Here she is in all her glory - The Queen of gravel, the parts bike extraordinaire.
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Cedar Cross (100+ miles of gravel and singletrack) is next weekend, then less than a month later is the Dirty Kanza (200 miles of gravel). This is what I put together to carry me to the finish. What you're looking at is more/less a fully rigid drop bar 29er single speed. A Singular Swift steel 29er frame, Niner carbon fork, On-One Midge dirt drops, Hope Hubs laced to Stans 29er rims, XT Cranks, Avid BB7 Mtn disc brakes w/Cane Creek levers, Thomson post, Specialized saddle, Salsa Ring & Clamp, Surly cog and Ritchey stem. I've added a third water bottle cage on the seat post and I'll run frame and seat bags during the race(s) so nothing is on my back (these are self-supported races). For gearing I'm going to try 34/16 and see what happens. For tires, I went with Specialized Renegade 1.8's set-up tubeless. I think these are narrow enough with small enough knobs to keep good speed even on pavement, but have enough volume to keep me from rattling my brains out during a long day on gravel and B roads.
I'm pretty psyched to get in some miles on this little beast and see what it can do. I'd be interested in hearing about your gravel bike builds too, and what works/does not work for long days/high miles. If any of you folks have a super short, super high ride 31.8 "boner" stem, lemme know. It's a must for these drop bar 29ers and what I have going is a bit on the short side (that's what she said). Cheers!