This year at Grinduro, eight frame builders presented bikes in partnership with Maxxis, Sram/Zipp, Columbus, and Hope Tech. The theme? What is your ideal Grinduro bike? In the first post, we’ll look at BTCHN Bikes’ gravel bike.
When you think of the mountain bike brand Evil, chances are you think of the three pillars of modern mountain bike design, long, slack, and low. So when the brand began developing a gravel bike, they tapped into that design DNA. I got an in-person look at this new bike at Grinduro so read on for the details.
London-based apparel company, Romance, has teamed up with Dutch artist Parra for a very special Specialized S-Works Roubaix, which is being auctioned off to support the World Bicycle Relief. This one-off bike is built with SRAM RED eTap AXS groupset, Zipp 404 NSW disc-brake wheels and a Specialized S-Works cockpit. The auction starts today and will end on August 16th – with all proceeds going to World Bicycle Relief, who help communities in rural developing countries to access education, healthcare and work through the power of bicycles. Head over to eBay to see the auction site and below to see more photos of this project.
We Built a Stinner Romero to Raise Money for Our Friend Edie Perkins
Photos by John Watson, words by Jonathan Neve
In April of 2017, while on a morning bike ride, our friend Edie Perkins was hit head-on by an SUV. She survived but is now paralyzed from the chest down. The day before the accident, Edie had taken delivery of a 50cm Stinner Frameworks Romero, custom built and painted in Santa Barbara, CA.
The frame ended up at Golden Saddle Cyclery in Los Angeles, and we had an idea: Build the bike up and auction it off, with 100% of the sale going to Edie’s recovery fund. We originally envisioned a “parts bin” build to help keep the costs low, but within a few hours of sharing the idea, a handful of companies stepped up and offered their help.
SRAM, Zipp, Industry Nine and Chris King donated everything needed to build the bike, and to top it off, Stinner Frameworks offered to paint the cockpit to match their frame and fork. None of these companies hesitated in offering their help; there were no questions, and nothing asked in return – just a genuine desire to help a fellow cyclist in need. A friend at SRAM said it best in an email: “When things like this happen, it really hits close to home for each and every one of us, regardless of direct association or not.”
While Golden Saddle may have a world-class parts bin, the generosity of these companies helped this build massively exceed our initial plans and expectations.
The crew at Golden Saddle built the bike, and we think it turned out pretty darn beautiful…
Zipp bars, stem, and seatpost have been custom painted by Stinner Frameworks to match the Romero’s frame and fork. Shifting and braking are handled by SRAM Force Hydro, and the Industry Nine AR25 wheels are wrapped with WTB Nano 40 TCS tires. A Chris King headset and bottom bracket in Mango are a perfect match for the Stinner’s custom paint, and will likely survive decades of abuse.
The bike is up for auction at eBay, with 100% of the proceeds going to our friend Edie. This is a great opportunity to purchase a beautiful, custom built cyclocross/gravel/touring bike while contributing to a worthy cause.
Crank: Force 1 GXP 170mm
Cassette: XG-1195 10-42
Bottom bracket: Chris King Threaded
Rear derailleur: Force 1 long cage
Shifters/brakes: Force 1 HRD
Brake rotors: 160mm Shimano Centerlock
Handlebar: Service Course SL-70 40cm
Stem: Zipp SL Speed 100mm
Seatpost: Zipp SL Speed 27.2 0 offset
Third bottle cage under downtube
Wheels: Industry Nine AR25 Tubeless Road/Cross wheels
Tires: WTB Nano gumwall tubeless 700 x 40mm tires
Headset: Chris King InSet 7 headset
Photos by Joe Vondersaar
Look, ok, I didn’t mean to use a pun here, but seriously, look at that bike. I’ve known Chris for years. Probably close to ten if my math is right and in that time, his interest in cycling has grown from track bikes on the street, to road bikes, mountain bikes (which didn’t go so well for him), cross bikes and eventually back to track bikes. This time on the velodrome. The last time I saw Chris, he was working for Mellow Johnny’s in Austin before moving to Indy after accepting a job at SRAM / Zipp. That was almost two years ago, so I was stoked to see this bike pop up on Zipp’s website. Mondrian fans will be equally as stoked!
Have a look (dammit) at more of Joe’s photos of Chris’ bike below, or mosey on over to Zipp’s blog for the full breakdown.
Sometimes you need a reboot and for the team at Geekhouse, that includes not only a new logo (designed by the Boston-based Monica Hargrove,) but a new material. Marty Walsh has been building with steel for what probably feels like an eternity for him and in that time, he’s made the point to express an interest in titanium frames to me. Needless to say, I wasn’t surprised when this bike rolled through my inbox yesterday…
This disc road was built for the New England Sram rep, Andy Ewas. Which is probably the reason for the extensive SRAM and Zipp kit. On this build, you’ll spot the new Sram Red eTap and Zipp 303 Wheels with a Zipp cockpit.
Paint design on the frame is from the one and only Jordan Low at Hot Tubes. It features a Metallic Graphite Grey to Raw Ti fade. This is overlapped with a Candy Red to Blue over Raw Ti, revealing the welds underneath the paint. I.e. it’s fire!
See more of this beautiful bicycle below and hopefully, we see more titanium coming out of Geekhouse in the near future!
Cycling is an experience that should continue to mature overtime. I’m weary of people who stand firm in their ideologies, rest on laurels and refuse to embrace the “new,” especially when it comes to riding bikes. Look, it’s not that hard to have fun. Opinions can change with experience, its normal. Embrace it.
For the past two years, I’ve been planning both financially and functionally for this bike. Something I’d encourage everyone to do with a custom machine. Don’t just jump in head first without doing research and saving your money. The last thing you want to do is to take a financial hit once the final invoice comes in.
You see, I knew I wanted a Firefly. I kind of felt like that brand and my own brand have grown together over the years. When Jamie, Tyler and Kevin started the company, it had a breath of energy, creativity and their final products all expressed experimentation. Those guys can make anyone a dream bike but deciding what kind of bike is a challenge. Part of my apprehension was not only where I felt like cycling’s technology was heading, but where my own riding would be taking me over the next few years.
On the eve of NAHBS, Zipp invited a handfull of journalists to visit their facilities in Indianapolis, Indiana. Back in 1988, Zipp first launched their products with a disc wheel at Interbike, which back then was in Anaheim, California. Over the years, Zipp has stayed true to their roots, constructing both disc wheels and aero sections by hand in their facility.
Having moved from Speedway to Indianapolis a few years back, Zipp’s facilities themselves are far from space-aged, yet the technology used to cut, mould and form their carbon fiber aren’t that dissimilar from military-grade carbon facilities. Everything is precise, clean and for most of the process, done in secret.
While Zipp will gladly open their doors to media, a lot of the how’d they do that remains a secret.
What better way to segue into NAHBS and documenting handmade bicycle frames than to visit a facility that produces handmade carbon wheels. Today I’ve been touring the Zipp factory in Indianapolis where I got to see the process from cutting sheets of carbon to testing current and future products. As you could imagine, a lot of this process is top secret, but Zipp allowed photos of specific areas throughout the afternoon.
Expect more reportage to come before NAHBS content begins.
When Ian at Icarus moved to Austin, Texas, I don’t think he anticipated working on this many local frames. Or that Chris would put down two deposits at once: a lightweight road bike and a fendered, touring / commuter. This is the first out of the queue, a modern, steel road bike with a matte paintjob and a few clean details. Nothing extravagant, but also nothing simple.
Chris is a father and he works full time, so riding is always a last minute, unplanned endeavor. He was looking for a little inspiration to sneak in an hour or two when he could and Ian built him just that. With a Zipp cockpit, seatpost, Chris King R45 to HED Belgium, Fizik Kurve saddle, Campy Chorus 11 speed and King Cage bottle cages, it’s up there in the “dream bike” category…
The story with this bike in particular is a common tale. As a youngster, the owner used to race at the velodromes here in Melbourne. Like many kids growing up, he rode what he could afford to and when the time came, he sold off his bikes to buy new ones.
As adults, many people track down their distant memories and relive their youth. The owner of this gorgeous 531 Cecil Walker track just recently put it together to get back onto the boards and what a build. A brand new frame, complete with Dura Ace track parts, Zipp 1150 rear and a Zipp 3000 tri-spoke front would bring out the inner child in any track racer.