Kate’s gravel/road bike

I really like building small bikes – shorter riders often have the most trouble getting their fit right, so a custom bike makes a lot of sense. And for a lightweight rider a production bike will always be overbuilt. Kate, at 5’1″ and 116lbs, fits this criteria exactly. She also has some shoulder issues, so she worked with a fitter locally to work out the best position, and I then designed around those numbers.

The brief for the bike was bigger tires for road/gravel, disc brakes, very low gearing for long steep climbs, and to be as light as possible. With careful tubing selection the frame ended up as one of the very lightest I have built. The fork is a Ritchey carbon ‘cross (one of the few carbon disc forks with a straight steerer). I found some NOS of Enve’s pre-M-series 650B XC clinchers, which are very light and a good width for the 32mm tires. Hubs and headset are from Tune, and there is a superlight carbon crank from Lightning, fitted with 28/42 Extralite chainrings. With a SRAM 10-42 cassette this gives some seriously low gears, which are shifted by Shimano XTR Di2 derailleurs and Dura-ace 9170 shifters. The 9170 brake calipers are flat mount only, so the front has an XTR substituted to match the post mount on the fork.

Kate had a pretty good idea of what she wanted to do with the paint and colors – Eric and Bethany at Colorworks then worked their magic to bring it to life. All assembled the bike weighs in at 15.7lbs.

One Comment

  1. I suppose the 650B wheel + Ritchey carbon ‘cross fork + slacker head tube angle = makes for perfect trail.

    Beautiful bike!

    Best regards,
    Mircea

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