One Step On The way To The Gravel Concept Bike: Since the idea for the Gravel Concept Bike has been largely decided, I have been thinking about an interim rig to "get by" with for awhile and to test the waters on some of the ideas for that ultimate gravel road warrior.
So, I've had a look at the Fisher collection cyclo-cross rigs. They have several bits I like about the geometry, and are pretty basic looking with a single speed option. Thursday I got up close and personal with an Erwin, in my size, since the shop I work at received one for stock which I built up. There are quite a few interesting things about the Erwin, and the Fisher Collection steel cyclo-cross bikes in general that I liked, and a few things I didn't like.
Overall, the bike is pretty dang cool, and for the most part, I could probably live with this on its own merits. The geometry is decent, with exception of the bottom bracket drop, of course, since it is a cyclo-cross rig. That BB height is noticeable too. I really felt like I was sitting up in the air on this rig, and it only had 32mm tires on it! Bigger tires would jack it up even higher. Not my cup-o-tea, but there are several things that I did think were cool, and speaking of bigger tires, that's one of them. in fact, I am certain XR-1's would shim into this frame. That's a 29"er tire folks! The clearances on this frame are enormous. The head angle is slack enough, and the bike in a 58cm fit really well. They moved the cable hangar for the front brake to the fork to reduce front brake flutter, and it has the hidden fender mounts that Fisher Collection road bikes have. Rack mounts too. The sliding drops mean single speeding this is a no-brainer.
I don't really care for Tiagra shifters and components though, and for the price of the Erwin, it seems a bit cheap on the drive train spec. ($1500.00MSRP) The wheels are "meh", and so is the crank set. I do like the Presidio's SRAM spec, but that is the next step up and even more money for the same frame and fork otherwise.
Ideally I would get the Presidio and when the custom bike was done, I'd swap over most of the geared stuff to it and single speed the frame on the Presidio, (or Erwin), and keep it, most likely, as my SS gravel rig. We'll see.
And In The "Other Bike" News: I got a voice mail message from Ben Witt yesterday, (Thank you sir!) saying that everything for the Mukluk is in but the frame. I suspect that by next week then I'll be getting my wheels built and will be anxiously awaiting my frame and fork.
Maybe, just maybe I'll have it in time for Frostbike. And maybe, just maybe- if everything falls into place, Marty and Ben will have their fat bikes and we can all goof off on fat bike at Mike's Bikes in Northfield. (hint-hint), or do some other dastardly fat biking around that area. Hmmm.........
Well, it is rather cold out this weekend, but if you can, go outside and do something fun. Have a good one folks!