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So far it’s a solo ride.

On the Road Part 2: Julius' V1 Scarab Apuna Complete Build

Julius Berith |

When it came time to build my Scarab Apuna, I had two versions of the bike in mind. For V1, I wanted to showcase that you can build a beautiful custom bike for under $10K without compromising on parts and ride quality while leaving room for upgrades later down the road.


I wanted to carry the frame's paint design to the wheels, splitting the front and rear into two themes: business in the front and party in the back. To match the headset, we laced a set of Chris King hubs with trusty Sapim CX-Ray spokes mated to DTSwiss GR 531 rims. The aluminum gravel rim has an inner width of 24mm and a depth of 25mm. Although not the lightest, it's bomb-proof for the riding that I do. The wheels were set up tubeless with Orange Seal Endurance and wrapped in Rene Herse Orondo Grade 700x31mm tyres in the Endurance casing. I chose the Orondo Grade because Brennan (our resident gravel professional) previously said that they were basically mini-gravel tires and suggested I give them a chance. Spoiler alert: he was right.


I repurposed my Shimano GRX Di2 11-speed groupset for the drivetrain with a Quarq power meter and Dura-Ace Chainrings finished with the Ceramicspeed pairing of an OSPW and coated bottom bracket. The groupset had been used for two months on my Mosaic when I moved to the Bay Area and realized I needed a bigger gear range for gravel. Combined with the XTR pedals, the group sits right at home on the all-road Apuna.


I went with Ritchey WCS alloy components for the cockpit, which are known for their light weight, strength, and affordability. They're also straightforward to remove the logos off-of to match the clean look of the de-stickered rims, if that's your thing. For the saddle, I've been riding the Form Cycling Throne RS for a few months now and think it's the most comfortable saddle I've ever had. The saddle is made to support the full cradle of the pelvis, giving the rider an even feeling of full pressure distribution, which helps rotate the rider forward to engage higher in the leg muscles and glutes.

For finishing bits, we finished the bike off with all titanium hardware for increased strength and power, decreased weight and added corrosion resistance.

Riding Impressions

I've been riding the bike for a couple of months now, and there are noticeable differences between my Specialized Diverge E5 and my Mosaic GT-1 45. The Scarab is a little heavier, but that was expected, given the differences in materials and components. The Scarab is not as stiff or responsive as the Mosaic, but it's the smoothest riding of the three. And when combined with the lovely "buzz" of the steel frame, the supple Rene Herse tires make you feel like you're gliding on a stick of butter.


Next Steps

Working at AC, we test a lot of different equipment in order to provide feedback to our partners and readers. I've recently had the privilege of riding the Apuna with a pair of Lightweight Meilenstein EVO wheels, and they have completely transformed the bike into the nimble and responsive hammer that it is.

As far as plans for V2, I've got some carbon bits out for paint matching and plan on re-lacing the wheels with carbon rims, but that's all I'm willing to give away for now…stay tuned.

If you're interested in a Scarab, we have two bikes available for immediate sale at the AC studio and can also work with you on a fully custom build.

Santa Rosa Integrated: Built with oversized ovalized main tubing, a T47 bottom bracket, and short taper chain stays make this Scarab's fastest and most reactive road platform. The frame utilizes ENVE's integrated disc fork with clearance of up to 700x35mm tires. Also from ENVE is the brand's seat post and the latest one-piece cockpit design that's painted to match and provides a cohesive, cleaned-up front end. The bike features Scarab's Magdalena paint scheme, which recalls an eye-opening bikepacking trip that traversed the Magdalena River in Colombia.

The build includes Hunt 44 Aerodynamicist carbon wheels, SRAM Force AXS groupset with an OSPW and BB from Kogel, titanium hardware throughout and Schwalbe Pro One tires to finish off the bike. On this particular bike, the seat tube is 56cm center-to-top, and the top tube is 54cm center-to-center. The cockpit features a 110mm stem length and 40cm center-to-center bar width.

The price is $12,565

Scarab Apuna: The Apüna is Scarab's do-it-all race gravel/all-road bike. Scarab took inspiration from the Colombian ethnic group in La Guajira, the Wayuu, and named its all-road model Apüna, meaning trail or path in their language. Based on the design of a road bike but with the ability to clear higher volume tyres, the Scarab Apüna will take you to places you never dreamed of.

Click through to see the spec - the price is $10,794.77.

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