All posts by Brian

  • A Long Afternoon With My Soma Saga 26″ Touring Bike

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    Being back in the states has been such a treat…it almost felt like I’d moved back for a minute. Tomorrow I’m heading back to Shanghai for who knows how long; it’s so weird that China now feels like home to me.

    Anyway, while stateside, I got to do a bunch of stuff that I can’t easily do over in Shanghai. One of those things is explore long gravel and dirt roads on my touring bike. My Soma Saga has been my trusty and reliable ride for everything from touring to weekend getaways to simply getting lost for an afternoon.

    It’s definitely one of my favorite bikes I’ve owned. It’s certainly not pretty, nor is it hung with super fancy parts. I built this bike up on a whim a few years back after realizing I had a bunch of spare bits, making for a good excuse to exercise the old n+1 theory.

    Check out some more shots below and see for yourself just how weird of a build this is.

    Continue reading “A Long Afternoon With My Soma Saga 26″ Touring Bike” »

  • New Factory Five Website!

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    The buddies over at Factory Five just launched a brand new website! Head on over and check it out. They’re offering FREE shipping within mainland China and international express shipping starting at just $25. For a 10% discount, just use the code: F5TENOFF .

  • Favorites: Ass Savers Folding Mud Guard


    I’m sure you’re all well-aware of these nifty folding mud guards from Ass Savers; they’re straight up awesome. There’s nothing worse than being caught in some wet conditions, riding a bike with no fenders. Sure, if you’re stuck in a downpour, these folding mud guards aren’t going to do much to keep you dry. Where they excel is on wet roads right after the rain (which happens like every other day in Shanghai).

    You might already have one of these guys if your daily rider is a track or road bike sans fenders. If you don’t have one already, I can’t give Ass Savers a stronger co-sign. Simply stick this thing in your bag (it weighs nearly nothing) and no longer will you have to worry about sporting a ‘coon stripe on the way to your next meeting or destination.

    Continue reading “Favorites: Ass Savers Folding Mud Guard” »

  • Silca HX-One Hex Wrenches


    As an ex mechanic of nearly 11 years, it’s safe to say I’ll always appreciate quality tools; especially something as often-used as a set of hex wrenches. If I were still working as a full-time mechanic, I’d all over these HX-One wrenches from Silca. Not that there was anything wrong with my Pedros wrenches, I just really like that these Silca wrenches come with a 1/4” socket adapter, 6 Torx bits as well as 2 flat head and Phillips head drivers. Oh yeah, and the Beech wood box is a pretty classy touch too.

    Continue reading “Silca HX-One Hex Wrenches” »

  • The Best Loaner Bike Ever: Budnitz No. 1 Rohloff


    This is probably the best loaner bike I’ve ever ridden. I mean, as far as riding to the bar and putzing around Burlington for a week, this thing is like bringing a sub-machine gun to a knife fight.

    Most of the time I’m more than happy to be riding a friend’s beater; however, when your good friend and Culture Cycles OG cohort happens to work for a brand designing titanium, belt-driven city bikes, a beater ends up being a Rohloff-equipped city ripper.

    This bike goes! Sure, I’d ridden a handful of Budnitz Bicycles over the past couple years; I kind of knew what to expect. But, after exclusively riding an aluminum track bike for the last few months, having gears and a more forgiving titanium frame had me cheesing all week; and wheelying A LOT.

    Anyway, this isn’t meant to be a review, it’s more of a strong shoutout to Hunt and the homies back in Burlington. Thanks for the good times and hospitality! I’m already looking forward to getting back to the states and seeing everyone!

    Have a closer look at the best loaner bike ever below. If you were hoping for a review, check out the Budnitz 650b mountain bike I was shredding almost 2 years ago.

    Continue reading “The Best Loaner Bike Ever: Budnitz No. 1 Rohloff” »

  • The Hank Klunker Bike

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    Here’s a bike that’s guaranteed to get anyone stoked. Remember being a kid, wanting to go as fast as you possibly could, only to throw all your weight into the coaster brake to skid? Sometimes you’d come out unscathed, but more often (if you’re me), you’d end up with the #RubberSideUp. It didn’t matter how many times you ate it, you’d still pick that hunk of steel back up, throw your leg over it and pedal on. At least I did. I’d beat the living shit out of my coaster brake bikes, and that’s exactly what the guys at Hank Bike want you do to with their klunker-style, coaster brake mountain bike.

    This thing is engineered for good times and comes equipped with disc tabs, in case you get a bad idea like running it in a sanctioned mountain bike race. It’s also available in any color you want, as long as that color is raw steel or metallic purple.

    Six hundred and fifty B’s, a 73mm BB and the 1 1/8″ steerer will have you tracking like “Jay Springsteen on a handful of bennies.” Head over and say “what’s up” to Hank. If I were still living stateside, I’d already have one of these on the way.

  • Trails to Shred: North Umpqua Trail, Oregon

    North Umpqua Trail

    Attention Oregon: you should go shred North Umpqua Trail. While I’ve never made it to Oregon, I know it’s only a matter of time before I pay the good ole’ northwest a visit. I’ve spend some time in Seattle and absolutely loved it, so I know a stint in Portland is on the horizon, especially being that so many of my friends have migrated there.

    Adventure Journal just posted a little feature on the North Umpqua trails which has me beyond excited to get back on the mountain bike next week (I’ll be visiting the USA for a whole month!). Starting near Maidu Lake (aka the NUT), you’ve got 79 miles of rolling singletrack which is broken into 11 smaller sections; so either tackle a few parts or more if you’re really feeling it.

    So Oregon friends – who’s been here and is it worth a trip? I already know the answer to the second question, so scratch that.

  • Factory Five: Jeff’s Transcontinental Bike


    Jeff over at Factory Five will be taking part in the Transcontinetnal Race (TCR) this year and just shared his setup on the F5 blog. The homies at F5 went all-in on this build, holding nothing back. Head over to to Factory Five and maybe you’ll get to check this beauty out in person! Since you’re most likely not in Shanghai, you’ll just have to head over to the Factory Five blog for a closer look.