Dirty Kanza 200 which happens on June 4th, I am now in the planning stages for coming up with a lighter steel cyclo-cross-ish bike that will do two things. #1: It will get me riding sooner on a rig I can train on that would be similar to my "Ultimate Gravel Rig", which is going to take some time to get together, and #2: It will possibly be a donor rig, as far as parts go, if it is a complete. What if it is just a frame? That's cool. I have 9spd Campagnolo parts just gathering dust that would be fine for this.
But What About The Ultimate Gravel Grinder Bike? Yeah.....I wish I could get that done now. The thing is, the earliest that can get started is this spring, and finished by......? I don't want to rush that. So, I want to get on something lighter, steel, and that will get me a feel for what I like and don't about a cyclo cross based gravel rig. My plan is to get lighter. Both me and the bike. The plan concerning me is in motion already. Time to work on the bicycle part of the equation. Bonus: If it doesn't pan out, I have the Badger which will play as back up bike. Now that I have laid all that out, here are the contenders....
Steel, obviously. Carbon fork, and low mount hangar for the brake. Good. Single speed capability. Great! Big tire clearances. Great! Geometry, Okay. Wheels.....meh! (But I can build wheels)
So, this one looks like a contender. The final nice thing is that most all of the hardware could go to the new custom rig with this frame getting a permanent single speed makeover.
Black Mountain Cycles, a bicycle shop in Point Reyes Station, California. He commissioned a design for a cyclo-cross/all rounder in steel that is a pretty smart design. (There is a smartly designed steel road frame as well. Read about both here.) Anywho......here is what catches my eyes....
Steel- Great! Steel fork- Great! Big tire clearances, (but not quite as big as the Presidio), Great! Geometry- Good. Small Brand Coolness- Off The Charts! (For what that is worth, I happen to like that) Smart details- Great! Not available as a complete- meh! (But like I said, I have some Campy stuff sittin' around) Price: Excellent! Single Speed-able- Great!
Another strong contender. I like orange, but it is also available in a rich brown hue as well. Hard to choose between this and a Presidio. Either would get the job done.
Either way I could be up and running sooner than later, and either would do well on gravel. The BMC, (That's Black Mountain Cycles ya'all, not the Swiss roadie marque), would put to use some long neglected road stuff I have, so "re-cycling" in this case has an appeal to me. The Fisher Collection rig supports the shop I work at, in a way, so....... Like I said, tough call.
Then there is one other remote possibility that is rumored and yet to be announced.
Choices. What a nice problem to have.....