Self-taught new builder Darrel Williams of Thrive Cycles is based out of a part of the world where gravel is king. This is what compelled him to make this tasty gravel racer for himself, his tenth frame in total over his past two years of experience. Darrel has already gotten attention for his striking fillets and super clean lines. This bike, built with a TRP thru-axle disc fork, really shows off his technique for routing internally. And the color, a primer green with metallic flake, is something our camera couldn’t do justice.
Due to its style of internal routing through the crown, the TRP fork was a particularly good match for the frame. They look as though they were made for each other. The routing on the frame is at a shallow angle to the tube, giving the routing a very effortless and natural aesthetic (and probably cutting down on housing/cable friction on the inside of the frame).
The proprietary disc mount was particularly clever. Utilizing a separate shelf brazed to the seat stay, the caliper attaches low and pro with very little apparent mounting infrastructure. The chain stays are asymmetrical to accommodate the minimalist mounting and allow proper rotor clearance.
Also, as Darrel was dissatisfied with the small diameter stays available, he deviated from the True Temper tubing scheme on his chainstays. Having started with 3/4″ straight gauge round tubes, he bent them in house on a hydraulic press, for tire and crank clearance, then flattened them vertically to help de-stiffen the rear end for those long gravel rides. The larger diameter tubing also has the added benefit of looking better proportionally with Paragon’s new thru-axle Breezer-style dropouts.
The last fun quiet detail of the bike is its modified shotgun shell bar end plugs. No word yet as to when Darrel will make these plugs available (but we sure hope he does).