“If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.” This is how James’ email to our Readers’ Rides inbox began and perhaps that’s what caught my attention. James has a Cannondale RaadX ‘cross bike that he’s used for everything. Its name is Dapple and today, we’re sharing it with you—enjoy!
I bought Dapple, my CX bike, a few years ago now. This was immediately prior to the intense proliferation of all things “gravel”.
Thoroughly second hand, he was running Tiagra 10s, had appalling mechanical disc brakes, and some mismatched boxy wheels with massive Schrader valve holes. At the time I saw him as a stopgap. You know the one, the bike that—you say to yourself—I’ll get this for now, try it out, then probably get a better bike next year. I’ll save up for something cool, a Ritchey, ‘lux Crux, Crust, Curve, or whatever. Dapple was cheap.
But that “next year” has come and gone a few times now.
I’ve replaced every part of him at least once. Cannondale was kind enough to replace the OG fork for some reason. I’ve run him as a lunch break singletrack flavel whip with bike bin XT levers and an SLX drivetrain. He spent about 52 minutes and 43 seconds as a SSCX with a dodgy Singulator, then the rest of that season as a 1x CX race machine with bike bin SRAM red bits and comedy mechanical hydro brakes. I’ve collected Stealth bags for him like they were Pokémon. Most recently I’ve gone the full grav with second hand GRX and 48 cm Enve bar, and a truly remarkable SON dynamo and Sinewave beacon!
Sure, Dapple’s not perfect, but neither am I. The paint scheme is horrific, it’s cracked and bubbling all over the show. He’s been dropped, knocked, scratched, crashed, rubbed, and chipped. The b-rad has seized itself to the seat tube. The QR squirms round in the worn-out dropouts when I skid so the discs are perpetually rubbing. The backend isn’t square so there are NDS chainstay notches from the various 38-40mm tires I’ve forced in. The original exposed cable routing under the BB was definitely not fit for my purposes.
But hey, we’ve been everywhere, from submarine CX laps to 1000-mile brevets. I’ve ridden the Old Ghost Road, Heaphy, Molesworth, Forgotten Highway, all round d’Urville, and a bunch of other excellent roads and trails. We’ve done heaps of skids with my son, traversed the length of the South Island with my wife (earning 20 whole kudos on Strava – yew!), and he’s safely escorted me to and from work in all sorts of inclement NZ weather.
He isn’t the dream bike. But heck, does that even matter at all?!
P.S. will Problem solver have an Eagle Transmission MacGuffin for Dapple in 18 months?
Frame: Cannondale RaadX ~2013
Grouppo: GRX 810
Cranks: bike bin Rotor 3D
Wheels: SON/stans & Hunt
Tyres: 38 mm Pathfinder & Gravelking!
And heaps other bits from Wolftooth, Enve, Fizik, Thomson, Hope, and Problem solver.
We’d like to thank all of you who submitted Readers Rides builds to be shared here at The Radavist. The response has been incredible and we have so many to share over the next few months. Feel free to submit your bike, listing details, components, and other information. You can also include a portrait of yourself with your bike and your Instagram account! Please, shoot landscape-orientation photos, not portrait. Thanks!