We love our gravel bikes and we're continuously amazed at how capable they've become. Light and nimble enough to guise as a road bike at the local road race yet burly enough to clean a range of single track trails. They're awesome, without a doubt, but they do have their limits. Sometimes the speed, pitch, and gnarliness of the trails we desire to ride require something more. The need for more is exactly what set us down the path of working with our athlete on this custom Mosaic MT-1. A titanium, down-country shred sled, built to tackle the steepest fire roads and sweetest single track nor-cal has to offer.
It might be a hardtail, but it's meant to shred. Slacker angles, big bars, a little bit longer fork, routing for a dropper, and room for meaty tires. A true mountain-biker's mountain bike.
Handling business up front is a Fox Factory 34 step-cast fork. The step-cast design allows Fox to maintain the stiffness of a boost hub, but minimize the material mass to keep weight down. The plush, 120 millimeters of travel controlled by the venerable Fit 4 damper, is an excellent set up for all around trail riding. Being a custom bike, we did help our client take it to the next level by sending the lowers up to our friends and Velocolour for a custom spray.
For the drivetrain, we built this rig with the latest XTR. Things are nice and tidy at the bar, having the dropper shifter and dropper remote integrated into the brake clamp.
Our rider opted to go mechanical, with the single shifter pulling the XTR derailleur across the 10-51 cassette. The quad-piston trail brakes keep plenty of stopping power on tap, clamping on to 180mm rotors front and rear. The trail pedals offer a nice amount of surface area for those foot out-flat out moments.
With so many quality dropper posts on the market these days, there was a little bit of option paralysis on this choice. Ultimately we decided to save grams and went with the KS Lev Ci. It's super light, and the all black finish worked out for a stealthy look. Mounted atop is a WTB Silverado saddle. A time tested shape with Ti rails and kevlar bumpers for ultimate durability.
The cockpit is a solid Race Face set up. A Next carbon bar with a 35mm clamp and 800mm width offer plenty of stability navigating steep and fast tracks. The Turbine 35 stem matches nicely with a beautifully machined silhouette and a bomber strength to weight ratio.
The buzz around Santa Cruz Reserve rims has been undeniable and we we're excited to get a chance to lace some up for this build. We went for the 27s as a good all-arounder and built them to the new XTR hubs. Much to our mechanic's delight, they are both some of the most cleanly manufactured rims we've seen and also build up very, very nicely. Top that with their lifetime warranty and there's really noting to not like. For rubber we went with a Maxxis Rekon/Ikon 2.20" combo, an excellent set up for our Marin County dirt.
All in, the bike came out to 23.5lbs. Pretty impressive for a metal bike with a more trail oriented build. We we're really pleased with how this one came out, but what really put the icing on the cake was the level of stoke our client had after getting it out on his first ride. There's no better reward for what we do than getting a glowing report back from out riders.