One of Rivendell’s less-well-known models, Rossco Bubbe, still garners enough reverence to sell out each short production run. Photographer Josh Estey managed to nab this one for himself, after a persistent chase and built it up in a most individual way.
Josh’s career as one of the world’s top humanitarian relief and development documentary photographers takes him to many far-out locations around the world, capturing the beauty, life, and light that resonates from desperate situations.
Now a resident of Jakarta, with his work taking him also to LA, he’s been cycling for transport since 2003. If you used to trawl Fixed Gear Gallery back in the day, you might have seen his films about riding fixed through Africa. He even started a specialty coffee bike business from the back of his Surly Big Dummy.
Grant Petersen’s philosophies made a big impact on Josh, and on a pilgrimage to RivBike HQ in Walnut Creek, California, came across Roman’s own Rosco Bubbe. Josh recalls: “After some cajoling Roman granted me permission to take his bike out for a spin. I immediately knew that if Riv ever did another round of this small batch bike, I’d scoop one up.”
Josh’s Rossco Bubbe is a self-confessed Franken-Bike in all its glory. “It’s geared as a fixed-gear for smooth sailing around the streets of LA. While the flop (and inner chainring) is a freewheel perfectly matched for single tracks or the fire roads of the Angeles National Brush Land. Yes, it’s all measured out with the 52/19 and 46/24 have the same exact chain line.”
Rangga Panji of Pancalen Cycles in South Jakarta built the wheels and did the math on the gear ratios. The cockpit is a Nitto stem and Choco Bars, the pedals are Compass Rinko MKS Always Pedals, and Compass also supplied the SwitchBack Hill tires.
Josh swears by the Cetma 7-rail rack: “This thing has been with me over 10 years and has traveled around the world. Shout out to Lane for building an indestructible product. Small people can sit on it, and panniers can be fit under it. Go get yourself one, you won’t regret it.”
Do yourself a favor and browse Josh’s Instagram to fully appreciate his skills and purpose.
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