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File Till You Die: Frame Builder Eli “De Bicla” Acosta From Básica Studio in Mexico City

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File Till You Die: Frame Builder Eli “De Bicla” Acosta From Básica Studio in Mexico City

My partner Karla and I find ourselves in México City after what feels like going in and out of a pipe from Mario’s world. The truth is we took a plane, but after so much time of having this trip in mind, it takes a while to assimilate that it’s actually happening. We spend an afternoon putting our bikes together and some bolts later they’re ready to take us around this city; we feel quite intimidated by its size and the never-not-honking cars but the bike paths that have emerged over the recent years make riding much more manageable. Coming from a place that’s pretty much at sea level, the 2200 meters of elevation squeeze our lungs on the slightest uphill and when we arrive at the address on our map our hearts are beating fast. There’s no sign outside the place but a rack full of bikes indicates we’ve made it to Básica Studio, home of frame builder Eli Acosta.

Inside / Out at WZRD. bikes

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Inside / Out at WZRD. bikes

In a dank and dark industrial basement lies the realm of a modern wizard’s apprentice, where they envision, then create their disruption. Where they derive their power and what sacrifices have been made to get to this point are a mystery, though the products of their spells are obvious: rideable works of art, built to enable transcendence for those lucky enough to partake.

While Em has been known as the WZRD. for many years, I feel like they truly began their apprenticeship when they began crafting their dreams from raw steel. Harnessing the divine intelligence of ancient magic, Em’s long-standing moniker became their expressive direction. The alchemy and creativity of the craft became their passion, but this is no average wizard.

WZRD. bikes officially launched in early 2020 with a focus on progressive geometry and progressive politics. Unapologetic about their radical ideologies, Em forges forward. At the front of the wave, WZRD. geometry is the kind of thing you’re going to see on “progressive” production bikes in years to come. That’s always been the beauty of custom, but not all custom builders have such radical ideals.

Based in Victoria, BC, at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Em’s designs are inspired by their own relationship with the environment as much as the shortcomings they see in production bikes. We’ll get a bit deeper into the numbers side of Em’s bikes tomorrow, but suffice to say they like their reach long, their bottom brackets low, their seat angles steep, and their head angles slack.

Movigo, Human Propelled Freedom: Bike Bags and Accessories From Tijuana, México

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Movigo, Human Propelled Freedom: Bike Bags and Accessories From Tijuana, México

I have been internet friends with Irlanda for so long that I don’t even remember how we started communicating. What I do remember is that she told me she had the dream of making bicycle bags and accessories but at the moment, sewing fancy dresses are what paid her bills. Settled in the México-USA border city of Tijuana, she has been dressing brides and quinceañeras for over twenty years and it was around fourteen years ago that she started riding a bike to get around. As she took part in organizing group rides, she sewed hip bags and gave them away as an incentive to attract more people to ride, and that’s how sewing bike bags became a hobby. Along those two decades, she started growing tired of the high fashion world while at the same time she made more bicycle accessories, but still, the money flowed mainly from the people who came to her from either side of the border to get their dresses made.

The 2021 ENVE Builder Round Up: Weiss, Breadwinner, Moots, Pine, Mosaic

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The 2021 ENVE Builder Round Up: Weiss, Breadwinner, Moots, Pine, Mosaic

I shoot as many bikes as I could at the ENVE Builder Round Up in a relatively small timeframe and while I wish I could have gotten to them all, there’s only so much one can do in ten hours. Still, I feel like these last five builders represent the kinds of bikes the readership here at the Radavist enjoys. There are some real gems in this last gallery. Without further adieu, here’s an in-depth look at Weiss, Breadwinner, Moots, a new brand called Pine, and Mosaic…

The 2021 ENVE Builder Round Up: Prova, Naked, 44 Bikes, Spooky, Retrotec, Argonaut

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The 2021 ENVE Builder Round Up: Prova, Naked, 44 Bikes, Spooky, Retrotec, Argonaut

Continuing on with our 2021 ENVE Builder Round Up coverage – we posted the first Gallery on Friday – today we’re featuring the show-stopping work of Prova Cycles, Naked Bicycles, 44 Bikes, Spooky, Retrotec, and Argonaut Cycles. Each of these builders brought something special to the showcase and a few raised the bar considerably in various ways. There’s a lot to go over here so let’s get to it!

The 2021 ENVE Builder Round Up: Chumba, Falconer, Firefly, Mariposa, Scarab, Sklar, Tomii

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The 2021 ENVE Builder Round Up: Chumba, Falconer, Firefly, Mariposa, Scarab, Sklar, Tomii

It’s that time of year again! ENVE’s Open House, aka the Builder Round-Up and Grodeo event is this weekend in Ogden, Utah, so I packed up my bike portrait kit and drove up through beautiful summer monsoons to document a selection of bikes from this year’s event. Check out a thoroughly documented stable from the Round Up below, beginning with Chumba, Falconer, Firefly, Mariposa, Scarab, Sklar, and Tomii…

Inside / Out at Myth Cycles in Durango: Not Your Imagination

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Inside / Out at Myth Cycles in Durango: Not Your Imagination

Just past the Animas River and tucked into a neighborhood back alley lies a modified garage holding one of the newer secrets of Durango. There is no signage, no storefront, no Google Maps locator. Nope, your only hint at what lies behind these doors is a subtle triskelion logo on the side door. This is the headquarters for Myth Cycles, the most recent continuation of handbuilt bicycles in Durango, Colorado.

Resourcefulness and a Community Endeavor: Silver Stallion Bicycle and Coffee Works in Gallup, NM

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Resourcefulness and a Community Endeavor: Silver Stallion Bicycle and Coffee Works in Gallup, NM

A while back, we featured the photography of Shaun Marcus and the writing of Jon Yazzie in our Reportage section, documenting the Dzil ta’ah Adventures Navajo Youth Bike-Packrafting Adventure Series. That story took place in Nazlini, AZ, and it served as an introduction to the readers of the Radavist about the Silver Stallion Bicycle and Coffee Works. All last year, the Navajo Nation fought the Covid-19 pandemic, as it spread across the expansive reservation which covers over 27,000 miles of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. This year, with the vaccination efforts pushing forward, I felt like it was finally safe to travel three hours south to Gallup, New Mexico upon invitation to get a first-hand experience of what the Silver Stallion has been up to…

Inside / Out at Why Cycles and Revel Bikes: A ‘Reel’ Good Time in Carbondale, Colorado

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Inside / Out at Why Cycles and Revel Bikes: A ‘Reel’ Good Time in Carbondale, Colorado

It’s not often that I have to buy a fishing permit to do a Shop Visit but when Why Cycles and Revel Bikes offered up a good time riding and fishing in and around the Western Slope city of Carbondale, Colorado, I couldn’t resist the offer. The collision of outdoor activities is my favorite and knowing a whole weekend of mountain biking and fly fishing awaited me, I was eager to see how it would play out, all while learning about the brands the entire bike industry seemed to be talking about…

Lonewolf Suspension: A 15 Year Adventure in the Making

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Lonewolf Suspension: A 15 Year Adventure in the Making

I walked into the shop and was greeted by an animated guy covered in tattoos. While talking to him, I noticed he was locked onto what I was saying. Paying attention to every detail or timid question I asked, he was ready to help me. Understanding that I was new to mountain bikes, he took the time to deconstruct explanations of the mechanics of a mountain bike. No matter how silly I felt asking a question or calling something by the wrong name, he was quick to politely correct me to ensure I was informed. As we walked through my bike’s features, I could tell he was extremely knowledgeable. Without any hesitation, he was able to explain things, while simultaneously working away. He was in a flow state of mind at this point and there wasn’t much that was going to take him out of it. This ability only comes with an expertise that is unmatched.

Colin and Citizens Warehouse: From Dystopian Basement to Ward 1 Office

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Colin and Citizens Warehouse: From Dystopian Basement to Ward 1 Office

The first time I found my way across the train tracks and into the strange little courtyard parking lot of Citizens I was awestruck. It was full of rusty old sculptures of flowers and birds and beautiful strange shapes welded out of discarded bike parts. I knew that I had found something that felt right in that deep way that feels like home and an adventure all at once. It was love at first sight and it only got better as I walked down a makeshift concrete ramp into the dark basement.  It took my eyes a few moments to adjust and focus on the chaos that surrounded me.  There were folks with bicycles in all states of disrepair and disassembly.  There were piles of wheels, rusty frames, milk crates full of thousands of derailleurs and brakes, and every bike part you could possibly imagine. Every surface was covered in murals and the bright colors were dimmed by the shadows of sparse fluorescent lighting. The staff was indistinguishable from the crowd and everyone seemed like they would be just as comfortable in a post-apocalyptic wasteland as in a basement in the center of Tucson Arizona, which come to think of it often resembles a scene from a dystopian novel.

Haute Neanderthal: Inside Rock Lobster Cycles

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Haute Neanderthal: Inside Rock Lobster Cycles

Just before Covid hit the US and races were canceled indefinitely, I had a conversation on a ride with good friend Brendan Lehman (who is sometimes, more often than not, known as the official unofficial mis-manager of the Rock Lobster race team) about joining the risk of Lobsters and racing on a custom frame built by Paul Sadoff himself. I’d been riding with the Rock Lobster crew here in Santa Cruz for several years and we all seemed to share a common bond in doing remarkably stupid endurance rides, putting mental and physical limits to the test for fun and adventure. Since I first laid eyes on one, there has always been something alluring to me about a classic, team issue, seafoam green Rock Lobster. Not only will I get to ride and race on this custom bike built for my body dimensions, but I also get the pleasure to ride it with the builder himself. As a photographer, I figured it would be great to capture the build of my custom frame from start to finish and get to know Paul a little better in the process.