Primed And Ready: August Bicycles Grinduro Gravel Bike

Primed And Ready: August Bicycles Grinduro Gravel Bike

Having debuted a pre-trend gravel bike at Bespoked, back in 2015, Gavin Buxton, AKA August Bicycles, has always had an eye for more adventure-focused styles of frames and riding, which must be why he got the call-up for Grinduro Scotland this year.

Primed And Ready: August Bicycles Grinduro Gravel Bike

Given a brief to “design, build and race” a gravel bike, dripping in high-end components donated by sponsors Chris King, Columbus, Fabric, SRAM, and Zipp, while kitted out head-to-toe by Giro was an opportunity too good to pass up. However, tight timeframes, unavoidable delays, and a paint crisis made a little extra creativity essential.

Primed And Ready: August Bicycles Grinduro Gravel Bike

There’s a running joke in the August workshop that Gavin will never #justputafancypaintjobonit. Essentially, while his paint schemes might seem a little understated and minimal to some, he sees a more subtle finish as a chance to let the engineering of each frame take the spotlight. For the Grinduro paint job, a cacophony of purples and greys were dreamt up, with a deep gloss top coat to finish it all off, but that dream didn’t quite materialise.

Primed And Ready: August Bicycles Grinduro Gravel Bike

When a booked professional paint slot came and went before any tubing had arrived, post-dinner chats about “just rattle-canning the blasted thing” began. While good-natured banter with other builders suggested they were thinking the same thing, it turned out that only August was in a serious time crunch and that’s how the faux patina purple rub-through scheme was born, late at night, in the workshop.

Primed And Ready: August Bicycles Grinduro Gravel Bike

Layers of black, grey and purple primer and paint were applied to the Columbus Life and HSS tube set and then rubbed back in order to create a weathered, yet highly polished finish. The offset seat stays increase tyre clearance, but also offer a more exciting seat cluster aesthetic than is normally seen.

The Grinduro brand-appropriate look was also designed to work with stainless accents, such as the head badge and Gavin’s Columbus dove cut-out badge that is his personal twist on a classic frame addition. The paint got a lot of attention, thankfully — for the right reasons.

Primed And Ready: August Bicycles Grinduro Gravel Bike

While aged paint finishes might suit a gravel bike down to the ground, the build kit requited something of a more elegant touch, which is why a T47 bottom bracket was chosen, kindly donated by C-Bear. This allowed for the rear brake hose to be routed inside the frame, from head tube to rear caliper. The size of the shell made it possible to sneak the hose around the bottom bracket axle, inside the frame.

Primed And Ready: August Bicycles Grinduro Gravel Bike

Columbus Futura gravel forks are designed for a 700c gravel wheel, but 650b Zipp wheels were fitted, with a carefully chosen WTB tire, which tucked nicely between the blades. Though the bike is currently shod with 650b wheels, the frame was designed to allow clearance for 700 x 40 tires, with minimal geometry change.

Primed And Ready: August Bicycles Grinduro Gravel Bike

SRAM supplied a coveted eTap WiFLi™ groupset and while the specifications state that a 2×11 set-up is required, Gavin decided to buck the rules in a bid to satisfy some curiosity and prove that there are more diverse ways to utilize the groupset.

The front mech was unused, the double chainrings were swapped out for a single Sram X-Sync chain ring and the 11×34 WiFLi™ cassette was substituted with a 10×42 XX1 MTB cassette. Although the rear derailleur isn’t clutch equipped, chain drop hasn’t been an issue at all.

Primed And Ready: August Bicycles Grinduro Gravel Bike

Stainless flat mount caliper bosses were machined in-house from scratch to allow for less chain stay manipulation, and they afforded some significant weight saving — compared to standard off the shelf parts. Being stainless, the mounting face for the caliper could be left unpainted too, allowing for better fitment.

Primed And Ready: August Bicycles Grinduro Gravel Bike

Paragon Machine Syntace dropouts were employed, because large brands use this system, making complementary parts easier to source. As ever, they weren’t used straight out of the box, so the rear face of the non-driveside dropout offered enough real estate for some weight saving and on-brand customization. Machined grooves and a stainless logo liven up an otherwise forgotten surface.

Primed And Ready: August Bicycles Grinduro Gravel Bike

The final finishing touch was a timeless speedometer, thoughtfully provided by Omata. Tying in perfectly with not only the classic frame styling and uncluttered carbon cockpit but also the upmarket componentry, it brought the entire ‘diamond in the rough’ design concept together.

August Bicycles Website | Instagram

Big thanks to Amy Buxton for the story and photos.

Primed And Ready: August Bicycles Grinduro Gravel Bike