Simon’s FGC (folding gravel concept)

Simon’s FGC (folding gravel concept)

I built Simon’s first bike way back in 2011; when he approached me about a second build he had some specific requirements in mind: Road bike fit and handling but with the ability to run larger tires for occasional non-paved riding. The folding frame system for packing in a hard case for travel. SRAM eTap – a great choice for a travel bike with no wires or cables to hinder packing. Disc brakes (mechanical to start; likely will be upgraded to hydraulic once eTap is offered in that configuration).

Simon is quite tall, thus the bike is a tight fit to the travel case – the critical dimensions being total fork length and toptube length. There is just room for the fork all the way to the topcap. And just enough width for the length of the front triangle – the exception being the front derailleur, which must be removed for packing. Fortunately eTap makes this very simple!

The build features a fairly conventional front triangle – Paragon oversize headtube, Columbus top and downtubes and True Temper seattube. At the rear things are a bit more unusual, with the BB pivots mated to custom shaped chainstays, Paragon Polydrop dropouts and custom formed seatstays.

The wheels have Enve M50 rims laced to Chris King hubs with Sapim cx-ray spokes, shod with tubeless Schwalbe G-One tires in the 35mm width. Enve also supplied the GRD fork, seatpost, stem and bar. There are 12mm thru-axles front and rear, with flatmount TRP Spyre brakes.

Then we have the paint – I will admit I was a little tentative when Simon told me what he had in mind; it sounded awfully bright! But the execution by Colorworks made for a fantastic finish that was very popular when the bike was displayed at NAHBS. Final complete weight is just under 19lbs.

Photos by Tina Buescher, with additional ones (black background) thanks to The Radavist.

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