MTB shoes don’t have to look like 1990’s era skate shoes. Case in point is Specialized’s Recon shoes, the pinnacle of the brand’s MTB footwear. The Recon utilizes a Body Geometry sole and footbed for comfort and power transfer. These shoes have a stiffness index of 10, thanks to the Carbon STRIDE toe-flex technology and the fully-welded upper body reduces seams, so you don’t have to worry as much about blisters. The Recon 2 ($160.00) features one BOA closure, while the Recon 3 ($225.00) features two. See more at Specialized.
Specialized’s new Down Under Collection looks to the fauna Down Under, specifically the Australian Budgie. As 500 million animals have been affected by the massive bushfires, Specialized is donating $100,000 USD to WIRES, the Australian Wildlife Rescue Organization. You can now buy product from the Down Under Collection, to show your support or if you’d prefer to donate yourself, do so at WIRES’ emergency fund.
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…
Behold. A steel bicycle that lasts a lifetime and pushes through the trends, accepting new builds and uses with ease, with finesse, and most importantly, with style. Do you remember Erik’s Di2 Alfine 11 Peacock Nuke AWOL? That photoset was fire back in 2014 when we originally posted it. While propped up on a hillside in Bernal Heights, an incredibly scenic neighborhood in the US’ most scenic city, Erik and I lamented how this whole “adventure” stuff was going to take off, big time. The AWOL was the first bike Erik designed for Specialized, which is raced the Transcontinental Race on and little did he know that just five years later, the brand would put a bullet in this peacock project.
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!
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.
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.
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.
These videos are too good.
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.