Bay Area people, dwellers of Santa Cruz and San Jose listen up: the crustacean king at Rock Lobster is throwing a pre-season cyclocross cup on August 29th at the Bonny Doon Airport. There’s something for everyone, so if you can make it out, do so!
Paul Sadoff has been getting a lot of love here on the Radavist as of late and surprisingly, a lot of the recent the bikes featured have been steel. These days, I feel like Paul is doing more aluminum frames, so when I catch sight of a steel road bike like Mat‘s 2010 Rock Lobster with Dura Ace and Chris King, in a bright blue I have to shoot photos of it.
Mat went with the pewter head badge upgrade, orange nipples, orange Salsa skewers and used his trusted Concor saddle for the finishing touches on what otherwise is a relatively straight forward build.
Steel road bikes will always have a place in this world and bikes like this are perfect examples of aesthetic balance and function.
You can never have too many tools for the same job. In Paul Price’s case, a cyclocross bike. Over the years he’s collected quite the stable, from various frame builders throughout California. We already looked at his Black Cat monster cross and now we get to check out some details of his Rock Lobster SSCX. As with the Black Cat, you can see just how sated this steed is based on the component and frame wear alone.
With technology changing, PAUL making disc brakes and everything going oversized or tapered, there’s something elegant about a rim brake ‘cross bike with a steel fork. Especially from a man like Paul Sadoff.
Shred on man, shred on…
Ian Stowe is a shredmeister. A true Radavist. He races cross for Rock Lobster, works for Santa Cruz Bicycles and spends some time as a model for Giro (that’s him at the top of the site). This past weekend, while on a super super secret outing, I got to spend a lot of time in the saddle with the dude (Like, 25 miles of high Sierra uphill saddle time) and a lot of time looking at this stunning Rock Lobster disc cross bike.
I don’t know what’s better, the bike by itself, or the complete package, paired with those House Industries bidons… At any rate, check out more photos in the Gallery and stay tuned for more information on our outing last weekend.
When you look out at the field of SSCX bikes at an event like ‘Cross Nats, you’ll see a lot of overseas production frames, but chances are, you’ll notice and remember the Rock Lobsters. All slightly different than the other.
My favorite part about these bikes is how Paul’s default color of choice is selected by so many, yet when you see one in brown, or in this case, purple, it pops. Ryan’s bike was my favorite bike in the singlespeed race and not just because of its color.
For instance, you don’t see a lot of Gates belt drives on custom singlespeed bikes, or at least, I don’t and to be honest, I didn’t even notice at first. There are a lot of details in this bike that are simple additions, but it adds to the overall delivery.
Saying a bike is your favorite from an event like ‘Cross Nats carries a certain weight, but you’ll see why in the Gallery.
Purging bikes isn’t fun, unless you can sell it to a friend, or in this case, a co-worker. One of the higher ups at Mellow Johnny’s recently decided to part with his Rock Lobster singlespeed cross. It was practically new and just so happened to fit Jonathan like a glove. Best of all, Jonathan finally found a place for all those turquoise Chris King bits he had been saving.
Singlespeed builds are ridiculously beautiful, especially when they have a color combination like walnut brown and turquoise. Relying on the ever-so-stoppy, Paul Mini Motos and Pacenti SL23 hoops with Tubeless WTB Cross Boss tires, this thing will be good to go next season…
But as we all know, cross bikes are much more diverse than that. We’ll be seeing more of this beauty in the coming months, I’m sure of it.
If I were to ever want an aluminum cross bike, I would go to one man: Paul Sadoff of Rock Lobster. His signature mint green frames are iconic and every time I see one, I can’t help but stop the owner and ask them about their bike. Everyone builds these differently, there’s no official Rock Lobster build group. While many prefer the “team issue” golden Paul touring cantis, Scott went the way of the black MiniMoto, matched with SRAM’s Red cross group and White Industries hubs. My favorite little detail, however, are the Paul quick releases.
At this weekend’s races, I snatched this bike from Scott’s team, Embros’ tent and took it out for some photos. It was remarkably the same size I’d ride so I got a feel for what it’s like to ride one of these iconic bikes.
Best of luck this season, Scott and remember, Rubber Side UP!
Hans lives in Los Angeles and last year his wife bought him a Rock Lobster cross bike with a few added braze-ons. Hans and I spoke a lot about brake and tire options and it seems like he’s finally got his setup dialed in. One morning, as we were finishing up a MTB ride on Brown in LA, Hans went rolling by on his bike. I yelled “HANSSSSSSSS!” and he came scooting by, so I shot some photos with my Mamiya 7ii and earlier this week, I finally got them developed, prompting me to interview him with a few simple questions. Check them out below!
Jeff Traugott is an artist and his palette is wood. He makes absolutely stunning handmade acoustic guitars in Santa Cruz. These pieces sell for tens of thousands of dollars and are a hot commodity.
It just so happens that Jeff’s shop is right next door to Rock Lobster. Both he and Paul are inspirational individuals who have made a living doing what they love. The word entrepreneur gets thrown around a lot these days, but these two are fuckin’ living the dream.
When Jeff isn’t building geetars, he’s out on one of three Rock Lobsters, this being one of them, an “all road” bike with long-reach calipers and Campy 11 speed. My favorite detail, aside from the frame, is the Calfee-wrapped carbon Easton stem to ENVE bar combo. Perfect solution for the inevitable slipped bars when blasting down rutted, gnarly descents.
I spent two days riding alongside this machine, which happens to be my size. After the first day’s ride from Santa Cruz out to the coast, I snatched up this bike and took it for a quick photo shoot as the marine layer rolled in over the redwoods… #NatureIsMetal
Paul Sadoff is a character. His personality has a patina. One that’s formed over years of racing pedigree and loud music. The name of his company was derived by the B-52’s billboard hit but before Paul would name his brand Rock Lobster, he had to have built a MTB first. “I couldn’t call it Rock Lobster if I didn’t have a MTB” Paul said when asked about the origins of his namesake… Then he built a MTB and the world changed for the frame builder.
The logo was even derived from MTB riding. Those blocks holding the letters represent rubble falling down the trail as you’re riding…
His frames have always been some of my favorite in the industry. These no-nonsense bikes are straight-forward, tig-welded masterpieces. Yes, utilitarian art – I’m standing by that phrase. Paul builds each frame in an industrial building within the Santa Cruz city limits. His own space is literally littered with cycling memorabilia from the past twenty years (even longer?) and is a gold mine of interestingness.
From track to TT, each of Sadoff’s frames bear some uniqueness and have a story to tell. Even the various crash-replacements…
While I was in town for the Giro #SantaCruzEffect, our group of 10 journalists swung through Rock Lobster to see Paul and his space. It was probably one of the most rushed Shop Visits I’ve done to date, but I managed to gain some understanding as to how Paul works and what makes Rock Lobster tick… Check out a narrated Gallery for more!
It’s the week leading up to Sea Otter and each year, Giro invites a group of media heads to come out to Santa Cruz, ride bikes, talk product and soak in the #SantaCruzEffect. That means it’ll be slow for the next few days while we’re out riding, exploring the local roads and sleeping in cabins.
After our intro ride this afternoon, I scooped up this special Rock Lobster for some very quick photos – I literally had a few minutes with this awesome machine. Eli is the lead visual designer at Giro and he’s got a thing for punk rock, prompting him to add a few custom logos to his Rock Lobster. Many of which you should recognize.
The thing I like about this bike is its no-nonsense build, the simple color palette with matching stem and one of a kind graphics. Those Rock Lobster logo treatments look so good!
Photos by Brian Vernor
The one, of many reasons why I love Rock Lobster Cycles is Paul’s ability to make even a utilitarian, race machine sexy. All in house. Now, I call this utilitarian but in reality, it’s more of a rarity. The tubeset used in this bike was developed by Easton over ten years ago and never went into production. A special tubeset for a special racer: Aaron Bradford. Leave it to Vernor to capture this bike in a way that even makes me look at the way I photograph bicycles! See the rest here.
All I can say is: THIS! The kindred spirits at Chris King visited living legend / frame builder Paul Sadoff at Rock Lobster recently and it’s one of the most spirited shop visits I’ve ever read. Go check it out at the Chris King Blog!
The last Dream Bike raffle was a huge success with the Calfee Manta Pro, this time Easton’s doing a different kind of Dream Bike with Rock Lobster! Find out how you can win by reading below!
“Easton Cycling has announced the second installment of The Dream Bike Charity Raffle, an aluminum Rock Lobster race bike. The Dream Bike Charity Raffle is a promotion giving away hand-built road bikes from Caletti Cycles, Calfee Design, Black Cat, Hunter and Rock Lobster. All proceeds from each raffle are donated to five charities selected by the frame builders. Each bike is outfitted with Shimano Dura Ace and Easton EC90 components including the new EC90 Aero 55 wheelset. Raffle tickets are available on Easton’s Facebook.”
See more photos and info below!
Golden Saddle Cyclery has a lot of really incredible customers, who happen to own really incredible bicycles. I usually sit there all day and just pick off the gems that walk through the door. Case in point: Hans’ Rock Lobster Cross.
Like most people forking out money for a custom bike, Hans was very mindful of what he wanted. The truth is, most people don’t need a cross bike for racing. But for travel, dirt roads, weekend getaways, light touring, singletrack, fireroads and yes, maybe the occasional race, they’re one of the most perfect machines.
Hans and I talked a lot about this bike via email (it happens a lot). He was initially drawn to a lightweight race machine but he kept describing the kind of riding I do on my cross bike. So I asked, “what will you really be using this bike for?”. He ended up going with a more versatile tubing selection, much like I had on my cross machine.
The end result, as seen here, came out superb. See for yourself in the Gallery!