Last year, ENVE opened its doors to the public for an Open House event. Once inside, visitors took a tour of its Ogden, Utah facilities and were greeted by two-dozen custom bikes from builders across the globe. This year the pandemic forced ENVE to pivot a bit, holding a virtual tour and framebuilder showcase they’re calling the Builder Round-Up. We’re pleased to once again host this showcase, with two-part coverage, so read on below for part two of a full breakdown on these Beautiful Bicycles along with a few teasers of new ENVE product…
If you’ve followed the reporting for the last three years on this Cyclocross Pilgrimage to the Motherland, you will have read plenty of tales of struggling, suffering, and the general beat downs of European race life. I’m not here to make excuses or polish turds. I’m here to tell it to you like it is. To keep it real. Thus I’ve written more than 30 articles bringing you along for my weekly whoopings in all their self-deprecating glory because that’s the truth. That’s the reality. That’s the story.
And now, dearest readers, I finally have a happy tale to tell. Though it feels an odd one to write, and I cringe at potentially walking the fine line of self-aggrandizing douche. But I try to consider the context. This is the first time in over 30 deadlines that I’ve managed a meaningful achievement. This too is just part of the ride. The reality. The story. And it’s the kind I might not get to write again for another three years, or for that matter, ever again…
I was hardly surprised when he turned us away. After three seasons battling these neon-vested, parking fascists at Belgian cyclocross races, I’d come to expect rejection.
Max and I were racing today, and we’d just tried to enter the Renner’s Parking, the exact place for people like us. Yet the gatekeeper grunted in Flemish that there was no room for our little Peugeot Partner in the lot stuffed with hundreds of camper vans and buses from the larger Belgian teams.
Yesterday, we looked at Erin’s Rock Lobster during her Old Growth Classic Reportage. Is it a road bike? Or a cross bike? Or a gravel bike. I don’t know but it has v-brakes, a 2x Ultegra drivetrain, and a dropper post in a field of ultralight, carbon, disc brake, chubby tire bikes like that Ibis Hakka MX I reviewed. Erin’s had this bike for a while and I felt like she did a great job explaining it in yesterday’s post, so read on for a refresh.
It was just after midday in Western France when Max dragged two bike bags off the train in Pontchâteau. The 31-year old Californian had reached the end of his four-hour journey from Paris. For the past month, he’d paused his career as an upright bass player to race cyclocross across Europe. The tour had taken him to World Cups in Belgium and as far as the burgeoning Swiss EKZ scene. In two days, he’d be on the start line for the penultimate stop of the UCI World Cup circuit, right there in the small Bretton city.
Want to go to the Surf City CX Halloween race? Check out the details below, including registration links!
Team Scrapin’s Rock Lobster Relationship Accelerator
Words by Amanda Schaper, photos by John Watson
Some people might call tandems divorcycles, but I like to call them relationship accelerators. Wherever your relationship is headed, a tandem bicycle will get you there faster.
The Lost and Found Bike Ride is always one of my favorite weekends of the year. The camping, the riding, the lake, the people, the beer…it all just makes for one heck of a good time. But this year was extra special. My fiancé Scott and I toed the line for the 100-mile gravel race on our amazing Rock Lobster tandem in the first of the Triple Crown events. We’re planning to race the full Lost Sierra Triple Crown on the tandem as our form of premarital counseling. What could go wrong, right? There was some competition in the tandem category at Lost and Found, with two other teams giving us a run for our money. After about 6.5 hours of racing and getting both wheels off the ground more than once, we crossed the line in victory! It wasn’t easy, but it was a heck of a lot of fun. Our relationship and the bike survived 100 miles of gravel grinding, and now we start prepping for the gnarly technical trails of the Downieville Classic.
The Santa Cruz Old Cabin Classic XC race is giving you the chance to win a custom Rock Lobster Cycles mountain bike frame! Old Cabin Classic is held by Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC) as a benefit for mountain biking in Santa Cruz County, and a significant portion of the proceeds from the race go directly into a fund earmarked for trail development at Wilder Ranch State Park. Even if you’re not racing, you can support new trails in Wilder Ranch, and you just might win a Rock Lobster!
For every $10 you donate to support trails in Wilder Ranch, you will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a custom Rock Lobster mountain bike frame, complete with a custom paint job featuring artwork by Old Cabin Classic logo designer Campbell Steers!
Here are the details from the frame builder, Paul Sadoff, himself: Winner gets a custom built (estimate 6-10 weeks from sizing to completion) hard tail steel MTB frame with a Fox fork. Wheel size can be 26, 27.5 or 29. Powdercoat color and decals are whatever the person wants except that there will be a Campbell Steers decal somewhere on the frame with the Old Cabin logo or similar artwork. External cabling only except if the customer wants an internal seat tube routing for a dropper post. Threaded or PF-30BB available. Paragon machine works head tube. Tubing will be the shop mix of True Temper and Dedaccai steel. As many as three bottle mounts included. 142×12 thru-axle available. If the winner prefers a road or cyclocross frame, that’s okay too.
The winner will be drawn at the Old Cabin Classic on May 19, 2018. Need not be present to win!
ENTER NOW AT MBOSC!
Whisky Part’s Private Stock: Ben’s Rock Lobster and Steve Potts
Photos by Kyle Kelley, words by John Watson
Private Stock. A term reserved the best of the best when it comes to distilling American whiskey, Scotch whisky, and bourbon. For Whisky Parts Co, a brand within the umbrella that is Quality Bicycle Products, their aim is to design the best parts possible and get the most people using those parts as possible. Part of that comes from OE sales and the other brands within QBP using Whisky Parts when it makes sense, yet there is a growing demand from Domestic and International frame builders, to create products specifically for niche market requests. We’ve seen Whisky do so with their road, cross and mountain forks, as well as their wheels and components over the years.
For Ben Witt, Whisky’s marketing and sales director, he felt the need to not only embrace the niche market of frame building, but to use the parts for two of his own bikes; a Rock Lobster all-road and Steve Potts dirt drop mtb. We’ve seen a number of Private Stock builds from the Whisky team here on the Radavist over the years, but these two are some of the best.
Thanks to Ben for taking the time to let us showcase these bikes and Kyle for the great photos! My fingers are cold just typing this up!
“Alright ladies, this is the highest percentage turnout for women at a cyclocross race that we’ve ever seen! You represent 23% of the racers out here, and next year we’re shooting for 50%. Enjoy your race, watch out for the sketchy descent, and sorry about all the bumps. First wave starts in 10…”
It’s back, with the “cowboy loop” offering 288′ elevation per lap. Make sure you’ve signed up and remember, Women’s B/C racers get a free entry! Sign up now at Bike Reg!
Paul’s Crusty ‘Cross Band is back with the third edition of Rock Lobster Cup! The Lord of the Claws has let it be known that: Oct. 22nd at Wilder ranch we will indeed have a race. Even the the parks department has confirmed that all systems are go. his will probably be the most grueling CX event on the West Coast with 288 ft. of climbing per lap. It’ll be loose, bumpy climbing that starts out steep. This could become a legendary event and might set a precedent for more CX events at Wilder ranch in coming years. Proceeds from the race go to benefit Juniors Cyclocross Development program.
The Rock Lobster Cup is capping the field at 250 riders, so get in while you can!
Head over to the Bike Reg event page now to sign up.
I love Paul Sadoff’s creations. You know the ones. Rock Lobsters always grab my attention, especially special ones like this one. Max is special. In his own way and so when he decided he wanted another road bike, much less, another Rock Lobster, he contacted Paul to build him an S&S travel road bike that could fit a chubby tire. Since he’d be cramming this beaut into an S&S case, Max didn’t want to put anything super precious on the bike, so he went with a tried and true Sram Red 10-speed group that he had pulled off an old race bike of his, along with some alloy Zipp wheels. Ok, so maybe that’s not exactly the cheapest group for this bike, but what can I say? Roadies that race crits have all kinds of trick road gear just waiting to be bolted onto frames.
Max, thanks for being a good sport and for supporting a rad guy like Paul. I think it’s time you order another Rock Lobster… ;-)
At a certain point, even I become inundated with so many balleur rides rolling around, but sometimes a project pops up that catches my eye. Max’s new Rock Lobster S&S road bike is one of those moments. I can’t wait to see this one built up. It definitely needs some rasta components!
At the Rock Lobster Cup Strikes Back, there were so many flashy Rock Lobster ‘cross bikes rolling around the bumpy course but I wanted to shoot one in particular as an homage to everything Paul is doing with the team. Campbell Steers took a very impressive win home on Saturday, beating the highly competitive women’s field on her trusty Rock Lobster. In a world where disc brakes and 1x drivetrains dominate the field, Campbell’s on a v-brake bike with a 2x Ultegra drivetrain with Easton wheels and Dugast 33 tubulars.
It’s not the kit that makes this bike so interesting to me. Sure, the WTB test saddle is a nice touch, but this bike has some history. Campbell bought it from a Santa Cruz local. A woman who raced a bit, but ended up selling the frame after a few years. At that point, Campbell was just getting into racing, so she jumped on the deal. The fact that it was a Rock Lobster had to have been some strange premonition of the cycling gods. After a few impressive wins, Paul Sadoff asked Campbell to join the crustacean crushers, aka the Rock Lobster CX Team.
Every time Campbell asks Paul to build her a new frame, he scoffs and says “That one’s fine! Just keep racing…” As for Campbell, check out her artwork at Buda Burrito!
When I was in Santa Cruz after Grinduro, I swung by to see Paul Sadoff, the man behind Rock Lobster Cycles. Paul’s always pretty busy and this trip was no exception. He was in the throes of planning the Rock Lobster Cup Two, which is being held at the lighthouse park in Santa Cruz. After talking about the course, why it was moved from Bonny Doon and how he’s planning on making a relatively flat course exciting, I decided I’d skip town yet again and come up to photograph the race. Hell, I might even jump in it.
Because you can’t swing by Rock Lobster and not take a few photos, I documented the shop’s current condition, which I might add, is the best I’ve seen it so far. Check out a few more photos below.
Big tires, disc brakes and thru-axles. Those parts of the equation are pretty standard issue these days when it comes to production bikes. Yet when you want something different. Something special and something with, I dunno, steez, sometimes you just gotta go custom. In the world of ‘cross and off-road bikes, there are many options out there, especially in California yet Nathan contacted Paul Sadoff of Rock Lobster to build him his new bike.
Why? Well, Rock Lobsters have a certain appeal, or legacy if you will and having feasted his eyes for years upon Paul’s handywork, when he finally had enough money for a deposit, Nathan could only think of one man for the job…
Granted he didn’t request a standard issue racing machine. He wanted something a little more unique. Again, steez. Fluro yellow, magenta and big. This bike pops after the sun goes down and screams down dirt roads with ease but style isn’t everything. Paul had to design a rigid steel fork with disc mounts and a thru-axle, something he doesn’t do a whole lot of.
Great custom bikes fit not only the rider themself, but their personality and riding style. When you meet Nathan, there’s no doubt that this bike is in fact a chip off the old block.
The Whisky Six Select Frames
Photos by Jarrod Bunk, words by John Watson
Photo via Whisky
Each year at Frostbike, Whisky builds bikes, both custom from frame builders and production from one of the QBP brands. This year Whisky had six builders and brands at the Frostbike booth to show off their new rims, bars and seatposts. Dubbed the Six Select, the collection debuted a variety of veritable dream bikes, including: Rock Lobster, 44 Bikes, Retrotec, Moth Attack, Salsa and Engin.
Follow Jarrod on Instagram.