Orginally posted February 24th, 2010
I held off showing my bike with no name last week for a number of reasons. Well, today is the day. Sit back and enjoy the photos and the story that goes along with it.
*NOTE* – It is important to understand that I built this bike for MY needs. This is not a Salsa project even though the down tube says “Salsa” on it. I put Salsa on the DT because I am employed by Salsa. So….Here goes.
I started this bike as my Dirty Kanza bike. I ended up with something capable of the DK, but also a bit more than just a gravel bike. Funny how things evolve. Maybe it ended up this way because I already have my Fargo, a perfect bike for the DK. Maybe it ended up this way because I have other aspirations for this bike? I don’t really know why, but I know I ended up with a bike that meets my initial criteria and just a bit more.
Due to my shoulder injury last August, I set out to build a bike that allowed me to carry as much as I could “on the bike” as opposed to “on me”. I need to get the weight off of me as I still struggle and feel pain when riding with a back pack. As such, I put 3 water bottle mounts on the main frame, 2 of which have what I expect to be a new standard someday, 3 mounting points. This isn’t a new idea and I take no credit for this idea. Nope. Many have done this before me, but the 3 mounts give you versatility to mount standard water bottle cages in different positions, but also will allow future cages/racks of sorts for larger water bottles and/or gear.
Some of you may notice immediately that the brake routing, disc routing and rack mounting are very different than my current Salsa Fargo. That is correct. I never have the intention of running a traditional rack system on this bike. This bike is intended for the new mini rack prototypes showed by Salsa this past weekend at Frostbike. I positioned mounting points specifically for the mini racks. I also will run frame and seatpost bags when and where appropriate.
This bike is built with a cockpit and geometry for drop bars and front suspension. Notice the longish head tube and the curved downtube (to clear a suspension fork crown) I have two forks for this, 3 if you count the prototype Enabler. All 3 forks swap back and forth seamlessly. I did this because at some point, I want to tackle more than just the rough gravel of Kansas with this bike. My initial set up is with a suspension corrected rigid 29er fork.
Note, every one of those 11 braze ons for racks and water bottles is welded in place. No rivnuts. That kind of detail costs a bit more, but is worth it to me in piece of mind.
Here is a built up shot taken last week on a morning ride. I wanted to reveal the bike with the mini rack set up, but I’ve just been too busy.
It rides amazingly well. It’s quick and agile. By quick I mean it’s shorter and snappier than my Fargo. It’s almost cross bike quick but fits 2.1’s. Right now, I think it is the perfect compliment to my rock solid Fargo.
I don’t really plan to go into details of my geometry. I’m sorry folks. I know some of you tech folks want to know. Maybe someday.
Hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did writing and sharing it. I’m heading out for a ride.
Enjoy your day!