Grinding it Out
All photos © Jordan Clark Haggard
Grinduro is the kind of event that inspires people to build their dream bikes. Jeremy Dunn is one of those people. Jeremy and his wife Julie Krasniak are founders of The Athletic—a company that produces athletic apparel for cycling, running, basketball, and more. One of the many apparel designs Jeremy has developed is this year's Team Wooly Mammoth kit. His custom VYNL cross bike makes use of the same Team Wooly Mammoth themes and incorporates elements of the first “rattle can” paint job associated with the team.
We asked Jeremy to tell us more about the bike and some of the design and build decisions that he made to put together this gorgeous ride. Here’s how that exchange went:
What can you tell us about the tubeset?
It is 7005 aluminum and hand welded by Frank the Welder. With Made in the USA Paragon Dropouts! Oh man, what else can I tell you? I've wanted a bike built by Frank ever since I heard about him when I was working at a shop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin around the year 2000. We had a customer that used to come in wearing the coolest Spooky Bicycles T-shirts and always dragging the bike behind him. He was so mythical, that man, so when I heard that Frank or "FTW" as he is known, was building this run of VYNL bikes I said, "sign me up."
What is the geometry like? Any special tweaks for such a unique event like Grinduro?
This is a full on racing cyclocross bike. I thought that was the point of Grinduro? Was I wrong? Kidding! While we were thinking of this machine as more of a CX race specific rig (low bottom bracket etc) we also had it in the back of our collective minds to make sure that it was going to handle well on longer rides. You know, the "ground gravel" kind. So, leaving the geometry a little more open and traditional is helpful in that regard. And for shouldering, always think about being able to shoulder your bike. Now, I also know that your traditional "race" rig probably doesn't need bottle bosses, but we figured it couldn't hurt anything, especially with Grinduro right over the horizon.
Why did you choose a SRAM 1x drivetrain?
I rode the SRAM 1x drivetrain last year at Grinduro and I've basically been sold on it ever since. The clutch rear derailleur is in my feeble mind the greatest invention to ever hit gravel road riding. Because who really wants their chain slapping all over the place on those washboard sections? No one does, that's the answer. After riding it in Quincy last year I put it to the test at the cyclocross race courses out here in Oregon and Washington and I haven't looked back since.
How much tire clearance does the frame and fork have?
I was running Clement MSO Tubeless tires 700 x 36 and they're fantastic. The wide ZIPP 30 Course rims helped to round out the tire a bit. I'm here to report not one flat. Which was a definite change from last year. I might have had a lot of tire pressure in there, which caused a little bumpiness on some of the descents, but I'd trade that any day over the number of flats that I changed last year. We've easily gotten 700 x 40 tires on there that still leave a little room. So, I'm excited to try some larger tires in there.
Anything else that is special about this bike?
The paint scheme for sure. We have a team that we run out here called Team Wooly Mammoth. We base a lot of our training techniques on words like "colorful," "space" and "fun" so the challenge with the paint was to try and incorporate that into what we were doing. Plus, then add a little sex appeal, just to spice things up. So, as you might imagine, neither my first or surname is "Romancer" but where it comes from is the first "rattle can" paint job that was associated with Team Wooly Mammoth. There are actually two frames painted in this fashion, one for myself and one for Patrick aka @UltraTradition.
Shifters/Brakes: SRAM Force 1
Rear derailleur: SRAM Force 1 long cage
Cassette: SRAM XG-1150 10-42t
Crankset: SRAM Force 1 GXP 172.5mm length 110 BCD
Chainring: Force 1 X-SYNC 40t
Chain: SRAM PC-1170
Seatpost: Zipp SL Speed 0 offset
Saddle: Fizik Arione
Handlebar: Zipp Service Course SL-80 44cm
Tires: Clement MSO 36 Tubeless
Frameset: VYNL Cyclocross 55cm