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A Guide to Photographing Bicycles

Radar

A Guide to Photographing Bicycles

A lot of readers have asked for a guide to photographing their bikes. Be it for Readers’ Rides or for their Instagram. Here, John walks us through the process he uses, which we can all agree is ‘dialed.’

Over the past 15 years, I’ve documented hundreds of bikes both in situ and in my makeshift studio setup at events like the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, the ENVE Builder Roundup, and the Chris King Open House. While it might seem daunting at first, it really is easy and like everything photo-related, it’s all about the setup. Let’s look at my process in detail below…

The Radavist’s Top 10 Articles of 2021

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The Radavist’s Top 10 Articles of 2021

This year’s retrospective includes a look at our highest traffic pieces. These articles really blew up, bringing in a lot of comments, backlinks, social media posts, and traffic. While it should come as no surprise, most are bike reviews but a few of these galleries are seminal bits of Reportage. In this list are nine Reportage articles and one Radar, so let’s jump right in!

Riding as Ceremony: A Vintage Road Bike is All You Need

Radar

Riding as Ceremony: A Vintage Road Bike is All You Need

At some point earlier this year, I came down (again) with the vintage bug. I used to comb swap meets in search of a 58-60cm bike, NOS Campagnolo kits, hard-anodized wheels, and pantographed parts but it has been a while. Perhaps it’s because I feel so inundated with “new” tech announcements claiming “lighter, stiffer, faster, more aero” and at a certain point, it just gets to be too much. In the same way, I enjoy riding a rigid or a hardtail 90% of the time over a full suspension. Recently, I began to feel “tech fatigue” when it comes to drop bar bikes and have been looking at ways to simplify that riding experience…

The Otso Cycles Fenrir Touring Bike is a Drop Bar 29er Stainless Steel Monster!

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The Otso Cycles Fenrir Touring Bike is a Drop Bar 29er Stainless Steel Monster!

Is it a gravel bike? A drop bar 29er? Or something else entirely? When it comes to the nomenclature surrounding these modern touring bikes, I often scratch my head, pondering an answer to this question. My usual inclination is to envelop these bikes under the umbrella of “adventure bikes” but then this bike landed in my lap. The Otso Cycles Fenrir is aligned with bikes like the Kona Sutra ULTD and the Moots Baxter but Otso did something different – i.e. better – than its competitors. The Fenrir took it up a notch and has utilized boost spacing wheels, which in my mind, put this in the drop bar 29er category.

I’ve had the Fenrir for a while now, have taken it on an overnighter, and have ridden some of my favorite mixed terrain routes here in Santa Fe with it. On washboarded sandy roads to singletrack, doubletrack, and gravel, the Fenrir is a hell of a bike and one that I really resonated with, so let’s check it out in detail below…

John’s Favorite Products of 2021

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John’s Favorite Products of 2021

With the holidays approaching we like to spend some time looking back at 2021 and give some of our favorite products a shout-out. In this post, we look at John’s personal favorite products of the year. Some are cycling-related, others are just solid staples John’s enjoyed using this year, so let’s get to it!

A Look at the All New Wizard Works Pelagazam for the Pelago Rasket

Radar

A Look at the All New Wizard Works Pelagazam for the Pelago Rasket

I love my Pelago Rasket on my Crust Bikes Dreamer but one of the things I’m not stoked about it is the limited bag offerings. After reaching out to a variety of bag makers, requesting a “custom” bag for my Rasket, the team at Wizard Works threw its wizard cap into the arena and offered to help me out. Well, after a few months, my Pelagazam bag designed specifically to the dimensions of the Raskett, showed up and I shot some initial photos of this nifty bag this morning, so let’s check it out in detail below!

Improving on a Icon: A Review of the New 2022 Santa Cruz Chameleon 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike

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Improving on a Icon: A Review of the New 2022 Santa Cruz Chameleon 29er Hardtail Mountain Bike

Back in 2018, I reviewed the Santa Cruz Chameleon in the 27.5+ platform with a tricked-out build spec thanks to Hope Tech. Much like its namesake, the Chameleon really stood out from the crowd of other production hardtails on the market, making it a proper icon in the world of hardtail mountain bikes. Fast forward three years and I’ve had the new and improved 2022 Chameleon model under my butt for a few weeks now, have taken it on similar terrain as I did in Los Angeles with its predecessor, and have a few thoughts about the two models. Which one is worth your money? Read on below to find out…

Embrace the Analog: Hunter’s Affinity Anthem with Campagnolo Chorus 12 Speed

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Embrace the Analog: Hunter’s Affinity Anthem with Campagnolo Chorus 12 Speed

In an age where rubbing disc brakes, dead electronic shifting, and fussy integrated cockpits rule the market, the idea of a simple bike with none of the above starts to look very appealing. A steel frame with a mechanical groupset has an analog quality to it that is hard to beat. It has undeniable panache, aero and weight don’t matter. I introduce to you my Affinity Anthem, a stainless steel workhorse of a bike mated to a groupset that is as timeless as they come.

Rigid and Spellbound: The Sour Bicycles Pasta Party 29er SSMTB with BERD Wheels

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Rigid and Spellbound: The Sour Bicycles Pasta Party 29er SSMTB with BERD Wheels

In some form of intergalactic serendipity, this review coincides with the 2021 International Singlespeed Day, so hopefully, this article inspires you to dust off the ol’ Cruiser or SSMTB and get out for a sunset shred with your friends.

I’ve had the Sour Bicycles Pasta Party for longer than I’d like to admit for a review period but with supply chain shortages, I decided to scrap my original plans for the build as a geared hardtail and assembled it with various spare parts and some new fancy BERD wheels which ended up resulting in one very unique rigid singlespeed 29er.

The Pasta Party is a strange bird with a few clever details and a few quirks, so read on below for my review of this unique chassis offering from the German brand Sour Bicycles…

LeMond Prolog e-Bike Review (e-Assist): A Week with an E-bike – Two Bikes Knoxville

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LeMond Prolog e-Bike Review (e-Assist): A Week with an E-bike – Two Bikes Knoxville

How I ended up writing this review of the LeMond Prolog is a bit surreal.

I’ve lived in Knoxville, Tennessee for the past ten years, where I’ve managed to carve out a career in the nonprofit bike space at Two Bikes Knoxville. About a year ago, my pal Matt Zingg and I started a nonprofit bike shop called Two Bikes, which has kept us pretty busy. I still get out on rides a few times a week, but my cycling is largely practical these days. I ride to work, to get groceries, to go to the community garden.

I mention this because whenever I read a review I always want to understand the perspective of the author. I’m really passionate about bringing folks together to have fun outside and about resolving the inefficacy of America’s transportation system. Bikes tick both of those boxes for me, so I really like bikes.

A First Look at the Tailfin Suspension Fork Mount and Cargo Cages

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A First Look at the Tailfin Suspension Fork Mount and Cargo Cages

I always have my eyes peeled for new ways to mount, strap, and stuff things on my bike. Conjuring up ideas in my head of what the perfect setup would be, to meet my needs on a particular trip. First, I want enough space for everything I need without having to mash it all into a few tiny bags. Second, I don’t want anything constantly rattling around or shifting and sliding. The more options the better! So, when a package showed up from the UK-based brand, Tailfin, with a few new mysterious pieces of kit inside, I was intrigued to check them out.

WTB’s TCS System is Now Complete with New Tubeless Tire Sealant

Radar

WTB’s TCS System is Now Complete with New Tubeless Tire Sealant

Piggybacking on our recent news that WTB is keeping 29/27.5+ tires in its catalog, we wanted to plug – sorry, bad pun – the brand’s new Tubeless Tire Sealant.

For a company that is probably best known for its tires, WTB cares about keeping you rolling across all aspects of wheel-related goods. This is evident in its wheel development, rim tape, valves, tires, and now its own Tubeless Tire Sealant. It only makes sense that the brand would want to encapsulate its products under the TCS System umbrella. Now, not all sealant is created equal, and while everyone has their favorite sealant to use but WTB is doing something unique with its sealant so let’s check out what details make it different…

I Love the Austere Manufacturing Cam Buckles

Radar

I Love the Austere Manufacturing Cam Buckles

As a cargo connoisseur, I often get swept up in the details, the minutiae, and some might argue, the icing on the cake of bicycle travel. These little details can become centerpieces of a final touring package. While I’ll always carry a few extra Voile straps on a tour, there’s something nice about having cam buckles and nylon webbing for the bigger jobs. One of the things I love about touring is the constant need to strap more crap to your bike. Sometimes, it’s a frozen pizza at a gas station that catches your eye or your wet clothes from that swimming hole. Regardless, having these items securely fastened to your bike is important because no one likes a broken pizza box.

Having a few extra straps can go a long way and while there are dozens of options made in China out there, it’s nice when a small company takes it upon itself to make something as simple as a cam buckle in the USA. Austere Manufacturing first popped up in my Instagram feed earlier this summer. I’m not sure why these tan cam buckles caught my eye ;-) but I immediately bought two pairs; a 3/4″ cam and a 1″ cam with webbing. Since then, I’ve used them to carry everything from a fly rod to camp chairs around on my bike and can honestly say, these buckles are some of my favorite things to come from a small, cottage industry maker.

Let’s check them out in detail below.

Yoshimura Pedals Review: We Can’t Get Enough of These Yoshimura Chilao MTB Pedals

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Yoshimura Pedals Review: We Can’t Get Enough of These Yoshimura Chilao MTB Pedals

I’m a collector of goods by nature. When I find a pair of pants, backpack, shorts, or even shoes I love and cannot live without, I tend to buy a “backup” or secondary set to hold onto. Sometimes, this can get expensive, especially when it comes to bike parts but with the uncertainty of the current supply chain shortage brought on by the pandemic, my hoarding has been elevated. Take for instance these Yoshimura Chilao Pedals. When we first posted about them back in 2020, I bought a set for a few reasons…

A Look at the Bikeraft Guide

Radar

A Look at the Bikeraft Guide

Bikerafting is when you incorporate a bike onto a packraft like an Alpacka Raft. While navigating rivers and other bodies of water shouldn’t be taken with a grain of salt and if you don’t have whitewater experience, you should seek out proper training before embarking on a packraft or bikerafting trip. Once you’ve done that, buy this book for inspiration. The Bikeraft Guide is a 325 page book, packed with stories, instructional how-tos, illustrations, and more. It was compiled by Lizzy and Doom of Four Corners Guides and is a great companion for those bikeraft curious. Let’s take a quick look below…

Otso Voytek Review: More Than Just a Fat Bike

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Otso Voytek Review: More Than Just a Fat Bike

Fat bikes. They’re the cycling industry’s lost children. The forgotten ones. Remember when every brand under the sun had a fat bike in their catalog? Now there are only a few brands still putting in the PR&D required to make these bikes less cumbersome, less heavy, and more like a true-to-form mountain bike. One of those brands is Otso, whose Voytek is all the above and more. I’ve held onto this bike for probably longer than they anticipated, cycling through the winter months, into the spring, and well into the summer. I’ve ridden it in its thicc 26″+ form and now in its chonk 29+ form and have pulled together a comprehensive argument for why bikes like the Voytek hopefully stay around for a while…

The Stooge Scrambler Review: Evolution of the Modern Klunker

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The Stooge Scrambler Review: Evolution of the Modern Klunker

Rigid bikes. The roots of riding off-road, yet now the arena of weirdos, quacks, and masochists. Mountain biking started out long before telescoping forks and complex linkage designs, but the bikes of those early days are now a far cry from the activity most consider “mountain biking”.

Of course, those weirdos, quacks, and masochists still have a place in this world, and it turns out I’m one of them. It wasn’t always this way. I used to ride and write about my experience with suspension mountain bikes as a full time job. I could go on all day about spring curves and axle paths, dampers and volume spacers, sag and suspension setup.

But, in the past five or so years, my focus has shifted. I’d rather spend a weekend riding to small places and sleeping out under the stars than shuttling the local loamers and crushing parking lot beers. And in that time I’ve come to value a mountain bike that requires less maintenance.

Having ridden a lot of high end suspension bikes, I know what it takes to keep them running tip top – and I just don’t have the facilities to do that at home, nor the money to pay someone else to do it. A rigid bike makes sense for my sometimes bi-weekly, sometimes monthly mountain bike hobby.