The Franco Grimes gravel bike came about because they wanted a homegrown (i.e. US-made) steel bike capable of riding anything the road may serve up. That could be a trail, a cyclocross course or just an urban commute. Or, of course, a good road ride.
For this year’s show, they wanted to show off more than the bike’s versatility, they wanted to highlight its design. So, they reached out to Insta-famous artist Bicycle Crumbs, who took every liberty to create this absolute work of art…
The paint scheme is inspired by the American Southwest, with spiraling lines throughout. He even reworked the ENVE logo on the SES 3.4 wheels to blend it into the design. A SRAM Red eTap group helps keep the lines clean by removing all shift wires and cables.
Other parts came from Chris King, Paul Components, Ritchey, Brooks, Portland Design Works, Paragon and Whisky Parts Co.
Paint credit goes to Peter Morris at Premier Bicycle Werks, who translated Crumb’s design onto the bike.
ENVE’s wasn’t the only logo given the curly treatment. It’s a complete overhaul of the bike’s look, and you can order one just like it. Base price for the Franco Grimes frameset is $1,499 with a basic disc brake carbon fork, and complete builds go all the way up to SRAM Red eTap for $6,999. Add this custom paint for $1,750 more.
New is the eTap version of the Balcom S carbon road bike, which loses the shift cable ports to clean it up since it’s wireless specific.
The Balcom S isn’t the only one, you can order the Grimes and the Kanan as an eTap bike, too. Get one on the way in May and you’ll get custom paint at no additional charge. Check out FrancoBicycles.com to see more.
Other spec includes a Chroma cockpit, Rockshox Pike RCT3 and Monarch RT3 suspension, Maxxis Highroller II 27.5 x 2.3 tires, DT Swiss M1700 Spline Boost wheels and a Rockshox Reverb dropper post. All yours for $5,689.
Other than that sweet Hatchet gravel bike they showed at Interbike last fall, our coverage of Devinci has been quite one-sided favoring the mountain bikes. So, seeing a disc brake equipped version of their carbon fiber Leo road bike was a bit of a surprise, but a welcome one. It’s available in two builds – Ultegra Di2 ($4,799) and 105 ($2,499), both with Shimano’s hydraulic disc brakes.
While not as much of an aspirational brand as Devinci and Franco, Mongoose is rolling along as a consumer direct brand with interesting bikes like the Selous gravel road bike shown above. Introduced at Sea Otter last year, it has a double butted alloy frame with a carbon fork and clearance for 40mm tires. For 2017, it switches from a bright mint green to this hot orange and red.
It’s got thru axles front and rear with a Shimano 105 shifter/derailleur set and hydraulic disc brakes. Cranks are FSA Gossamer with 34/50 chainrings. Money saved on the hubs and cockpit keep the retail price to just $1,999, but still gets WTB Nano 700×40 tubeless ready tires on Alex rims. Rack and fender mounts on the frame add versatility.
If you had to challenge yourself as a product manager, we imagine Mongoose might provide that opportunity. Their non-department-store mountain bikes continue to be almost laughably affordable yet end up sitting on impressive spec. Take the 2017 Boot’r for example. It’s a 27.5″ wheeled Horst link downhill bike running a Manitou Dorado Expert inverted dual crown fork for just $2,699. The rear shock is an X-Fusion Vector Coil R, wheels are Sun-Ringle Helix and drivetrain is Shimano Zee with an e*Thirteen chain guide. Tektro Slate 4 hydraulic disc brakes, which are Hans Rey approved, help bring it to a stop.
The 6″ travel Teocali Pro gets Manitou’s highly adjustable Mattoc Pro fork paired with a McLeod shock outfitted with their King Can oversize air chamber for improved small bump sensitivity. The bike retails for $3,499 with a mostly SLX 11-speed build and an XT M8000 rear derailleur. Wheels are Sun-Ringle Charger Expert wrapped in 27.5 x 2.3 Schwalbe Hans Dampf tires. It gets a standard alloy cockpit, including seatpost, not the dropper shown here.
The Argus fat bike has been around for a bit and keeps the Bluto suspension fork, but switches to a stealthy matte black paint and upgraded drivetrain for $1,799.
What’s new is the 24 x 4.0 Argus for youth and smaller riders. We’ve seen many handmade builders adding 24″ fat bikes because the outside tire diameter matches that of a standard 26″ mountain bike, but provides all the added traction and comfort of the fat tires. Even better? It matches the $499 price point of the 20″ Argus kids fat bike launched last year.
The Tyax Supa Expert steps the travel down a bit from the 120mm Ruddy 27.5+ by using a 100mm fork. It’s still a plus bike, though, running WTB Trailblazer 27.5 x 2.8 rubber inside an aluminum frame and SR Suntour XCR Air suspension fork. Drivetrain is a mix of SunRace, Microshift, Deore and KMC to come in at a $999 price point. Check out the full collection at Mongoose.com.