Back to the Grind part 1: Caletti Cycles Back to the Grind part 1: Caletti Cycles

Back to the Grind part 1: Caletti Cycles

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Monday, October 19, 2015

All photos © John Watson at The Radavist

The first edition of Grinduro featured a brutal 62-mile course with 8,000 feet of climbing (nearly all on dirt) as well as some incredibly beautiful bikes from Northern California-based handmade bike builders.

The submisison by Santa Cruz-based builder John Caletti for this show was a sleek media blasted titanium gravel bike with polished graphics and a SRAM Force 1 groupset with hydraulic disc brakes.

Curious to learn more about this beautiful machine, we sat down with John and had him give us a run down on why he built the bike the way he did:

What's the concept behind this bike?

I would call this my ‘adventure road bike,’ the idea being with Grinduro in mind, which would be a mixed course of both pavement and dirt. Here it’s quite rugged dirt, but the common thing I hear is that a rider might say, ‘Hey, my buddies are starting to do this kind of riding… I want to go past this fire gate and do these dirt connectors,” so a bike that has bigger tire clearance, a little more wheelbase, the handling is slightly stabilized compared to a road racer, so it’s better for rough or uneven surfaces, whether that is bad pavement or dirt roads, but still maintain the nimble or quick handling characteristics that a road bike has that makes it fun to ride in a spirited way. So it will still maintain road manners, but be much more comfortable when the road gets bad or turns to dirt compared to a road bike. 

What's the story on the tubing?

Tubing is all titanium. I use as much US sourced tubing as I can. I mix in some Dedacciai stuff. They have some really nice oversized chainstays that are shaped and tapered so you get a little more volume in the chainstay, because there is a lot of power moving through that and with most titanium bikes that has been a tough spot in terms of finding a tube. With this we can bring the volume up at the bottom bracket and still maintain really good tire clearance and connect to the dropouts really nicely. On this one I’ve done a swoop-stay style to kind of play around with a different brake location to tuck in that brake a little further and change the aesthetic a little bit. As things are changing moving forward we will probably be going to other systems like flat mount.

How did you apply the graphics? What’s the process?

Giro got some custom cut vinyl masks of the art and logos Jeff did for the event. I polished up the tube and anodized the area, then applied the masks. After that I got the frame media blasted to get that satin finish, and when the masks are removed the polished and anodized graphics remain. 

Why go with 1x on this build?

It brings down the weight of the bike a little bit. The aesthetics of it are really nice.

Everything is changing. Obviously, 1x has taken off huge on the mountain bike-side of things, but now as we are seeing different types of dropbar bikes and where they are being ridden and how they are being ridden, components are coming along with that and it will be interesting to see where that goes next. 

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