Based in Pawtuxet Village, RI, Brian Chapman builds intricately detailed bikes blending classic design and vintage parts with a modern approach. Brian is no stranger here, as we’ve documented a number of Chapman Cycles over the years. Jarrod Bunk linked up with Brian once again at this year’s Philly Bike Expo to photograph the Basket Commuter bike Brian recently built for a customer that wanted to carry a dog on-board. Continue reading to learn more about this bike and to see all of its exquisite detailing!
It’s a Merckx! On a Monday! … and it’s been a while.
During a period of frustration with parts shortages as I was trying to build up a forthcoming review bike, I began browsing eBay looking into building up a classic timepiece. I figured if modern parts are in short supply, vintage parts have to still be available. I wanted a bike that would be a centerpiece in my office that I wasn’t afraid to ride. Something that I could do easy road rides on, not pushing myself or the bike to the limit at all, but rather just a simple machine with downtube shifters, a steel fork, and 7 speeds. Kind of like driving an older, vintage vehicle; stripped-down elegance and damn sexier than anything “new” on the market. With my longtime love of Merckx frames, I knew where to begin, but I wasn’t expecting to find one of my favorite liveries, in such great condition. Check out an in-depth look below…
The Fairlight Cycles Strael 3.0 is quite the looker on its own but when you add in the all-new Di2 Dura-Ace R9200 12-speed group to the build kit, it elevates the Strael 3.0 even more. Yesterday, Shimano announced the new Ultegra and Dura-Ace groups, with all-new Di2 tech, crisper shifting, better braking, and more.
Fairlight Cycles sent over this build, laced out with these new Dura-Ace parts, so we decided to share the build photos with you. Check out all the details below and see more on the new Ultegra and Dura-Ace at Shimano.
Longtime readers of this website will recall our weekly “Merckx Mondays” posts that began back in 2008. Well, let me just get this out of the way and say don’t get your hopes up for its return, but I am very excited to share this Eddy Merckx with you, on a Monday, as a part of a little sub-category of vintage bikes we’ll be doing at the Radavist over the next few months.
Last week, I traveled to Boulder to see the Pro’s Closet‘s new facilities and their forthcoming bicycle museum. After years of being stored in boxes, over three hundred bikes are being unpacked, built, and displayed at their new facility just outside of Boulder. I spent two days there learning all about their operations and browsing their extensive bicycle collection, while sneaking off to document a few I thought the readers of the Radavist would enjoy, so let’s jump right in…
My normal yearly schedule usually includes a visit or two to Portland, Oregon, a mecca for bicycle framebuilders. Over the years, I’ve been a part of documenting the projects that come out of the Vanilla Workshop, so when a sweet project like this comes along, I like to elevate it to the Reportage section of the site. Sure, this bike isn’t going to be for everyone, nor is it by any means accessible, but as cyclists, we should be able to appreciate beautiful pieces of craft and thoughtfulness. At least that’s how I look at it!
Anyway, this Vanilla Classic road bike build with custom CycloRetro Engraved Shimano Dura Ace is a blast from the past… and that’s its intent! Read on below for more words and beautiful photos from the Vanilla Workshop.
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!