This week’s Readers’ Rides photos are so sharp, we decided to share it as a full gallery. Hanson Little is an ex-pro BMX shredder and the hands behind Dark Realm Cycling, a brand that operates alongside his partner Vanessa’s Shop Realm. These two put out exceptional bags from their Austin, TX home. We’re featuring Hanson’s Crust Bikes Evasion Lite, a less-burly, lighter Evasion. This stripped-back version is quite the frame! Let’s look at it in detail below.
The story of this bike begins as most good stories do, with a group of kids, a backyard, and the bikes we got for X-mas. We would spend every afternoon after school modifying our bikes removing the brakes, and switching the wheels, twisting the forks, and reversing the handle bars all to suit our childish logic. Then we’d race them around the yard, until dark. To us, that was cycling. It wasn’t about going faster or longer, it was about making it our own.
That childish curiosity is how we’ve looked at the bike ever since. As a form of expression, discovery and freedom, it’s that idea that has taken us from the Frankenstein bikes in our backyard across the roads of the entire World. Our bikes are the tool that has allowed us to do what we love in the most beautiful places in the world with the most interesting people.
Last summer I was lucky enough to make my pilgrimage to Nutmeg Country while on a work trip to NYC. While getting a tour of Benedict’s “childhood home”, he showed me the bike pile in his basement. He looked at me and said, “Spencer, you need something classy, pick whichever frame you want.” Of course I picked the rusted Romanceür prototype…
When it was released, the Crust Bikes Evasion was a true to form game changer for production bikes but even then, some games should be changed up a bit. Matt from Crust Bikes has been leaking this project for a while. A stripped-down, lighter-ish, yet just as capable Evasion, dubbed the Evasion Lite.
Here is the take-away:
– Straight 1,1/8th Crust carbon fork with internal dynamo routing and brake cable routing. 100mm X 12mm.
– Flat mount front and rear.
– Fixed 142mm X 12mm rear dropouts. No rocker dropouts on this one, in efforts to shave weight.
– Integrated headset cups.
– All sizes up to the Large have 28.6 D.T and TT, the Large and Xtra-Large have a 28.6 TT and a 31.8 DT. All sizes are heat treated CR-MO
– The steel plate on the drive side has been axed, you guessed it, save weight. However by doing this it slightly minimizes the max tire clearance.
You can see more information regarding tire size and other tidbits at Crust Bikes.
Data-driven designers and developers will appreciate this chart, in which the author, Hobocross helps direct you to see which Crust Bikes model is right for you. Now, we’re not gonna post the whole thing, so head to their Instagram account, give them a follow and share this. It’s genius!
Behold, a timeless diamond in the crust. The “cantibolt” is the “sign a waiver” lightest tubed-cantilever-1” threaded offering from Crust Bikes; the first name in Boastfully Poor Business Decisions Index Weekly. A riff on the Jan Mule that so famously/infamously dons just about every other page of Bicycle Quarterly; the Crust version has coincidentally received praise from its muse… the sultan of supple; the prince of planing himself… Jan Heine uuuuuuvvv Bicycle Quarterly.
Yesterday, we took a peek inside Flat Track Coffee and Cycleast. While hanging out there, getting caffeinated and catching up with the shop employees, I got to chatting to Corey, one of the mechanics at Cycleast. Specifically about the sword on his Crust Bikes Evasion…
“Where’s your Dreamer?” “What happened to the green Dreamer?” “Do you ever ride your Dreamer?”
Since posting up the gallery of my Crust Bikes Dreamer, it’s been the bike people email me about the most. I get various questions, ranging from the ones I listed above, to questions on the Microshift and how I like the Dreamer platform. When I first got the bike, Crust Bikes and Darren Larkin, the builder of the Dreamer frames, were working on a few details. What I ended up with was a bike that was in-between versions and a few things weren’t working out so well. This prompted me and Darren to talk about the bike in detail and him offering to take it back to update and fix a few things. Read on below to find out what happened between these two models.
Up since the break of dawn, all day we’d been rolling on washboard roads. Yet it was hard to complain. We’d just spent a few days hiking around Ikara/Flinders Ranges National Park and it felt good to be headin’ north again. As the sun dropped toward the horizon I stopped for a bit of a feed. Dan rolled up beside me and we began to look for somewhere to camp. It was dead flat aside from the occasional patch of scrub. You could’ve pitched in anywhere but for some reason, it still felt good to choose a spot. It was then, with bikes stationary and no wind to speak of, that we were struck by the immense silence of our surroundings. This was our first proper encounter with the vastness of the Australian desert. The endless horizon. We had made it to the edge of the outback, and thousands of kilometers of dusty track lay in wait.
Those popular Crust Bikes patches can’t stay in stock but fear not, the team has stocked three colors of trucker hats with the patch already sewn on. They’re available in brown, yellow, or navy for $25 at CrustBikes.com!
The fires in Australia have decimated this ecologically diverse country and with them, 500 million animals have perished. A few more brands are working to raise money to help support the relief aid.
– Kumo Cycles and Simon Riviere have teamed up on these great Purist bottles. You can pre-order these at Kumo Cycles. If he sells 50, he’ll be able to set up a water station behind his house.
-Want to win a Crust frame? Head over to @wireswildliferescue, @redcrossau or any other Australian fire relief, donate $25usd or more, screenshot your donation and email it to Crust at firstname.lastname@example.org with fire relief in the subject line. Crust will draw a name out of a hat this coming Friday. Free shipping worldwide.
Wow! What a year it’s been. In the past twelve months, we’ve shot roughly 300 bikes. From gravel races, to NAHBS, the Philly Bike Expo and our normal travels, we really captured some unique builds and we’ve got a good handle on the bikes the readers of the Radavist enjoy checking out based on some key metrics.
Every year we try to do our best to sort through twelve months of archives to narrow down to this list. The first filter is the comment count, which we start at 50 comments. Then comes page views, with the minimum number being 20,000 views. Finally, we look at the social media chatter; including Instagram comments and how many times was the post shared across various platforms.
What we end up with is a list that is filled with a plethora of interesting, versatile, and quirky bikes. The only editorial decision I myself made was to omit reviews of stock bikes. So no Santa Cruz Stigmata or Cannondale Topstone this round!
Check out the full Top Ten Beautiful Bicycles of 2019 below, in no particular order…
Remember that fancy, lightweight, and supple rear tire Bené René used on his Crust Bikes Lightning Bolt build? The one where he got in the freezing water in his skivvies? How could you forget? Well, the testing period is finished with the Cava tire, a file tread, fast-rolling, gravel tire with a plump profile of 47.99mm wide on a 650b diaphragm. Head on over to Ultradynamico to see the specs on the Cava and to pick up one or a pair.
Philly Bike Expo isn’t just about high-end custom, builds, it’s also home to some pretty fine production steel bikes as well, albeit this one is made by Crust bikes out of a Reynolds 831 Tubeset. It has some special parts, special paint, and some one-off parts that haven’t existed ’til this moment. Matt built this romantic Romanceür with a Campagnolo shifter setup friction 11speed that make it through the whole 11speed SRAM X-Dome cassette. The only René Herse cranks set-up with a Made in Maine narrow-wide ring by Derrick Girard and it even has an old Shimano Sharkfin, a new 0deg Nitto X Crust stem, and a set of carbon clinchers. This steel bike is real…light even loaded. If you’re in the market for a new Crust hit them up, you may even be able to beg for that ring, but probably not.
Crust Bikes gives the people what they want and that ranges from frames, to complete bikes, accessories, parts, and yeah, handlebars. Their small-time operation allows them to pivot easily to follow trends and in a lot of ways, set the trends themselves. With road bikes permuting into even more capable off-road machines, a lot of the ideologies of mountain bike design and technology have found its way onto drop-bar bicycles. Sure, the obvious moves are those shorter-travel suspension forks but something that not many people have touched on is bar width.
That’s where Crust Bikes and Ultra Romance have really influenced and inspired the question: what is the appropriate width for a drop-bar bicycle? We already looked at my Sklar with the Towel Rack Bars but after much demand – and my own curiosity – I decided to try out the Made in Japan by Nitto Shaka Bar.
It has been a month since returning from the most recent trip to the US. That’s 4 weeks to digest all the colours, flavours, energy and emotions that come from every foray into the wild world of the United States of America. For this write up I am picking my favorite part – Soft time Tour d’Idaho w. Friends – Not the official name but rather what I recall it as. It was a modified version of the Idaho section of the newly formed Wild West Route. Pioneers of fresh route from Bikepacking Roots!
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.
What do you get when Bené, aka Ultra Romance, aka Ronnie McFly, aka Glistening Gandolf coerces an XC/roadie racer boi into embracing the long and slow lifestyle? Well, you’re about to find out. While Benedict and Sean from Team Dream were working closely on those nifty merino wool bib shorts, Benedict convinced Sean with his silver tongue to build up a dream bike. A veritable ex-roadie 2.0 cruiser, complete with all the iconic componentry of MTB and randonneuring’s heyday, which pinch me if I’m wrong, is always the present time. What you see here is the result of much toodlin’ and many man hours spent scrounging for parts. All aboard a Crust Bikes Lightning Bolt.