2016 NAHBS: Soulcraft 27.5+ / 29r Hardtail

Reportage

2016 NAHBS: Soulcraft 27.5+ / 29r Hardtail

NAHBS is here and already on setup day, it’s evident what bike has dominated the show: the 27.5+ hardtail. While this bike isn’t currently built as one, it can be. Thanks to a new project… Sean from Soulcraft, Cameron from Falconer and a machine shop called E13 have developed a yoke that gives ample clearance for a 27.5+ tire, while still accommodating various crank setups. While you can run a frame such as this as a dedicated 27.5+ bike, Sean wanted people to be able to throw their 29r wheels on it as well.

This detail, along with a stealth dropper, curved seat tube, slack n low geometry provide more than enough opportunities for a highly shredable bike.

Oh and those White Industries cranks… More on those later!

Soulcraft Dirtbomb Disc

Reportage

Soulcraft Dirtbomb Disc

The Soulcraft Dirtbomb is an incredibly versatile bike and a worthy tool to tackle an event like Grinduro. It’ll eat up dirt roads, singletrack and pavement alike but most importantly, it’s strong enough to withstand the after party. Which at events like last weekend, tend to go on ’til dawn.

Sean from Soulcraft knows a thing or two about handmade bikes. He learned the trade from legends like Bruce Gordon and Salsa Cycles, so it’s fitting to see his framesets carrying on many of these ideologies, just in an updated, modern form.

This bike in particular clears the Bruce Gordon RockNRoad tires, features PAUL Klampers, Chris King and WTB wheels and SRAM’s CX1 group, with a 10-42 cluster.

Like I said, it’ll take on anything you throw at it and still party ’til dawn.

The World Needs a Soulcraft Dirtbomb

Radar

The World Needs a Soulcraft Dirtbomb

With all this talk about “adventure” bikes, or “gravel grinders”, all I want to do it move back to old school rigs. Away from talks of hydraulic discs or 1×10 drivetrains and onto cantis, with MTB drivetrains. While it’s easy to overlook brands like Soulcraft in the modern age, they have been killing it for over 10 years with bikes like the Dirtbomb.

Don’t think cantis are a feasible option? Ride more. Learn to control your bike. Focus less on the details of what the industry sells you and more on the experience. This bike will rip apart your trails and potentially win MTB races.

I’m not sure what spawned this post, because honestly, the Dirtbomb has been around for a while. Actually, that’s a lie, I do know what spawned this, but more on that later…

The Tour Divide on Fabric Spokes: Brian and His Rare Earth Cycle Craft Touring Bike

Reportage

The Tour Divide on Fabric Spokes: Brian and His Rare Earth Cycle Craft Touring Bike

For framebuilders, there’s no better test for their product than a long bike tour. When I last saw Brian, he had just completed the Baja Divide on a bike he built. At the time, he had just left the outdoor industry and hoped to transition into building frames full-time under the Rare Earth Cycle Craft banner.

His hardtail was one of my favorite bikes I documented this year until I saw his Tour Divide bike…

A Day in 10 Photos: 11.30.2010

Radar

A Day in 10 Photos: 11.30.2010

Today was one of the busiest days I’ve had in forever. For those of you who didn’t catch this on my Twitter, I’m spending the Winter in Austin, Texas. Preparing for a seasonal trip take a lot of time and today, all my plans came crashing down as I had to squeeze in a few extra errands. All that and my posts for yesterday were scheduled for 2012, not 2010. Bad omen? Maybe.

One of my visits today was to Seth Rosko‘s studio. He’s been busy with building and retrofitting motorcycles that it’s easy to forget this dude is doing big things. In every sense of the word, Seth is a master. Soul craft at its finest. I stopped by to check out his new BMXs that have been making headlines (even his 26″ big bikes are blowing up!) and got sucked into the veritable eye candy that is he and Johnny Coast‘s workshop.

Check out nine more photos below.

Like a Fine Wine: Wende Cragg’s Custom 1983 Breezer Series III

Reportage

Like a Fine Wine: Wende Cragg’s Custom 1983 Breezer Series III

Wende Cragg’s contributions to cycling and her documentation of the sport over the years are unquantifiable. And here at The Radavist, we’ve been fortunate to have her sharing snapshots of that history, from her moving piece about the origins of mountain biking, to her return to Crested Butte last year for the Pearl Pass Tour after a forty-two-year hiatus.

Wende is back today to share another special story we think you’ll thoroughly enjoy. This time, Wende pens an ode to her custom 1983 Breezer Series III built for her after multiple ill-fitting predecessors (including one of the ten original Breezer Series I). To top it off, she enlisted Joe Breeze to share a few insights about her one-of-a-kind bike and the general evolution of early Breezers. Let’s get right to it below!

John’s Favorite Products of 2023 (… and Top 10 Albums!)

Reportage

John’s Favorite Products of 2023 (… and Top 10 Albums!)

We’ve had a busy year over here at The Radavist. From the return to being 100% independent, launching our Group Ride subscription service, our Rad Bazaar marketplace, and adjusting to being a small business owner again, my free time has been limited. Yet, I can thank a few products for making my job and life easier this year, along with the albums that became the backdrop for my rides, so let’s check out my Favorite Products of 2023!

Fat Tires in a Skinny Frame: John’s 2012 Bruce Gordon Monster Cross

Reportage

Fat Tires in a Skinny Frame: John’s 2012 Bruce Gordon Monster Cross

“It’s just a bike.” The late Bruce Gordon built bicycle frames to enhance his customers’ lives. Through all my interactions over the years, up until his passing in June of 2019, he would take praise for his work, but would always end the conversation with: “It’s just a bike.”

To talk about this bike in particular, you first have to know Bruce. Who he was, his ethos, the mythos, and what he brought to the “g” word: gravel. Bruce was making fat-tire road bikes for a long time. Long before many. He developed tires, toe clips, and helped foster an entire movement of makers in the Petaluma, California area and beyond.

But just like that, he was gone, and he left behind a legacy…

Bicycle Portage Handles: A Simple Design with a Big Story

Radar

Bicycle Portage Handles: A Simple Design with a Big Story

Today we featured Brian’s Rare Earth Cycles touring bike, which featured a portage handle. This detail has resulted in a good deal of internet chatter, lauding this simple design as a clever detail for touring bikes. Brian credits Meriwether Cycles’ work for inspiring him to include one on his bike, yet Meriwether was inspired by other framebuilders of the past like Sam Braxton.

While this simple bit of tubing looks pretty straightforward, there’s a big backstory behind its use. Roll on over to Meriwether Cycles‘ blog to read all about it and find an excerpt below…

Developing Story: SRAM’s Book About Transmission Will Make You Fall in Love with the Bike Industry Again

Radar

Developing Story: SRAM’s Book About Transmission Will Make You Fall in Love with the Bike Industry Again

When you review bike products, sometimes they arrive with some swag. T-shirt, stickers, sure. But sometimes there’s a cool memento, like an Abbey Tool laser-etched by whatever brand has partnered up with them for the launch. Or an artifact from the product’s manufacturing and development, like a piece of the innovative raw material that made it possible. But what came with my GX Transmission kit is by far the most moving party favor I’ve ever received.

Vintage Ride: There May Be No Machine Ever Invented More Sublime Than the Bicycle

Radar

Vintage Ride: There May Be No Machine Ever Invented More Sublime Than the Bicycle

Like most towns, ours is full of sprint segments. 

They’re those little spots on the road that only a place’s cadre of cyclists know about, invisible to the untrained eye; from this driveway to that mailbox, this street sign to that intersection, this rise to that tar snake. 

The best group ride leaders will try to organize her or his group before they reach those starting spots, asking anyone who’s not planning to sprint that day to give way in the paceline to those who are. They remind their riders to stay right of the yellow lines, that straying into the oncoming lane, even when there’s no traffic is not worth winning a sprint that is essentially meaningless. 

Concours de Machines 2022: Backstage of the Adventure with Cycles Manivelle

Reportage

Concours de Machines 2022: Backstage of the Adventure with Cycles Manivelle

Each framebuilder has probably their own relationship with the Concourse de Machines. Mine is not monochrome.

On the one hand, there is the excitement of creating a product with soul and sharing it with the framebuilding family. Our profession is “socially” atypical. It is at the same time very solitary: us and our ideas, our tools, the calm atmosphere of the workshop. And it is also inevitable to expose the brand/our work on social networks, the only lever to promote ourselves autonomously, without counting on the press. During the CDM contest, this too virtual sphere becomes the timespan of a few days entirely palpable and real. I find in the other framebuilders a sensitivity, convictions, a listening that it is hard to find in someone who did not go through the same choice of professional life as me. For many, it remains one. The contest is also about that: talking about our joys, our doubts, our desires, our difficulties, and that makes it very attractive to me.

On the other side, there is this shell that I try to put on myself since the frustrations felt during the CDM 2019. I had a bad experience putting so much soul into a project to feel pretty much unconsidered. Too young, too shy to show off, not enough in the good papers. So I take advantage of each edition to remind myself that we are doing this competition above all for ourselves, to continue to invent ourselves. The look of others is sometimes pleasant and often relevant, but it should not affect our own.

Two Legs Too Easy: Why Movement Is Medicine with World Champion Cyclist and Para-Cycling Pioneer Dr. Meg Fisher

Reportage

Two Legs Too Easy: Why Movement Is Medicine with World Champion Cyclist and Para-Cycling Pioneer Dr. Meg Fisher

The dawn has barely broken and early rays of summer sunshine splatter golden light across the yard while Meg Fisher throws a ball for her pup Pax. She knows she’ll be leaving him for a good chunk of the day while she gets out for a training ride and wants to make sure he gets some of his puppy energy out before she goes. Her laughter echoes under the trees and her stoke is palpable.  With the great state of Montana as a backyard, the number of trails and gravel roads at Meg’s disposal are enough to make anyone want to pack up and move west.

Tumbleweeds and Tradition: SimWorks Introduces the Doppo High Plains Drifter

Reportage

Tumbleweeds and Tradition: SimWorks Introduces the Doppo High Plains Drifter

SimWorks is pleased to present our latest offering in the Doppo lineup of framesets: The High Plains Drifter. These framesets are handcrafted in small batches by our friends, and adept framebuilding cohorts, at Simple Bicycle Co. here in Portland, OR. It’s a modern twist on a time-honored favorite, sure to bring back more than a few pleasant reminders of some of our earliest memories on a bike, while opening up a world of possibility for future off-road explorations.

Here’s to Failings and Revenge: Riding the N230 Route in Portugal

Reportage

Here’s to Failings and Revenge: Riding the N230 Route in Portugal

Here’s to failings and revenge, wet feet, cold meals, big appetites, and desperate measures, here is to the losers, to giving up, the fear and the panic, here is to the hopes and resets, the rest and restart, the loneliness and misery, the conquering or coming back, here is to the revenge, the salute, the lost goal, the drive and emptiness, the stomach and the guts, the brain, and the balls, here is to the brave heart and lost souls. Here is to the step back and rebound. Here is to the cold beers at the end and the diners that taste better.
Coming home was the hardest part.