VPACE is a German brand whose portfolio is caught in a wonderful place between straight-up, purpose-built examples of Teutonic engineering, and completely free-styled creativity. Their T1ST frame set forms the basis of both.
The titanium T1ST is a versatile frame set that VPACE has already wrangled into many configurations: there’s a been a randonneur and ‘gravel grinder’ version, set up for long distance dirt road racing, and this order was for a customer who wanted a mix of both.
Germany has specific rules regarding bicycle lighting, and the Gravel-Master is fitted with Supernova’s E3 Triple 2 light — “For Racing Only” — which is not actually road-legal in Germany. The model is targeted at the 24-hour marathon racing market… three CREE LEDs make it one of the brightest dynamo lights in the world.
The rear is also lit by an E3 tail light, and the combination ensures its rider is well illuminated on his travels home from races, which are often routed through dark sections of forest. The front dynamo hub powers both, with cabling running up through a fork leg.
The other leg of the CAFK carbon fork is equipped with Shimano’s road disc brakes. The top tube is emblazoned with the motto, “The Sky’s The Limit”, which is inspiration enough for all riders, let alone those on a German-designed titanium ride.
Shimano’s Ultegra groupset is the finishing kit, complemented by a Ritchey WCS handlebar and stem, while the wheels are a pair of Velocity Aileron disc-only hoops laced to 32 hole Supernova HR hubs and Schwalbe Sammy Slick 35mm tires.
All in all, the complete bike weighs 9.8kg with fenders and lights — not a bad total for what is basically a BMW K series bicycle. The Munich carriage maker would do well to take note for their next foray into the pedal-powered world.