I’ve been a fan of Cjell Moné‘s bikes for some time, from seeing his custom TDR bike on the wall at Adventure Cycling HQ to him writing about brazing alongside masters for his production run of frames. Until recently, I had only thrown my legs over Kirsten’s personal frame at infamous Brush Mountain Lodge waiting out snow on the TDR. Cjell and I have quite a disparity in size thus making his personal bikes out of the question. A few weeks ago, Cjell let me know that Nate from Blue Dog Bikes in Tucson was purchasing his “demo” bike that was my size and that I should take it for a spin. I jumped at the chance, I was always too self-conscious to ask an operation as small as his to put together a bike solely for me to rip and review. But since someone else already had the bike and was nice enough to let me rip it for a few days, shred I will.
Welcome to the beautiful dark twisted world of Paul de Valera and Atomic Cycles‘ Coaster Brake Challenge! A race I have known about for over a decade, a race that my mentor JimC would race religiously, but for some reason, I never made the time to attend. I always made up some kind of excuse, usually, it was about the bike, which is bullshit. Paul and Atomic Cycles have plenty of loaners, and as you can already tell from the title of this story, these bikes are simple, cheap, and easy to build.
Gordon Wadsworth walks us through the simplicity of Pivot’s new LES Singlespeed complete bike. These light SS MTB 29ers are in stock at your local Pivot dealers.
Wow! What a year it’s been. In the past twelve months, we’ve shot roughly 300 bikes. From gravel races, to NAHBS, the Philly Bike Expo and our normal travels, we really captured some unique builds and we’ve got a good handle on the bikes the readers of the Radavist enjoy checking out based on some key metrics.
Every year we try to do our best to sort through twelve months of archives to narrow down to this list. The first filter is the comment count, which we start at 50 comments. Then comes page views, with the minimum number being 20,000 views. Finally, we look at the social media chatter; including Instagram comments and how many times was the post shared across various platforms.
What we end up with is a list that is filled with a plethora of interesting, versatile, and quirky bikes. The only editorial decision I myself made was to omit reviews of stock bikes. So no Santa Cruz Stigmata or Cannondale Topstone this round!
Check out the full Top Ten Beautiful Bicycles of 2019 below, in no particular order…
Nate from Augusta, Georgia’s Zukas Cycles brought this stunning city singlespeed to the Philly Bike Expo this year, with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a show bike, but with durability for actual wear and tear in mind. Disc brakes, fenders and all the accouterment a gnarly North Eastern all-weather cyclist would demand but with looks and style in mind.
I love a sunburnt hardtail.
Influences come from many a place. A flicker, chirp or whiff that conveys a feeling and experience. Singlespeed’s have influenced my riding since the turn of the millennium. I knew I’d be forever broke as a bike messenger if it involved maintaining a geared drivetrain year-round through London’s woefully wet winters.
There’s no denying the popularity of the All-City Macho King and Nature Boy. These two bikes have been staples in the brand’s catalog since their conception and it’s been a while since we’ve seen any substantial updates on these two models. Well, today All-City announced just that.
The new models now utilize their A.C.E. – air-hardened, custom-designed, extruded steel tubing – and Columbus ‘cross forks. The Nature Boy has a new dropout design too. The chain tension is now adjusted with an eccentric bb, versus a horizontal track end.
Both models come with new splatter paint jobs, with the Nature Boy’s mimicking the All-City Fulton Racing colors. Both bikes are due to hit dealers in October, just in time for ‘cross season. Holler at your shop and see what stock they’ll be receiving. MSRP for the Nature Boy complete is $1,999 and frameset $1,299. The Macho King MSRP complete is $2,399 and $1,299 for a frameset.
As with all Crust Bikes models, they arise from necessity. The Lightning Bolt is no different. Matt from was on a mission to be able to fly and travel like he used to, but instead of the BMX bike, he wanted to roll with something a little bit faster. Something with bigger wheels that could get him from point A to point B with ease. He wanted to be able to pack it on a plane and roll from the airport to his destination.
Thanks to Chumba, Industry Nine, Kogel Bearings, Wanderlust Gear and MRP, Alexandera is outfitted properly for a season of ultra-endurance racing this year. After an amazing DKXL story, she’s on her Stella Titanium in the throes of the Tour Divide. Perhaps you’ve recognized her in Spencer and Rue’s galleries? At any rate, Vince from Chumba sent over some photos of Alexandera’s bike, which you can check out below and please, if you have time, give her blog a visit and read her DKXL story. Personally, I can’t wait to read her Tour Divide tale!
“That bike will be chopped up and buried with me someday!”
Last week we looked inside Santa Fe’s Mellow Velo, a shop with a unique business model, and today we’re featuring David, the owner’s Vicious Cycles singlespeed MTB which he’s converted into a ’round town bike.
Gateway bikes. We’ve all had one. You know, that first bike that got you hooked on riding bikes and expanded your horizon into the world of cycling. When the fixed gear craze was sweeping cities all over the world, Rawson bought this Schwinn Le Tour while he was living in Ohio. He immediately converted it to a fixed gear, stripping the bike of all the necessary components, as per the norm at the time and rode it like that for a few years before eventually buying a road bike, then a gravel bike, and a mountain bike.
Like a Phoenix, rising from the ashes of his old Niner ‘cross bike, Greg‘s new Dark Moon is a veritable do it all and do it all damn good bike. While he loved his RLT 9, there were a few things he didn’t like about it. Enough to have Greg ping Carlos at Dark Moon here in Los Angeles to make something extra special. He loves SSCX, both at the races and around town. He had his Niner set up as a SSCX and races it all season. He wanted the bike to have tight clearances, with tighter angles to offer a responsive and snappy feel.
Even though he wanted a new SSCX race bike, he made sure there were provisions and guides for a rear derailleur and 27.5 “road plus” wheels in case he ever wanted to take the bike on an ultralight tour or bikepacking trip.
Single Speed Arizona: Black Canyon Trail Edition
Words by Bryan Harding, photos by Josh Weinberg and Corbin Brady
“It’s the annual family reunion!” a friend exclaimed at Single Speed Arizona (SSAZ) a few years ago and, to me, it’s a sentiment that still holds true. This is in no way meant to indicate the annual ride/race is clique-ish. To the contrary, riders and volunteers descend on Arizona every February from all over the states, including Alaska and occasionally the UK. It doesn’t matter if you’re Lycra-clad, in baggies and pads, or prefer to remain in costume for the day, all riders are equal while pushing single speeds up a steep pitch in search of a cold one. The allure is simple: the weather sucks everywhere else in February, so venture down to Arizona where you can actually spend time outside and have a blast on your bike.
Rodeo Labs Spork 2.0 Builder Series: Traildonkey Singlespeed
Words by Stephen Fitzgerald and photos by Sheldon Thompson
The next build in this series is my bike. What I like about this bike’s story is that this early prototype Traildonkey frame was decommissioned for the better part of three years before being brought back to life this year with a fresh coat of art store spray paint fade and a 1x drivetrain. This bike’s only purpose was “let’s build something fun to commute and play on”. Almost everything on this bike was in the parts bin before our lead mechanic Sheldon built it all up into what it is now.
I’ve never had a single speed bike before. I’ve always been too scared to ditch my gears. Now that I’ve finally tried it I have to say that single speed is giving me a fresh look at the sport that I haven’t had in a long long time. Everything about the bike feels so simple. Push the cranks, go forwards. If the gradient kicks upward just push harder. I need that kind of simplicity right now. I need to be able to look at old commuter routes or old trails and find novelty in them. If you’ve got an old unused frame hanging around in the garage I highly recommend grabbing a few rattle cans, flat bar singlespeeding it, and letting it rip.
Follow Rodeo Labs on Instagram.
Luciano’s Velo Playa Larga GIOS Torino
Photos and words by Sean Talkington
I’m often drawn to things that are just the right amount of “thrashed”. That includes old cars, buildings, and even people look a lot more interesting with some character brought on from age. Of all the old things that pique my interest, bicycles might be on the top of the list.
There is something really honest about an old, weathered bike, and steel bikes are probably the best suited for “patina.” They’re probably the ONLY bikes that can look just as appealing after a lot of use versus a spotless new version. I seriously doubt it will be cool to see banged up old carbon S-Works in 30 years, but I guess you never know. I mean, as a kid everyone told me to save my baseball cards, so I did, and now they are worth nearly nothing. I’ve been lugging these things around for my entire adult life for literally no reason. I haven’t cared about baseball cards since I was probably twelve years old, yet I continue to drag 10,000 of them around like a 300-pound ship anchor. On the other hand, the Walkman I thrashed as a kid and secondhand Oakley Frogskins my friend Travis gifted me for my birthday are collectible. WTF!?
If you are looking to build a singlespeed ‘cross race bike, or a singlespeed mountain bike, and anything in between, you can run your favorite 30mm spindle cranks with the BEER Components Oner, as long as your frame has a PF30 shell. Recently, I swapped out the older 24mm Sugino cranks and Problem Solvers bottom bracket for the BEER Oner and White Industries cranks on my Urban Racer.
Second up in the Distict Bicycles crews’ personal rides is Crystal‘s Scissortail single speed ‘cross bike. This build came together at the absolute last minute before she raced the Dirty Kanza. Crystal didn’t have any time left to paint the frame before building it up for the race. What are ya gonna do? Even if you paint a bike, racing the DK will leave it chipped, with paint damage from all the dirt and gravel pinging off the frame, so Crystal built it raw, raced it and liked the way the patina looked, so her and Bobby got it clear coated with a nice, thick coat, to ensure this “pain patina” would remain.
I love bikes with a story, and this one, in particular, made me excited to document the bike!
BEHOLD: THE LOG JAM!
It’s the Midwest; trails here often ‘require’ neither suspension nor gears. Having been born and bred in an area where the White-Tails carved much of the early singletrack, the folks at All-City created a capable ripper, with tight angles, classic lines, and a few touches of modern flair.
I had the chance to first ride the Log Lady down in Los Angeles before All-City announced it to the masses, and I fell in love with it almost immediately. Having grown up on rigid 26″ single-speeds, the LL really appealed to me.
When the frameset first showed up, I had to make a couple changes to it to make it mine. First, the color had to go; no offense to the wonderful folks over at All-City, but the Red/Black/White fade was not my jam. After that, I jammed the biggest rubbers I could between the stays: Derby’s AM rims with a 35mm internal width and Panaracer’s FBN tire, which measures out roughly 2.7. And finally, I did what any good human should do these days and put dropper on it! Just a little frame modification and the Fox Transfer post was good to go.
Obviously, this setup is a far cry from All-City’s stock build, but it should help showcase what the bike is capable of, and how well one can make it their own.