Words by Kyle Ponce (@kyleponce)
Hi, I’m Kyle. I’m from California but I currently live in Berlin. I moved out here from Los Angeles back in 2018 to live with my girlfriend. We met while we were both traveling in Mexico, and since she lived in Berlin, I decided I would move here to be with her. Adjusting to a new city and country was difficult, but bicycles and the communities they create were my saving grace. To me, the best thing about cycling is the people you meet while pedaling. Come to think of it, I’ve met almost all of my friends out here through the bike scene. Bike people are the best people, and Berlin bike people are quite special. Something about living half the year in darkness makes you carry extra light.
Before this current Coronavirus lockdown, each Thursday a bunch of us would meet up on our bikes to haunt the city in search of pie. Pizza-pie, that is! The rules are that you have to hit at least two spots in one night, maximizing as much dirt, weird roads, and scharfe salami (pepperoni) as possible. It started out as a strictly commuter bike event, but it got SRAM-y and thick with the sound of click-clacking SPDs before long. We call it Pizza Gravel (@pizzagravel). It’s so much fun! Bikes rule.
A bit about the bike: it’s a Bombtrack Hook EXT from 2019. I got it from Bombtrack directly, who was kind enough to offer me one of their barely ridden show bike models at a reduced price. It’s a steel gravel bike with a plastic fork and clearance for 2.25” tires (Bomtrack says 2.00” but you can definitely stuff more rubber in there. Rumor has it that there’s one guy around here with 2.4s in there. Can you believe it?). It’s been a dutiful and reliable bike that has seen a ton of mileage and abuse. I’ve ridden it just about everywhere around Berlin, to Poland, and to the Czech Republic. Everything’s just about original except for some new bars and a nice pair of Hunt 4 Season wheels with Wilfred Schmidt’s magnetic black orb of wonder (SON nabendynamo, the pride of Tübingen) up front.
- Frame/Fork 2019 Bombtrack Hook EXT
- Rims Hunt 4 Season
- Hubs SON Dynamo (front)
- Tires Ultradynamico Rose
- Handlebars Sim Works x Golden Saddle Smog Cutters 48cm
- Headset FSA
- Crankset SRAM/Quark
- Pedals Shimano PD-M520. Cheapest and still the best.
- Cassette SRAM 10-42
- Derailleur SRAM Rival
- Brakes SRAM Rival Hydro
- Shifter(s) SRAM Rival
- Saddle Ergon
- Seatpost Nothing fancy
- Stem Stock Bombtrack
- Front bags Road Runner Bags Burrito Supreme
- Frame bags Oveja Negra Half Pack
- Accessory bags DITW Top tube bag
- Other accessories Sinewave headlight, Wahoo GPS
My favorite thing about bike gear, apart from dynamos, are the bags! It’s been said and now coined by Brad Adams, the bag daddy at Road Runner Bags, that “bags make the bike” and I couldn’t agree more. This iteration of the bike has a custom top tube bag which was lovingly made by a Dyed in the Wool. The half-frame bag fits the bike perfectly and is from Oveja Negra. Up front is a Burrito Supreme in X-Pac from my best pals at Road Runner Bags in Los Angeles, makers of sunshine, adventure, and the best damn bags anywhere!
Keep up with Kyle on Instagram @kyleponce.
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