What Bicycle Is That?

Seems to be the top question people ask on the road!

Most people are surprised to hear this is a $300 generic carbon bicycle from China, with some vinyl stickers glued on for my trip.  The rims are also direct from China, but with name brand spokes & hubs.  I’ve put about 2000 miles on the frame/wheel combination, including a few punishing adventure rides (one where I discovered your bicycle will float away if you don’t keep a good hold onto it.)

Why this bike instead of my (substantially more than $300) sub-15 pound Parlee?

  1. Crazy low gearing (a low gear of of 30-42)
  2. Larger tires for comfort & bad (or entirely unpaved) road conditions
  3. Security of thru-axles for mounting to the motorcycle
  4. If I break it or it gets stolen, it’s $300! (of course the parts are a lot more than that, psychologically it is still comforting.)


Frameset – Miracle Bikes FM286 Cyclocross frameset
Fork – TRP Carbon Fiber with eyelets (although I never had issues with the stock fork, it’s the one part of the bike I always worried about)
Wheels/Tires:  Light-bicycle RRU35C02 Rims (35 mm deep, 25 mm wide OD, 18 mm wide ID), DT Swiss 240S centerlock hubs + 160 mm Shimano Freeza rotors, 28 hole CX-Ray spokes.  Tires are currently Hutchinson Sector 700×32 Tubeless, although sadly they measure out to 30.4 mm, so not really great for serious dirt use.


Shiny and new, lots more wear on it since!crabon-gnarmac

Drive train:
Shifters/Brakes: Road Shimano ST-RS685 Mechanical shifting/Hydraulic brakes
Crankset:  Mountain Shimano M985 XTR 44/30 (spacers all on the non-drive side)
Front Derailleur: FD-6800 Ultegra
Cassette: SRAM 10-42 XX1 Cassette
Rear Derailleur: Mountain Shimano XTR RD-M9000 11 speed + Tanpan travel agent to work with road shifters
KMC X11SL Chain

Pedals:  XPEDO Mountain Titanium SPD compatible
Saddle: SMP Composit
Seatpost:  China knock-off of an Ergon
Bars: Easton SLX4 Carbon
Stem: 3T Team alloy

Total weight without bottles & bags:  18.7 pounds

Bags I am still experimenting with, the tail pack + front bag are 5 velcro straps to mess with every time I mount/dismount the bike, so I am experimenting with a quick release Ortlieb saddle bag.  Not as convenient as the front bag, but faster to attach/detach.

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