1980s road bikes make for pretty alright gravel bikes, as evidenced by Tom’s Lotus Odyssey, the bike he shared with us for Readers’ Rides today! Let’s check out what Tom did to make this bike more capable below…
From The Pro’s Closet: 1983 Mantis XCR – A Rare Machine
A rare machine, this 1983 Mantis XCR tells the story of the then-nascent Southern California mountain bike scene. The movement that grew out of Marin would eventually bring radical and different ideas to mountain bike design the world over. In tandem with founding Mantis Bicycles in 1981, Richard Cunningham’s first production racing mountain bike would serve as a catalyst to the burgeoning mtb scene, and stand in contrast to more traditional Marin-born frame designs. For the next ten years he would relentlessly innovate, exploring geometry, materials and design along the way. Read on for more of Noah Gellner’s words with photos by Joey Schusler…
John’s Keyesville Classic Bike: His 1980 No Serial Ritchey Mountain Bike
Next week, I’m loading up the Troopy and heading West to the Keyesville Classic. Every year, vintage mountain bike aficionados descend upon the Kern valley to race vintage bikes while the “real” race occurs. This vintage race is quite the spectacle, and if you’ve never seen it in person, you ought to check out Erik Hillard’s gallery he shot a few years ago for The Radavist.
At any rate, I just finished buttoning up my bike I’ll be bringing to Keyesville to ride and, yes, take part in the vintage race. Let’s check it out in detail below…
Jerod and His Muddy Fox Pathfinder Basket Bike
With Mid South approaching, we were browsing our content from last year’s event when we realized we never posted this gallery. D’oh. At any rate, it’s never too late to share the stoke that District Bicycles brings to Stillwater. Let’s check out Jerod and his Muddy Fox Pathfinder below!
From The Pro’s Closet: 1987 Doug Bradbury’s Own Manitou
Many different forms of cycling contributed to the development of the mountain bike, including balloon tire bikes, touring bikes, and BMX bikes. Separate from that was the influence of motorcycles, and more specifically off-road motocross bikes. The early suspension fork pioneers — Paul Turner (Rock Shox), Mert Lawwill (Lawwill), Horst Leitner (AMP), and Doug Bradbury (Manitou) — all came from motorcycle backgrounds and knew the benefits of suspension. But before that innovation came about, Doug Bradbury began by building fully rigid mountain bikes. In this edition of From The Pro’s Closet, we look at Doug’s personal 1987 Manitou…
Eric’s Raw and Rusted 1985 Bridgestone MB-2 Wigsplitter
I found this Bridgestone MB-2 as a complete on Marketplace in December of 2021. It’s January of 2023 and I’ve just wrapped up the build. The time in between was spent having some frame modifications made, aging the frame, making custom head badges and acquiring various components. Once I had my parts, the build should have only taken about a day but stretched into a week as I inched along with minor changes. The final outcome, though, is better than I could have hoped!
1986 Cunningham | Museum Bike Unboxing | The Pro’s Closet
In this episode of The Pro’s Closet’s Museum Unboxing Series, we unbox one of the rarest bikes in the world, a 1986 Cunningham Road Bike. TPC’s museum is host to the largest collection of historic bikes in the world. With over 200 bikes currently on display, there is still a backlog of bikes waiting to be unboxed and brought to light. Follow TPC’s Museum Unboxing series, as we partner with Ronnie Romance and MTB Historian, Tasshi Dennis, to unbox these important pieces of history and discuss what makes each bike significant to the sport of cycling.
1990 Klein Attitude Team USA
The mountain bikes of the late 1980s were not prepared for what the 1990s would bring to the American framebuilding scene, which was on the precipice of the aluminum revolution. Aluminum bikes were lighter and featured oversized tubing diameters, making a buff canvas for some wild paint jobs. This 1990 Klein Attitude is perhaps one of the most iconic bikes, donning the “Team USA” or “Dolomite” colors; green, white, and magenta—all sprayed on Klein’s thicc “Aluminum Power Tubing.”
While I was in Los Angeles, camping out at The Cub House, Sean got this bike all polished up for a quick shoot, so let’s check it out below!
One Merry Fellow: John’s Balloon Tire Rivendell Bombadil 29er
It’s no secret Rivendell Bicycle Works pulls inspiration from Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Grant Petersen is a big Tolkien fan and, over the years, many of the brand’s bicycles have adorned names from Tolkien’s writings. When it comes to beings of power and mystique, there are none more significant than Tom Bombadil. Older than Middle Earth and more powerful than any, Bombadil was omitted from the Jackson-envisioned big-screen movies for several reasons, but that didn’t keep Grant from naming Rivendell’s first mountain bike after the most powerful being in Middle Earth.
A Bombadil is a rare bird. Perhaps as rare as the fabled Legolas, Riv’s ‘cross bike, so I never expected I’d find one in my size, a 60cm. Then, one morning, an eBay alert popped into my email; there it was; a sunny Bombadil just begging to be purchased…
Spotted at The Cub House: CJ’s Salsa Ala Carte Commuter Conversion with White Industries
While we love our share of vintage mountain bike builds, dressed with period-correct components, and embrace the patina that has been rubbed in over the decades, there’s something to the resto-mod style of vintage builds. Baskets, racks, modern bars, and the like all add to a bike’s longevity and encourage its use. Plus, a vintage mountain bike just oozes cool and generally is cheaper to build up from a parts bin than buying something brand new. On my last trip to Los Angeles, I was hanging out at The Cub House, avoiding the rain, when Simon, their mechanic, showed me a customer’s bike that rolled in for some TLC, and I had to document it…
Conversations with Tom Ritchey Part Two: The Influence of Jobst Brandt
This is part two of an in depth conversation between Tom Ritchey and Ryan le Garrec where Ryan seeks to identify key periods in Tom’s life alongside key people. Perhaps second only to Tom’s father, it seems that Jobst Brandt had significant influence of the young Tom. Below, Ryan shares excerpts from Tom’s side of their conversation that highlight Jobst’s character, his notorious rides, and his lasting impact. Enjoy!
Yeti FRO | Museum Bike Unboxing | The Pro’s Closet
TPC’s museum hosts the largest collection of historic bikes in the world. With over 200 bikes currently on display, there is still a backlog of bikes waiting to be unboxed and brought to light. At The Radavist, we’ve been publishing our “From The Pro’s Closet” photo series but today we have something a little different. Before these bikes get the full photo spread over here, they have to be pulled out of their storage boxes.
Follow TPC’s Museum Unboxing series as we partner with Ronnie Romance and MTB Historian, Tasshi Dennis, to unbox these important pieces of history and discuss what makes each bike significant to the sport of cycling. Today, it’s this Yeti FRO.
Readers’ Rides: Matt’s USA-made Nishiki Backroads Commuter
It ain’t news that older 26″ MTBs make for great commuters and Matt is the latest to submit a tasty conversion to our Readers’ Rides email. Let’s check out his USA-made Nishiki Backroads commuter conversion below!
From The Pro’s Closet: A Merlin Made Ti/Carbon 1991 Raleigh John Tomac Signature
Post a photo of drop bars on a mountain bike, and chances are, someone will reference the American rider John Tomac. In the late 1980s, this BMX racer turned full-on MTB superstar and became known for sporting a style never before seen in the growing sport. Drop bars, Tension Disc, and tabletops, Tomac had it all. In 1991, Merlin Titanium crafted this Raleigh John Tomac Signature frame from titanium and carbon fiber.
The bike made its debut at the XC World Championships in Il Ciccio, Italy before a limited run of frames was produced for public consumption, and today, we’re debuting it on The Radavist for your consumption. Check out the full history by Eric Rumpf and photos by Elizabeth Wilcox below!
Readers’ Rides: Ron’s 1986 Ritchey Commando
When it comes to the paint jobs of 1980s Ritchey frames, it’s hard to beat a Commando. These bikes were painted by Rick at D&D and remain one of the most iconic bikes of the mid-late 1980s. Ron sent in his 1986 Commando with photos by Mike Blanchard of RUST Magazine, so let’s check it out below!
Readers’ Rides: Thad’s 2009 Moots Rigormootis SS
This week’s Readers’ Rides breaks the mold a bit. Thad’s submission speaks to a bigger picture; a bike’s longevity and its ability to adapt to life’s changes. Read all about it below!
Vintage Ride: There May Be No Machine Ever Invented More Sublime Than the Bicycle
Like most towns, ours is full of sprint segments.
They’re those little spots on the road that only a place’s cadre of cyclists know about, invisible to the untrained eye; from this driveway to that mailbox, this street sign to that intersection, this rise to that tar snake.
The best group ride leaders will try to organize her or his group before they reach those starting spots, asking anyone who’s not planning to sprint that day to give way in the paceline to those who are. They remind their riders to stay right of the yellow lines, that straying into the oncoming lane, even when there’s no traffic is not worth winning a sprint that is essentially meaningless.
From The Pro’s Closet: 1983 J.P. Weigle Time Trial Bike
J.P. Weigle is the gem of the Connecticut River Valley. From his small shop in Lyme, CT, he has built hundreds of beautiful randonneuring bicycles for Randonnée events worldwide and each year, he hosts the French Fender Day. Before Weigle was known for his rando bikes, he made a lot of experimental bikes. We’ve looked at his Ice Cycle in detail, a fat tire road bike, and today we present this pristine 1983 Time Trial Bike, with words by Noah Gellner and photos by the ever-talented Joey Schusler. Let’s get to it!