New Road/CX/Gravel Bike

Posted: May 20, 2015 by Mark in Uncategorized


The new road bike is similar to my last one but includes a number of refinements plus a nicer paint job.

I start the design process with a target position.

For this bike, I have my body position with bars a little lower and further out vs. my last road/cx bike. The following is a drawing of my new position while riding in the standard positions.

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With an understanding of the body position, I moved on to design aspects of the frame that impact how it rides. I really like how my recent mountain bikes feel and wanted to capture this on the road bike while still supporting the low bar position.

My knees, heels, and calves track very close to the center line of the bike. On most normal road bikes often find that my knees brush the sides of the top tube. When climbing, I have occasionally been annoyed with my knees brushing the sides of the headtube near the stem. Part of what I like about my mountain bikes is that the top tube is low and out of the way.

I went with an extremely sloping top tube that puts the bike down low. I also decided to keep the chainstays long enough to prevent my heels from brushing them when pedaling. I also happen to like the feel of my mountain bike with a relaxed head tube angle. In addition, I used an oversize 38mm Reynolds 853 downtube for rock solid stability when climbing or when bombing down nasty gravel roads. The result is a road/cx bike that looks a lot like a mountain bike.

The normal way that I will ride the bike is with an ENVE CX fork that has 395mm axle to crown and 47mm offset. I have the option to swap the fork to an ENVE road model to change the geometry for handling that is more traditional. This will require me to use a set back seat post but otherwise have minimal impact on my body position. In addition ENVE will soon release a gravel specific fork to provide a third option.

I do not include the traditional “effective top tube length” measurement. The ETT is 588mm with the CX fork but I prefer to think about bikes based on the front center measurement especially because in many cases the top tubes on bikes that I build are not level.

I have ridden the bike with both the road and CX fork options. Currently I prefer the more relaxed geometry and larger tire clearance using the CX fork.

The bike is finished with rich emerald green sparkle powder coat finish. Components are a mix of old and new stuff with TRP hydro brakes and Duraace nine speed. I run the cable routing under the top tube and down the seat stays using enclosed (no zip tie) guides.

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