Gamut Chain Guide

The word Gamut means broad or far reaching, and judging from the Gamut’s presence at all levels of racing, it’s easy to imagine they’re a large corporation. Yet despite the polished website and big name sponsored athletes, Gamut is actually a small, rider-owned company.

Their idea for a better chain guide came about because Co-Founder Juan Graziosi wanted a lighter & more reliable solution for racing. Working in conjunction with his father Ed Graziosi, a machinist, they fabricated a working prototype in their garage. The idea would have likely ended there, but soon friends and fellow racers wanted guides as well, and selling the home made components quickly became a way for Juan to offset the cost of racing. The project began to look like a viable business venture when older brother Mateo and riding buddy Michael Poutre joined to to help crank up production and craft a business plan.

Today, Gamut continues to produce a large quantity of their products in the garage where Juan and his father created their first chain guide. Learn more about the process after the break…

Gamut Garage Assembly (1)

This is the Gamut garage. The Graziosi brothers grew up calling it home, and each of the tools here has a story attached to it.

All of the of equipment were slowly assembled during the course of Ed’s career as a machinist. Meticulously maintained and carefully modified, the well cared for machinery still churns out new components every day.

Gamut Plastic Sheets

The first stage in the process is cutting the raw materials. When Gamut was first starting out, the boys had to be frugal, and would order large sheets of material. These would then be cut down to the size required to fit inside the CNC machine.

After Juan nearly lost a finger to the table saw, the fledgling business decided it was far safer to purchase precut sheets.

Gamut Garage Assembly

The raw materials are then fed into a three axis CNC machine.

Gamut-CNC-Machine
Signatures from both Greg Minaar and Tyler McCaul adorn the beast.

The mill was built in the mid 80s and was acquired by Ed when his employer was running low on funds. In order to continue his work, he offered to purchase the machine and rent it back at an hourly rate. When Ed left the company, he took the machine home with the intention of using it for miscellaneous side projects, and (more importantly) to make components for his Alfa Romeo track car.

Gamut CNC Machine

For the home tinkerer, this machine is a dream come true, but it’s a bit slower than more modern machines. It also requires a manual operation.

So when Gamut received it’s first big OE order, and all of the co-founders still had full time work obligations, they were forced to take turns tending the machine throughout the night for weeks in order to meet their shipping deadlines.

Gamut Assembly Garage

Fresh from the CNC machine, the components are cleaned and double checked for quality.

Gamut Broacher

Before they could afford to outsource the most manually intensive tasks, the group would find ways of building every component in house with their existing machinery.

One of the most labor intensive was converting set screws into the hardware needed for roller assemblies. It was at minimum a two step process and the most arduous part was converting the the hex heads from American to Metric. This was done with a manual broaching tool, which works by slamming a die into the head of the bolt. It’s a physically demanding process that caused more heated arguments than any other part of the business whenever others suspected someone wasn’t doing their fair share.

Gamut Founders Get Rowdy

Across from the house is an empty plot of city owned land where the boys started shredding.

Gamut-Factory-Tour

These youthful forays inspired a life long passion for bikes and racing, both of which seem to have deep roots in their family history.

Gamut Racing Pedigree

In the 193os, Juan and Matteo’s grandfather Eduard Sr. was riding and and racing motorcycles in Buenos Aries.

Gamut-Family-Racing-Histroy

Grandpa could also flat corner a bicycle!

Alpha-Romeo-Race-Car

Co-Founder and family patriarch Ed also has a passion for racing – of a four wheeled variety.

IMG_0437

During the early years when Gamut was growing steadily, but not quite enough to finance a warehouse, his track car was forced to live in the driveway under a tarp.

Gamut Aluminum Disc Brake Prototype

Gamut’s early success with chain guides also funded other experiments. At a time when the average trail bikes weighed more than current DH bikes, Juan was fixated on building the lightest bikes possible.

This aluminum rotor was a project from almost ten years ago, which was quickly sidelined. While the rotor was incredibly light, it also folded shortly into the parking lot testing phase.

Gamut Boxxer Damper

As one of their Skunk Works projects, they also developed a drop in damper for the 2006-2008 era Boxxer forks. This generation RockShox fork had a reputation for spiking, so Gamut collaborated with local racer Evan Turpen to create a better system.

IMG_0368

Their damper was aimed at the racer looking for the utmost in customization and performance but it’s lack of external adjustments limited its appeal.

Gamut Boxxer Damper Testing Chamber

They tested the product with some success, but because each damper was essentially a one-off, it was too time consuming and expensive to manufacturer. In the end, they never made more than a half dozen, and none of the founders could agree upon how many they actually sold.

Gamut Assembly (1)

Just a short drive from the garage is the new office. The back houses a spacious warehouse, while the front has a meeting room and assembly area.

Gamut Assembly (3)

Here the guides receive finally assembly…

Gamut Assembly (2)

are tagged…

Gamut Assembly (4)

…and then bagged.

Gamut Warehouse

Finished product is stored in the warehouse area, where spare parts and complete guides await shipping.

Gamut Racing Pedigree

The walls throughout the office feature signed posters from friends and athletes.

Gamut-Racing-History

And an entire wall is filled with jerseys bearing messages of support.

Gamut Stems Prototype To Productin

While there, we were able to see a series of new products that are in development. In addition to their ever expanding line of drivetrain and retention components, Gamut is also developing a line of stems and handlebars – which are named after the street the brothers grew up on.

Gamut Direct Mount

Also in development is a direct mount stem. As you can see from these two prototypes, the stem has gone through a variety of different iterations in order to find the proper balance between stiffness and weight.

Gamut-Cillos-Direct-Mount

Gamut Direct Mount 2

Both the DM and trail stems should be available by end of year and will retail for $109.99.

Gamut CIllos DH Handlebar

A matching handlebar is also close to final production.

Gamut CoFounders
Photo Credit: Gamut USA – Left to Right: Mateo, Juan, Mike, & Ed

Gamut continues to produce a wide range of products in their garage, and their home machine shop will continue to be an integral part of their R&D and prototyping phases. What else does the future hold for the small company? We can’t say for sure, but if their beautiful new stems and recent acquisition of Point One Racing are any indicators, the company’s future is bright.

GamutUSA.com

10 COMMENTS

  1. Have a Gamut ring on my DH bike for about a year and a half now – it came from my previous DH bike, still no signs of wear on it. Fantastic quality stuff. Will be putting a TTR on my DH bike when they’re available, and that DM stem too, funds permitting.

    Those handlebar graphics though…..ugh…. keep it simple, works for all their other designs.

  2. Congrats you guys, that’s an awesome story. Definitely dicey cutting Lexan on the tablesaw, any binding of the blade and you’re shooting a chunk of plastic across the room; good to hear all the fingers are intact!

  3. Holy cannoli! So they are Argentinean by heritage! I guess that’s where their taste for tinkering and making the best out of what they had around comes from.

    Hat off for you guys!

  4. It’s a cool origin story and I dig the Alfa. The story about broaching standard size socket head screws to take metric wrenches is a bit of a WTF, why couldn’t they just use metric threaded screws in the first place?

  5. @Slow Joe Crow

    The specifics are in my notes somewhere, but if I recall correctly it had to do with not being able to find the necessary thread pitch with a metric head at an affordable price. You’d have to ask one of the boys for the full backstory.

  6. This is an awesome rags-to-riches story.

    MADE IN USA!

    (Although I’m sure they’re peeved that you misspelled ‘Buenos Aries’.)

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