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Throwback Thursday: the 2014 Oregon Outback

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Throwback Thursday: the 2014 Oregon Outback

When we lost our image server bucket from 2014-2016, it was a devastating blow to the visual catalog of bike portraits, rides, events, and other cycling ephemera. I felt like a piece of my own body was taken away since so much time, energy, and in this case, physical effort was put into making that content.

That era, even though it was only a few years back, was a unique time in cycling. Instagram hadn’t quite caught on yet, not at the capacity it carries today. The whole gravel and bikepacking trend was just ramping up.

Erik Nohlin was working on the now-defunct Specialized Adventure lineup, including the AWOL – he was riding the “secret” Poler edition prototype at the time – and I was just beginning to fine-tune my abilities as both an athlete and photographer. I will admit, resurrecting stories like this is painful, partially because I feel like as a website, we’ve grown to present more refined ride Reportage, and also because it was a different time in my personal life. Yet, so many people request that these galleries get a re-up, so here we are on a Throwback Thursday post, digging up old content and re-presenting it. Rather than just re-inserting the images themselves, I culled the selection down and compiled all three ride reports into one. Enjoy!

A Look Inside Santa Cruz’s Spokesman Bicycles Outpost and Their Wild Custom Builds

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A Look Inside Santa Cruz’s Spokesman Bicycles Outpost and Their Wild Custom Builds

Santa Cruz has no shortage of bike shops. This sleepy little beach town might be known for its surfing and pesky vampires, but the road and mountain riding is exceptional. With a myriad of dirt and paved roads snaking their way through coastal redwoods, and dusty, steep mountain bike trails, any cyclist can spend days upon days exploring the terrain. Spokesman Bicycles is one of the powerhouse shops in Santa Cruz and just recently opened up what they’re calling Outpost on the West Side of town, right next to their friends Sawyer and Co, a surfing lifestyle shop.

Lael Wilcox’s 2019 Silk Road Mountain Race Specialized Fuse Bikepacking Setup

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Lael Wilcox’s 2019 Silk Road Mountain Race Specialized Fuse Bikepacking Setup

With the 2019 Silk Road Mountain Race beginning tomorrow, we thought we’d give a break-down for what Lael Wilcox will be carrying on her bike for the duration of the event. Lael is hoping to finish the 1700 kilometer course with 27,000m elevation in 7-9 days. In order to do that, she has her setup dialed. Check out the full list below for those curious as to what an ultra-endurance racer carries on their bike.

Romance Bikes x Parra for the World Bicycle Relief

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Romance Bikes x Parra for the World Bicycle Relief

London-based apparel company, Romance, has teamed up with Dutch artist Parra for a very special Specialized S-Works Roubaix, which is being auctioned off to support the World Bicycle Relief. This one-off bike is built with SRAM RED eTap AXS groupset, Zipp 404 NSW disc-brake wheels and a Specialized S-Works cockpit. The auction starts today and will end on August 16th – with all proceeds going to World Bicycle Relief, who help communities in rural developing countries to access education, healthcare and work through the power of bicycles. Head over to eBay to see the auction site and below to see more photos of this project.

Sarah Swallow’s Sick Flatbar 27.5 Sequoia

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Sarah Swallow’s Sick Flatbar 27.5 Sequoia

The general rule of thumb is if you build it, people will cram the biggest tire possible into it. I wish we lived in a world where tire clearances were maxed out with drivetrain efficiency in mind, but it’s not always the case. However, when it is the case, you end up with a very capable bike. So yeah, if you build it… with ‘it’ being the Specialized Sequoia. While people have certainly put mountain bike tires on this bike before, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone fit as big of a tire as Sarah Swallow did with the Ground Control 2.1″. This bike is her recon bike for her 125 mile race next month, the Ruta de Jefe, in Elgin, Arizona. While there is no singletrack per se on the course, the roads can get rowdy, where a wide bar and fat tire will soften the blow from the washboard and ruts.

It’s built with a Rogue Panda framebag, SRAM Force 1, PAUL Klampers, a Revelate Feed Bag, one of those WTF Bikexplorer bidons, and a set of those S-Works Overendz Bar Ends.

Some might call it a hybrid, or just a rigid MTB, so that nomenclature is welcome, but bottom line is, I doubt anyone foresaw a build like this arising from the Sequoia platform!

Also, as a personal note, happy birthday Sarah!
____

Follow Sarah on Instagram.

Felipe Pantone x Romance Allez Sprint

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Felipe Pantone x Romance Allez Sprint

Felipe Pantone’s work involves utilizing digital spaces to create dynamic patterns from spectral pixels, glitches and warped grids. The UK cycling apparal label Romance have collaborated with Pantone to apply his work to a one-off Specialized Allez Sprint bike fully customized. The bike is complete – with Specialized S-works finishing kit, Roval wheels and SRAM RED eTap groupset.

The bike is up for auction, with all proceeds going straight to the World Bicycle Relief charity. WBR help communities in rural developing countries to access education, healthcare and work through the power of bicycles.

Bidding opens 17th Nov and will close 10 days later on the 27th Nov 18. Sign up at Romance to be the first to know.

Radar

Lighter, Faster, and… a Bigger Battery

It looks like e-bikes are here to stay, whether the hordes of angry cyclists like it or not. Specialized launches into their new Turbo Levo marketing campaign with quite the video. I’m really enjoying this series! Where’s the Nohlin cameo next?

SWOT and the North Cape 4000 – Erik Nohlin

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SWOT and the North Cape 4000 – Erik Nohlin

SWOT and the North Cape 4000
Words by Erik Nohlin, photos by Beth Welliver

Editor’s note: this is a long piece, but I wanted to leave it mostly unedited to maintain Erik’s voice, and all are encouraged to ask Erik questions here, just 24 hours before he departs for the North Cape 4000. So feel free to ask away and hopefully he’ll have time to address any questions you might have!

Fuck.
Wednesday / July 11 2018 / 04.22 am / Orlando International Airport / T-16 days to NC4000
Dehydrated and wrecked after canceled flights and a week on the road hunting Tour de France in cars, being off the bike completely for eleven days while eating shitty gas station food. The longest ride I’ve ever done is two weeks away and I’m lacking the fitness I wish I had enough of to relax about it at this point. Gear is not dialed and there’s a lot of questions without known answers right now. I’ll use this piece as a checklist, trying to get some answers for myself and to give you a picture of what’s in my head right now as I write this on a plane from Orlando to San Francisco, but first some context and a SWOT, a thing I tend to do when shit’s about to hit the fan. When this is published in two weeks from now, we’ll be on our way to the start in the north Italian city of Arco on July 28th.

Radar

The Coastal Crew on the Turbo Kenevo

Leave it to Specialized and the Coastal Crew to make a pair of e-bikes look fun. Perhaps because it doesn’t really show them “climbing?” This is for sure to open a can of worms, beat a dead horse, wash mud pies, fish in an empty barrel, checking a rooster for eggs, sweeping a dirt floor, or any number of other idioms. Regardless, that is one fun looking trail.

The SIQuoia Tandem – Erik Nohlin and Dylan Buffington

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The SIQuoia Tandem – Erik Nohlin and Dylan Buffington

The SIQuoia Tandem
Photos by Dylan Buffington and Words by Erik Nohlin

Tandem’s always been like Fat bikes to me, I don’t really know why but I want one. They’re easy to fall in love with I guess, cartoonish and rad/dorky looking, raising questions about how it would be chasing the sunset on one. Ever since I designed the Sequoia at Specialized about three years ago, I’ve been thinking about how to make a tandem. As a designer and bikeaholic, I always have a million ideas and projects around, 99% never seeing daylight. A Sequoia tandem, however, would be a project fairly easy to pull off if made the right way.

Machines For Freedom’s Custom S-Works Tarmac Disc Lands in Los Angeles – Jennifer Kriske

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Machines For Freedom’s Custom S-Works Tarmac Disc Lands in Los Angeles – Jennifer Kriske

Machines For Freedom’s custom S-Works Tarmac Disc lands in Los Angeles
Words by Jennifer Kriske, photos by Warren Kommers

I have been riding for close to a decade and have never been able to wrap my head around the connection between frame geometry and gender. A bike seat, of course. But the frame? A frame is related to body proportions, leg length, arm reach, and the like; not our reproductive organs. Anecdotally, swap out my bike seat and my brother and I could comfortably ride the same bike. So what is the industry telling us? That I am built like a man? That my brother is built like a woman? The conversation quickly spirals into uncomfortable territory.

1000 Mile Tarmac Ride

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1000 Mile Tarmac Ride

1000 Mile Tarmac Ride
Words by Lael Wilcox, photos by Rugile Kaladyte and Trevor Raab.

Laboring up Mount Lemmon this winter with roadies on light bikes with rim brakes, I started thinking, I want a road bike! It rarely rains in Tucson, almost never in the winter. In the sunshine, rim brakes on carbon rims work fine. But what really is the difference? I was riding around on a Specialized Diverge, a performance carbon gravel bike with disc brakes and 38mm tires. I love the Diverge. It rides great. But I still had questions. What would a true road bike feel like? How would it feel after 100 miles or 200 miles or 1,000 miles?