Moots offered up one of their prized models, the Baxter, for me to ride. Out of all their bikes in what I would consider a stout lineup, the Baxter is one that always stood out to me as the most versatile. The beauty about this bike platform is the Baxter is what you want it to be, although it’s designed to essentially be a drop bar 29’r. How you build it is up to you and there are options like with a suspension fork, or with a rigid fork, with or without a dropper post, and everything in between. Di2 or cable, double crankset or 1x, and now with the updated boosted rear spacing, compatibility with your “other” mountain bike wheelsets. The guys at Moots are great at constructing these frames, it’s just up to you to make them roll… (more…)

Sep 18, 2018 12 comments
The Trek Checkpoint All Road Checks All the Boxes

The beauty of a capable all-road bike is it can transport you from the inner city to more rural areas with ease and depending on the bike’s capabilities, you can ride everything from dirt roads to rugged Forest Service roads and even singletrack. In a city like Los Angeles, we’ve got a good mix of everything, and it wasn’t until I moved here that I realized this importance in a bike. For me and the kind of riding I enjoy, I prefer to be able to pedal out to the dirt from my front door.

Over the years, bikes that had only previously been available as a special order from a custom frame builder are slowly making their way into mainstream bike company’s catalogs. In that time, I’ve noticed a rather acute phenomenon, and most companies aren’t listening.

They’re not listening to what real, everyday cyclists are asking for. Who are they designing for? Who do they expect to buy their bikes? I’m not sure because I’ve seen a number of well-designed frames leave out crucial details that would make the bike from Brand X be the ultimate all-road bike, turned bikepacking bike, turned quiver killer.

Then there’s the Trek Checkpoint, which checks all the boxes, and I must say I was surprised when I saw it. After riding it on and off over the past few months, I’m finally ready to talk about this unique bike. (more…)

Sep 11, 2018 69 comments
Faded with BAUM

BAUM is known for precision bicycles but this paint job on their latest Orbis disc road is melting my eyes. See more of this beauty at the BAUM Flickr.

Sep 5, 2018 2 comments
The Return of Map Bicycles

Mitch from Map Bicycles took a hiatus from frame building recently. He put down the torch and focused on working on his house while working at Paul Component Engineering. Following Mitch on Instagram, I saw he was back to building bikes and that’s when I came across this 650b Basket Bike, which you can see more of at the Map Bicycles Flickr. Mitch’s work has been a longtime favorite of mine and it’s great to see frames leaving his shop again. Coincidentally, you can see this bike in person at Golden Pliers in Portland!

Sep 5, 2018 7 comments
Joe’s DKXL Prototype Salsa Cycles Warbird Carbon – Jarrod Bunk

Joe’ DKXL Prototype Salsa Cycles Warbird Carbon
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk

Joe’s proto Warbird has taken what Salsa has learned from their athletes and staff to refine what was already a fast gravel bike and give it some new features. The fork/frame is all new but with added versatility like dynamo routing in the fork, fender mounts, and a much cleaner Di2 setup.

Joe has already raced the DKXL aboard the new bird, proof that the new bike is ready to rip some gravel. This bike doesn’t just look fast, it is, but stays comfy over the roughest of b-roads thanks to the 2nd generation updated vibration reduction system. Aside from the entire suite of SRAM parts, including Zipp wheels, and SRAM Drivetrain and Brakes, the left lever can operate his dropper mid-race if needed making this, the most capable Warbird yet.


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Aug 28, 2018 48 comments
Saffron Frameworks’ Bulleit Beauty Won the Bespoked 2018 Best in Show

Saffron Frameworks’ Bulleit Beauty Won the Bespoked 2018 Best in Show
Words by Matthew Sowter

We were approached by Bulleit to work on a project with the aim of celebrating the alliance between two craft companies. The idea was to produce a bicycle that would reflect them as a brand (bourbon), and Saffron’s style.

Bulleit is a clean and smooth Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, first produced in 1830. It was exciting to be chosen for such a project, and to be given total freedom with the design. We decided upon a gravel bike, and created a contemporary frame, by mixing old-school methods and materials with more modern approaches. The idea was to align with Bulleit’s traditional distilling process. (more…)

Aug 24, 2018 5 comments