Posts in the category Feature

Interview and Shop Tour: Eric Baar from The Ground Up Speed Shop


I became familiar with Eric Baar through his Instagram account (where he highlights welds and brushwork each day) as well as through the high praise of other builders and members of the community. When I found myself buying tickets to Colorado Springs for a conference, Eric’s Ground Up Speed Shop was on the top of my places to visit after hours. I had no idea what to expect because, well, Eric does not make a habit of promoting himself. I strongly suspected that it would be really, really cool. His operation did not disappoint.

The Speed Shop sits on the back of the property just west of the Springs. Rather than a pump track, the shop overlooks The Dizzy Drome, a micro dirt velodome with rails constructed from old airplane wings. Central to the course is a light column for those midnight hour record attempts. Parked right on the edge is his Dwarf car, an outrageous toy with big, metal-flake numbers that he races during the summer- a habit he took up when he felt himself becoming disillusioned with bikes and bike community.

That easy shift in emphasis is central to Eric’s general program. He’s been building bicycles for over a decade and a half and wants to stay glittery and doe-eyed about the genre so he’s constantly being drawn to new mediums from which to approach or interpret his work. It is this enthusiasm that makes the bikes of his house brand, Ground Up, absolutely out-of-this-world in terms of construction, detailing, and concept. The welds are flawless. The raw titanium finishes are hand striped. The metal-flake paint jobs are brilliantly mixed and painstakingly sanded. And Eric uses his new found mastery as a pinstriper to hand letter or detail the final product (when the guy isn’t screwing around with gold leaf).

While this enthusiasm for everything cool and shiny makes for top notch bicycles, it also happens to make interviewing the guy impossible. There is nothing linear about Eric Baar’s train of thought. And that’s fine. Who wants to talk about old news when there is so much cool, shiny stuff everywhere to talk about… READ MORE ->

Sneak Peek: Fairdale’s 2016 Line Expands with More Stylish, Fun, and Functional Bikes


If you are familiar with Fairdale bikes or founder Taj Mihelich, you know the name of the game is fun. How can you not love a company that the founder sends you custom artwork for our “Sneak Peak?” Sneakers on mountain tops aside, Fairdale offers a unique take on the world of every day bicycles. Drawing on his experience as a World Champion BMX rider, Taj took his ideas to Odyssey BMX to create a brand that blended BMX durability and fun with bigger wheels and frames to create bikes that met the needs of most riders.

In 2016, the line expands with even more options for riders whether you’re looking for a 26″ BMX or a step through 3 speed city bike…


Sneak Peek: Fortified Teases the Invincible, the “City-Proof” Bike


If you’ve ever ridden in the city, or hell, even just walked in a city you’ve seen them. Missing parts, rusted out, vandalized, neglected, the mean streets are usually filled with the remains of bicycles that couldn’t handle the abuse. So what is one to do? Stop riding? Buy disposable bikes?

For Fortified co-founders Slava Menn and Tivan Amour, the answer isn’t changing how you’re riding, but what you’re riding. After interviewing numerous city commuters, the pair found that most riders weren’t actually riding city bikes. And because those bikes weren’t designed to survive life chained to a bike rack in the city, the bikes don’t last long.

Along the same lines as their Fortified bike lights, the team is turning their attention towards a complete bike. Appropriately named the Invincible, Fortified claims this bike is purpose built to survive any harsh city environment…


Philly Bike Expo Roundup: Beautiful Handmade Bikes from Around the Globe Pt. 2

PBE Bike Richard Sachs (2)

Continuing from where we left off, the Philly Bike Expo was filled with examples of just what makes handmade bikes stand out. It wouldn’t be a selection of handmade bikes without something from Richard Sachs, right?


Philly Bike Expo Roundup: Beautiful Handmade Bikes from Around the Globe Pt. 1

PBE Bike Stijl cycles (6)

The Philly Bike Expo is an interesting and entertaining show. A true mix of almost all of cycling’s weird niches, eccentricities, and different segments, it’s a great representation of city cycling as a whole. It’s also almost a mini NAHBS with handmade bikes from a number of different builders that are sure to stop you in your tracks.

Bikes like this wild Stijl Uber Commuter. Between the burly titanium tubing, gorgeous paint, and smart parts selection, this was a show favorite…


Red Bull’s Bike Unchained Brings New Dimensions to Mountain Bike Video Games


Given that many of us grew up in the days of video games, it probably isn’t surprising that games based on mountain biking have a cult following. Trails are too wet to ride? Rest day? Stuck at the airport between flights to exotic riding destinations? Why not ride some virtual laps on your smart phone or tablet? Based on the success of Reinholds Berzins’ Downhill Supreme and DHS2, there are quite a few riders out there who enjoy shredding smart phone laps when they’re not ripping the real thing.

Wanting to capture the feeling of A-Line’s flow in a video game, Red Bull Media House and Roadhouse Interactive teamed up to produce Bike Unchained – a new game for your smart phone or tablet that combines the features of your typical mountain bike video game with those of an RPG (Role Playing Game), and it’s free…


Philly Bike Expo Roundup: New Parts and Accessories From Boyd, Upstand, Thomson, Tetra Bike, and More

PBE Boyd colored spokes tubeless sealant wing nut valves (2)

Compared to Interbike or Eurobike, Philly Bike Expo is certainly less focused on new product and more focused on hand made bikes and the consumer. However, that doesn’t mean there weren’t a number of little Easter Eggs of new parts out there if you knew where to look.

Boyd Cycling was there to promote their ever expanding line of wheels and impressive hubs, but a few other projects caught our eye. Like these colorful spokes. According to Boyd the official details aren’t yet available other than they are working on a custom powder coated spoke program that is sure to make your wheels stand out…


Reeb Donkadonk Gets Fatter for the Holidays, Offers New 190mm fat bike frame to fit Vee 2XL 5″ Tire

reeb donkadonk 190 2xl tire vee rubber

Fat just isn’t fat enough? Then it’s time to check out the Snowshoe 2XL fat bike tire from Vee Tire Co. At a listed 5.05″ width and measuring 5.1″ at Reeb World headquarters, the tire is the biggest, baddest fat bike option you can get your hands on at the moment.

The only problem? The tire is so big that it won’t fit in most current frames.

There have been a few custom and semi-custom outfits to build bikes that could handle the 2XL, but up until now, a production bike seemed to be missing. Enter the new and improved Reeb Donkadonk. Claimed to be one of the first production frames that is 5″+ compatible, the new Donkadonk builds on the Reeb pedigree with ABT tubing and American made, beer culture inspired radness…


#RideTogether, a Fresh Look from Boardman’s Elite Endurance Road Range


We were in London last week meeting with Chris Boardman himself, his bike company’s director Andy Smallwood, and the other dozen people that make up the Boardman Bikes team to talk about their brand overhaul for the 2016 Elite bike lineup. They’ve reevaluated all of their top end bikes, and refocused their priorities. Boardman talked a lot about how the whole company wanted a bit of a change of direction. After chasing their tails to try and keep up with demand, he said they were a bit lost, and spent the last year finding their focus, especially for their Elite road bikes.

A lot of that focus is in practical bikes that can be ridden on any type of surface. That isn’t to say that performance is being sacrificed, as the bulk of the bikes are built of premium carbon (and now titanium too) and spec levels are in most cases Ultegra at a minimum. But what it means is that there is an endurance emphasis put on a lot of their new road bikes, with features like disc brakes, hidden mud guard mounts, and generous tire clearances throughout. Join us after the break for a close and detailed look at many of the new road bikes,  like the SLR Endurance Disc Signature edition above and ti, eTap, cross, women’s, and custom painted versions below, including pricing…