#city-bike

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Rawson’s Schwinn Le Tour Gateway Bike

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Rawson’s Schwinn Le Tour Gateway Bike

Gateway bikes. We’ve all had one. You know, that first bike that got you hooked on riding bikes and expanded your horizon into the world of cycling. When the fixed gear craze was sweeping cities all over the world, Rawson bought this Schwinn Le Tour while he was living in Ohio. He immediately converted it to a fixed gear, stripping the bike of all the necessary components, as per the norm at the time and rode it like that for a few years before eventually buying a road bike, then a gravel bike, and a mountain bike.

Curtis Inglis’ 2010 Oregon Manifest Retrotec City Bike

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Curtis Inglis’ 2010 Oregon Manifest Retrotec City Bike

Way back in 2010, an event called the Oregon Manifest pinged a selection of frame builders to solve common usage problems with bikes. This included cargo carrying specifications ranging from the large and out of the ordinary, to the simple task of carrying a change of clothes. It just so happened that in 2010, the Oregon Manifest’s task was to carry just that. For Retrotec and Inglis Cycles‘ Curtis Inglis, he approached this challenge by first looking for inspiration within his own shop.

Curtis had this Salsa quill stem, back when they were made in California in the shop of Ross Shafer, whos shop, and employees, like Sean Walling influenced Curtis’ own frame building operations. We’ll look at that more in-depth tomorrow. For now, let’s focus on this bike. So there he was, with this stem that needed a home. He had an idea of what the frame was supposed to look like and pinged his buddy Jeff Hantman to make some half wheel fenders with the Retrotec “guy,” smiling on the back and a halftone fade.

As for the frame, well, that’s the easy part for Curtis. He got to work, knowing the design challenges of the frame including the need to carry a spare change of clothes for the party after the show, perhaps harkening to the need for commuters to have nice “work” clothing once they’ve rolled into their office job. Curtis brought white loafers, a pair of plaid pants that he converted into nickers. He then had Travis at Freight Baggage to include the scraps of plaid into the rack bag still being used on the bike today. Curtis even painted the Pass and Stow rack to match! Chuey even made a cycling cap of this material. Bottom line: Curtis thought out all the details for this bike, including many of his friend’s work in his final product.

This bike has a new use now; Curtis carries their dog Coco around town with his wife on their city cruises. I wish I could have gotten a photo of that during my stay, but Curtis had his hands full with unexpected life events.

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Follow Retrotec on Instagram.

Carlos’ Spectre Fab Commuter with Sim Works Fun 3 Bars

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Carlos’ Spectre Fab Commuter with Sim Works Fun 3 Bars

Sometimes, you come across a part and literally imagine a bike that would best suit it. This mindset seems backwards but it happens all the time. People justify a complete bicycle over a vintage French chainguard or a set of fenders, I’ve even seen people obsess over a crankset, yet in this case, it was the Sim Works Fun 3 bars that got Carlos‘ brain ticking over a bike. Having extensive experience fabricating bicycle frames, he found himself in the unique position to begin making his own bikes. It’s one of those things where if he had more free time, it probably would have already happened, but having to work full-time as a fabricator has put a damper on his plans of launching a company. For now, all he has is a name, a direction, and this bike.

Spectre Fab will eventually be a no-nonsense, tig-welded, custom and stock frame company specializing in bikes that like to get thrashed and used, not abused. This bike, in particular, is meant to handle like a fun, zippy track bike but with gears, bigger tires and yeah, the unique and fun riding position of the Fun 3 bars.

Carlos has taken this bike all over the dirt roads in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and then some. It’s his go-to commuter, cutty singletrack machine, with plenty of details to make even someone like me spend extensive time investigating it, piece by piece. I love bikes like this because ultimately, it’s their owners who have the idea, but it’s the bike that does all the talking.

Keep an eye on the Radavist for future updates as events warrant on Spectre Fab.

Don’t Call it a Cross Bike: the Caletti Scrambler Flat Bar City Shredder

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Don’t Call it a Cross Bike: the Caletti Scrambler Flat Bar City Shredder

Ok, maybe you can call it a ‘cross bike, because that’s truly what it is at its roots. Before we get ahead of ourselves here, let’s take a step back. There are stigmas attached with the words “commuter” “city” “townie” and even “cross” bike. There are certain checklists that apply to each of those permutations. The most notable being fender and rack provisions. Even with the latter, “cross” purists want drop bars and 32mm tires for a bike to be true to its UCI roots. This bike has no provisions for racks or fenders, is sold with a 40mm tire, flat bars and a bell. It’s not as much as it is. It is whatever you want it to be.

Rick Hunter’s Trusty Rusty Singlespeed Cruiser

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Rick Hunter’s Trusty Rusty Singlespeed Cruiser

Bumping into Rick Hunter in Santa Cruz, you never know what you’re going to get. In terms of his bike anyway. You’ll always get a smile, a handshake, an offer of a beer or a piece of fruit. Rick’s full of surprises and sometimes, that means he’s riding a beast you’ve never seen before. One made from steel, in his shop, where he painstakingly hand mitered the tubes and milled out random bits of hardware. This rusty singlespeed cruiser has been around the block over the years, first being handed off to Cameron Falconer and eventually it rolled back into Rick’s possession where he recently just rebuilt new wheels for it.

It looks like a hunk of metal from afar, but upon further inspection you can really see the thoughtfulness that went into its design. My first thoughts were how even though this was one of Rick’s early bikes, it still looks strikingly similar to the Bushmaster we saw last year around this time. Ok, maybe it’s not that similar, but the lines of these two bikes are undeniably a Hunter Cycles creation.

Thanks for the nectarine and chats Rick! See ya again soon.

Edit: the gallery is fixed. Sorry about that!

The 2015 Bike and Beer Festival: Breadwinner Arbor Lodge Porteur

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The 2015 Bike and Beer Festival: Breadwinner Arbor Lodge Porteur

I’m here in Portland, Oregon attending the Bike and Beer festival at HopWorks Urban Brewery. While I’ll be documenting many of the frames, I’ll also be capturing the general vibes. For now, let’s just check out some bikes!

For Breadwinner Cycles, it may appear their bikes are designed for racing and ripping. That’s not the case for their Arbor Lodge porteur bike. These do-it-all city commuters are designed to pack versatility in a nimble steel frame while still holding true to that Breadwinner aesthetic. My personal favorite detail is the custom porteur rack and the use of the White Industries VBC cranks.

The 2015 Bike and Beer Festival: Igleheart Mixte City Commuter

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The 2015 Bike and Beer Festival: Igleheart Mixte City Commuter

I’m here in Portland, Oregon attending the Bike and Beer festival at HopWorks Urban Brewery. While I’ll be documenting many of the frames, I’ll also be capturing the general vibes. For now, let’s just check out some bikes!

Some would argue that one’s best work is done for their partner. In this case, Chris Igleheart‘s latest bike may not be his best in your eyes, but if you pay attention to the detailing, you can see his heart not only went into this creation, it poured over it.

Fran’s bike has everything considered.

A SON Hub, Edelux lamp, beautiful hand-shaped chain guard, Alfine internal hub, nice cushy tires, excellent fit, stem-mounted bell, beautiful stem, segmented fork crown and many other details make it unique. My favorite details are the heart brazed into the top tube split and the fender’s unique coating with a 3M paint, which if I had a flash I would have tried to document more clearly.

Look, Igleheart’s legacy extends well beyond this bike for his wife. He’s built frames for some of the most renown builders, but you see something else in this bike. You see a special love…

Jason’s Hufnagel Porteur City Bike

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Jason’s Hufnagel Porteur City Bike

Jordan Hufnagel took a short sabbatical from bicycle frame building to take on his transcontinental motorcycle trip with West America partner James Crowe. Before taking off on the road, or dirt rather, he produced a run of porteur bikes. These bikes may look similar, clad in their matte black with gumwall 650b tires, but each one was specially tailored to his client’s needs and potential uses. Hufnagel has an aesthetic he likes to hit, ever-so precisely.

As I was flipping through Instagram, I noticed an newly-built olive-drab disc bike on Jordan’s Instagram. No less than a few minutes later, in rolls Jason with his Hufnagel.

Jason snagged one up as soon as he saw the pre-order go live and to be completely honest, it’s my favorite one I’ve seen. Having shot a few for the Radavist already, I was impressed with the detailing that went into Jason’s build: clean lines, custom fender brackets, custom racks, custom stem, matte black paint, clean generator routing and that awesome pannier…

See for yourself in the Gallery!

Speedvagen: Golden Urban Racer

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Speedvagen: Golden Urban Racer

If there was ever to be a gilded knight in the Speedvagen guard, it would have to be the Urban Racer. This bike was the most polarizing figure in the small framebuilding community that I can remember. I will say however, over the past few weeks, I’ve seen a number of people take the Urban Racer platform as inspiration to build their own budget versions. When’s the last time you can recall a small side project like the UR have an effect like that?

After the initial release, Sacha and the folks at Speedvagen made this insane gilded Urban Racer for a client and the photos pop like the Vegas skyline.

Sure, this bike isn’t for everyone, but can all appreciate something as insane as this, right? And it’s made by hand in Portland, Oregon. Check out more photos at the Speedvagen Flickr.

1960’s De Marchi City Bike

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1960’s De Marchi City Bike

From the backcountry of Alberta, Canada to the Italian countryside…

It’s been a whirlwind month here at the Radavist and so before this beaut gets lost on a hoard drive, I really wanted to share it. This bike was owned by Emilio De Marchi and still resides in their storefront which has been here since 1951. The frame itself is from the early 1960’s and is labeled under the brand’s name De Marchi. This cruiser was made in the same town as their garments from a small time builder of which no one could remember his name.

Over the years, it got updated with a more modern mix of parts including Campagnolo GS and NR. Most impressive to me are the droves of old Italian men who ride bikes like this in Conegliano, where the bicycle is the way of life for many people.

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Speedvagen: What is the Urban Racer?

Quite simply put:

The Urban Racer is the latest offering in the Speedvagen line, lightweight with nimble handling and dialed race fit geometry. Designed as a super commuter, getting you around town as fast as possible. Minimal, modern and shred ready, the Urban Racer is the answer for the discerning cyclist who wants to go fast and take chances in the city.”

Great video Field Theory Pictures!

FBM Raconteur City Bikes

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FBM Raconteur City Bikes

FBM has been working on their Raconteur city bikes for a while now. As a small, independently owned, domestic production bicycle company, it’s hard to front all the money up front for a full size run, so they’re taking pre-orders via a Kickstarter campaign. Pricing is more than fair, at $750 for a frame and completes ranging from $1700 to $2,360 so if you want to place an order, do so now!

Expected delivery is March 2015. These look great guys!

Fairdale’s 2015 Drop Weekender Looks Great

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Fairdale’s 2015 Drop Weekender Looks Great

Looking for a touring rig for under $1,300? Check out Fairdale’s new Drop Weekender. Like all of their 2015 bikes, they’ve written up an explanation on the Fairdale Blog. For a play by play of this bike’s bells and whistles (just kidding, it doesn’t come with a bell or a whistle), head over and check it out.

My favorite is still the Goodship!

Cast Your Vote for The Oregon Manifest’s New Bike Design Project

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Cast Your Vote for The Oregon Manifest’s New Bike Design Project

This year, the Oregon Manifest changed gears into the Bike Design Project. The idea was simple: five cities, five builders and five design offices would propose, construct and test a bicycle that was born from the DNA of their city’s unique demands.

Chicago’s MNML x Method Bicycle is pictured above, see the rest below and head over to the Bike Design Project to cast your vote. Which one do you think is my favorite?