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Jarrod from Hope Cyclery and His Self-Made 160mm Raw and Rowdy Hardtail

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Jarrod from Hope Cyclery and His Self-Made 160mm Raw and Rowdy Hardtail

It’s easy to wax poetic about handmade bikes and makers. Hell, it’s one of the main motivations for me to start this website over 15 years ago. Documenting builders, makers, and creatives within the industry has long been a favorite project of mine but you don’t have to be a career framebuilder to build a bike frame.

Jarrod Bunk is co-owner of Hope Cyclery, hosts of the Higher Ground 100, and pillars of the Johnstown, PA cycling community. Jarrod wears many hats and one of the recent projects he helped foster was Megan Dean from Moth Attack teaching a framebuilding class at the Center for Metal Arts in Pennsylvania.

Jarrod facilitated this event, shot some photos of Megan’s classes, and afterward, Megan asked Jarrod if he’d want to build his own frame, to which he obliged…

Waaseyaa: It is Bright – Alexandera Houchin, Her Life, and Her Chumba Cycles Stella MTB

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Waaseyaa: It is Bright – Alexandera Houchin, Her Life, and Her Chumba Cycles Stella MTB

Waaseyaa: it is bright, is light (as in the day), is radiant; it is sunny

It’s been a hard couple of years. Compounded self-doubt, emotional and physical abuse and income insecurity had me clinging to any bit of life I had within myself. I hadn’t really comprehended how I had gotten in that position in the first place. I remember years ago talking to someone who confided in me that she was in an abusive relationship. I’d been stone-cold in clarity when I told her to leave the fucker. She revealed that it was more complicated than that and, at that moment, I pitied her. Years later, I found myself in the same predicament; I was ashamed both for the lack of strength I had to leave my boyfriend and for my inability to listen to her. I’ve spent the last two years feeling like a swollen shell of myself.

New Mexico Chillest Known Time (CKT) Attempt: A Bike Tour from Santa Fe to Las Cruces on 35mm

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New Mexico Chillest Known Time (CKT) Attempt: A Bike Tour from Santa Fe to Las Cruces on 35mm

I have written, deleted, and rewritten this article several times now. There was the version that leaned in hard to trying to be funny, the version that tried too hard to be philosophical and deep, the version that was a cut and dry day by day account of the trip, and finally this one – some words written less about the trip itself and more about why I am so thankful we approached it the way that we did. 

This past fall, my very good friend Kevin and I shipped ourselves and our bikes halfway across the country to New Mexico for what was essentially a repeat of the same trip we’d done 3.5 years prior. Back in spring 2018, with our Tony, we went on a very similar New Mexican grand adventure. We had ridden a serpentine route from Las Cruces in the south – through Truth or Consequences, Magdelena, Mt. Withington, Magdalena, Moriarty, and all of the salty stream crossings, scrublands, savannas, forests, mountains, and mesas in between, to Santa Fe in the north. Now, Kevin and I were repeating the journey – only this time going from north to south in the fall instead of south to north in the spring. With Covid-19 vaccines in arms, three local DC area airports, and the world at our fingertips it did seem like a lot of trouble to repeat our last big trip with only minor variations on a theme.

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Beautiful Builds with John and His Rad Rod Firefly

The second video in our Beautiful Builds series showcases John Watson, the founder of The Radavist’s “Rad Rod” Firefly gravel/all-road bike. Back in 2014, he commissioned Firefly to make him a “gravel” bike before there were gravel bikes. This bike has a road geometry with ‘cross bike clearances and cable routing.

Don’t forget to Like and Subscribe for more Radavist videos to come at The Pro’s Closet YouTube

Music: Bongripper – Endless

That Guy Has Style for Days: Gideon’s Madrean 27.5″ Hardtail

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That Guy Has Style for Days: Gideon’s Madrean 27.5″ Hardtail

Over the past year, I’ve had quite a few people roll through Santa Fe on road trips. Knowing Covid is still running rampant all up and down the Rockies, I usually opt for a meet-up outdoors. Whether that means for a cup of coffee or a bike ride, I like catching up with people but want to err on the side of safety these days. Last March, our good friend Gideon came through town with his new-to-him Madrean 27.5 hardtail. If you recall our Shop Visit with Madrean – and our older Shop Visit from 2013 with Cycles d’Autremont – then you’ll recognize Hubert d’Autremont’s handiwork…

NM Bikepacking Summit: Mike from Broken Spoke’s O’Leary Built Minimal Rack

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NM Bikepacking Summit: Mike from Broken Spoke’s O’Leary Built Minimal Rack

One of the things that caught my eye at this weekend’s NM Bikepacking Summit was Mike, the owner of Broken Spoke in Santa Fe’s custom-built O’Leary rack for his Karate Monkey. Mike really wanted a better way of carrying his essentials, rather than a bikepacking saddle pack. His goal for the rack was to have it be multi-purpose, both designed to carry traditional panniers or as a framework to strap Nalgene bottles to, while allowing for a bedroll or tent to be strapped to the rack’s platform. Depending on how you’re traveling, this opens up the use of a dropper post as well.

Mike went to O’Leary, a custom builder here in Santa Fe, to hash out the design and he whipped it up in a matter of hours. Minimal racks like this offer a simple solution to a very common problem and I thought the readership would be intrigued by this. Check out a few more photos below!

Falling For Fall

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Falling For Fall

Season changes mark a time for renewal, not only for the forest but for ourselves. Just when the long days and heat start to get to you, the temperature drops and a cool breath blows across the dry landscape. Here in Northern New Mexico, the skies change from a blue expanse with puff-ball clouds to gargantuan storms enveloping our peaks; the terminus of the great Rocky Mountains. Each morning our mountains have a cloud toupée and upon their dissipation, reveal a dusting of white snow.

The RockShox Rudy XPLR Gravel Fork and SRAM AXS XPLR: John Reviews His Sklar Gravel Bike

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The RockShox Rudy XPLR Gravel Fork and SRAM AXS XPLR: John Reviews His Sklar Gravel Bike

We joke that time is a flat circle in cycling all too often. Gravel bikes are just ’90s mountain bikes, etc. Yet, we have to accept that we’re in an era of electronic shifting and yes, suspension forks on gravel bikes. This tech, however, is nothing new especially not for RockShox, who for the 1994 Paris Roubaix unveiled a suspension fork on team Lemond GAN’s bikes. In that same year, Mavic even had some Zap electronic groups on the exact same bikes.

Now, 27 years later, we have my Sklar gravel bike which is familiar to most of you, with a suspension fork and electronic shifting, under the banner of SRAM and RockShox’s new XPLR lineup (explore, not explorer). While I haven’t taken on the Hell of the North, I have spent a lot of time being a weirdo in the woods on this kit and have a really fun review to share with y’all, so read on below.

In Stock: Jeff Hantman’s Bike Part Alphabet Screen Printed Posters

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In Stock: Jeff Hantman’s Bike Part Alphabet Screen Printed Posters

Cycling-related art prints are always fun and to help support the cycling community here in Santa Fe, we reached out to our friend Jeff Hantman to see if he’d be willing to let us sell some of his “Bike Part Alphabet” art prints in our webshop. These prints are for the vintage aficionados, dirt freaks, parts bin pickers, and co-op combers, with lots of cycling ephemera represented by each of the letters of the alphabet.

Here’s what Jeff has to say about these prints:

I started drawing the artwork for “Bike Part Alphabet” in March of 2020. The idea for the print was to represent each letter of the alphabet with a bike part.

I started riding mountain bikes in the early ’90s and wanted to include as many parts from those early days. My approach was to avoid using brands; however, there were a few letters that were challenging so I got creative with my own rule.

This is an open edition, 3 color silkscreen, printed on 19”x 25” 100# acid-free French Paper with Green Galaxy water-based inks.

These prints are in stock now at the Radavist webshop for $100 plus shipping to the United States only please!

Ronnie Romance’s Specialized DURALCAN S Works Stumpjumper M2: Cry of the Duralcan

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Ronnie Romance’s Specialized DURALCAN S Works Stumpjumper M2: Cry of the Duralcan

I grew up working at a Specialized shop, and learned how to mountain bike by watching Ned Overend’s Performance Mountain Biking technique VHS. While I always appreciated the refreshing ideas of small makers, I thought it advantageous for larger brands to be able to invest more in their materials and construction. This was a time when top-end bikes were made of metal, and made domestically.

Metal Matrix (M2) composite is a prime example of this. The big S sourced a 6061 alloy infused with an aluminum oxide ceramic particulate by Alcan. Say that again, backwards now. Alcan called it Duralcan, and I am proud to display their logo on my top tube—that cool typeface!

An Ode to Road Trip Friends: Two Classic Santa Fe Gravel and MTB Rides

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An Ode to Road Trip Friends: Two Classic Santa Fe Gravel and MTB Rides

Playing host to road trippers this year is a stark contrast to our efforts to stay local and ride with small, familiar groups last year. New Mexico took Covid-19 seriously and as new citizens to this state, both Cari and I took these precautions seriously. Now with the vaccination efforts building across the country (get vaccinated!) we’re happy to open our doors to friends as they travel across the American West. Just last week alone, I hosted two stellar rides with some familiar faces, so check them out below…

Made in Santa Fe: A Pair of Custom O’Leary Built Mountain Bikes with Evergreen Stitchworks Bags

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Made in Santa Fe: A Pair of Custom O’Leary Built Mountain Bikes with Evergreen Stitchworks Bags

I must say that I’m damn proud to live in New Mexico and I had no idea that such an awesome network of makers are blossoming here. We’ve looked at Moné’s operations down in Silver City, Baphomet Bicycles, checked in with Farewell Bags, looked at the framebag offerings from Buckhorn Bags, and today we’re featuring two local companies, starting with Evergreen Stitchworks and O’Leary Built Bikes, so let’s get to it.

Specialized Aethos Review: Shining a Light on Road Riding w/the Aethos Disc Road Bike

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Specialized Aethos Review: Shining a Light on Road Riding w/the Aethos Disc Road Bike

Road bikes. We don’t really talk about them so much over here at the Radavist – anymore. There was a time however where we’d post galleries from road adventures and still to this day, one of my favorite rides I did in California was on all pavement. Still, there have been a few defining reasons for the wane of the road bike’s popularity and it wasn’t until I accepted the offer to review the lightweight Aethos road bike that I began to mull over these reasons. A 16lb road bike is both terrifying (am I going to break this thing?!) and a joy (WOW! this is incredible) to ride but what does the state of road cycling look for me, personally, and how did this review shape my perspective of drop bars after a long hiatus from enjoying the pleasures of road riding? Read on to find out.