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David’s Merckx Corsa Extra Extra, Read All About It – Sean Talkington

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David’s Merckx Corsa Extra Extra, Read All About It – Sean Talkington

David’s Merckx Corsa Extra Extra, Read All About It
Words and photos by Sean Talkington

There is something about mixing a classic steel bicycle with modern components that usually ends up looking either REALLY cool or REALLY “meh” for some reason. It’s a definite hit or miss thing that happens whenever mashing two different generations of anything together, but when done correctly it can be great. From an aesthetic standpoint, traditional steel bicycles are hands down the prettiest to look at and modern components offer a much more “civilized” choice of gear ratios. All of that steel beauty can easily be lost when paired with a build that is too busy with space-aged looking parts. if you disagree, then your opinion most likely sucks (in my personal and not so humble opinion.) Regardless of how it looks this trend of old with a touch of new is continuing to grow and understandably so. The idea of modern functionality on rolling piece of art/history does sound quite appealing.

Chuck from Velo Retro’s Vitus Kas Team Bike Built with Mavic – Sean Talkington

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Chuck from Velo Retro’s Vitus Kas Team Bike Built with Mavic – Sean Talkington

Chuck from Velo Retro’s Vitus Kas Team Bike Built with Mavic
Words and photos by Sean Talkington, with fact-checking by Chuck of Velo Retro

This Vitus Kas Team bike belongs to Chuck Schmidt from Velo Retro. I first met Chuck when we opened the doors to the original Cub House a few years back and am pretty sure we have seen him every day since. He is a graphic designer/lettering artist by trade and quickly became a shop legend when we discovered that Chuck created the coolest Eddy Merckx logo ever. The guy is also responsible for the lettering on some of the most iconic album covers and posters spanning across multiple generations of the world’s best stuff. Take your pick: Star Wars summer release poster, re-design of Hot Wheels logo, re-design of Road & Track logo, Parliament/Funkadelic, John Denver, Donna Summer, Sports Illustrated 25th Anni cover, fonts for ABC and CBS… It’s wild!

On top of his talents with a pencil, Chuck also happens to have quite a wild collection of bicycles that he slowly trickles into the shop for all of us to drool over. He likes to dangle the fancy bike carrots to keep us chomping at the bit (and it works). The most recent to roll through is this Kas Team bike from the late 80’s. The bike was produced in France by Vitus. Kas was a Spanish-based professional cycling team which was active from 1958 until 1979 and again for three years 1986-8 and they have been sponsoring pro teams since the late 1950’s.

Wolf Ruck’s Freewheelin’ Article in Freehub Magazine

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Wolf Ruck’s Freewheelin’ Article in Freehub Magazine


Photos by Wolf Ruck, words by Brian Vernor

“It was my friend Kevin Wilkins, founding editor of The Skateboard Mag and an avid mountain biker, who first came across the film on YouTube and sent it to me. The upload date said 2010 and the quality of the video was grainy at best, a poorly digitalized version of old celluloid that made it hard to view details.

But you didn’t need a sharp image to see the obvious— if dated—skills of the mountain bikers it portrayed. The mustaches, the fanny packs, and cutoff-jeans, the insane bike setups with everything from drop to bull-moose bars, the riders’ radical style; it all added up to a masterpiece both timeless and purely 1980s.

The film was titled Freewheelin’, and was made with a windup 16mm camera by someone named Wolf Ruck. I immediately emailed Kevin back, and our conversation went crazy from there. We scoured the internet for more information, but beyond the grainy YouTube video, Freewheelin’ seemed to be completely forgotten. The original publishing date said 1985, ancient in mountain bike terms—so ancient that, as far as we could tell, the poetic, funny and, by any standard, action-packed romp was the first mountain bike film ever made.”

Check out this story at Freehub Magazine and make sure you pick up a subscription!

Vintage Radness at the 30th Annual Keyesville Classic – Erik Hillard

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Vintage Radness at the 30th Annual Keyesville Classic – Erik Hillard

Vintage Radness at the 30th Annual Keyesville Classic
Photos and words by Erik Hillard

This past weekend was the 30th annual Keyesville Classic, the longest running mountain bike race in the United States. Because of its Vintage Class races, Keyesville is also a gathering of mountain bike restoration artists from across the country. Each year, a group of enthusiasts meets for the weekend with a beautiful selection of historic mountain bikes.

A Cable-Actuated IRD “Dropper” Post?

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A Cable-Actuated IRD “Dropper” Post?


Photo by Erik Hillard

Wednesday on the Radavist, we’ve got a big, fat (tire) gallery from the Keyesville Classic, the longest-running MTB race in the USA. Included in Erik’s photos is this 1989 IRD cable-actuated “dropper.” Sure, this might not be news to anyone who dives deep in the vintage MTB realm, but it’s the first I’ve seen this specific model. Photos like this can get lost in a big gallery, so I wanted to give it some light on its own… I can’t wait to see something like this leave a custom frame builder’s shop.

Analog Cycle’s 0mm Upright Stem Is Perfect for Your High or Mid Trail Bike

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Analog Cycle’s 0mm Upright Stem Is Perfect for Your High or Mid Trail Bike

There are gooseneck and “LD” stems, so why not go with a 0mm upright stem? Analog Cycles believes the long and low stem is on its way out, that stems should evolve and while this might be on the extreme end, I can see its application for high to mid trail vintage mountain bikes, turned all-rounder city and tourers. Why only high to mid trail? Read all about it at Analog, who now has these stems open for pre-order at $80 with a total cost of $140 for raw, or $185 for a clear coat.

Scotty 2 Hotty and His MUSA Nishiki

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Scotty 2 Hotty and His MUSA Nishiki

Scotty 2 Hotty is a local staple here in Los Angeles. He’s what I like to call an autodidactic raconteur or a self-taught man with lots of informative ramblings. For those of you who have ventured into Golden Saddle Cyclery, you’ll probably recognize him as a patron of the bike shop and literal sponge of knowledge. While Scotty is a farmer and a consultant for soil nutrition, his passions in life exist far beyond the liveliness of plants. His favorite subjects include but are not limited to fishing, gliders, obscure bicycle parts, firearms, fishing, boating, Shimano, both reels, and bicycles.

The Road to L’Eroica: An Italian Honeymoon – Ultra Romance

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The Road to L’Eroica: An Italian Honeymoon – Ultra Romance

The Road to L’Eroica: An Italian Honeymoon
Words and photos by Ultra Romance

We had been running from winter… riding from winter… actually hike-a-biking away from winter in the Swiss Alps for nearly 2 weeks now.  Snow, wind, rain, and low UV indexes had driven us out of the most verdant and bucolic panoramas I’ve ever eyeballed. Away from the abrupt mountaintops that rise from the undulating valleys like the jagged teeth of a gnashing puma eagle.  My hair was damp and lifeless, and our bodies were craving the sunlight and ACTUAL early September weather (fair and pleasant for those of you who live in the Swiss tundra).  In a split second decision, while climbing out of a cold and empty valley after hiking down a roots rock reggae slip n’ slide, we hopped a train south to Europe’s fashion capital, Milano. It just felt natural.

Ciao Italy!

Merckx Mondays

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Merckx Mondays

Photo by Bill Woodul

It’s not often you come across never before seen photos of Eddy Merckx, well, photos I’ve never seen anyway and that what we’re sharing with you today. Bill Woodul shot the 1976 Milano SanRemo and got some excellent photos of Merckx. Just check out those gloves! See more at this album.

A Ponderosa Cyclery + Tour Eisentraut Road with Mavic Zap – Kyle Kelley

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A Ponderosa Cyclery + Tour Eisentraut Road with Mavic Zap – Kyle Kelley

A Ponderosa Cyclery Eisentraut Road with Mavic Zap
Photos by Kyle Kelley, words by John Watson

If you think Shimano and SRAM were the first to the e-shifting market, you’re mistaken, my friend. Mavic blazed that trail over a decade before Shimano put its tires down on it. Back before they shifted focus to wheels and apparel, Mavic developed and manufactured component groups. Their “Starfish” cranks are as iconic as their unique headsets, but one group stood out from the rest of Mavic’s catalog. Zap was the name for Mavic’s electronic shifting system and while it was way before its time, it wasn’t underused, making several Tour appearances. Even Chris Boardman secured several victories in the Tour back in 1994 and 1997.

A Berry Blast from the Past: 1981 Jim Merz MTB

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A Berry Blast from the Past: 1981 Jim Merz MTB

Yesterday morning I had a date with a framebuilding legend from the American West. Like DiNucci, Strawberry, Bruce Gordon and others, Jim Merz was a key figure in promoting the production of custom frames in the ’70s and early ’80s. He was a machinist first, turned cyclist, turned builder. He was also an endurance cyclist, pedaling from Portland to Panama in 1970, logging over 8,000 miles. He also toured extensively in South Africa.

Jim brought his knowledge of loaded touring and trekking to his own operations, designing, fabricating and in a lot of ways shaping the world of touring bikes forever. So why haven’t you heard of Jim Merz? (Or perhaps you have, no assumptions here.) Well, Jim’s a unique guy and one that didn’t necessarily seek out the limelight like others in his day. That didn’t mean Jim wasn’t busy. In fact, in his ten years of solo framebuilding from 1972 through 1982, he built around 400 frames from Columbus and Reynolds tubing; he was the first US-builder certified to use Reynolds 753.