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Dust in the Wind: Six Months of Bliss on the Bice Biycles Wandrian 29er Gravel Bike

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Dust in the Wind: Six Months of Bliss on the Bice Biycles Wandrian 29er Gravel Bike

Back in the summer of 2011, Dario took off on a solo tour, from his home town to Rome and back. This tour totaled over 2072.7km and changed the way he looked at the world. Tours and long rides on a bike are like that. Those long hours pedaling can really bring out the creative juices. The endorphins, the sights, sounds, smells, and the people you meet on the road broaden your perspective. You’ll often hear of these experiences as being life-altering and for good reason.

While in Rome, Dario met the team at Associazione Ex-Lavanderia, a bicycle frame building school and when he returned home, be began welding. Many hours were spent perfecting the art and over the past few years, Dario has had many teachers to aid his torch. Mattia (Legor), Dario Pegoretti, Gianni Gilardi and Preda, Stucchi and Perego have all passed down their knowledge to Dario.

When the time was ready, he launched Bice Bicycles where Dario builds road, all-road, gravel, touring, and mountain bikes. I was set up with a review of his most interesting offering, the Wandrian, through Biciclista, the US distributor for Bice Bicycles and Ingrid Components.

Bailey and His Custom Moné Bikes Singlespeed 29er Touring Bike

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Bailey and His Custom Moné Bikes Singlespeed 29er Touring Bike

A few years back in 2018, I shot Bailey’s Salsa Woodsmoke, just before he took off on the Tour Divide. The bike was dialed at the time, with all the kinks worked out and he pedaled it from Canada to Mexico. Now here we are, two years later, Bailey has a shop in Santa Fe called Sincere Cycles and one of the brands he carries is Moné Bikes, based out of Silver City. As soon as he opened his shop, he ordered a custom Moné to once again take on the Tour Divide.

Believe the Hype: Hardtail Riding with the Zipp 3ZERO MOTO 29er Wheels

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Believe the Hype: Hardtail Riding with the Zipp 3ZERO MOTO 29er Wheels

When someone makes a big marketing claim, one that promises “compliance”, superb strength, and a ride quality unlike anything else on the market, I can’t help but roll my eyes. This reaction is a sentiment that I’m sure you, the readers of this very website, also feel! The cycling industry is always coming out with the next best thing and trying to get you to buy it. That’s why when I take on something to review, I like to really give it a go because if I’m going to tell you something is worth your hard-earned money, it damn well better perform.

Please don’t mind this introduction, I just wanted to explain how long I’ve been thinking about writing this review and how it’s going to seem that I was paid to sing the praises of these wheels. Spoiler alert, I was not and yes, these wheels really do live up to the marketing hype!

For the past 10 months, I’ve been riding the Zipp 3ZERO MOTO 29er wheels on my hardtail and I am a firm – pardon the pun – believer that these wheels are the best thing to hit the MTB market in some time.

Sage’s New Powerline Titanium 29er is Tuned for a 130mm Fork

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Sage’s New Powerline Titanium 29er is Tuned for a 130mm Fork

When it comes to a hardtail, it’s hard to beat one made from titanium, especially with all the boxes checked. The new Sage Cycles Powerline 29er features all the modern accouterment you’d expect from a modern bike, with a head tube angle of 67.5º, a seat tube angle of 73.75º and 50mm of bottom bracket drop, the Powerline is meant to be a nimble race bike, a bikepacking rig, or just your daily go-to mountain bike. Other details include 2.5″ 29er tire clearance, a 1x specific design with a 34t chainring, internal dropper routing, and boost spacing. Each Powerline is made in Portland, Oregon, with a retail of $3,100 for a frame. See more at Sage Cycles and see more photos below.

What Almost Was: the Mystic Alluvium 27.5+ Hardtail MTB

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What Almost Was: the Mystic Alluvium 27.5+ Hardtail MTB

Over the years, I’ve had the honor to throw my leg over many bikes, try them out, write a review, and then send them back. While the bikes return to their companies, the experience stays with me, and in the time I’ve been running this website, I’ve developed my own belief for what the perfect geometry for a hardtail mountain bike is. About a year ago, I began talking with Adam Sklar and Colin Frazer, who were about to launch a new production, US-made frame company called Mystic. We wanted to test the waters with a Radavist edition frame, dubbed the Alluvium. After chatting about numbers and branding, we felt like we were getting closer to releasing this frame. Then the reality of such an undertaking took hold and we killed the project.

The Beautiful Bicycles of the ENVE Open House Part 02: Sklar, Falconer, Sarto, Sage, Argonaut, Moots, Retrotec, Legor, Bastion

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The Beautiful Bicycles of the ENVE Open House Part 02: Sklar, Falconer, Sarto, Sage, Argonaut, Moots, Retrotec, Legor, Bastion

ENVE has been supporting frame builders, both in the US and internationally for years now and has developed a symbiotic relationship with these artisans, who choose to put their forks, bars, and wheels on customer’s build kit lists. With this catalog of talent at their fingertips, they decided to have an Open House to celebrate not only their factory and offices in Ogden, Utah but the frame builders who choose ENVE to build out their complete bikes.

Continuing yesterday’s coverage are Beautiful Bicycles from Sklar, Falconer, Sarto, Sage, Argonaut, Moots, Retrotec, Legor, Bastion.

Curtis’ Gold Rush Retrotec Funduro 29er

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Curtis’ Gold Rush Retrotec Funduro 29er

Downieville is a sleepy little town in the Lost Sierra. It was first known as “the Forks” due to its geographical location at the confluence of the Yuba and Downie rivers. Like many towns in the area, Downieville was founded in 1849 during the Gold Rush. Later, it was named after the town’s founder, Major William Downie. As you might imagine, this place has a sordid history during the lawless heyday of gold mining, including being the location for the only hanging of a woman in California history. Josefa Segovia was a pregnant Californio resident of the town and was lynched by an angry mob, accusing her of killing a miner in July 1851.

Nearby, in the Sierra Buttes, the largest gold nugget in California history was found in 1869. It weighed a whopping 109.2 pounds. Gold has always been on the lips of those who flocked to Downieville. Still, to this day, don’t be surprised to see active mining claims and people panning for gold at the confluence of the Yuba and Downie rivers.

Since 1995, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship has thrown a special little event in this town. The Downieville Classic features an XC race on Saturday and a Downhill on Sunday. The terrain is rocky, steep, and silty, making for a tough day on the bike no matter what you’re riding. While they’re by no means rare, seeing people riding and racing hardtails always causes a stir. So this year, I set out to photograph some of these bikes, including Curtis Inglis from Retrotec‘s own Funduro, a shining, gold nugget of a bike.

HED’s new Cross Country Raptor 29er Wheels

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HED’s new Cross Country Raptor 29er Wheels

HED has been making rims and wheels for a long, long time. 35 years in fact! They’ve taken all they’ve learned in that time and have developed a new cross-country wheelset, unlike anything they’ve made in the past. The HED Raptor 29er wheels utilize HED’s DNA profile and CNC drilling technology, offsetting the nipple bed to align with the spokes, this patent-pending technology is what HED has dubbed their Dual-axis Nipple Alignment (DNA) rim profile. This alleviates any uneven strain on the nipple and minimizes spoke bend, making for a lighter, stronger wheel with less maintenance. These new wheels utilize a wide, 25mm internal/31mm external width, making them ideal for 2″ – 2.5″ 29er race tires. Each rim is manufactured inside HED’s Minnesota factory from 148 hand-laid sheets of carbon, resulting in a 380g rim. These tubeless-ready clincher rims are then laced with 28 Sapim Laser spokes to a number of hub options including HED Brick House Hubs, Onyx or Industry Nine Hydra. The Raptor begins at $1,070.00 per wheel.

Head to HED for more!

Stayer Cycles: Raoul’s 29’er Dirt Drop MTB

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Stayer Cycles: Raoul’s 29’er Dirt Drop MTB

Stayer Cycles, a framebuilder from East London makes bikes of the off-road variety from production models like their Groadinger and Chigzag to full-on custom project like this. This is Raoul’s second bike from Stayer. This bike was built around two items: Bontrager 3.0” Chubacarbra tires and a front rack duffle bag from Dan at Envelope Bagworks. What Stayer sculpted from those two items is really something else. See more below, check out a more in-depth look at Raoul’s dirt drop bike, and read about more of their custom builds at Stayer!

Builder’s Camp in Bozeman: Alliance Titanium 29er

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Builder’s Camp in Bozeman: Alliance Titanium 29er

Each year at NAHBS, a selection of builders at the show lament on how we should actually ride bikes together more, not just talk about them once a year at the show. I get it. Sitting in a convention center, under that horrible lighting, discussing how a bike rides is worlds apart from actually riding out on the trails. This year, Adam Sklar took the initiative to plan a weekend and then some of fun times in Bozeman and sent out an open invite to numerous builders. His idea was to expose people to the culture here, the town’s local builders, eats, drinks, and shops, in an event playfully dubbed the “Builder’s Camp.” Squid, Breadwinner, Retrotec, Falconer, Horse, Alliance, and Strong, along with a few other locals, all prepared for 5 days of non-stop riding and relaxing in this beautiful mountain town.

Alliance Titanium 29er

Erik from Alliance makes some damn fine bicycles, yet they have flown under the radar for me and I’m not sure why. Perhaps because I’m often overwhelmed at NAHBS and don’t spend enough time really vetting the display booth. Each year, when Erik has displayed, I’ve missed his booth. But what I will say is after shooting this bike and watching Erik shred it in Bozeman, those days are over. Alliance is perhaps one of the most underrated, or maybe “unknown” is the correct nomenclature, titanium frame builders in the US.

Look, this bike doesn’t use plus tires, or the latest fancy mountain bike group, or carbon wheels, and that’s why I like it so much, because all that flashy stuff isn’t there to distract from Erik’s impeccable craftsmanship. Also, how cool is that Fix It Stix holder?
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Follow Alliance on Instagram and follow along with the #BuildersCamp hashtag.

Sam’s Sklar 29er is Headed for the Colorado Trail – Morgan Taylor

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Sam’s Sklar 29er is Headed for the Colorado Trail – Morgan Taylor

Adam Sklar has been building bikes for five years now. Among his first customers was Sam, a good friend from high school. Sam had Adam build him a single speed 29er, but Sklar #4 has since been through many iterations over the years. Recently, Sam was feeling like his original Sklar, while abundant with character and nostalgia, was ready to give way to a new Sklar. Adam’s style has certainly developed over his time building bikes, and Sam wanted to honor his friend’s success by commissioning another frame.