Confidence with the Wraith Fabrication Paycheck – Andre Chelliah

Confidence with the Wraith Fabrication Paycheck
Words by Andre Chelliah, photos by John Watson

This is a continuation of a series of reviews, beginning with the Initial Reaction to the Wraith Fabrication Paycheck

Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m not the best off-road rider, but the Wraith Fabrication Paycheck had me feeling steezy. John says “Confidence is everything” when it comes to riding off-road, and I can now attest to that. Riding a bike you’re comfortable on, brings confidence. That makes it easy to go fast and take chances.

Confidence with the Wraith Fabrication Paycheck

First off, the look of this bike is incredible. The graphics on the Paycheck are perfect. Grey and black, simple and clean. The branding on the bike is minimal and tasteful, and the logos look like something you would see at your local tattoo parlor. My favorite aesthetic detail however is the saw-tooth paint scheme on the fork.

Confidence with the Wraith Fabrication Paycheck

There’s not a whole lot to say about it other than it looks rad and handles much better than any other cross bike I’ve ridden. Coming from my Co-Motion with a BB drop of 68mm, the Paycheck’s slightly lower BB (70mm) was the first thing I noticed while riding some of our favorite local trails. I felt extra confident turning the bike and found myself braking less than I would have if I was on my Co-Motion.

Confidence with the Wraith Fabrication Paycheck

Not only was I surprised by the shredability of the Paycheck, but it was also surprisingly stiff for being a steel bike. The 44mm headtube in conjunction with the oversized Columbus tubing and carbon fork made for a “stiff in the right places” ride.

Confidence with the Wraith Fabrication Paycheck

From climbing to sprinting out of turns, I felt like I was getting every ounce I put into the Paycheck.

Confidence with the Wraith Fabrication Paycheck

The bike can also be built with weight in mind. Even with a modest selection of parts and zero carbon fiber minus the fork and shifters, the bike weighed in at 20.25 lbs.

Confidence with the Wraith Fabrication Paycheck

I’m confident that this combination of weight, geometry, materials, and killer looks not only make the Paycheck a capable weekday trail bike, but also a proficient race rig.

Confidence with the Wraith Fabrication Paycheck

With the Paycheck, Adam not only created an American made, shredding machine, but managed to do so at an attainable price with high-quality materials. Needless to say, I had blast shredding the gnar on it and can’t wait to hop on again.


See more details such as specs and pricing at Wraith Fabrication.


Follow Andre on Instagram.


  • Constantin

    Sweet shots, sweet bike!

    • AdamEldridge

      Fuckin A’ John killed it, agreed.

  • Eric Baumann

    really great set of photos of a very sweet rig, now make em in a 58 adam! ;)

    • AdamEldridge

      The public has def spoken over the last few months Eric!

      • Eric Baumann

        why not test the waters with a pre-order? i know your goal for wraith is to ultimately have sizes in stock for 24-hr dispatch, but I’m sure taller folks would be willing to wait a bit for an XL, I sure as hell would if I was in the market for a new frame!

  • Thisisbenji

    Great looking bike, I didn’t even realize it was steel at first.

  • boomforeal

    impressive cost, decent weight, tasteful graphics… looks like winner

    edit: great photos and succinct review, too

  • Trevor H

    These are rad bikes. I’m stoked that Adam has decided to do this project, but as a tall guy needing a 59-ish cm top tube that is my only criticism. It’s still on my list of bikes to buy once sizing becomes available. Great write-up and photos. looking forward to more on this in the future..

    • AdamEldridge

      Thanks my man. As we scale up I’ll have the cash to get a bigger bike in the mix. I’m being careful not to over extend myself. There’s no outside money coming in. It’s just me and all my friends helping to make this happen. If there were outside money I prob wouldn’t have a coffin on the front of the damn thing. Haha!

  • Ryan

    Hey Adam, Can I still get a Paycheck with Cantis?

    • John Watson

      It’s production, so making all the frames with disc brakes is cheaper and faster. My guess would be Adam’s answer is “no” for the time being… maybe the production line will grow?

      • Ryan

        Thanks John.
        I probably shouldn’t have snoozed on the original pre-order when cantis were the intended brakes on the paycheck.

    • AdamEldridge

      Yo Ryan. Just had a medium pop up FYI

  • Micah

    * The shift levers are also carbon!

  • Chris Valente

    Damn the more i see of these the better they look… Hopefully next summer I can pull off a new race rig with one. The large looks spot on for me

  • Dobry

    Nice bike.
    Good article, Intern! I definitely know what this bike feels like from your write-up. Almost the entire thing was very well done. Hope you get to write more.

    • Andre Chelliah

      Hey, thanks man! Had a good time writing the review and an even better time riding.

  • Guest

    great write up! my only quibble would be this: how did those wheels perform? they’re a bit of an unknown quantity compared to the solid track record of Rival and the awesome quality of everything Adam puts out. also, add me to the group of folks who would be very tempted by an XL frame option

    • John Watson

      Novatec makes wheels that are solid, affordable and serviceable.

      • Jon X Mack

        I read they’re built with Sapim Laser spokes which Sapim state aren’t for use with disc brakes, but I guess if they hold up okay that’s all that matters

  • Ian Stone

    Did you not find anything you didn’t like about the bike? It came off kind of like a sales pitch.

    • Andre Chelliah

      I really liked everything about it. To be honest, I had a little skepticism at first regarding the bike. I am definitely a fan or carbon or aluminum for a cross bike, mostly due to the stiffness that is normally associated with those materials. In the past, I have never been fully satisfied with the feel of a steel cross bike off road. The Paycheck, however, has made me rethink the idea of a steel crossy bike for my personal stable. It was just so stiff and responsive! I couldn’t believe I was riding steel, for real.

      • mp

        This is one of the great things about steel. It is inherently a stiff material, but depending on the tubeset/layout and of course the skill of the builder, it can be tuned to give a stiff or soft ride.

  • Jamie McKeon

    You guys make Austin look SO good.

    • Jamie McKeon

      also the front tyre contact on #11 is SO GOOD

  • Philippe Gilbert

    Look at the front tire on the third pic. That’s the kinda pressure you want of your crosswheels. Smashing the rims on the rocks but keeping the grip no matter what.

    • John Watson

      Now, imagine a 40c tire… it’s even better!

  • Carl Liebman

    What bars are on the bike? I like the ergo bend. The bike has a solid look to it, overall. Well done, Wraith. Well done!

    • John Watson

      They’re some $10 bargain bin bars.

      • givemeyourshoes

        $44.99 to be exact.

    • givemeyourshoes

      They are the Planet X Strada road bars, and I found they pretty damn comfy. I had the bike prioor to The Radavist (for bikerumor) but the frame was to small for me to review so we sent it on to the next site. Well made bike, but it came with a 38mm Zipp bar on it. So we swapped them out for a 44mm Planet X Strada. I have riden those bars in the past and liked them. Confused as to why the logos on the bar were shopped out, but its all good in the hood.

      • AdamEldridge

        They were removed with paint thinner by myself because they were horrific as most component logos are.

  • TrailYeah

    mighty fine lookin’ ride; however, the possible, inadvertent privateer propaganda hath just won me over… just ordered a pair.