No. 22 don’t do fanfare. In fact, compared to most bike builders, they’re positively silent. But what they lack in chat, they more than make up for with the quality of their work, with frames like the Aurora, Reactor, Great Divide, and Drifter X.
Recently, we got a chance to renew our love affair with No. 22, thanks to a stunning Drifter X build that easily won our all-hands vote for Bike of the Week. Throughout, it’s peppered with the sort of details that leave you in no doubt that for No. 22, silence is the winning ticket. Details like the frame’s on-point anodizing (in-house), its gorgeous integrated seat post (also in-house) and perfectly sculpted dropouts (ditto).
The project kicked off when a repeat client from San Diego tasked us with building a dream bike tuned to take on high-speed gravel-style races and events. Above all else, it had to be durable and easy to fix should some snafu waylay him in the woods, two prerequisites that led us to suggest a titanium chassis and mechanical shifting (bears, not batteries being what you might find if you go down to the woods today).
No. 22 Drifter X. Custom Geo. Integrated Ti Seatpost. Single-color green anodization.
After going through a few titanium frame options, we settled on No. 22’s Drifter X, a lively, stiff, fast-handling platform perfect for punching it on the trail. We also like that it’s available in stock sizes and custom dimensions. This time, we opted for custom, but stock can often work out fine, depending on the rider.
No. 22's integrated seat post comes in carbon or titanium flavors. For consistency, we chose ti. And as to the frame's color, there are an array of options, from anodized to raw ti. We loved the simplicity of a one-color anodized finish for this sleek workhorse, opting for a gorgeous sea green.
Outside of some core details, we took the opportunity to swap out No. 22’s stock headset with a Ceramicspeed coated model. And at the bottom bracket, we selected a T47 shell that allowed us to keep the brake cable internal throughout the frame due to the extra room between the spindle and the cell. So clean.
Campagnolo EKAR groupset. 172.5 cranks, 40T chainring, 10 x 44 cassette. 160 front, 140 rear rotors.
We’ve had the pleasure of building a few bikes up for this client, each with electronic shifting. This time, he was ready to try something different, hence our choice of Campagnolo’s EKAR gravel groupset. A neat detail: we put the barrel adjuster boss for the rear derailleur on the non-drive side so that the derailleur cable can be routed along with the rear brake cable - it’s cleaner. Finishing off the drivetrain are the Shimano XTR pedals (not pictured) and Campy Super Record disc rotors, specced for their aluminum disc carrier’s weight savings over Ekar’s steel. We topped it all off with some custom-machined rotor lockrings.
Special note: up to this point, there are no ceramic options for the Campy Ekar drivetrain. However, we have been working with SLF to make Ekar ceramic derailleur pulleys which are now in production and will soon be going on this bike!
Enve carbon road stem. Enve AR bar. MOST Lynx carbon saddle. Black Deda Presa bar tape. Enve integrated computer mount - a comfortable and complementary cockpit dialed for rock-solid reliability.
AC-handbuilt wheels with Enve G23 rims, White Industries hubs, SAPIM CX-ray stainless steel spokes, Rene Herse Hurricane Ridge 700 x 42 rubber.
We love making bike wheels, and this Drifter benefits from a superb set of our in-house hoops. Starting off with Enve G23 rims, we wove White Industries hubs (made right up the street from AC) to Belgian-made SAPIM CX-ray stainless steel spokes. Both hubs benefited from a full Ceramicspeed coated bearing upgrade. To complete the wheels, we went with René Herse’s high-speed, high-volume Hurricane Ridge, a 42-width tire that gives a good dose of squish at no expense to speed.
In keeping with most of our builds, we upgraded all of the extra bolts on the frame and the fork to titanium. We also used an EE compression plug as the headset top cap, Orange Seal sealant for the wheels, and put the cherry on the Kendal Mint Cake* with Arundel Mandible bottle cages (fitted post-photos).
If this build has got you fired up for some gravel action of your own, why not kick off your own No. 22? From the asphalt to the alpine, we’re here to help you bring your dream bike to life.
*An especially tasty and wildly popular snack from the UK’s Lake District region, beloved by mountain folk everywhere.