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