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Dream Build: A road bike to last "forever"

By Bruce Lin

Published

Lynskey titanium dream bikeI 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. 

The frame

Lynskey R300 titanium road bike frameLynskey 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. 

The drivetrain 

SRAM Force GX AXS mullet 1x drivetrainSRAM 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 Belgium plus aluminum wheelsHED Belgium Plus Tubeless - $599.99
ENVE SES Road Tire 700x31c Tubeless Tan - $74.99 (x2)

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. 

The cockpit

Zipp alloy silver handlebars stem and seatpostZipp 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.

The brakes

TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakesTRP Spyre Brake Caliper Flat Mount - $30.99 (x2)
TRP 25 2-Piece Disc Brake Rotor 140mm Centerlock - $34.05 (x2)
Jagwire Road Elite Link Brake Cable Kit - $72.99

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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5 comments


  • I love my lynskey gr270. Focused on comfort and gravel rather than road but very similar frame,I just like even bigger tires. Those calipers won’t let you down either. I’ve been running them two plus years with no issues. Not the most powerful but they’ll do. My next upgrade has to be electronic shifting…

    Matt Rowe on

  • I’m pretty sure SRAM makes a Force left brake lever without a shifter in it, for 1x setups. You could save a few bucks!

    John Strossman on

  • AFTER ALMOST 50 YEARS OF RIDING. I BUILT MY RETIREMENT/ LAST BIKE ABOUT 3 YEARS AGO. STARTED WITH NEW OLD STOCK CLONAGO 2009 EPS 54S FRAME. PUT NEW OLD STOCK PARTS ON FRAME. ZIPP SL CARBON SPEED STEM 140MM- ZIPP SL 70 CARBON BAR (ALWAYS USED 44MM BUT FOR BUILD WENT BACK TO 40MM WIDE (LOVE IT)- FULL 2012 11 SP VINTAGE 1895 GR. OF CAMPY SUPER RECORD GROUPSET WITH TI BOTTOM BRACKET – SINGLE PIVOT REAR BRAKE— REMOVED COLNAGO SEAT POST PUT GIANT MIKE BURROWS AERO SEAT POST- SELLA ITIALIA FLITE CARBONO WHITE SADDLE- CINNELLI CORK TAPE COVERED WITH BROOKS WHITE LEATHER TAPE (HAVE BEEN RIDING WITH DOUBLE TAPED BARS FOR MORE THAN 40 YEARS RIDE WITH NO GLOVES) I HAVE TWO WHEELSET BOTH 50 MM BOTH TUBULAR – BEEN RIDING TUBULAR MOST OF PAST 40 YEARS TRIED SOME CLINCHERS DID NOT LIKE RIDE AS WELL ALSO MUCH SLOWER TO ACCELERATE-FIRST WHEELSET IS NICE 50MM DEEP CARBON BASSALT BRAKE SURFACE (VERY QUIET) SAPRIM CS-RAY SPOKES.-TUFO 225 GR. 23MM TIRES. SECOND WHEELSET IS CAMPY’S BORA ULTRA 50 WITH NEW AC3 BRAKING SURFACE (NOT AS QUIET) WITH TUFO ELITE 25MM TIRES WILL BE CHANGING TO TUFO 225 GR. 23MM TIRES WHEN 25MM ELITES WARE OUT – THAT WILL TAKE SOME TIME. SO I AM 69 YEARS OLD-260#- DO SETS OF 800# LEG PRESS. DEAD LIFT 400#. HAVE NEVER BROKE A SPOKE-HANDLEBAR OR WHEELSET IN PAST 20 YEARS. MY WIFE AND I RIDE TANDEM BIKES 90% OF THE TIME ALSO CAMPY RECORD 10 WHICH MY LOCAL LBS FRANKFORD BIKE SHOP BUILT- 50MM
    CARBON TUBULAR WHEELSET BASALT BRAKING SERFACE-KING BLACK PRICE PADS-CHRIS KING HUBSET WITH SAPRIM CX-RAY SPOKES- ALSO HAVE 60 MM CARBON CLINCHER CHRIS KING HUBS AND SAPRIM CX-RAY. NOT A SINGLE BROKEN SPOKE. OF COURSE ALSO RIM BRAKE. RUN TUFO 25 ELITE TUBULARS AND CONTINENTAL 4000S CLINCHERS.
    IF NOT FOR PETE FRANKFORD COULD NOT HAVE DONE- I HAVE NONE THAT IS NO ABITLITY TO WORK ON BIKES (EVERYTHING BREAKS THAT I TOUCH) BUT LOVE TO SPEC. THEM. NEVER RACED BUT HAVE COMMUTED TO WORK OVER THE YEARS AS MUCH AS 135 MILES ROUND TRIP PER DAY -AFTER ALL THESE YEARS STILL LOVE TO RIDE-BUILDING RETIREMENT CABIN FOR PAST TWO YEARS AND HAVE NOT CYCLED IN THAT TIME, CAN’T WAIT TO START AGAIN MY WIFE FEELS SAME WAY. LOVE TO READ ABOUT DREAM BUILDS.

    Frank Davis on

  • Hey Joon, we don’t do custom builds (yet!). Hopefully someday in the future, we can. For now, your best bet is going through the shopping links and getting all the parts (as long as they stay in stock), and building it up yourself. If you’re up for it, it’s always a fun adventure!

    Bruce Lin on

  • Bruce: is there a way to get this bike built exactly as you described? Your choices seem to align with my preferences.

    Joon Lee on


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