Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Gravel Rig

Woody Anne (Trans Iowa 2014 configuration)

This is Woody Anne, my 2000 model year Surly Cross Check. It's the bike I've been riding the most for mixed-surface adventure rides and gravel events, including Almanzo, Dairy Roubaix, Trans Iowa, Heck of the North, Gravel Metric and more recently the Ten Thousand.

Really, she's nothing all too special. My parts choices are mostly based on wanting high functionality and durability at a reasonable cost. This usually means simple, yet effective. A full component list is available below for hardcore bikegeekery, but in a nutshell it's a 2x8, drop-bar cross bike with a good wheelset.

Anybody who knows me knows that I like this bike quite a bit. It's stable but lively, I've been fitted on it so that it's very comfortable, and I have little doubt about its durability. Even though I originally ordered the dark blue frame with the 1" headtube, I've really grown to like even the color of this one.

Here she is, all set to make our first attempt at Trans Iowa:

Trans Iowa Configuration
Note the custom headlight mount, which replaces one of the headset spacers.

Hey Tink
No plans to replace this one for the foreseeable future. Might switch out the bars for a set of Salsa Cowbells at some point. The current spec:

Frame: Year 2000 Surly Cross Check, TIG-welded double-butted Reynolds 631 cro-moly steel.
Fork: Matched, with lugged crown and 1-1/8" steerer

Wheels: Shimano 600 8-speed hubs, Velocity A23 rims, Wheelsmith stainless butted spokes

Crankset: Shimano SLX touring 170mm arms, RaceFace 38t single-speed ring; 29t granny
Bottom bracket: Shimano XT external
Cassette: Shimano 12-30
Front derailleur: Shimano Altus top-swing, top-pull
Front Shifter: Shimano stem shifter mounted on a clamp on the left side of the seat mast just below the top tube. Cable runs directly to the derailleur.
Rear derailleur: Shimano SLX short-cage with alloy pulleys
Rear shifter: Shimano 8-speed bar-end mounted on a Paul's Thumbie on the top section of bar just to the right of the stem.
Chain: Sram PC-851

Brakes: Tektro CR-720 with salmon pads
Brake Levers: Cane Creek BR-5 and Cane Creek Cross-tops

Headset: Chris King NoThread Sotto Volce, silver (recent addition)
Bars: Ritchey WCS, 42cm, 26.0, ergo.
Stem: Bontrager 100mm, 25˚ rise
Seatpost: Ritchey WCS alloy 27.2
Clamp: Surly Constrictor with Surly cable stop
Saddle: Currently a Brooks Cambium

Typical gravel loadout: Medium Relevate Tangle bag, Relevate Mountain Feedbag, Planet Bike Lunch Box, Planet Bike seat bag, Garmin 500 or Touring Plus, Lyzene HV mini-pump, Zefal bottle cages, Banjo Brothers map case.