Tantrum Cycles goes live – First look & first ride of Outburst & Meltdown shape shifting mountain bikes

Tantrum cycles meltdown outburst first ride prototypes (12)

Tantrum cycles meltdown outburst first ride prototypes (9)

You may not know Brian Berthold’s name, but there’s a pretty good chance you’re familiar with some of his work. His most recent and well known design in the bike industry would have to be the Magic Link which was licensed to Kona, but his expertise goes back, way back. Before he ever got mixed up with bikes, Brian started on his path to suspension enlightenment through a motocross career which involved shock testing. That led him down the path of motorsports suspension and car design which included everything from rally, to Indy Car, and even a brief stint with F1.

Eventually, mountain bikes entered the picture with the formulation of Therapy Components and his first prototype air shock for Cannondale bikes in 1993. Production rear shocks for K2/Proflex paved the way to one of the first 7″ dual crown inverted suspension forks, and eventually into the world of floating brake calipers for World Cup DH racing for the likes of Trek and Kona, and ultimately back to Kona with the Magic Link suspension design. This is the abridged version, but rest assured, the guy’s got some history.

Why the long winded set up? That’s because Brian is back with his own company now with what he says is an even better suspension design…

Continue reading “Tantrum Cycles goes live – First look & first ride of Outburst & Meltdown shape shifting mountain bikes”



You may not know Brian Berthold’s name, but there’s a pretty good chance you’re familiar with some of his work. His most recent and well known design in the bike industry would have to be the Magic Link which was licensed to Kona, but his expertise goes back, way back. Before he ever got mixed up […]

Posted in Bicycles, Feature, Mountain Bike, Reviews65 Comments

Road to PBE BoB Interview: Eric Estlund of Winter Cycles, Questions by Chris Bishop

philly-bike-show_eric-estlund_winter-bicycles-7

philly-bike-show_eric-estlund_winter-bicycles-8

I first had an opportunity to chat with Eric Estlund at Bespoked in Bristol, England. In a show full of highly polished randonneur and classically styled road bikes, Eric rolled up with the pink and black bike seen above, one he painted himself. The fully rigid New England-style plus-sized mountain bike made my heart flutter, instantly revealing all of my deep-seated and very American biases.

But what was really interesting about this bike is that it wasn’t what I thought of when I thought of Winter Bicycles. There are two things that stick out in my mind when I think of this builder. One is his bi-laminate head tubes, where the top and down tubes seem to originate from the “lugs,” usually featured on a touring frame. The other is his finishes, with wild two dimensional (and sometimes, three-dimensional) finishes.

For this Builder on Builder interview, Eric is questioned by Chris Bishop of Bishop Cycles.

Continue reading “Road to PBE BoB Interview: Eric Estlund of Winter Cycles, Questions by Chris Bishop”



I first had an opportunity to chat with Eric Estlund at Bespoked in Bristol, England. In a show full of highly polished randonneur and classically styled road bikes, Eric rolled up with the pink and black bike seen above, one he painted himself. The fully rigid New England-style plus-sized mountain bike made my heart flutter, […]

Posted in Feature, Interviews6 Comments

Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Chris Bishop of Bishop Bikes, interviewed by Carl Schlemowitz

philly-bike-show_chris-bishop_bishop-bikes-1

philly-bike-show_chris-bishop_bishop-bikes-11

Chris Bishop established himself early on as a must-follow builder among the slim lug sect, winning award after award for his soldered steel creations at NAHBS. It’s hard not to be a fan of a craftsman who plays in the space of existing traditional lugwork, pushing them to extremes through filling in lug joints, sculpting high shorelines, and tapering down almost to the tube surface for desired effect. Each Bishop frame truly has its own spirit, and the evolution in style of this builder has been really fun to watch over the decade he’s been building under this name.

For this interview, Carl Schlemowitz, an experimental builder on the production level, questions Bishop, an established banner holder for the new wave of single builder, one-off frame shops.

Continue reading “Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Chris Bishop of Bishop Bikes, interviewed by Carl Schlemowitz”



Chris Bishop established himself early on as a must-follow builder among the slim lug sect, winning award after award for his soldered steel creations at NAHBS. It’s hard not to be a fan of a craftsman who plays in the space of existing traditional lugwork, pushing them to extremes through filling in lug joints, sculpting […]

Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Gravel Bikes, Interviews, Road Bike10 Comments

45NRTH gusts into full winter riding apparel with Naughtvind jacket, pants, and bib system

45nrth-naughtvind-winter-clothing-system-1
45nrth-naughtvind-winter-clothing-system-1
Photos c. 45NRTH

Sitting at your office wondering when 80° temperatures in November will give way to cold and snow? Us too. It might not be here yet, but we hear that winter is coming. And when it arrives, 45NRTH has the answer with their latest soft goods – the Naughtvind system. Indicated by how many times we’ve seen this collection in the prototype stage, 45NRTH’s designers did not take this task lightly. For their first attempt at a full winter apparel system, it needed to be perfect.

Now, it looks like they’re happy with the results and the Naughtvind bibs, pants, and jacket have been released into the wild…

Continue reading “45NRTH gusts into full winter riding apparel with Naughtvind jacket, pants, and bib system”



Sitting at your office wondering when 80° temperatures in November will give way to cold and snow? Us too. It might not be here yet, but we hear that winter is coming. And when it arrives, 45NRTH has the answer with their latest soft goods – the Naughtvind system. Indicated by how many times we’ve […]

Posted in Clothing-Gear-Tools, Fatbike, Feature, Mountain Bike6 Comments

Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Carl “Snarl” Schlemowitz of Vicious Cycles, questions by Alex Clauss

philly-bike-show-2016_vicious-cycles_carl-schlemowitz-2
philly-bike-show-2016_vicious-cycles_carl-schlemowitz-5
Photo: Michael Gold

Carl “Snarl” Schlemowitz, the reformed young punk from Park Slope with a heart of gold, has been busy up at the Vicious World Headquarters in New Paltz, NY. Aside from secret projects in the works, his main public emphasis in recent years has been on education through his Metal Guru frame building school, one with alumni including this year’s Philly Bike Expo exhibitors Oddity and Vlad Cycles. Through the school, Carl, along with other highly esteemed talent such as Stephen Bilenky, instruct everything from welding and brazing to painting frames to making head badges.

Fortunately for show attendees, Carl will be exhibiting examples of his own work under the Vicious Cycles brand, one that has been producing thrilling framesets for over two decades. His bikes’ New England flavor is certainly worth experiencing in the flesh.

In this builder on builder interview, Carl is interviewed by Alex Clauss of Portus.

Continue reading “Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Carl “Snarl” Schlemowitz of Vicious Cycles, questions by Alex Clauss”



Carl “Snarl” Schlemowitz, the reformed young punk from Park Slope with a heart of gold, has been busy up at the Vicious World Headquarters in New Paltz, NY. Aside from secret projects in the works, his main public emphasis in recent years has been on education through his Metal Guru frame building school, one with […]

Posted in Cyclocross, Feature, Interviews, Mountain Bike5 Comments

One Ride Review: Norco Revolver full suspension XC race mountain bike

2017 Norco Revolver XC full suspension mountain bike ride review

Sure, enduro is all the rage, but riding a bike that’s crafted for a specific purpose on trails that suit it perfectly transforms an otherwise good ride into an otherworldly one. And that’s what happened here. Norco’s Revolver tames an FSR suspension to perform under hard pedaling both up and down the mountain, and the rest of the frame lets you maintain that speed while whipping through the tight and twisties. Check the One Ride Review video above, and head past the break for more pics…

Continue reading “One Ride Review: Norco Revolver full suspension XC race mountain bike”



Sure, enduro is all the rage, but riding a bike that’s crafted for a specific purpose on trails that suit it perfectly transforms an otherwise good ride into an otherworldly one. And that’s what happened here. Norco’s Revolver tames an FSR suspension to perform under hard pedaling both up and down the mountain, and the […]

Posted in Feature, Mountain Bike, Video8 Comments

Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Alex Clauss of Portus, questions by Curtis Inglis

philly-bike-show-2016_portus-cycles_alex-clauss-9

philly-bike-show-2016_portus-cycles_alex-clauss-5

To call Alex Clauss “exuberant” would be an understatement. The giant German from Pforzheim stands out in a room full of passionate bike builders through his enthusiasm, animated pitch, and positivity- something that’s unfortunately lacking at cycling events for whatever reason. His love for bikes just makes you love bikes more. It’s really something to experience.

Alex is clearly having fun with his work, and it shows in how he seems to use frame building as a vehicle for engaging the larger world. His background in designing and making components shows through in all of the little laser cut and machined details of his bikes. In the case of his Armor of God bike shown at Sacramento and Berlin this year, these details establish his bikes to his public as impassioned statements (which he is happy to explain). He also takes part in large scale collaborative projects developing frames in conjunction with public feedback. And he mentors local refugee children in building bikes. It was all of this that made him a show highlight for me at NAHBS earlier this year and makes Portus Cycles a stop I’m really looking forward to making next week at the Philly Bike Show.

Continue reading “Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Alex Clauss of Portus, questions by Curtis Inglis”



To call Alex Clauss “exuberant” would be an understatement. The giant German from Pforzheim stands out in a room full of passionate bike builders through his enthusiasm, animated pitch, and positivity- something that’s unfortunately lacking at cycling events for whatever reason. His love for bikes just makes you love bikes more. It’s really something to experience. Alex is […]

Posted in Feature, Interviews8 Comments

Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Curtis Inglis of Retrotec, questions by Burnsey of Oddity

philly-bike-show-2016_retrotec_curtis-inglis-13
philly-bike-show-2016_retrotec_curtis-inglis-8
Photo by Justin Carter

While Curtis Inglis’ Retrotec style is often copied, it’s very rarely matched. Real curve connoisseurs will tell you that the lines he’s been refining since the early 90’s are the best in the biz. So it wasn’t a surprise that our friend Burnsey from Oddity asked to interview Curtis for this Builder on Builder series- Curtis has been one of Burnsey’s biggest influences. What’s fun about these two together is that they really help to demonstrate a range in form of the curvy bike segment of the small builder community.

While Burnsey takes the klunker frame and reinterprets it (think: free jazz) with every build, Curtis has been chilling out in Napa, perfecting the lines of the classic beach cruiser through dialing in his build style and tube forming processes. Before you really wrap your head around a Retrotec, it’s easy to take its lines for granted because beach cruisers come from such a mass produced, high nostalgia place. They are almost too familiar to make you want to stop and pay attention.

The genius of Retrotec is that when you actually are able to see the lines and how they perfectly pull though the length of the frame, from rear axle to head tube, they will forever ruin you for other curvy bikes… including the very cruisers they are derived from. You will look for those perfect arcs elsewhere and see only kinks and flats, and missed opportunities for more curves.

Continue reading “Road to PBE16 BoB Interview: Curtis Inglis of Retrotec, questions by Burnsey of Oddity”



While Curtis Inglis’ Retrotec style is often copied, it’s very rarely matched. Real curve connoisseurs will tell you that the lines he’s been refining since the early 90’s are the best in the biz. So it wasn’t a surprise that our friend Burnsey from Oddity asked to interview Curtis for this Builder on Builder series- Curtis […]

Posted in Fatbike, Feature, Interviews, Mountain Bike14 Comments

2016 Taiwan KOM Challenge: Part One – Showing up

taiwankom2016-1-1

taiwankom2016-1-1

Friday, October 28, 2016, marks the 5th running of the grueling Taiwan KOM Challenge, beginning in Haulien, Taiwan. Organized by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, this race is one for the climbers – 105 kilometers / 65 miles in length, with the first 19 kilometers (11.8 miles) reasonably flat and held under race neutral. Once race neutral is over, the fun begins steadily – at first.

Averaging about six percent gradient for much of the way, the climb meanders through the spectacular Taroko Gorge, then onto Taiwan’s highest passable road atop Route 14A to Wuling Pass. But the Challenge really begins in the final 9.5 kilometers (5.9 miles) with gradients ranging from 10% to 22%, with a 27% wall in the final kilometer for one’s ultimate riding pleasure – charming.

Continue reading “2016 Taiwan KOM Challenge: Part One – Showing up”



Friday, October 28, 2016, marks the 5th running of the grueling Taiwan KOM Challenge, beginning in Haulien, Taiwan. Organized by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, this race is one for the climbers – 105 kilometers / 65 miles in length, with the first 19 kilometers (11.8 miles) reasonably flat and held under race neutral. Once race neutral […]

Posted in Feature, Road Bike, Training9 Comments