So my trusty GT Grade is getting a little long in the tooth and I’m starting to look for a replacement. I’ve been on the hunt for a while, and while I’ve seen a few frames that get really close to the geometry/ spec I like, nothing matches perfectly. On the suggestion of a buddy looked at a custom Ti welder in China he’s used (Waltly) so I’ve been taking a crack at laying out what I would like out of the geometry, and curious what people here think. It will replace my Grade that’s kind of been my jack of all bike; gravel rides, exploring rides, road rides, cross races (just dorking around in 4/5, nothing serious), commuting, and it’s usually the bike I travel with if not racing. The only thing I don’t really think I’ll need it for is super loaded down bikepacking, just don’t see that in my future.
For reference my “road” bikes are the Grade (size 58) and a Canyon Ultimate (Size L), I like the way they both ride. The Canyon rides a really nice line between quick handling and stability. I’ve never felt like the geo is holding my cornering back, but also feel like I can ride it on autopilot all day long on any road that’s predominantly pavement. As for the grade, It absolutely feels a bit slower and planted, but I also feel like it’s just a bit tall for me, I could get a bit more forward if I really wanted to rip on it on the road, and wish it was just a touch quicker to corner.
Here’s my logic for the geo I have now. I started with the geo of the Grade, then steepened the seat tube a touch and extended the top tube a bit to be able to get forward if I want, shortened the head tube a bit, and adjusted the head tube angle and fork (ENVE Gravel) to tighten up the trail a bit. Also shortened the seat tube to get some more flex out of the seat post, like on the Canyon. It actually matches fairly closely to a Cosmic Stallion I rode that I quite liked. Let me know how this looks or if I’ve done anything colossally stupid. I know this is nothing groundbreaking and I could find close enough to what I want off the shelf, but I’m actually enjoying this process quite a bit.