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Scott’s Rock Lobster Cyclocross Race Bike

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Scott’s Rock Lobster Cyclocross Race Bike

If I were to ever want an aluminum cross bike, I would go to one man: Paul Sadoff of Rock Lobster. His signature mint green frames are iconic and every time I see one, I can’t help but stop the owner and ask them about their bike. Everyone builds these differently, there’s no official Rock Lobster build group. While many prefer the “team issue” golden Paul touring cantis, Scott went the way of the black MiniMoto, matched with SRAM’s Red cross group and White Industries hubs. My favorite little detail, however, are the Paul quick releases.

At this weekend’s races, I snatched this bike from Scott’s team, Embros’ tent and took it out for some photos. It was remarkably the same size I’d ride so I got a feel for what it’s like to ride one of these iconic bikes.

Best of luck this season, Scott and remember, Rubber Side UP!

Setting the Hook at the 2014 Cyclocross Scuffle in Elgin

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Setting the Hook at the 2014 Cyclocross Scuffle in Elgin

While this is a gallery showcasing the 2014 Cyclocross Scuffle in Elgin, Texas, it’s also a tale of what I believe is one of the best cross courses of the season thus far. Let me preface this by saying most courses in the Austin area are jokingly called “grass crits.” That means, a lot of straight ways, usually 4 – 6, which gives a lot of riders who might not have bike control the upper hand over those who aren’t in prime fitness coming off road season.

As someone who doesn’t race road, but rides a lot of trails on his cross bike, I hate these courses. Even with recent weight loss, I still huff and puff on all the straight aways and tear apart the technical “features.” Meanwhile, it’s the opposite for the fellas who raced road all season and didn’t touch their cross bike all summer…

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Some Austin Cross Racing

This video is from opening weekend here in Texas, at the Six-Shooter. In years past, it’s been a lot of fun. This year, I was out of town at a wedding, so I missed out. There’s lots of mayhem at the barriers in this one. Not to mention Tristan’s barrier beef as the last clip…

I Hope Everyone Had a Great Weekend of Racing!

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I Hope Everyone Had a Great Weekend of Racing!

Well, it’s Sunday night and that means everyone that races ‘cross probably has at least one day in their legs from the weekend. We had a great time in Austin and you can expect a full gallery tomorrow, but for now, I’m just stoked that ‘cross is here!

Free Fun at Urbocross – Gideon Tsang

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Free Fun at Urbocross – Gideon Tsang

Free Fun at Urbocross
Photos and words by Gideon Tsang

Cycling is usually fun, often not free and occasionally funny.

Racing a criterium is not free, usually fun and funny only when an armadillo crosses the road during the race. (True story and a problem isolated to racing in Texas.)

A deep tissue massage is not free or fun but funny as fuck when your Kiwi masseuse tells you farting stories. (Also a true story).

Bike camping is alarmingly fun and almost free. Insert naked cliff jumping and/or mushrooms for funny…

Urbocross is a free and fun four week cyclocross series on the urban trails of Austin, TX thrown by Beat the Clock Cycling Club and CycleEast bike shop. The series ended last week straddling the end of our road racing season and the beginning cross season.

Rubber Side Up 06

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Rubber Side Up 06

Photo by Jim Hicks

I think it’s safe to say, everyone who races cross wants to be able to do this. It shaves seconds off any gap the racer in front of you might have and puts more time between you and the racers behind.

Bunnyhopping barriers isn’t easy by any means, especially when they’re set at USAC’s max height of 40cm and on an uphill, but at yesterday’s race, I put all my skills learned from riding trails on my cross bike, MTB shredding and yes, the old days of FGFS to the test and hopped them every lap of the 50 minute B race. Here’s another angle.

Now that I’ve got my rhythm, I’m feeling even more confident and can’t wait to apply this useful skill to future races…

Chumba USA’s Made in Texas Stella 29’r Hardtail is a Ripper!

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Chumba USA’s Made in Texas Stella 29’r Hardtail is a Ripper!

The history of Chumba is one with a somewhat rocky past but it appears the brand has finally hit smooth trails with its recent rebranding and relaunch. When a couple of guys from Austin, Texas took over, they had one thing on their minds: steel. That and making mountain bikes in Texas, designed to thrash our local trails and still perform in the mountains of Colorado.

Earlier this year, we looked at their 29+ Ursa model and yesterday, I met the Chumba team out at Pace Bend Park, a 45 minute drive from Austin, to shred their new made in Texas Stella 29’r hard tail.

Majaco Singlespeed Cross Bike with White Industries

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Majaco Singlespeed Cross Bike with White Industries

What I said yesterday about Austin seeping with cross bikes stands true and I haven’t even begun to cover them. Mark from Majaco recently built up this sick singlespeed cross bike from True Temper OX Plat, specifically for the forthcoming Philly Bike Expo. His component choice is well thought out, putting the extra money where it counts and maintaining the aesthetics throughout.

Case in point: White Industries cranks and freewheel with Surly hubs. He then went with Paul and Thomson, resulting in a frame that by my judgement, weighs in around 16 or 17 lbs. It’s incredibly light!

I love the classic red to white livery and stainless head badge. For those interested in a similar frame, expect a pricepoint around $1400 for standard geometry or $1750 for fully custom.

Al’s Golden Hour Signal Road with Ultegra

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Al’s Golden Hour Signal Road with Ultegra

Austin, Texas has changed so much in the past four years since I found myself living here and I’m not talking about the constant construction. Every time I come back from a trip, or a month on the road, there are new people here, with newer bikes and I’m always thrilled to see people riding made in the USA frames, like Al’s new Signal Cycles road bike.

The Radavist 2014 Calendar: August

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The Radavist 2014 Calendar: August

This is the eighth layout of the Radavist 2014 Calendar, entitled “Hot Summer”. The camera and location are noted on the bottom left of the document.

In Texas, we can ride two times during the day: early morning and late, late afternoon. The sun just cooks us the rest of the day, so each night, we take to the hills and watch the sun set on Central Texas.

For a high-res JPG, suitable for print and desktop wallpaper*, right click and save link as – The Radavist 2014 Calendar – August. Please, this photo is for personal use only!

(*set background to white and center for optimal coverage)

Seven Months with the Santa Cruz Tallboy LTC 29’r with SRAM XX1

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Seven Months with the Santa Cruz Tallboy LTC 29’r with SRAM XX1

I love long-term reviews. “Here, take this bike, travel with it and shred it for around six months, then send it right back to us.” Pretty ideal, huh? Especially when there’s a no-strings-attached policy. If you like it, do a review, or don’t, no big deal. Just get out and ride it. For The Radavist, that’s how I like to do product reviews: honestly and with no commitments. The problem is, you’ve got to be really stoked on a bike to want to ride it a bunch, and then photograph it / write about it.

Reviewing bikes is something I don’t often do, partially because I rarely get the chance to ride anything else besides my own bikes but mostly because so few companies contact me to review their bikes. One of the companies that has embraced what I’m doing over here is Santa Cruz and I can’t complain. Great company, great bikes and as I said before, no strings attached.

When Santa Cruz offered to send me out a Tallboy LTC with SRAM’s new – at the time – XX1 groupet back in December, I obliged! Who wouldn’t? I traveled with it, raced it a few times and rode the shit out of it for half a year.

While the world of the $8,000 – $10,000 MTB is certainly saturated at this point, I’ve ridden a few of them and yet I keep wanting to come back to the Tallboy and its unique riding characteristics. The best way I can describe the way this bike rides is solid. There’s no “plastic feel” to the frame, no annoying resonance when you hit technical sections and when the bike tells you to go in a particular direction, it’s usually on point… What often requires honing are your own skills and your confidence on that bike in particular.

How to Rule Summer in Central Texas

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How to Rule Summer in Central Texas

Let me begin this post with the phrase: don’t blow up the spot, bro. Now, I know I’m posting photos of a few hidden gems, but you don’t have to name them… That said, we also were given “special permission” to access these spots from land owners, so, again #dontblowupthespot, bro. Also, also, remember one thing: this is Texas, people have a lot of guns and a particular connection to their private property. I’ve dealt with angry land owners before. Let me tell you, it ain’t worth it.

Now that that’s out of the way…

Central Texas can be quite unforgiving in the summer months and the only bastian for relaxation are limestone swimming holes, sink holes, aquifers, lakes and other vessels for holding water. The problem is: every frat boy bro and his messy friends camp out with coolers of beer and boom boxes, littering and ruining a lot of these swimming locales, leaving my friends and I seeking refuge in lesser-known locations.

Be it on a mountain bike, cross bike, or in this case, simply driving outside of the Austin area to swim has proven to be quite fruitful this summer in particular. We hike in and leave nothing but footprints and tire tracks.

Last sunday, we ruled summer as we partook in some classic Central Texas cliff jumps and lounging… enjoy the Gallery!

Tools of the trade:
Mamiya 7ii / 80mm
Kodak Portra 400

Cole’s Early 90’s Rossin Road with Campagnolo Athena 11

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Cole’s Early 90’s Rossin Road with Campagnolo Athena 11

There are very few experiences like riding a custom bicycle, but when it comes down to it, there are plenty of frames out there that are completely fitting for most people. These frames were designed to be raced, or just plain ridden, like many of the bikes on the market today. While they might not be custom-fit, they were fine-tuned for their intended use. In short: if the frame fits, shred the shit out of it.

Cole was looking for a new road frame last year and while it was tempting to go continue saving for a custom steel rig, he decided to keen an eye on eBay and Craigslist, in hopes that something, light, tight and Italian might pop up in his size. Low and behold, it did. A NOS Rossin crit frame from the early 90’s hit eBay one day and soon, it arrived in Austin. All for around $700.

He chose Campagnolo Athena 11, Mavic Open Pro rims, a classic 3TTT Pro Chrome Columbus stem, Deda bars, Zipp post, Fizik Antares VS saddle, Speedplay pedals and some reliable Conti rubber. The build is very tasteful and the lines of this classic race bike are seducing enough for even the seasoned carbon ‘pro-minded’ consumer to second guess their recent ‘upgrade’…

Thanks for dropping by the office today Cole!

Andre’s Co-Motion Lucifer Cross

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Andre’s Co-Motion Lucifer Cross

A while back, I featured Andre, my new intern’s Stoemper Cross. Well, since then, he got in a wreck and folded the top tube in half. He was pretty bummed, as you might imagine, but luckily for him, a friend who used to work at Co-Motion had this magenta Lucifer frameset sitting in his garage since the 2005 Interbike when he bought it…

Introducing Fairdale’s High End Steel Roadbike: the Goodship

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Introducing Fairdale’s High End Steel Roadbike: the Goodship

When Austin, Texas based Fairdale first came onto the cycling market, it all began with the Skate Rack. Soon, ex-pro BMXr Taj Mihelich and his team at OTX began designing commuter bikes and other around-town / get outta-town rides.

From there, Fairdale grew and in my opinion, it wasn’t until the Weekender OG that the company reached its full potential. A 1×9 disc, townie bar cruiser quickly took over. Now just about every city has fleets of Weekenders rolling around, all built up differently, as per the customer’s specific needs. Even the production models have options now: a drop bar with disc and a canti version.

For 2014, Fairdale is set to release their most ambitious project yet: the Goodship road bike. A race-inspired geometry, paired with Fairdale sensibilities. Utilizing the Odyssey integrated head tube, scaled for a road bike, an ENVE road fork and a custom pulled Japanese Drawnright tubeset. This tubeset is custom butted, heat treated, custom shaped and tuned to Fairdale’s specifications.