Photography by Nelson Queralta Jr
We named the first of the Morning Ride CC custom builds, the Paso Fino. This particular frame is the first of its kind and the only one in existence at the moment which technically makes it an artist original for all the parties that collaborated in its creation. Looking at it for the first time will generate many questions, one of those is why the name “Paso Fino”?
Paso Finos are a naturally gaited light horse breed common in the Caribbeans and the Americas. In cycling culture “steed” is commonly used to describe one’s bicycle. Starting to understand the connection?
We wanted to pay respects to both our cycling culture and our bloodlines. Yes, our bloodlines. Morning Ride Cycle Club started its roots in Miami, FL and much like this vibrant city, MRCC is a melting pot of culture. The Paso Fino shares similar origins. The breed dates back to Spanish landowners in the Caribbean. The horses were developed for use in plantations and they were bred for endurance and a comfortable ride. The Spanish ruled the world at one point and many good things came after this era, but we’re not here to talk about all that history let’s stick to the horses for now.
Those plantation horses are the ancestors of the modern day Paso Finos, like us, they are all a product of time and evolution. The modern day breeds remain from Latin America and the Caribbeans. There are three very popular Paso Fino groups and that’s what sealed the deal on why we went with this name. The groups are the Colombian Paso Fino, like Augustine “Tinno” Hincapie of Tinno Cycles, the one responsible for hand-crafting this frame in Colombia. The Puerto Rican Paso Fino, like the technician Luis Ramirez who put the bike together. Lastly the “Criollo” horse from Cuba, like its jockey Michael Cedeño.
Michael is also the man behind the geometry of the frame and helped design it’s aesthetics. Below are some words from Mike on what inspired this build.
Tinno Cycles – Paso Fino Frameset
There is a special feeling that takes over when you make the decision to design your own bike from the ground up. Questions come to mind much faster than answers. Numbers are the foundation for what becomes art in its final form. Geometry becomes more than a required class, it becomes the basis for what will either be a masterpiece or a disaster. The angles of the tubes dictate not only how the bike will act, but also how it will feel. The Italian made Columbus steel tubes are used to bring those numbers to a physical form.
This frame took about 2 weeks worth of debate before I settled on an idea for the basis of the geometry. I knew that a 25c tire was not enough to ride the fire roads that I found myself on in the Santa Monica Mountains but at the same time I knew that a 40c tire was too much to keep up while rolling on the road. My idea of compromise? A 32c slick tire that would provide enough volume to not get pinch flats off-road, but provide enough speed to keep up with the fastest on the road.
The question now became how do I want the bike to behave? What was I willing to compromise so that the bike would still handle well both on road and off, but also while climbing and descending? The question raged while I poured over geometry charts of bicycles that I had intimate knowledge of. I narrowed my research down to two bicycles, the Cannondale Synapse and the first generation of Cannondale Super-X. Those two bikes had been the two bicycles that I kept comparing other bicycles against, with a small amount of deductive reasoning, it was clear that I should look into the numbers a bit further to find out why these bicycles made such an impact.
Both the Synapse and the Super-X had characteristics I liked and disliked, which got me thinking. Why not play with the numbers to create something truly unique that was neither an endurance road bike, or a cyclocross bike, but would feel 90% competent in either setting? From there, the numbers started flowing and I felt like I was back in school creating a masterpiece. I slacked out the head angle, lengthened the chain stays, raised the headtube, and raised the bottom bracket. The result of which is absolutely sublime. The bike tracks straight without too much attention, feels like a superbike through the corners, and rolls like a Bentley.
The next step in the process was deciding what features the frame would have integrated into it. Given that this was going to become a modern classic there were a few key elements I needed to integrate. Frame pumps were the primary choice of road side inflation up until the advent of CO2 cartridges which means this is an absolute necessity. With the intention of taking this bike up the famed Sullivan Ridge Fire Road and Westride Fire Road, flat tires are inevitable and CO2 has never been the most trusted inflation method. That said, a Silca frame pump would be sourced and a frame plug installed to keep it in place even while descending dirt fire roads.
The easiest part of this bike was designing the paint scheme.
I reached out to a friend here in Los Angeles, Ken Rodriguez to help me get the rough draft together so that Miami-based artist Adriana Maz could put down the final touches. A pearl white base was a no brainer. Miami with it’s light, bright colors and glam were the perfect inspiration and backdrop. Our Morning Ride colorway of pink, yellow and orange perfectly mimicked the sun rising in a way that completely lent itself to the Tinno logo of the cat sitting down on the inside of the fork. The rest of the bike was kept subtle as to preserve the beauty of Augustine’s craftsmanship.
I find it hard to put the feelings I get while riding this bike into words because it leaves me speechless each time I put it into a different situation. It is so predictable in all situations that it is legitimately difficult to find a fault. Having put the bike through the ringer to the point where it bares minor wounds, it has not disappointed me once. The idea that I can take this bike over most of the terrain available to me is what drives me to push its limits to find the line where it finally gives out. To this day, the only limit I have found is pure mountain bike single track, everywhere else, it shines. I will love this bike until the day I die, thank you Tinno Cycles for creating a masterpiece.
HiFi Wheels EP Extended Play 38mm Carbon Clincher Disc Wheelset
Carbon wheels are still not getting enough credit for their durability in spite of weight. Composite technology has come a long way from the days of old when it would crack if you looked at it wrong. HiFi is at the forefront of this tech with proven methods and no compromises. The 38mm Extended Play model fit the bill perfectly for a set of wheels that was going to spend the majority of their time on the road but were ready when things got rough and playful. I opted for the higher spoke count option despite my 138 pound frame so that I didn’t have to worry about durability when I loaded it up for the bike packing trips that they were inevitably going to see. The last bit that I love about HiFi is their ability to set your wheels up with custom printed graphics so that you can match your wheels to the rest of your ride! We settled on a design similar to stock but with enough color to really set the wheels off and show that they were not an off the shelf option.
In the limited time that I have spent on them, I cannot say enough good things about build quality, finish quality, and ride quality. They wheels stay stiff through accelerations and corners but offer enough compliance on the rough stuff to take the edge off of a bike with no suspension. I cannot wait for my next pure road bike so that I can try something a bit deeper like the 50mm Hit Single’s or 60mm Long Play’s.
Montenegro MFG. Integrated Handlebar/Stem
This project was custom from the start. There is no better way to accentuate that than the custom handlebar and stem that Hern at Montenegro Manufacturing made. Having ridden aluminum handlebars and stems for the better part of the last 10 years, the move to a carbon handlebar and stem did not seem necessary. That was until I rode an integrated handlebar and stem that was specced on a bike I was given for work. The stiffness and comfort blew any 2 piece handlebar stem combo out of the water.
Hern specializes in custom variants where you specify any carbon handlebar, carbon or aluminum stem, and angle of the handlebar. For my cockpit I chose two pieces that I have trusted for many years, a Ritchey WCS stem and a 3T Ergonova Team carbon handlebar. I set the angle of the handlebar before dropping it off with Hern for him to actually mate the two so that I could be assured it would fit my large hands perfectly when I got it back on my bike.
There’s a certain elegance that the custom handlebar and stem brings to the table as well. The smooth flowing lines and rounded joints match that of the frame joints perfectly. While riding, they resist flexing, absorb those pesky vibrations, and remind that your bike is pretty. As Paul Fournel once said “You have to know how to look good when you’re riding. You have to impress your adversary with your elegance. To look good is to already go fast.” These handlebars are the icing on the cake at your first wedding. It shows that you not only care about the ride, but also how good your bike looks.
Omata Cyclo Computer
Julian Beeker is one of the few individuals that you realize looks at life from a different perspective the first time you meet him. He is one of the co-founders of Omata, a semi-digital, semi-analog GPS cycling computer. It’s this unique perspective that becomes completely apparent the first time you use the Omata One cycling computer for the first time. Where is my heartrate? Where is my power? Why are there dials? Why have I taken a step back in time?
The reality is that the Omata One computer is as technologically advanced as anything else out on the market however; instead of asking what more can we give you? Omata asks, what more do you really need? You can go to church on Sunday to have your local priest tell you the difference between need and want. I’ll stick to why the Omata is all you really need if you’re not training for racing.
The simplicity of the face is immediately apparent with the only metrics displayed being speed, distance, actual ride time, and elevation gain. For those curious about battery level, the elevation hand doubles as your battery level display while in the off position. When you are not training for a specific event, too much information can be overwhelming. As a Cat. 2 racer, it’s quite refreshing looking down to see a beautiful analog device that doesn’t show me how strong or weak my legs are. It only tells me the information that I need to know so that I don’t bonk and can make it to the end with some basic ride stats to talk about over a cappuccino and pastry.
The other quality of the Omata is pure vanity. It looks damn good on any bike. The timeless aesthetic is akin to wearing a Rolex Submariner or Omega Speedmaster. Buyer beware, you will constantly get compliments and questions about the timepiece you have attached to your handlebar. It is not just a cycling computer, it is a conversation piece. The Omata One’s value goes beyond the information that it displays, the experiences you have with it once you free yourself from the data of a traditional gps cycling computer can be worth more than you realized.
If you would like to experience the Paso Fino, we will be offering complete builds adjusted to your dimensions, as you see here, limited to 2 units. This will only be offered as a complete build as each part was meticulously chosen. The geometry is also exclusive to this model of bike. For more information on how to purchase the Paso Fino, please email email@example.com
Huge thanks to all the brands and individuals that where involved in this build: