We’ve all had that one bike. A bike that we get on the cheap, as a “beater” bike but end up spending most our time riding it. Ptrutz got this bike almost 20 years ago and it still, to this day, supplies them with joy…
Moving to a new town in the middle of a pandemic has been quite the taxing experience both emotionally and logistically. With relocation comes re-establishing connections and expansion of one’s social network, which is near impossible with stay at home orders. Part of the joy of moving to a new city is to get a lay of the land, meet new people, and find those little idiosyncratic niches small towns are known for. Recently I set out a ping to social media, hoping to track down a fabricator to help build a bike rack swingout for our truck. A friend of a friend connected me with Greg, one of the co-fabricators at a small metal shop on Third Street here in Santa Fe. His shop mate Cooper found out I was into bikes and had to share with me his shed found Univega…
“Gravel bikes are just XC bikes from the 1990s.” “What is this, a 90s XC bike?” “Everything old is new again!”
Read any “gravel” bike review here and you’ll see some version of one of these statements in the comments section. People love to say that modern gravel bikes are just mountain bikes from the 1990s. Well, I hate to break it to ya but they’re not. They might be the same in that a 1996 Lemond road bike is like a 2020 Specialized Roubaix. It has two wheels, a crank, bars, seatpost, and a saddle, plus a lot of other parts but let’s be honest, nuanced bike design is a lot of what we cover here at the Radavist.
This is a 1996 Ibis Mojo built up like a “gravel bike” and yeah, it might be similar in spirit but there’s a lot going on here. Let’s take a closer look…
If you’re reading this, there’s a high probability you’re into bikes. Being “into” bikes comes in all sorts of flavors: racers, tourers, shredders, gear heads, collectors, vanilla, chocolate, twist. However you identify, spending time and money building, fixing, riding, and re-building is all part of it. Exposure to the melange of personalization across the cycling continuum is a big part of what the Radavist does, in addition to sharing the passion and creativity of the people behind the bikes. People who are into it. People like Karl.
Matt bought this classic Fisher MTB frame for $50 with the hopes of having a good ’round towner. Like all bikes, it’s going through various iterations over the years, with what you’re seeing now being the most current and arguably the best. I guess it depends how the parts bin and jewelry box are lookin’ ya know?
This week’s Readers’ Rides is one wild rig! Timothy‘s Diamondback is a great example of how vintage bikes can keep rolling for decades and can be quite fun to build out, much less ride!
If you need a rugged machine look no further then the Diamondback bicycle family from the ’90s. Overall great construction, pretty strong and made from USA True Temper tubes. This example was customized by Jeffson Bikes around 2004 and has an adjustable BB and disc tab welded on. The paint is my own doing after I could not stop looking at a Cooks Bros cruiser with a sunset fade. I did this with spray cans, and the homie made me some custom stickers that represent my bad back I had while building this bike.
The clean lines of a modern touring bike are hard to resist and for this week’s Readers’ Rides, we look at Jouko‘s Brick Lane Bikes Hitchhiker build. These frames are capable beauties, with a solid Columbus Cromor tubeset spec. Check out more details of this classy and timeless build below.
Ya ever wondered if you could keep only one of your bikes, which would it be? At this point in my life I’d have to say my Fuji Sundance with a Crust Bikes Clydesdale fork up front. This is my “daily driver” that serves for commuting, errand running, Costco runs, carrying coworkers home, or just taking the dog out for a spin. Vintage 26” rigid bikes are the bikes that just wont die and continue to show themselves as being so damn useful, and nothing compliments that better than the Clydesdale fork.
A couple of months ago, before we were all staying at home social distancing, our customer, John, pulled up to the shop and walked up to our mechanic Simon and I. He mentioned that he had an old bike that needed restoring. Of course, to a bike shop, that can mean anything! Luckily for us, it turned into something truly awesome. After chatting a bit more, we learned that it was a Colnago that John had bought after he graduated college in Arizona.
Most people know Wilderness Trail Bikes or WTB as an aftermarket component manufacturer. While this has pretty much always been their MO their catalog once included a lot more than seats and tires. In the early days WTB products were further developments of the work done by founding partners Charlie Cunningham and Steve Potts.
Paul de Valera does it all, he’s the mechanic, manager, buyer, PR, HR, ride leader, ride organizer, social media expert, designer, illustrator, coaster brake extraordinaire at Atomic Cycles. Paul doesn’t have a cell phone, still uses a yahoo email address, and hand draws every single one of his flyers. While this may be fine for a shop that puts on a handful of events a year, but Paul’s ride calendar is ridiculous. Atomic Cycles host a weekly BMX Cruiser ride, two Coaster Brake Race Series a year, vintage mountain bike rides, downhill racing on children’s bikes, a few long gravel rides, a winter and summer solstice ride across the Santa Monica Mountains, a SoCal Single Speed Mountain Bike Championship, a ride where everyone dresses like ninjas in the middle of the night and spends most the ride in fear of someone jumping out and attacking them, a BMX Sidehack Race, the S.C.U.M.B.A.G Mountain Bike Weekend, a Turkey Day Ride, and a SanFernando Valley to DTLA ride. Try to say that 10 times fast!
Mert Lawwil had already been a legendary motorcycle racer for years and was building and selling Harley Davidson flat-track racing frames with Terry Knight when they got the idea to weld up a batch of BMX bicycle frames. But Don Koski of the Cove Bicycle Shop in Tiburon, California (hangout spot of mountain biking progenitors, The Larkspur Canyon Gang), convinced them to make a production run of “mountain bikes” in batches of 50 at a time instead. Mert and Terry had to label and sell these bikes as “cruisers” because most other bicycle shops didn’t understand or want to sell “mountain bikes”…yet.
At first glance, you might see this bike and think “sheesh, another $8,000 commuter bike made by someone in Portland.” Rightfully so! This is a clean bike but Alex spent $500 on this Miyata before adding some crucial details to keep him rolling safe and comfortable on the streets of Los Angeles, to and from work…
Brooklyn’s Johnny Coast knows how to build a classic randonneuring bike. Every year, Johnny brings a classic example of these elegant machines, with so many details from his custom fillet stem, custom fabricated seat cluster lug, bi-lam construction, custom decaluer, an elegant fork, custom front rack, and as always, a paint job to dream about.
Coast’s randonneur takes a different approach with a 700c wheel in a world dominated and encouraged by the 650b platform. He built this beaut with NOS Campy 10 speed, vintage Stronglight crank arms with new TA Pro Vis chainrings.
The lines are the most striking and that’s thanks to Johnny’s use of Japanese KAISEI traditional 1” tubing.
We got the keys to The Cub House 2.0 in June of 2017. We’d been at our original little shop in South Pasadena for a couple of years and I was extremely nervous about the move to much more “upscale” San Marino, even though it was only a few short blocks away. San Marino definitely has a reputation for being rigid, so The Cub House stands out here. Like REALLY stands out. Have you seen our spot? There aren’t too many multicolor service station turned Bike & Plant Stores in our area.
After a helluva a time getting through all the Tsunami craziness at Grinduro Japan this past fall me and the Salsa crew finally got back to Tokyo. The rest of the posse had to take off around 4 am the next day, leaving me with about half a day in Tokyo to myself! Bené and Patrick had invited me to swing by Blue Lug for a pop up they were having to showcase there oh so éspecial new Ultradynamico Tyres. Having seen the amazing custom builds coming out of the shop for years I was excited to see what the shop was about.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to celebrate something special, the 30th anniversary of Paul Component Engineering. Paul is a close friend, and when asked to come down for the weekend, tickets were booked quickly and preparations began in good faith.
Today is Labor Day in the US, so we’re taking the day easy, and catching up on life’s demands but we wanted to share this bike on Monday, because, you know, it’s Merckx Mondays. When I was at the Cub House a few weeks back, I met Jun, who was out on a ride with this bike. As you can imagine, this bike has quite the story…