Welcome to the… Well, you get it and Crust Bikes get it. They get that sometimes super kooky things just work, dare I say, better. Everyone laughed at the 66.6cm wide bars, but people love them and the same can be said about their Jungle Bars. As I like to tell people, don’t knock ’em til you rock ’em. Available in raw with a clear coat or black to match your touring build. Check out more details and swoop a pair up at Crust.
Look, we all get a bad case of Rubber Side Up from time to time, but Matt from Crust Bikes got it bad. Real bad. An $11,069 surgery bill bad. Bad enough to potentially lead to the end of Crust Bikes as we know it if we can’t help him out. I’m not asking for a handout here, more like support and support can come in the form of buying products, or a frame, or hell, even donating a few bucks to his Go Fund Me, but as Benedict points out in this heart-felt Instagram post:
“Matt is an Australian citizen with no health insurance in this country. His “Transitioning Alien” status doesn’t allow re-entry back in if he were to leave, sinking crust, and separating him from his beloved wife, Cheech.
He needs 2 costly surgeries and just got a huge bill for all these new #romanceur frames”
Yes, two surgeries and that ain’t cheap. Let’s pull together and do what communities do in these moments. xoxo
I’ve been sitting on the photos from our stint on the Trans Ecuador Mountain Bike Route last summer trying to figure out what to write about. My photos tell their own story, so in lieu of the usual route discussion and tales of arduous climbs, I wanted to open a platform for Ariel to speak of a personal encounter she felt like sharing. This was a rather personal and charged experience, one I was not present for nor photographed. While there has been plenty of discussion about privilege in visiting developing countries on bikes, I feel in Ariel’s instance there was an authentic opportunity to educate and have a cultural exchange. The little things in your pocket shouldn’t be taken for granted, they have the ability to affect how someone experiences the world… -Spencer
The 11K elevation was too much for my lowland and desert accustomed body, I struggled to acclimate. Towards the second half of our trip, I started experiencing altitude sickness to a crippling degree. It was difficult to ride or even walk my bike. Short of breath and extremely tired, altitude sickness got the best of me, which lead to our painful separation with Spencer.
Trail Angels on the Hellish Hunt 1000
Words and photos by Jorja Creighton
The Hunt1000 is a brutal ride. “A 1,000 km journey through the rooftop of Australia along backcountry trails, across exposed high plains, through snow gum woodlands, and among tall native forests. The trail links Canberra to Melbourne with limited resupply points and some of Australia’s best high country campsites.” – Hunt Bikes
Lovely… but that description does not include the tears, the sense of panic, search for escape, and loss of confidence the route brings – but like anything that makes you want to quit bikes – it’s worth it.
Double dipping on brands isn’t something I like to do very often. What I mean is yesterday’s gallery featured Crust Bikes and today’s – obviously – is too. What I can’t ignore are the impressive details that went into this build and how much of a joy it was to shoot this bike. So I’m riding this wave of emotions and posting this bike immediately.
Scott’s Romanceur might just be my favorite Crust Bikes I’ve seen to date. Sorry, Poppi! So what makes this build so special? Well, for one, its build kit is well thought out, but not by any means standard. The components used are a healthy mix of classic and current, with a heavy nod to French constructeur builds. Gilles Berthoud is the brand of choice for all the leather work, yet the mix of Japanese drivetain components, updated with modern Wolf Tooth accoutrement. For instance, the Roadlink allows the use of older XTR derailleurs with cassettes like the E Thirteen wide range TRS+, all operated by a friction shifter. The classic Dura Ace cranks run a modern Wolf Tooth ring. From there, the build just gets better, with purple and blue anodized bits, including Phil Wood’s rear road hub and various bottle cage bolts. The front SON completes the hub selection, which are laced to Stans rims and rolling on Compass tires. These wheels are covered by Sim Works fenders with Gilles fender flaps. A Sinewave lamp is held to the Nitto rack by a chain ring mount hack. The Velo Orange bars are held by a Nitto stem, with a Cane Creek headset, and Mafac levers are paired with Paul Klamper brakes. One of my favorite details is the ultralight Tune skewer on the rear!
I can’t even describe how good this bike looks in person and can’t wait to see how it looks after a few months of use. Scott, if you’re reading this, I hope you enjoy riding this bike as much as I did shooting it!
If you want a custom build like this and live in Los Angeles, hit up Golden Saddle Cyclery.
I am the tiniest diva on two wheels. When I say I’m a diva, I’m not trying to be cute, I am all capitals, in bold DIVA. I’m the one who gets someone to carry the heavy stuff and do all the physical work because I can’t be bothered. I love my lavender candle, my bed, and my Netflix chill time. I prioritize looking good and feeling 100. With all that being said you can see how bikes and bike touring don’t exactly fit into my idea of a good time. I didn’t choose a life of bikes, I fell in love with Matt and consequently married into this crazy shit. The morning we exchanged vows I inherited Crust Bikes as the loosest, most flamboyant adopted child I never anticipated having. Matt and bikes until I die.
“Where did all the mermaids go?” asks the new Crust Bikes Bombora and if you pay attention to the beautiful graphics, designed by Rick Hayward, and head badge on this touring bike, you might be able to decipher the story. The Bombora is the latest bike to pop onto the plump Crust Bikes lineup, designed around a 27.5 x 2.4″ tire and road cranks. Is it a light tourer? Or a randonneur? Or a dirt tourer? Bikepacking rig? City bike? Who knows. As Matt from Crust Bikes puts it;
“Named the Bombora, this machine is pretty groundbreaking, in that it is the first two-wheeled unicycle, designed around 2.3-24 650b tires and road cranks. Man, I cant hype shit up. Its just a bike that is fun to ride and in my opinion looks nice. The pictures show what it’s about I guess.”
Rightfully so. There’s more information to follow on the Bombora, but for now, let’s try to decypher this bike’s meaning – it’s place in the universe – by investigating more photos below.
“I just wanted a touring bike.”
That was Jimmy’s response when I asked him to sum up his Crust Bikes Dreamer build. The thing is, this is not just a touring bike and whether Jimmy wants to admit it or not, a lot of thought went into this bike. Just look at the build kit!
Serena and I were sitting on the blacktop overlooking Dodger’s stadium and downtown L.A. after an evening ride, and somewhere around the middle of the half pint of Hornito’s “I wanna do the southern part of the Baja Divide but like… make it into a surf trip” fell out of my mouth. “Aw hell yeah. Let’s go.” “Ok.”
From mid-October to late December, our plans shifted almost weekly. Within two weeks of our start date, Serena and Spencer finally bought their tickets. 24 hours before we flew to Cabo, Serena’s bike and gear came in the mail. In every sense, it was a “fuck it, we’re doing it live” trip.
We jammed fingers and sliced open our feet before we even got on the road. We got our periods in the middle of the Sierra la Lagunas and only made it 35 miles in two days. We rode with 8ft surfboards from Todos Santos to San Pedrito and Cerritos to surf whitewater and 2-3 foot shin-slappers. We washed our menstrual cups in rather suspect water. We couch-surfed and almost wept when we ate vegetables. We “dumped ‘em out” at the ocean, a lot. We wound up in a kite-surf wasteland that was full of margarita bars and too much Jack Johnson playing everywhere. We took acid and played on cliffs and drank all of some sweet old folk’s tequila and smoked all of their weed. We pet so many dogs. We almost gained a horse, twice. We used our words and didn’t fight or hate each other at the end. We got sand fleas.
Writing product description takes finesse, yet clearly, Matt from Crust Bikes really enjoyed writing about their newest frameset, the Lightning Bolt:
“The Lightning bolt is a dedicated low trail randonneur frame. Unlike the rest of our frames this one is designed with pavement in mind. Max tire clearance is 650b X 48c. Compatible with both 1X, 2X or even triple chainring set up. Main tubes are made from some pretty thin wall Renoylds 853, which I noticed a bunch of people wanted the Romanceur to be, so here it is. Will it plane I hear you ask? It flexes in such a harmonic resonance, you will think you are surfing Kelly slaters wave pool riding a Mick Mackie flex tail fish, doing the smoothest high lines this side of Derek Hynd at J.Bay, it just planes that good! What am I talking about I hear you ask? Contact Jan Heine to find out, be sure to mention Kelly Slaters wave pool, I mean come on people! How is no one else trying to make a bike ride like a surfboard on an artificial wave?”
See more at Crust Bikes!
Someone asked me once what Matt from Crust Bikes was like in person. Well, here’s a quick look at the Australian nomad.
Shorter is better sometimes, and for those times, there is Crust Bikes’ new 30mm fillet stem. Perhaps you want your bars 66.6cm wide and your stem as short as possible? Or maybe you ordered the wrong size bike for your t-rex arms. Whatever the reason, even if it’s experimentation, Crust has the solution to the problem you may or may not have known you had. These US-made stems come in 60mm or 73mm rise and in a raw finish, for you to paint to match for your bike or just ride it raw. They’re in stock now in limited quantities, so if your interest is piqued, waste no time! Head to Crust Bikes.
Photo from @JDGESUS
I gotta say, the latest frames Crust Bikes have been putting out have been damn fine bicycles. The Romanceur, Dreamer and now the Nor’Easter, pictured above are all exceptional. Yet, there’s something about this build in particular that has me drooling. It’s like a Rivendell that has disc brakes! More info to come…
If you’ve been holding out for a new touring or randoneurring frame, now’s your chance to pre-order a Crust Evasion. For $975, with two color choices and multiple wheel size and tire combinations, the Evasion is the veritable Swiss Army Knife of tourers. For full specifications and other essential info, head to Crust Bikes.
The Australian Crust Van Tour
Photo and words by Jorja Creighton
Touring plans can be dismantled on the fly and made better, sure there is glory in the hard yakka, but when you are out for two weeks, just looking for the good times … Chase the rainbow and good trails. Turn off that path if it looks rosier, you’re on holidays! That’s what the #crustvantour did, and boy did we find the rainbow.
We set out to ride half of the east coast of Australia. From Brisbane to Sydney over the month that Kurt and Raymond were in town from America. Half the crew riding on Crust Bikes, it was a Crust Tour after all; a step through extra small hot-pink Evasion, an eXtra cycle converted Evasion, a Crust Romanceür, and a fresh burgundy Scapegoat that Kurt was riding. The other half of the crew riding a Surly, a custom Moustache build, a pub bike and Jones bike. We can’t all be Crust lucky.
These days, the options for a touring bike are plentiful, especially when tapping into the framebuilding community. Yet, many of these US-made frames will set you back thousands of dollars. For people who can’t quite drop over $2,000 on a frame, Crust Bikes offers up the Dreamer. With clearances for 2.2″ 27.5″ tires with fenders, tons of braze-ons for extra bottles, a steel fork and lightweight tubing, these Dreamer frames are made right here in Los Angeles and come in at $1,450, painted. This is not a heavy duty touring bike, it’s a lighter, zippier version of the Crust Evasion.
Having watched Darren, the builder of these frames, shred the shit out of this bike, I’m sold. Sign me up. If you’d like a Dreamer, head to Crust Bikes for more information. They’re expecting these framesets any day now.
“The ROMANCEÜR is a swashbuckling tender heart of a fantasy warrior, who not only seduces its rider, but acts as a psychedelic aphrodisiac on the psyche. Together you become thee Romanceür, a sacred, lustful partnership rendering all riding surfaces swooned out and speechless, pining for an intimate evening including a tray of rosé Jell-O shots.” – Ultra Romance from his Crust Bikes Diary
Recently, Los Angeles was invaded by some of cycling’s biggest celebrities and no, not Wiggo, Sagan, Vos, or Bryceland. The cyclists that found themselves hanging out at Golden Saddle Cyclery are from a different walk, er, roll of life all-together. These nomadic raconteurs favor dirt to pavement and fully-loaded bikes to ultralight carbon. Not to mention, they’re always on the hunt for the latest cycling expedition, which brings me to Los Angeles…
Does bike travel in the backcountry have to look a particular way? No, of course not. As you can see by the range of bikes being ridden in Spencer’s gallery, the #DFLtheDivide crew was a group that largely did not fit the mold of bike touring or bikepacking. That ride was all about doing things differently, living on the fringe and pushing the ideas of what traveling by bike looks like.
The Crust Bikes DFL occupies that space: not quite a touring bike, not quite a mountain bike – simply a bike built for traveling over whatever terrain you want to cover. John looked at Matt’s early version of this bike – at the time called the Evasion – and over a year later the DFL remains an intriguing idea that gets people asking questions and thinking about how they might build their own adventure bike.
Mark’s DFL hosts a great mix of domestically produced hard and soft goods, with a parts bin build kit carefully collected and selected over the years. The 9-speed XTR derailleur is hooked up to an indexed 10-speed Dura-Ace bar end shifter, using a Wolf Tooth road link to help the derailleur wrap around the SunRace 11-42 cassette. The Schmidt dynamo and Nitto racks and Carradice bags, so many details to pore over…
I’ll leave the rest to Mark because he captured the essence of this bike so well…