Road to NAHBS 2016: Steve Bilenky of Bilenky Cycle Works

Photo by David Luddy
Photo by Steve Bilenky
Photo by Steve Bilenky

The story of how internationally renown, well-oiled jam band, Bilenky Cycle Works, came to be is labyrinthine. Steve Bilenky, who wants it emphasized that he is only a small part of an excellent team, began his industry career at ten hustling bicycle repairs for neighborhood kids out of his family’s garage. That led to job at the local Schwinn shop assembling and repairing bikes, where he pored over catalogs and absorbed every bike thing he could. Steve was modifying old cruisers and blasting around in the woods with his friends in the 70’s before mountain bikes were a glimmer in the proverbial eye.

His academic and professional direction initially would take him away from bicycles, and his deep-seeded entrepreneurship would draw him into all sorts of unusual ventures. Inevitably,  he would return to Philadelphia and bicycles where he went from repair and frame alteration to starting his first bike brand, Sterling Cycle Company – all on his way to Bilenky Cycle Works…

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Posted in Commuter, Feature, Interviews, NAHBS8 Comments

PCW16: Ridley Breaks into more affordable Aero with new Noah road bike and Dean Tri/TT bike

Ridley Noah aero road bike Dean tri bike_-16

Ridley Noah aero road bike Dean tri bike_-11

As we walked into the Ridley presentation, we were immediately handed a Belgian beer and offered a seat. Things were off to a good start. Ridley is very proud of their Belgian roots and it shows in the final product. Beautiful bikes that are built for punishment. Bikes that are as no-nonsense as they are purpose built. To paraphrase, Belgian culture is one of pragmatism, or no bull shit. 

So when it comes to making two new models that will cater to a lower price point, Ridley wanted to provide everything needed for a great ride that still had the Ridley DNA, but could be built to reach a more attainable price point. These aren’t exactly budget builds at $3-5k, but for what you’re getting at those prices, the new Noah and Dean look like great rides for those that are “tough enough”…

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TDU 2016 Video: A Day Inside the Lampre Merida Team Car

LampreMeridaTeamCarVideo2016-1

LampreMeridaTeamCarVideo2016-1

Lampre Merida have been a fixture in the world of professional road cycling for many years. They’re easy to recognize in the peloton with their distinctive blue, pink, and green team kits, a colorway which continues to their Merida Scultura and Reacto team bikes. The team opened their account for 2016 at the first UCI World Tour race of the season, the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, South Australia. I’ve been a fan of the Lampre team for many years, and was stoked to feature the bike of Manuele Mori, a 35 year old professional cyclist in his 14th season.

On January 22, 2016, I was given the opportunity to ride in the front passenger seat of the Lampre Merida team car for Stage 4 of the race, beginning in the Adelaide suburb of Norwood, and ending in the seaside town of Victor Harbor. Suffice to say, I was stoked! Joining me in the car for the stage was Philippe Mauduit, Director Sportiff, and Ronny Baron, professional mechanic extraordinaire. To better remember the day and document for others to see, I took along my GoPro camera and recorded the experience. Click on through for the video… Continue reading “TDU 2016 Video: A Day Inside the Lampre Merida Team Car”

Posted in Feature, Road Bike, Video5 Comments

Winter Boot Roundup: Pedaling with the 45NRTH Wölvhammer, Bontrager OMW, and Northwave Celsius Arctic 2 GTX

Winter cycling boot review bikerumor 45nrth wolvhammer bontrager OMW old man winter northwave Celcius 2 gtx (15)

Winter cycling boot review bikerumor 45nrth wolvhammer bontrager OMW old man winter northwave Celcius 2 gtx (15)

When I was really young, going out to play in the snow meant stuffing my feet into plastic bags and then into my shoes. I still love playing in the snow just as much, but fortunately my footwear is a little more, uh, comfortable.

Nothing puts a damper on a winter ride quite like wet, cold feet. At best, you tough it out through a miserable ride. At worst – the ride is over, or you risk frost bite if the conditions are right. Shoe covers work, but they’ll only take you so far. Hardly waterproof thanks to the giant openings in the bottom, they also seem to all suffer from the same fate – torn and floppy after one good season.

Yes, winter riding boots will keep your feet warm and your summer shoes in great shape, but which ones should you get? There are more options than ever, but this time we’re taking a look at the new 45NRTH Wölvhammers, Bontrager Old Man Winters, and the Northwave Celsius Arctic 2 GTX…

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Posted in Actual Weights, Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Fatbike, Feature, Reviews17 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Chris ‘Soultrain’ Sulfrian of REEB Cycles

NAHBS-2016_REEB_Chris-Sulfrian_TySams_03

NAHBS-2016_REEB_Chris-Sulfrian_fat_TiDonkPinion_01

Photos by Bobbie Turner

When the president of the Oskar Blues Brewery had his bike stolen, his solution was to start a bike brand. Why not, right? After a few prototypes were made, Chris Sulfrian was tapped to build bikes for the brand, essentially making it happen for the brewery. Coming into its fifth year with hundreds of bikes on the road, Reeb (beer spelled backwards, if you’re new to the game) has established itself with off the wall models and some of the most compelling implementations of gear boxes on fat bikes (or elsewhere) on the market…

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Posted in Fatbike, Feature, Interviews, Mountain Bike, NAHBS3 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Jeremy SyCip of SyCip Designs

Photo by Jeremy SyCip
Photo by Jeremy SyCip
Photo by Jeremy SyCip

We visited Jeremy SyCip, the solo artist behind SyCip Designs, last summer while rolling through sunny Santa Rosa. His current operation is tiny but efficient due to decades of process and product refinement. Despite efficiency, Jeremy’s still cranking out the hits. This year, look for an improved, off-road version of his BBQ bike as well as a Chris King collaboration. More on this after the jump… Continue reading “Road to NAHBS 2016: Jeremy SyCip of SyCip Designs”

Posted in e-Bike, Feature, Interviews, Mountain Bike, NAHBS5 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Burnsey of Oddity Cycles

Photo by Burnsey
Photo by Burnsey
20in Fat Bike, Photo by Burnsey

It feels inappropriate to try to introduce Burnsey, the entity behind Oddity Cycles.

I would leave the introduction with that if I thought my editor would let me get away with it because it’s completely true. I just can’t describe his irreverence in a way that will do it justice.

He came to cycling through the single speed pirate racing scene in Kansas City, one where how hard you shred is as important as your shenanigan-proficiency. After quitting his day job, Burnsey turned to bike building full time, with an emphasis on self-expression and fun. Four years into taking the leap, his technically complex three-dimensionally curved frames and forks have attracted admirers throughout the builder community, as well as a following of passionate fans.

In this phone interview, Burnsey discusses the inspiration for his unique approach, as well as the parallels between being a tattoo artist and building bikes…

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Posted in Fatbike, Feature, Interviews, Mountain Bike, NAHBS5 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Collin Schaafsma of Matter Cycles

Photo by Collin Schaafsma
Photo by Collin Schaafsma
Photo by Collin Schaafsma

Collin Schaafsma of Matter Cycles got into frame building by walking into his garage and giving it a shot one day. Having grown up riding BMX bikes and screwing around with fabrication tools on a farm, it seems like the leap to bike building would be inevitable. In the past year, his product has gotten a lot of positive media attention for his geometries, tube blends, and as his attention to detail. Sales, similarly, have started to take off. But what’s probably most refreshing about Collin is his positivity and enthusiasm – catch some of it after the jump…

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Posted in Fatbike, Feature, Interviews, Mountain Bike, NAHBS4 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Craig Calfee of Calfee Design

Photo by Calfee Design
Photo by Calfee Design
Photo by Calfee Design

Craig Calfee was screwing around with carbon in bike frames way before it was cool. Arguably, Craig’s a big reason why carbon came to be regarded as cool. He’s also a big reason why bamboo moved into a space where it could also become a respected frame material. And Craig is always keeping it fresh by continuing to up the ante with his ingenious solutions year after year…

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Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Interviews, NAHBS, Road Bike11 Comments