As someone who documents all sorts of framebuilder creations, it’s always this sort of bike that gets me every time. There’s something really wonderful about a builder’s personal bike, especially when it’s a byproduct of their own journey as a constructeur. Flashback to last month and the Baphomet Bicycles Shop Visit. I spent the day watching Dillen work, discussing his story – which if you’re just now joining us I suggest you read – and eventually, I began documenting some of the bikes had had in his shop. We saw the “Shreddy Rando” bike, which was a crowd favorite with its pristine presentation, chrome bits, and as we say “dialed” build. Now it’s time for the really good stuff. Bikes with beausage and a story will always tug at my heartstrings and this one is no different.
Named after the Pinhoti Trail, which extends between Snake Creek Gap and Dug Gap within the Chattahoochee Forest into north Georgia, Litspeed’s newest iteration of their hardtail, the Pinhoti III, received some modern updates. Now optimized for a 130mm suspension fork, the Pinhoti III also fits a 29×2.6″ or a 27.5×3″ tire, thanks to an asymmetric dropped chainstay and a new CNC-machined titanium chainstay yoke.
The Geometry has been tweaked as well, with a slacker head angle, longer reach, and a few other tweaks. Litespeed offers various builds (XTR shown here at a retail of $6,699) and finishing kits, and with all these new updates, the size medium frame comes in at just 1,649 grams (size medium)—a savings of 95 grams over our previous version of the Pinhoti. As with all Litespeed bikes, these are made in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
See more at Litespeed.
A little while back, Patrick from Bikes or Death reached out, saying he was going to be in Santa Fe and was hoping we could sit down for a podcast interview. Naturally, I obliged, and last night we hung out at our office here in Santa Fe and talked about bikes, photography, other randomness related to this website. I won’t give too much away but I was really stoked on how it went. Doing interviews is a great way to bond with a person and afterward, I just had to shoot Patrick’s Chumba Cycles Stella Ti. While the podcast episode won’t be out for a few weeks, I wanted to feature this rad build while it was all still fresh on my mind, so enjoy!
This project started almost as one of necessity. Bicycle shortages and delays are a matter of fact that don’t care if your daddy owns a bike shop. With the shop’s allocation of kids bikes from our manufacturers barely able to cover a quarter of the demand, I knew I was going to have to get creative. Combine that with the fact that my now 6-year-old twins are still pretty small for their age. They just can’t fit the majority of 20” wheeled bikes that are on the market. At the same time, their small stature and current single speed bikes didn’t stop them from regularly riding 4 or 5 miles a day, often while having to dismount and push up the bigger hills.
Check out this full project at Alpha Bicycle’s blog!
Last year I was visiting the BTCHN’ Bikes shop to shoot some process photos for the Sierra Explorer project and got stopped in my tracks as soon as I walked into the door by a different frame in a stand. This frame was totally unlike any design I’d seen before, and there was so much hard thought and problem-solving that went into making it a reality that I couldn’t even open that door of my brain and had to just stay on target with the bike I was actually there to shoot.
With $12,000 e-MTBs on the market, we asked ourselves, “what is the minimum you need in a bike to have fun?”… This is a wild ride, presented by Cjell Moné’s writing and Joshua Weinberg’s vision. Enjoy!
Swipe, BMX video, swipe, oh, nice curved top tube, super-sharp photo of a gorgeous frame sitting on OSB, @sklarbikes. Swipe, snowboard video, swipe, oh, (pulls phone away and back in toward the eye), brain knots and unknots, those seat stays are hard to comprehend @oddity_cycles.
Swipe, surf video, swipe…AD for an OG Klunker from State. Swipe, swipe, swipe, backswipe backswipe backswipe….$399?! Shut up. The lines on that thing aren’t half bad. Swipe, swipe… Backswipe backswipe… I can’t stop looking at this affordable klunker from State. It comes with Kenda chunky 27.5 x 2.2 tires, a 1 1/8 threadless fork, and pretty decent lines. Not a huge fan of the chrome riser bars, but hey those Vans grips…hmm hmmm. $399?!
My intent was to space out the three complete builds I photographed during my Shop Visit at Baphomet Bicycles, yet I received a number of requests to expedite this gallery to this morning. That’s a good sign, right? People are very interested in this bike and it’s easy to see why. Dillen from Baphomet originally called this bike his “Right-Hand Path”, with his personal hardtail being the “Left-Hand Path,” yet his Instagram followers summed it up perfectly with the catchy name “Shreddy Rando.”
So let’s look at this bike in detail, including a synopsis from Dillen.
Hear me out here, set your preconceptions aside for a bit. Before jumping into today’s Shop Visit, I have to clear the air and give an introduction to the iconography and ideologies which represent this particular framebuilder’s brand…
Last week, we came across this custom, one-off stem rack made by August Bicycles and reached out to them for a little backstory and a few photos. They replied with some history of this project, as well as some high res shots, so if you’re tired of squinting at Instagram photos, check out the full story below!
Last year, we posted Petor’s Shop Visit to UK-based Sturdy Cycles, and to supplement that coverage, we’re re-visiting their Fiadh disc all road bike, shot in a studio environment. These bikes blend modern tech with very subtle and classic proportions. Read on below for words by Tom Sturdy and more photos of these stunning 3D printed assemblage frames!
I first met Elliot a few years back while I was leading a bikepacking trip with El Grupo, a Tucson based youth cycling organization. Since then I had seen Elliot tinkering with all manner of frankenbikes, which are a regular, at the Grupo clubhouse. Discarded and mismatched components of yesteryear handed down from the large cycling community here. Their low-pro pursuit fixed gear with a 24″ bmx fork caught my eye awhile ago and I knew Elliot had that special eye for janky but fun clashing of parts.
These days, gravel bike designs can be very redundant, something German manufacturers like Nicolai Bikes are looking to overcome. Their newest design, the Argon GX, is as much a gravel bike as it is a touring bike but look closely for some clever manufacturing detailing.
Through 3D modeling and engineering, Nicolai is able to construct durable and lightweight 7020-T6 frame components. Each of these pieces are made on modern 5-axis CNC machines and allows for the construction of so-called “Hollow Mill” assemblages. The bottom bracket and chainstay yoke in the Argon CX use this technology to both shed weight and set their offerings apart from their competitors.
Other details include the option for a Pinion gear box, fender/rack mounts, flat mount disc calipers, internal routing, and designed geometries to fit just about any body type. Head to Nicolai to see more!
As though they’d joined a cult and made some kind of suicide pact, having seen none during the five hours of driving previous, perhaps thirty pheasants lay dead in the road over a quarter-mile3 stretch. What had happened on this quarter-mile stretch? Why here? It made me regret buying the rabbit, but without screeching to a halt on a frozen dual carriageway it wouldn’t have been practical to stop and collect them. Even at 70mph I could tell some were past their best and it’s rude to turn up empty-handed. I was on my way to visit Ted, so turning up with roadkill seemed to make sense. I was running late though and didn’t want to rely on road gifts so I picked up a wild rabbit wrapped in paper from our local butchers. It was a relief they had it because plan B was the pet shop.
I’d debated not going to visit Ted of Ted James Design and just compiling the stories people tell about him. The chronicles of SuperTed! The stories people tell can seem fairly fantastic, however, worryingly most of the time they’re true. I sometimes wonder how Ted is even alive? If I were more superstitious, I’d say his spirit was too big for his body and so it spends all of its time trying to get out. There’s something in his eyes like the sort of superintelligence and frustration a sheepdog has about being domesticated, as though any room that he’s in is somehow too small, so his eyes dance about searching for exits.
Wow. The titanium anodizing wizards at Firefly Bicycles just popped this beautiful ti and carbon road bike on their Tumblr and we had to share a glimpse. See much, much, more at the Firefly Tumblr.
First the Urban Racer, then the GTFO, and now the AAF Commuter leaves the shop at Speedvagen. These AXS-equipped bikes are built with as many components from American companies as possible (with still having a derailleur) and are limited to 11 signed models.
Each month, on the 11th, Speedvagen will be releasing 11 limited bikes. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. Head on over to Speedvagen to see more details of the AAF Commuter.
-One iconic color option. Matte Army Green Cerekote
-Three stock sizes. Size assessments are done after deposit with our CBF From.
-SRAM Force Wide 1x Group with Eagle AXS flat bar Shifter.
-Wheels: 650b White Industires G25A laced to their CLD Hubs
-Tires: Panaracer 650 Gravel Kings
-Saddle: Fabric Scoop Ti rails
-Bar: Signature SV Bar Stem Combo
-Grips: ESI Chunky
-Seat post head: Enve Carbon Seatpost Head.
-Headset: White Industries
-Crankset: White Industries
-Bottom Bracket White Industries
-Bag: Inside Line Equipment Small Porteur
-Rack: Rawland Demiporteur Cerekoted to match.
-Plus, all of the features of our standard Speedvagen frame including integrated seatmast, Enve Seat Post Head, superlight steel and strategically placed stainless reinforcements. Shazam!
A bike can be a liberating tool for a youngster. I got the first bike that I could travel distances on when I was 14. Granted it was a beach cruiser but hey, we lived at the beach. I’d carry my skateboard and even a surfboard to spots after school and on the weekends. It was a vessel of adolescent liberation.
For Jonah, a local of Santa Fe, and an employee at Mellow Velo, the bicycle has helped develop his independence as well as a vehicle to meander around his homeland. His family is one of the deeply embedded heritage households and have been in the area for hundreds of years. Just north of Santa Fe is the town of Chimayo where his family has been weaving for generations under the brand Ortega.
I don’t know about you all but personally, I miss seeing off-the-wall crazy custom bikes at the various tradeshows. With the pandemic canceling the 2020 and most likely 2021 dates for various open houses and NAHBS, I’ve just accepted the fact that those balleur bicycle gallery shoots will have to wait. That said, when projects like this fall into my lap, I’m more than excited to take some extra time documenting them.
ENVE launched their Foundation Gravel wheels last week and in a perfect world, a press-camp was supposed to happen in Arizona to test out those wheels. ENVE planned on pinging various builders to fabricate the chassis for their full gravel lineup. One of those builders was Retrotec and Curtis went overboard for the event, building a handful of titanium frames alongside Oscar Camarena of Simple Bike Company. When the press camp wasn’t happening, Curtis decided he’d send this bike out for me to document. He needed photos for his website and I won’t say no to content like this…
Czech framebuilding duo Michael Mourecek and Ondrej Novotny, also known as Festka, released a list of their most popular bicycles of 2020 this week and we have to share it. Honestly, we can’t help ourselves. Some of these designs are mind-blowingly beautiful… read on below.