When it comes to the Olympics, you can expect to see the highest of tech, especially with track bike design. Hope Technology and Lotus Engineering have done just that! Read all about it at Hope’s blog.
Our buddy Cicli Pucci rolled into the shop the other day on this Holland Track Bike, and all of our jaws just dropped. Which is actually quite normal when Pucci rolls through. He’s been painting with Joe Bell for many years now and always has the most fly of bikes, always hand-painted by himself. You all probably remember his Azuki Pro that was featured here about a year ago.
The city of Denver got a new mural recently. One of Major Taylor, who won the sprint event at the 1899 world track championships and fought racism during his career.
Tracklocross. Yeah, you heard it, Tracklocross. It’s exactly what it sounds like and it’s spreading faster than you could ever imagine. With contingencies popping up all over the globe, things are really beginning to culminate this year as we lead up to Nationals in June (Bay Area) and the World Championships in August (Japan). With Los Angeles’ second race of the season in the bag, the vibes are only growing stronger out here as things continue to build momentum. Safa Brian came out and completely crushed the course. He took a commanding lead out the gate and put a significant gap between him and the rest of the pack. The spectator crowd camped out in the middle of the grass and more or less turned their heads as everyone ran laps around them.
Polizzi Quentin started framebuilding 5 years ago in his free time until two months ago it is now his full time job under the Atelier des Velos, ADV brand. This all began in 2009 when he engraved a groupset for a shop in Paris. This engraved gruppo went onto a Tommasini, prompting Polizzi to pursue making his own frames for his engraved groupsets. This is one of his first complete packages from the ADV label… For this build he chose a Modolo bar and stem. A Campy Pista group, and Araya rims. This is all sublimated by this marvelous paint showcasing his savoir-faire! Check out more photos below!
There has always been this kooky thing floating around the internet and oftentimes, even on the streets. I’ve seen it before in New York, someone JB Welds or finds another way to permanently attach a fixed cog to a hub on the left side. Sure, it’s mostly for looks, but there’s certainly a bit of appeal to something so weird. There are even reports of the USA team pursuit squad claiming it’s faster.
Whatever the reason, be it looks, or gains, Affinity Cycles contacted Phil Wood with a request to make a left hand drive kit. Affinity made 10 of these kits and they sell for $1,000 including everything you need to get your bike rolling… from the left.
Hubert d’Autremont from Madrean Fabrication is building bikes that he wants to ride. From a chubby road bike, to a bikepacking rig, and even a bird as strange as this. The Tucson Special is a single speed or fixed gear with 50mm of tire clearance and more relaxed geometry, tuned for hitting cutty singletrack around town and jumping curbs. Put a rack and basket on it, flat bars or drops, clipless or platforms. The beauty of the platform is its inherent versatility.
This particular model is built with PAUL hubs, a front Klamper, White Industries Cranks, Bruce Gordon Rock ‘n’ Road tires, an Eriksen seatpost, custom painted stem, titanium townie bars, and a Brooks saddle. With paint done in-house, Hubert is working on dialing in the production process for his bikes and moving towards a production sizing operation. While there is no launch date for a Madrean, he’s getting there.
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There’s something about a classic track bike that makes me get a little trigger happy with my camera. While I was in Tucson for New Years, I swung by Cicli Noe, a small bike shop in South Tucson. I’ve met Noe before over the years at trade shows and the like, so I was stoked to see his shop. As soon as I walked in, we began looking at his collection of vintage frames, including this gorgeous US-made Salsa track bike, with a full Campagnolo Pista group.
Noe exclaimed how he used to have it on display at the front of the shop but later decided to put it in his storage area. This bike is mint. Everything is perfect on this bike. My main question comes down to who made the bike? Ross Shafer built Salsa Cycles frames in the USA, but so did Waterford. Now, Ross was best known for his mountain bikes. I’m sure he built road frames too but track bikes? That’s news to me. Perhaps one of you reading this article will have a better idea.
We’ll look more at Cicli Noe next week, with a recap gallery from Tucson but for now, I wanted to give you this bit of eye candy to feast upon.
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I thought these three bikes, the Carnevale, the Cinelli, and now this Makino all brought something interesting to the table at the Cub House’s Bike Show and Swap. While the previous two bikes are examples of the 60’s and 80’s, this Makino reminds me of the mid-2000’s so much. The time when track bikes were the biggest thing in cycling since mountain bikes. ATMO, anyway. I never owned an NJS bike. Mostly because it was always hard to find one in my size. Not too many Keirin racers ride 58cm or 60cm frames. Yet I always loved the work that left Makino’s shop. With their sparkly, iridescent paint, beautiful lug work and tucked and mean stances, the Makino track frames always looked like they were in the process of pouncing. While purists will scoff at the flat bars and sparkle grips, riding drops for the sake of drops never made much sense to me. Especially when riding brakeless.
Richie, the owner of the bike has pieced together quite the build. It’s classy without being hung up on that coveted NJS stamp and for me, it was a joy to photograph.
Love Letter to a Velodrome
I had heard much lore about the NSC velodrome over the years leading up to me spending last summer in Minneapolis. It is truly a spectacle in physicality and community alike. Until you have taken a lap on those old boards you don’t truly understand what it takes to drop into those turns every Thursday night. After just a few months in this community, I was brought to tears as we left the velodrome to move to Arizona, Brenda and I literally drove our fully packed truck to the velodrome for one last night of racing. I lack the words to describe my sorrow imagining how everyone in this community will feel when this place is torn down next summer.
We met on a cold Saturday in April. Winter had worn on you, rotted your core. My job, along with other volunteers, was to strengthen your weak points; a job you would reciprocate months later. You creaked and moaned as we pulled up your boards to expose your insides. Afzalia had become endangered and so we patched you with lesser wood. Rotten next to the new, but “well-loved” was the word I chose to use when talking about you to friends and family.
Summer meant I spent every Thursday I could spare with you. My body leading up to that day reacted as it does before a first date: sleepless nights, unbridled giddiness, overthinking, and trying on my skinsuit countless times. Instead of butterflies in my stomach, my lower region decided to nervously poop for 24 hours leading up to our meeting. Was this love?
Once a week for three months, my weaknesses were unapologetically put on display. Dark truths of my life that I had done well to ignore were spoken so clearly from an inanimate and seemingly voiceless object. “Eat more. Or you will not be able to ride.” And so I ate because being away from you meant my body would wither. “Leave him and be free.” And so I left because the three hours I spent with you were more joyful than the past three years of my life. I always thought it was a cliche when I overheard folks saying bicycles changed their life. But there I was, truly living on two wheels without brakes and without fear, speaking a sentence over and over that had never felt comfortable coming from my mouth: “I am strong.” What was supposed to be a casual hobby quickly turned into therapy while my competition soon became family.
Unfortunately, your time is coming to an end. And I can’t save you the way you have saved me and countless others. The space you occupied, which was dedicated to bikes and their humans, will ironically become a place for cars to park. Your soft green grass once littered with grandma quilts that were occupied by sweaty bodies of exhaustion and elation will turn to hard concrete. Silence will replace the sounds of rumbling boards, cheers from dedicated fans, and ridiculous infield dance parties. The bright lights will go dark and no longer illuminate faces of determination and defeat. We’ve seen this finale before. Dorais. Olympic. Stone Mountain. Fallowfield. Meadowbank. Dieppe. Your name will be added to the long list on a Wikipedia page titled “Velodromes No Longer in Use,” followed by a short description that does your story no justice.
I started this relationship knowing there was an expiration date, and that awareness has not softened the heartbreak. I refuse to accept that the only narrative told of you will be two sentences, one of them including the word “demolished.” You deserve better than that because you are magic incarnate. Each board possessing the ability to not just call out my fragileness, but also my strengths. The pieces of you that will stay with myself and others, outside of the literal splinters under our skin, are in the form of lifelong friends and a passion to preserve the freedom and power we all felt pedaling in circles at the NSC Velodrome.
The NSC Velodrome in Blaine, Minnesota is being torn down after the 2019 season. It has hosted countless Thursday Night Light competitions, Fixed Gear Classic, Track Cycling Championships, and Olympic Trials. One of the largest WTF fields in the country called the boards home, and numerous racers from around the country were able to experience riding what can only be described as a wooden roller coaster. The track community in Minneapolis is currently working hard to contact legislators to find a location and funding for an indoor cycling center that will not only benefit athletes but the community as well through youth job training programs and a variety of learn-to-ride cycling classes for children and adults.
Jack’s Ground Up Speed Shop Track Bike
Words and photos by Spencer Harding
At this year’s annual Fixed Gear Classic at the NSC velodrome near Minneapolis there was a whole field, literally, of the fastest, meanest, slickest bikes from all of our forgotten fixed gear dreams. Although, one truly shone out, like a beacon, and to say this bike sparkles is an understatement. Jack Lindquist’s track bike is without comparison.
Eric Baar of Ground Up Speed Shop is known for his outlandish bikes combining multiple frame materials as well as exquisite pinstriping done by the man himself, and this bike does all his skills justice. After being introduced to Eric’s work by a fellow sprinter, Jack wound up crashing with Eric after a race in Colorado back in 2012. A few years later Jack was looking for a new bike and Eric was just the builder to call on for such a machine. It needed to be the stiffest bike possible with geometry to give someone of Jack’s proportions a low position while sprinting.
The frame started out as a tandem tube set, with the massive 3-piece seat mast acting as the backbone of the bike. The top tube is made from rare Easton Rad tubing, possibly the only appropriate tubing for such a frame. The custom CNC machined Ti dropouts are permanently bonded to the bmx chainstays with a second set of mini chainstays just to make sure no efficiency is lost. In the end, there is over 25 feet of welding stitching the frame together.
The finish is a combination layers upon layers of 13 colors of large flakes over a dark red base which was then covered by enough clear coat for 4 tandem frames. With the multiple layers of metal flake the bike gives the illusion that you could almost reach into the clear coat and stir the flakes around. The logos and racing number were hand painted in gold leaf and 1 shot by Eric.
It is amazing to see this much fun being had with the finish of such a purpose-built racing machine. While the mechanics of the frame are purely and seriously speed-focused, the finish is flamboyant and ostentatious. To quote Eric, the frame is, “part weight lifting equipment, part race car, part welding challenge, party crazy custom paint challenge, and part social experiment.”
Vittoria Bussi has tried to beat the record before… and failed.
Matt from Wheel Talk pulled together a very nice and tight edit from Portland’s Bone Machine Crit from last month. Be sure to check out Matt’s photos at Wheel Talk.
If you’re in Portland, roll through! See more details at Bone Machine Crit.
The newest HRDWRKER video features Jonah, a small business owner, and Los Angeleno who used his bicycle to discover his true identity.
If you’re lookin’ to blacken out your track bike’s drivetrain, check out the newest collaboration with San Francisco’s Mash, who teamed up with Japan’s Izumi on three new chains. Offered in all black (pictured,) black with silver bushings, or black with gold bushings. Check out more at Mash SF.
Even if it is in a Hennessy ad!