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So far it’s a solo ride.

Mosaic on Tour: A Gravel Bike for Bob Roll

Julius Berith |

We work with clients from all over the world to build some of the finest and most beautiful bicycles ever to grace the road. For some customers, it's their dream bike; for others, it's the N+1 to their collection. And then there are those special occasions when a cycling household name walks into the studio, like Bob Roll, an original member of the first-ever U.S. cycling team to attend the Tour de France.

Like most, I grew up watching and listening to Paul, Phil, and Bob provide coverage during the Lance years of the Tour, so "Bobke" was like the uncle of American cycling. I met Bob on my first day at AC after seeing the autographed Graham Watson photo of Bob from the 1988 Paris Roubaix in the studio; I had no idea he was friends with Chad and a regular. 

Bob came to us with a box of mix-and-match parts and asked us to build him a gravel bike with a frame that was compatible with what was inside. We took Bob's bits, but we also contacted some of our partners to see if we could elevate the build and add a little swagger deserving of the Bob Roll name.

The Build

When it came to the frame, we worked with Mosaic Cycles to spec a GT-2 45 in size 56 because the only thing that Bob emphasized was that the top tube length should be 565mm. Mosaic offers two lines of their frames, including their fully custom made-to-order 1-series (6-8 weeks production time) and their 2-series (1-2 week production time) that utilize a T3A/2.5V straight gauge titanium tubeset and stock sizes ranging from 48-62cm. The 2-series is a fantastic choice for those who don't necessarily need a made-to-order frame and aren't too fussed about the paint scheme.

For the cockpit, we opted for ENVE because of its quality, warranty, and reliability. Bob's running the brand's 110mm stem, 42cm compact bar, and a 27.2mm setback seatpost with a Form Cycling Throne RS saddle mounted atop. To finish the ENVE theme, we installed a set of G23 wheels wrapped in Rene Herse 700x44mm Manastash Ridge in the Endurance casing set-up tubeless with Orange Seal Endurance sealant. 

At the bottom of Bob's box, we found a Shimano GRX Limited Edition silver groupset, a quality drivetrain that complements the bike well. When asked if he'd consider going electronic, he simply said: "I'm old school and prefer mechanical". There's no school like the old school, Bob. Also from Shimano is a pair of the brand's GRX wheels wrapped in a set of Rene Herse Orondo Grade 700x31mm tires in the Endurance casing to serve as Bob's road wheelset.

Because we're Above Category, we had to do our signature moves to the drivetrain, which includes a stripped and waxed chain, Ceramicspeed's usual cast of characters including an OSPW and coated bottom bracket, and to finish, black titanium hardware throughout. 

Bob took the bike to Europe this summer, where he's currently riding sections of the Tour between his coverage duties. We look forward to hearing the new stories that this gravel bike will inevitably help to create and maybe even get this American bike muddy like that famous picture from 1988. 

Thank you to our partners at Mosaic Cycles, Ceramicspeed, ENVE, and Form Cycling for your support and helping to make this build happen.

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