Thursday, May 1, 2014
A few things going on..
A few pretty special things have been going on around here over the past few weeks. First up, I helped Natural Cycle out by taking some photos of some absolutely gorgeous bikes they built up for one lucky guy here in the city. That's right, one guy ordered both of these. I have to say, Natural Cycle has completely changed in the best possible way over the past few years. I had some less than savoury experiences in that shop over the years, but Graham, Andrew, Will, and the rest of the crew there are doing a lot of things right. If you haven't been there in a while, I suggest you check it out again. It's quickly becoming my favourite local shop again. But I digress.. The first bike is a hand-made, fillet brazed Mark Nobilette. Mark Nobilette is commonly known as the frame builder that makes all of Rivendell's custom-ordered bikes. This frame was pretty wild, and built up super light too. Andrew at Natural spec'd it with primarily US-made parts, including Paul Comp hubs, centre-pull brakes, levers and post; White Industries cranks and pedals, and a few Nitto and Velo Orange bits to boot. I love this bike. The second bike is a Rivendell-designed Soma, called the San Marcos. It's a beautiful lugged steel frame, spec'd with components made by Suntour (did you know Suntour is manufacturing components again? They are pretty nice!) The build features Silver barcon friction shifters, Honjo hammered aluminum fenders, and some Nitto bits. It built up very nicely, and it was hard to pick a favourite between the two. The last bit of excitement is my own personal new bike (new to me, purchase used), a Rivendell Atlantis! I've been holding out for a Rivendell for a long time, and had intended to pickup a new Sam Hillborne frame when I visit the Riv shop in June. However, a used Atlantis came up, which is what I really wanted all along, and the price was too good to let it go. It has it's fair share of paint scratches, but no dings or dents or any of that nonsense. The way I look at it, now I don't have to worry about scratching the thing. Rivendell is a pretty polarizing brand, with a lot of fanatics and a lot of haters. I've found myself somewhat obsessed with the company, it's products, partnerships, and ideals, and am pretty excited to get this built up. I'm missing a few parts, but the build will be based on a rough-road and trail touring setup. Wheels will be Schmidt SONdelux dynamo hub, Phil Wood rear (both disc so I can use them for mountain biking too in the future), 36h Velocity Dyad rims, Nitto Noodle bars in 44cm width, with Nitto stem and seat post. Friction bar-end shifters in a 2x10 arrangement, but beyond that, nothing is nailed down. The frame is stout, to say the least. This is not a bike you'll pick up with and be impressed by it's lightness, more likely you'll wonder why I bought a bike that weights as much as two. Well who cares really. Chances are my bike+body weight still comes in under most anyway. The frame fits 55cm tires WITH fenders, which is awesome. It's all lugged construction, with braze-ons for fenders, racks, and three bottle cages. Sweet. It should be fully built up in about a month or so, once the final parts have been sourced. I'm hoping to take this bike on the Muerto Summer Challenge v2 in August.