This year was to be the first year Nao Tomii of Tomii Cycles was going to attend NAHBS. For a small builder like Nao, spending the kind of money it takes to pull a seat up to the table of the USA’s largest hand made bicycle show takes a lot of financial planning, so when NAHBS was postponed this year, Tomii Cycles wouldn’t be able to attend. Most builders display customer’s bikes at NAHBS and asking his clients to wait four more months for their bikes, especially during a pandemic was out of the question. I reached out to Nao and asked if we could display his bikes here at the Radavist, so we’re doing just that…
This is a special Merckx Mondays treat. Sean from Team Dream recently acquired an Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra in the Motorola livery, laced with a beautiful NOS Dura Ace 25th Anniversary group. I’ve personally never seen this group on a bike, in person before, so it was a real pleasure photographing it. Sure, there are a few blemishes on the kit, like the insertion marks on the seat post, which were like that before Sean acquired it, but overall, this bike is a real gem.
Sean also has the case for the 25th group, which came with the fabled wrist watch. Once he replaces this group with a modern Campagnolo Athena kit, he’ll be displaying the 25th in its case at the Cub House, along with the bike itself. If you’re in the South Pasadena area, make sure you roll through the Cub House and check it out in person because no photos do this bike justice in real life!
After owning a tri bike for years, Jesse finally decided to treat herself to a new road bike. It’d been a while since she had made a new bike purchase and after a lot of internet research, she decided on an Argonaut.
The frame selection, like the parts, came only after a lot of thought. Jesse went with Shimano Di2 hydro to make braking easier on long descents or steep canyon roads, King R45 Disc hubs laced to the super solid H+Son Archetype rims ensure her wheels will be solid and new 3T components offer a sleek look to this beautiful bicycle.
Since Argonaut is doing paint in house now, they can do just about anything you’d want, yet Jesse decided on a few color hits in the inside of the stays and fork leg. Since Golden Saddle is an Argonaut dealer, they made everything painless, from the ordering process to the final build.
Yes, bikes like this are easy to nerd out on, but even easier to ride. Oh and they’re terrifying to photograph on a windy day!
If you want a custom build like this and live in Los Angeles, hit up Golden Saddle Cyclery.
Aaron Stinner‘s latest customer build is so subtle that you might not even notice it’s a Stinner. Most steel builders are asked by clients to build bikes that match certain performance characteristics as you’d find in carbon frames. With such a request, come key factors, the most important being tubing selection.
For this build, Stinner selected True Temper S3, OX Platinum and Columbus Life, all three of which are common selections for modern builders looking to lighten their frameset up, while maintaining the integrity and liveliness of steel. Matched with all the carbon ENVE components, this bike will meet any expectations set by the client.
The frame was then topped off with an oyster white base coat with white metallic decals. Thanks to Aaron for sharing this project. See more below!
The Cielo Road Racer is a favorite of mine and of Chris King dealers everywhere. Over at Mellow Johnny‘s, store manager Will Black ordered this size large around the same time I was reviewing the chartreuse x-large. He went all in with Dura Ace, Chris King, ENVE rims and the bright orange paint.
Mellow’s has had this bike on the shop floor all week and it’s creating a bit of a stir. Such flash for such little cash, when compared to bikes in the same pricepoint and higher even.
I couldn’t help but wish I could have gotten photos of this bike up in time for Halloween…
I know the whole point of the Firefly Bones project is to offer a unique *steel* frame, made in Boston and hand illustrated by Eric Bones, but I can’t help but think these are the best looking collaboration bikes to come from a frame builder and I’d love to see them go into full-scale, mass production.
Each of these builds have unique details as well. What caught my eye here was that titanium stem and the proportions of those Dura Ace cranks. This bike looks mean.
See more details at the Firefly Flickr.
There are many seasoned road cyclists here in Austin and a few of them try their hand at cross racing once their season ends. Michael is one of these dudes. He’s got a big motor and is honing his skills in the dirt. This season, he’s made it out to the Beat the Clock Urbocross series and other USAC-sanctioned races.
If you’ve attended any, you can’t miss him. Or this bike. NY-made Serotta Ti frame, State wheels and Dura Ace, lightened and made more efficient with a Wolf Tooth narrow wide ring. Since Michael’s still getting used to the dirt, he’s taken a few spills, but always gets up, ready to rip. Note the missing faceplate on his right shifter.
I love titanium frames, especially on off-road bikes and this one’s a great example of the quality that Serotta produced.
This machine was a piece of cake for Santa Barbara’s Aaron Stinner. Or rather, the customer was a piece of cake. As a returning client, he knew exactly what he wanted. Something simple, clean and efficient. The only stipulation was it had to have Dura Ace on it and a set of Luxe Wheelworks.
Aaron contacted Justin and they both got to pick out the wheels, leaving the rest of the frame for Aaron to design. The customer even let him pick the color scheme and and all the components.
It just happened to be Stinner’s 100th bike as well and the last bike to be built in his garage. Not a bad way to bid adieu to his hold shop, huh? See more below!
Man, the Italians knew how to paint a bike. Rides like this will forever have a soft spot in any cyclist’s heart. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to bikes, or a seasoned, life-long rider. There’s something about a splatter paint job, a neon palette and vintage Dura Ace that just screams style.
I’m in Melbourne and staying with FYXO during the Melburn Roobaix, which is like having a museum of classic steeds at your disposal to ride and photograph.
Since the Eroica Britannia, I’ve been hankering for a classic steel road bike, scouring forums, eBay and the local Craigslist. Once I arrived at the FYXO HQ, I saw this bike and asked one question: you selling this? To which Andy replied “mate, everything has a price.”
It’s tempting… Columbus Extra Legger tubing, Dura Ace 7400, clearance for a 28c tire and yes, that paint job. It might be the vintage bike I’ve been looking for. What do you think?
PRO bikes just look fast, sitting (magically) by themselves, not that Rohan Dennis needs any help going fast. Even with all the added performance peaks of the R5ca, Cervélo’s made in California professional road frame.
A friend of mine is one of the Garmin-Sharp Pro Cycling Team mechanics and today (uh, yesterday?? – my clock is all off), he let me take some quick photos of Dennis’ lucky 13 Cervélo R5ca.
Built with Di2, Rotor noQ, Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheels, 3T bar / stem and topped with a matching Fizik Arione, this bike is nothing short of a dream ride. Especially straight off the mechanic’s stand, I felt like I should have white gloves on!
Many, many, many thanks to Ben from the Garmin-Sharp team for allowing me the honor to shoot this bike. I owe you a beer the next time I see you in Minneapolis man!
This S&S coupler frame is currently being offered in three build kits, either with Shimano Dura Ace / Di2 or Campagnolo Veloce and it comes ready to be loaded! This might be one of the most tricked-out light touring / camping bike collaborations to date.
See more details at Snow Peak and more photos below!
You gotta hand it to Mosaic Cycles out of Boulder, Colorado. They really do love their dealer shops. In fact, this year, each of their bikes were designed specifically for a different shop, around the world. My favorite happened to be for Crankstar in Brisbane, Australia.
Painted in a navy and baby blue rings, this road racer has an intimidating stance. Built with Dura Ace (yes! calipers!), Chris King Turquoise, ENVE wheels, custom painted Shimano Pro Stealth Evo bars, custom Busyman saddle and bartape, this bike caught my eye before the show even opened on Thursday night.
I had a lot of fun photographing this one. See for yourself in the Gallery!
One of my favorite builders this year at NAHBS were the Czech builders Festka. Their work with oversized Ti and stainless tubing is impeccable. While most of their paint jobs are pretty over the top, this Union Jack Di2 disc road was actually pretty subdued.
Built for Richard Hardy, this particular frame was constructed from Columbus XCR tubing and sported a British racing green coat of wet paint, overlaid with a pattern inspired by the Union Jack flag of the UK.
When people asked me what the overall theme of NAHBS was this year, my reply has been: Di2 and disc brakes. Staying true to that observation, Richard’s bike is equipped and ready to rip. The addition of Rocket Wheels and Tune hubs gave this bike some European flavor amongst the sea of Chris King and Enve.
Remember, if you are interested in carrying Festka, or ordering one for yourself, contact Cycleast in Austin, TX.
See more in the Gallery!
When Ben from Argonaut Cycles designed and developed his first road frame, he was content, but that didn’t mean his desire to create the best made in the USA carbon fiber road frame was sated. Ben knew the market was changing and wanted to have even more options for his customers to select when purchasing a custom bike.
With the popularity of gravel / dirt rides and races, he knew that his current racing geometry would need some finessing and with the increasing demand for disc brakes, the opportunity arose to adapt.
A bike suited for off-road riding has a few tweaks to the geometry. The rear end will be slightly longer, the bottom bracket, just slightly lower and the head tube loses around half a degree. This enables the bike to still handle fast on sealed roads, but really be at home on dirt. Tire clearances are important as well. These bikes fit a 28mm tubeless road tire with ease, which is all you need for gravel. Remember, this isn’t a cross bike.
The Argonaut Disc Road bikes that the Rapha / River City Bicycles team rode during the Rouge Roubaix were developed for off-road conditions, while staying true to their race machine pedigree.
For those familiar with the Di2 hydro system, you’ll note the front plate of the shifters were painted black. Other than that, it’s pretty straight forward. 140mm disc rotors, Argonaut Made in the USA frameset, ENVE bars, ENVE stem, ENVE wheels with custom decals and dripping with Chris King’s precision components.
Tim from the team has the first production model. After an afternoon of shooting photos and video of the bike in action, I took it out for some portrait photos.
This bike ripped apart the dirt and stood out from the pack at the Rouge Roubaix. See more in the Gallery!
I know this isn’t entirely all that surprising but I found this photo series that Chris Bishop posted to his Flickr very interesting. This is for a Di2 disc bike. It’s great to see new technology integrated elegantly into a traditionally-brazed steel stem but the contrast still gets me every time!
See you this weekend Chris!
These days, it’s tough to decide on your stopping method. With some systems failing, skewer genocide on the horizon, and awkward setup required, the hydro disc cross and road bike market is at critical mass (no pun intended). I do however find this photo of the Dura Ace hydro caliper on the latest Firefly easy on the eyes.
Hubert from Cycles d’Autremont has been in town for a few days now, en route back to Burlington, Vermont. He brought two bikes with him on his trip, one of which being this deep red road bike. The color is what really caught my eye, which coincidentally came from a reference in Rem Koolhaas’ book Colors – Hubert’s an ex-architect as well…
Some details, which will probably catch the eye of builders off the bat: To keep the proportions balanced on this 52cm road bike, Hubert machined in-house a 1.25″ taper head tube and ran a Chris King Devolution headset for proper stack.
He then used a tapered top tube from Deda so he could run a 27.2 post, 25mm Deda Chainstays and thinner seat stays.
Dura Ace, ENVE and Chris King, Challenge Strada tires… Yep. This thing is stylish! As described by Hubert “this thing for me was an exercise in doing a new-school bike”. Believe it or not, bikes like this are much cheaper for a builder like Hubert to make. The whole thing goes together much faster than a randonneur frame or a traditional lugged road.
See more in the Gallery!
Ya gotta hand it to Firefly and Eric Bones. This project came out so rad.
“We have designed and built thousands of steel frames in our careers, and we have developed a deep respect for the material and process. The Bones Project is our opportunity to use our knowledge and unique approach to frame building to push the functional and aesthetic boundaries of the most storied material in cycling.
The Bones Project exists at the intersection of manufacturing, art, and performance. It is a collaboration of designers, machinists, frame builders, and artists, most importantly the brilliantly talented local illustrator, designer, and muralist Eric Bones.”
See more detailed photos below and check out Firefly for the full scoop on this unique collaboration!