Category Archives: Reportage
Scenes from the Chris King Open House

Finally! I finally made it to a Chris King Open House. Over the years, I’ve heard how much fun these events are. The events began on Thursday with an Industry Summit. On Friday we rode out to Chris King’s barn for lunch and Saturday, the doors at the Chris King factory opened to the public where visitors could take tours of the facilities, see the DropSet in person, check out the new limited edition colors – Matte Mango and Matte Turquoise – and ogle the bikes on display from 18 frame builders.

We’ll take a look at those tomorrow, but for now, let’s look inside the Chris King Open House!

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Oct 14, 2018 10 comments
A Farewell Pegoretti Love 3 Aluminum Road Bike

We’ve lost a lot of celebrities in the past few years but none shook me as much as the passing of Dario Pegoretti. The man was a legend. A true auteur. A builder that didn’t just weld bikes together, he created moving art. After the news settled of his death, I felt like I hadn’t paid my respects. That is until this bike rolled past me at Chris King the other day.

This weekend is the Chris King Open House, and to commemorate Pegoretti, Above Category shipped CKPC out this Love 3 aluminum road bike. Handmade and hand painted by the man himself. Aluminum you say? Yes! Dario made a small run of these bikes from Columbus’ XLR8 tubesets. He machined his own dropouts with replaceable hangers, used 30mm OS chainstays, a 31.6 seatpost for extra stiffness, and a threaded BB for worry-free rides. After his final fun of Love 3 frames, he continued his practice in steel.

Above Category built this bike up, as part of their permanent collection, so I had to show my respects to Pegoretti and give it some extra special love on the shop floor at Chris King, where the bottom bracket, headset, and hubs were machined.

Ride in Peace, Dario.

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Oct 12, 2018 9 comments
A Randonneuring Paradise in Portland at Norther Cycles

I met Norther Cycles owner StarMichael back in 2015 here in Portland at the Bike and Beer festival where I shot one of his creations, a beautiful randonneuring frame. As with most of 2015’s content, when our server crashed, we lost the images. Bummer! So when Rie and the Sim Works crew said they were going to a few shops to deliver tires and racks, I tagged along, especially once I heard they were going to Norther Cycles. (more…)

Oct 11, 2018 31 comments
Beyond Mountain Bikes with the Rocky Mountain Solo 70 – Morgan Taylor

Beyond Mountain Bikes with the Rocky Mountain Solo 70 – Morgan Taylor
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

When you think Rocky Mountain, you think mountain bikes. That’s where their focus lies and for that reason you may not even be aware that they’ve made a handful of drop bar bikes over their nearly 40 years in business.

The Solo has been in the BC-based brand’s lineup a long time – as both a cyclocross and a road race platform – but this most recent iteration skews more toward fat tires, cargo carrying, and, well, slotting a bike into the current hot niche in the drop bar world. It’s a step that, in my opinion, aligns this bike more with the others in the current Rocky Mountain lineup. (more…)

Oct 10, 2018 27 comments
Nevada Highway 50 MTB Road Trip: Caliente’s Hot Lines

A week ago, I embarked on a journey across Highway 50 in Nevada, seeking out mountain bike trails. We’ve come to call this trip the “Nevada Highway 50 MTB Road Trip.” This is the third installment.

Previously: Nevada Highway 50 MTB Road Trip: Carson Valley’s Clear Creek Trail, Nevada Highway 50 MTB Road Trip: Kingston and the Toiyabe Crest Trail, and Nevada Highway 50 MTB Road Trip: Ely and Cave Lake Trails.

Conveniently located a few hours from St. George, Utah and its magnificent MTB trails, is Caliente, Nevada. As we diverted off the gem that is Highway 50, I didn’t know what to expect. It was already dark by the time we pulled into the Caliente Hot Springs Motel and Spa – it sounds fancy, but don’t worry, it’s very approachable – and after a long day, we were all cooked, heading to bed immediately. Come morning, we were filled in with the day’s agenda. (more…)

Oct 9, 2018 2 comments
2018 Grinduro: This Blue Collar Nigel 650G is Perfection!

Wow. Just wow. Robert from Blue Collar Bikes brought my favorite bike to the 2018 Grinduro Town Hall. Painted to match his iconic van, this Nigel 650G featured components from PAUL, 3T, WTB, White Industries, SRAM, and a Fabric saddle. There are so many NorCal brands on this bike, all within a short trip from Sacramento where Blue Collar is based.

There’s not much else to note about this bike, as it’s a prime example of a bike that tells its own story. My only regret was not taking this photo as well!

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Oct 8, 2018 11 comments
2018 Grinduro: Check out the Wild CNC Milled Lugwork on this Southpark Lauf MTB

Technology. Sometimes it gets a bad rep but when you consider the possibilities for makers, it can be a powerful tool to wield. Take Taylorsville’s Dana Fenimore and his brand Southpark. 10 years ago and he would have spent painstaking hours carving these lugs, or paying top dollar for a laser cutter to cut out these elaborate logos and designs. Now he just runs the lugs through a CNC machine and Voila! a work of art.

Dana’s handwork stopped the show at the 2018 Grinduro Town Hall, with curious enthusiasts querying how he was able to deliver such fine lugwork on this Lauf fork-equipped mountain bike. Did I mention that Dana built the CNC machine too? Yeah, he’s got some skills!

What do you think? Does the fact that a CNC machine made these lugs undermine the craft, or enhance it? Unfortunately, I cannot find Dana’s website or social media links, so if you have those, drop them in the comments.

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Oct 7, 2018 16 comments
2018 Grinduro: Purple Rock Lobster All Road

One bike that I was very stoked to see on display at this year’s Grinduro Town Hall was this beautiful aluminum Rock Lobster All Road. Built with SRAM Red eTap as a 1x, Zipp wheels, and a beautiful purple and green paint job, this bike grabbed the attention of many attendees of this equally fun as challenging event. Part of that has to do with the paint, which was laid down by Black Magic in Portland!

Sometimes simplicity is the name of the game and that’s one game Rock Lobster knows how to win!

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Oct 4, 2018 21 comments
Nevada Highway 50 MTB Road Trip: Kingston and the Toiyabe Crest Trail

A week ago, I embarked on a journey across Highway 50 in Nevada, seeking out mountain bike trails. We’ve come to call this trip the “Nevada Highway 50 MTB Road Trip.” This is the second installment.

Previously: Nevada Highway 50 MTB Road Trip: Carson Valley’s Clear Creek Trail

Say you’re heading west, or east for that matter, from or to Moab, Utah for a mountain bike trip. You look at the map and your options are pretty straightforward. Next time you’re traversing Nevada, don’t skip over Highway 50. This road was dubbed “the Loneliest Highway” but it’s anything but that for mountain bikers. Strung along this ribbon of highway are gems of towns looking to draw in mountain bikers to experience their local trails, both new and old. (more…)

Oct 3, 2018 14 comments