Kellan here at AVT.bike, has been working on getting a gravel/all-around bike built up for the last year or so, and as usual with his bikes, it's something special.
We sat down with Kellan after photographing his bike to learn more about what went into his latest build. If you have any questions about any part of it, just let us know!
AVT: So what was your goal going in?
Kellan: I was replacing a bike that didn't fit properly, so I wanted custom, and never having had a titanium bike, I wanted to try that too. Living 20 minutes away from one of the top titanium framebuilders in the world [Mike Desalvo of Desalvo Custom Cycles], having Mike build was kind of a no-brainer.
AVT: What inspired the paint?
Kellan: I got the last set of 45th anniversary disc hubs from Phil Wood, and once I had those, I knew that John Slawta [Landshark Custom Bicycles, also very well-known for his paint] would be up for doing something cool based on those, so I showed him the hubs and turned him loose to let him do whatever he wanted with the paint.
The last of Phil Wood's 45th anniversary disc hubs inspired the paint
AVT: How would you describe the purpose or the type of bike this is?
Kellan: Gravel / all-around bike that I could use to race cyclocross sometimes too.
AVT: I notice you went with bullmoose bars, why is that?
Kellan: I went with the bullmoose because I have another set of the [Ritchey] carbon ones on my Landshark [mountain bike], and I have about 5 sets of steel ones on other bikes, so I just like the design. The last few years I have found myself riding in the flats more than the drops and doing the bullmoose allowed me to run an XTR rear without a Wolftooth tanpan.
Cane Creek's titanium eeWings are a perfect complement to the titanium frame
AVT: Tell us about the components and why you chose them.
Kellan: It's got low gearing for the crazy hills we have around here. Shimano XTR brake levers with Dura-Ace flat-mount calipers, XTR rear derailleur and rear shifter, XT cassette (11-40), Ultegra front derailleur, Metrea front shifter, Phil Wood Disc hubs laced to Astral Wanderlust rims, Cane Creek eeWings with Praxis Works chainrings (48/32t), Phil Wood tapered headset and red seatpost collar to match the red of the hubs, Chris King ThreadFit 30, Ritchey Carbon Bullmoose bar, Enve Gravel fork. Overall, I tried to do as many US-Made parts as I could, though the bar is the an exception there.
AVT: Was it hard deciding whether to have the ti frame painted or not?
Kellan: I like Desalvo's bike that he showed at last year's Chris King Open House, and once I had those Phil Wood hubs, I just had to have John paint it.
AVT: Why did you end up going with the Astral rims?
Kellan: I wanted US-Made rims if possible, and the wanderlusts are some of the best US-Made rims you can get. On top of that, the guys at Astral are just good folks, and I like supporting them.
We love seeing the amazing work of two local builders combined in one beautiful and unique bike. It really does seem like the perfect use of Phil Wood's stunning and playfully-colored hubs, and we're stoked to get to show it to you!
This week's wheel build of the week is another super versatile gravel set up that's equally at home on road or CX.
Astral's Wanderlust Carbon rim is originally designed as a lightweight adventure / gravel rim capable of running up to 2.5" tires. But given their rim profile (23mm internal, 29mm external) they can perform double (or triple) duty as a pure road rim or cyclo-cross race wheelset.