Wrapping up our coverage (for now) that showcases the celebrated work and career of San Diego-based framebuilder Rob Roberson, today we take a look at one of Rob’s most recent builds – a custom gravel bike for his friend and co-worker Jon Pucci. Rob and Jon worked together for years in Joe Bell‘s storied paint shop and conspired together for a chunk of that time planning what would become Jon’s dream bike and one he could adorn with an equally fitting paint job. As with all of Rob’s builds (and Jon’s paint, too), there’s a lot to take in so let’s get to it!
Can a Sub-$2k Wireless Shifting Bike be Any Good? State Bicycle Co. 4130 All-Road Rival XPLR eTap AXS Review
Founded in the college town of Tempe, AZ, State Bicycle Company started out selling affordable fixed-gear bikes and geared townies for college students and commuters. In their ten years of mostly direct-to-consumer bike business since, State has grown exponentially and now occupies a large warehouse/office in downtown Phoenix where they store and ship hundreds of bikes each month. While the brand still focuses on affordability and accessibility, its product offerings have expanded to include: lightweight road bikes, steel gravel bikes, coaster brake cruisers, electric bikes, apparel, and accessories. One bike in their lineup caught my attention a while back, the 4130 All-Road. Positioned as a versatile and well-equipped steel adventure bike, the 4130 fits 700c or 650b wheels with ample tire clearance, accepts drop or flat bars, boasts plenty of accessory mounts, and is designed around a comfortable geometry—for only $899!
In early 2022, State launched the 4130 All-Road with a SRAM Rival XPLR eTap AXS build kit for $1,999 and, if you were a prospective customer watching State’s website, you’d have noticed they sold out fast and have seen limited restocks. During that fleeting window of availability, I got my hands on one for this review and, over the past six months, have been logging long gravel rides, some singletrack shreds, and daily commutes. Continue reading for my thoughts on this capable machine…
Readers’ Rides: Dan’s Seven Evergreen
Using the name “Evergreen” on a titanium chassis gravel bike is very fitting. As Seven knows, ti bikes are immortal, and throughout one’s ownership of one, often go through many build iterations. Dan sent in his Seven Evergreen, which has taken him all over and has been built with various build kits. Let’s check it out in detail below!
The Bikepacking Super Bowl: 2023 East Texas Showdown
Dennis Lastochkin walks, or rather rides, us through his win at the East Texas Showdown. Brainchild of Patrick Farnsworth from the Bikes or Death podcast, the early March event feels like a season opener of sorts for the multi-day endurance crowd and traverses 400 miles through southeastern Texas. Check out this from-the-saddle tale of bikepacking’s “Super Bowl.”
FAIL 13: 2023 Border Bash Aragon Event Recap
In late April, Ryan le Garrec rode his bike from Madrid to the start of the Border Bash Aragon, a gravel camp in the Aragon region of Spain. The event is not a race but simply a way for riders interested in camaraderie and sharing big days to meet in a beautiful place. Along with stories about a few characters he met at the bash, Ryan shares words from the organizer on the event’s intent, and Ryan’s own perspective on these “non-race” events.
Radar Roundup: Standert Kettensäge, Blue Lug Belts, Ocean & San All Day Shirts, Restrap Frame Strap, Frontiers and Beyond, and Bikepacking Crystal Cove State Park
Our Radar Roundup compiles products and videos from the ‘net in an easy-to-digest format. Read on below for today’s findings…
TPC’s Unpack This Video Feat. Radavist x Sklar Bikes Super Something
John swung by TPC HQ to talk with Bruce Lin about our recently launched Radavist Edition Super Something builds in collaboration with Sklar Bikes. Check out the Unpack This video here!
The Radavist Edition Sklar Super Something Video
Today we’re elated to present our Radavist Edition Sklar Super Something bikes. We worked with Adam Sklar from Sklar Bikes to create two unique and exclusive paint finishes, which we’ve dubbed “Burgundy Something” and “Super Splatter,” and have five build kits ranging from a coaster cruiser to an ENVE-clad race machine.
These are available today, shipping from our parent company, TPC, in our Radavist shop.
Introducing The Radavist Edition Sklar Super Something Gravel Bikes
Today we’re elated to present our Radavist Edition Sklar Super Something bikes. We worked with Adam Sklar to create two unique and exclusive paint finishes, which we’ve dubbed “Burgundy Something” and “Super Splatter,” and have five build kits ranging from a coaster cruiser to an ENVE-clad race machine. These are available today, shipping from our parent company, The Pro’s Closet, in our Radavist shop.
There’s a lot to go over here, so let’s get to it!
It’s a Gathering, Not a Grinder: A Recap of Gosh Darn Gravel Gathering 6
For the sixth time, the Gosh Darn Gravel Gathering popped up in the hills and hollows of Hickman County, Tennessee. Each route was jam-packed with a variety of gravel and a multitude of creek crossings. Riders take their pick of the 19, 42, 63, and 100-mile routes. The goal is not to win, but to simply have a gosh darn good time.
Chris King Goes Deep: A First Look at the ARD44 All-Road FusionFiber Wheelset
Today, with the launch of the ARD44 wheelset, Chris King adds an all-road offering to their FusionFiber wheelset lineup that previously catered to gravel cyclists with the GRD23 and mountain bikers with the MTN30. Laced to King’s R45D hubs, at 25mm internal width and 44mm deep, ARD44 wheels are designed for riders of all roads – from tarmac to dirt tracks. Josh got his hands on a set of these new aero wheels just a few days ago and shares a first look below…
An Early Look at The Monē Bikes Hachita Prototype All-Rounder: A Sincere Cycles Build
Cjell here with a quick report from the field on my latest prototype bike model, the Moné Hachita. I’m still dialing in the details but have released a few protos into the wild. The new/forthcoming frame featured here was just built up by my friend Bailey Newbrey. For those unfamiliar, Bailey is the owner/operator/janitor/DJ of Sincere Cycles in Santa Fe.
The new bike is one we’re working on over here at Monē. The current Monē line-up has a slack/playful hardtail with very big tire clearance, a drop bar with very big tire clearance, and a gravel bike with just big tire clearance. In many ways, these thru-axle, disc-braked bikes are superior to this new bike. In all ways, really, save one: ultimate retro compatibility.
Leading By Example: The Mid South Non-Binary Race Rundown
The Mid South has offered a non-binary competitive category since their socially-distanced event in 2022. This year’s race saw a new course record, along with highlights in the Mid South double and singlespeed categories! Sally Turner, former journalist and current Event Manager for the Stillwater gravel season opener, shares a recap of how the day shook out for the non-binary field!
A Review of the Cotic Escapade 853: British Steel with Campagnolo Ekar
These past few months have been particularly harsh here in the Southern Rockies. Santa Fe has been hammered with winter weather, leaving even the in-town XC trails in a constant freeze/thaw cycle, rendering them unrideable. We’re lucky to have a network of gravel bike trails and acequia paths that remain open throughout winter, making it a perfect time for mixed-terrain riding.
To get me through this particularly brütal winter, I’ve had a lovely companion from our friends across the pond at Cotic. They sent me their Escapade gravel bike to review and it couldn’t have arrived at a better time. While my mountain bikes remain hung up on the wall, I’ve been putting in slow miles on the Cotic Escapade, pushing this bike to become my ideal all-terrain road bike for the frigid months at 7,000′. How did it stack up? Read on for more…
Don’t Talk About the Weather: The Mid South 2023
The Mid South is infamous for its weather, which is banned from conversation by the staff in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Instead, the good people at The Mid South put all of their energy into providing an incredible experience for every single type of cyclist and person. Arguably the most welcoming and inclusive event on the calendar, it has cultivated a special community in the increasingly corporate world of gravel. Oh, and as for this year’s race the unmentionable weather was perfect.
Suspending Everything Except Your Disbelief: Specialized’s New Diverge STR Review
Featuring their innovative Suspend the Rider (STR) rear Future Shock system, Specialized’s Diverge STR has achieved a new echelon of comfort and efficiency in the gravel world. Spencer Harding dives into the nuance of the system and all that it entails and offers. Is the juice worth the squeeze? He thinks so, even if that fruit is pretty pricey.
Readers’ Rides: Andrew’s Freewheelin’ Crust Bikes Florida Man Singlespeed
Say what you will about social media and its adverse effects on society but we’ve been served some stunning bikes through our Instagram Explore page over the years and as a result have connected with some genuinely amazing individuals. So maybe it’s not all that bad? Today’s Readers’ Ride is case in point: Andrew‘s Crust Bikes Florida Man looks like something we’d document in our Philly Bike Expo Reportage. Andrew went to town with this one and boy oh boy is it a looker! Without further adieu…
Readers’ Rides: Tom’s Vintage Lotus Odyssey Gravel
1980s road bikes make for pretty alright gravel bikes, as evidenced by Tom’s Lotus Odyssey, the bike he shared with us for Readers’ Rides today! Let’s check out what Tom did to make this bike more capable below…