Category Archives: Shop Visit
In 1991, with the advent of Shimano’s XTR drivetrain, Doug White felt a pinch. That pinch turned into a financial punch and it was the first time since White Industries opened in 1978 that the small fabrication shop was worried about shuttering their operations. Ironically, the thing that saved White Industries from Shimano’s pursuit of mountain bike drivetrains was the single speed freewheel and the community that embraced SSMTB racing and riding.
Stories like that really resonate with me. Hearing about a small company – by comparison to Shimano anyway – make it after fears of breaking it thanks to a grassroots scene like SSMTB shows just how much companies like White Industries matter to us, the consumers within the cycling industry. (more…)
Snowbirding in Tucson at Tranist Cycles
Photos and words by Spencer Harding
This past March I wound up down in Tucson for some guiding work and planned some extra time to be there a little early to hangout with the nexus of bikey humans that seemed to congregating there. I happened to stop in at Transit Cycles for their monthly shop ride. The ride is co-hosted by Carl from Dragoon Brewing (find him for your first-beer-for-$1 token!) and the ride was a sporting 2 or so miles to the brewery along a bike path from the shop, my kinda ride really. It was an eclectic crowd with mainstays of the Tucson community, plenty of snowbirds from all over the country, and even a very pregnant pannier riding doggo.
Transit Cycles is nestled in the very southwest chic Mercado San Agustine on the west side of downtown Tucson. The shop is the culmination of the owner Duncan’s childhood dream to own a locally run bike shop. After bouncing around the west coast and finally ending up Tucson, Duncan opened Transit early in 2014. He was excited to offer the only place to buy cargo bikes in the city and a focus on adventure/touring bikes.
Today the shop is small but filled with many wonderful vignettes, from Mo’s personal artwork to a collection of more types of chain lube than I thought existed. The shop is currently just two employees, Duncan and Mo. A rarity in the cycling industry with a POC shop owner with a female head mechanic, a conscious decision to make space for gender as well as race. Outside of their monthly shop ride, Transit is a regular host to Swift Industries Stoked Spoke series, WTF rides, and intro bike-packing overnighters.
Next time you pass through Tucson, you know you want to escape winter everywhere else, make sure to swing by Transit Cycles and see what rad stuff is happening!
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This is something that I never thought I’d be able to say. How about you, anyone reading this been to Mavic‘s world headquarters in Annecy, France? If you have, you know the energy, you know the history, and you know just how much yellow can be crammed into one building. If you haven’t, I did my best to photographically document the place, like you too were getting the same tour I did! When you roll up in a replica Mavic Peugeot 504 Service Course vehicle, they roll out the yellow carpet for you, and they even feed you! (more…)
Ante Up! Ride That Trail! Ante Up! Put Time Into That Trail!
Words and photos by Kyle Kelley
A little while back, Kyle took Adeline down to Santa Cruz, California to ride some trails and hang out with Amanda, who works for the Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz. Currently, the team there is promoting their Ante Up trail campaign, so I suggest you check it out!
After finishing up with all the Grinduro antics this year, Adeline from Mercredi Bikes and I decided to head down to Santa Cruz to see friends and ride mountain bikes for a few days. Amanda Schaper and Scott Chapin said we were more than welcome to stay with them, but they wouldn’t be able to ride with us because they would both be working. Adeline and I were pretty disappointed, but Scott th2:30 PMd us that Santa Cruz Bicycles does a factory tour every day at 2:30PM, and we were more than welcome to come by for a visit. Then it clicked, I remembered seeing that Santa Cruz was doing a raffle with Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC), a trail advocacy group in Santa Cruz! And guess what’s special about MBOSC…that’s where Amanda works! Well…that’s not the only thing that is special about them, but that’s what got me thinking there should a be a story on The Radavist about this bike brand that supports trail advocacy and the people behind building and maintaining the mountain bike trails of Santa Cruz! (more…)
Alberto Masi and the Vigorelli Velodrome
Photos and words by Brian Vernor.
The Red Hook Crit is in Milan for the final race of the 2017 championship series. This race exceeds expectation every year I go. This year we once again had a private pre-race track day at the legendary Vigorelli Velodrome. In the velodrome itself is Alberto Masi’s frame shop, which I visited with many other racers and fans. His crew brought out some vintage bikes and dernies to run on the track. It was an amazing day blending cutting edge contemporary racing with the timeless spirit of Italian Cycling. Much thanks to Trimble Racing and the Red Hook Crit. Now, to the races…
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Size matters, at least when it comes to shops like this. One of my absolute favorite parts about traveling with a bicycle is visiting the local bike shop for whatever location is on my itinerary. During my recent trip to South Africa, I was delighted by their local shop, Woodstock Cycleworks. The first thing I noticed was the scale of this shop. It is massive, taking up half a city block, with giant, vaulted ceilings, exposed brick and wood trusses, with natural light so beautiful, any photographer would take great pleasure in shooting the interior. (more…)
Inside / Out at Oakland’s Rat King Frames
Words and photos by Spencer Harding
Approaching one of Oakland’s industrial area warehouses I am stoked to take note of the impressive lineup of old Toyota pickups and a VW bus. Smith meets me at the gate and I am unsurprised that he is another very tall frame-builder. I have a sneaking suspicion many tall riders got sick of finding frames that fit them so they just started making their own. Anywho, Smith gives me a tour of the large building that is split into smaller studios for painting, ceramics, and glass work. The main area has many kilns and people working various glass projects. The yard is filled with pups lounging and a family gutting some old camping trailers to make them home.
Smith’s shop, Rat King, is quite humble, just enough room for a few tables to weld on, some shelving, and a mill. He keeps detailed notes of time spent on each frame to track his efficiency and still has many hand-drawn frame layouts up on the walls. Smith started pulling out some of his first frames and laying them next to a current batch of thru axel touring machines. If one thing sticks out on most of his frames it seems to be an affinity for very large head tubes, in diameter and length. Those massive 44mm head tubes lead to some really amazing custom fork work as well. The progression appears to have been quick from the first-built-but-never-ridden track frame to his current small lineup of custom frames. My first trip to his shop I caught a few frames in progress and pre-paint and was stoked to return a few weeks later to see the finished product. (more…)
I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do with these photos after processing them last night, post-party. Then I realized something: this was such an undertaking for Sean and the whole team at the Cub House. When they first opened their small shop in South Pasadena, they had no idea how long it’d be up. The landlords told Sean they wanted to demolish the building, giving him 6 months in a tentative rental lease. It felt like they had only been open for a few months when they received their 30-day notice to vacate the premises, sending Sean on the look-out for a new space.
That’s when the old nursery in San Marino popped onto Sean’s radar. It was a huge space, but needed lots of work. I can’t emphasize that enough. It smelled of fertilizer and mildew, with all kinds of issues to fix, yet in a few months time, everyone at the Cub House turned it into a massive, open-air retail space, with lots of character and even more product lining the walls.
Last night was the soft opening, filled with food, drinks, and two DJs welcoming cyclists from all over LA county to visit their new space. This is meant to be a short introduction to the new Cub House. There will be much more to come, once the space’s buildout is finalized.
Til then, go by and see for yourself.
The Cub House
2510 Mission St
San Marino, CA 91108
“Today, under smoky skies, in 90-degree heat, I rode (alone) counterclockwise around the Nicasio reservoir. Eighteen years ago today (Saturday of Labor Day weekend) a habitually drunken driver killed Cece Krone. And I won’t forget how the judge dealt with it all (very low bail). The ‘murderist’ (whose ten-year-old boy was with her) was sloppily overtaking the weekly hammer ride, and in so doing rode up the stone embankment, crushing Cece and her bike. She’d been standing by her bike inside the white line, waiting for the group.” – Jacquie Phelan
Last weekend, on the anniversary weekend of Cece Krone’s death, we met up with Jacquie Phelan just outside of her hometown of Fairfax, California. We had just pedaled our way out of Samuel P Taylor, on a busier-than-average day in terms of traffic. Jacquie crested the hill wearing a tie-dye shirt and camel colored shorts. She rode a custom-decaled Specialized Ruby, with matching shoes and began riding next to each member of our touring posse, introducing herself and making small talk. (more…)
There are bike shops and there are bike show rooms, with the latter focusing on merchandising and the former on service. While there are permutations on the two, I really enjoy walking through the doors of a service shop. It’s something about the aromatic experience of chain lube and tires that makes me feel at ease, especially when it’s not my local shop. All it takes is a smiling face to make the environment welcoming. Luckily, at Black Mountain Cycles, that’s exactly what they’re selling: a welcoming and service-minded environment. In a place like Point Reyes, with a population of around 400, there are very few actual locals, so the owner of Black Mountain Cycles, Mike Varley prides himself in making everyone feel at home. (more…)