Gnat’s Bike: Dirty Six

The Dirty Kanza 200 is fast approaching and I am in the final stages of putting my gear together. I wrote last week that I designed and built a special bike for this event. Keep in mind that I don’t intend to be a contender in the race. If I were 10 years younger and had been gifted with different genes, then I may have made different choices. But I am 40, need comfort and demand a bike to take me lots of places over just about any terrain. With that, here is a closer look at my personal dream bike.

Last winter I painstakingly put together my ideal bike for the DK200 and another event I hope to do and write about some other time. I wanted a bike that had the key features of function, 29er wheels & the comfort of my beloved Fargo, but in a lighter, faster specification. The only logical choice was to build my custom bike utilizing titanium. Oh yes, the sweet silver alloy with the unmistakable ride quality, durability and low weight. Yes, this comes at a price, but for me and my intended use, I think it is worth every penny.

Upon receiving the frame, I set out to spec the bike as my ultimate long distance, ultra lite adventure bike. My parts choice is based on durability and function. It is designed not for traditional touring racks; think Epic Designs bags and Salsa’s upcoming Minimalist rack system. I think it is a bit over the top and should provide the perfect platform for the Dirty Kanza 200 and other future epic adventures, but you can judge for yourself. Here is my build spec for the DK.

Frame: My Bike With No Name
Fork: Salsa CroMoto Grande 29er
Headset: Cane Creek 110
Rear Derailleur: XTR M950 series
Front Derailleur: XTR M960 series
Crank/BB: XTR M950 series 36-48T
Cassette: Dura Ace 12-27T 9-speed
Chain: Shimano Dura Ace 9-speed
Shifters: Shimano 9-speed bar end
Brake Levers: Cane Creek Drop V levers
Brakes: Avid BB-7 Mtn Mechanical disc brakes
Cables/Housing: Jagwire Stainless with Compressionless housing
Bar: Salsa Woodchipper, 31.8mm, size 46cm
Stem: Salsa ProMoto Ti, 100mm, 31.8mm
Tape: Salsa Gel – Black
Seatpost: Eriksen Ti or Cane Creek Thudbuster ST (depends on terrain)
Saddle: Fizik Aliante Gamma
Rims: Stans 355 29er rims
Hubs: Shimano XTR M970 Centerlock
Rotors: Shimano XT Centerlock
Spokes/Nipples: DT 2.0/1.8 with brass nipples
Tires: Bontrager XR1’s 29er 1.9 tires (set up tubeless)
Skewers: Salsa Stainless – Black
Cages: Salsa Nickless Cage
Bags: Epic Designs Gas Tank, Custom Frame Bag & Timbuk2 seatbag
Lights: Princeton Tec EOS

So….I think that is the perfect set up for… I’ve got a few thousand miles on it and absolutely love it so far. Will it help me finish the DK? I guess I’ll find out later this week. Wish me luck!


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This post filed under topics: Dirty Kanza 200 Gravel

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Jason Boucher

Jason Boucher

Growing up as a Minnesota farm boy, I developed an appreciation and love for land and open space. This appreciation has fostered two passions, cycling and photography. Both of these passions provide freedom, encourage me to explore and foster creativity. More importantly though, my journey with a bike and a camera reminds me that the world is big and I am small.


MG | June 2nd, 2010

That bike is so cool… I love it.  Can’t wait to ride with you at the ‘Kanza, good buddy.  We’re gonna’ have a great time!

See you in Emporia…


Guitar Ted | June 2nd, 2010

Too cool! It’s about exactly what I would want too. I bet you’ll be super pleased you rode this one afterward too. Kansas’ Flint Hills are pretty brutal!

See ya soon!

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JP | June 3rd, 2010

This bike looks SWEET!  I wish you’d do a La Raza Ti frame…

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