#Mellow-Johnny’s

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Peter’s Serotta Legend Ti Gates Belt Drive Commuter

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Peter’s Serotta Legend Ti Gates Belt Drive Commuter

What do you do with that old racing frame you had for over a decade after you decide racing just isn’t for you? Or those gaudy old wheels kicking around the bike shop you’ve worked at for just as long? For Peter, one of Mellow Johnny’s longest running employees, he got crafty.

Peter has had this frame since 2003, when it was fit with an actual road group. At the time, the titanium and carbon Serotta Legend was a rocket. Stiff rear triangle, compliant front end, or so they say. Whatever the marketing behind this bike was, within its design lay a beautiful possibility.

Those bolts, holding the seat stays to the dropouts can be serviced. If they can be serviced, they can be removed so Peter took the initiative to put a Gates Carbon Belt Drive system they had at Mellow’s to the test by installing the belt through that split in the stays.

There he was, with a decade-old, balleur commuter rendered in green and gold. What else could he do to this bike to put it over the top? How about a set of gold Campagnolo wheels from 2008? Voila. Personally, I think this bike is so wacky that it works and it’s been Peter’s go-to ride for years… Run what you brung.

The Mellow Johnny’s Local Frame Builders Showcase Recap

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The Mellow Johnny’s Local Frame Builders Showcase Recap

Last week, Mellow Johnny’s had the great pleasure of hosting a frame builder’s happy hour that showcased the work of five local bicycle artisans. With so many talented frame builders in the immediate Austin area, it only makes sense to get them out of their work sheds and together for a party. Icarus, Chumba, Kirklee, Paramour, and Saila all descended upon the shop for a night where they could showcase their work and talk to established fans as well as potential clients.

The energy was rambunctious. Halfway through the night, I found myself surrounded by over 100 people who were enjoying beer, friends, and the company of some beautiful bicycles. The amount of “oh’s” and “ah’s” were uncountable. From someone marveling over the beautiful weld work of Lauren from Saila to an in-depth conversation about carbon frame repair with KirkLee, there was something for all tastes. The amount of support and admiration that was had for these humble local builders was a testament to the tight-knit and passionate community that is evident in Austin’s cycling community.

For myself, the highlight of the night was hanging out with the fellas of Chumba Cycles. After talking with them about their home base right down the road from Pace Bend State Park and witnessing their love of beer, it was clear these guys loved to shred and loved to have a good time. The coolest bike they brought was a fully loaded 29+ rig called the Ursa 29+. Able to fit a 3.0 inch tire, the Ursa is clearly a bike that has the potential to handle just about any terrain you could throw at it. Three bottle cages and the ability to run a Singlespeed, 1x, or 2x set up leads to extreme versatility and the option for fully loaded camping or an afternoon shred session at your favorite local trails. The Ursa they brought was outfitted with their Zulu series bags for handlebar, stem, seat, and frame. Vince from Chumba shared with me his story about taking the bike to Ecuador for a 7-day bikepacking trip from Cotapaxi to Chimborazo and all I could think about for the rest of the night was the plan for my next bikepacking trip!

All in all, the event was a huge success. Good times were had, there was much “nerding out” on bikes, and many Topo Chicos and beers were consumed. If you have a local frame builder in your town and you’re looking for your next bike, it’s so important to see what they have to offer. Check out a few more photos below and see the full gallery at Mellow Johnny’s.

Mellow Johnny’s Frame Builder Happy Hour in Austin

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Mellow Johnny’s Frame Builder Happy Hour in Austin

Hey Austin, Texas, you (we) have a lot of great framebuilders in town. Many of which can build you a completely custom bicycle for less that what you’d pay for a made-by-machines carbon high end frame. Understandably, it’s difficult to commit to a high-dollar item, but Mellow Johnny’s has put together a meet and great happy hour on June 12th in order to lower that barrier for entry.

Head over to Mellow Johnny’s for more information and you can trust that these builders are more than capable at delivering a product you’ll want to always ride.

Lucas’ Icarus Classic Road with Campagnolo Athena

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Lucas’ Icarus Classic Road with Campagnolo Athena

Blending steel with stainless can yield marvelous results, especially when done so through the use of chevrons. To then carry those lines into a frame’s paint is whole ‘nother level of beauty. Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames‘ latest road machine was recently built up at Mellow Johnny’s.

The owner, Lucas, wanted a classic road with modern componentry and a 26.0 bar. Campagnolo Athena 11-speed with a Nitto M179 STI bar and a custom fillet stem delivered the perfect kit for this bike, resulting in an elegant road machine. White Industries T11 to H+Son Archetypes and Paul skewers offer one of the nicest wheelsets for those looking for a classic flair and modern tech.

There are so many details in this bike, that I might have gone overboard with the photos: Stainless stays, stainless fork blades, internal routing and that head tube cluster, all matched with a beautiful chevron design at the bottom bracket. Ben Falcon at the Horse Cycles delivered one hell of a paint job!

Enjoy this bike, Lucas!

Peter’s Richard Sachs Team Bike with Campagnolo Chorus 11

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Peter’s Richard Sachs Team Bike with Campagnolo Chorus 11

It’s almost cross season here in Austin, with the first race of the season coming this weekend, everyone’s dialing in their race rigs. So it goes without saying that everywhere you ride these days, you’re being bombarded with balleur bike builds. Take for example, Peter from Mellow Johnny’s new (to him) Richard Sachs team cross bike.

While I’m not sure of the exact year, knowing Richard’s internet presence, I’m sure he’ll be able to chime in – especially with that fork crown detail.

Peter went with Campagnolo Chorus 11 speed on this bike, with matching Zipp bar, stem and post, topping it off with Chris King R45 hubs, laced to HED Belgiums. When you photograph a Richard Sachs, you end up just hitting all of his logos and lug work, both of which were given meticulous presence by none other than Joe Bell himself.

I gotta say, riding bikes to shoot them is fun, but this was a pleasure…

Andre’s Sparkle Icarus Track Machine

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Andre’s Sparkle Icarus Track Machine

A while back, I posted about Ian Sutton of Icarus Frames trying to sell this prototype track machine here in Austin. Turns out, my buddy – and part time intern – Andre picked it up. Rather than go with a classy, wet coat, he got it painted dark black with a clear sparkle top coat. Something that neither Ian nor myself saw coming…

I’ll admit, both of us were apprehensive, but when I saw the bike in person, I knew exactly what Andre was going for and Circle A killed it!

Andre built the bike up with all Zipp components: seatpost, bars, bartape and stem. For wheels, he went PAUL track hubs to H+Son Archetypes and SRAM Omnium cranks. It’s a standard, classy build on a very unique frameset. Since he works at Mellow Johnny’s he had the mechanics dial everything in.

The Cervelo fork and its tight clearances are right at home with this frame, that barely squeezes in a 23c tire. It’s a mean steed with a bit of sassy sparkles.

Ride safe Andre!

Allan’s Hunqapillar Dirt Tourer

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Allan’s Hunqapillar Dirt Tourer

The Hunqapillar. A touring bike with massive clearances for mountain bike tires, tubing spec’d for off-road ripping (fully loaded) and a gorgeous green and cream paint job. Branded as a “Wooly Mammoth Bicycle”, this machine is meant to rip wakki 1-trakk and still make it to Poppi’s Pizza in time for a cold pint or a toke from the wizard’s pipe.

Chris’ Icarus Race Bike

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Chris’ Icarus Race Bike

This is the bike that really put Ian from Icarus Frames on the map. Well, at least that’s what I think anyway. My reasoning? It was one of the first truly over-sized / shaped tubesets he fillet brazed and the Fresh Frame paint job was so loud at the time, that I don’t think anyone was coming close to hitting that mark. Seriously, what the hell is up with those chevrons?!

When Chris built this up for the 2011 Philly Bike Expo, it had a Dura Ace group and Chris was still working on his fitness. Since living in Austin for over two years, he’s finally got this bike dialed in with performance in mind. Switching the King headset out for the Crank Brothers Direct SL Cobalt allowed him to lower the front end considerably. He then sold the DA, leaving this and his Serotta both full-SRAM.

What sets this build off the charts in my opinion are the wheels. Working at Mellow Johnny’s, Chris has access to some really great wheels, namely the Bontrager Aeolus 5 clincher. These lightweight race wheels are made in the USA and turn this every day road bike into a mean, lean race machine.

It’s hard to believe that Chris has had this bike since 2011. It seems so long ago. In that time, the neon orange paint has faded a bit, but the bike is every bit as stunning! See some more updated photos in the Gallery.

Lauren’s Casati Got an 11 Speed Campagnolo Athena Upgrade

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Lauren’s Casati Got an 11 Speed Campagnolo Athena Upgrade

The girlfriend bike. Or in this case, the fiancé bike. It can be a tricky, slippery slope, especially when you’re kind of – ok really – obsessed with bicycles. When I bought this bike from Andy at FYXO last year, it came with a C-Record gruppo. Good for looking at, sucky for climbing hills – for Lauren anyway. We quickly found out that that 8-speed cassette didn’t have the gear range she needed to pedal up to Austin’s beautiful vistas…

This bike sat on my wall for about a year, collecting dust.