Maybe you’ve been there — you’re sitting at a buffet, you’ve overloaded your plate, and you’re thinking “what am I going to do now?” Well, Beth Morford of Frontier Bikes has a voracious appetite for work and her plates have been pretty full balancing Olympic level massage with bike shop ownership for some tome now. More recently, she’s added in frame building to her repertoire and managed to put this singlespeed gravel time trial bike together just in the nick of time to be displayed as part of SRAM’s Inclusivity Scholarship Program this year at Philly Bike Expo
“If you could build whatever bike you wanted, what would it look like?” This is a question someone once asked me after graduating from Yamaguchi and it played on repeat in my head every day leading up to the inception of my bike’s design for the Philly Bike Expo + SRAM scholarship. I love bikes and the playful spirit they conjure up inside of us when we ride them. They really are time travel machines that instantly transport us back to our childhood days when we didn’t have a care in the world and we approached life with reckless abandon. Bikes make me feel like a rebel; always encouraging me to adventure a tad too far from home into unfamiliar territories.
We used them to test our physical limits because we were invincible as kids. We launched off homemade ramps on them, drag-raced the neighborhood kids on them, and rode to the local gas station to buy candy cigarettes (then fake-smoked them, duh). Well, this build is an ode to those times. I mean, nothing has really changed. I still want to go fast, I still want to adventure off-road, and I still want one gear to rule them all.
Now, for deets. What is it? Well, it’s a very silly, reverse mullet, single-speed gravel bike designed for shorter races. The frame is built using a combination of Dedacciai Zero Uno and Tange Prestige tubing. It boasts a tapered head tube and 68mm threaded bottom bracket shell. It sits on Velocity Ailerons + Paul Component Engineering Disk Word hubs, set up as 700c x 42c in the back and 650b x 38c in the front.
The fork is Whisky’s No.9 RD thru-axle carbon fork with 12×100 spacing. The drivetrain includes a SRAM XX1 Eagle crankset with 32t chainring, DUB bottom bracket, and a White Industries 20t freewheel. The rear dropouts are the infamous stainless steel Paragon Sliding dropouts with flat-mount disc brake inserts spaced out at 142mm with a 12mm thru-axle. Have bad knees or can’t hack riding on just one gear? Swap out the inserts and gear it! Need braking power on those loose, fast turns?
This bike has braking power for days with SRAM’s S-900 Aero HRD hydraulic disc brakes. Wolf Tooth Components was incredibly generous by providing the headset and spacers, Ti bottle cage, thru-axles, seat post clamp, handlebar tape, and all the other red ano bits that match that unbelievably gorgeous bass boat paint job that was masterfully done by Adam Blumenthal of NYF Paint. Need to plug a hole in your tire that you got from being too freaking sendy? Dynaplug has this bike covered with its new custom Covert bar-end tubeless tire plug tools.
Alright, you all want to know about that one-of-a-kind handlebar and stem combo. Pretty wild, right?! Those are the brainchild of Frontier + BTCHN Bikes. I asked Tyler to fab some bars due to time restraints on my end. Plus, we’ve been talking about collaborating on bars for a while now. This was our chance. I wanted aero and I wanted them to have a gravel drop-bar “feel” with flare. They’re reversible! That’s right, they can be flipped over to give you a more upright riding posture with that extra rise if your dad-back starts to flare up.
To wrap this all up, I want to say that even though our community desperately lacks diversity, there are some wonderful humans in it who are ready at the drop of a hat. For that, I’m grateful. Grateful to Bina over at the Philly Bike Expo and Brooklyn at SRAM — your inclusivity scholarship is the best thing that exists in our framebuilding world right now. Thank you so much for the opportunity. I will never forget it.