Jen Whalen‘s series “the Issue Is” continues with Bikes as Healers, featuring Heather Russell and the Sacred Cycle, an organization dedicated to helping victims of sexual trauma. Read more over at Medium!
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.
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.
Remember that collaboration Specialized Allez by artist Pantone and the brand Romance with the crazy paint job? Well, it’s up for auction on eBay now, with proceeds going to the World Bicycle Relief.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
… it’s really good! And people really like the new Stumpy.
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?
… and I’m not trying to make a rhyme about it! Please, if you can head to Erik’s Instagram posts and keep an eye out for these unique bicycles. He is offering a healthy reward for their return. See each of these bikes in detail below.
Two years ago, I flew to Sweden to document the Sverigetempot, the longest randonneur event in the world. ERTZUI FILM was there too, covering the event with their pristine eye for video. Now, after a long, long wait, the film is live on VOD. Head to VOD to watch, check out some of my favorite photos below and see the coverage in the Related sidebar.
On this expedition, we – Erik, Dylan and myself – were prospectors… For over a hundred years, Death Valley has had its minerals extracted by machine and mule. Not just for gold and silver, either. Prospectors scoured the mountains for antimony, copper, lead, zinc, and tungsten, packing out their load by mule. We are modern day Prospectors, however, we are not seeking riches, yet experiences, of which will be beaten into our soul by miles of washboarded and rocky roads. Our mules are our bicycles and we’ll take only photos, leaving no trace, taking nothing from this land. It’s given enough over the decades and its scars are still visible on the surface.
Last Friday we embarked on a 100 mile journey through Death Valley National Park. The route was familiar to Erik, who attempted it years ago, but in reverse, with a band of other explorers, who fell victim to this great desert. Returning this round, Erik had a new found respect for this land, as well as much-needed reconnaissance by yours truly. My report: we should ride the biggest tires we have access to. This would soften the blow from the rugged roads and allow us to move with elegance through deep sand.
On top of that, literally, would be our provisions for four day’s worth of riding in the High Desert. This meant we’d need lots of water, lots of food, and warm apparel, on top of the standard backcountry emergency items. Packing all this in on a bike that’s destined to climb well over 10,000′ in its journey is no easy matter, yet the three of us took our own unique approach to outfitting our Pack Mules.
Kriss Kyle is a household name in the land of BMX, and if he keeps riding mountain bikes, there will be good things to come!
In its time, the Sequoia has had three authors. Three designers whose own vision of this bicycle’s intent would be realized as a large-scale production model. The Sequoia opened the doors for those with a love for touring. It was an off-the-shelf, do-it-yourself, vessel to the outdoors and freedom. You can wax poetic all day about the joys of touring and how in the 1980’s, it was all the rage in America. Touring forever changed the face of cycling.
Photos by Chris Riekert
The Red Hook Crit Brooklyn is coming this weekend, April 29th. Each year, the designers at Specialized look to outfit their racers with limited edition Allez track bikes. This year, the design was inspired by the process and design of the BMW art car series with a composition made by puzzle-pieced decals on top of the frame’s paint as a collaboration with Rocket Espresso, the team’s co-sponsor.
This process makes these uniquely-designed bikes production-ready, unlike previous versions of the RHC Allez race frames. If you’re looking to acquire one of these, the bad news is the track frames are for the athletes only, but there will be 300 road frames available in July. See the Allez track frames in action this weekend at the Red Hook Crit and check out more photos below. Thanks to Dylan Buffington for sending these over!