Bike Check: Foundry Overland, Gravel Grinding Steed of the South

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Within our first year of living in Greenville, SC, Jared and I pursued every mapped and legal mountain bike trail a day trip away. I’d call Jared a local and not myself, mostly because my memory is a wide-holed sieve, and I don’t recall trail details and directions like he does. Nevertheless, I am proud to say I’ve ridden over 1,000 miles on my mountain bike since moving to The South. (Strava recorded it, so it’s truth!)

So, to keep things fresh for 2017 (and to have a reason to buy another bike), I’ve decided to visit these same places, but experience them from a different point of view. Via endless networks of gravel and dirt roads. Gravel grinding!

For my non-cycling followers, gravel grinding bikes can be cyclocross bikes exactly, but they can also take on qualities of their own. They are a drop bar road bike with disc brakes, and frame clearance to allow much wider tires than road bikes do. They can be made of the same material as road bikes (aluminum, carbon, titanium), but the latter two materials do a better job of absorbing vibrations from the bumpy conditions. Gravel bikes have qualities that make them more stable on unpredictable surfaces, such as longer wheelbases and a lower bottom bracket. Well, let’s just get to the pictures, can’t we!?!?!

This is my first titanium bike ever! The Foundry Cycles Overland is a full titanium frame with a carbon Whiskey No. 9 fork. It has front and rear thru-axles and can accommodate up to a 41mm tire.

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I started with just the frame/fork. Thanks to Jared for building it up with a Thomson Elite seat post.

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And a Thomson Elite stem.

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Mavic Ksyrium Elite All Road WTS with tasty chocolate colored hubs.

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Sexy Shimano IceTech Freeza 140mm rotors front and rear.

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Shimano Ultegra hydraulic group. Classic Novara steel cages.

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I have the bike temporarily outfitted with road pedals and semi-slick tires for an upcoming race in Irmo, SC that’s on fast hard pack dirt and paved roads.

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All these photos were taken in DuPont State Forest, NC. High Falls, Lake Julia, and the barn at the end of Barn Trail (no way!) are featured here. Fun fact: This forest was used to shoot scenes for The Last of the Mohicans and The Hunger Games.

 

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