Wow. Where do I even begin here. This is the first post to come from a four-day ride from Tropic to Green River, Utah, traversing the Grand Staircase, down to Lake Powell and through the plateau leading out to Barrier Canyon, now known as Horseshoe Canyon with Machines for Freedom. The route was mixed terrain, ranging from smooth bitumen to sand and hardpack. Each rider on this journey had various setups, which we’ll go over later, but right now I wanted to showcase Alter Cycles co-owner Mason Griffith’s Pucci Cicli painted Sklar all road.
Fire is nature’s way of redesigning. A way to rewrite the present landscape and while the process is painful, oftentimes, the landscape is rejuvenated. Coastal California is tricky though due to its chapparal ground cover along the mountainsides. You see, chapparal – a coastal low-lying shrub – is old growth and when it’s burnt, the soil loses its stability, causing horrific mudslides. Once the chapparal is gone, there’s nothing else to hold all that dirt together. There aren’t really trees or forests like in other parts of the country along these hills and mountainsides, rather the trees find refuge in the canyons, where they can be more protected, although, with the past few years in California, there seems to be no refuge from fires.
Like many of the local riding areas in Santa Barbara, Refugio burnt a few years ago in the Serpa Fire, engulfing the fire road and hillsides, charring it to the ground. As with most fires, mudslides followed, wiping out El Capitan Ranch in the process. Local efforts have brought the area back, making this epic dirt climb ridable again. Many people say it’s better than ever. Perhaps it was the rebirth of Santa Barbara’s trails and roads that prompted Stinner Frameworks to update their Refugio all road model. Or maybe that’s just a correlation I came up with, either way, a redesign, and improvement is always good when it comes to a bicycle frame, especially one that stays close to its roots, post-burn.
In the first episode of the Man of Steel video, 1981 Giro winner Giovanni Battaglin takes you inside the workshop where he builds his eponymous steel bikes.
Big tires, short chainstays, double crankset, pick two. Normally. Then there’s the concept of a boost road bike, in which case, pick all three. I call it a concept because there’s a lot that has to go into making a boost road bike a reality. To go from 142mm rear spacing to 148mm rear you’ve got to move things outboard a bit. I’ve seen a number of cobbled together solutions for this, which usually revolve around adopting a complete MTB drivetrain from the bottom bracket spindle, to the cranks, cassette, and chainline. But what about a road bike? Or a chubby road bike? That’s where it gets interesting.
“As I was posting process photos of this bike on Instagram, people kept saying, oh it’s so Art Deco, and I didn’t know what that even was. I finally opened a book and said, yeah! It totally is. I was so inundated with it being everywhere in New York that I didn’t even know it had influenced my work so much. Art Deco is in the buildings, the subway, the gutters in the street. It’s everywhere.”
I hate to throw quotes around that saying because I’m sure I got some of it wrong but it really resonated with me. Tom Porter is a sculptor in Brooklyn, New York. His brand, Porter Cycles is a side gig for him. As a full-time sculptor and fabricator, he began building bikes in 2010 and this year at NAHBS, he brought this beautiful townie that presents an interesting dichotomy.
Francis Tatem interviews Emily from Squid, Chris from McGovern Cycles and the CalPoly students at this year’s NAHBS!
What does a 1997 Chevy Lumina, a whoopee cushion, and Planned Parenthood have in common?
After a jam-packed weekend at this year’s NAHBS, we’re rolling out content throughout the week, but not without another Mega Gallery, showcasing sights and scenes at the show, as well as a handful of the beautiful bicycles on display. Later this week, we’ve got some awards from the show, so stay tuned. For now, enjoy this selection of images!
NAHBS this year has a lot more vendors this year than years prior – or at least it feels that way – making it a bit easier to see all the builders and what they brought to Sacramento, showcasing their talents. There are a lot of familiar faces in the crowds, yet what these talented frame builders brought with them are anything but.
For the past few years, NAHBS has been covered quite extensively here on the site but going into the show this year, I felt like I needed a change, so leading up to the event I had already mentally planned on covering it a bit differently, I just didn’t know how. When the show opened yesterday, I quickly found that covering it in a different manner wasn’t just an option, it was mandatory. My usual methodology of shooting and documenting bikes was not going to work. The show in Sacramento feels bigger than in years prior, maxing out space, and thus not giving me any options for shooting on the floor, so I had to think quick.
Finding a small alcove just outside of an exit, in a less than ideal location, I was able to document some bikes but found myself enjoying walking the venue talking to builders and attendees, something I rarely had time for in years prior. This allowed me to really enjoy the show and mix the coverage up a bit, providing a more well-rounded viewing experience. I’ll be presenting the show in a series of galleries this year, with most information in the gallery captions and complete bikes broken down below, so enjoy!
NAHBS is back in Sacramento this year and having only walked around the hall during setup yesterday, I can already tell the convention center is jam-packed with builders and brands from all over the US, yet it’s hard to deny the strong California presence. While Stinner Frameworks is not showing this year, Team Dream and Mavic Cycling are.
Designed by Quentin Lindh, the Farfarer Trailer is the result of more than 10 years of real-world design and testing. They have been overloaded, dragged through snow, mud and rock gardens. These trailers are very light at less than 10lbs and every piece is designed to never fail. It’s an over-engineered but still lightweight trailer, built for the long haul!
The long, curved tubes provide compliance and spring so the trailer doesn’t bounce around on rough terrain. The hitch is completely rigid so that climbing out of the saddle feels good and neutral. Mid-point couplers on the long tubes allow the trailer to break down and ship in a 36x16x7 box or pack into a normal bike box with a full-size bicycle, allowing for easy travel logistics to and from the tour. Use it in a city or in the country, it’s a perfect mate for hauling a load.
Recently re-worked and now built here by Frances Cycles. Still available in black with grey Cordura load bag, although don’t be surprised to see it pop up in some other colors as well.
10 years in any industry is reason to celebrate and this year, Mosaic Cycles is doing just that. Choosing NAHBS to showcase unique bikes that epitomize their craft and creativity, we thought we’d share some of the unique builds they’re bringing to the tradeshow this weekend in a NAHBS sneak peek. We’ll keep this entry simple, so check out four of their eight bikes that will be on showcase at NAHBS this year below!
Like a Phoenix, rising from the ashes of his old Niner ‘cross bike, Greg‘s new Dark Moon is a veritable do it all and do it all damn good bike. While he loved his RLT 9, there were a few things he didn’t like about it. Enough to have Greg ping Carlos at Dark Moon here in Los Angeles to make something extra special. He loves SSCX, both at the races and around town. He had his Niner set up as a SSCX and races it all season. He wanted the bike to have tight clearances, with tighter angles to offer a responsive and snappy feel.
Even though he wanted a new SSCX race bike, he made sure there were provisions and guides for a rear derailleur and 27.5 “road plus” wheels in case he ever wanted to take the bike on an ultralight tour or bikepacking trip.
In huge news, two Portland powerhouses have joined forces under one roof. Sugar Wheel Works and Breadwinner Cycles will now occupy the Breadwinner Cycles space. Check out the whole press-release below and if you haven’t seen our Shop Visit to both shops, check them out in the Related Sidebar column.
Passoni is an Italian framebuilder, specializing in titanium, and this infomercial walks us through their design and fabrication process.
Sander Kommedahl is a Norwegian bicycle frame builder, under the name Heim Bicycles, and is based in Hølen, Norway.