Over the past few weeks I’ve enjoyed becoming re-acquainted with an old friend. As I’ve been slowing back down to a more creative and contemplative speed, un-encumbered by “normality” or any other external influence and bolstered by the vivid dreams associated with normal sleep patterns, a relaxed mind and inappropriately timed cheese consumption, I’ve settled nicely into fat tyres and riding fixed on sandy beaches. As the salty air of coastal living coupled with a lack of access to spares, tools and equipment that allow our bikes to keep rolling, caused the rideable bikes of our household to drop like flies. I was forced to delve deep into the museum of slightly broken bicycles that is my loft.
Tory Powers is a filmmaker out of Boulder, CO and they recently just wrapped up a documentary alongside cyclist Charli Mandel.
Charli had the ridiculous idea to do the world’s first track bike Everesting last May. Alongside this, Charli was in the process of transitioning MtF. On their birthday. 200+ miles, 29,029ft of elevation, over 6000 calories, and nearly 19 hours in the saddle.
The latest from Seabase is as awe-inspiring as ever!
“Pantelleria sits in the southern Mediterranean like a black fortress. Seemingly the crossing point between southern European and northern African cultures, I first discovered this island in the movie A Bigger Splash, as Tilda Swinton and her co-Stars drove up the most symmetrical set of switchbacks I’ve ever seen in a Mehari. It was this that piqued my interest, and certainly nurtured my obsession.”
Something happened down in the Sonoran Desert this winter. Maybe it was Ronnie’s influence but people began riding gravel roads on fixed gear bikes. These bikes aren’t like the street track bikes, popularized by MASH and the like in the mid-2000s, yet they utilize a gravel bike’s geometry, down to the tire clearance, yet they just don’t have gears, or in this case, brakes. This type of machine is great for developing a smooth pedaling cadence and perhaps its the long and low rolling hills of the grasslands found around Patagonia, Arizona. Yesterday we looked at Ronnie’s Madrean and today, we look at Adam Sklar‘s own bike.
That suntanned, SUNTOURist, king of the grandiose, the beausage factory himself, Mr. Ronnie Romance, aka Ultra Romance, really knows how to put a bicycle together, even a simple one such as a fixed gear. Yet we’re not talking a Kierin bike, those NJS-stamped sparkle machines, or even a British Path Racer. This is a bike designed specifically for a plump, rough and tumble tire, with a relaxed fit, eons past the aggressive saddle-to-bar drop bikes of yesteryear, yet somewhere in-between the monster-truck abilities of a tracklocross bike. This Madrean Fabrications ‘country fixed’ is unlike anything I’ve seen in recent memory… or maybe it’s just my old age.
The Big Block is a tried and true offering from All-City. These street fixed gear bikes have a set of bottle bosses, increased tire clearance and drilled for brakes. The 4130 frame is tough and survives years of heavy use by bike messengers worldwide. For 2020, the Big Block got a wild paintjob, while the frame details and build kit stays the same.
612 Select chromoly steel with double-butted main triangle, tapered stays and brazed-on seat collar
4130 Chromoly double butted fork with lugged crown and tapered blades
Velodrome legal track geometry
All-City Signature investment-cast stainless steel Hennepin Bridge track dropouts with built-in chain tensioner
E.D. coated for durability and rust prevention
Tire clearance: 700c x 32mm; 28mm with fenders
Big Block (Midnight/Frost/Violet) Complete: $999 MSRP
Frameset: $550 MSRP
For their latest Riding Fixed, Up Mountains, With Pros video, State Bicycle Co rides with Christian Vande Velde in Greenville, SC up Caesar’s Head.
It has been amazing to witness how much Tracklocross has grown over the years. To be able to have the Tracklocross World Championships held in Japan was something truly special. Huge thanks and appreciation to the dedicated organizers Chris Namba, Junpei Nakata, Eui Ho Kim, and the volunteers for their hard work that was put into this event.
State Bicycle Co has teamed up with Phil Gaimon to throw an extra special giveaway. Sign up at State!
The Bay Area in Northern California is well known to be the reservoir for good times and burly riders. Back in June, the Oakland Tracklocross National Championship took place – where racers would battle out for the first Tracklocross World Championship Title. Racers and spectators came from all over California, as well as participants from Chicago and Florida. The atmosphere took shape once everyone converged at the bottom of a hill. Everyone had to ride up a mile or so to commence the hike a bike. Poison oak surrounded the area, deep rutted and broken up dirt roads gave participants a sneak peek in what the course would entail.
For State Bicycle‘s latest video in the ‘Riding Fixed Up Mountains With Pros’ series, we take a ride up Mount Graham with Eric Marcotte.
Our buddy Cicli Pucci rolled into the shop the other day on this Holland Track Bike, and all of our jaws just dropped. Which is actually quite normal when Pucci rolls through. He’s been painting with Joe Bell for many years now and always has the most fly of bikes, always hand-painted by himself. You all probably remember his Azuki Pro that was featured here about a year ago.
How’s this for a Throwback Thursday post? Japan’s WBASE and Brooklyn Machine Works have teamed up to resurrect the OG Gangsta Track for one last round. The V4 Gangsta Track features many of the OG’s design nods including the bi-plane fork, seat tube cluster, yet widens the seat stays to allow for removable brake bosses. These rough and tough frames would be a bombproof urban fixed gear or even a tracklocross bike with their 35mm ‘cross tire clearance. The V4 will be available in transparent black, black, and blaze orange. The pre-order is live now at King Kog Brooklyn, the official US-distributor for this collaboration, and the frames are due to land from Taiwan and ship from Brooklyn in early September. Head to King Kog to place your order and see more details including sizing information below.
Patrick gets dusty with is unicorn ice cream cone and unveils the new PAUL WORD fixed hub, or Wacky One-speed Rear Device. These are hubs for fixed gears like a tracklocross bike. Like his tie-dye shirt? Well, PAUL has some new threads too!
A few weeks back, the third and final Resistance Racing Tracklocross Race Series started off from Swell Bicycles Shop and out to Golden Gate Park. Looking back at the first race in Albany (discarded concrete block, choppy singletrack, and an 80 ft climb), we didn’t know what would be in store for us. The final race consisted of smooth single track, short descends, off-camber turns and my personal favorite, a log pile ramp. These bay area shredders were nuts!
Tracklocross. Yeah, you heard it, Tracklocross. It’s exactly what it sounds like and it’s spreading faster than you could ever imagine. With contingencies popping up all over the globe, things are really beginning to culminate this year as we lead up to Nationals in June (Bay Area) and the World Championships in August (Japan). With Los Angeles’ second race of the season in the bag, the vibes are only growing stronger out here as things continue to build momentum. Safa Brian came out and completely crushed the course. He took a commanding lead out the gate and put a significant gap between him and the rest of the pack. The spectator crowd camped out in the middle of the grass and more or less turned their heads as everyone ran laps around them.
FINGERSCROSSED collaborated with Berlin-based fixed gear athlete Til Schuster. They followed him along as he shows us what riding in Germany’s capital is about. He shares his thoughts about the sport, riding, racing, and life as he navigates his bike through the city.
Polizzi Quentin started framebuilding 5 years ago in his free time until two months ago it is now his full time job under the Atelier des Velos, ADV brand. This all began in 2009 when he engraved a groupset for a shop in Paris. This engraved gruppo went onto a Tommasini, prompting Polizzi to pursue making his own frames for his engraved groupsets. This is one of his first complete packages from the ADV label… For this build he chose a Modolo bar and stem. A Campy Pista group, and Araya rims. This is all sublimated by this marvelous paint showcasing his savoir-faire! Check out more photos below!