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The Around the Rock Route: Circumnavigating the Teton Mountain Range by Bike

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The Around the Rock Route: Circumnavigating the Teton Mountain Range by Bike

I didn’t spend a lot of time planning this trip. I had tickets to Wyoming, a borrowed rental car, a new Soma Grand Randonneur (checks spelling of randonneur) with clearance for knobs, and a friend with a break during architecture school. “What route are you thinking?” Asked Will.

“Still working on that.”

This isn’t my first hastily planned tour. I pulled up RideWithGPS and found the Around The Rock Route close to where we were planning to stay for a few days. The route was developed by the friendly folks at Fitzgerald’s Bicycles, and it circumnavigates the Teton Mountain Range. The route is roughly 150 miles and is equal parts gravel road and pavement. The Fitzgerald team hosts a group ride along the route during the summer solstice, but Will and I opted to break the route into three days (to keep it gravel casual).

Rubber Baron Ronnie and His 650b Ultradynamico Crust Romanceür Canti

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Rubber Baron Ronnie and His 650b Ultradynamico Crust Romanceür Canti

What will soon be seven summers ago, Crust Bikes CEO Matt pedaled his prototype Evasion to the end of Long Island to catch a ferry across the Sound to where the fishing boat I was working on docked each evening. I readied the lines as the boat backed into the harbor.  Looking up, I could see a backlit figure of a cyclist above the docks in the parking lot— late summer setting sun illuminating orange and golds through course, untamed hair.  Chest hair.  We had been expecting each other…

An Iconic All-Rounder: Stooping with the Singular Cycles Peregrine 650b Gravel Bike

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An Iconic All-Rounder: Stooping with the Singular Cycles Peregrine 650b Gravel Bike

One of the original “all-rounders”, the Singular Cycles Peregrine first took flight over a decade ago, in May 2007, as an homage to post-war French constructeurs with modern updates like bigger tire clearances, more robust steel tubing, and disc brakes. I’ve had this bike for longer than I’d like to admit but with supply chain issues, parts shortages, and trying to align a review with more stock incoming from Singular, I’m finally ready to share my thoughts on this versatile bike. And we’re giving this exact build away in the coming weeks, so read on below

2021 Philly Bike Expo: Royal H Cycles Bed of Roses Neo-Randonneur

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2021 Philly Bike Expo: Royal H Cycles Bed of Roses Neo-Randonneur

Bryan Hollingsworth of Royal H Cycles has shown bikes at each Philly Bike Expo since its debut in 2009. And he always brings the heat. This year, Bryan returned with another stunning creation, the Bed of Roses, which blends classic randonneur elements with modern accouterments. Bryan walks us through the design impetus for this artistic build below, along with Jarrod Bunk‘s illustrative imagery.

Presenting the Speedvagen Custom Rando

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Presenting the Speedvagen Custom Rando

One of the most interesting parts of Speedvagen is seeing how individuals can bring their own riding style, perspectives, and ideas to the brand and push us in new directions.

Think back to Sacha and the Urban Racer. Richard and the GTFO, Glenn and the AFF, and now Bradford and his baby the Speedvagen Custom Rando.

Last summer early in the pandemic we hired Bradford Smith to build frames. While that was a crazy time to start new, he’s taking to the role exceptionally well and has been a staple in developing new ideas. His excitement for bike and riding is unlike anyone we have ever seen.

Bradford’s riding style is just different than that of an average cyclist and he thrives in the Ultra Endurance category and cyclocross, a strange mixture on opposite ends of the spectrum. Brad is known to do some pretty wild rides like completing 1200 Km (750 miles) Paris-Brest-Paris in 48hours of moving time. Finishing the Trans America bike race in 11th place and many more long-distance adventures.

The Rando is his influence and thoughts on how a bike should ride, combined with all of classic SV signature touches, seat stays, geo, materials, technology, and style.

The Rando

-Three Cerekote colors Army, Terracotta, Titanium Blue
-Custom Geo
-Custom Steel Fork
-Custom Built-in House rack.
-Ruthworks Bag
-Lighting Package featuring SON dynamo hub and Supernova E3 lights
-Painted to match Honjo fenders
-T47 BB

Turn around time depends on when parts arrive. We order all parts soon as you confirm your order, but in all honesty, if you are buying a custom bike right now be patient.

Deposit $1000 (deducted from the total price).

Soma Fabrications: Grand Randonneur Frame Updates

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Soma Fabrications: Grand Randonneur Frame Updates

Soma Fabrications have been designing bikes for all-road adventures for quite some time and one of their most cherished frames, the Randonneur, just got a whole bunch of upgrades. Here’s an easy-to-digest list of these updates:

What Stayed the Same:
-Front load bias geometry for better handling when using a front rack, bar bag, or basket.
-Traditional 1″ threaded fork with investment-cast crown
-Three sets of bottle bosses
-Front mini rack and pannier rack compatible
-Slender and lightweight CrMo tubes. (We lightened the seat tube, but are using a larger diameter, but thinner gauge downtube.)

Main Updates:
-Thru-axle hub compatibility for improved handling and stability in corners
-Disc brake mounts (IS)
-Tange/Long Shen Modular rear dropout system
-Improved tire clearance. While optimized for 650b x 42mm tires with fenders, the frame easily fits most 650b x 47mm tires
-An additional size: 46cm

Retail is $899 and available at SOMA or your local dealer.

The Radavist’s Top Ten Beautiful Bicycles of 2020

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The Radavist’s Top Ten Beautiful Bicycles of 2020

Each year I like to look at our content in its entirety and reflect back on bikes that took you, the readers of this website, by storm. Back in the mid to late 2000’s it was all fixed gears, then came the gravel bikes, the tourers, the MTBs, and the kooky, eccentric builds you’ve come to enjoy checking out in full-res detail. We’ve got some incredibly talented individuals contributing to this site and their hard work is something I cannot express my gratitude for enough. Going back through the 2020 content here at the Radavist, I am amazed at what we were able to accomplish all things considered.

For this year’s Top Beautiful Bicycles of 2020, we have compiled a great list of ten bikes, ranging from rim brakes to fixed gears, basket bikes, and more. This list is based on web traffic, commentary, and social media chatter, and each of these builds really brought something unique to our content. We omitted bike reviews here but included production bikes. Oh and I hope you like baskets!

Let’s jump right in!

Readers’ Rides: Andrew’s N=1 Sport Touring FW Evans

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Readers’ Rides: Andrew’s N=1 Sport Touring FW Evans

Oftentimes, we find the best bikes for us at the most random times. Andrew shares his build of this beautiful FW Evans with us on this week’s Readers’ Rides!

Two years ago, my wife and I bought our first place in our hometown of Franklin, TN and the space dictated we’d have enough room for one bike each. Since then I’ve been building swiss army bikes with varying degrees of success, usually overkill, and it’s only been in the last few months I’ve been completely honest with myself about what the bike will encounter…

Tomii Cycles Showcase: Elvin’s Sportif Pass Hunter

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Tomii Cycles Showcase: Elvin’s Sportif Pass Hunter

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 we’re doing just that…

The New/Old Hot Thing at Peter Weigle’s Shop

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The New/Old Hot Thing at Peter Weigle’s Shop

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”!

JP Weigle Bikes: The Impeccable Randonneur Bike

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JP Weigle Bikes: The Impeccable Randonneur Bike

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.

Nam’s Crust Bikes “Cantibolt” Lightning Bolt Thrower

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Nam’s Crust Bikes “Cantibolt” Lightning Bolt Thrower

Behold, a timeless diamond in the crust. The “cantibolt” is the “sign a waiver” lightest tubed-cantilever-1” threaded offering from Crust Bikes; the first name in Boastfully Poor Business Decisions Index Weekly. A riff on the Jan Mule that so famously/infamously dons just about every other page of Bicycle Quarterly; the Crust version has coincidentally received praise from its muse… the sultan of supple; the prince of planing himself… Jan Heine uuuuuuvvv Bicycle Quarterly.

Ultra Romance’s Crust Lightning Bolt is Lighter than a Soft Whisper

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Ultra Romance’s Crust Lightning Bolt is Lighter than a Soft Whisper

18 lbs? 17 lbs? 16 lbs? What is weight anyway? Weight doesn’t matter but it doesn’t hurt either. Especially when your golden locks and bronze tan lines float effortlessly across white gravel roads, coating the roadside flora in a light layer of sedimentary seasoning. Dust, baby. It’s good for you. Yes, Ronnie Romance knows how to build a bike from a fine assortment of vintage components, exotic, supple rubber, and a bit of suntan oil. Case in point, his Crust Bikes Lightning Bolt is lighter than a soft whisper.

How to Burn Your Fingers: A Special Rossman for Paris-Brest-Paris

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How to Burn Your Fingers: A Special Rossman for Paris-Brest-Paris

Paris-Brest-Paris is a crucible, a pilgrimage, a quest. Paris-Brest-Paris is a cycling event. It runs 1200km (768 Miles) from Paris to Brest on the coast and back. Out and back. 6,000 people participate. They start in waves, pulsing towards the French Coast in a chrome-fendered murmuration of wool jerseys, Berthoud bags, and dyno lights. Racers have to finish their migration to the coast and back in 90 hours. 90 hours, on a bike – that’s little to very little sleep. That’s riding pretty much straight through.

Lilac Dreams and the Velo Orange Polyvalent – Morgan Taylor

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Lilac Dreams and the Velo Orange Polyvalent – Morgan Taylor

Lilac Dreams and the Velo Orange Polyvalent
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor

Looks can be deceiving. The Velo Orange Polyvalent looks like a classic randonneuring bike, particularly when dressed in an all-silver build kit. But, after many miles and various tire and bag changes, a different story emerged for me. While its handling characteristics are markedly different, the Polyvalent is a peer – and interesting alternative – to the popular all-steel drop bar adventure bikes out there like the Soma Wolverine, Surly Straggler, Kona Rove, and so on.

Now in its fourth iteration, the Polyvalent for the first time gets disc brakes, and that’s exactly what prompted me to reach out to Velo Orange about doing a review. Over the past few years I’ve been exploring how the widely varying combinations of steel frames and wide tires manifest in ride quality. Yes, I’m still on the hunt for the elusive smooth-riding production disc brake bike. Could the Polyvalent Mk4 be the one?