|The Gryphon Mk3 mock-up. Image courtesy of Singular Cycles.
But I also was not interested in getting a Stargazer, and there is one reason I have against the Stargazer, and the Gen I Fargo, for that matter. That is that neither of those two bikes can be single speed. This is important to me not because I like single speed, (I most certainly do like single speed bikes) but because there have been situations that I have been witness to where being able to set up a bike single speed after a rear derailleur gets ripped off would have been a good thing.
So, while I will agree that the Stargazer is a phenomenal choice, I have decided to pull the trigger on the Singular Cycles Gryphon Mk 3. Yes- the Gryphon Mk3 can be set up single speed. Tumbleweed commented that they decided against a single speed option for two reasons. First of all they did not get good feedback on slider/rocker style rear drop outs because those play havoc with rear racks. They did not like the eccentric bottom bracket option because crankset compatibilities were limited.
|A good look at the bare frame/fork of the Gryphon Mk3. Image courtesy of Singular Cycles.
So, obviously I chose this Singular model since it can be set up single speed. But there are other points about this frame and fork which factored into my decision here. I should point out here that these features apply to my decision making. You can and probably do have a completely different take which is 100% valid for what you expect out of a bikepacking/drop bar/gravel/MTB-ish bike.
One of the big attractions for me is that the Singular Gryphon Mk3 is not a Boost spaced frame/fork. This means for me that I already have compatible wheel sets. Many bikes in this category have Boost spacing, which is fine, but I do not have Boost spaced wheels and I am not interested in kludgy Boost conversions for non-Boost hubs. (My opinion)
Secondly, this is a non-suspension corrected frame, not at all like a current generation Fargo. I don't like the looks of that overly-long Fargo fork, and I don't like how that raises up the stack height. (671m on a size large Fargo vs 638mm on the Gryphon Mk 3 in a large)
Finally I think having a straight 1 1/8th steer tube is fine on a bike with a non-suspension corrected fork since finding a carbon option would be nearly impossible that would be compatible anyway. So, you may as well have the more compliant, easier for me to source a head set option.
|Gryphon Mk 3 sideview. Image courtesy of Singular Cycles.
Goals & Objectives: The purpose of this bike, for me, is to fill in the gap where I used to have the "Fat Fargo" option. Now I can have a Fargo Gen I set up for gravel use, (how I really want it to be) and have the 'plus tire' option ready on another Fargo-like bike. The Gryphon Mk3 has clearance for up to 29" X 3" tires. Plenty of girth for my needs. I probably will opt for these Teravail Coronado tires to go on this bike. 29" X 2.8" sounds pretty good to me.
That will float me over duff, moon-dust, sand, and big, chunky gravel, and possibly some snow and wetter gravel, if need be. Things and conditions where my normal 700 X 40-47mm tires have trouble or cannot manage to be ridden in anyway.
It will, obviously, be a drop bar bike. That is how I like to ride, predominantly, and I don't see myself doing anything 'single track' here, but it could, if the need arises. It's steel, and that keeps costs down and riding feel pretty good. It has a fork with an internal dynamo route, which I like the idea of a lot. (Future option)
I may gear this bike, but I might not. That's to be determined. I have the parts to go either way. And as for parts, the crank sets I would use are completely eccentric-friendly, so no big spindled issues at all. Many of the other parts I have. I will need to get those tires and some flat mount brakes though.
So, that's a short look at why I went the way that I did instead of with another modern, Gen I Fargo replacement option. Questions? Comments? Hit the comments section and I will answer.