I’ve long admired the work of Rick Hunter, yet have never been able to get ahold of one in my size. Especially since he has closed his order queue. My thoughts were, one day a frame would pop up in my size and I’d have to swoop on it. That’s what happened, in a nutshell, when I drove up to Chico, California to hang out with Paul Component Engineering for a few days. The trip coincided with the recent Paul Camp, a media gathering at the Paul shop, featuring eleven bikes, built by select framebuilders, all around a joint theme: a monster cross or mountain bike. Oh, and the bikes had to use the same color scheme: red, white and blue. As a group, these bikes were marvelous and I had a blast both riding and photographing them, especially this very frame…
I’m not sure how many of you caught this in the gallery showcasing my Stinner hardtail but we ran into an issue when building the bike up. I wanted to run Klampers on this bike, since I’m using it for some bikepacking trips in the near future and I really liked the way the Retrotec I rode at Paul Camp’s Klamper brakes felt with the short pull lever. So, when I bought the frame from Stinner, we began building it and ran into a problem. It’s a common issue, when a frame is designed to run modern hydraulic disc brakes and you try to run a cable actuated brake like the Klamper, with its high cable entry point. Basically, if we ran the cable through the braze-on and into the Klamper, it wouldn’t work; the bend was too abrupt for the cable.
When I brought it up to Aaron at Stinner, he suggested using a V-Brake noodle, so I passed the idea off to Mike at Golden Saddle Cyclery. This is what he worked up. A simple noodle, with rubber heat shrink tubing around the metal part, so it won’t scratch the seatstay. Personally, I think this is an elegant solution.
This Friday, in San Francisco, Mission Workshop is hosting a Q+A with Paul Price from Paul Component Engineering from 6-9pm. Make sure you swing through for this event if you’re in the area, Paul is a fascinating human.
Whoa! Talk about a barn find!
“So…..here’s a funny story! We were about to demolish the downstairs bathroom and there were a bunch of old Sierra Nevada beer boxes above it with an inch of machine-oil soaked dust on them. Most of them were full of old paperwork, but upon peeking inside one of them, we were surprised to discover all the components and packaging to build up a bunch of this long discontinued product: “Blue Balls”. This was a seatbinder bolt we manufactured from 1992 to 1994. If you order one of these, you’re getting the original “New Old Stock” part, in its original packaging card with the peace sign on the back that Paul drew by hand. So all you people who’ve been commenting “Bring back Blue Balls!” on our Instagram….. There, we did it, who loves ya?!
These only fit frames designed for an external seatbinder bolt or quick-release, like your dad’s 80’s mountain bike. The minimum distance between the balls is 26mm, and the maximum distance is 40mm. If you don’t know if this will fit your bike, go to a bike shop and ask an expert.”
See more at Paul!
I just love these videos from Paul, but I want to see Travis do one on his Paul Component Hite Rite!
Chico artist Matt Loomis created quite the graphic for Paul’s newest shirt and I love it! In stock now at Paul!
… The guys in Chico just posted a video showcase from all the Paul Camp bikes. If you missed the gallery from this, check it out in the related column on the left.
While I was in Chico, Paul and Travis from Paul Component had a few questions for me about life, liberty and the pursuit of constant stoke. Check out the full interview below!
Shred on You Krusty Diamond: Travis T’s Falconer Throwback Machine
Photos by John Watson, words by Travis T
After an afternoon of looking at cool vintage bikes at Cameron Falconer‘s house, I asked him if he’d be down to weld me a single speed mountain bike frame inspired by old klunkers, with a fork inspired by a Pro-Cruiser (first production mountain bike) with a loop tail. I basically wanted all of my favorite things about a lot of historic mountain bikes, all on one frame, built for me. BUT, I also wanted to showcase as many PAUL Component parts as possible, and I wanted it to feature the new Set-N-Forget thru-axle skewers. I also wanted to ride the shit out of this bike, so I wanted it to have legit shredworthy geometry and no weaknesses or tolerance issues.
People often ask what I love most about my job. After the obvious – riding bikes – comes watching projects like this unfold. Paul Price lives in Chico and is the man behind Paul Component Engineering. He’s been in this game for a while and has been to NAHBS countless times over the years. In that time, he’s watched a lot of new names pop up in the framebuilding circuit, most notably Sean from Oddity Cycles. Sean’s creations are whacky, fun and offer very unique riding characteristics. For one, they’re titanium, which at smaller diameters, can be flexy. Not in a bad way, just in a unique way. Next up, Sean bends the shit out of the tubes, making them swoopy and thus increasing the wow factor.
Paul Camp is a magical week where Paul Component Engineering invites journalists from all over the US to check out their day to day operations through a series of hands-on workshops. Each journalist is assigned a CNC machine, or workstation and is taught the skills needed to machine brakes, stems, and other components. From there, they camp out on the property, eat sandwhiches and run the machines 24 hours a day, in shifts. This gives the employees of Paul a chance to ride during the week. Everybody wins!
Just kidding. In reality, Paul gives the journalists a tour of the shop, where he walks them through the process of fabricating everything in the Paul Component Engineering catalog. From there, they are able to select a bike from one of eleven builders and go on a ride in the hills of Chico. Swimming usually ensues, along with a Sierra Nevada Brewery tour, some dinner and then everyone goes home. It’s a rad time, or at least I’ve heard it is, because each year, for one reason or another, I cannot attend this Bicycle Journalist Spring Break.
Feeling like I owe Mr. Paul something, not only because we’re friends, but because he had these eleven bikes just hanging out, waiting for a proper photoshoot, I planned on heading up to Chico once I got back from my European travels. Last week, I loaded up the truck and drove straight up California for 10 hours until I reached Chico, Paul and these bikes.
Not since NAHBS have I seen such a sick collection of bikes in one place. Yesterday I photographed all 11 of the Paul Camp bikes, in great detail. And yeah, as you can see, each bike was to adhere to a red, white and blue palette with builders having the option of a monster cross bike, or a hardtail.Expect a mega gallery next week after the holiday weekend…
… and you can expect to see more photos of this bike next week. It looks even better in person!
Part of living in Chico is balancing the amount of riding you do with a post-ride dunk in the river…
Since I missed out on Paul Camp, the open house Paul holds in Chico each year, I figured I’d drive straight up the guts of California and hang out in the spring heat with Paul and company. While I’m here, I’ll be documenting the 12 Paul Camp bikes various framebuilders sent in for various media to ride during the meetup, as well as riding some of the local trails and soaking in the river. Expect more to come!
If you love blue anodized components and are looking for an easy way to buy some of Paul’s parts, now’s your chance. Right now, there’s a convenient page set up to get your fix. See more at Paul Component Engineering.
I beg of the people of Paul Component Engineering, please do more of these videos with the rest of those incredible bikes hanging from Paul’s rafters!
Whether you’re looking to drop your saddle a bit mid-ride, or if you remove your seatpost while your bike is locked up, quick-release seat collars are extremely useful. If you’re a fan of Paul Components and love quick-release seat collars, today’s your lucky day. In stock now at Paul.
Cool Stuff at Frostbike
Photos by Kyle Kelley and words by John Watson
Frostbike. It’s part party, part bike industry tradeshow and all fun. Each year, Quality Bicycle Products, the largest distributor for bike shops in the US, invites a handful of media and tons of shop owners to its facilities in Bloomington, just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Once within its walls, attendees get a sneak peek at many of the brands QBP carries’ newest offerings.
This year, we didn’t line anyone up to cover the event, but Kyle was there for his shop, Golden Saddle Cyclery. Because he is a shop owner and a regular contributor to the Radavist, Kyle’s eye for what is “cool” really resonates. You’ll see a lot from the brands commonly featured here on the site and if you’ve got any questions, just drop them in the comments.