So this is my only drop bar bike at the moment and I wanted it to be as versatile as possible so that I can use it for road rides, gravel grinding, bikepacking, and even an occasional cyclocross race. I have two sets of wheels for it – 650b with wider tires for bikepacking and harsh terrain, and 700c for everything else.
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.
Paul Component Engineering makes a lot of cool stuff and the whole team over there in Chico is friends with many framebuilders. Real recognize real, right? For his latest bike, he chose Cameron Falconer to weld him up something special. Check it out here!
This year was to be the first year Nao Tomii of Tomii Cycles was going to attend NAHBS. For a small builder like Nao, spending the kind of money it takes to pull a seat up to the table of the USA’s largest hand made bicycle show takes a lot of financial planning, so when NAHBS was postponed this year, Tomii Cycles wouldn’t be able to attend. Most builders display customer’s bikes at NAHBS and asking his clients to wait four more months for their bikes, especially during a pandemic was out of the question. I reached out to Nao and asked if we could display his bikes here at the Radavist, so this week, we’re doing just that…
This year was to be the first year Nao Tomii of Tomii Cycles was going to attend NAHBS. For a small builder like Nao, spending the kind of money it takes to pull a seat up to the table of the USA’s largest hand made bicycle show takes a lot of financial planning, so when NAHBS was postponed this year, Tomii Cycles wouldn’t be able to attend. Most builders display customer’s bikes at NAHBS and asking his clients to wait four more months for their bikes, especially during a pandemic was out of the question. I reached out to Nao and asked if we could display his bikes here at the Radavist, so this week, we’re doing just that, beginning with Blake’s Gravel Hunter, complete with custom Andrew the Maker bags and a stunning paint job by Jordan Low. Sit back and enjoy clicking through these beautiful photos of an equally as beautiful bicycle…
It had been years since I’ve ridden singlespeed and to be honest, I was pretty reluctant to do so here in Santa Fe. We’ve been in town for about two months now and it’s taken a while to get used to the elevation. Our house is at 6,800′ and the local trails start around 7,000′, shooting up to 12,000′. It’s a lot to take in but for the more flowy cross-country trails, I felt like I could get away with one gear and I knew just the bike for it!
My Retrotec is one of those “forever” machines. I could never sell it as it feels like it’s a part of this website. Plus, the maker – Mr. Curtis Inglis – is just such a stand up guy. When you ride a Retrotec, you put a smile on Curtis’ face and if you’ve ever met the guy, you know that’s well worth it!
Black Cat Bicycles presents the 2020 edition of the Hello Monsta! The perfect gravel bike scaled up. Designed around 27.5 x 2.4” tires, but fully compatible with 700 x 40mm tires(!) without compromise to chainstay length, bb height, or steering trail dimensions. Let’s get real. Most of these features are ancillary to the fact that this bike just rips. The Hello Monsta! is great for exploring chunky backcountry, touring the world, or rallying your local favs. We shot this bike at NAHBS and it got a lot of attention. It’s finally available for ordering!
The frame and fork set will have the following features and specs:
-Custom sized frame and fork, tailored for you
-110 x 15 and 148 x 12 hub spacing-mtb boost
-1x or 2x drivetrain
-27.5 x 2.4” tires
-73mm British threaded bottom bracket shell
-1 1/8″ threadless unicrown fork for maximum ride quality
-front and rear flat caliper mounts for maximum versatility
-27.2 or 30.9 seatpost, internal dropper port if desired
-S bend seatstays
-Art School dropouts or Swinger single speed dropouts
-Custom blended rugged tubeset for aggressive riding
-Cable or electronic shifting
-Drop or flat handlebar
-Dear Landlord rack available, but not included
-Original paint always available and starts at $1000
-$4600 frame and fork. White Industries custom crankset and headset included.
Speedvagen is still full-speed ahead with its 2020 Guidebook, offering up a distraction from the current pandemic, with a selection of mouth-watering paint schemes and builds. The biggest news for 2020 is they have brought back the Ichico paint scheme and their titanium bikes are finally fully up to speed and leaving the shop on a regular basis.
Speedvagen are doing free upgrades to Horizon paint on the first 11 deposits on the public release and they’re offering a free Silca upgrade as well. That means you get a painted to match frame pump, 2 Silca Ti Bottle Cages, and a Silca Tourqe.
The Ichico paint scheme is -hands down- my favorite paint job Speedvagen has ever developed. Originally released as the 2015 Surprise Me scheme for one year only, Ichico was then put in the vault and now its back and available as an upgrade for all custom Speedvagens.
Check out the Guidebook at Speedvagen.
Santa Fe is a very singlespeed friendly town, especially the in-town XC trails, with their swoopy turns, punchy, short climbs, and flowy descents. Kyle Klain is a photographer, a cyclist, a lover of the American West, and quite the character. We spent some time chatting about Four Corners and our favorite places to bounce around on dirt roads in 4x4s and on bicycles. While he has a very all-mountain capable full suspension, this Sklar hardtail just looks like a dream…
Read the comments here enough and any time we post a new bike from a brand, someone will complain that the largest size won’t fit them. It sucks. Being really tall, and being really short for that matter means it’s hard to find a bike that will fit you. As such, those two polarizing ends of the spectrum are a real challenge for framebuilders. Lyle Wiens is a relatively new builder. He calls himself a “hobby builder”, who is based in Manitoba, Canada. He’s built about 30 frames and he got into it because he couldn’t find a bike that fit him properly at 6’8″ and 235 lbs… Sound familiar? Check out this super rad Readers’ Rides below!
With NAHBS being delayed for the foreseeable future, we’re getting a lot of showcase builds sent to us to share. For framebuilders, shops, and companies, a lot of energy goes into NAHBS bikes each year, so not being able to show them off can be a huge hit to their plans. Luckily, we support NAHBS, framebuilders, and small brands, so this is a perfect fit for us. This round, we’re looking at these collaboration bikes from Search and State, Mosaic, and Black Oak Velo.
Picking up where there popular Ronin gravel bike launched, the e-Ronin is an all-new Alchemy gravel bike featuring Fazua’s Evation drive system. Like its acoustic cousin, the Ronin, the e-Ronin is made by hand in Denver, Colorado. This makes the e-Ronin the first American-made carbon gravel electric bike. Making it in Denver allows Alchemy to make the e-Ronin with a custom geometry, allowing you to choose the stock paint scheme with different colors for no added cost. Head to Alchemy to check out more details!
For the astute bike nerd, with the unfettered access to the internet that many of the socially distant are currently experiencing, it is evident that hardly a day passes without some bike brand announcing their revolutionary new gravel bike into an increasingly crowded marketplace. Shorter chainstays! Bigger tire clearance! More braze-ons splooshed all over the frame! Into this current apocalyptic wasteland of the gravel racer without a race is born the Lickskillet. Springing from the loins of REEB (yes, that is BEER spelled backward) the venerable bike/brewing company in Longmont Colorado. As they say, each REEB is “Barn Built Because it Matters”.
A while ago Liz and I were rolling through Connecticut, on a mission to eat the best pizza in the world. We went to Frank Pepe’s, Sally’s, Modern, and BAR, a list provided to us by the one and only Ronnie Romance. Ronnie even told us a story of a date at BAR that would forever change his life, but both of us still agreed that Sally’s was the best pizza New Haven had to offer, and I’ll even go as far and say it’s the best pizza I’ve ever had. Ronnie and I have shared pizzas all across the globe, we’ve also shared many stories while eating pizza, and besides Namz, I don’t think anyone person has come up more than Peter Weigle. To me, Peter Weigle is a living legend, dealing in a world I know very little about, and because of this, I thought untouchable. Well… besides holding a can of his Frame Saver. To Ronnie, Peter is an old friend, who shaped the way he pieces his own bikes together to share with the thousands followers along for the ride. Hints, making everything Peter does “The New/Old Hot Thing”!
But what to do with it? Socially minded, intimately connected to the streets of LA through his craft, Cache suggested we find a way to use this frame to raise money for the local LA food bank where he volunteers.
So here’s how to win this frame:
-Donate what you can to the LA Food Bank ($25 = 100 meals, so even $5 helps)
-DM Squid Bikes on Instagram a screenshot of your receipt.
-We understand that times are tight, if you aren’t able to donate, please just DM us a selfie of your smiling face.
On May 1 we’ll collect all the screenshots/selfies and someone* will have a beautiful new one-of-a-kind Cache painted SO-EZ!
*frameset size 54 (it will look great hanging on a wall if it’s not your size) one entry per person, shipping within the lower 48 States – see Squid for details.
Shop Visits are some of our favorite content here at the Radavist and at the same time, they are very visual experiences, which is why I really love the Cobra Framebuilding “Shut Up and Build Bikes” series. The latest features Mark from Chumba Cycles and is well worth the listen! Head to Cobra to check it out and don’t miss our Chumba Cycles Shop Visit!
Next week, we’re going to peer into the workshop of JP Weigle, but we’re going to share his bike first, as an introduction to those who might not be aware of who the hell Mr. Weigle is, what he’s known for, and just how stunning his bikes are. Take some time and really mull over these photos because the work of Peter Weigle is second to none!
There were so many bikes at Peter’s worthy of being shot, but there was something about this particular bike that I just kept going back to. It was the cleanest, but for some reason felt like it was the most loved. I could’ve shot the bike that Jan Heine reviewed in 2017 for Bicycle Quarterly, but there was just something about this very blue bike that had me going crazy.