After owning a second-hand Cannondale Topstone for ~500km, I decided that the bike was cursed and sold the frame and fork. Wanting something to hold the components together, I got chatting to someone on the SF Bay Ferry who suggested I look at Squid bikes. Located in Sac, they're local(ish), and offered the Gravtron frame which I found a good swap for the Topstone.
- Wheels: Enve G27 (650b)
- Tyres: René Herse Juniper Ridge (650b 48mm)
- Fork: Spork 3.0
- Handlebars: Coefficient RR
- Drivetrain: SRAM eTap AXS, 10-50 on the rear, Garbaruk 42-tooth oval on the front, HRD
- Seatpost: Canyon/Ergon springy thing
- Saddle: Fizik Vento Argo R3 Adaptive
- Front rack: Allgyn Diamond Front Rack, plus the bag that is made for it
- Valves: Fillmore (these are incredible)
I've ridden the bike on plenty of road in Oakland and southern Spain, in heavy rain. I've ridden off-road in southern Spain, which unsurprisingly is similar to CA: lots of baked dirt, washboard sections, gravel, and so on. (The roads are a lot, lot better in Spain...)
The longest ride I've done is 130km, and after that kind of distance, I really notice the lack of aerodynamics (my other bike has aerobars), and the big wadge of a bag carrying my camera on the front.
Aside from that, the bike handles beautifully: I can tuck down on the middle of the RR bars to get out of a headwind for a bit, and the bike has handled all the off-road challenges well.
Wear and tear
Before riding, I added helicopter tape to obvious ware parts of the frame: cables over paint, or chain slap areas. I haven't been able to detect any issues so far, and that includes any potential mishandling across four flights (although I dread to think what would dent a steel frame...).
Given that I bought the bike frame-only, the only change made was to the fork, from a Whisky MCX to the Spork 3.0, as I wanted to have a small front rack for a camera bag.
- Handlebars: the RR bars are really comfortable, but any aero saving is lost by having the front bag, and the 'wing' part really gets in the way of quickly opening and closing the front bag.
- Tyres: I'm not certain about these tyres: they've been OK off-road, and OK on-road, but I don't feel they've excelled at either, and I think I would have been better off with Schwalbe's G-One tyre, or the Bite. Still, they were what I had, and still have plenty of rubber on them, and they're fine. Fine, but not fantastic.
The only omission in the bike's design that I'm really mindful of is the lack of bolts on the top tube to secure a snack bag to. It seems like a really odd omission on a recent bike, so much so I'm going to be looking at the practicality of having the frame modified to get me out of Velcro strap land.