A long time ago a few of us sat down in the CInelli design office in Milan Italy and spent a day describing in detail what our dream track bike would be. We had all come from the streets and were just getting into criterium racing, Red Hook Crit was only a few years old and everyone was still racing on velodrome specific track frames. Walton, Rainier, Mike and Myself shared with Cinelli our vision for the most epic track bike ever.. and they delivered. After a pretty extensive testing MASH launched the Parallax frame set, what would eventually become the AC1 and spawn countless other frame designs.
This Green Frame is one of two prototypes from Cinelli that arrived to the old MASH shop on 14th st. on September 20th 2012. One for me and one for Walton Brush. Mike who runs MASH was out of town when the box arrived… The frames arrived bare, raw aluminum and carbon, all of Cinelli’s prototype frames were built in Italy and shipped directly to MASH for testing. No refinement or polish, this was the best part about the prototype process with CInelli, they shipped us the roughest iterations of our idea’s and left the refinement to us.
Of course the first thing we do it rush out to buy spray paint so we can customize our frames. We went with a 2 toned 2 sided fade, my bike was green and Waltons was blue. We drug a bike stand in front of the shop, went to town and when Mike came back we both had fully painted and built bikes. We covered the sidewalk with overspray, the neighbors were pissed, Mike made a joke about it, and to this day you can still see the green and blue sprays on the sidewalk.
Mike’s addition to the project was providing us with a ton of slick dye cut stickers. It was his idea to throw the Cinelli sticker down the head tube and fork, it was a perfect fit. This was the first tapered head tube track bike that we knew of. Cinelli had recently launched their new tapered head tube on their road bikes and they were happy to cross the tech over to our track bike. We wanted a steep rake on the fork so we designed as brutal 28mm rake carbon track fork.
The tube-set was based on Cinelli’s new (at the time) aluminum road bikes, we then incorporated a number of proprietary tubes, like the massive down tube. Walton, Mike and I had all grown up idolizing bikes likes the 93 Cannondale track and KHS Aero, and we wanted co-opt some of that performance and style.
Cinelli gave us pretty much carte blanch when it came to the geometry of the new frame. At the time all of our experience had been on super aggressive track frames, kierin frames from Japan had been our Ferrari’s. Thinking that if we combined the high tech tube set with a crazy steep geometry kierin geo we could turn even tight and sprint harder. 74.5 degree head tube and a 75 degree seat tube put the rider directly over the handlebars and pedals. I wanted an even steeper seat tube but Waltons argument for better leverage on the pedals while seated won over. A foreshadowing to many changes in fixed crit specific geometry to come.
While this frame was designed with fixed gear criterium racing in mind, MASH has always been from the streets. And once we got these frames and started ripping on them we found out they were lean mean street shredding machines. The super tight geometry combined with the stiff tube set and tapered head tube created a dream alleycat bike. You can turn these prototypes on a dime, and dig as deep into a sprint as you want without feeling a moment of frame flex. I had a rack attached to the front of mine for years and it served me well as my TCB work bike.
This bike was a dream come true, how often do you get to design your dream bike and then have it shipped to your door? Unfortunately as with most dreams reality can be a harsh awakening. While this bike RIPPED the streets, the super aggressive geometry made the bike unstable and twitchy during a high speed fixed gear criterium. It was great for Walton, Rainier, Kyle and I but unrealistic for most riders. That’s why the prototype process is so important, we refined the angles and geometry through the many production runs to eventually build a purpose built Criterium frame. These first two prototypes were 2 of a kind, super aggressive street shredderz.
While at Cinelli designing the frame Walton and I spent over an hour debating seat tube angles… Rainier was not nearly as interested in the details as we were and caught a quick nap in the Cinelli HQ hallway.
Fijate 2012 in Puerto Rico was the first time out for the new frame, and it performed admirably! I took 2nd in the Alleycat and 1st in the Criterium. Testing was going well, street racing and criterium racing in the same event gave me a good opportunity to stretch the frame sets legs.
Red Hook Milan 2012 was the day before my birthday and also the first time we raced the frames on the international stage. This was the very beginning of team tactics in Red Hook’s and we brought 5 racers out. I remember with 2 laps to go we had all 5 guys in the front controlling the field, we felt so pro. Until a crash going into the finish shook up the entire field, and Evan Murphy took the W in fine fashion.
Walton really liked having brake hoods to rest on while crushing so he mounted a pair of TRP levers to his bars, even going so far as to zip tying the levers into position so they wouldn’t move. Race officials were less than excited but since these were the early days of RHC he was allowed to race.
Once we had ironed out some of the kinks my prototype was retired from the criterium circuit and stuck strictly to street shredding. Alleycats, shifts on the road at TCB and courier championships like NACCC were all shredded hard as the spray paint slowly chipped away and dents began to accumulate.
John Watson came through SF and managed to catch the build early on before it got too thrashed. It is funny to see how build styles change over the years. Low flange fixed/fixed DuraAce track hubs laced to Mavic CXP30’s with GXP5000 700x25c tires were the hottest wheels on the block.
I realize now years later that I had these ergo bars turned WAY too far down, but at the time it seemed to make all the sense in the world.
Somethings never change though.. Sugino 75 track cranks, 44RN chainring, pure class and style. I have the same body dimensions I had back then, but now I always run a set back seat post and a 110mm stem (this is a 100mm). I wonder how it would feel to ride my old set up?
This was right before I took the leap into road pedals on my track bike, I was all ways Time ATAC on all my bikes. For work, for alleycats, for criteriums, it just made sense. But to be real I was also V scared of the road pedals and trying to clip in.
the last 4 photo’s were all by John Watson
Once we had finalized the changes we wanted to make for production (mainly loosening the geometry to make it more stable in criterium racing) and Garret Chow had designed the graphics it was time for the team to show up and look legit. There were only a hand full (5-6?) of these team issue pre production Parralax frames made. The initial size run of production frames was to be even 54-56-58 but these team frames were odd 53-55-57. To be ready in time for RHC Barcelona 2013 a few corners had to be cut as well…
For the production models all the graphics would be properly printed and sealed onto the frames. But for these team frames most if not all of the graphics were applied as stickers so make the deadline. When they were new you couldn’t tell the difference at all, very subtle lines marked where the powder coat ended and the stickers began. Over the years time and wear have shown more clearly where the stickers were applied. I love this detail, as it shows how hard everyone on the project worked to get things ready in time for the big debut.
Mike had the idea to base the Parralax design on the parralax effect in photography and the artwork was an interpretation of the focal parts of a camera lens. Garret Chow designed the frame and kits for the team to look pro AF when we showed up to RHC.
This was our first solid push as a team for RHC so MASH went all the way with support from HED in the form of some seriously pro tubular track wheels. For all of us this was our first time racing criterium on tubular wheels and for my first foray into the world of deep dish carbon speed!
I think this is Kyles bike.
Castelli cam through with team issue skin suits, with the exception of my MTB shoes and pedals the whole team looked super pro!
Rainier got 3rd and Kyle got 5th in an explosive race where longtime messenger hero FISH took an unexpected win against a stacked field. This was the first time RHC had stopped in Barcelona and while the race was exciting the after party is what kept the race coming back.
The team continued to campaign the team issued frames all RHC season. For us just the feeling of suiting up in a speed suit that matched your bike, your saddle and you bar tape was a special feeling, from street shredding to pro looking criterium ripping the Parralax project helped elevate MASH.
Dylan was not part of the team that went to Barcelona for RHC in 2013, but he made his mark with a team issue parralax. While a lot of frame designs in the years after we launched the parralax focused on lengthening the frames, incorporating more of a stable road bike geometry, Dylan got a hold of a team frame and relished the super steep geometry that was closer to the original prototypes. He traveled with is team frame all over the world and continues to rip on it around SF to this day.
I as well kept my team frame and continued to race criteriums and alleycats on it for years after the initial launch. I still have the skin suit as well and maybe one day i’ll bring it all back out for a rip down memory lane.
When I was ripping around the mean streets of Portland OR on my shitty steel PAKE track bike (more on that later) a NJS frame with some 90’s carbon wheels was an unattainable level of style and shred. I always said that one day I would own a classic NJS bike built by one of the best in Japan with some of the freshest carbon aero wheels the 90’s had to offer. Fast forward 10 years and this monster of a NJS (kinda) bike came my way, along with a random CL add sent to me by a friend for this Spinergy wheel-set. Kind of a match made in heaven, or hell depending on who you talk too. COREX was a South Korean NJS frame brand, this frame was wrecked and then repaired by local bay area legend Bernie Mikkelsen and those wheels….well they are really fast in a straight line..
I guess the original yellow paint job probably looked really nice when it was fresh and clean, but since the replacement of a few tubes and countless years of wear and tear the patina is really starting to shine through. I think the theme on this build is “comfort doesn’t equal fun”
This frame was bought in the mid 2000’s by a former TCB rider, right at the tail end of the NJS craze that swept the American track bike scene. If I remember when I got it the bike had some NITTO bullhorns and a high flange Phil Wood x Velocity deep V wheelset, very classic. At some point the frame was crashed in an alleycat and both the top tube and the down tube were wrecked. Not wanting to give up on the dream the frame was taken to Bernie Mikkelsen of Alameda CA.
So here in the Bay Area there are few frame builders that have the reputation of Bernie Mikkelsen, he has been at it since 1974 (!!!!) and has created some of the most iconic custom bikes no one has never hear of (the KAMIKAZE, probably one of the first purpose built messenger work frames) and is known at the guy that can fix just about any frame and bring it back to life. I guess Bernie decided to keep it classic, because he kept the original head tube, seat cluster lug and BB, and just replaced the top and down tube. This bike has some very stylish original lug work on the back and then some smooth as butter fillet brazing on the front, and the original fork!!
KALAVINKA, 3RENSHO, NAGASAWA… these were the names that haunted my dreams like teenagers with pop stars. These were some of the most revered NJS frame builders in Japan, and their bikes were always just out of reach. So the NAGASAWA lugs on this Corex polish the proverbial turd to a lustrous glow. While the frame may have been built in South Korea the bones are undeniably of the finest Japanese lineage.
The little details like the NAGASAWA stamps on the drop outs paired with these NJS tensioners (thanks Jake !!!) add to the over all NJSness of the build.. if you can ignore the massive carbon blades in the back ground.
Somewhere along the line a NOS set of COREX decals were hunted down on the internet and applied to the frame. I think the choice to eschew a repaint and just throw a few cans of clear coat on the repaired frame was a solid one. Eventually most of the decals have fallen off and the quick clear coat has led to rust spots. But one of my favorite things about this bike is the contrast between the original paint and the repaired tubes. The subtle difference between the classic lug work and the smooth fillet brazes doesn’t catch everyone’s eye but when it does it produces confusion, slight disgust and sometimes and smile.
In the late 80’s and early 90’s the cycling industry was inundated with new technology, carbon fiber!! anodization!! CNC machining !! the possibilities for speed and performance were unlimited!!! With great power comes great responsibility.. the fine folks over at Spinergy forgot (never had to begin with?) their responsibility for the safety of rider in the pursuit of raw speed and power.
These wheels were all the rage for a year or two in the late 90’s their 8 carbon blades promised an aero advantage over simple spoked wheels. Unfortunately those same blades sliced off a few knee caps during crashes in pro tour races, and “MAYBE” exploded under a few amateur racers in tight turns. So in their infinite wisdom in the early 2000’s the UCI banned the Spinergy Rev X wheels along with a few other carbon follies in an effort keep racers “safer".’ Since then these wheels have developed a reputation as DEATH WHEELS, un predicable and prone to epic and unexpected failures. Not something I really worry about when compared to the stylistic and aero advantages they provide on my jaunt to the coffee shop.
Even after the Rev X was torn from the quiver of the pro peleton they enjoyed a 2nd heyday in the continental and amateur racing scene. Spinergy even made efforts to strengthen their fragile wheel (brand) but creating after market “stiffeners” dubbed the X BEAM to build up the wheels rigidity. These were then proven scientifically to make the wheel LESS STIFF, so Spinergy wisely decided to abandoned the Rev X project for the green pastures of SPOX….. The thing that separates this wheel-set from most other Spinergy’s is the fact they are clincher, and came from the factory with a track hub. Most Spinergy’s out there are tubular (performance wheels DUH) and those that ended up fixed usually got there from some janky conversion and re-spacing. These are the real deal built for the streets and skidz Spinergy Track Wheels!
One the real though these wheels are very sketchy, in a straight line sure they are super fast and once you get them moving they really do slice through the air like the aero knives they are. But turning, especially at speed is a white knuckle experience to say the least. Skidding.. yea no, factory track hub or not you can feel the wheels (or is it the frame…) flex like crazy. So this is strictly a chilleur ride, all show and no go.
A few years back Mavic released a new carbon race wheelset with MATCHING TIRES!! Yep that’s right they created a tire for the front and a tire for the rear of this very special wheel set. Obviously to make the pro’s faster and the rest of use feel better about spending all that extra money for the matching tire set to our new $$$$ wheels.
I was digging through a box of bike parts in JT’s Paris flat in 2015 when I came across this matching set of tires, if there was ever the even fancier matching wheel set is an even bet. Since JT doesn’t ride bikes any more these made it back to my garage where they sat for a few years just waiting for the right wheels to gift their excess speed unto… . Finally this perfect wheel-set appeared and now they have a permanent home for their high technology.
Sugino 75’s forever, the most solid, the classiest, the iconic crankset of NJS racers from the beginning. Paired with a loose ball HATTA NJS BB this is a set it and forget it combo. The original finish on the crank arms has been polished to a high sheen by years of Vans rubbing against it, truly a timeless combination.
unless someone has some Superbe Pro 165mm….? anyone?
ZEN was the tip top, buy it once and use it forever chainring. Still used by NJS and UCI pro level racers at a cool $150 USD these rings may break the bank but they will never break on the banks!!!
Double straps are all the rage and rightfully so if you are going to hit the skidz and shred the streets. But back in the day it was single straps or nothing, paired with the cheap MKS Sylvan track pedal this was the set up that i learned to skid on and still feel is the classiest. Those Cadence Collection singles were saved from a super limited production run, doubles for days, singles are saved.
The coloration of almost a decade of jean shorts and cut off dickies being rubbed into this fine Italian leather is the definition of patina.
For this build I opted to throw out my weight saving tendencies while still sticking with a classic saddle. The Selle Italia SLR has always made my butt happy even it it looks like a torture device to some. This particular saddle came off a messenger’s work bike, I wish there was someway to hold this in time and never let it change while still riding it daily.. alas I really need to get some super glue and fix the tear in the front before it gets worse..because there is no way I am gonna stop riding this saddle.
Salsa stems were handmade in Petaluma CA for years, bridging the gap between the Japanese and Italian classic stem style and a rougher and tougher handmade aesthetic. I have been a collector for years and while there are a huge amount of riser stems finding an aggressive race stem is a diamond in the rough. Almost as hard as finding these flat bars.. oh wait I found these in a box on the sidewalk, and is that an orange soda can as a bar shim.. ?
These bars are precisely measured to the scientifically proven perfect width for shredding, my shoulders.. if the bars can make the gap then hopefully shoulders can too. This is a huge step up from the previous method of cutting the bars to be as wide as my pedals… 2006 was a weird time.
When a friend comes into town i am more than willing to give them a bike to borrow. When a homie comes into town you bring out the Cadillac for them to roll around on. Most of them left something for me after they were done with it.
NTCB all day, also upside down Chris King headsets all day, if you have to ask you’ll never know
Truly a Frankenstein of style, the best (or worst) of a couple of different worlds, guaranteed to get some weird looks and salty comments. I love this rat rod and couldn’t think of a better bike for my short trips to the coffee shop and bar.
The Croll "recovery bike"
I got this bike from Deluxe Cycles 4 years ago, it was what some may call an “impulse buy.” From the very beginning of my cycling career there were always a few things that oozed COOL.. wound up forks, deep dish alloy racing wheels, CAMPY. This bike had all the boxes checked, so as much as I didn’t need another bike this came home from NYC to SF with me. It has since become my cruiser bike, and when an injury gets me down my recovery bike, flat pedals, gears and brakes keeps me chilling. It was much cleaner when I got it, but I really like the wear and tear on the classy groupo and fancy frame, nice things are made to be used.
I know that proper bike photo’s require the big ring.. but this bike almost never get’s there.. perpetual little ring cruising!
The paint matched Wound Up carbon fork is pretty much the coolest addition to any custom build, coming up I could never afford a Wound Up but all the coolest messenger bikes had them. I love how the grease and dirt has slowly crept up the fork blades from years of riding
The Cinelli Alter stem was one of the most iconic components to come out of the 90’s cycling scene. Non practical, a bitch to install and prone to failures from all the bolts that you could over tighten, these are the coolest non essential stem EVER (runner up to the CInelli Frog stem from the same era). I have the pin up girl top cap to go with the stem..but they tend to get stolen so it resides safely inside. The bike actually came with a 130mm Alter stem and it took me over a year to find the 110mm that I have on it now.
Also without the cap they Alter makes for a great pen holder..
You have Campy cool.. and then you have Titanium Record 8 speed campy cool… . i have always thought that you don’t really need more than 8 gears, this along with the Dura-Ace flight deck 8spd group was the high water mark of brifters..(ATMO). These have that classic campy “ergo” hood and the brakes have a notched “click” every time you pull the lever. Great on the downshifts, sloppy on the upshifts (always shift down, just go faster!) these are some of the most subtly bling on the bike.
While they are no Delta’s these Campy Record Brakes are pretty flossy, and they “kinda” stop the bike.. The Mango 1 1/8 Chris King headset is on of the few non period correct parts on the bike. While I think it would be cool to swap in a silver or pewter HS, it is too much work so the mango lives on. The cable stop was the only thing broken when I got the bike, and once again I have always meant to fix it….but it still shifts just fine so….
I like to use the cheapest cloth bar tape I can find, wrap it as tight as I can, then let it be forever. The patina from sweat, rain, dirt and life in general just gets better with time.. Eventually it becomes, to me at least, the most perfect bar wrap. Not very grippy, no padding or comfort..but somehow it fits like a glove and soothes even the sorest of hands…. plus it looks v classy.
LEGALIZE SPINACII!!! if you are not familiar with the battle cry go HERE and read all about it. I got these Spinaci’s directly from Cinelli for a trip years ago.. but they are not made for oversized bars, so they went into the collection. A friend knowing my propensity for 44mm bars gave me these wide (for the time period) Cinelli ergo races bars years ago, once again i didn’t have a bike for them so into the collection they went. Then this Croll rolled into my life and I found the perfect frame for my period correct 80’s aero race cockpit!! Years of collecting, hours spent gently tightening old screws provided the coolest thing to hit the streets since Lemond’s 1989 TDF victory.
Also there was a time at TCB when you were required to have a rack.. and this barely served that purpose, but I can confirm that you can fit at least 1 fully loaded catering bag on this ”rack.”
Classic 80’s gearing of 53/39 on this once pristine Campy Record crankset keeps this big perpetually in the little ring. One of the few non period correct parts besides the Chris King HS these BMX pedals keep things chill…and also a little terrifying. This is a classic “long and low” 90’s race frame, so the low BB height combined with the 172.5mm length cranks and super wide BMX pedals causes some serious pedal strike whence diving into turns..you can see it illustrated on the outer edge of the pedals.
CROLL was a Minneapolis based custom bike builder, I can only guess that this frame was built sometime in the late 90’s to be a criterium race bike. All of these are assumptions, based on the geo and build. But it is cool to know I am cruising around on an American built race frame!
All the small parts on the frame are from local legend Tom Ritchey, so once again it is rad to be on a USA hand made frame, with local pieces!!!
The proof is in the puddlng
Another ultimate cool piece of equipment was the Selle Italia SLR saddle.. once again never had the money to get one when I was coming up, but for the Croll I dug deep into the collect to find the “cleanest” one I had. The thinest of padding, totally lack of taint relieving cut out, and classic 165g of pure weigh saving combined to create the literal cherry on top. The bike came with the classic Campy Aero setback seat-post, i swapped in a Thomson straight post to make it more comfortable, this is the 3rd and last non period correct piece on the bike.
The best and worst.. built in seat clamps sweat class and style…but one wrong turn of the wrench and your frame is toast. So once this was set it was has not been touched in 4 years. I also think the MASH friendship bracelet imbibes some luck in keeping this little bolt solid.
8 speeds, and one of the classiest rear derailleur to ever come out of Italy. This has never been adjusted, a credit to Wilis at Deluxe who tuned the bike before it came my way. Maybe in only has 8 speeds, but i think the fact that it can shift for 4 years with only a splash of chain lube once in a while makes up for my lack of shifting options. I love the splatter of dirt and oil on the fancy bladed spokes of the Shamals.
I think the 4 years of collect grease and dirt on these Campy hubs will cause some people to seize up, but for me it is like the rings of a tree, illustrating years of growth and cruising. Security skewers are huge part of this chill ride as I can lock it up anywhere with little worry. I actually have no idea where the key for the skewers is…so here’s hoping these old Continental 4000s tyres hold up for years to come.
It takes years of calculated neglect to create grease marks such as this. Truly an ode to the craftsmanship and precision put into these hubs, they still spin as fast and true as the day i got them.
Deep dish alloy race wheels where the coolest of cool in the 80’s and 90’s. before 80mm deep disc brake carbon rims, the Campy Shamal / VENTO and Mavic Cosmic wheel-sets were raced by in pro pelotons around the world. These at the time where the pinnacle of high speed technology , machine built with hidden spokes and high polish finishes.
Even the 90’s graphic ‘s and front screen speed and the illusion of high tech.
The little things such as the clippy jawn left over from a messenger shift years ago and the frame pump tab on the head tube continue to bring me stoke every time I hop on this bike. Hopefully one I day i will slam that stem to complete the “aero advantage.”
Hand built USA goodness combined with the finest Italy could produce in the mid 90’s !