David Collin's Independent Fabrication Cyclocross bike
There have been times in my life when I am either out riding or sitting in my house staring at all the bicycles that surround me, that the thought crosses my mind...do I really enjoy riding as much as I think I do or do I just like building bikes? The answer is, BOTH! My heart starts beating faster from almost everything about the cycling world. It can simply happen from walking into a local shop and hanging on the wall is that frame I have been dreaming about or catching that unnoticed alleyway out of the corner of my eye, on a road that I have pedaled down day after day. The beautiful thing is that I know I'm not alone in this world when it comes to loving these 2-wheeled machines. Every week, even in the small city of Memphis, I meet more people with the same passion and thoughts for bicycles that I have.
This happened once again at the weekly Wednesday night cyclocross practice, hosted by Bikesmith. The bike that caught my eye, right as I walked in, was this midnight blue Independent Fabrication off in the corner. The owner was David Collins, a local native who races for the team Los Locos. After about 45 minutes of riding laps on the freshly soaked and extremely slippery course, everyone headed back to the shop for some local brews and to chat mostly about bike related subjects. I kindly asked if he minded me snapping some photos of his bicycle for this crazy site I just started called NativeCyclist, which he happily replied “Go for it!”.
The truth is, David and I didn’t really exchange a ton of words that evening, but had the common bond of cycling. I was very interested in his custom cross bike that he had built up and that alone put us on the same page for at least a moment, but not so much when he passed me a half hour before on the cyclocross course. With that being said, there is my third favorite thing about riding bikes and I think many will agree on all of them: riding for the fact of riding, the bicycle in which the beauty of this simple machine is, and lastly the ongoing friends and friendships one can make in the small world of cycling.
BRETT'S CINELLI WORK TRACK BIKE
Brett Holder seems to have the same mentality about himself and his bicycles and that is, you will be a WORKHORSE! Working two jobs, at FedEx and Outdoors Inc bicycle shop, hard work is nothing new. I remember him talking about the Cinelli Work for months before the trigger was finally pulled to add it to his stable of well-built and hard working bikes. The Work frameset had all the details that I think wins everyone over: being made from Columbus steel tubing, a slack geometry, and the beautiful fact that you can add a set of canti brakes at any moment. Which boils down to ultimately owning three bikes in one, almost like having a transformer in the bike world. The bike is pieced together just like I would have imagined with knowing Mr. Holder. The addition of carbon in the right places, from the Eastern risers and the Fizik seatpost, to bulletproof components made by Thomson, Sram, and Wolftooth. I was happy to be able to photograph this bike of Brett’s, and I can say that this is one impressive frameset that has been offered to the mass market. I can’t wait to roll down the street next to him, see the Workhorse in action, and watch it do what it was designed to do best...EVERYTHING!
Adam Taylor's Surly Karate Monkey
Adam Taylor is a native cyclist of Memphis and his riding goals seem to be focused fully on mountain biking. He has ripped through parts and frames during his time of riding the trails in the southern region. The list of banged and well-ridden components range from Chris King to cult loving Turner frames and the list seems to be just as long as the time he has been rolling around on dirt mazes.
A few weeks back, Adam walked into the Bikesmith Bike Shop, on Hollywood Street, carrying a box of parts and an idea for a new bike. He seemed to have two things in mind: a singlespeed and an unbreakable mountain bike. Jim, the owner of Bikesmith, and David, the head mechanic, sat down with him and agreed that the only choice for a frame had to be the Surly Karate Monkey and with that the heart of the bike was born. This tank would be armed with nothing less than the best from Chris King, DT Swiss, Thomson, and Avid. A bike built so sturdy that not even Adam Taylor could break it.
I was lucky enough to be invited down to document the build of this solid machine. There is nothing like seeing a bike being built and getting that feeling of excitement, even if it’s for someone else and it’s much too tall for me to even test ride. We all know that moment of NEW BIKE DAY and the sight of seeing an idea turned into a real monster roller.
Earl Glazer Handmade Cyclocross Bike
A few weeks back, around 5:50 I packed my things and started pedaling towards The Bikesmith for the Wednesday night cyclocross training that they host weekly. It started out like every week with guys and gals hanging around the shop talking in bike lingo and waiting for the brutal ride ahead of us. After awhile, I noticed a handful of people standing around a bike that was unfamiliar to me, so I moved closer to take a better look. In awe, I saw before me a steel red cross bike with a matching red stem and it was, in every sense of the word, stunning. Moments later, as I let my ears open to what was being talked about, I learned that the man standing beside this steel ride was also the builder of this gorgeous cycle: Earl Glazer of Earl Glazer Cycles.
Cycling is nothing new to Earl, with a history of pedaling around since 1973. Although he is fluent with the cycling world, frame building for him was born in 2010. He started out with some help from a couple of friends, Mike Crum and Ted Lacomette, but was mostly self-taught. If you are lucky enough to meet Earl and his bikes it won’t take you long to realize that he has a love for steel and classic bicycles. He has worked with tubing ranging from Columbus Zona, Spirit, Cromor, and even True Temper OX Platinum. The portfolio of frames that he has constructed consist of road, mountain, cyclocross, mixte, and even track bikes! With the cross bike posted you can easily see the way he pieces his bikes together, from the modern Sram Rival groupset but leaving the classic 25.4 handlebar clamp sizing. I can strongly say that with the bikes I have seen from him, he isn’t just building bicycles but welding tubes into art. I can’t wait know more about his bikes, and even more about Earl himself.
My Miele Road Bike
As the site grows you will start see and understand my love for well-made steel bicycles. They just have that classic sturdiness, sexiness, and understanding that comes with riding one. Some people seem to comprehend this. Others seem to just get stuck looking for the next better, lighter, or faster thing....which let's face it, I get. We all like to be a speed demon on these two wheeled machines. With that said, don't get me wrong, I ride bikes made of other materials and they serve their purpose very well, but sometimes we need to sit back and give thanks to what has gotten us across these lands for over a century.
When I finally started thinking about wanting a road bike again, the first thing I knew was that I had to find a nice steel frame. Honestly, the Miele is my second go at it though. Months ago I purchased a frame and fork that I built up made of Tange Prestige and even though it road great, it just wasn't fitting me like I wanted. I was randomly poking around craigslist one day in areas that aren't so close to home, when the Miele popped up. I, for some unknown reason, called the guy with low hopes of my coming question. I asked if he ever travels to Memphis for one reason or another. He kindly replied that he doesn't, but oddly was coming into town for his son's baseball game the following day. The Miele was mine! That is, after my roommate went to pick it because I had to travel for work the next day.
A few days later, I had the bike in my hands and within moments started stripping parts off to replace with those from my past build. The Miele as seen a few changes over the time that I have owned it, but as it sits today I can almost call it complete. Miele Bicycles was started by Jim Miele in 1982 after he immigrated from Italy to Canada. This bike is constructed from Columbus Cromor tubing and was built in Mississauga, Onterio. Grouped with Sram Rival and a touch of Force, Soma Highway handlebars, and rolling on a set of Bontrager SSR wheels fitted with Clement Strada LLG tires, it makes for a solid, yet trusty cycle. The Miele is finished with a Specialized Romin Saddle, Fizik handlebar tape, and Shimano A530 pedals. It has been the perfect build me for so far and has pushed me around my native land of Memphis, like a steel horse it rides....
Blake's Wraith Paycheck Built By Chris Igleheart
Blake's main mission when looking for the perfect cyclocross frame was wanting it be the swiss army knife in the form of a bicycle. That "do anything and go anywhere" workhorse with the only thing stopping it from covering more ground is the rider that is on it. Since Blake knew exactly what he wanted, a Wraith was the only answer. Wraith was founded by Adam Eldridge, who also owns the custom frame company Stanridge Speed Cycles. Blake and Adam seem to have at least one thing in common: to always shred no matter what bicycle they are on. One thing I do know and will stand by is that Blake is one hell of a two wheel SHREDDER and will push the boundaries of the Wraith Paycheck. This is the last batch of Paycheck frames that will be built by none other than Chris Igleheart of Igleheart Custom Frames and Forks out of Portland, OR. Which was another factor for Blake when deciding on going with this frame, as he is a fan of Igleheart's work and frame building skills. Over the next few months Blake will piece this bike together slowly making sure that it is fitted and suited to take him anywhere and everywhere.
The Chris Inglhearts stamp of perfection.
My Soma Rush Track Bike Downtown Memphis
There is so much that I can say about my Soma. This bicycle has hurt me more times then I can count, yet most of all has saved my life. When I first got the Soma Rush its a beautiful shiny red and I was just a blink away from 300 pounds. Over the past seven years we have lost weight together, went through numerous parts, and have ridden streets all over the southern part of America. This is a true work horse of a bicycle and will always be apart of my stable. Through stripped paint and even going over the hood of a car twice it still stands strong and solid.
Soma Rush - Made in a America of Tange Prestige 53cm
Miche Pista Track Wheelset
Sram Omnium Crankset 48-17
Vittoria Rubino Pro Tires
Everything else is always changing....
Photos: Cort Percer - adanay.co
Cory York - Soma Rush Track Bike In Downtown Memphis