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Readers’ Rides: Matt’s Ol’ Gary Fish tASSaJARa

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Readers’ Rides: Matt’s Ol’ Gary Fish tASSaJARa

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? 

ENVE Foundation Launch: Alec’s Retrotec Funduro 29er

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ENVE Foundation Launch: Alec’s Retrotec Funduro 29er

With the pandemic putting a halt to NAHBS and our post-NAHBS framebuilder ride/showcase in Sedona this year, we decided to pull something together with our friends at ENVE to commemorate their new Foundation AM30 MTB wheel launch. When ENVE moved into its new carbon manufacturing and testing facility, they worked hard to push the progression of carbon wheel design and manufacturing. Over three years later and thousands of hours developing, today they launched their Foundation Collection, a completely new wheel line that marks a new milestone in wheel design. In short, for those of us who aren’t interested in graphs or projections, ENVE launched a $1600 made in the USA wheelset and to help showcase these new wheels, we pinged three frame builders to showcase these wheels. The last in the series is Retrotec with a beautiful Funduro 29er.

This Cotton Candy Falconer Hardtail Turned Out Sweet!

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This Cotton Candy Falconer Hardtail Turned Out Sweet!

The seed was planted last summer during a weekend visit to Cameron Falconer’s compound in Quincy to ride singletrack in Plumas National Forest, one of my favorite local playgrounds. I already had a 5-year-old Falconer hardtail that I loved and rode everywhere, and there was nothing wrong with it. 

Well, there actually was something wrong with my bike on that Saturday (a component failure), so I borrowed one of Cameron’s personal steel hardtails to ride on Sunday. Luckily for me we ride roughly the same size bike. Cameron has experimented with quite a few geometries over the years since he made my last bike, and the loaner I was on happened to be one of his latest designs. We were riding big chunky rough stuff in the Lakes Basin area and I was bouncing through big rock gardens more comfortably than with my old bike, feeling a lot more stable, and by the end of the ride I was like, “BUILD ME ONE LIKE THIS.

John’s Crust Dreamer 2.0

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John’s Crust Dreamer 2.0

“Where’s your Dreamer?” “What happened to the green Dreamer?” “Do you ever ride your Dreamer?”

Since posting up the gallery of my Crust Bikes Dreamer, it’s been the bike people email me about the most. I get various questions, ranging from the ones I listed above, to questions on the Microshift and how I like the Dreamer platform. When I first got the bike, Crust Bikes and Darren Larkin, the builder of the Dreamer frames, were working on a few details. What I ended up with was a bike that was in-between versions and a few things weren’t working out so well. This prompted me and Darren to talk about the bike in detail and him offering to take it back to update and fix a few things. Read on below to find out what happened between these two models.

Curtis’ Gold Rush Retrotec Funduro 29er

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Curtis’ Gold Rush Retrotec Funduro 29er

Downieville is a sleepy little town in the Lost Sierra. It was first known as “the Forks” due to its geographical location at the confluence of the Yuba and Downie rivers. Like many towns in the area, Downieville was founded in 1849 during the Gold Rush. Later, it was named after the town’s founder, Major William Downie. As you might imagine, this place has a sordid history during the lawless heyday of gold mining, including being the location for the only hanging of a woman in California history. Josefa Segovia was a pregnant Californio resident of the town and was lynched by an angry mob, accusing her of killing a miner in July 1851.

Nearby, in the Sierra Buttes, the largest gold nugget in California history was found in 1869. It weighed a whopping 109.2 pounds. Gold has always been on the lips of those who flocked to Downieville. Still, to this day, don’t be surprised to see active mining claims and people panning for gold at the confluence of the Yuba and Downie rivers.

Since 1995, the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship has thrown a special little event in this town. The Downieville Classic features an XC race on Saturday and a Downhill on Sunday. The terrain is rocky, steep, and silty, making for a tough day on the bike no matter what you’re riding. While they’re by no means rare, seeing people riding and racing hardtails always causes a stir. So this year, I set out to photograph some of these bikes, including Curtis Inglis from Retrotec‘s own Funduro, a shining, gold nugget of a bike.

Shooting the Sklar Sweet Spot 29er Hardtail in the Mountains of Bozeman

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Shooting the Sklar Sweet Spot 29er Hardtail in the Mountains of Bozeman

Bozeman, Montana is a magical place to mountain bike in the summertime. Last year’s trip was epic, so this year we wanted to re-visit this quaint little mountain town. While we were there last month, I was able to shoot Adam Sklar’s latest project, the Sweet Spot 29er MTB. While Adam usually takes on custom bikes, the Sweet Spot will be the brand’s first production model. The Sweet Spot is made in Bozeman, Montana, just like all Sklar Bikes. The aim here is to lower wait times, while not sacrificing quality. It also enables Adam to sell a model that is in-line with his philosophy on mountain bikes.

Golden Saddle Rides: Mick from 100 Tacos’ Crust Nor’Easter Dirty Tourer

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Golden Saddle Rides: Mick from 100 Tacos’ Crust Nor’Easter Dirty Tourer

A bike that’s perfect for its one imperfection. Mick hasn’t ever owned a new bike. Not new, new. Like pulling a brand new frame out of a box, new. It’s not that he was opposed to new bikes, he just never really found a company or a frame that fit his ideologies. Over the past few months however, Crust Bikes‘ offerings have really piqued his interest. He works at Golden Saddle Cyclery, a shop that churns out balleur Crust builds all the time. When he saw the new Nor’Easter, it strummed his heartstrings.

The Knolly Fugitive 29er: How a Small, Rider-Focused Brand Stays Ahead of the Game

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The Knolly Fugitive 29er: How a Small, Rider-Focused Brand Stays Ahead of the Game

Modern Modular Boingers, or How a Small, Rider-Focused Brand Stays Ahead of the Game.

Can we all agree that Mountain Bikes are just so damn good these days? Anyone who started out dropping chains on a triple ring rigid MTB back in the day will appreciate how lucky we all are now: brakes stop fast (whether or not your wheels are true); droppers drop; giant cogs for chilling; tubeless tires! Those parts all have to hang on something though, and here’s where we’ve seen leaps and bounds in design in the last five years toward lower, slacker, and longer bikes with short stems, big wheels, and unique suspension designs.

John’s Manzanita Sklar 27.5 All Road Is Meaner Now with Crust Towel Rack Bars

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John’s Manzanita Sklar 27.5 All Road Is Meaner Now with Crust Towel Rack Bars

This bike. This freaking bike. When I first built up my Sklar, it was built on the 700c wheel platform. At Lost & Found last year, I swapped out the i9 wheels for the new ENVE G27 650b gravel wheels and haven’t missed the 700c wheels one bit. From there, the bike slowly went under transformations but it wasn’t until I put the Crust Towel Rack Bars on it that I feel like this bike has finally come into its own.

White Industries Adds a Tariff Surchage

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White Industries Adds a Tariff Surchage

Political policies and power plays really do affect us all, even cyclists, and manufacturers of US-made components like White Industries, who just recently added a 4% tariff surcharge to orders…

“The surcharge is due to severe increases in material and bearing cost. Despite using US made aluminum, steel, and titanium, we have still seen an increase of well over 28% in raw material cost alone. For this reason we have had to start attaching a 4% surcharge on all orders. Rather than increasing our prices, the tariff surcharge is listed making it easy for us to adjust or hopefully eliminate this surcharge when/if the tariff situation stabilizes. Thank you for understanding.”

Considering they’re eating a 28% increase in raw material cost, I’d say a 4% surcharge is more than fair. Still, this is something I don’t think many people considered would be a side effect from the recent moves in Washington.

See more at White Industries.

2018 Grinduro: This Blue Collar Nigel 650G is Perfection!

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2018 Grinduro: This Blue Collar Nigel 650G is Perfection!

Wow. Just wow. Robert from Blue Collar Bikes brought my favorite bike to the 2018 Grinduro Town Hall. Painted to match his iconic van, this Nigel 650G featured components from PAUL, 3T, WTB, White Industries, SRAM, and a Fabric saddle. There are so many NorCal brands on this bike, all within a short trip from Sacramento where Blue Collar is based.

There’s not much else to note about this bike, as it’s a prime example of a bike that tells its own story. My only regret was not taking this photo as well!

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Follow Blue Collar Bikes on Instagram and follow Grinduro on Instagram.

You Can Use a 30mm Crank Spindle with the BEER Components Oner PF30 Eccentric Bottom Bracket

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You Can Use a 30mm Crank Spindle with the BEER Components Oner PF30 Eccentric Bottom Bracket

If you are looking to build a singlespeed ‘cross race bike, or a singlespeed mountain bike, and anything in between, you can run your favorite 30mm spindle cranks with the BEER Components Oner, as long as your frame has a PF30 shell. Recently, I swapped out the older 24mm Sugino cranks and Problem Solvers bottom bracket for the BEER Oner and White Industries cranks on my Urban Racer.

Inside / Out at White Industries in Petaluma, California

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Inside / Out at White Industries in Petaluma, California

In 1991, with the advent of Shimano’s XTR drivetrain, Doug White felt a pinch. That pinch turned into a financial punch and it was the first time since White Industries opened in 1978 that the small fabrication shop was worried about shuttering their operations. Ironically, the thing that saved White Industries from Shimano’s pursuit of mountain bike drivetrains was the single speed freewheel and the community that embraced SSMTB racing and riding.

Stories like that really resonate with me. Hearing about a small company – by comparison to Shimano anyway – make it after fears of breaking it thanks to a grassroots scene like SSMTB shows just how much companies like White Industries matter to us, the consumers within the cycling industry.

The Santa Cruz Bicycles: Back On Trail – A Trail Campaign for Santa Rosa and Santa Barbara

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The Santa Cruz Bicycles: Back On Trail – A Trail Campaign for Santa Rosa and Santa Barbara

When disaster strikes, it’s great to see brands in the cycling industry come together for the greater good and in the case of our recent fires here in California, Santa Cruz Bicycles teamed up with a number of California-based companies on a month-long fundraising campaign. These brands include FOX, Shimano, White Industries and WTB, together their efforts will benefit the Redwood Empire Mountain Bike Alliance (REMBA) and the Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers (SBMTV), who will each spearhead reconstruction efforts in their respective regions.

Enter at BackonTrail.org, see the full details and more photos of these beautiful Santa Cruz Bicycles below!