Road to NAHBS 2016: Dawn Thomas with Pineapple Trikes

Road to NAHBS 2016: Dawn Thomas with Pineapple Trikes
Photo by Bob Vande Walle
Photo by Bob Vande Walle

One of the most exciting aspects of NAHBS is the diversity of cycles in attendance. This year, the show is joined by Pineapple Trikes, an endeavor by artists and “kinetic enthusiast” partners Bob Van de Walle and Dawn Thomas. Having gotten their start in creative pedal power by turning an old couch into a paddleboat, Dawn and Bob have moved into the production realm with their refined tricycles. With three production models made and ride tested in the USA, Pineapple has three-wheeled models for multi-day social races to running errands day-to-day – and it’s clear they are having a ton of fun. More on these two three-wheeler believers after the jump.
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Posted in Interviews, NAHBS4 Comments

Road to NAHBS 2016: Schnozola Co-Conspirator Paul Sadoff

NAHBS-2016_Schnozola_Paul-Sadoff_headbadge-01
NAHBS-2016_Schnozola_Paul-Sadoff_headbadge-01
Photos courtesy of Paul Sadoff

Schnozola is easily the most mysterious brand to grace the show list this year. Very little about the brand has made it to the public sphere. The short, consistent version of the story? It’s a collaboration between powerhouses Bruce Gordon (Bruce Gordon Cycles) and Paul Sadoff (Rock Lobster). The head badge, decals, and name (especially!) uniquely inspired. And that’s really it. No website or social media presence, just a short spot here, a few photos there.

Why was this project kept so quiet? Were they gearing up for some massive reveal? (Would there be a launch party?) What dark magic were these wizards cooking up in their lairs? With my imagination running wild, I put Paul Sadoff on the top of the pre-coverage call interview list (we’re interviewing several builders by phone this year).

As it turns out, the story of Schnozola is four decades in the making… and pretty entertaining.
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Posted in Feature, Gravel Bikes, Interviews, NAHBS18 Comments

Interview: Freelance Pro Mechanic, Jeff Crombie

Interview: Freelance Pro Mechanic, Jeff Crombie

JeffCrombieInterview2016-1

Not too many pro-mechanics can say they have a tool named after them. But Jeff Crombie isn’t the sort of guy to brag about that. Jeff has been a mechanic for 12 years, and is currently freelancing for Drapac Professional Cycling at the 2016 Tour Down Under in Adelaide, South Australia. Graeme Brown’s race bike is one of the many Jeff has been working on before and during the race.

Based in North America, specifically Canada, Jeff has worked for the likes of SpiderTech, Team Sky, Orica-GreenEDGE and Drapac Professional Cycling. Fortunately for Drapac, the team is based in Melbourne, Australia, negating the logistical challenges that face the European-based teams visiting the Southern Hemisphere race. Regardless, Drapac’s mechanics still face the same challenges. We asked Jeff some questions about bikes and how he keeps them running smooth. Here’s his answers… Continue reading “Interview: Freelance Pro Mechanic, Jeff Crombie”

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Road to NAHBS 2016: Origin Stories With Don Walker of Don Walker Cycles

Photo by Nathan Roberson
Photo by Nathan Roberson
Photo by Nathan Roberson

We are mere weeks away from the twelfth installment of the North American Handmade Bike Show and the Bikerumor.com “Road to NAHBS 2016” Pre-Show Coverage Crew is furiously gathering interviews from show attendees for your reading pleasure. This year’s pre-show coverage will focus on the origin stories of the those bringing bikes to the show. What better way to kick off that coverage than by talking to the kingpin of the whole NAHBS operation, Don “The Don” Walker? 

It takes a very special individual to assemble, year after year, the exciting personalities that comprise the domestic frame builder community. In a lot of ways, we take the show for granted. The show has endured over a decade, meaning that there is now a generation for whom both NAHBS and the now robust frame builder community it has championed have always existed in their adult enthusiast life. And where it was predicted decades ago within the industry that traditional fabrication methods and materials for frame building would go the way of the dodo, we now find these traditions not just surviving but thriving and innovating, due in large part to the platform that this show has given the trade.

It is impossible to deny the innovation that has been fostered by these builders or the rise of now popular segments that were nurtured and developed first and exclusively by this body as big industry looked on. Whether or not you have purchased a bike from a builder at the show, or follow frame builders at all, your cycling landscape has been undeniably shaped by the growth and rise in popularity of this community. And for all of this, we owe some thanks to Don.

Don really has two origin stories. The first story is about Don and his personal introduction to frame building (via track racing). The second origin story is that of the show and how it came to be and how it has grown.
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Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Interviews, NAHBS, Road Bike13 Comments

Bonus Interview: Erik Noren of Peacock Groove/Cake Bikes Tells Origin Story

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Erik-Noren_Cake_Peacock-Groove_Interview_truck1

The origin stories for framebuilders are usually as interesting as the bikes they build. Some took up framebuilding after losing their favorite bike to a terrible accident in an attempt to save their friend. Others take to the craft after years of deep-seated frustration in their hearts for the lack of the bikes they urgently feel need to be in the world. And then there are builders who, not unlike Peter Parker, were riding along, minding their own business, when a radioactive spider waltzed into their lives to transform them into the heroes of men (and women! -Ed.) we revere today.

Erik Noren, the one-man band and Dodge truck aficionado behind Peacock Groove, falls into this last category, as I found out while interviewing him about his new project, Cake Bikes. We chatted about the serendipitous relationship struck over malts that would eventually lead to his big break into framebuilding, being in love, and gracefully navigating the sea of negativity that has come with the territory…
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Posted in Feature, Interviews12 Comments

Interview: Lotto Soudal Mechanic, Steven Van Olmen

TDU2016-StevenVanOlmen-1

TDU2016-StevenVanOlmen-1

The name Lotto has been affiliated with professional road cycling since 1985. Originally known as Lotto, the Belgian lottery has sponsored the team since its inception, with its name present at all times, despite various co-sponsorship changes over the years. From 2015 onwards, the team is known as Lotto Soudal. Soudal is the team’s newest co-sponsor, producing a range of silicons and caulks, foams and adhesives for the European market.

Steven Van Olmen is one of several mechanics employed by Lotto Soudal, having spent the past 12 of 13 years working exclusively with the team. We caught up with him before the 2016 Tour Down Under kicks off, to ask him all manner of questions about the bikes and how he keeps them running smooth. Here’s the answers…

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Posted in Feature, Interviews, Road Bike11 Comments

Peacock Groove’s Erik Noren introduces Cake 24in Fat Bikes w/ an F-bomb interview

Cake_Peacock-Groove_Erik-Noren_Complete_Fat-bike_couch2

Cake_Peacock-Groove_Erik-Noren_Complete_Fat-bike_couch2

If you have ever been lucky enough to have a conversation with Erik Noren, the ever-passionate and always misunderstood virtuoso behind Peacock Groove, you know that he has a soft spot for the ladies… in that he is a massive supporter of women’s cycling. Being based in what is arguably the fat bike capital of the world, it’s no surprise Erik saw an urgency in the lack of quality fat options for the small-statured riding segment, one that disproportionately consists of women. These are the ingredients of Cake.

In a departure from his typical “Deep Custom” fair, Cake bikes are stock-sized, production batched 24in-wheeled fat bikes made in Minneapolis. They start at a slight 11in size and top out at 19in. And, without all that extra inertia to overcome, they accelerate like crazy.

I was fortunate to interview Erik in Peacock Groove’s Global Headquarters in Minneapolis in the days leading up to the launch about the need for Cake, his collaboration with HED, and his deep-seated passion for getting people of all sizes on quality fat bikes.
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Posted in Fatbike, Feature, Interviews21 Comments

Team Sky scraps wind tunnel for in-depth “real world” tech to get aero

Team Sky scraps wind tunnel for in-depth “real world” tech to get aero

Team Sky - GCN

If you’re not first you’re last, and shaving every single sliver of time off your effort is critical in racin’. Especially when the riders at the top of their game sometimes have less than 1 or 2% separating their abilities. Though good equipment is crucial, nothing is more varying than the athlete’s position on their equipment and they need to get that dialed so that their output produces the best possible performance.

Check out the insightful video past the break that takes you behind the scenes of Team Sky’s “outside of the box wind tunnel” approach…..

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Posted in Industry News, Interviews, Training, Video6 Comments

A week in review: New bikes from Alchemy, Reeb, & Canfield Bros, Cateye’s 6K lumen lite, & Interbike heads East?

Canfield Brothers 2016 Balance 2-WEB  TiDonkPinion_112115_Pinion2Crop

infinity saddle n l series saddles (8) Brachial Plexus injury bicycle bike recovery how to get back on (12)

We had an awesome week with all kinds of rad fun stuff piling on our desks. Canfield Brothers’ Balance gets better, Reeb is now canning gears in the new TyREEBdonkadonk, and check out the sweet holiday gift ideas/wishes from Jayson, Steve, Cory & yours truly. Also, Zach, our head editor and fat bike aficionado exposes what he’s been dealing with the last several months after what was a simple everyday crash turned no so simple and the crazy road to his recovery.

Fill up your coffee or grab a stout depending on what time of day it is (if that even matters), and thumb through our extensive coverage from last week…..

Continue reading “A week in review: New bikes from Alchemy, Reeb, & Canfield Bros, Cateye’s 6K lumen lite, & Interbike heads East?”

Posted in Bicycles, Clothes-Gear, Clothing-Gear-Tools, Commuter, Components, e-Bike, Fatbike, Gadgets & Hacks, Gravel Bikes, Industry News, Interviews, Kids' Bikes, Mountain Bike, Prototype, Reader's Rides, Road Bike, Training, Uncategorized, VideoLeave a comment