Beautiful Bicycles

category

Ultra Romance’s Crust Lightning Bolt is Lighter than a Soft Whisper

Reportage

Ultra Romance’s Crust Lightning Bolt is Lighter than a Soft Whisper

18 lbs? 17 lbs? 16 lbs? What is weight anyway? Weight doesn’t matter but it doesn’t hurt either. Especially when your golden locks and bronze tan lines float effortlessly across white gravel roads, coating the roadside flora in a light layer of sedimentary seasoning. Dust, baby. It’s good for you. Yes, Ronnie Romance knows how to build a bike from a fine assortment of vintage components, exotic, supple rubber, and a bit of suntan oil. Case in point, his Crust Bikes Lightning Bolt is lighter than a soft whisper.

Open Sourced: the Mystic Alluvium 27.5+/29er Hardtail MTB Geo

Radar

Open Sourced: the Mystic Alluvium 27.5+/29er Hardtail MTB Geo

After sharing the Mystic Alluvium earlier this month, we’ve received a lot of emails requesting the geo sheet. While numbers and degrees aren’t exactly intellectual property, initially I felt a little weird posting them for the entire internet to see. Adam and I put a lot of time in designing the geometry for this bike and I didn’t want to just give away all that work. Later I realized it really doesn’t matter and we only dialed in the geo for the size large and size medium anyway.

I thought it would be fun to just open source the sheets for other people to hand them off to a builder of their choice. Even if no one follows through with that, it’s still a neat project to share. I’ve been riding this bike as a 29er with a 150mm fork over the past few weeks and it’s even better now!

See the full spread below.

Readers’ Rides: Justin’s Moots Psychlo-X

Radar

Readers’ Rides: Justin’s Moots Psychlo-X

A few years back, we would post the bikes from the readers of this site, in a feature dubbed Readers’ Rides. Well, we’ve been getting a bunch of inquiries over the years as to if or when we’re bringing these posts back and the answer is yes! They will be cut and dry, down and dirty, cell phone style photos. As you can imagine, this will open the torrent of submissions, so hold tight until I can set up a new email address for this next week.

After yesterday’s OysterBar post, the designer of the bar shared his Moots and a little back story. I thought it was a perfect seque into relaunching this fun feature…

Erin’s Foldy McLobsty Rock Lobster

Reportage

Erin’s Foldy McLobsty Rock Lobster

Yesterday, we looked at Erin’s Rock Lobster during her Old Growth Classic Reportage. Is it a road bike? Or a cross bike? Or a gravel bike. I don’t know but it has v-brakes, a 2x Ultegra drivetrain, and a dropper post in a field of ultralight, carbon, disc brake, chubby tire bikes like that Ibis Hakka MX I reviewed. Erin’s had this bike for a while and I felt like she did a great job explaining it in yesterday’s post, so read on for a refresh.

A Look Inside Santa Cruz’s Spokesman Bicycles Outpost and Their Wild Custom Builds

Reportage

A Look Inside Santa Cruz’s Spokesman Bicycles Outpost and Their Wild Custom Builds

Santa Cruz has no shortage of bike shops. This sleepy little beach town might be known for its surfing and pesky vampires, but the road and mountain riding is exceptional. With a myriad of dirt and paved roads snaking their way through coastal redwoods, and dusty, steep mountain bike trails, any cyclist can spend days upon days exploring the terrain. Spokesman Bicycles is one of the powerhouse shops in Santa Cruz and just recently opened up what they’re calling Outpost on the West Side of town, right next to their friends Sawyer and Co, a surfing lifestyle shop.

One Ride With Shimano GRX Gravel Group on an Ibis Hakka MX

Reportage

One Ride With Shimano GRX Gravel Group on an Ibis Hakka MX

The Old Growth Classic took place this past weekend – 500 riders took to a grueling 55-mile course through coastal redwoods and old-growth groves. At the end of the day over 8,000′ of elevation gain would be throbbing through the legs of every person that crossed the start and finish lines. I had planned on bringing my Sklar with me to ride and photograph the course, but Ibis reached out and asked if I’d like to ride their Hakka MX with Shimano’s GRX drivetrain and a new ENVE spec build. Here’s what I thought about the build kit on this bike, specifically GRX…

Jeremiah’s Falconer Champion Tribute Bike

Reportage

Jeremiah’s Falconer Champion Tribute Bike

I went to grade school in Chico with Jeremiah and still have a very distinct memory of us running laps around the field at Citrus Elementary. He still has some cartoons I drew of a triangle guy riding a skateboard from back in those days. So it’s a real trip that after all these years, and what feel like many lifetimes to me, life has come full circle and I now find myself riding bikes and going to shows with him all the time in Chico. He almost always answers yes to the last minute “Swimming hole ride after work?” texts I send out, and as a long-time Chico rider, he knows all the cutty local trails.

The Cannondale Carbon Topstone has Evolved Past its Aluminum Sibling

Reportage

The Cannondale Carbon Topstone has Evolved Past its Aluminum Sibling

I absolutely loved the aluminum Cannondale Topstone for what it was: a nicely spec’d, well-riding, off-the-shelf all-road bike that has Cannondale’s DNA with build options ranging from $1,050 to $2,100. It was a great bike at a solid price that didn’t skimp on the build kit or frame design. So when Cannondale launched the Carbon Topstone, with new passive suspension design, I was interested in seeing how the bike would ride. To come out with such an evolved design from the original Topstone, it had to be worth it, right? Well… it’s complicated.

What Almost Was: the Mystic Alluvium 27.5+ Hardtail MTB

Reportage

What Almost Was: the Mystic Alluvium 27.5+ Hardtail MTB

Over the years, I’ve had the honor to throw my leg over many bikes, try them out, write a review, and then send them back. While the bikes return to their companies, the experience stays with me, and in the time I’ve been running this website, I’ve developed my own belief for what the perfect geometry for a hardtail mountain bike is. About a year ago, I began talking with Adam Sklar and Colin Frazer, who were about to launch a new production, US-made frame company called Mystic. We wanted to test the waters with a Radavist edition frame, dubbed the Alluvium. After chatting about numbers and branding, we felt like we were getting closer to releasing this frame. Then the reality of such an undertaking took hold and we killed the project.

Plenty of Space to Hang Towels on Ben’s Gilmour Tandem

Reportage

Plenty of Space to Hang Towels on Ben’s Gilmour Tandem

Ben has been regaling me with stories of putting this tandem together for quite some time, each time he was looking for one last little bit to make it all fit together.  Before we met up for coffee outside the other week, he pinged me to ask if he should bring the tandem to which I responded: “Of course, coffee and cool bikes, duh.”