How do you make an Engin Cycle better? If adding wider tires without lengthening the chainstays is your answer, then Drew Guldalian has a new option for you. Engin Cycle’s newest build is the perfect example of a builder who knows what he wants, and is willing and able to machine the exact pieces needed to make it happen.
According to Drew, as gravel riders have moved towards bigger tires, some bikes have resorted to longer chainstays to make them fit which “make the bikes handle like trucks.” He wanted a way to keep the chainstays super short while offering massive amounts of tire and fender clearance.
The answer? A custom designed and machined chainstay yoke. Machined in two halves to allow for pockets of material to be removed to decrease the weight and improve the strength, the two halves are then welded together to form the final chainstay yoke. And since he designed, it, Drew went ahead and integrated a fender mount into it.
Once welded into the titanium frame, the yoke provides clearance for up to a 47mm tire while maintaining 420mm chainstays. With 45mm tires, it’s capable of running 415mm chainstays. But that also means there’s plenty of room for fenders even with larger tires like the 700c x 38mm Teravail Rampart.
To make the chainline play nice with the wider 142mm hub in the back, Drew also machined his own spider. The spider allows him to run narrow q-factor cranks with the proper chainline, but the 110/74 BCD also allows riders the ability to run Sugino chainrings which he feels have better size options for gravel riding – in this case a 32/46t combo. The combination of frame and spider also allows for the use of a 34/50t with a front derailleur and clearance for massive tires.
As usual for an Engin, the bike was immaculately designed and built, with super clean details like a dropout bolt that doubles as a fender mount.
There was so much going on with the frame, it was easy to overlook the dropper seat post – which I did until writing this post. Either the bar end shifter is being used to operate the post, or the bar end shifter is an actual shifter and the SRAM shifter has been hacked to operate the post. Either way, it’s a clever way to add a dropper post to a drop bar bike with a front derailleur.
Those machined yokes aren’t just limited to gravel bikes either. This 29er offered clearance for 29 x 2.5″ tires with 420mm chainstays thanks to a similar yoke.
We’ll leave you with this impressive finish on this dirt tourer.