• Beast Coasters 4.1 – Saxon Hill in Essex, VT


    As if I didn’t miss mountain biking and Vermont enough before…The latest from Beast Coasters has me wishing I was ripping beer laps at Saxon Hill with the homies. Here’s Issac Allair, Adam Morse and Jordan Newth getting their shred on in good ‘ole Essex, Vermont.
    -Brian

  • My Factory Five F550 Track Bike

    factory five f550

    When I first found out that I was moving to Shanghai a little over 6 months ago, the first thing on my mind (other than the countless immaculate skate spots this city possesses) was “what am I going to do for a bike?” Bringing one of my bikes out wasn’t exactly an option, especially after only having two days notice as to when my flight was booked. Two days…48 hours notice before moving 8,000 miles away.

    My last two days in the states were spent scrambling to scrap some parts together to stash in my checked baggage. Knowing that Shanghai is completely flat, I decided I’d cut the hubs out of the wheels on my Gan Well Pro (tear tear) and start piecing together another track bike.

    Anyway, I’d heard of the guys at Factory Five through the WWW and after John Prolly paid them a visit a while back, I knew that I’d have to drop in and check them out. What a good call that was. I stopped in about month after landing, put a deposit down on a 56cm F550 and grabbed a few last minute items to complete the build. Once my frame arrived, I spent a couple hours in the shop meticulously piecing it together while enjoying a couple ice-cold Asahis.

    After not riding a bike for nearly a month-and-a-half, my ride home had me feeling like my 10-year old self; spinning out the 16” coaster BMX, grass stains on my jeans and ripping coaster brake skids. The frame fit me perfectly and had the most synergistic feel right out of the stand. Usually getting a bike this dialed takes a few tweaks after the initial build, but I really lucked out here. No measurements, no real fit adjustments needed.  Just a suitcase of random parts and solid 7005 series aluminum track frame.

    In terms of the parts and build, I took the Suzue Pro Max hubs I had and grabbed some 32h hard anodized H Plus Son Archetype rims, laced them up 3-cross and slapped some super cheap 23c tires on them. I usually don’t like to skimp on tires, but the cost of moving across the world had me on a bit of a budget. I picked up a track crankset from the guys at the shop and set it up with their signature Factory Five Lattice Chainring in hard ano. This chainring goes! It feels stiff as anything, is very very light and also looks amazing. On that crankset are a set of MKS pedals, Soma double cages and All City double straps.

    The only other piece I needed was a seat post. I somehow grabbed a 27.0 post from home, thinking it was a 27.2 and needed to find something reasonably priced. The shop had a swap meet one day and I lucked out by coming up on a Miche seatpost. Atop the post, I hung a nicely worn-in Fizik Arione saddle.

    For the cockpit, I brought over a 100mm Ritchey WCS 4 AXIS stem, a set of Truvativ mountain bars with a slight rise and a VP-Comp headset. Enough with the build though…

    This bike rips. It’s all you need here and nothing you don’t. As a big fan of aluminum bikes (most of the time), I knew what to expect with the F550. Stiff and responsive, yet not overly aggressive as far as track geometry goes. This was just what I needed; something that is equally at home either thrashing through traffic or moseying on over to the bar.

    I’ve been riding this for just about 5 months now and still feel as happy as the day I set it up. Sure, I miss riding road and mountain bikes, but having a city track bike in a place as wild as Shanghai has yet to get boring. Having a brakeless track bike here is akin to mountain biking, except the trees here are on gas scooters and have a mind of their own.

    I’m gonna stop rambling though and give the guys at Factory Five a strong shoutout. Thanks for everything dudes! Be sure to check out the rest of the Factory Five frames and other products. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send me an email or get at me on IG or Twitter. Check out the rest of the photos below!

    -Brian

    Continue reading “My Factory Five F550 Track Bike” »

  • Gevenalle BURD Front Derailleur

    gevenalle front derailleur

    BURD – Blatantly Upgraded and Rebranded Derailleur. Sounds good to me. The folks at Gevenalle (formerly RetroShift) have released their latest addition to their cyclocross-specific grouppo: the BURD Front Derailleur. It’s a short cage derailleur to compliment the CX 1 and CX2 drivetrain system. Pair this up with the BURD rear derailleur and CX shifters and you’ve almost got yourself a fully ‘cross-specific group.

    The BURD front goes for $49 and comes with Gevenalle’s crash rebuild service which means for a mere $20 (including shipping), you can be back up and running should you thrash a little too hard and destroy a derailleur.

    If I raced ‘cross, I’d undoubtedly be destroying gear and definitely give these guys a look; if for nothing more than the $20 crash replacement deal. Good stuff, guys!

    -Brian

  • A Solid Surly Steamroller

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    photos: Kim Heikkinen

    This is one ripping Surly Steamroller! Aside from the royal blue paint, this track bike is the perfect blend of beauty and functionality. That may sound cliche, but I really mean it. Between the Dura Ace crankset, Gatorskins, the comfy wide riser bars and simplicity of a single fixed drivetrain, this bike is ideal for day-to-day thrashing…just like my F550 (more on that this week, promise).

    Since moving to Shanghai about 6 months ago, I’ve been riding a very similar setup to this Steamroller pictured above & below. My buddies at Factory Five held onto a 56cm F550 track frame for a couple weeks while I gathered cash after moving here. Since then, it’s been my daily rider. Hell, it’s the only bike I’ve got out here and I couldn’t be more hyped with it! I’d be lying though if I said I didn’t miss each and every ride in my stable back in the states…

    Stay tuned for more on my F550 this week and be sure to check out the rest of Kim’s Steamroller below.

    -Brian

    Continue reading “A Solid Surly Steamroller” »

  • New Factory Five Website

    factory five

    My dudes at Factory Five just launched a new website and it’s looking mint! Head on over and browse around. While you’re there, be sure to have a look at their deals going on to celebrate the launch. If you’re in Shanghai, these are the guys you want to see for anything bike-related.

    -Brian

  • Death Spray Custom: Fork You Peter Sagan

    death spray custom peter sagan fork

    I’ve got a real soft spot for candy paint. No, not because I’m a particularly loud or ostentatious (quite the opposite, actually), but because you can stare at its sparkle FOR HOURS. Okay, maybe not that long…but you get the point. DSC has been on a tear lately and this fork specially painted for the Peter Sagan and Cannondale is nothing short of spectacular.

    More from Death Spray Custom

    -Brian

  • VANDEYK VDX Cyclocross Bikes

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    VANDEYK is always taking things to the next level and their latest cyclocross bike is no exception. While it’s still stupid hot here in Shanghai (and probably will be for the next two months), the rest of the world is preparing for summer to come to an end and for fall to begin. I can’t wait for it to cool down around here. Anyway, VANDEYK just sent some photos of the VDX, their brand new cyclocross machine, and it sure does look good.

    For the development of the VDX, VANDEYK partnered up with up with Cyclocross authority Crema Cycles around ex-professional racer Ken Bloomer. Being handbuilt (TIG welded) from a well-selected blend of Columbus Spirit and True Temper Platinum OX high-end steel tubing, the frame is the timeless and racy core of this mud machine. The creative approach for the graphic design work is built around the “X” as a central theme, which is translated into the VANDEYK signature ‘machine code’ on the top tube and fork legs. Options include a Cantilever or Disc brake version, both built around the stellar carbon fiber forks from our friends over at ENVE Composites. Head tube options are 44mm or a more classic 1 1/8″ version. As usual at VANDEYK, the paintwork is executed in highest-grade liquid paint. The VDX is available as frameset including frame and fork.

    Be sure to check out this beautiful bicycle in full detail below and also head over to the VANDEYK website for more info.

    Previous:

    VANDEYK Machine For Riding

    VANDEYK Rapha Continental Bike

    VANDEYK Purple Blast Road

    -Brian

    Continue reading “VANDEYK VDX Cyclocross Bikes” »

  • Best Ever Trailer – Vermont Skateboarding Video by Kyle Burroughs


    Ah man, seeing this makes me miss Vermont even more. Seriously. Kyle Burroughs – one of my good homies and a crazy talented skateboarder, is working on a full-length skate video titled “Best Ever”. It’s featuring a bunch of my buddies from back in Burlington and is set to come out at the end of October. I cannot wait to see the full video and pick up a copy for myself when I’m back home visiting. Who knows, I might even have a trick or two in it!

    Check back for more in “Best Ever” and some info on where you can pickup merch. In the meantime, enjoy the trailer and check out some more skateboarding related posts while you’re at it.

    -Brian

  • Blackburn Central Series Lights

    Central 100 Front Lght (1)

    blackburncentral-2 blackburncentral-3 blackburncentral

    A good set of lights for your bike is something that every regular cyclist should own. They’re just as important as a good set of tires on your commuter bike, and even more essential during the fall and winter months. The Blackburn Central 100 front and 20 rear have just been released and are looking to be a pretty promising option for keeping you safe and seen during those evening jaunts or early morning commutes. Also, they’re rechargeable via USB – so you’ll never have to fiddle with replacing batteries or running to the store for some AAA’s. Head on over to Blackburn to see the full specs on the Central 100 front and Central 20 rear.

    PS – I’m still alive. I’ve been out of town for a few days and taking a little vacation in Moganshan, China. Stay tuned for some updates and news this week as well as some photos from my trip.

    -Brian

  • Meet The 2014 Blackburn Rangers


    Man, this video from Blackburn has me thinking about moving back to the states and riding the Pacific Coast Highway or the Great Divide. Don’t get me wrong, Shanghai is awesome, but as I type this I’m experiencing a lingering cough that has been bothering me all morning and all of last night. The cough isn’t because I’m sick, it’s because I’m inhaling too much pollution. My coworkers in the office tell me not to worry and that it’s normal, but to me there’s nothing “normal” about it; especially moving to Shanghai from Vermont.

    Anyway, this post is about the latest Blackburn Ranger lineup for their “Out There” program which embodies the culture of adventure and give cyclists an opportunity to embark on crazy journeys along the Pacific Coast and the Great Divide. Check out the lineup of this year’s Rangers below and be sure to give this video a watch!

    -Brian

    Continue reading “Meet The 2014 Blackburn Rangers” »

  • 2014 Wolfpack Hustle Civic Center Crit Photos by Prolly

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    John captured some amazing moments at this year’s 2014 Wolfpack Hustle Crit at the Civic Center in Los Angeles. This set is killer. I’m loving this shot of Marc Marino ripping a corner.

    Make sure to check out the full set over on The Radavist.

    -Brian

  • Static IV Now Available at Theories of Atlantis

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    Holy crap. I can’t believe I’m actually writing this: Josh Stewart’s Static IV is finally available for purchase on Theories of Atlantis and man oh man, do I want a copy. I’d already have one in the mail if I still lived in the states, but being out here in China I know it’ll cost at least $40 to get this to me…bummer. Maybe I’ll just have it shipped to my folk’s place and get it around Christmas time? Either way, if you’re a skateboarder you know the kind of anticipation behind this video.

    Featuring some of my favorites like Quim Cardona, Jake Johnson, Jahmal Williams, Vivien Feil, Jimmy Lannon and Ben Gore, it’s safe to say this video will be an instant classic. If you’re interested in getting a copy, head on over to Theories of Atlantis and grab one. If you’re in Shanghai and want to split shipping on anything from TOA, hit me up: CultureCycles@gmail.com! And if you’re in Burlington and want to buy this for me as a coming home present, I’ll gladly give you $30 upon my return.

    -Brian