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If you’ve ever wondered about the nitty gritty details of all things Kyle Kelley and GSC, now’s your chance to dive right in with Path Less Pedaled on their latest interview.
“I just wanted a touring bike.”
That was Jimmy’s response when I asked him to sum up his Crust Bikes Dreamer build. The thing is, this is not just a touring bike and whether Jimmy wants to admit it or not, a lot of thought went into this bike. Just look at the build kit!
The Slate was a gamble for Cannondale. My review of the bike generated a lot of controversies and it’s understandable. Questions along the line of “why?…” still pop up when I see photos of Slates online. Yet, there’s something about riding one that injected a bit of fun on even the most mundane dirt road rides. Jossue loved his Slate. I first saw him riding it on a TGSCIF Ride earlier in the summer, where he ripped the derailleur hanger off. Shortly after, he broke the frame. He was bummed out and wanted to assess his options.
After talking to Kyle at Golden Saddle, Jossue decided on a Niner RLT9 fork with a Lefty adapter for the tapered headtube. The entire Slate kit was easy to swap over and he even gained a little more room in the chainstays with the RLT9 to be able to ride a beefier tire. The Lefty Oliver didn’t alter the geometry too much, and in the end, injected the RLT9 with a bit more fun, perfect for this Cherry Canyon loop.
When you’ve got a good thing going, why change it? For Saja, he loved his Breadwinner Holeshot singlespeed ‘cross bike so much that when it came to buying a hardtail mountain bike, he looked to the Portland-based framebuilders yet again. Breadwinner has two mountain models, the Goodwater and the Bad Otis, with the latter being a more trail-ready and rowdy big brother to the slimmer, while still shreddy, cross country-oriented Goodwater. The difference between the two mountain models come down to head angles and fork travel. The Goodwater touts a 140mm fork and a 67.5º head angle, which delivers a more than capable bike, suitable for our mountains here in Los Angeles.
Scotty 2 Hotty is a local staple here in Los Angeles. He’s what I like to call an autodidactic raconteur or a self-taught man with lots of informative ramblings. For those of you who have ventured into Golden Saddle Cyclery, you’ll probably recognize him as a patron of the bike shop and literal sponge of knowledge. While Scotty is a farmer and a consultant for soil nutrition, his passions in life exist far beyond the liveliness of plants. His favorite subjects include but are not limited to fishing, gliders, obscure bicycle parts, firearms, fishing, boating, Shimano, both reels, and bicycles.
With a road geometry, clearance for a 45mm tire, longer stays and the zippy, lightweight feel of titanium, the Routt 45 is a contender for one of my favorite, production drop bar bike on the market. Over the years, we’ve seen Moots make large leaps out of the traditional, doctor and lawyer marketplace of high-end performance road machines into more back-country oriented exploration vehicle market. That’s not a great surprise either, as even the automotive and motorcycle markets have seen a shift from speed-centered experiences to more “adventure-driven” vehicles. People want to get out more, away from the crowds and away from the confines of asphalt-driven transportation.
Kyle’s 650b Cosmic Stallion Road with Campagnolo Chorus 11
Photos by John Watson and words by Kyle Kelley
Editor’s intro. I love Kyle’s All-City Cosmic Stallion. For me, the interchangeability of these bikes from 700c to 650b open up a door for riders to experience the plush cush of a 47mm tubeless road tire on a readily-available, production frame. It’s my belief that these 650b / 27.5″ wheeled bikes will alter the “road” industry to a place that proves you don’t need 23mm tires and 110 PSI to enjoy “all the roads.”
A while back I found myself riding my road bike less and less and my cyclocross bike more and more. I just wanted to get further and further from the hustle and bustle of the big city and closer to the epicenter of the San Gabriel Mountains, but I also understood that I would always have at least 15 miles on pavement before reaching the service roads and single track found in the Angeles Forest. No matter how much riding I was doing in the mountains, I was guaranteed 30 miles on the actual road, and no matter how much dirt the middle of the ride promised, road geometry made the most sense for these longer rides.
Raise your hand if you have ridden an actual cyclocross bike over 100 miles in one sitting. It is not fun and I’m not talking about type 2 fun. A road bike just works better for on and off-road riding. Hence the gravel craze.
For me, it’s just a road bike, and that’s why it has road pedals. It’s ridden on roads, paved and dusty. It’s a road bike, and for me, no road bike should be built with anything but Campagnolo. Now, thanks to Paul Component Engineering and their Klampagnolo brakes, with a Campy-specific pull and Chorus‘ new, 32-tooth cassette, why would you use anything but Campy?
I know this build isn’t for everyone, but I guarantee it’s for way more of you disbelievers than you think. The bike rolls fast on the 47c slicks, doesn’t weigh much because of the carbon bits, and will go just about anywhere! Can’t argue with that, right? Well…of course, you can, and that’s OK because that’s your right to have an opinion. I’m just saying, someday give it a try and then let’s talk.
Fat bottomed bikes you make the ripping world go round!
Putting together a parts bin bike doesn’t usually include an NJS frame. When his roommate parted out a complete NJS Samson track bike, Lucas acquired the frameset for $50. Aside from a few small dents in the top tube, the frame was in great condition, so he assembled it with all of his spare parts. Since then, it’s been his go-to around town and lock-up-bike. I couldn’t help myself when he rolled up to Golden Saddle Cyclery on it yesterday, just hours before hopping on a plane back to Portland…
Thanksgiving is a time to bring community together and help out any way possible. This year, we wanted to do something for one our local Southern California Native American tribes, the Haramokngna. Along with the Mount Wilson Bicycling Association, we made an homage water bottle to the popular “Red Box” area on Mount Wilson. Red Box is one of the few places in the San Gabriels that offers shade and most importantly, a place to fill up your bottles at a spigot. This area is marked by a beautiful red box, painted with Haramokngna petroglyphs and designs, from which it gets its name.
On the weekends, the Haramokngna American Indian Cultural Center is open, serving cold sodas and snacks. Just about every cyclist in the Los Angeles area has been through this oasis, either on their road or mountain bike and has benefitted in some way from the Haramokngna American Indian Cultural Center’s services.
We’re selling these bottles, exclusively at Golden Saddle Cyclery, alongside MWBA with all proceeds donated to the Haramokngna American Indian Cultural Center. Stop by and pick one up and know your money is going to a solid cause.
Drop bars make any mountain bike hot. Now whether it’s a heat that you feel in your heart or in your stomach depends on your point of view. For Mike at Golden Saddle Cyclery, he wanted to do something new to his rigid Moots Mooto X RSL after growing tired of it with flat bars, so he converted it to a dirt drop MTB. By using a Wolf Tooth Tanpan, Mike was able to run Shimano road shifters with the MTB derailleur and cassette. That nifty piece of tech, gives you Di2 road / mountain compatibility with standard, cable-actuated shifting.
Mike’s been riding it to work at GSC, where he’s a mechanic, via the various dirt trails and roads in LA. When you think about it, a bike like this makes a lot of sense when you can ride dirt from your front door, that may not merit suspension but would benefit from a chunkier tire. Personally, I think bikes like this look damn good and are damn fun to ride.
Last night, as part of the Rapha Rides series, a group of cyclists rode from the Rapha Santa Monica store to Golden Saddle Cyclery for a super chill “photography” ride up to the Helipad in Griffith Park to watch the sun set over this golden city. Half were in plain clothes and half were kitted out, but all enjoyed some beverages. Towards the end, Kyle requested for help in picking up the area’s trash, prompting everyone to pitch in. Because you can’t take photos when the area has trash all over it… Check out a few more below!
Over here in the wild wild west, people build their Space Horse discs up in all kinds of ways. From dirt drops, to upright Nitto Albatross bars, to flat Bullmoose and everything in between, these bikes are incredibly versatile commuters and tourers but perhaps Kyle’s is one of the most unique builds I’ve seen. Sure, it’s got 27.5″ wheels, with Maxxis Refuse tires, Salsa dirt drops, Sim Works stem, Sim Works post, Sim Works Paul Klampers, Sim Works Paul skewers, a Berthoud saddle, a SON hub, White Industries Cranks, Camo Cinelli tape, Velocity Cliff Hanger rims, Pass and Stow rack and Gevenalle shifters, but the thing that was the veritable cherry on the cake, or milkshake, or whatever is the rudeboy rockabilly Outer Shell rack bag.
How can you look at this bike without seeing that loud-ass leopard print?!
Finding a way to describe bikes is one of my favorite parts of this whole process and usually my initial reaction is the way to go. With this bike, I wanted to fight the rockabilly label so bad, yet it just fits. It’s like a pair of creepers at a Cramps show. In fact, it’s like a bike Poison Ivy would ride. Kyle, you’ve really outdone yourself with this one.
If you want a custom build like this and live in Los Angeles, hit up Golden Saddle Cyclery.
There’s nothing like a California sunset, especially over the San Gabriel Mountains here in Los Angeles. Those faded evenings usually come after an all-time MTB ride and for Nathan, he was craving some trail time. Sure, he’d ridden a lot of the singletrack in our great city on a bike before: his Rock Lobster all-road, but he wanted to finally rip them up – and himself – on a proper MTB. He went to the team at GSC and began talking to them about a Ritchey Timberwolf build. One unlike any the shop had put together before. GSC contacted Ritchey and requested one of their special Heritage paint jobs, then Mike, a mechanic at GSC talked to Nathan about a build kit. A Fox 36 fork would take the hits, while a Shimano drivetrain would offer smooth, worry-free shifting and braking. Wheels, featuring White Industries and durable rubber from Onza paved the way for one slick build. Being Nathan’s first mountain bike, it’s had a number of crashes already, but with each ride, he gets more and more accustomed to speed and cornering on loose and sandy trails.
The Timberwolf is a very popular hardtail option, I reviewed one and loved it. I know a number of you have these bikes, so share them in the comments.
If you want a custom build like this and live in Los Angeles, hit up Golden Saddle Cyclery.
Getting High in the San Gabriel Mountains at Mt. Lowe Trail Camp
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley
Each year everyone at Golden Saddle Cyclery gets super excited when Swift Industries announces their annual campout and then every year we become more and more worried about killing everyone because it is always way too hot to ride a fully loaded touring bike up a mountain. Yeah, it’s summer and yeah it’s hot everywhere, but we’re talking Buster Poindexter “HOT HOT HOT!”
This weekend, there’s a lot going down for men and women at Golden Saddle Cyclery. Find out all the details below!
Here’s a few photos from this morning’s TGIFGSC Free Coffee Friday ride. Remember, if you’re in Los Angeles, these rides leave every Friday morning from Intelligentsia coffee on Sunset avenue at 7:30am sharp. Follow Golden Saddle on Instagram for which bike to bring, as they announce each Thursday.