bicycle frame material: steel bicycle type: other frame size: Various make / manufacturer: Salsa, Soma, Ritchey, Bombtrack model name / number: Vaya, Marrakesh, Wolverine, Hook wheel size: other/unknown
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Looking for a new gravel, adventure or touring bike for the remainder of 2021 or for the upcoming 2022 riding season and finding out that such unicorns don't and likely won't exist till next Fall?
All's not lost however as our little adventure bike focused shop (Maine Bike Works here in Saco, Maine) started planned for this dearth of bikes last Spring and we now have some awesome options for folks who want to get out and ride this Fall rather than waiting till next Spring (or later) for a new bike.
Specifically, we've started stocking up on dozens of our most popular gravel / touring bikes framesets (frames and forks) and assuming your budget extends to at least $3k for some of our frames (and we still have your size), we can build them up and get you out riding pretty darn quick. Complete builds on the more expensive frames will start around $3,500 or $4k depending on the frameset. These awesome custom builds have already been super popular and we've had a great 2021 putting folks on them so they could ride this year. From all account, 2022 will have even worse availbility than this year did, so building up a custom frame is one of the only sure ways to get on a new bike - as a bonus, you'll be riding in only a few weeks rather than waiting for a random email from a more traditional shop which can only backorder you a future bike. Here are our heavy hitters we've had great success with. All steel frames, all awesome.
FRAME OPTION 1:
The first frameset we can help you with is from Salsa and is their Vaya gravel and light touring frame. It makes a great speedy comfy gravel bike, light tourer or even commuter. If I needed a bike that sits super upright (ie comfy) and wanted to ride a bike across the country, yet have a speedy bike to ride on the weekends unloaded with gear, you'd be hard pressed to beat the Vaya. The Bombtrack Hooks and Ritchey Outbacks may be sportier and potentially lighter, but they are also slightly more bent over (though no where as bent over as a traditional road or gravel bike - we simply don't carry bikes we can't get people comfy on).
The second frameset is also from Salsa and is their Marrakesh touring and adventure frame. Totally, go anywhere do anything bike. Hard to think of something you could throw at this bike that it couldn't do. Can run a Rohloff internally geared hub too which is something that 99.9% of the world's frames can't. Drop bars or alt bars (like the Jones Loop, Surly Moloko, or Velo Orange Crazy bars) - Saul Goodman.
The third frameset is the racey, yet still adventury steel Bombtrack Hook frameset with carbon fork. We're one of the few Bombtrack dealers in the country as they are slowly getting their foothold here stateside, but if you check them out, you'll see these German beauties have adventure and touring in their DNA as Bombtrack does nothing but bikes with an adventure bent. Because of the high end nature of their frames, our builds for Bombtracks start in the $3,500 range.
FRAME OPTION 4:
For the fourth frameset is the Hook EXT if you're looking for a frameset with a bit more tire clearance. Can do everything that the Hook can, but with a bit more beef.
FRAME OPTION 5:
The fifth frameset we're able to put folks on right now is the Salsa Fargo. Handdown, nothing is more bikepacky than the Fargo. Touring and off road touring is in its name. Over the years, we've personally built up 6 or 7 Fargos which have ridden down the Great Divide Mountainbike Route which is about 3k miles of trail down the spine of the Rocky Mountains. A great bike to live off of if you have a big adventure ahead. That said, we've built up an equal number for folks who want a monster gravel bike that sits upright with skinny gravel tires opposed to bikepacking tires. I love em with 2x cranks to give the most versitlilty for those days you want to use it as a go fast road bike opposed to carrying the kitchen sink in the desert. Drop bars or flatter more upright alts like Jones, Molokos or Crazybars - Saul Goodman.
FRAME OPTION 6:
The raciest, lightest, yet still able to fully load and tour is the awesome Ritchey Logic Outback
Because of the crazy high end tubing and fork on this frameset, our builds start at circa $4,000 on up depending on how you want to flesh them out. We have the Guac y Creme (Green and Creme) color way in the shop, but can order the Sunset Fade if Ritchey still has them when you ask.
FRAME OPTION 7A:
The Type A Wolverine in Blue which is a go anywhere, do anything full still beauty that can be built up into the ultimate gravel, tourer, or bikepacking bike. Set it up with either traditional chain and derailleur type drivetrains or with a Rohloff internal geared drivetrain - your choice. One of the few bikes which accepts a Rohloff internally geared hub (chain drive - for Gates Belt Drive see the Type B). It sits a bit more upright a bit more than the green Type B (got mo STACK, but that may not come into play since both bikes come with uncut fork steertubes so we can get your bars up to pretty much any position you want on either model). Sweet!
The green Type B can do everything that the blue type blue can but if you decide to put a Rohloff internal geared hub on it, the little gate/split on the seat stay means you can put a Gates Carbon Belt on it if you decide not to use a chain. The Type A, can only run a chain with Rohloff. Either is awesome and has advantages. Get in touch to flesh them out or test ride to see if you dig Rohloff enough to put on your next ride.
I probably shouldn't jinx it, by talking about them before they hatch, but come November we'll be one of the few shops in the country who will be getting a handful of Tumbleweed Stargazer framesets. If you're looking for a dyed in the wool bleeding edge steel bikepacking bike from one of the most respected builders in the country, check it out. An all new model for them and one we really have high hopes for. Think of it as a purpose built Fargo or a custom bikepacking focused Kona ULTD. Our builds will probably be in the $4k-$4,500 range and we'll be getting one of each size.
These 8 custom builds have been super popular and within the last couple months (the yet to be released Tumbeweed Stargazer notwithstanding). We've already built dozens of bikes for folks all around New England, many of whom have plans to ride across the country or get out and gravel grind on either this summer or next. The final prices of the build range from $3k to $5k depending on how many accessories etc you want us to hang on the bikes from day one. The Bombtrack Hooks and Salsa Fargo builds tend to start around $3,500 due to the more expensive nature of their framesets (and the Tumbleweed and Ritchey Outbacks will punch circa $4k to $4,500+ due to theirs. Whatever your price range, we try to customize them as much as possible for our customers individual needs and within our customers budget.
While we have these frames, we can still make folk's dreams come true. After they are gone however, it will probably be a long 2022 Spring, Summer and Fall without much availability.
If this has piqued your interest shoot us an email (listed in this ad and on our website: www.MaineBikeWorks.com) and let us know your height rough inseam length and what adventures you have planned and we'll take it from there. We'll ask you a few questions to help you dial in the right frame and build package for your needs.
While ever bike is a custom bike where we work one on one with you remotely to ensure you get the bike the best fits your budget and riding style, we find that that most folks adventures will align nicely with one of the following build packages.
BUILD OPTION A: a touring / commuting / more gear carrying focused build
BUILD OPTION B: a sportier, slightly more day gravel riding build
though you could easily do either style of riding with either build and we can add on as many additional adventury goodies as you might want in the form of racks, bags, dynamo powered lights and the ability to charge up your USB devices while you ride using our self-power options. Either style will let you have a choice of traditional drop / road bars or one of the alternative flatter bars that are out there these days (Jones Loop Bars, Velo Orange Crazy Bars, Surly Sunrise bars etc) depending on how you would like your cockpit and positioning to come out.
OPTION C: the full MBW custom
We've made our reputation as being the place that can completely customize a bike from soup to nuts so if one of our usual builds don't strike your fancy then we can of course push the boat out for you and squeeze in as much bikey goodness from all the lovely boutique brands that are out there today while staying under whatever limits have been imposed by the home finance committee. Normally, we can even do our custom builds nice and quickly for folks, but these days even the most common bike parts take forever to come back into stock / for us to source, so the more we moved the build away from Options A or B, the less chance all the parts would arrive during this riding season.
No matter which build package we advise you to go with, we're always happy to hear about your favorite colors too and we'll do our best to work in some awesome visual accents and highlights that will truly make the bike your own.
Want to see example of what I'm rambling on about? Well, click the the pics above to see some of the fun custom builds we've already been doing for folks this Spring and if you'd like to see the bikes in even more detail, we'd encourage you to check out both our website www.MaineBikeWorks.com and particularly our Facebook page www.facebook.com/mainebikeworks and Instagram page www.instagram.com/mainebikeworks for some digital inspiration.
So even at this point of the bike-supply apocalypse, we're still giving folks loads and loads of options and the only real constraints are your imagination and the budget of the home finance committee.
If any of the above ramble has piqued your interest, we'd love to hear from you. Reach out to us by email or call into the shop any Wed to Sat 10 to 5 when we're in the shop and we can walk you through the fairly quick and easy process of remotely getting you out riding on your own custom bike.
Cheers from the MBW crew!
( Answering phones and replying to emails: Wed to Sat, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. )
(( FYI, full contact details are available on our website: www.MaineBikeWorks.com ))
((( Oh yeah, email the shop directly via the email address on our website as we're finding the emails being sent when you use Craigslist's messaging system simply aren't showing up on our end for whatever reason? )))
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