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?
After a jam-packed weekend at this year’s NAHBS, we’re rolling out content throughout the week, but not without another Mega Gallery, showcasing sights and scenes at the show, as well as a handful of the beautiful bicycles on display. Later this week, we’ve got some awards from the show, so stay tuned. For now, enjoy this selection of images!
NAHBS this year has a lot more vendors this year than years prior – or at least it feels that way – making it a bit easier to see all the builders and what they brought to Sacramento, showcasing their talents. There are a lot of familiar faces in the crowds, yet what these talented frame builders brought with them are anything but.
For the past few years, NAHBS has been covered quite extensively here on the site but going into the show this year, I felt like I needed a change, so leading up to the event I had already mentally planned on covering it a bit differently, I just didn’t know how. When the show opened yesterday, I quickly found that covering it in a different manner wasn’t just an option, it was mandatory. My usual methodology of shooting and documenting bikes was not going to work. The show in Sacramento feels bigger than in years prior, maxing out space, and thus not giving me any options for shooting on the floor, so I had to think quick.
Finding a small alcove just outside of an exit, in a less than ideal location, I was able to document some bikes but found myself enjoying walking the venue talking to builders and attendees, something I rarely had time for in years prior. This allowed me to really enjoy the show and mix the coverage up a bit, providing a more well-rounded viewing experience. I’ll be presenting the show in a series of galleries this year, with most information in the gallery captions and complete bikes broken down below, so enjoy!
NAHBS is back in Sacramento this year and having only walked around the hall during setup yesterday, I can already tell the convention center is jam-packed with builders and brands from all over the US, yet it’s hard to deny the strong California presence. While Stinner Frameworks is not showing this year, Team Dream and Mavic Cycling are.