We first began featuring Reader’s Rides back in 2011; since then these part-review, part-vignette reader submissions have become a beloved weekly fixture here on The Radavist. This year’s Top Ten Readers’ Rides feature both brand new builds and older frames full of stories that have been given new life. As always they are 100% audience-submitted and the builds highlighted here were chosen based on web traffic and engagement. We love receiving submissions each week so if you have been on the fence about submitting your ride, perhaps this list will motivate you to break out the camera and show off your rig. Read on for some choice submissions from 2022…
Years ago, when I expressed my aspirations to become a cycling photographer, a very talented friend helped me put things into perspective. “Remember,” he said, “What you are trying to achieve is the equivalent of wanting to be an NFL photographer while living in Japan.”
I knew what he was saying was not to discourage me; he had also worked for various cycling outlets over the years, writing and occasionally shooting with well-known names in professional cycling. His frequent flyer miles were piling up, and it was merely a side hustle. “You can do it,” he told me, “but as someone once told me, you must accept living like a dog.”
For this week’s Readers’ Rides, the vintage MTBs keep rolling in with Tom’s 1989 Trek Antelope 850 that he’s built up as an all-rounder. Let’s check it out below!
This Readers’ Rides comes from Olly who customized his Trek ProCaliber 9.8SL into a Monstercross. Let’s follow the process along with Olly below!
2021 was an exceptional year for our Readers’ Rides series, which we first began posting back in 2011. Last year’s readership-submitted bikes ran the gamut, much like our Top 10 Beautiful Bicycles, but Readers’ Rides is 100% audience-submitted. We love receiving submissions each week so if you were on the fence about submitting your ride, perhaps this list will motivate you to break out the camera. This list was compiled by web traffic and comments. Let’s check out the Top Ten Readers’ Rides of 2021 below, in no particular order…
You might want to put on some sunglasses to look at this week’s Readers’ Rides post from Wayne in Bristol. Read on below to find out what inspired this unique Trek 6000 build!
Bontrager has developed a line of bikepacking bags designed to specifically fit the Trek Checkpoint yet the three universal sizes will fit any number of other frames. These half-frame bags use water-resistant fabrics, easy-pull zippers, a bright fluoro interior, and use a soft strap that won’t marr your frame’s paint. Also included in this drop is a top tube bag. These bags are available at your local Trek dealer.
Let’s face it, there’s not a lot of head-turning tech coming from the world of frame design within the MTB industry. Longer, slacker, lower, new linkages, electronic shifting. We’ve seen that all coming from a mile away but the latest from TREK has my interest piqued. Especially for bikepacking or other long endurance rides where you don’t want to deal with a lot of bobbing from a long travel rear linkage. The Supercaliber does look fun! As for the video, kudos, team Trek.
It’s a busy week for bike companies to jettison their new and improved models into the consumer market. We reviewed the Trek Checkpoint last year and were amazed at how well this bike checked all the boxes. It really felt like Trek listened to its customers and made the most capable bike they could.
For 2020, the Checkpoint stays relatively the same, solidifying its place in the adventure/gravel/all-road space, yet the paint jobs are much flashier and now with AXS integration, the lines on the bike are even cleaner. Head to Trek to see more details!
The beauty of a capable all-road bike is it can transport you from the inner city to more rural areas with ease and depending on the bike’s capabilities, you can ride everything from dirt roads to rugged Forest Service roads and even singletrack. In a city like Los Angeles, we’ve got a good mix of everything, and it wasn’t until I moved here that I realized this importance in a bike. For me and the kind of riding I enjoy, I prefer to be able to pedal out to the dirt from my front door.
Over the years, bikes that had only previously been available as a special order from a custom frame builder are slowly making their way into mainstream bike company’s catalogs. In that time, I’ve noticed a rather acute phenomenon, and most companies aren’t listening.
They’re not listening to what real, everyday cyclists are asking for. Who are they designing for? Who do they expect to buy their bikes? I’m not sure because I’ve seen a number of well-designed frames leave out crucial details that would make the bike from Brand X be the ultimate all-road bike, turned bikepacking bike, turned quiver killer.
Then there’s the Trek Checkpoint, which checks all the boxes, and I must say I was surprised when I saw it. After riding it on and off over the past few months, I’m finally ready to talk about this unique bike.
It doesn’t matter where you reside on this pleasant globe, chances are you’ve come across a few Trek 520 touring bikes in your day. Keeping with the tradition of a no-hassle, utilitarian design, the brand just launched the 2019 iteration of the tried and true steel platform with a complete bike ready for your next road tour, down to the front and rear racks, with a price tag that’s hard to argue with of $1,574.99 for the complete. There’s also a 520 frameset with throwback decals for $639.99. Head to Trek for more information!
“Trek is committed to changing the world by inspiring more people to ride,” said Trek president John Burke, “and our world-class women’s road team will be filled with passionate racers who are out to inspire. We’re putting full support behind our athletes so they can focus on their profession and be the best they can be.”
Yes! Read the full scoop at Bicycle Retailer.
A lot of work goes into making trails and this is just one tale…
Was documented like this!
Olive drab. Check. Fluoro. Check. Chunky tires. Check. I’d say the Stache 8 checks a lot of boxes. If anyone’s ridden the original Stache, you can probably attest to how fun that bike is, so seeing it on a full suspension platform has me intrigued. Check out more details at your local Trek dealer and see the details at Trek.
Speed. It’s a motivation for many on the bike and while it’s not something we necessarily pursue over here at the Radavist, there’s a certain beauty found within documenting it. The desert has a long history with speed. From iconic Trophy Trucks, to the Baja 1000 and the salt flats at Bonneville, the desert offers an iconic backdrop for the pursuit of speed.
As you’ve noticed, much of my free time – in the shoulder seasons anyway – is spent in the Mojave, Sonoran and Colorado deserts, the three zones surrounding Los Angeles. One of those zones that has always resonated with me, in both a geological and photographic manner, is Searles Valley surrounding Trona, a small town with a large mineral mining operation. Trona is named after the mineral they mine there and is very much active. From the supersonic, bird-deterrent sound canons, to the trains leaving with full cargo cars, the industry surrounding Trona extends well beyond the bustling town limits.
Luckily, someone somewhere made the conscious decision to set aside a region that borders this mineral extraction site known as the Trona Pinnacles. These tufa spires were formed as gas exited an ancient lake bed 10,000 to 100,000 years ago. Roughly 500 of these spires litter the landscape, with some reaching as high as 140 feet. The resulting landscape is straight out of a Hollywood SciFi flick, which is why I’ve wanted to do a commercial cycling shoot there since first coming to this region a few years back.
With clearance for a 45mm knobby tire, a road geometry, sliding dropouts allowing for 15mm of adjusment, options for aluminum or carbon, and bottle bosses galore, the Trek Checkpoint is a bike designed to tackle all roads. See more details on this bike at Trek.
Jake’s Pacific Northwest Do-All Trek 970
Photos and words by Morgan Taylor
While we can easily find ourselves lost in things shiny and new, there’s no denying the allure of a carefully curated classic being put to good use. Jake’s Trek 970 is just one of those bikes, with a build that takes advantage of classic mountain bike practicality to create a versatile and stylish bike for days long and short.
Jake’s no stranger to well-thought-out steel bikes, already having a number of sweet builds in the quiver before his 970 came together. He leans toward time-tested components, durability over flashiness, and comfort over outright speed. The 970 is Jake’s Pacific Northwest do-all bike, with wide tires, loads of carrying capacity, and inspiration taken from its home in Seattle.