At the start of the year we decided to go a bit crazy on a custom build for the shop. The project started in January and has only just finished ! The six month elapsed time being a reflection of the shortage of available components as well as our meticulous build choice.
That choice? we wanted to see how far you could push a modern endurance road bike. Most of these bikes in their latest iteration now have the requisite tyre clearance to go chunky opening up a whole new world of what you can do with your regular endurance road bike.
If you are considering an endurance bike but also know that you would like to do some off- roading e.g. gravel paths, fire roads or tow paths then why not combine the two into one, and buy an extra set of wheels to swap between road and off-road.
The ultimate endurance ride in our opinion is the latest version of the Domane SLR. 38mm tyres officially but with the 650b gravel wheels we plan you can go to 42mm as the wheel sits lower in the wider part of the fork.
The IsoSpeed is a fantastic invention that enables variable frame flex according to the comfort vs stiffness you need. The latest version now sits under the top tube and connects the seat to the top tube using a boomerang shaped insert that can be tightened. It has a storage compartment in the down tube underneath the bottle cage mounts. It has a multi tool holder and a sock for other bits and bobs, all very useful. Trek has also moved away from the Press Fit bottom bracket to the threaded T47, a much welcomed improvement due to the creaking tendencies of the former.
See all the Domane's we have here.
For this build we decided to go with the integrated Aeolus RSL VR bar and stem as these are incredibly comfortable and look the part. They are also great for road use in terms of aero gains too.
We went for the SRAM Red AXS 2x set up which we feel is best for road use. 1x would be the gravel only choice, and that can be used on the road, but is just not ideal in our opinion. Due to none of the standard bottom brackets being available for months we went with the Kogel T47 Ceramic BB.
To finish it off we chose Parcours all new Alta 650B wheels for gravel and a pair of Bontrager Aeolus XXX 4 TLR Clinchers for the road. The Bontragers are wide-rimmed, fast and comfortable hoops that are an inevitable marriage for the Domane on the road.
The Parcours are good value gravel wheels that can go tubeless and fat. We used a 42mm WTB Resolute set of tyres with these. As we stock the Parcours it was a natural choice to test out this new edition to their lineup.
See all Parcours wheels here.
Our initial aim was to pick up a frameset with one of Trek's stunning Project One colour schemes. In particular, we wanted their 'Icon Green'; a green and gold combination that somehow looks both bling and understated at the same time.
However, the big issue was the lead time, at 6-9 months our impatience couldn't wait that long.. So rather than give up on the colour we thought it a good opportunity to hook up with Addicted Bikes and get them to do the custom paint job for us.
We have many happy customers who have used them, they turn out some stunning and beautiful paint schemes. So we ordered a stock black one and sent it off to Huddersfield. You can see it being sprayed on their insta.
The colour came out as a much darker than expected gloss black/green with the green popping in sunlight. The outcome wasn't as expected but stunning nonetheless. It iss different to anything we've seen before and a hidden delight that shows its true colour when the sky is blue.
With such a gleaming colour scheme on a sometimes gravel bike we thought it best to do our best to keep it pristine for as long as possible. So we decided to use Ride Wrap, a new product that is distributed in the UK and sold by us. T
Many who regularly ride mountain bikes will be aware that it is pretty much standard practise to use a product like Invisiframe on your bleoved ride. Ride Wrap is looking to transfer this security over toroad and gravel bikes. It's the perfect way to keep your paint pristine. You just wrap the exposed bits prone to stone chips and it's barely noticeable.
You can expect a full write up on the build in the coming weeks, but until then here's a gallery of this stunning build.
One of the best ways to upgrade your ride is wheels. We take a brief look at the best of the best - Chris King Hubs.
This year's Tour is really shaping up to be the best in a while.
We sat down with our staff and got their hot tips for this year’s Tour De France: