I’ve owned and sold a lot of very nice bikes, but my custom Condor Cycles Super Acciaio was my all-time favorite. My ride or die. Literally, and it did. It died when a car did an illegal left turn in front of me. The top tube and down tube folded like a paper solo cup.
Whenever I stop riding for a while because of work, or life, or hurting myself (usually while sleeping, etc, etc), I obsess over these big rides that I am going to do once back on the bike. Like many of you, I can easily spend hours looking at maps trying to piece together the “perfect” route. But cycling, like most fitness-based activities, can be fickle. It doesn’t care that you used to do it a lot.
That certainly doesn’t stop a brain like mine from dreaming. So when I saw my 43rd birthday on the calendar, a group text started with some friends. In the past, we’d done some really ambitious rides for my special day, like the ‘Clouds to Cacti’ ride, for example, featured here a few years back.
When the call came from Shimano that All Bodies on Bikes was greenlit, the hunt was on for a bike. I needed something that could run the sweet components they were providing us with, and that was ideally suited for bikepacking. Sure, I had my trusty Surly Straggler, but I wondered if there was something else that could do the job better. …
A bike’s stance dictates how you’ll ride it. When you see bikes like this, you don’t think of speed and efficiency. Coming off of a lightweight carbon gravel bike review and jumping back onto this Bombtrack Beyond 2 made me think about my headspace while riding a bike. For me, bikes like the Beyond 2, AWOL, Sutra ULTD, and Otso Fenrir instill a feeling of unintentionality when riding. They’re machines for meandering. While they are all touring bikes, designed for front and rear racks, they are so much more. I’ve put in many meandering miles on this bike and am ready to break it down for you, so read on below.
Rocks slid from above, along a loose slope, showering the dirt road in front of me with a fresh layer. While treacherous in the rain, the locals warned that even an early afternoon breeze was enough to turn this road into a nightmare of falling debris. “Keep your ears and eyes open at all times,” a man in the nearby town of Huambo said as he made a motion imitating someone frantically pedaling a bike as fast as they could spin their legs.
Today, we’re continuing our vintage featurette, straight from The Pro’s Closet museum with a 1992 Slingshot Team Issue bike, build period correct in all its glory. If you recall, last year we featured a unique Slingshot build complete with a basket and high-rise cruiser bars. While we’re all about repurposing vintage bikes, it’s nice to see one built up to a pro-level spec! Check this out below with words by Mike Wilk and photos by John Watson…
Platano Cycle Works of San Diego, CA was a highly regarded custom bicycle company that, over the years, has been steeped in lore and virtually unknown to those outside of the city’s rich hand-built bicycle scene of the 1970s and early 80s. When Josh was in Nashville earlier this year picking up the Bug Out frame he purchased from Amigo Frameworks and visiting builder Zach Small’s shop space (more on that coming soon), he couldn’t resist documenting Zach’s original Platano. Zach, who hails from San Diego, has collected, bought, and sold many vintage bikes over the years, but he insists he will never let go of the Platano.
Grab a banana snack and continue reading for Zach’s history of Platano Cycle Works and what makes his bike so remarkable…
Santa Cruz, California, is home to many wonderful framebuilders and many of which we’ve documented here on The Radavist over the years. From Rock Lobster to Black Cat, and Hunter Cycles, there’s no shortage of Shop Visits from the area to browse. However, one shop I’ve long wanted to document is Caletti Cycles, so when the Chris King Guest House event happened earlier this month, based out of the Caletti Cycles shop, I made sure to photograph this wonderful space along with one of John Caletti’s recent personal builds.
Let’s check out what goes on Inside Caletti Cycles below!
These days, most mountain bike companies have some sort of drop-bar bike in their lineup and, here at The Radavist, we’ve collectively had the opportunity to ride a lot of them. I feel like the impetus for mountain bike brands to develop a drop-bar bike is in direct response to the increasing customer demand for gravel bikes.
When I first saw the prototype Rover, I was intrigued because Revel doesn’t put out shit bikes; but, not being much of a carbon fiber guy, I wasn’t immediately drawn to it. Large-diameter tubing profiles and beefy forks usually imply a chattery, harsh, and stiff ride quality. After riding the Rover on my local digs, though, I was pleasantly surprised. While it’s not without its flaws, the Rover ended up proving my own stereotypes of carbon wrong. Let’s take a closer look below…
Borgarfjörður eystri is unrecognizable from the Iceland I know. I have this mental image of Iceland: a black canvas of volcanic rock with broad strokes of green Icelandic moss. Yet, as we pedal into Borgarfjörður eystri, these expansive black and green landscapes yield to something entirely different. The color gold reigns king.
For the young men of post-war Britain, the train from London King’s Cross to Aberdeen was not unfamiliar. Hundreds of conscripts were required to board the carriages as part of their National Service. The train would pull away from the platform on a Friday night and arrive at the Scottish coastal city by Saturday mid-morning. Iconic red Routemaster buses exchanged for grey-stone buildings and seagulls. There was the novelty of a Highlands map, marked with unknown Gaelic quantities: Glens, Munros, and Gorms, and excitement for rural air, combined with blissful ignorance of the military enforced misery that lay ahead. Or so the old man told us.
My friend Sinuhe Xavier and I have always been “out of context” friends. By that, I mean that we’ve only hung out at coffee shops or lunch spots until a few weeks ago. The contextual slip is that we’re both known for our photographic work in the backcountry. He’s well known in the moto and auto world as always doing shoots deep in remote areas of the American West, and I, too, love those “big country” vistas but with cycling.
When my plans for Sea Otter were shaping up, I dropped him a note, asking if he would be anywhere on the Colorado Plateau in the coming weeks. We hashed out a plan and sent each other options for a campsite meet-up. Precious GPS coordinates were shared, and we settled on a date. The road to Sea Otter had begun…
The East Texas Showdown is a bikepacking event founded last year by Patrick Farnsworth, notoriously known as the host of the Bikes or Death podcast. The event includes two distance options: the 380-mile SHOWdown or the 280-mile SLOWdown. With the event’s theme revolving around the community, the offer of two distances provides intrigue to both seasoned and newer bikepackers.
Tall bikes were spawned by bike punk cultures like NYC’s Bike Kill and other DIY groups and have been used in everything from bike jousting tournaments to full-on cross-country tours. When I see a tall bike, there’s this atavistic urge to jump on board and take it for a spin. So as you can imagine when I feasted my eyes upon Brendan’s Onko Rinkus tall bike while visiting Rock Lobster Cycles, I had to document it…
Lobsters don’t have a home, per se. Rather, they move across the rocky ocean floors searching for a cobble or den. In many ways, Paul Sadoff of Rock Lobster Cycles has been looking for a new cobble for the past few years, bouncing to and fro various shop spaces, all within a mile of each other. His new space, however, might just be the best yet.
On my recent trip out to Sea Otter, I swung through to catch up with Paul. It’d been over two years since the last time I saw him and as he’s one of my favorite builders to hang out with, I was looking forward to spending some time talkin’ tubes with him. Read on below for a Shop Visit as well as a look at the Rock Lobster singlespeed 29er from the Chris King Guest House event…
When I first saw the Scott Spark 910 previewed I had to do a double-take. A full-suspension bike with the suspension INSIDE the frame?! I’m sure some vintage mountain bike enthusiast will point out that someone did this in 1994, but this was my first time seeing a rear suspension integrated into a bike frame. I was doubly intrigued as I had been eagerly looking to try out the latest crop of short travel 29ers (read “downcountry”) that are so en vogue right now.
If you’ve been following along with my previous reviews, you’ll know that I’m not a huge internal cable/hose routing fan, and that still rings true. I feel that most internal routing is half-assed and enters and exits the frame multiple times unnecessarily. Now, what Scott has cooked up here is well done and I’m impressed by them going all-in on internal routing. I had many plans to tinker endlessly with this bike but, as I soon found out, this bike feels like it is meant to be a holistic package. Being ever-tempted by such a striking frame design, travel range, and the possibility to mount a frame bag easily on a full-suspension frame I had to take it for a spin.
Each visit to the Croatan National Forest leaves me a little more enamored with its leggy pines and dirt lanes. The properties bordering the forest with their wooden barns and houses are often centuries-old, their tin roofs rusting from the continuous salty breath of the Atlantic Ocean. The early spring smoke lingers amongst the pine trunks from controlled burns like a ghost. It is haunting as it is soothing in the early morning sun—Dogs bark in response to a rooster crow. The water of the inlets lays black and calm but even in its most still hours, the forest whirs with insects in tinnitus effect. I can’t help but feel that I have entered through some portal into a Faulkner novel.
The ocean felt like bathwater. A welcome reprieve from the usual cringe-producing ice bath of the West Coast of BC. I eased my way in step by step, the water picking away at the grime and sweat of a full day, mid-summer ride. Alycia strode into the water with confidence, and purpose, more at ease around water than I am. I’m always worried about hurting my feet. We climbed onto the trunk of a huge old-growth tree just out of the water, a relic of the island’s history. I could see a white motorboat in the distance, drifting lazily. I tilted my head to see if I could hear the inevitable music, cheering and the yells that I imagine would be happening on a party boat. I hear nothing, only silence and the lapping of the water on the beach.