Category Archives: Reportage
Crust Bikes Scapegoat V2 – Jarrod Bunk

Crust Bikes Scapegoat V2
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk

The Crust bikes Scapegoat or Goat’s pro model has seen some revisions for the upcoming run of frames. In an effort to bring the original model in line with today’s “standards” geometry is based on the longer/slacker mantra but in a completely rigid package. The swap from a 135mm F/R  axle spacing to boost spacing allows for a more readily available dynamo hub, and the inclusion of through-axles makes for a more solid, loaded bike. The V2 Scapegoat, in the larger sizes, is designed to be ridden with a 27.5+ tire but will accommodate a 26×4″ tire setup as a single speed, or with an internally geared hub. (more…)

Apr 24, 2019 3 comments
Unapologetic. Relentless. Persistent: A Machines for Freedom Expedition in Utah

Unapologetic. Relentless. Persistent. A Machines for Freedom Expedition in Utah
Words by Aimee Gilchrist, photos by John Watson

The Utah desert, or desert in general, does not often offer comfortable accommodations to outsiders. High winds, isolated vegetation, sun-soaked and shadeless valleys, rapid nocturnal cooling and infrequent precipitation. The desert can feel like a bitter and unforgiving stranger. Lucky for us, Utah was well-behaved. Late March riding and a window between April showers painted the varying landscape with fragrant sage and spring blooms. Barren mesas were glowing with red and gold dust. And instead of the reliable, wind-blown silence often found on these remote roads, our Machines for Freedom team shared conversation and laughter that could be heard echoing in the canyons for miles.

A few months earlier, Jenn Kriske from Machines for Freedom gathered a group of ladies to ride an aggressive route mapped by John Watson. Our MFF riding team consisted of seven badass, hilarious, strong athletes from Santa Barbara and LA to Portland by way of Bozeman and Durango: Jessica Baum (Santa Barbara), Gritchelle Fallesgon (Portland), Mason Griffin (Bozeman), Stephanie Ortega (LA), Ginger Boyd (LA), Sarah Swallow (Durango) and I (LA). Heavy winter snow and rain this Spring impeded the original route and last minute adjustments were made exchanging knee-deep mud for pavement. Our goal was to ride 350 miles from Tropic, Utah to Green River, Utah in 4 days. We were well suited for this undertaking. (more…)

Apr 23, 2019 26 comments
Sarah Swallow’s S-Works Diverge Has Been Pushed to the Verge

Progression happens when people push the current paradigm causing a shift, or a schism in the model. This applies to bicycles as well. From the era of the klunker and the cruiser influencing mountain bikes to people riding 23mm road tires on gravel roads. Hell, I think it’s safe to say that our generation has seen various permutations unfold from people who push their bikes just a little more than others. To the verge, even. (more…)

Apr 22, 2019 33 comments
Trophy of Nations, You’ve Got my Mind Racing – Kyle von Hoetzendorff

Trophy of Nations, You’ve Got my Mind Racing
Words by Kyle von Hoetzendorff, photos by Sven Martin

The EWS (Enduro World Series) and the UCI recently announced The Trophy of Nations.  A multi-day enduro race with a team racing component. Since 2013 the EWS has been run independently from the UCI and for good reason. It allowed the EWS to develop and hone the series from track selection to race format and rules without the bureaucratic lethargy and bungling that is typically associated with the UCI.  Chris Ball and the rest of the EWS staff deserve high praise for taking the mandate to independently foster the growth of this series. (more…)

Apr 21, 2019 3 comments
Time Trial on the Arizona Trail 300: The Trail is Always Available – Lael Wilcox and Rugile Kaladyte

Time Trial on the Arizona Trail 300: The Trail is Always Available

Words by Lael Wilcox and photos by Rugile Kaladyte

I started thinking about riding the Arizona Trail again while Rue and I were hiking it in November. We took a $5 FlixBus from Tucson to Flagstaff, walked one mile down Historic Route 66 and got on the trail. It took us a month to walk to the Mexican border. Walking was my mental recovery from a summer of racing. The Arizona Trail is a 789 mile hiking trail across the state. With a bike, it’s a hybrid– mostly riding, but a considerable amount of pushing too. It’s hard. It took me 270 miles of walking to start dreaming about getting back on the bike. I remember the moment– we were hiking the Gila River section and my mind started tracing the curves of the trail with bicycle wheels. And it hit me, what if I rode the Arizona Trail with a bigger, more capable bike? (more…)

Apr 18, 2019 10 comments
Matt’s Crust Nor’easter Blew Me Away

Live in the Northeastern Atlantic states long enough and you will come to learn of the macro-scale extratropical cyclone known as a Nor’easter. These storms bring rain, wind, can cause severe erosion on the beaches and in general aren’t that fun, unless you’re a surfer. Coincidentally, that’s where Matt from Crust Bikes came from. The surfing world. If you can call it a world at this point, it’s more like a galaxy. Matt spends a majority of time in New Jersey, at his super sweet shop, and he still surfs, so when a Nor’easter hits, Matt paddles out… These storms inspired the latest from Crust Bikes. While at the Eroica California weekend, I took his Nor’easter ‘light tourer’ out for a sunrise photo session. It still had spider webs covered in dew draped from the salmon pink tubing. (more…)

Apr 17, 2019 54 comments
Baja Divide, La Sierra Norte – Daniel Zaid

Baja Divide, La Sierra Norte – Daniel Zaid

Words and photos by Daniel Zaid

In 2016 I rode my bike through the Baja California pennisula on the only paved highway, the Carretera Transpeninsular, and as pretty as it was, having to look over my shoulder all the time prevented me from fully enjoying the ride. I ventured in some dirt roads and after some very bumpy rides I thought I’d also look into getting another bike, something that could put more cushion between the rocks and my bones. Few weeks before finishing I read about the Baja Divide project; I saw a photo of the map and did the Cape Loop and thought “This is what I needed.” Three years later I’m finally able to go back again, this time though on a bike made expressly for dirt road touring: Ultraromance´s #RoseEmojiBikes aka the Warthog Wash Wiper aka “Rosita”. Also I’m joined by my partner Karla on her Surly Krampus, who has been dreaming of doing this route for months.

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Apr 16, 2019 17 comments
The 2019 Sea Otter Classic Mega Gallery

Wow. Just wow. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this great – emotionally, not physically – after coming back from a tradeshow. It’s been three years since the last time I went to the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. In years past, it felt like a flat-brimmed, Monster Energy, bro fest and honestly, it was kind of overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, that is a broad stereotype and isn’t fair, but I’m not the only one who had that perception. This year, however, the ‘Otter felt more diverse, more inclusive, albeit with a few hiccups – like the racing announcer, and that Canadian company with the ‘booth babes’ wearing bikinis to sell their cheap sunglasses, but overall, I was impressed at how much Sea Otter has improved.

We’ll go into this more in-depth later, with an article by contributor Erin Lamb coming shortly, so right now let’s dive into the tradeshow itself! (more…)

Apr 15, 2019 60 comments
Sea Otter Classic 2019: OD Green Chapter2 AO with Fulcrum Rapid Red Wheels

Can you OD from OD green? I can’t and at the 2019 Sea Otter Classic, there was a lot of olive drab green bikes, one of which I wanted to spend a little more time documenting because it was from two brands taking on the all-road market. Chapter2 is based out of New Zealand, spearheaded by Mike Pryde. They pride themselves in many of the roadie mantras with “light, fast, responsive” in their tagline, yet the Chapter2 AO looks to add a couple more to that list. If I were to expand on the light, fast, responsive, line, I’d add in versatility and compatibility to that list. (more…)

Apr 15, 2019 10 comments