Posts in the category Interviews

Interview: Natalie Ramsland of Sweetpea Bicycles Talks New Brand Direction and Her Trouble Maker

Sweetpea Trouble Maker 3

Frustrated with the experiential gap between the women and men on bikes around her she saw as a messenger, Natalie Ramsland of Sweetpea studied fit under Michael Sylvester (co-founder of the Serotta fit school) and went to UBI in order to learn to create the bike/rider experiences she wanted to see for women in the world.

Ten years on, Natalie works to expand her effect by stepping back from the torch. Working with builders such as Co-Motion and Land Shark for frame construction and Gladys Bikes of Portland as her public portal and fit-studio, Natalie is able to focus on bicycle design for her individual consumers- though, she’s certainly not done building. READ MORE ->

The Bike That Got Away With Sky Boyer Of Velo Cult: Part 2

velocult sky boyer hanebrink 8

“The Bike That Got Away” is a series of interviews intended to showcase the best bikes of all time from the perspective of the diverse characters that make up the cycling industry. It’s an opportunity to look back fondly (or not at all) on vintage technology, paint jobs – whatever made or continues to make bikes compelling and awesome. These are the bikes that have shaped us as industry members, dealers, cyclists, and super fans.

Read Part 1 of this piece to get up to speed. 

Now for part two, we’ll dive into more about that wild Hanebrink fat bike we briefly covered at Sea Otter…

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The Bike that Got Away with Sky Boyer of Velo Cult: Part 1

Velo Cult Sky Boyer Slingshot

“The Bike That Got Away” is a series of interviews intended to showcase the best bikes of all time from the perspective of the diverse characters that make up the cycling industry. It’s an opportunity to look back fondly (or not at all) on vintage technology, paint jobs – whatever made or continues to make bikes compelling and awesome. These are the bikes that have shaped us as industry members, dealers, cyclists, and super fans.

Within hours of rolling into Portland a few weeks ago I found myself at Velo Cult, part bike shop, part tavern, part freaking unbelievable mountain bike museum owned by Sky Boyer – ex-racer, hot pink bike aficionado (at one point, he had eight because “no one bags on your pink bike when you beat them”), and bike collector (part of his collection was on display with Subaru at Sea Otter). Still recovering from a concussion the week before, I found myself having to repeatedly sit down and take breaks from being so overwhelmed by the extremely technologically and historically significant bikes on the ceiling of the shop…

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Exclusive! Chris Currie’s all-new full suspension design is unlike anything you’ve ever seen

Chris Currie mountain bike suspension patent drawings

Editor’s Note: Chris Currie has been in the industry for years, many of which he’s spent quietly designing, patenting and slowly but surely developing his own full suspension platform. In this new series, he’ll give us a peek inside the process of creating something new, the myriad ways to bring it to market and the challenges of it all. Without further ado, here’s Chris:

Eighteen years ago, I started an online bike shop called Speedgoat out of an old one-room schoolhouse in the mountains of Southwestern PA. I didn’t have “start-up capital,” a background in web development, or a business degree. All I really had was an obsession with bikes and a wife who was just crazy enough to go along with me. For fourteen years we worked with the best companies in the bike business, building up thousands of custom bikes for riders around the world. We knew the names of our customers’ dogs, even if the customers lived thousands of miles away. It was that kind of business.

In 2010 I sold the company to people I thought could take it to the next level, but they were a trainwreck. Frustrated with the new owners, I left in 2011. In the years since, I moved west to manage sales, marketing, and customer service for Velotech in Portland, Oregon, while moonlighting for Stan’s NoTubes, where I’m now Creative Director. Through it all, one personal project that started at Speedgoat ten years ago has stayed with me. I had an idea for a bike.

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Shop Profile and Interview: Gladys Bikes and Leah Benson

Gladys Bikes Leah

Though just over a year and a half old, it’s clear that Gladys Bikes has already begun to make its mark on the Portland riding community (while recently visiting the city, it was the most recommended shop to visit by the women I spoke with). Rather than being adapting a current model, the shop, brainchild of Leah Benson, was designed from scratch with significant feedback from community members and focus groups to start valuable conversations about bike fit and comfort across price points, disciplines, and facets.

Though named for the personal bicycle of Frances E. Willard, suffragette, and founded to address opportunities within the equipment and experience of women on bikes, the shop manages to be inviting and effective for any person of any gender or riding experience…

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Interview: Jude Gerace of Sugar Wheelworks

Sugar Wheelworks Jude

In a compact studio workshop in North Portland, Jude Gerace of Sugar Wheelworks tailors wheels in the way that small builders tailor frames and bicycles. Working with each customer individually she sets out to build wheels to match the rider, context, and machine as a package. Jude backs up her consultations with extensive metallurgical testing and close collaborations with local engineers as well as a sophisticated wheel “taste testing” program so that customers can be confident in every aspect of the decision and purchasing process.

Jude talks about her process, advocacy, and bike touring after The Jump. READ MORE ->

The Bike That Got Away: Ira Ryan and Tony Pereira of Breadwinner Cycles

Breadwinner Pereira Ibis Mojo

“The Bike That Got Away” is a series of interviews intended to showcase the best bikes of all time from the perspective of the diverse characters that make up the cycling industry. It’s an opportunity to look back fondly (or not at all) on vintage technology, paint jobs – whatever made or continues to make bikes compelling and awesome. These are the bikes that have shaped us as industry members, dealers, cyclists, and super fans.

For this very first installment, I sat down with Ira Ryan and Tony Pereira, award-winning frame builders and the old married couple behind Breadwinner Cycles. We discussed their domestic production empire, consisting of a pair of two-car garages in an unassuming North Portland neighborhood, and the bikes they lost that have made them who they are today… READ MORE ->

Interview: Sacha White of Vanilla Workshop and Speedvagen

Vanilla Workshop Sacha saw

In the early 2000’s, a class of small builders began to emerge as big domestic bike manufacturing continued its march towards overseas production. Rather than working their way up through years of different cutting processes, finish work, and ranks of existing factories or workshops (which were becoming fewer by the year) these new builders joined the game by jumping straight into frame building through classes at UBI or with individual builders and honed their craft through trial and error.

The captain of this class is Sacha White of Vanilla Workshop, a kid who knew what he needed to do with his life after watching a frame builder repair his broken messenger bike. After saving his pennies for the opportunity, he learned to build his first frame under Tim Paterek and has been working with a torch ever since. His obsessive attention to detail and visual and functional style in his bikes skyrocketed him to early rockstardom within the community and he has been working hard to live up to that hype.

Today, over fifteen years into the game, Sacha oversees a production house that contains both his Vanilla, for which he is the sole builder, and production Speedvagen lines and is currently gearing up for a West Coast fitting tour. Meet The Man from Vanilla after the jump.

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Friday RoundUp – Bicycle Bits & Pieces

YUBA-Newsletter-image

 

Advocacy

  • Yuba Launches Limited-Edition PeopleForBikes Branded Cargo Bike – PeopleForBikes and Yuba Bicycles have partnered to launch a limited edition Boda Boda cargo bike to raise money for bicycling infrastructure. Yuba and PeopleForBikes will officially launch the bike at the Sea Otter Classic in April, where people can enter to win one. The bikes are available for preorders now and on sale May 1 at Yuba dealers and at yubabikes.com.
  • CNN Honors Trips for Kids Founder – CNN has named Trips for Kids Founder, Marilyn Price, as a CNN Hero for her years of dedication to putting disadvantaged kids on mountain bikes. Please join us in congratulating Marilyn and take a moment to watch the video and share it with your friends and family. Or tune in to CNN March 27 – 29 and watch the story “on air”. tripsforkids.org

Racing News

Monarch Crest Race

  • The true “enduro” experience is finally here, October 2-4, 2015. The Monarch Crest Enduro brought to you by Chocolate Bunny Productions, threads together three days of Colorado’s finest high country trails along the Monarch Crest, a segment of the Continental Divide Trail, and IMBA Epic® no less. Registration is now live on imathlete.com.

 

Touring

  • The Greatest Ride – August 9-12 2015. This is the cycling trip you’ve wanted to take for your whole life. Start by sharing a table with retired Pro Cyclist George Hincapie and Blackberry Farm Proprietor Sam Beall for the opening dinner at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee. This event is limited to only 10 cyclists so book now at blackberry farm.com.
  • Chris King Gourmet Century registration opens April, 1st – The Gourmet Century has expanded into a global showcase hosting four events across the U.S. and now one in Japan. Each event will feature its own special guest chefs and menus designed to compliment the best riding the region has to offer. Registration for ALL events will open on April 1st at 12pm PST at gourmetcentury.com. Act fast as tickets tend to go quickly!
  • Ride. Relax. Escape. Discover the Wild Highlands of Scotland – Fuel your sense of discovery with roads that will take your breath away. This 6 day, 5 night tour runs between 8th to 13th September and is strictly limited to 12 people. Book now, 72 hours before general public.

 

NAHBS 2015

  • Didn’t get enough of NAHBS 2015? – Gates photographer Tim Lucking has produced an exquisite photo gallery of the best belted bikes from the North American Handmade Bike Show. Check out some of our favorites on The Belted Blog.

 

Video/Film

  • Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour – Currently touring the USA, (you can find the tour schedule here) immediately after the Festival ends in November a selection of the best films goes on tour across Canada, the United States, and internationally from Scotland to South Africa to China, Lebanon, Chile, New Zealand, Antarctica, and points in between. Each year, the films travel to 40 countries reaching more than 390,000 people at over 840 screenings. There’s typically a mountain bike film in the mix but every film has always been entertaining.

 

Contest

  • Here’s your last reminder that you can win a set of new rubber from Vee Tire. Follow the link to the survey and complete it to win!

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