I’m sure CX Hairs has a full queue from the CX NATS coming through their YouTube in the next few days, but let’s kick it off with the men’s singlespeed race.
Our thoughts go out to everyone in California who have lost their homes, their businesses and their local trails to these ravenous fires. The boys down in Goleta, a small town outside of Santa Barbara, at Stinner Frameworks were lucky. Real lucky. I don’t think anyone needs to remind them of that. With the Thomas fire reigning in heat, as California’s second largest fire on record, the shop at Stinner was busy preparing their own fire. This Romero frameset was hand-delivered to the Cub House last Friday so that Eric would be able to spend his Holiday break riding the mountains of Los Angeles.
As part of Stinner’s “The Collection,” this magenta and cyan coat was done in-house at Stinner, at no additional charge. These “stock” paint options usually offer a bright, colorful option, paired with a more subdued variant. This year’s other option is a matte desert tan and grey paint job, similar to the livery on the Stinner Hardtail I reviewed earlier this year.
Eric’s choice in build kit on this stock-sizing Romero features a Deda F-64 DB fork, which offered me something different to document, in what is usually a sea of ENVE forks. He also chose a KMC chain to match the paint, along with a combination of silver and gunmetal components like Onyx Hubs and a Chris King Headset, with a Paul stem. My favorite, perhaps unintended matching bit is the SRAM Force protective film on the rear derailleur. I couldn’t bring myself to pulling that off, though.
Is it one’s riding that evolves first? Or is it the bike that is the catalyst for evolution? Bicycle design, much like one’s riding style, evolves over time, triggered by a series of environmental or equipment changes. Perhaps your everyday singletrack just gets tiresome and you’re looking for a way to change it up, or maybe your road bike gathers dust during ‘cross season. At some point, riders look for excuses to shake things up, as a break from the painful monotony of riding bikes by the rules and luckily for us, the offerings from companies follow suit, evolving their lineup in the same sequence.
A number of brands have taken a look at their ‘cross bikes and asked what the next step in evolution would be, or perhaps, what it should be. What seems like ages ago, we were all riding singletrack and fire roads on 32mm tires, burnin’ brake pads as our cantilever or v-brakes smoked our sidewalls. Then came disc brakes, which offered more control, options for larger tires and other benefits. All the while, frame builders were experimenting with multiple wheel size options, brought along by the popularity of disc brakes. Soon 27.5″ (650b) wheels began popping up on drop bar ‘cross bikes, yet these weren’t really “cross” bikes anymore. They had evolved past that.
Ibis recently took a long hard look at their classic ‘cross frame, the Hakkalügi. These frames started out as steel, cantilever bikes, marked by classic Ibis stylings and most notably, the Mike Cherney fabricated “hand job” cable hanger. Like Ibis’ mountain bikes, once carbon fiber became the preferred material, the Hakkalügi went through the motions, too. Carbon canti, then carbon disc but the whole time, these bikes stayed true to classic ‘cross frame tire clearances and geometries, always feeling like outliers in the brand’s catalog. Ibis knew it was time for a change.
Over the past week, nature flipped a switch. Suddenly, like migrating birds, the 100º weather had flown to the southern hemisphere, leaving behind clouds, cooler temperatures and even traces of precipitation. Basically, the perfect ingredients for successful dirt bike rides. All summer, I’d stuck to shorter, partially shaded rides, or banked on getting in my mileage before the heat of the day and now I felt comfortable taking off up my favorite dirt climbs.
This is the eleventh layout of the Radavist 2017 Calendar, entitled “Night Vision” Shot with a Canon 1dx and a 24-70mm lens in the Verdugo Mountains, Glendale, California.
“Just cuz the sun is setting earlier and earlier doesn’t mean you can’t shred all day.”
For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2017 Calendar – November. Please, this photo is for personal use only!
(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)
The mobile background this month is from Mount Lowe Railway Click here to download November’s Mobile Wallpaper.
River City continues their Cross Crusade video coverage with the race from Alpenrose.
The Open UP has had quite the reception across the world, bringing in a high-tech carbon layup mixed with an innovative design and aesthetic all its own. Admittedly, it’s the UP’s aesthetic that I’ve never been a particular fan of. Not so much the frame design itself, but up until now, I’ve yet to see an UP in a color that I liked. The orange was too much for me. You’re seeing where I’m going here, right? For Raoul, the distributor for Open, it was too much for him too…
Paul’s Crusty ‘Cross Band is back with the third edition of Rock Lobster Cup! The Lord of the Claws has let it be known that: Oct. 22nd at Wilder ranch we will indeed have a race. Even the the parks department has confirmed that all systems are go. his will probably be the most grueling CX event on the West Coast with 288 ft. of climbing per lap. It’ll be loose, bumpy climbing that starts out steep. This could become a legendary event and might set a precedent for more CX events at Wilder ranch in coming years. Proceeds from the race go to benefit Juniors Cyclocross Development program.
The Rock Lobster Cup is capping the field at 250 riders, so get in while you can!
Head over to the Bike Reg event page now to sign up.
As far as modern carbon fiber ‘cross bikes go, there are some that don’t do it for me and then some that pique my interest. While Canyon’s aesthetics might not be for everyone, the Inflight looks great, in my opinion anyway. With builds ranging from $4,000 to $2,000 for a frameset, these bikes are competitively priced and as previously stated, look damn good. See more at Canyon. Not sure when these will hit the US, but I’d be willing to bet they will!
I hope you went back and picked up that RedBull can! ;-)
Boulder, Colorado-based Matter Cycles knows a thing or two about dirt. The Boulder area is a veritable playground for riders looking to keep their bikes dusty. Collin Schaafsma has an extensive background shredding in the Colorado mountains, and if bikes work well there, chances are, they’ll excel just about anywhere, including Los Angeles.
Coincidentally, Collin’s web guru, Grant just relocated to LA and has been steady shredding this Wolfbeard all-road bike. With 43mm Bruce Gordon Rock N Roads, Shimano Ultegra and Reynolds wheels, Grant’s got a do-it-all bike, with plenty of reliability built right in. Right now, it’s set up as his daily dirt road bike, but with a few add-ons, it’ll transform into a touring rig.
I’ve ridden alongside this bike for weeks now, and have been meaning to take some environmental portraits, in the woods, but I’ve yet to have the chance to, so this perty blue wall will do for now…
With ‘cross season right around the corner, Speedvagen unveiled its new Ready Made race frame. These stock-sizing frames come in two Team Issue bike kits, the CX-R with SRAM Force 1 and CX-X with Shimano 1x and begin at $5,995 with three paint options. The pre-order is open for two weeks (July 18th – Aug 1st). Once the window is closed, they’re going to move into production and get your bike to you in time for Cyclocross season. Check out more photos and specs below and head over to Speedvagen for ordering information.
At the heart of Niner is racing and while they’ve made a big push to expand their bikes from this lineage, they still know how to design one sick race machine. The newly updated BSB (blood, sweat and beer) 9 RDO is now available. These bikes are Di2 ready with seat post battery compatibility, feature a flat mount disc caliper design, thru axles, C5 Carbon warranty for 5 years and Niner’s no-nonsense race geometry. These are available in limited quantities, so holler at your Niner dealer for ordering. See more information at Niner!
The 70’s were the automotive paint design heyday, ATMO anyway. Earth tones and bright hues intersected along cars, vans and trucks via a network of chevrons and stripes. While many manufacturers embraced these trends, it was the niche hobby market who took it to the next level. A whole culture emerged with vans donning intricate designs, long before #VanLife, yet it was the off-road culture that has always piqued my interest, most notably the baja bugs and trucks. Jeremy from Stinner Frameworks has always had an affinity for the early 70’s Baja Bug paint designs, ultimately these became the inspiration for this two-wheeled off-road machine.
The latest from Fat Chance beckons you to get off those busy paved roads and off onto some dirt. With two wheel size clearance options, a steel Yo Eddy or carbon fork option and plenty of paint choices to make this Chris Cross bike your own. See more at Fat Chance.
If you’re in SLC for NAHBS and want to ride your bike on Friday night with a lot of people in a somewhat competitive environment then go to this event!
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.