I used to flip my bike every few months. But now, a global pandemic has created a bike shortage. The pending arrival of my second child will limit my time and funds. And maybe we’ll all end up in a Mad Max-like scenario where we ride our bikes through a desert wasteland. Let’s hope not!
No matter what the future holds, I decided it’s time to build up a “forever” bike. Sure, my hypothetical $10,000 Allez Sprint was pretty cool, but it’s not versatile enough. For this build, I’m going to combine some of my favorite gravel parts with an endurance road frame to make a bike that’ll stay ahead of the trends. I also want a bike that can survive a decade or two of abuse and neglect without depleting my children’s college funds. Here’s what I came up with.
Lynskey R300 Disc - $1,599.99
If I’m going to build up a forever bike, it has to be titanium. That way I don’t need to worry about corrosion or crashes. I chose the Lynskey R300 because it’s American-made and focused on comfort. It has a threaded bottom bracket, disc brake mounts, thru-axles, upright geometry, and clearance for wide 32mm tires.
SRAM Force AXS crankset - $229.99
SRAM Force AXS Right Shifter - $354.99
SRAM Force AXS Left Shifter - $354.99
SRAM GX Eagle AXS Rear Derailleur - $369.99
SRAM NX Eagle Cassette - $99.99
SRAM X-Sync Chainring 46T - $47.99
SRAM XX1 Eagle Rainbow Chain - $85.00
SRAM DUB BSA Bottom Bracket - $21.99
Yup, it’ll be a 1x road bike. I can already hear everyone screaming at me through their screens. Good. Let the hate flow through you.
Seriously though, I love 1x drivetrains and it’s what I want on my bike. You might question the wireless group, but after bashing a couple of AXS deraileurs with the Overload Clutch I’m sold on the reliability of electronic shifting. With an appropriately sized chainring, the AXS Mullet set-up will give me all the sweet, sweet gear range I need to escape high into the mountains.
If you look closely, you’ll see I chose mechanical rather than hydraulic disc brake shifters. More on that later.
The wheels and tires
HED Belgiums are wide, tough, affordable, and they’ve never let me down. I’ll save fancy carbon wheels for racing. The DT Swiss 350 hubs are bombproof and easy to service. Best of all, I can run tubeless road tires. The 31mm wide ENVE SES tires will give me extra cushion for occasional gravel excursions and the tan sidewalls will make my bike pop.
Zipp Service Course 70 XPLR Handlebars - $49.99
Zipp Service Course B2 Stem - $44.99
Zipp Service Course B2 Seatpost - $62.32
Fizik Vento Argo R3 Saddle K:ium Rails - $149.99
Lizard Skins DSP 2.5mm Bar Tape - $41.99
As with the wheels, I went for a conservative all-aluminum cockpit. Zipp XPLR handlebars have the extra flare in the drops that I prefer. I chose silver because I think it’ll look hot on a raw titanium frame. Hopefully I’m not wrong. I always ride Fizik saddles, and chose a Vento Argo R3 (a Specialized Power copy) with alloy rails.
I’m going with mechanical disc brakes. Why? They'll be much easier for a shoddy mechanic like me to maintain. Plus, since I run my brakes reversed, I won’t have to faff around with flipping hydraulic lines. After riding mechanical disc brakes on a Factor Vista, I realized I actually like the smaller shifter hoods.
I chose TRP Spyres because they’re dual-piston and pretty powerful. These will be the only cables on my bike so I’ll add some bling with fancy compressionless housing. I may upgrade to the hybrid cable/hydraulic Yokozuna Ultimo brakes, but let’s try the cheaper TRPs first.
Total Cost: $4,436.25
It’s always more expensive to build a bike from the frame up, but it’s way more fun to pick the ideal components. This bike is durable where it counts with a titanium frame, aluminum wheels, and aluminum cockpit. Then I played it looser with the drivetrain and brakes, which will likely need to be replaced over the bike’s lifetime. Hopefully, this set-up will satisfy me until the kids are off to college. Then I can finally treat myself to a new bike. Maybe graphene will be mainstream by then!
Did I make good choices? What would you do differently? Let us know in the comments!
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