Light and Airy: Kate’s English Cycles Graveleur

Fun Little Bike: Kate's English Cycles Graveleur

A frame by Oregon’s Rob English is something a little bit more than just a frame: it’s a statement. Rob’s customer Kate wanted a gravel bike that not only made a statement but suited her physically — and she got something exceptionally special.

Fun Little Bike: Kate's English Cycles Graveleur

Kate was after a road bike with a more adventurous slant — something that could run up to 32mm tyres. Rob responded with a variation on his V3 frame design, adjusted for Kate’s 5’1″ and 116lbs physique.

Fun Little Bike: Kate's English Cycles Graveleur

A professional bike fit was necessary due to some shoulder issues that Kate has but once Rob had her optimum geometry on hand, he got to work, designing the rest of the frame around his signature pencil-thin seat stays and her other requisites.

Fun Little Bike: Kate's English Cycles Graveleur

Specifically, Kate listed wide tyre clearances, disc brakes, super-low gearing for steep climbs, and a light final weight. Rob paid special attention to the tubing selection used to achieve a light frame, but one that could withstand the rigours of gravel riding.

Fun Little Bike: Kate's English Cycles Graveleur

The business end of the drivetrain is a pair of 28/42 Extralite chainrings and carbon cranks by California’s Lightning Bikes — a little known firm founded by rocket scientist Tim Brummer that specialise in ultra-lightweight cranks and recumbents.

Fun Little Bike: Kate's English Cycles Graveleur

The 28/42 ratio in the front is married to a SRAM 10-42 cassette which results in a configuration that will eat alps for breakfast. The XTR derailleurs are shifted by Dura-Ace shifters, solving the perennial problem of using MTB mechs with drop bar brifters.

Fun Little Bike: Kate's English Cycles Graveleur

Kate had a definite idea about how she wanted her new frame to look, and she worked with Eric and Bethany at Colorworks in Eugene, Oregon, on the scheme. It’s light and airy, just like it’s final weight… fully built, it tipped the scales at 15.7lbs.

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Fun Little Bike: Kate's English Cycles Graveleur