All posts tagged Culture Cycles Crew

  • My Factory Five F550 Track Bike


    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!

    EDIT: photo updated – swapped out my crankset for the trusty SRAM Omniums & have been running the Cetma Cargo 5-rail rack for the last year or so.


    Continue reading “My Factory Five F550 Track Bike” »

  • BIG NEWS! Where have you been?

    Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

    photo via Prolly

    Oh man, have I got some news for y’all or what. I’m sure you’ve noticed the lack of activity here over the last couple weeks and for that, I’d like to apoligize. I promise I haven’t forgotten about you, it’s just I’ve been a little preoccupied trying to pack my life up.

    If you’ve been following my updates on Facebook or if you know me personally, you’ve probably heard that I’ll be moving to Shanghai at the end of the month. Yeah, I know…it’s crazy. A month ago I would have never guessed that I’d be making such a move, however, I had a pretty amazing offer that I couldn’t pass up. Plus, I have a few friends living over there who absolutely love it and I’m at that point in my life where I need some change. Burlington, VT will always hold a special place in my heart; I mean I spent over 6 1/2 years here, so I’ll definitely be making trips back to visit. It was just time to move on, you know? Don’t worry though, the site isn’t going anywhere. I’m actually really excited to be able to shift my perspective and deliver some fresh content with Shanghai as a backdrop.

    “So what’re you gonna be doing all the way over there?” “What about the pollution?” “Do you know any of the language?” “Aren’t you scared? “DUDE, THAT’S WILD!”…these are just a sample of the various reactions I’ve been getting.

    I don’t want to go into too much detail right now, but essentially skateboarding is going to be a big part of my new job and I couldn’t be more ecstatic! I’ll elaborate more on the job once I arrive and settle in. Perhaps the best part of this move is freeing myself from a desk job, allowing for motivation levels to be at an all-time high for personal work such as Culture Cycles.

    I’m also going to be starting another small site documenting skateboarding in Shanghai through photos, videos and stories – all original work of course. So stay tuned, I’ll definitely keep you all in the loop. And don’t worry – CC isn’t going anywhere! There’s just going to be a bit more content from overseas, which brings me to my next excitement about this move.

    I can’t wait to explore the city on a bike! I’m not bringing any of my bikes over with me, but upon arrival I’m planning on building up a Factory 5 track frame, most likely the F550. Anyway, I don’t want to spend too much time ranting now but I just felt bad leaving you guys in the dark.

    If you want stickers, 40 oz koozies or whatever, please hit me up on the birdline (culturecycles at gmail, @klei_ber, @Culturecycles or phone me if you got it) within the next week or so cause I’ll be closing the online store until I’m grounded and have a place to stay in Shanghai. Sheesh, still can’t believe this is happening. If you’ve ever been or have any suggestions for me I’d love to hear from you!

    I’ve also got a best of 2013 post I’ve been working on as well as a video review of a new backpack I’ve been trying…so make sure to keep an eye out for those!


  • The Great Turkey Chase Part 6 Recap


    Pardon me for the lack of updates this past week. As I write this, I’m sitting in the Cleveland Airport awaiting my flight back to Burlington and figured I should let you know what’s been going on.

    Last Sunday was the 6th installment of The Great Turkey Chase, an alley-cat style food drive similar to Cranksgiving, put on by Liam Griffin each year. This was my 4th year riding and probably my favorite yet!

    We had 26 riders come out this year; despite the 20-degree weather with a 7-degree windchill, 30 MPH winds and a couple inches of snow, everyone finished the race and we ended up collecting about 600 pounds of food and 18 turkeys for the Vermont Food Shelf. Not bad!

    I woke up Sunday morning in a bit of a confused state, and after seeing some new snow on the ground I decided that it’d be a great idea to ride my mountain bike for the race that’s 95% on sealed roads. My ‘cross bike would have been perfect, but as I said, my ability to make logical decisions that morning was laughable…

    Continue reading “The Great Turkey Chase Part 6 Recap” »

  • The Great Turkey Chase, Part 6

    the great turkey chase 6

    It’s that time of year again! Get ready for The Great Turkey Chase, Part 6 coming up a week from today here in Burlington, VT on Sunday, November 24. While many choose to race the route, as always, it’s open to all bikes and levels of fitness. The goal here is to collect food for the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf.

    Important Details:

    • Meet at Maglianero on 11/24 at 11:00 am.
    • Bring $15, a lock, helmet and bag. All money will be used for food donation purchases.
    • Bring any bike, your wife/husband/significant other/kids/friends/anyone and have a great time!
    • RSVP on Facebook

    HUGE thanks to Liam for putting this event on every year! It’s been such a fun race. I haven’t been riding much lately since I’ve been injured and just took a vacation, but I’ll be out cruising either way and you should be too!


  • The 2013 Herringbone Tweed Ride in Burlington, VT

    This past weekend was the third-annual Herringbone Tweed Ride here in Burlington, VT. We had an awesome gang again this year composed of friends both old and new; about 30 of us total. The weather was magical. We’ve been having an abnormally warm fall here in Vermont, and this was probably the last warm weekend we’ll have as it’s been in the 40s all week here. What better way to welcome winter than crawling around town,  enjoying the foliage, the company of friends and learning a bit about bicycling culture in Burlington? Scroll through the photos below and be sure to check Facebook for the album! Tag away.


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  • The Third-Annual Herringbone Tweed Ride


    Hey Burlington: this upcoming Sunday the 2oth is the Third Annual Herringbone Tweed Ride taking place right here in Burlington, Vermont. We’ll meet at Maglianero around 12:30 for some coffee, tea and biscuits and depart on our sashay around 1 pm. If you’ were around for the 2012 Herringbone Tweed Ride, you know you’re in for a great time! Check out the Facebook event page for more info and if you have any questions at all, feel free to email me!

    Hope to see you all there!


  • Recent ‘Grams!

    I don’t promote it much here, but I update my Instagram pretty regularly. Here’s a look at what I’ve been getting into the past couple weeks. Follow along for bike, skate and other random related nonsense.

    Happy hump day!


    Continue reading “Recent ‘Grams!” »

  • Weekend at Otis Mountain Get Down

    otis mountain get down 2013

    otis mountain get down 2013-9

    All through August I’d been getting the itch to do some bike camping but was booked solid every weekend. Like many of you I’m sure, I had ambitious plans for the Saga and camping this summer but only got out for a handful of trips. With the camp-able weather in Vermont dwindling faster than Garfield can find pizza, I knew I had to get out there soon. Luckily, a few crazy friends of mine decided halfway through the summer that they wanted to throw a music festival in the Adirondacks: The Otis Mountain Get Down.

    The Get Down took place this past weekend, September 13-15 in Elizabethtown, NY – about 40 miles from Burlington. Now I’m not much of a festival type, in fact, I’ve never been to a music festival before. I had never heard of any of the bands on the bill either, except a couple friends who were DJing. But how can you turn down a weekend long camp out, especially when all your best friends are going?  I wasn’t about to miss this.

    I took Friday off in anticipation of  some absolute last minute packing (which actually wasn’t the case, this time) and to give myself ample time to get across the lake before sundown. While I did indeed pack the night before, I still had a number of errands to run that morning, so I didn’t leave Burlington ’til around 2 PM.

    Getting to the Essex-Charlotte ferry was cake. Once I hit New York though, sheesh, the hills started to take their toll on me. I still made it to Otis mountain by 5:30 or so, and that’s with a few stops along the way. I even rode the last few miles with a bunch of beer and 2 gallons of water that I somehow managed to strap to my overloaded bike.

    The festival itself was great! I enjoyed the majority of the music and I got to hang with so many friends I seldom get to see. Plus, I was outdoors for a whole 48 hours which doesn’t happen enough these days. I also got to ride back with my good buddy Matt, another friend I hadn’t seen in ages.

    Make sure to check out the narrated photos from the trip below!


    Continue reading “Weekend at Otis Mountain Get Down” »