Paul Sadoff of Rock Lobster Cycles has been building bicycles for 40 years and continues to work hard to meet a constant demand. There are periods he produces a frame per week to shop to customers worldwide.
Rock Lobster bicycles started with lugged steel construction 40 years ago, but Sadoff became known for his aluminum race machines built of scandium alloy when it was more easily available, yielding a light, fast ride.
Rock Lobster’s bikes have been a mainstay on the U.S. and European cyclocross scenes in recent years, with Andrew Juiliano completing his season with a Belgian campaign aboard the light green bike.
With Rock Lobster Cycles based in Santa Cruz, this year’s show in Sacramento represented a home game for the long-time hand builder. We stopped by the company’s booth for a look at this year’s show bikes.
World Cup ’Cross Bike
Rock Lobster Cycles had two bikes on display that really caught our attention.
This first is the cyclocross bike raced by Juiliano this season. His World Cup race frame was meticulously TIG welded with ultralight Dedaccai aluminum alloy tubes. The bike sports the company’s iconic light green colorway, with geometry dialed in by Sadoff’s decades of experience.
The frame has a 6.8cm BB drop, 71.5-degree head tube angle and 42.5cm chain stays. The top tube length is 56cm … “maybe,” Sadoff said.
Perhaps trying to fit in with the many Euros who run Shimano Di2 doubles, Juiliano used a Dura-Ace R9150 Di2 series drivetrain. His R9100 crankset had 48/36t chain rings mounted, and in the rear, he shifted through an 11-26t 11-speed cassette with a Dura-Ace R9150 rear derailleur.
Juiliano’s wheels were tough to miss with a 60mm-deep aero section. He ran carbon Dura-Ace R9170-C60 tubulars with Dugast tubular tires. Juiliano also runs the 40mm-deep R9170-C40 tubulars during cyclocross season as well.
All told, Rock Lobster claimed Juiliano’s bike has a very-svelte sub-17-pound weight.
A Special Bike for Two
The other bike we saw was an alloy tandem gravel bike Sadoff built for riding with his wife. After putting a picture of it on Instagram, Sadoff got an offer from a fan who wanted to buy it.
The copper-colored alloy tandem was the 10th Sadoff has produced over the years. The build was a special one for Sadoff, as he used some old Easton tubing he had stocked away to help build the frame. Sadoff said he likes working with the Easton tubing and it may last longer than some of its peers.
Like Juiliano’s bike, the frame is TIG welded, but unlike the cyclocross bike, cables are externally routed.
Sadoff built the bike with an FSA SL-K crankset with double chain rings and a mechanical Shimano front derailleur and a Shimano SLX M7000 mountain bike rear derailleur with a sizeable cassette.
Giving away the bike’s gravel intent are the Cane Creek Thudbuster ST suspension seat post in the rear, Velocity Aileron wheels and 700c x 40mm WTB Nano tires front and rear.
For a closer look at the two Rock Lobster bikes, see the photo gallery below.
More info: rocklobstercycles.com
Stay tuned for more handbuilt bikes from 2019 NAHBS show in Sacramento.