My partner Karla and I find ourselves in México City after what feels like going in and out of a pipe from Mario’s world. The truth is we took a plane, but after so much time of having this trip in mind, it takes a while to assimilate that it’s actually happening. We spend an afternoon putting our bikes together and some bolts later they’re ready to take us around this city; we feel quite intimidated by its size and the never-not-honking cars but the bike paths that have emerged over the recent years make riding much more manageable. Coming from a place that’s pretty much at sea level, the 2200 meters of elevation squeeze our lungs on the slightest uphill and when we arrive at the address on our map our hearts are beating fast. There’s no sign outside the place but a rack full of bikes indicates we’ve made it to Básica Studio, home of frame builder Eli Acosta.
I first met Elliot a few years back while I was leading a bikepacking trip with El Grupo, a Tucson based youth cycling organization. Since then I had seen Elliot tinkering with all manner of frankenbikes, which are a regular, at the Grupo clubhouse. Discarded and mismatched components of yesteryear handed down from the large cycling community here. Their low-pro pursuit fixed gear with a 24″ bmx fork caught my eye awhile ago and I knew Elliot had that special eye for janky but fun clashing of parts.
The story of this bike starts before it entered my life. It starts with a place, a center of creativity and bike culture. It starts with Citizens warehouse. In 2007 my sister Cailin joined a newly formed youth cycling club called El Grupo through her high school. The club centered around a DIY ethic and she built herself a bike at a then 18-year-old bike collective called BICAS. BICAS lived in the basement of a haggard old warehouse called The Citizens Transfer Warehouse affectionately known as Citizens. Cailin quickly fell in love with cycling and being my best friend she built me a single-speed road bike and encouraged me to come to see what El Grupo and BICAS were all about.
Brian from Chapman Cycles brought two bikes to the Philly Bike Expo this year with 99% matching parts and paint save for a saddle, this is the smaller of the two. A mixte with a monumental amount of flair, all the way down to the Campagnolo shifter turned chain-keeper and the double Rene Herse crank turned single with a bash. The build is a mix of Campagnolo Veloce setup 1×10 with a wide range SRAM cassette, SON dynamo hub that powers both a front lamp and a tail-light the tail wiring run internally to the saddle, a handmade rack designed around the bike. Paul Touring Cantis provide the stopping power.
It’s hard not to make that reference on a bike called the Chris Cross. Back when Fat Chance began, I doubt Chris Chance would have foreseen the future, or at least where and how people would be riding these bikes that are a mix of ‘cross and road bikes yet here we are. Brent bought a Chris Cross with the “Team Fade” finish and matching stem to be his all-rounder bike in SoCal and on a recent outing to Los Angeles, I was able to shoot this damn perfect bike.
BTCHN’ Bikes, the latest chapter in Chico Framebuilding
Photos and words by California Travis
The small college town of Chico, California has been home to a few very notable framebuilders over the years. Jeff Lindsay starting out building road bikes is 1972, and was one of the first pioneers to create mountain bikes under the name Mountain Goat in 1981. Bob Seals (inventor of the Klean Kanteen and Cool Tool amongst other things) took modern geometry and quality materials, combined them with classic curvy steel cruiser aesthetics and founded Retrotec Bicycles in 1992. Mitch Pryor of MAP Bicycles took custom randonneuring frames to the next level of meticulous perfection in Chico and then Paradise.
Ready for some eye candy overload? Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you! Head over to the Vanilla Workshop to see the 2019 Speedvagen Guidebook. This has to be the best yet!
We’re here at Sea Otter Classic and in the throughs of the first day’s chaos of setup. While we get our bearings straight and document the show, we’ll share this beautiful Mosaic Sparkle all road. The GT1 is Mosaic’s titanium gravel bike with a geometry tuned for all day rides. It’s built with Mavic’s new All Road Carbon SL wheelset, SRAM AXS, Zipp components and WTB’s Venture 27.5 x 47mm tires.
This bike, along with McGovern, Sklar, Stinner, Argonaut, will be a part of the Builders for Builders raffle fundraiser for the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship.
What do you think? Class? Or Flash? Or both? It’s growing on me for sure. If you’re at the ‘Otter, swing through the Echos Communications booth at A42 to check it out along with the rest of the builder’s offerings.
Without going into the psychology of tandem riding again here on the site, let’s just dive right into this super sick Legor Cicli MTB touring tandem named Bruno. Mattia from Legor Cicli made Bruno similarly to his 27.5 or 700c road bike called LWTUA, or love will tear us apart. You can fit a 27.5 x 2.4″ tire for off-road riding, or a 700c x 45mm tire for road. The gearing is also interchangeable with 1×11 or 2×11, depending on the riding. Mattia used T47 bottom brackets and a custom eccentric shell. Oh and it’s Di2 for a very practical reason; packing and shipping the bike for international travel. Mattia and his wife Franka from MAAD Cycling toured on this bike prior to the Eroica Nova, where Kyle and Liz raced the bike.
Want to support trail building, the Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz and win a Caletti? Check out how below!
“One lucky supporter will get a custom steel Caletti Cycles frame in the Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz’s (MBOSC) “Support Trails & Win a Caletti” campaign. MBOSC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit trail stewardship and advocacy organization that works to improve trail access in Santa Cruz. Donors receive one entry for every $10 donated to MBOSC between now and May 4 when a winner will be selected. The winner then gets to work with John Caletti, framebuilder and owner of Caletti Cycles, on a custom steel frame. The winner can choose any frame model that Caletti Cycles offers. Donations can be made at www.mbosc.org/win-a-caletti. “
Mattia from Legor Cicli and Franka from MAAD Cycling were at the Eroica California weekend, at the tail end of their trip to California this past week. In tow were a handful of beautiful Legor Cicli bikes, ranging from a classic Eroica road bike, a rowdy MTB tandem, a true chubby road, and this modern road bike. Each has unique details and a presence that demanded photographic portraits.
Wow. Where do I even begin here. This is the first post to come from a four-day ride from Tropic to Green River, Utah, traversing the Grand Staircase, down to Lake Powell and through the plateau leading out to Barrier Canyon, now known as Horseshoe Canyon with Machines for Freedom. The route was mixed terrain, ranging from smooth bitumen to sand and hardpack. Each rider on this journey had various setups, which we’ll go over later, but right now I wanted to showcase Alter Cycles co-owner Mason Griffith’s Pucci Cicli painted Sklar all road.
Fire is nature’s way of redesigning. A way to rewrite the present landscape and while the process is painful, oftentimes, the landscape is rejuvenated. Coastal California is tricky though due to its chapparal ground cover along the mountainsides. You see, chapparal – a coastal low-lying shrub – is old growth and when it’s burnt, the soil loses its stability, causing horrific mudslides. Once the chapparal is gone, there’s nothing else to hold all that dirt together. There aren’t really trees or forests like in other parts of the country along these hills and mountainsides, rather the trees find refuge in the canyons, where they can be more protected, although, with the past few years in California, there seems to be no refuge from fires.
Like many of the local riding areas in Santa Barbara, Refugio burnt a few years ago in the Serpa Fire, engulfing the fire road and hillsides, charring it to the ground. As with most fires, mudslides followed, wiping out El Capitan Ranch in the process. Local efforts have brought the area back, making this epic dirt climb ridable again. Many people say it’s better than ever. Perhaps it was the rebirth of Santa Barbara’s trails and roads that prompted Stinner Frameworks to update their Refugio all road model. Or maybe that’s just a correlation I came up with, either way, a redesign, and improvement is always good when it comes to a bicycle frame, especially one that stays close to its roots, post-burn.
In the first episode of the Man of Steel video, 1981 Giro winner Giovanni Battaglin takes you inside the workshop where he builds his eponymous steel bikes.
Big tires, short chainstays, double crankset, pick two. Normally. Then there’s the concept of a boost road bike, in which case, pick all three. I call it a concept because there’s a lot that has to go into making a boost road bike a reality. To go from 142mm rear spacing to 148mm rear you’ve got to move things outboard a bit. I’ve seen a number of cobbled together solutions for this, which usually revolve around adopting a complete MTB drivetrain from the bottom bracket spindle, to the cranks, cassette, and chainline. But what about a road bike? Or a chubby road bike? That’s where it gets interesting.
“As I was posting process photos of this bike on Instagram, people kept saying, oh it’s so Art Deco, and I didn’t know what that even was. I finally opened a book and said, yeah! It totally is. I was so inundated with it being everywhere in New York that I didn’t even know it had influenced my work so much. Art Deco is in the buildings, the subway, the gutters in the street. It’s everywhere.”
I hate to throw quotes around that saying because I’m sure I got some of it wrong but it really resonated with me. Tom Porter is a sculptor in Brooklyn, New York. His brand, Porter Cycles is a side gig for him. As a full-time sculptor and fabricator, he began building bikes in 2010 and this year at NAHBS, he brought this beautiful townie that presents an interesting dichotomy.
Francis Tatem interviews Emily from Squid, Chris from McGovern Cycles and the CalPoly students at this year’s NAHBS!
What does a 1997 Chevy Lumina, a whoopee cushion, and Planned Parenthood have in common?