Bikes are an extension of the rider in every sense of the word. Not only do the wheels and bars act as our contact points to the terra firma, but everything becomes more than the sum of its parts. Those parts bin grips or meticulously color-matched fasteners all create a piece of rolling poetry. Found art, master-planned, functional, beautiful.
This morning Campagnolo announced their 13-speed gravel groupset dubbed Ekar and similarly, brands rolled out their build kit offerings with the new group. Sage Titanium is one of those brands and they now offer Ekar on their two gravel models, the Barlow race machine and the monster gravel machine, the Storm King. You can now build a Storm King as pictured with Ekar, a dropper, Shamal wheels, and the whole 9, err 13, for $9,500. It might not be for everyone’s budget but it sure is nice to look at! See this build in detail below and check out more at Sage Titanium.
Firefly has really lead the way in terms of anodizing designs on their frames and in the past, we’ve seen many examples of their topography anodizing but never as expansive as this one! If you’d like to see more details of this wild piece of work, head to the Firefly Tumblr.
Most of you know I’m attracted to weirdos and eccentric people, so of course I love stopping by the BTCHN Bikes shop here in Chico to see what Tyler is welding on. He’s spent most of his life racing all types of motorcycles at insane speeds, and has been adapting the hyper-analytical engineering he’s learned in the motorized world into pedal-powered machines he pushes to equally scary speeds. He’s also one of the most enthusiastic people I’ve ever met, so imagine that he’s yelling and gesturing wildly with his hands as you read this interview about his latest prototype.
These bikes have always strummed a heart chord with us. Merlin has brought a version of the Newsboy to various bike expos over the years. The one pictured here is from the 2018 Philly Bike Expo.
Due to popular demand, Merlin will be offering eight limited-edition Newsboys in November 2020. Each and every Newsboy will be custom made specifically for the customer. These bikes are inspired by the 1950’s cruisers that later inspired the first American mountain bikes.
A frame and fork will run ya $4,800 and there are build kits available from Merlin direct! Head over to Merlin to contact them if you’re interested. You can also order a custom Merlin Newsboy titanium fork!
Wheel Size: 26”, 27.5″, 29″,
Fork Optional: Custom Merlin Titanium Newsboy
Bottom Bracket: BSA 68/73 English, PF 30, T47
Rear Hub Spacing: 142 x 12m drops – 44m
Cable Routing: External or Internal
Front Derailleur: 31.8 mm or 34.9mm Clamp-On
Derailleur Pull: Bottom, Top, or Forward Pull.
Brake Type: Disc
Seatpost Diameter: 27.2 mm ( 31.6m Optional )
Seat Collar: Thomson
Recommended Use: Road, Gravel, Mountain
Manufacturer Warranty: Lifetime
As with year’s past, we love featuring this Chico collaboration between Sierra Nevada, Paul Component, and a California-based frame builder. This year’s bike is stunning and with it comes a huge photo gallery documenting this beautiful build. Check the official press release below with all the juicy photos and read on to find out how you can win this bike!
We love custom bikes over here but the frame is only part part of the equation. A lot of the presentation and panache of custom builds comes from the paint. PEARL iZUMi has a new web series called 1 OF 1, featuring custom paint shops, in the same spirit of the Built series with Justin Balog. The first episode features Flux Customs.
Check the video out here and see more photos and info at PEARL iZUMi.
Back in February of this year at Singlespeed Arizona in Bisbee, I had wanted to document the wild variety of funky, freaky, and beautiful bikes that had descended on the small town for the event. Unfortunately, the pace of that particular weekend didn’t lend itself to photographing individual bikes (something I certainly plan to do in 2021). Bike portraits, or not, it’s impossible to ignore the eclectic array of Mone, Oddity, Moonmen, and other eye-catching derailleur-less boutique fabrications and other unusual setups while in that environment. There were a handful of frames though – clean and somewhat understated with swoopy seat stays and moustache-shaped logo badges – that I didn’t recognize. While chatting with Nate from Absolute Bikes, I pointed to a member of Thee Deores (Northern Arizona’s premiere Mountain Biking band) cruising around on one of these swoopy-tubed moustachioed hardtails and asked if he knew anything about the bike. He responded by pointing to Richard May and informing me that Richard, based in Flagstaff, builds bike frames and other custom parts under the moniker Moustache Cycles.
In what I hope will be the first of many monthly(ish) articles, of varying lengths, Nikolai and I visited (in)famous bicycle designer Mike Burrows, who has been a constant in terms of support, inspiration and taking me down a peg or two when I need it (always). Nikolai filmed our trip on my Sony A7iii as part of an ongoing project, so I decided it would be especially fitting for Mike to document our trip on celluloid with my Mamiya C330, and a little Olympus rangefinder on Kodak Portra 800 film.
The work of John Slawta is a lifelong pursuit of not only creating wild paint jobs but of bicycle design and engineering. Landshark is one of the most iconic custom framebuilders and even though they have moved away from steel frames, the spirit is still out there. One of the great things about Facebook – yes, I just said that – is the way in which communities come together to show support for others and in this case, appreciation for the work of Landshark. This Facebook group is all about Landsharks and is well worth the click-through to see some truly unique and well-used bicycles.
Is this an article written by Cjell, about a bike built by Cjell? Yes, indeed. Not too many other people around here to tell ya about it, so it’s me you’ll have to listen to.
My operation has a couple of facets to it. One being stock frames that I have the privilege of working with a shop in Taiwan. They’re faster and much better equipped to put together frames more efficiently, and their neighborhood is full of toolmakers, tube benders, casters, etc. The fact that they put up with me trying to keep up in the shop is a testament to their patience and capacity.
The Faran 2.0 is the latest from the UK builders Fairlight. It’s a multi-purpose tourer, built with custom-specified Reynolds tubing, like a Reynolds 631 DZB downtube, and 631 front triangle, with a 37mm 4130 head tube and stays, with 68mm of chainstay clearance which will fit either a 700 or 27.5 wheel. That’s big enough to fit a 27.5 x 2.4” Continental X-King Tyre on Hope XC rims. These bikes have all the fixins to make them an ally on randonneuring events, S24O, or even a full-on tour. Fairlight has pulled together an extensive product catalog on the features of the Faran MKII, which I highly suggest checking out. It’s not often a bicycle manufacturer goes to these lengths describing their new product.
A £500.00 lands you a deposit (£899 frameset retail) for a Faran MKII and the queue is open for business, with the first batch shipping in September/October, with the colors to be announced shortly so head to Fairlight if you like what you see!
This year’s ENVE Builder Round-Up featured two builds that didn’t make it through US Customs in time for the complete unveiling. Last weekend we looked at that beautiful Isen, a colorful build on its own, and this weekend, we’re featuring this lovely Bastion, a brand known for its ultra-high-tech frame construction by using 3D printed titanium lugs and beautifully woven carbon tubes. All made in-house in Victoria, Australia. Yes, this Bastion flew a long way to Ogden, Utah for the ENVE Builder Round-Up, but as you can see, it was worth it! See the full details below in an interview video with Bastion and a complete gallery within…
Remember that sweet Speedvagen from the ENVE Builder Round Up? Well, it’s now landed in the catalog of Ready Made builds, with completes starting at $6495.00. These bikes run on the same idea of the OG GTFO but with drop bars and gears. When buying one of the stock sizes, you get your choice of Heritage SV Color options: Army Green, Vanilla Blue, MF’ing Gold, or lavender (2020 colors available for $350 upgrade). While the DBGTFO comes with Shimano GRX, the DBGTFO PRO comes built with SRAM AXS Force Wide (pictured).
See all the details and more at Speedvagen.
One not-so-obvious by-product of Covid 19 is I haven’t seen my framebuilding family this year. Aaron from Mosaic is included in that very extended group of creative individuals. PEARL iZUMi‘s Built series, shot by Justin Balog, really sheds some light on these talented artists.
With new pricing beginning at $2,250.00, the Chumba titanium Terlingua gravel bike is closer to reality than you might expect. Of course, as with any frame made by Chumba, you can select various options like pump pegs, Di2 routing, rack mounts, fender eyelets, and so on. These frames use oversized Aerospace Titanium 3/2.5 tubing, 6/4 on the yoke, and dropouts with Paragon Sliding Inserts. Singlespeed, geared, whatever. It just works. With post-mount, flat-mount options, cerakote finishing, and color customizations, you can literally get your dream bike made for less than you’d think, all on a chassis that clears up to a 700c x 50mm or 650b x 2.1” wheel/tire combo.
-Made in USA quality
-Oversized Aerospace Titanium 3/2.5 Grade Tubing, 6/4 on the yoke and dropouts w/ Paragon Sliding Inserts
-Clean thoughtful cable routing
-Maximum tire and drivetrain clearances for a wide range of options and mud clearance
-All tubes are heat sunk and argon purged when welded to prevent distortion and material thinning
2020 Terlingua Titanium Model Refinements:
-removed Di2 ports standard (why pay for it unless you need it, we can add this on request.)
-removed lower rack mounts standard (why pay for it unless you need it, we can add this on request.)
-No other changes, this bike is dialed!
See more at Chumba.
While we’re on the subject, Mark from Chumba wrote a blog piece about framebuilding on their website, don’t miss this one!
What do you call a stainless Italian disc road bike, built with Cinelli and Campagnolo, right here in Santa Fe? Spaghetti Western? Sure, why not?
Mellow Velo, purveyors of modern bikes, with a long history of building up classic Italian road racing machines, recently completed this build for a customer back on the East Coast. Adam, the owner of the bike, refinishes mouthpieces for saxophones, so as you can imagine, he has a particular penchant for procuring pristine pedal machines like this one. Luckily for him, David from Mellow Velo has a soft spot for modern Italian-made frames.
Last year, ENVE opened its doors to the public for an Open House event. Once inside, visitors took a tour of its Ogden, Utah facilities and were greeted by two-dozen custom bikes from builders across the globe. This year the pandemic forced ENVE to pivot a bit, holding a virtual tour and framebuilder showcase they’re calling the Builder Round-Up. We’re pleased to once again host this showcase, with two-part coverage, so read on below for a full breakdown on these Beautiful Bicycles along with a few teasers of new ENVE product…