Will Bender is a bicycle frame builder based in Fort Collins, CO. His custom frames run the gamut from all-road to gravel, touring, and modern hardtails. Last summer, Josh paid Will a visit to document his shop and learn about his background and approach to building bikes. While he was there, he enlisted Will to build the touring MTB of his dreams — a comfortable 29+ rig capable of carrying heavy loads and designed to harmonize with the Oddity Squid Fork made concurrently by another Fort Collins frame builder, Sean Burns. Continue reading below for the full rundown on this build…
2022 Philly Bike Expo: Acoustic, Blaze, Chapman, Engin, Jubilee, Liberation, No22, Rodeo Labs, Vicious
Picking up where yesterday’s post left off, we’ve got our second and final gallery from the Philly Bike Expo, featuring track bikes, gravel bikes, commuters, and a high-pivot full suspension. Read on for John’s closing thoughts on the offerings from this year’s Expo and a reflective outro on the future of custom bike showcases…
Engin Cycles Port Royal Crankset Review: A Modern Crank With a Vintage Silhouette
Modern tech, bikes, and components were lost on me over the previous few years. Sure, I talk about all that here at “work,” but in my personal life, I have spent more time looking backward, not forward, with bikes. Maybe it was because all the major manufacturers wanted journalists (if I can even call myself that) to review new gear that wouldn’t hit consumers for another year or so. Or perhaps I felt like there was inherently more to learn from the past than new tech and its marginal gains mantra.
Having spent a lot of time curating a few vintage builds, re-evaluating my own stable, and pouring over old bike catalogs, there’s something about the aesthetic found in the 1980s and early 90s mountain bike components that hits the nail on the head. Be it the eeWings cranks, those nifty Cyber Cranks, or these Engin Cycles Port Royal cranks, what’s old is new again in terms of design silhouette.
When I first saw these cranks, I immediately felt like they were an homage to the first gen M700 Deore cranks by Shimano, which did in fact come in black. (Ritchey Commandos were specced with an all-black Deer Head group!) Yet, the thing I liked about them the most was the slim profile, 30mm spindle, and the fact that Engin Cycles, a framebuilder I hold in deep regard and respect for, machines these in Philly!
I’ve had the Engin Cycles Port Royal Cranks ($575) on my Starling Murmur for a while now and finally have some thoughts I can share with y’all, so read on below for a quick review…
Radar Roundup: Engin Port Royal, 7Mesh Spring, Albion Cranksets, Atlantis Pre-Order, and Crust at Mid South
Our Radar Roundup compiles products and videos from the ‘net in an easy-to-digest format. Read on below for today’s findings…
2021 Philly Bike Expo: Engin Cycles Process Frame Fixture
Philly local, Drew Guldalian of Engin Cycles, is renowned for his titanium bicycle fabrication (recall his beautiful Gilded Ti Hardtail from the 2019 Philly Bike Expo) and machining precision componentry like CNC stems and seat collars. Drew also produces various framebuilding tools like the Engin Wheel Tool and the Process Frame Fixture. Jarrod Bunk connected with Drew at this year’s Philly Bike Expo to photograph the frame fixture Drew had on display at the show. Continue reading below for Drew’s take on how nearly one-hundred years of combined framebuilding expertise culminated in the development of the Process Frame Fixture, along with Jarrod’s always-detailed imagery.
Engin Cycles’ Pre-Order for 31.8 Clamps
Last week, we posted about Engin’s 35mm clamp MTB stems (by the way, ours showed up and they are super slick!), completely forgetting to drop a note for their new 31.8mm seatpost clamps. These new clamps come in four anodized colors, matching the new Engin stems and are machined in-house in Philly from 6061 aluminum.
For Seat tube diameter 31.8 mm
For Seat post diameter up to 29 mm
Weight with steel bolt: 18g
Weight with Ti bolt: 17g
Pre-order now at Engin Cycles.
Engin Cycles’ New 35mm Clamp MTB Stems
Engin Cycles knows a thing or two about MTB design and fabrication. Their hardtails have been progressive before that was a thing. The latest product from their Philly shop is a 35mm clamp stem, available in four colors and 32mm, 40mm, and 50mm lengths. They retail for $150.
These 6061 aluminum stems can be upgraded to in-house milled titanium hardware for a $30 upcharge.
32 mm 135 g (w/ Steel Bolts) 127 g (w/ Ti Bolts)
40 mm 147 g (w/ Steel Bolts) 139 g (w/ Ti Bolts)
50 mm 181 g (w/ Steel Bolts) 172 g (w/ Ti Bolts)
Stack Height 40 mm
Clamp Width 50 mm
Height Offset 5 mm
Steer Clamp 28.6 mm
Bolt Torque 5 nm MAX
See more at Engine Cycles.
Philly Bike Expo: Engin Cycles Gilded Ti Hardtail
Yes, you’re right. That ain’t gold. It’s anodizing. Drew from Engin Cycles is a master of the craft that is designing, engineering, and fabricating titanium bicycles. At this year’s Philly Bike Expo, Engin’s hardtails commanded attention with this one, in particular, bringing the bling. Its incredible anodization and design work was done by Jake Beadenkopf.
The build kit here includes the best of the best with SRAM AXS, RockShox Reverb dropper, Pike fork, and some beautiful Industry Nine wheels.
With such intricate masking and design work on a bike like this, one can only ask the question: “what will it look like dirty?!” If you’re the owner of this amazing Engin, please do us a favor and post some photos in the comments of how it looks with some dirt on it. I think I speak for everyone reading this when I say you have one stunning bike!
Engin Cycles: CNC Seat Collars
Drew from Engin is one of the most thoughtful framebuilders. Everything he machines in-house is done so the highest degree of precision, while still nodding to the aesthetics demanded from today’s clientele. These seat collars are designed to offer the most evenly distributed clamping force over the largest possible area, reducing the stress on frames and sea posts. You no longer have to over-torque your clamps to keep your post from slipping. Doing so can crack your frame, or your post, and prevent dropper posts from working properly. These clamps are made from 6061 aluminum, are plated in three finishes, feature formed threads to prevent stripping, include 6-2-4-2 titanium fasteners, weigh only 29g and are available in 34.9 clamp diameter only. See more at Engin.
2018 Philly Bike Expo: Engin All Road Rocket – Jarrod Bunk
2018 Philly Bike Expo: Engin Cycles All Road Rocket
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk
Drew over at Engin is a bit of a problem solver, he also happens to be a machinist as well as a frame builder creating solutions such as a 5bolt CNC Spider allows for easy access to ring swaps that the stock configuration didn’t allow, a CNC two-piece yoke that is welded together to add clearance for both 700x47c tires and a 34/50 double crank, even though this bike is built as a 1x.
The left shifter is converted to actuate the dropper post, something that Engin thinks is going to be the next big thing to bridge the gap between an all-road bike and the MTB. With a build of Whisky Parts Co No9 rims and fork, White Industries hubs, and a full SRAM Force 1x kit, this bike surely blurs the lines of a fast road bike that still rips off road.