We’re not in Kansas anymore. Certainly not. Unlike the hard bedrock of the flint hills and similar gravel roads that pattern the Midwest, The Mid South (or “Mud South”) hosted in Stillwater, Oklahoma is characterized by its rich red clay. Second only to race director Bobby Wintle‘s finish line hug for every rider, The Mid South has become infamous for its often wet weather that turns that beautiful red clay into drivetrain-eating mud. Re-routing the course is never even a topic of conversation.
Geographic locations and riding can add a lot to the picture when considering what your dream bike may be. Massive tire clearance? Tall or low bottom bracket? Slack or steep head tube angles. Well after riding in an area for so long you figure out what works, what doesn’t, and what you wish someone could just get right. With these thoughts in mind Bobby collaborated with Wilde Bikes to develop a bike that is Mid South approved. How so? Read on to find out a little bit more about this bike from Jarrod Bunk and check out some flicks on the red dirt.
So, what the hell is the Dorothy, and what’s so special about it? The conversation around a purpose-built Mid South machine started last year at Sunday family dinner. Jeffy and Bobby started chatting about a bike that could tame these red dirt roads at speed while providing all-day comfort for even longer efforts, but according to Bobby this is “THE MOST ULTIMATE” Mid South Gravel bike.
The Dorothy’s SRAM AXS-specific or single speed modalities may sound like polar opposites. But in reality, it’s a kind of geography-inspired genius perfectly suited for the most common challenge at Mid South: mud. This setup allows the rider to still make it back safely the second the red dirt roads turn wet and reach up to rip off your robot rear mech. Sliding dropouts might just be the best bit of tech to ensure you’ll finish out a mud year without flagging down the Red Dirt Jeep Club.
Rolling with geometry optimized around 700×38—but with clearance for 70×55—you’ll have ample mud/tire clearance should the skies open up too. The Dorothy is the latest made-in-USA model to come from the Minnesota-based Wilde Bikes and is available in a steel ($3200USD) or titanium ($6,000USD) frameset with a matching ENVE fork.
Bobby’s Dorothy frameset showed up just a few days before Mid South this year, and he had a special pair of wheels to build it up with. Maybe you remember another ti bike of his sporting 40th Anniversary Chris King bling. The ENVE AR Disc to Chris King R45 wheels have seen a lot of use over the last five years, but keep on ticking. For the rest of the build Bobby used some no-nonsense bits to build it up in the nick of time. His first ride was the Chamois Butt’r Ride on Friday and then Monday he rolled a quick backside 50 miles on the Dorothy and couldn’t stop grinning. I asked him that night what he thought about it, and he said, in only the way that Bobby does, “this thing fucking rips!” I’d say that year-long project was worth the wait and has passed the test of the red hills.
Want a Dorothy of your own, well you’re in luck. District has one steel bike built up shod in new SRAM Force AXS ready to go, and is currently taking orders for ti and steel custom builds, too. Something this special can only exist at District Bikes, the exclusive reseller for this model. It’s really as unique as Mid South itself.
- Frame: Wilde Bikes Dorothy Titanium – Exclusive to District Bicycles
- Fork: ENVE Adventure
- Stem: ENVE MTN
- Bars: Easton EC70 AX 46cm
- Headset: Chris King
- Brake Levers: TRP RRL
- Brake Calipers: TRP Spyre-C
- Bar Tape: Easton Microfiber
- Seatpost: ENVE 27.2
- Seat Clamp: Thomson
- Saddle: Brooks Swift
- Cranks: Dura Ace 9100
- Chainring: Wolf Tooth
- Pedals: Shimano XTR
- BB: Shimano
- Cog: Wolf Tooth
- Chain: KMC
- Hubs: Chris King R45 Disc 40th Anniversary
- Rims: ENVE AR65 Disc
- Tires: Vittoria Mezcal 29×2.0″