Our latest Bike of the Week is this Mosaic GT-1-45 (Gravel, Titanium 1 that takes up to 45c tires for everyone who wonders what's in a name). This went to a fantastic client in Florida who had never been on a gravel bike before and was looking to get into this side of the sport. Our brief was to build the bike so that he could have fun in his home state but also travel to races and great riding destinations around the country. So we had to do more than slap a 46t chainring paired to a 9-36 cassette on the bike. Take a look below to see how we ended up building a bike that can work anywhere.
As stated above, this is Mosaic's range-topping gravel frameset, constructed to work with 45c tires. It works most of the time with up to 48c tires, except that the Campagnolo EKAR groupset runs a slightly narrower BB shell, so we're limited to a 45c tire, which is plenty wide enough for the majority of riders out there. The frameset comes with the ENVE Gravel fork and a Chris King headset. The inspiration for the paint scheme came from a picture of our client's home country of Kenya. We were able to render the golds and browns in the main part of the frame and the blue of the sky through the cages and bar tape. Even the elephant and trees were etched on the raw titanium chain stays. Sometimes ideas transposed from one medium to another can morph along the way, but this one says safari all the way!
For the drivetrain, we went with Campagnolo EKAR for its simplicity, robustness, performance and aesthetic. For us, Ekar is the perfect group for traveling as it's a mechanically operated shifting system. It's easy to work on - especially when traveling - and you don't have to worry about batteries or firmware updates. Plus, it looks really good. And those brakes? Best in class.
The cockpit is a mix of ENVE, Deda and Fizik. ENVE AR bars, carbon Road stem and seat post, with Deda tape and the Fizik Vento Argo 00 saddle rounding out the package.
WHEELS AND TIRES
We chose Campagnolo's new Levante wheelset paired with Rene Herse Steelacoom Pass 700X38c Extra Light tires. The wheels are wide and tough and look fantastic, especially when paired with the Campagnolo EKAR group. We also sent a pair of Rene Herse Hurricane Ridge 700X42c Endurance Plus tires with the bike, as we knew our client would be heading out to Bentonville for the Big Sugar All-road race, known for big, sharp rocks throughout the course. The tires were set up tubeless with Orange Seal sealant.
This Mosaic was a straightforward build, as we wanted to keep things as simple and durable as possible. But we managed to fit a few trick parts, like the Ceramicspeed bottom bracket and a set of the new SLF coated ceramic pulley wheels. The cages were from Silca, and the trick and super light seat post collar is from Darimo out of Spain.
The Ridden Word
After all that tech talk, you're probably wondering how the bike rides, so we'll leave the final word to its proud owner: "The bike generates a confidence and wanderlust that's quite new for me. It makes me want to really explore, to be in nature, to tackle that hill. To pack a few days worth of food and get out of dodge. Something between a rebel and a nomad."