Emily’s Micro-Graham All-Road

Goals

  • Sub 20lb bike
  • Fit 6’3″ rider
  • Clearance for 40c tires
  • Tubeless Tires
  • Disc Brakes
  • Affordable Build
  • Highly Visible (For Safety)
  • Wide Range Drivetrain

Comments

A steel road bike offers ride quality that is unmatched in many cyclists’ minds. When the frame has been optimized for the riders weight and riding style, there’s really no better way to hit the road. Throw in clearance for 40c tires, Tubeless wheels, and disc brakes and suddenly there’s no better way to hit all-roads.

Weight – I don’t often build with a weight goal in mind. To me it’s more important to make a frame that fits perfectly, handles the way you want, and will last for years to come. I would rather save weight with nicer components, especially wheels. For the budget of this bike I knew we couldn’t just throw money at components to save weight.

The strategy I ended up taking was to use the most cost effective weight saving parts, and to remove grams wherever I could on the frame. Little things like drilling out larger vent holes in the bottom bracket and head tube helped accomplish this. True Temper’s OX Platinum Tubing also allowed thinner tubing to be used without sacrificing strength.

The Build – As mentioned above, the build on this bike is affordable but still performs very well. The Stan’s Alpha 340 wheelset provided good value and allowed us to run the bike tubeless to prevent flats and improve ride quality. The Avid BB7 Road S disc brakes were key to allowing us to use discs at a low weight penalty. I don’t think it gets much better than the Thomson cockpit, these parts will last a lifetime and look great. ENVE fork…affordable? Yes, the fork was a bit of a splurge, but worth every penny.

For a drivetrain we used mostly SRAM Apex. The Apex group is marginally heavier than Rival or Force and much more affordable. It feels great and many riders wouldn’t be able to tell the difference without the logos. By using the WiFli rear derailleur we were able to run an 11-32 cassette for a wide gear range.

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