Category Archives: Shop Visit
Steamboat Springs is the birthplace of Moots, Eriksen, and other outdoor industry brands. Visit this ski town and you’ll see why. Located in the Northern Yampa Valley the city has thrived due to its proximity to the Routt National Forest and its plethora of trails. It doesn’t matter what your preferred form of recreation is, Steamboat has an abundance of resources for it.
One of the bike shops in Steamboat is in one of the most unique spaces I’ve ever visited. Period. When Jon from Moots took me to pick up some last minute supplies before embarking on our Steamboat Ramble Ride trip, my jaw was on the ground. While most of the outdoor shops in Steamboat are very clean and corporate, Orange Peel Bikes embraced its chaotic beauty. Much like something found in nature, there are no right angles in this bee-hive shaped space. (more…)
Bikes, Bags, and USA Made Tags: Bedrock Bags
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
One of Liz and my stops along the great American Bike Shop Tour of 2017 was Bedrock Bags in Durango, Colorado. A larger than life operation, in a very small space, boasting that they “make the best bikepacking gear on the market.” And when I mean small…I mean small, at first I had no clue how everyone worked in this small space at the same time, but as Joey Ernst, one of the owners, and Tae Hillyer, the production manager, and I chatted about the business I began to understand. This space had been thought out in the same tailored, tight, and clean aesthetic as all of their bags. Just like you don’t want your knees rubbing your framebag, everyone at Bedrock Bags had created a very workable space with no elbow rubbing in a very small, but very efficient corridor.
So you know your knees aren’t going to be rubbing one of their framebags. (more…)
Don’t Fake that Funk with Moné Bikes
Words and photos by Spencer Harding
I first saw one of Cjell’s (pronounced like “shell”) bikes on a tour of Adventure Cycling’s headquarters in Missoula, Montana. His lugged 29+ drop bar Great Divide rig hangs on the walls, in all of its patina’d glory. Over the past few years, we have had a lot of near hangout misses, from a trip to Ecuador to being in Salida, Colorado the same day this past summer. But alas the stars finally aligned and after spending Thanksgiving in White Sands National Monument, my partner and I decided to make a stopover in Silver City for a spin in the hills and a dip in some hot springs.
Cjell sent me an address to the town’s old Post Office which now lays vacant except for the basement which is Moné Bikes HQ and the occasional event that use the main floor. Out back is a 1990 Wonderbread truck that serves as his mobile frame building shop. After discovering the small and remote Silver City on his many Tour Divide rides, he finally decided that he was in love and is now looking at real estate.
But let’s go back a ways to where this all began in an old VW bus parked outside Black Sheep Bikes in Fort Collins. He began apprenticing and working under James at Black Sheep before he moved onto Vail to do his own thing, where traded weed for rent in a pool maintenance room. After having completed a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail all with gear he had made himself, he thought why not make a bike for the Tour Divide in the same fashion. Thus was born the bike I saw at Adventure Cycling HQ. For the next few years, Cjell bounced between Oregon, Colorado, Minnesota, Asia, and New Zealand. After all those travels he came back and decided to set up in the current bread truck shop where he still does all of his custom orders. Besides his custom one-off bikes, he has a small production run of two frames, El Continente and La Roca. These frames were built in Taiwan where he personally spent time working with a small family factory on the run. There is a lovely piece he wrote about his time abroad here
Though Cjell has many amazing bikes he has built his current love affair is with a 1962 Schwinn Cruiser that he has chopped and screwed. His high-tech modifications include a tukt rear triangle featuring the latest 29er coaster brake technology, custom spun Mr. Tick seatpost, and a Krampus fork squeezed into a 1 inch headtube. I’ll be honest, I still couldn’t keep up with Cjell on this damn thing. He definitely doesn’t fake that funk on a nasty klunk.
He was nice enough to take me and my partner on the usual Taco Tuesday ride outta town. A lovely romp in the hills along a few sections of the Continental Divide route with a few new sections of buff-buff single track. Also, no ride would be complete without a few turns around the local skatepark.
Cjell’s bread truck shop is home to some truly inspiring innovations to make such a small space functions as a full-on shop. His modified lathe for cutting down tubes is unlike anything I’ve seen in any other shop. I had also never seen a flux bucket before, a device for adding flux in-line when brazing. His brazing style, more a bead than fillet, necessitates such specialized equipment. It’s all pretty damn impressive.
Cjell has been there and back, probably on a single speed nonetheless, he’s cultivated a truly impressive style, a perfect brew of old and new. He wants to make bikes with a soul, and he’s gone around the world and sparked up torches alongside the masters, domestic and abroad, to do so.
Check out his production and custom bikes and follow along with Cjell on Instagram
Inside / Out at Horse Cycles
Photos by Ian Matteson, words by Kevin McClelland from ENVE
The Idea for this bike and trip transpired from a casual conversation at NAHBS in Hartford. I approached Thomas from Horse Cycles at his stunning booth filled with some of my favorite bikes at the the show and we began talking about the yet to be released ENVE Gravel Fork and Gravel Bar. Thomas quickly started to show me photos of his freshly built cabin in Upstate New York surrounded by a beautiful landscape littered with some amazing gravel roads. That was the moment I knew I wanted to get out to New York for some riding with him and I knew I wanted it to be on a Horse Frame. (more…)
Loving the Uphill Battle with Roam Industries
Words and photos by Locke Hassett
“Long time no see!” piped Dustin from a leather chair near a window with grey morning light pouring in through the huge windows of Roam Industry, a backcountry focused bike, climb, and ski shop in Monticello, UT. He sips his coffee as we catch up and listen to Zeppelin. His kid has teeth coming in, and he is a small business owner in a small town. He is tired, but not too tired to laugh, talk, and show me around the shop. (more…)
Coffee and bikes. It’s a timeless pairing and one that Breadwinner Cycles, the Portland-based framebuilding operation, has embraced with their new cafe and shop. It’d been since 2015 when I got to visit their facilities, which at the time were in Tony Pereira’s house. Tony and Ira Ryan make up Breadwinner, along with some of their employees. Last year, Breadwinner opened their new shop and an adjacent cafe, along the bicycle expressway off North Williams. Since then, it’s become a hub for people meeting for group rides, or laptop-toting freelancers, and tourists like myself wanting to peek into the process that is making a Breadwinner. (more…)
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!
Follow Chris King Precision Components on Instagram and check out more from the Open House at #ChrisKingOpenHouse.
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…)
Mountain towns with thriving ski scenes often benefit from a strong cycling presence to keep the economy alive during warmer months. Take Steamboat Springs, Colorado for instance. With a heavy snow sports presence and a healthy bike scene, the town is able to maintain tourism capital year round. This growth, however, was piecemeal, with one man doing the cycling community a great service by moving to this sleepy little Colorado town, forever changing the cycling community. Not just in Colorado either! His work rippled throughout the world… That man is Kent Eriksen.
In 1975 Kent Eriksen moved to Steamboat and in 1980 he started Sore Saddle Cyclery and Moots Bicycles with the help of several business partners. Kent didn’t just want to make bicycle frames, he wanted to innovate bicycle frame production. While it was summer, Sore Saddle kept the people of Steamboat rolling, and during the slow winter months, Moots production ramped up, to help secure the financial feasibility of Sore Saddle Cyclery. It was a unique business model and one that ensured the success of Moots. (more…)
One of the hardest things about reporting on frame builders and their shops is doing their operations justice. I’m still buzzing from my trip to Colorado to hang out with the crew at Moots and ride the Steamboat Ramble Ride. Spending a few solid days literally living amidst the operations, riding with the fabricators, talking and photographing everyone behind the scenes brought such great joy that I’m literally gushing as I write this intro. The 23 people that make this company tick are all great people who truly love their job and love cycling, at many capacities. Capturing that in photos and then writing about it is not easy!
Moots began in 1981, from the shop of Kent Eriksen, called Sore Saddle Cyclery, which technically opened in 1980, but the operations of Moots didn’t get rolling for a whole year. Kent began the brand with the help of many others, and eventually sold it off to begin his own company, Eriksen Cycles. Meanwhile, Moots began to permutate into their current state as one of the largest framebuilding operations in the USA. I can’t compare their shop to anyone else, other than Seven in the Boston-area. In terms of scale and organization. (more…)