A little while back, Patrick from Bikes or Death reached out, saying he was going to be in Santa Fe and was hoping we could sit down for a podcast interview. Naturally, I obliged, and last night we hung out at our office here in Santa Fe and talked about bikes, photography, other randomness related to this website. I won’t give too much away but I was really stoked on how it went. Doing interviews is a great way to bond with a person and afterward, I just had to shoot Patrick’s Chumba Cycles Stella Ti. While the podcast episode won’t be out for a few weeks, I wanted to feature this rad build while it was all still fresh on my mind, so enjoy!
Patrick is based in College Station, Texas. Chumba is based in Austin, about an hour and a half west of College Station. You could say Patrick wanted to work with fellow Texans on this build and boy did they do a stellar job on this bike.
Drop bar 29ers are a great option for someone looking for a true jack-of-all-trades bike. It’ll master gravel roads, doubletrack, and singletrack, all while keeping the feel nimble and light. They make for great tourers and bikepacking machines, with big front triangles, and compact gearing. The drop bars allow for many hand positions, which is crucial for battling headwinds and alleviating hand fatigue.
The Stella titanium was designed as a hardtail mountain bike. This particular frame was the personal bike of Vince, one of the co-owners of Chumba, who built it up as a hardtail for Texas singletrack and bikepacking. When Patrick bought the frame from Vince, he took the build in a different direction altogether. Utilizing Shimano GRX, Patrick went with a 1x drop bar drivetrain, a rigid Whisky fork, XC wheels, and a fast-rolling XC tire for gravel roads. His Rockgeist and Revelate bags show plenty of beausage yet still have tons of miles left in ’em.
This build is ready and rearin’ to go at a moment’s notice.
Having just come off from an overnighter with Matt in Las Cruces, creator of the Monumental Loop, Patrick got to cut his teeth in the Organ Mountains National Monument amongst the ocotillo and other native cacti of the Chihuahuan Desert. While his visit in Santa Fe was short, it was sweet, and I’m looking forward to pedaling around town with him during his next visit.
Safe travels, Patrick!
If you haven’t checked out Bikes or Death, do so wherever you get your podcasts!