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2017 Gravel/Cyclocross Bike Showdown

With cyclocross/gravel/groad season almost upon us, we have for consideration today three bikes that blur the lines between road-, gravel-, and cyclocross-. Up first:

The Salsa Colossal

The Salsa Colossal, made for the Road+. Comes standard with 28mm tires, and room for up to 32s (depending on the tire). Steel frame with a carbon fork for a comfortable ride, quick release rear axle and thru-axle front for quick and easy wheel removal, and Avid mechanical disc brakes for maximum stopping power. Equipped with a SRAM Apex drivetrain, the Colossal is the closest bike to a road bike on the list, with capabilities far beyond that of most carbon racers. And at $1400, it’s also the least expensive option listed here.

The Foundry Overland

The titanium option, decidedly “greater than gravel,” The Overland is a truly versatile build: thru-axle DT Swiss wheels on the front and rear, matched with a foolproof SRAM Rival drivetrain with hydraulic disc brakes, and clearance for tires over 40mm wide, AND a slick paint job to boot. If you’re looking for something that can handle pretty much any terrain and you already know the wonderful benefits that titanium can provide, the Overland (priced competitively at $3500) ought to be on your radar.

The Kona Private Jake

The racer’s choice: The Kona Private Jake is ready to tear it up, with a stiff and fast aluminum frame, no-fuss SRAM 1×11 Rival drivetrain, carbon fork, adjustable rear-dropouts, and thru-axles front and rear. The race-proven geometry will get you from A to B quick and comfortably, and you may notice that your races (if you’re into that sort of thing)  take up less of your time. We’ve also found these bikes to be top-notch city bikes, with wide tires that can navigate any pothole-laden alleyway or surprise-cobbled street on your commute, and double duty suits it just fine. Weighing in at $1999, the Private Jake is practically a no-brainer.

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Bike of the Week: Bianchi S.I.S.S. City

Tragically discontinued, the Bianchi S.I.S.S. (as well as the B.O.S.S., B.A.S.S., B.U.S.S., C.U.S.S., D.I.S.S., S.A.S.S., G.U.S.S., P.U.S.S., M.U.S.S., W.U.S.S., and M.U.S.S.) live healthy lives as iconic reminders of a time since past. Some things may never die, and let’s hope this is one of them:

A steel single-sped for the city, as seen here with Avid mechanical disc brakes, White Industries freewheel, and Thomson cockpit.

A little rude.

The perennial favorite Selle Italia Turbo saddle with a well-ridden patina.

In case you were wondering, the “S.I.S.S.” stands for “Steel Idiot Single Speed,” or alternatively, “Steel Is Simple, Stupid.”

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Bike of the Week: Lawrence’s (Allez! Allez!) Murphy Custom

We like esoteric, one-off bikes here in the shop, and this one fits the bill to a tee. Introducing the MASH SF team rider, Fridge co-founder Evan Murphy designed and hand-painted Allez! Allez!

Seen here in stunning Tuxedo, (almost) every surface was painted in excruciating detail.

Paired with Shimano Ultegra 6800 groupset for smooth, precise shifting and a Quarq powermeter for precise, quick power readings, all floating aboard the inimitable ENVE 3.4 wheelset.


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Bike of the Week: Litespeed Ocoee

Commuting in the city can be a serious business calling for a serious tool. Enter the Litespeed Ocoee: Built for the mountains, at home on the streets:

Fabricated from 3/25 Titanium in Chattanooga, Tennessee, you can bet that this rig rolls over any mess that NYC can throw at it.

The Shimano Deore XT mountain gruppo for smooth shifting (look at that wide range cassette!), and wide, slick tires for smooth sailing all throughout the village.

High-rise cockpit atop a wonderful Chris King NoThreadSet and a Marzocchi Bomber front fork, fit for a queen/king to ride high and mighty on her/his steed.

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Bike of the Week: Cervelo RCa

Once the lightest production carbon frame available, the Cervelo RCa was a testament to the pains that many cyclists will go to achieve superior weight savings. Topping the scale at less than 700 grams, make no mistake: this is an easy one to carry up to your 6th-floor walkup:

Matte black finish leaves it all to the imagination, and conveniently matches is to most manufacturer’s favorite red-black color schemes.

An electronic Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 groupset to remind you once again that the future is here, and the future is lightweight.

The patented Cervelo Squoval3 tubing really gets the air flowing.

Designed in Cervelo’s California research center, a fact you’ll soon not forget.


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Bike of the Week: Pegoretti Ciavete Day Is Done

For your consideration, an oft-overlooked offering from master builder Dario Pegoretti: the Day Is Done frameset in builder’s-choice Ciavete paint scheme:

Built with Columbus Spirit Niobium tubing brazed to Cadnezia lugs, seen here with the Falz carbon fork.

Named after a Nick Drake song, the Day Is Done is more traditional than much of Pegoretti’s other offerings.

With some obviously less-than-traditional touches, such as these “holes” near the rear dropouts, which are in fact tubes through the chainstays to offer a larger surface area for brazing the dropout.

Each frame is painstakingly hand-painted, and the Ciavete option leaves the paint design up to Dario to decide with little to no influence.

Oh hey, they must be a fan of the shop!


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Bike of the Week: Independent Fabrication Ti Planet X

From our custom files, we present an ultra-fresh Independent Fabrication Titanium Planet X:

Finished in a rare gloss-to-matte paint job, with a full compliment of Easton accoutrements, this is a bike that turns heads uptown and down.

Built with the SRAM Force 1×11 drivetrain with a huge 10-42 spread cassette for any type of terrain (though pictured here with road tires – sure to be swapped out when the going gets off-road), and hydraulic brakes for all-weather riding.

Ghost logos in black-on-black.

Anointed with the classic Sterling Silver IF headbadge.

And some final, customer-chosen flourishes in gold and silver. As always, completed to perfection by the folks in the Independent Fabrication paint booth.

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Bike of the Week: Kona Sutra LTD

With the recent advent (or rediscovery) of bike-packing and adventure biking, many bike manufacturers have turned to making bicycles reminiscent of a bygone era: steel frames, drop bars with wide and knobby tires, and comfortable geometry. Enter the Kona Sutra LTD: A bike-packing/adventure ready gravel bike that throws-back, but doesn’t throw-away:

Glow Red like the final embers of last night’s campfire, with a current SRAM Rival 1×11 drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes, perfect for those long rides on and off road.

You can be sure you’ll be seen, whether you’re riding through the West Village or on a fire road Upstate.

Plenty of clearance for wide tires (or the option of going narrow) to boot, and some relatively light-handed graphics make this one an all-around winner.

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Bike of the Week: Weis Custom Road

Now for something from a little closer to home: this custom road bike from Brooklyn-based framebuilder Weis MFG

This tall specimen was specially built to cruise the streets of New York in style and grace, an aim which was hit spectacularly.

A classy 1×10 SRAM drivetrain for perfect, fuss-free shifting in any condition.

Featuring hand-painted logos:

More fine detail.

A touching birthday present from father to son. Giving the gift that lasts.