Chris King’s New Colors for 2020

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Chris King’s New Colors for 2020

At this year’s Chris King Open House, the brand’s new limited edition colors have been announced, Bourbon and Violet. While Violet is available now, Bourbon will be a three-time, small-batch release with the first batch available for ordering on December 2nd. Bourbon will be a first-come, first served release, so contact your local Chris King dealer for ordering. Two more batches will be available in 2020, so stay tuned.

Bikingman Corsica: The Mountain in the Sea

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Bikingman Corsica: The Mountain in the Sea

Biking Man Corsica: The Mountain in the Sea
Photos and words by Ryan Le Garrec

Bikingman Corsica is a mere 700 kilometres race, sounds short for an ultra distance race, well, add 14.000 meters to climb, crazy temperature drops, freezing wind gusts, potholes hiding inside the dark, standing cows on the roads and pigs and boars coming along, wandering dogs and all kinds of wildlife. A beautiful tortuous island with no flat road at any point.

It almost feels like a waste to race it.

Idahome: Bikepacking in God’s Country – Aimee Gilchrist

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Idahome: Bikepacking in God’s Country – Aimee Gilchrist

Idahome: Bikepacking in God’s Country
Words by Aimee Gilchrist, photos noted in Gallery Captions

God’s Country Day 1:  Captain’s Log

The pain felt like a feathery flame, arriving fierce and lacing itself into the layers of fibers in my quads.  I bend over my bars to stretch and shake the lactic acid bath pooling in my legs. My chest strains to keep air in my lungs when it desperately wants to escape.  I glance around to see if the others show similar conditions to help calm my mind. Although I had fared well earlier in the day when we were sticking to the fire roads, now the steep grade of this narrow, rutted trail has me feeling worked.  I’m barely keeping my inner dialogue silenced. The steeper and higher we climb up the pass, the weaker my mental fortitude becomes.

Rule the Mountain on the Kingdom Vendetta X2 Titanium 27.5+ Hardtail

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Rule the Mountain on the Kingdom Vendetta X2 Titanium 27.5+ Hardtail

One of the challenges of writing about and riding bicycles is finding your flow. Sometimes both just seem to propel themselves, and other times you hit a dead end. Luckily, my time on the Kingdom Vendetta X2 was not the latter. Rather, upon the first shakedown ride, I knew I was going to love riding this bike because of one reason: specialization.

Now, hardtails, while simple in their form, come designed for many specific uses. Within this realm of mountain bikes there is an endless combination of design and geometric tweaks, resulting in a bike that can either be tuned for a broad spectrum of riding, or a very specific niche. All this goes without saying, but you can design a hardtail that will climb exceedingly well and descend like a three-wheeled skateboard. Or descend like a banshee and climb like a one-legged pig. While most of these experiential data is subjective, a few key features are just straight up objective.

Currently, the cycling industry is at an all-time low, as in, the bikes are longer and lower – which is a good thing, but there’s a tipping point. A bike that rides well going up as well as going down, is going to have to strike a balance to reign supreme on the mountain. Luckily, that’s where the Vendetta rules in the Kingdom of mountain bikes.

Argonaut Cycles and Chris King Precision Components Unveil the T47 Bottom Bracket Standard

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Argonaut Cycles and Chris King Precision Components Unveil the T47 Bottom Bracket Standard

Do we really need another bottom bracket standard? Maybe. It depends on what your experience has been with pressfit 30. Personally, my Argonaut has been fairly maintenance free but any steel frame I’ve ridden with one has been a hassle. Noisy, creaky and kind of a pain to maintain.

Ben from Argonaut Cycles and I had a conversation a year ago about how much BB86 and PF30 makes sense in terms of frame design and performance, yet as the crux for a bike’s drivetrain, it’s riddled with failure. In short: a larger bb cluster allows you to shape a bike’s tubes and not have to worry about the cluster where they all intersect. That’s why it’s kinda hard to use a threaded, English BB in a frame with OS diameters.

Enter the T47 BB standard. It uses a standard PF30 shell, that’s just threaded with 47x1mm pitch to take these new nifty Chris King BBs – either 30mm or 24mm axle compatible. You thread them in like an English BB and walk away. The frame builder can work with OS tubing diameters and achieve the same “stiffness” without dealing with the hassle of a PF30/BB30 bearing.

I’ll step aside with the tech jargon and leave Argonaut Cycles and Chris King to explain the rest below.

Down and Dirty in Santa Cruz – Ryan Wilson and Sean Talkington

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Down and Dirty in Santa Cruz – Ryan Wilson and Sean Talkington

Down and Dirty in Santa Cruz
Photos by Ryan Wilson and Sean Talkington. Words by Sean Talkington

Ty, Ryan, Jackie and myself were recently invited up to Santa Cruz to meet with some of our fellow Instagram bike brethren (aka nerds). We were brought up to test out the new Roubaix Di2 disk outerspace/starwars bikes by Specialized. I was getting over a cold so Ty and I decided to carpool up a day later. We showed up a little late but arrived just in time to partake in what we hoped to be four straight days of great riding with or without torrential rainfall. Regardless of the forecast, we were optimistic. Each day was scheduled to be wetter than the previous, but the terrain was going to be so good that the weather wouldn’t be a factor.

Everything was pretty awesome. Things couldn’t be better! That is, until the start of day 3. That’s when it happened. When I got the feeling in my stomach. You know the feeling?! The feeling when your stomach drops, like REALLY “droooooooops” (30 minutes into the ride) and you start sweating profusely (even though its 51 degrees outside). Then you realize you’ve caught the stomach bug that has been going around the house (Rudy from The 5th Floor had it the day before and a European journalist before him).

I would now like for you to put yourself in my shoes for a minute (or better yet my bibs). You are now officially going to turn your insides out. The probability of you holding it in for more than a single minute is extremely low and while the rest of the group keeps on riding, you start to fall off the back. Then you realize you left your phone at the house because you didn’t want it to get wet. So you have absolutely no idea where you are or how to get back to the house and of course you don’t know the address/location where you are staying.

Ride Along: Henry Mesias of Send It Courier – Chris Lee

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Ride Along: Henry Mesias of Send It Courier – Chris Lee

Ride Along: Henry Mesias of Send It Courier
Words and photos by Chris Lee

Let’s face it. We bike messengers are trying to keep a dying industry afloat. Please don’t ask us how long its gonna last, because we don’t want to think about it. Some cities have tried (successfully or not) to unionize to help make conditions for messengers on the road better. But this is a long and grueling process that often leads to a lot of fired bikers.

Introducing the Vanilla Classic Road Bike with Custom CycloRetro Engraved Shimano Dura Ace

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Introducing the Vanilla Classic Road Bike with Custom CycloRetro Engraved Shimano Dura Ace

My normal yearly schedule usually includes a visit or two to Portland, Oregon, a mecca for bicycle framebuilders. Over the years, I’ve been a part of documenting the projects that come out of the Vanilla Workshop, so when a sweet project like this comes along, I like to elevate it to the Reportage section of the site. Sure, this bike isn’t going to be for everyone, nor is it by any means accessible, but as cyclists, we should be able to appreciate beautiful pieces of craft and thoughtfulness. At least that’s how I look at it!

Anyway, this Vanilla Classic road bike build with custom CycloRetro Engraved Shimano Dura Ace is a blast from the past… and that’s its intent! Read on below for more words and beautiful photos from the Vanilla Workshop.

Julien’s 2-11 Cycles MR4 Stainless Steel Gravel Bike

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Julien’s 2-11 Cycles MR4 Stainless Steel Gravel Bike

As I drive home to Barcelona from a photoshoot in the South of Spain, I dream about the next three days. They will be calm and tranquil while I worked from home. Then, my phone buzzes with a message from Mike, a friend and owner of a bed and breakfast in the Pyrenees Mountains in France. He needs help with a last-minute photoshoot further north in the Basque Country. By last minute, he means tomorrow. No time for a rest. I live for photoshoots. It’s my job. My passion. The lure of home will have to wait, as the car stays packed and continues northward toward France.

A few hours later I am in the French Basque Country, in the town of Saint Jean de la Luz. Mike has brought me to his friend, Julien’s house. It is like the rest of the neighborhood, an etxea, in typical Basque construction with white walls crossed by solid timber beams, covered with a clay terracotta roofs. And there in this iconic French village sits the subject for the day. It’s a fresh, stainless steel 2-11 Cycles. So fresh that it’s barely been out on the road yet.

Time Moves Slow: San Francisco to San Diego

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Time Moves Slow: San Francisco to San Diego

While I can’t recall when the seed of this idea was planted, by early spring our plan to escape the reality of 2020 by riding from San Francisco to San Diego was beginning to take root. The year had started upbeat as I’m sure is the case for most people at the beginning of most years, but before long it took a hard turn in the other direction. Starting with a whiplash-inducing breakup that led to moving back to my parents’ house outside of Denver; those events seem small now in the context of everything that followed. As Covid 19 swept the planet and most of humanity began to shelter in place, our collective grief and anxiety began to feel like the status quo. As the days passed at a glacial pace (that was somehow simultaneously lightning fast), the snow in Colorado melted and this idea began to sprout as the earth began to thaw. At the same time, my best friend was dealing with his own lockdown situation down in Baja. Lorenzo had moved down to Ensenada late in 2019 to open a Gelato place (appropriately named “El Gelato”) and was absolutely killing it in the gelato game, helped in no small part to being probably the only gelateria in all of Baja. But when Covid hit, it hit hard and the dusty little town he was calling home completely shut down. With nowhere to go and nothing to do, I started receiving regular text messages from him about riding away from all this bullshit.

Radar

1 OF 1 : Spectrum Paint & Powder Works – Artisan Craftsfolk

If you’ve seen a Beautiful Bicycle here on the Radavist with a crazy paint or powder coat from Mosaic or other brands, there’s a good chance it came from this shop, Spectrum Paint & Powder Works:

“Typically this time of year, many in the bike industry are (would be thanks to the pandemic) be priming for the Chris King Open House in Portland, Oregon. It’s an event that highlights amazing unique bike builds from a small selected group in the bike industry. One of those chosen for this year is Arthaya Nootecharas of Spectrum Paint and Powder Works. She also works for the sister company Mosaic Cycles.

Spectrum Paint and Powder Works isn’t shy about what they do our how they do it while being welcoming of any rider looking to have a bike that others will drool over. Especially this masterpiece for the Open House that was to be.

Arthaya’s concept reflects her art outside of spraying frames or designing the next dream build, incorporating her style of drawings and sketches of the world. The bike is full of simple yet organic lines, laden with little details. “It’s not chaos. It’s just a lot of lines, but it’s organized,” she says. Come along and learn more about Arthaya’s craftwork and passion for cycling art.”

Nice one, PEARL iZUMi!

Keeping World Cup CX Metal: Drew’s Aluminum Rock Lobster Race Whip

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Keeping World Cup CX Metal: Drew’s Aluminum Rock Lobster Race Whip

Dearest Reader,

What follows is a recalled conversation between a bicycle racer and his bicycle’s maker. Even at the time, the exchange was fuzzy at best, and over the years, it has grown even furrier, as memories made under these circumstances are apt to do.

However, both parties involved reviewed it and then concluded that the following retelling is about as accurate as it’s gonna get about the origins of Rock Lobster’s current World Cup CX Species, whose latest evolution began a little something like this…

SRAM’s Eagle GX Offers 52t at an Affordable Price but Is It Worth It?

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SRAM’s Eagle GX Offers 52t at an Affordable Price but Is It Worth It?

We often joke that Eagle GX killed the singlespeed MTB and by “we” I mean myself and Bailey Newbrey, someone who knows a lot about SSMTB riding and racing. Using Bailey in this opening sentence is relevant for a number of reasons and yes, it also legitimizes that statement in many ways. While this won’t be a history lesson in SSMTB riding, it does mull over the antithesis of that, SRAM’s Eagle GX drivetrain.

I’ve been riding the new Eagle GX with its massive 52t cassette for a few months now and have finally flogged it enough to be able to write an honest review of this system, so read on below.