First Impressions: Foundry Chilkoot Titanium Road Bike

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When Foundry decided to add a traditional road bike back into their product line, they sought the proven durability and ride quality of titanium frame construction. But rather than building just another road bike, they designed the Chilkoot to be versatile, suitable for long rides, criteriums, road races or even… cruising around on hard packed dirt roads.

With the bicycle industry constantly re-inventing old ideas, the increasing prevalence of wider tires followed by wider rims meant road bike manufacturers had to provide extra clearance between chainstays and beneath fork crowns – something that was the norm some 30 years ago. The Chilkoot provides clearance for a 28mm tire at both ends of the bike. 28mm of rubber on the road may sound like overkill, but when paired with lower tire pressure, a comfy, Cadillac-like ride on even the roughest of pavement puts a smile on everyone’s face.

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Equipped with Shimano’s proven Ultegra 11 speed mechanical groupset, DT Swiss R23 tubeless-ready wheelset, and finished off with Zipp cockpit parts and Fizik Antares R7 saddle, the complete Chilkoot option is a nice package. Foundry chooses 52/36 mid-compact chainrings for all sizes of the Chilkoot, along with Shimano’s longer cage GS derailleur. This provides an excellent of spread of gear ratios, with the option to go lower by swapping out the stock 11-28 cassette.

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The Chilkoot is available in six sizes, from XXS to XL, with effective top tube lengths starting at 51.5cm on the XXS, to 59cm on the XL. Bottom bracket drop and chainstay length vary depending on the frame size. Foundry is serious about handling; from cornering prowess for criterium racing to enhanced stability for long days on the bike. Equally serious, as in seriously nice, is Enve’s 2.0 tapered all-carbon fork, spec’d as stock on the Chilkoot complete build.

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At 5’11”, I’ve chosen the size small Chilkoot, with an effective top tube length of 54.5cm. Foundry selects the Zipp Service Course 31.8mm stem in a 110mm length on this frame size, and a matching Service Course seatpost with 20mm of offset. Both selections are exactly what I would choose if I were ordering the Chilkoot for myself. Handy.

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Another touch I really like is the 68mm English thread bottom bracket shell. With so many bottom bracket standards nowadays, it is refreshing to see a manufacturer choose one that has stood the test of time. Shimano’s Ultegra 6800 bottom bracket does the job nicely.

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I’ve ridden a good amount of paved road-only miles on the Chilkoot, and have been very pleased with the quality of ride and overall presentation of this bike. From the Chilkoot’s beautiful split white gloss / brushed titanium frame finish, to the clean frame welds, this is an attractive bicycle that will garner much attention on your local group ride.

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But, the Chilkoot is more than just looking cool on your local group ride. Spec’d with Clement’s Strada LGG 700c x 25mm tires as stock, they roll nicely and provide a comfortable ride on the stock DT wheelset. However, I love riding dirt and gravel roads. For the full review of the Chilkoot, I’ll be providing my feedback on how the Chilkoot rides on hardpack dirt, limerock and gravel surfaces, while rolling with American Classic’s 350 tubeless wheelset, shod with some big volume 28mm tubeless road tires. I am really looking forward to getting the Chilkoot dirty!

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Want to build your own Chilkoot? The frameset retails for $US 2,495, with the complete build as detailed above, retailing for $US 4,695.

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P.S. I must give thanks to Paul at Bikes and More in Gainesville, Florida, for doing a rapid front derailleur adjustment during my first ride on the Chilkoot – all of my tools were at home, and I was running very late on the way to an equally rapid group ride!

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Photos and article by Gravel Cyclist.
Jayson O’Mahoney is the Gravel Cyclist: A website about the Gravel Cycling Experience.

Foundry Cycles

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19 Comments
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UMUOJI
UMUOJI
6 years ago

THIS BIKE ROCKS

Brad
Brad
6 years ago

If it had rack mounts, this would be a perfect all-around road/gravel/commuting/CX bike.

Cancy
Cancy
6 years ago

Is Ti the new carbon? I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, just seems like there are more and more Ti options then ever before, which is a very good thing. I would like to see some objective tests on quality of Ti frames from Asia vs U.S. I’m sure quality from the Far East runs the spectrum, but how does one one?

Dude on a Bike
Dude on a Bike
6 years ago

5″11″ and your on a 55 TT with 110 stem. You must have an uber short torso……

Normally Proportioned Guy on a Bike
Normally Proportioned Guy on a Bike
6 years ago

What dude on a bike said- I’m an inch taller and ride a 56.5 w/ 130.

MB
MB
6 years ago

Cancy – From what I’ve been told, asian/russian Ti is pretty suspect. So much so that US custom builders I’ve spoken with won’t touch it. Not sure if that’s a snooty custom thing or what, but worth noting regardless. I’m sure it’s possible some asian builders could be using US sourced Ti, but I highly doubt it.

MB
MB
6 years ago

Gotta say as a fan of Ti, those welds are pretty terrible aesthetically. Probably fine structurally, but why go through all that work and not make it look absolutely great?

ginsu
ginsu
6 years ago

I agree, those welds are not very nice, they look like aluminum welds, whereas a nice Ti weld bead is very thin. Those welds have way too much material on them, and then they painted over a majority of the welds so you have no idea if they were contaminated or not. I would never buy a Ti bike without visually inspecting every single weld for contamination.

Titanium is an incredible material, but it needs very high quality manufacturing methods to produce good products…I wouldn’t trust Chinese Titanium AT ALL! And I certainly wouldn’t trust them to pay somebody enough money to setup their workstation correctly to properly weld titanium.

Armchair QB
Armchair QB
6 years ago

I’m impressed by the armchair framebuilders in here. I must remember to visually inspect the inside of that Chinarello I’m buying tomorrow.

cspike
6 years ago

I’m 5’11.75″ 🙂 and my custom Serotta is 55TT/58ST with a 90 stem. Guess my torso is uber uber short?

Peter
Peter
6 years ago

How’s the weight on this build? I had a chance to ride an Overland that was a nice bike, but was also heavier than a comparably-built aluminum bike.

RoadWarrior
RoadWarrior
6 years ago

Wow. A caliper road bike….

Velo
Velo
6 years ago

That long build-up of the intro, and the bike only has clearance for 28 mm tires? That’s pretty ridiculous. Most 2015/2016 bikes have clearance for 28 mm tires. I run 28’s on my 2012 carbon fiber bike with several generation old Dura-ace calipers.

If I’m buying a new bike, I would like it to be able to at least handle 32mm tires with fenders.

GB Geoff
GB Geoff
6 years ago

I ride a Dedacciai K19 titanium which at first glance looks very similar, particularly in the paintwork. However, that is where the similarities end; the K19 is an out and out road bike, the welds are almost invisible and I have done a 200 mile ride on it and stepped off it feeling pretty good!
I’m a great fan of metal bikes and if I lived in the States I would give the Chilkoot a good look at as an all rounder.

Ajax
Ajax
6 years ago

Where’s the disc?

Aaron
Aaron
6 years ago

To those wondering why this isn’t a disc bike: Caliper road bikes are here to stay… Hate to break it to you guys but discs aren’t going to be the end all be all until prices and weights come way down and an axle standard (that is actually a standard) is decided upon. It’s a terrible time to buy a road disc bike.

Heffe
Heffe
6 years ago

Those welds look pretty nice to me; smooth, clean and even though a bit larger than a Kish, Moots or Seven etc.

badikemechanicx
badikemechanicx
6 years ago

Bikerumor can you please provide weights in your future reviews?