When the Salsa Warroad launched, it was marketed as an endurance road bike, to be ridden all day on various surfaces, both paved and dirt, yet I wouldn’t characterize it wholly as a gravel bike. Not by today’s standards. These days, bikes like the Ibis Hakka, the Santa Cruz Stigmata, and the Trek Checkpoint – just naming bikes we’ve reviewed here in the past year or so – fly that banner with their massive tire clearances. Yet, the Warroad has carved a niche in this ever-expanding marketplace where companies are making moves to make you use your wallet. Well, I’d like to think that we offer no-bull reviews here on the Radavist and after spending a considerable amount of time on this bike, I’m ready to do just that…
Cervelo‘s flagship gravel bike, the Áspero, just got a new build kit option with smaller wheels and higher volume tires. I got to check out this limited edition build kit while I was in Portland and I must say, the details on it are impressive. Read on for a more in-depth look.
18 lbs? 17 lbs? 16 lbs? What is weight anyway? Weight doesn’t matter but it doesn’t hurt either. Especially when your golden locks and bronze tan lines float effortlessly across white gravel roads, coating the roadside flora in a light layer of sedimentary seasoning. Dust, baby. It’s good for you. Yes, Ronnie Romance knows how to build a bike from a fine assortment of vintage components, exotic, supple rubber, and a bit of suntan oil. Case in point, his Crust Bikes Lightning Bolt is lighter than a soft whisper.
A bike that’s perfect for its one imperfection. Mick hasn’t ever owned a new bike. Not new, new. Like pulling a brand new frame out of a box, new. It’s not that he was opposed to new bikes, he just never really found a company or a frame that fit his ideologies. Over the past few months however, Crust Bikes‘ offerings have really piqued his interest. He works at Golden Saddle Cyclery, a shop that churns out balleur Crust builds all the time. When he saw the new Nor’Easter, it strummed his heartstrings.
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor
Teravail’s Rutland tire is the newest of their gravel-oriented tires, available in 38mm and 42mm sizes for 700c wheels, and 47mm for the 650b wheels – which is what I had the chance to try out for this review.
The Rutland is a relatively chunky dirt road tire, with tightly-spaced knobs in the center section, and more widely spaced intermediate and side knobs. It resembles a scaled-down version of a semi-slick mountain bike tire, and has the manners you’d expect of such a tire: relatively quick on any surface, but with enough bite to give confidence when the going gets loose.
Eric Koston – yes, that Eric Koston – is hooked on cycling. A few months back, he acquired a Santa Cruz Stigmata, much to the disbelief of internet cycling experts, who claimed he “wouldn’t ride that bike.” There’s something to note about these naysayers, particularly with cycling. At the time, I was bummed out on readers, and Instagram commentators from the Radavist’s audience. What is it about the sport, hobby, and activity of cycling that brews this discontent? At any rate, he proved them wrong. Eric rides bikes.
He shows up at the Golden Saddle Friday rides where he’s learned the ways of riding in Los Angeles, ascending the steep dirt roads of the Verdugo Mountains, tubeless woes, promptly taking a digger on the singletrack, getting his feet wet in the LA river, and cruising up behind the Hollywood sign.
Fishing analogies aside, Eric is hooked.
The skaters turned cyclists Eric hangs with all ride Rivendell, Crust, and All City with more upright riding positions. So he started shopping around and settled on the Gorilla Monsoon, prompting this insane build from the guys at Golden Saddle. All-City and Chris King sent in some goods, prompting the build. All these components are familiar to you, the readers of this site, yet seeing them all in one place makes me feel all tingly inside. Down to the Spitfire top cap! So yes, Eric rides bikes, he’ll ride this bike, and hopefully one day, his friends will take him bicycle camping.
If you want a custom build like this and live in Los Angeles, hit up Golden Saddle Cyclery.
It was only a matter of time! Speedvagen recently updated their catalog to include this 650b Rugged Road model, equipped to handle on and off-road riding with a plush, 650b tire. While this bike is on display at the Sram Road booth at Sea Otter, their product photos came out beautiful for those of us not attending the event this year. This 650b Rugged Road model is only available as a custom complete and features new Speedvagen custom chainstays, flat mount thru axles, 160mm rotors, and is coated in 2018 paint schemes.
$1000 deposits locks in your spot and Speedvagen are only making 111 full custom bikes this year across all custom models. See more information at their 650b Rugged Road site and a few more photos below!
Stephanie’s Blacked Out 650B Straggler
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor
For what is admittedly a bit of a mish-mash build, Stephanie’s Straggler has come together with a lot of character. The parts kit borrows heavily from other bikes, so you may very well recognize some pieces from other builds. It’s the collection of parts, and the stories behind all of them, that makes this bike something special.
Twin Six takes a good thing and makes it better, for those who prefer their bicycles blue anyway. The Standard Rando is available as a frameset or a complete, with builds starting at just $1,900. I know some of you have these bikes and have sung praises in the past, so share some of your thoughts in the comments.
The number of people that roll through Golden Saddle Cyclery with nice bikes on any given day is impressive. So impressive that often times, I shoot their bikes, dump the memory cards and literally forget about them until one day I stumble across the photos. Ian was visiting LA back in February from NYC, where he works in film. Knowing that LA has dirt roads for miles, he brought along his 650b Seven Cycles Evergreen S, a titanium “all-road” bike built for long days on dirt. His bike has a few trick details, including the sub fork race-Edelux light mount and those juicy Compass Babyshoe Pass tires. With the reliability of Shimano Ultegra hydro, solid Ritchey components, a titanium post and a vintage Flite, this bike is just begging for trouble in the mountains! If you see Ian, tell him LA says hi and to holler next time he’s in town!
As a bike shop owner, you see a lot of interesting customer projects roll through the doors. For Kyle, Woody, David and Ty at Golden Saddle Cyclery, it’s this steady influx of unique projects that keeps them engaged in the day to day shop routines. Once and a while, however, something rolls through that catches your eye.
How could you miss it? A purple pachyderm. An Elephant in the room…
The customer acquired this bike in a deal from its original owner, who rode it for a few years. It has a bit of beausage after extensive use. Once he acquired the frame, he began buying components piece by piece. Personally, I like the seemingly random parts including: made in the UK Middleburn cranks, a raw Haulin’ Colin rack, SON Edelux, Berthoud saddle, White Industries rear hub and Nitto cockpit.
If you’re thinking this frame looks familiar, John from Elephant used this platform as a beginning for the National Forest Explorer. They’re strikingly similar, save for the use of cantilevers on this bike, versus disc brakes and that color.
After Woody, the head mechanic completed this build, the guys at Golden Saddle Cyclery fell in love with it… and it’s easy to see why!
I can’t even begin to explain how stoked I am to see this. Turns out, this bike was from last April, a few weeks before the Urban Racer’s launch. So amazing! Head over to the All-City blog to read about this unique customer-customized Nature Boy Zona!
I can’t help but think it’s coincidence that Mitch from Map Bicycles posted this bike and called it a “Rambonneur” after my Rambo Rando reference last week. My mind is blown here. That bike looks like so much fun! See more at the Map Bicycles Flickr.
Photo by Eric Baumann
Wow. Just wow. Royal H Cycles‘ latest customer build defies time. As Bryan says “It’s like the last 50 years never happened”. Aside from a few details, I’d say that’s accurate. I love the bi-lam headtube, the impeccable vintage parts selection and the red bar tape.
See more of this absolutely stunning bike at the Royal H Cycles Flickr. Sheesh… I’ve got the vintage bug again.
Photos by Kyle Kelley
After passing away a few weeks back, Ezra Caldwell‘s work keeps popping up all over, miles away from his home studio in New York City. In fact, this bike was first built up by Golden Saddle Cyclery years back for Sean, a loyal customer living in Santa Barbara.
A singlespeed commuter is really all most people need. 650b tires provide a smooth ride and for medium sized frames, they look well-balanced proportionately. Exra had a way of proclaiming his approach with frame design by not really saying anything. While this bike may seem very straight-forward, the details in the metalwork are what first caught my eye.
The chainguard is attached by two 5mm bolts that actually pass through the down and seat tubes. Then the guard itself is incredibly elegant, especially when matched with the White Industries ENO cranks.
Stainless lugs and raw steel tubes make up the frame’s materials, with a good amount of patina forming on the steel. It must be the salt in the air. Santa Barbara is coastal, you know. The rear rack is custom, with wooden planks, which even out the overall build, especially when compared to Ezra’s signature wooden handlebars.
In a lot of ways, this bike is void of ostentation, yet meticulously detailed. Something that seemed to spill over from Ezra’s personality onto everything he touched.
Joshua Bryant is a frame builder out of Portland (who looks an lot like this dude Franco650b on Instagram). He specializes in road / touring / randonneur / dirt tourers and coincidentally builds out of the old Hufnagel studios off Burnside.
This frame in particular, dubbed the Fatrob, is a special bird. Built as part of a collaboration with Matt from Folly, it’s a 650b, tubeless, neon pink, SON-powered “get rad machine” – although I didn’t see Joshua get rad on it during this ride. We’ll have to follow up at a later date.
Why do I like this frame? How could you not? It’s pink and a playful mix of old and new school components. Oh and with the Plug, Joshua can keep his iPhone charged to get the ‘gram mid-ride…
I hate, hate, hate that I miss events like this but I love, love, love it when friends send over photos like this. While I couldn’t attend the Bike Builders, Beer and Bourbon event with Stinner Frameworks at Mission Workshop, Evan’s photos make me feel like I was there – minus the heckling.
Check out some great photos of Aaron and his new 27.5 “Fundero” MTB below.
This year at NAHBS, Breadwinner took home the best MTB award for their Bad Otis 27.5″ hardtail. It was also one of my favorites in the show and now you can order one at Breadwinner. Just be prepared to have this bike want to smash nonstop!