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.
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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.
The All-City Log Lady: Sometimes Bikes, Like Men, Jump Up and Say ‘HELLO’
Words by Kyle Kelley, photos by John Watson
From the beginning All-City has been ahead of the curve. They are dedicated contributors to the current evolution of cycling, pushing their own boundaries and those of the industry around them, making bikes that are actually fun to ride. They began making high quality, affordable track cranks and hubs when there was nothing but Campagnolo and Sugino to choose from. Next they introduced the world to the 32c production road “race” bike. After that, they took the cyclocross world by storm and produced a NAHBS quality production single speed cyclocross bike. And during the vintage MTB craze of 2014-2015 they made a modern day, old-timey MTB equally equipped for ripping down the trails as through the streets to the bar.
Minneapolis is a veritable playground for a healthy mix of urban and trail riding. With the River Bottoms just a short ride from downtown, as well as a plethora of other trails surrounding the city, you can easily ride from your house, to the woods and back on one gear. Part of that ideology is what’s inspired many of All-City‘s bicycles and was without a doubt the motivating force behind their newest bike, the Log Lady, a singlespeed mountain bike with 27.5 wheels and a rigid, segmented fork.
I’ve had the pleasure of riding a custom built Log Lady here in Los Angeles over the past few weeks. This is by no means a complete review, since I’ve yet to spend enough time on the Log Lady to thoroughly vet it but I will say, so far, it’s been a lot of fun. Painful fun, but fun nonetheless.
Tomorrow (or today, depending on when you read this!), Golden Saddle and the Radavist are doing a group ride to kick off the launch of the All-City Log Lady SSMTB. The ride will be MTB and Cyclocross friendly! Just bring knobby tires.
We’ll be meeting at the parking lot at the corner of Windsor Ave and Ventura St in Pasadena at 4PM. From there, we’ll pedal up Fern Truck Trail to what’s referred to as “Brown Mtn Saddle.” From there, we’ll regroup and watch the sunset. Bring your own beverage, you’ll get thirsty after that climb. From there, we’ll all cruise back downhill under a full moon.
Lights and helmet are a must! Come one, come all!!! This is going to be AMAZING!
All-City began as an urban cycling brand, with the Big Block being their flagship model. Over the years, the brand has expanded from track bikes to touring bikes, all with one thing in mind: speedy transport around and out of the city. In a lot of ways, All-City’s catalog grew with their customers. People that began with track bikes picked up road bikes and cross bikes eventually. A few years back, they celebrated their Big Block with a fifth anniversary model, painted in a pearlescent silver to white fade.
Kyle has been sitting on this frame for a while. He was finally prompted to build it up as a singlespeed for himself as well as a floor model for Golden Saddle Cyclery. This build in particular features an elegant Grand Bois fillet stem, those classy TRP Levers, Gran Cru brakes, a Campagnolo chainring with a White Industry freewheel and those new All-City Sheriff Star Hubs.
Because the geometry is true to form track, this bike zips around, regardless to how chill the build looks…
Singlespeed ‘cross bikes on a course like Grinduro are no joke. For Lucas, the painter at Stoemper, the pain is part of the fun. The way he sees it, you’re grinning no matter what. Whether you’re spinning on the downhill or hiking up a steep kicker like China Grade, you might as well be enjoying the ride.
This SSCX was easily the wildest bike I saw the entire weekend. So. Much. Character. As I’m setting up the bike to photograph it, Lucas interrupted me, asking if he wanted me to remove the beer holster. “You’re riding it like that right?” “Yeah” “Then leave it!”
Races like Grinduro are best kept light and energetic in spirit. There’s no point in tearing yourself apart on a singlespeed, because you still have to make it to the finish!
The Arise is Bombtrack’s veritable Swiss Army Knife. Run it singlespeed or with gears, with slicks or knobbies. 1x or 2x. On sealed or dirt roads. It even has rack mounts… See more at Bombtrack.
I hope you’re ready for a complete overload of awesome rides from this past weekend’s Grinduro event in Quincy, California. We’ll start this avalanche of unique bikes with Adam from Sklar Bikes‘ own singlespeed disc ‘cross. But before we dive in, let me put this out there: this was Adam’s first tig-welded bike and there’s a reason it’s his personal rig. The welds on anyone’s first tig bike ain’t gonna be pretty.
While the welds might not be delicately overlapped beads of perfection, I can’t get over how clean and elegant this frame is. Even with what Adam refers to as a “parts bin build” with mis-matched rotors, this singlespeed has so much character and yeah, he completed Grinduro on it.
Run what you brung…
A bike that’s at home with 2.5″ or 3″ tires, that is curvalicious as a rigid, yet able to accept a suspension fork and sports a mean green coat of wet paint is about to be unleashed upon the singletrack of Ft. Collins thanks to Sklar Bikes. Scott’s bike is looking great. See more at Sklar Bikes.