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Dean Liebau Illustrates Cyclists and Captures Their Personalities

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Dean Liebau Illustrates Cyclists and Captures Their Personalities

Drawing cycling portraits admittedly started as a self-serving venture. Looking for a breather from the largely geometric aesthetic I gave my illustration work, I dug down deep to my formal college Drawing 2 class and after a seven-year hiatus, I gave realistic portraiture another shot. After some hesitation, I decided to publish them but still didn’t have the courage to tag the people referenced. The internet can be a small place and they were quickly tagged for me but this served as the little form of validation I needed. I figured if people could be recognized, then they couldn’t be that bad right?

Brewed in Oregon: A Long-Term Review of the Sage Titanium Powerline 29er Hardtail

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Brewed in Oregon: A Long-Term Review of the Sage Titanium Powerline 29er Hardtail

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a lot of negative internet chatter when bike brands release hardtail trail bikes that are not overly slack, steep, or otherwise geometrically boundary-pushing in some way. My suspicion is that many of these comments come from riders that prefer lifts over pedaling uphill but nonetheless cast a shadow on mid-travel hardtails that are intended for folks that aren’t spending their days in terrain parks.

Congratulations to Moots for 40 Years of Framebuilding

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Congratulations to Moots for 40 Years of Framebuilding

Moots opened shop in 1981 and have worked their way up to being the Masters of Metal. A lot has changed in the industry in those years, from rim brakes to disc, 3x to 1x, and more. Yet in that time the brand has remained steadfast in the industry, building road, mountain, gravel, and more in Steamboat Springs. For 2021, every bike to come out of Moots will have this unique head badge to commemorate their time melting metal. If a frame is too rich for your blood, they even made bottle openers. See the full story at Moots!

Colin’s Rat Rod Kona Exsplosif

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Colin’s Rat Rod Kona Exsplosif

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.

The Radavist’s Top Ten Beautiful Bicycles of 2020

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The Radavist’s Top Ten Beautiful Bicycles of 2020

Each year I like to look at our content in its entirety and reflect back on bikes that took you, the readers of this website, by storm. Back in the mid to late 2000’s it was all fixed gears, then came the gravel bikes, the tourers, the MTBs, and the kooky, eccentric builds you’ve come to enjoy checking out in full-res detail. We’ve got some incredibly talented individuals contributing to this site and their hard work is something I cannot express my gratitude for enough. Going back through the 2020 content here at the Radavist, I am amazed at what we were able to accomplish all things considered.

For this year’s Top Beautiful Bicycles of 2020, we have compiled a great list of ten bikes, ranging from rim brakes to fixed gears, basket bikes, and more. This list is based on web traffic, commentary, and social media chatter, and each of these builds really brought something unique to our content. We omitted bike reviews here but included production bikes. Oh and I hope you like baskets!

Let’s jump right in!

From Coil Back to Air: John’s Pumpkin Spice Starling Murmur 29er

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From Coil Back to Air: John’s Pumpkin Spice Starling Murmur 29er

Since moving to Santa Fe, I’ve ridden my mountain bikes almost exclusively, which is a stark contrast to how much time I would spend on my drop bar bikes in Los Angeles. It’s not that there isn’t gravel in our area, it’s just that mountain biking is so accessible, so remote, and so sheltered from the wind and the sun, it’s a no-brainer.

Another major difference is whereas I’d drive to the trailhead in LA, I find myself riding to the trails here 99.9% of the time, even on my Starling Cycles Murmur, which is a really big bike to pedal across town, up the foothills, and into the mountains.

These miles spent on my full suspension had me spending a lot of time adjusting the coil system this bike was built on. Some days, I’d pedal with only a hip bag, while others, I’d lug a heavy camera bag around. This 10+ pound differential made it somewhat awkward to adjust the coil shocks as I found myself smack dab in the middle of the two coil weight zones. While the ride quality of the coil system is undeniably noticeable, it felt like I needed something less finicky.

So, when Fox reached out, asking if I wanted to try out their new fork and rear shock, I jumped on the opportunity. Little did I know I’d gravitate back towards air after vibing so hard on the coil shocks’ ride quality…

From the Masters of Metal: a Long-Term Review of the Moots Womble 29er

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From the Masters of Metal: a Long-Term Review of the Moots Womble 29er

Let’s just say I didn’t expect any less than greatness from Moots when it came to the Womble, the latest creation from their shop in Steamboat Springs. From previous experiences, I knew how well Moots’ titanium bikes rode and was looking forward to trying out their take on a modern 29er.

A few years back, I put the Baxter 29er through the wringer on the Steamboat to Fort Collins Ramble Ride, and during my project with SRAM in the Inyo Mountains, I pedaled it high up in the Mojave Desert and through Death Valley, across miles of washboard roads.

If I learned anything from those experiences it’s that titanium is the greatest frame material, especially when it’s wielded by the Masters of Metal. I’ve had the Womble 29er for a few months now, throughout the dusty ‘n’ dry end of summer, well into the snow-filled fall, and am finally ready to make my thoughts official, so read on below.

Mason Cycles InSearchOf Redux Features the Condensor Rack and Load-Bearing Fender

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Mason Cycles InSearchOf Redux Features the Condensor Rack and Load-Bearing Fender

Many framebuilders and bike companies approach cargo capacity by relying on third-party racks, which is fine and all but when a company designs specific cargo solutions, it causes pause. Trek did it with their 1120+ touring bike and now Mason Cycles turns it up a notch with their new InSearchOf steel touring bike model, featuring the Condensor Rack. Yet the most clever innovation here is this beautiful load-bearing front mudguard/fender. Not every ride requires cargo bags but plenty of rides, especially this time of year, require the constant shedding and switching of layers. This fender can hold a jacket (or a hoagie, burrito, muffin, etc), with the addition of ski straps.

You can read all about the Condensor Rack at Mason Cycles and see the new ISO models there too!

Kris Henry on His New 44 Bikes Full Suspension Steel MTB: the Snakedriver

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Kris Henry on His New 44 Bikes Full Suspension Steel MTB: the Snakedriver

My first taste of full suspension came when I was working as a wrench at a shop in Quakertown PA just after graduating from college and not really having a plan. On mornings off, I’d take out a demo and ride the local trails up on South Mountain in Emmaus. Those bikes were terrible. But at the time, I was young and loving any bicycle I could get my hands on. That was 1998. A degree project when I went back to school confirmed I didn’t have a clue about geometry, handling, let alone suspension kinematics. Fast forward to 2012 when I hung my shingle out starting 44 Bikes, I became solely focused on honing geometry and understanding fit. But deep down, I wanted to build a full suspension bike but I knew I wasn’t ready. Which brings us to the here and now. Things began to click after building hundreds of bikes and dozens of prototypes where I finally felt like I had a grip on geometry and handling. I wanted a new challenge. So in the Spring of 2019, I started acquainting myself with a platform I had largely ignored.

Sturdy Progress: Inside / Out at Sturdy Cycles

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Sturdy Progress: Inside / Out at Sturdy Cycles

Andrew stops mid-sentence, pauses, “ooooooh!…….. Oooooh…. oooooh!” his pitch rises to a maniacal school child giggle of surprise and wild childlike delight, like a two-year-olds first taste of cake. Visceral and uncontrollable joy. “Tom!?! Is this a prototype or is this a FUCKING!…. ok…. That’ll do it!” a long pause of wild-eyed observation glancing desperately around the room, eyes hungry for an affirming reaction but forced to settle for Tom’s grinning but nonchalant response of “yea, they’ve gotten lighter as well”. Another longer pause as dust from Tom’s stoic “yogi bear” response settles, a mumbled and affectionate “asshole.” The recording tapers off into minor expletives, mumblings, and the low noises people make to indicate affection for bits of metal when they’re together in sheds.

Introducing the Vanilla Classic Road Bike with Custom CycloRetro Engraved Shimano Dura Ace

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Introducing the Vanilla Classic Road Bike with Custom CycloRetro Engraved Shimano Dura Ace

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.

Good On Ya, America!

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Good On Ya, America!

We’re not gloating but we do want to make a post congratulating the democratic process. Good on ya, America! That said, we have a lot of work to do to re-unite this country.