Titanium and leather = a match made in heaven
Toby wanted to build his dream super-commuter: a bike which could cater to his weekday commuting needs but also maintain a level of performance for longer weekend hill rides.
He also had a very clear idea of the bike's traditional aesthetic, so that played a large part when it came to component selection.
We were initially planning to use a Bossi Summit frame with a non-standard fork because we needed headlight and mudguard mounts. Finding a fork which matched the Summit's geometry and would also complement the performance and feel of the frame proved next to impossible so we switched to the Grit frame. The Grit had the added bonuses of slightly longer chain stays (for better heel-to-pannier clearance) plus the potential to go to larger tyres.
Toby wanted the simplicity of a 1x11 drive train, and didn't require a massively wide cassette range, so the SRAM Force 1 groupset -- mated to an 11-36 cassette -- fitted the bill nicely. Force gives that perfect compromise between weight, performance, durability and price, so it's generally our go-to SRAM groupset for custom builds.
The wheelset needed to be robust enough to offer a high level of performance but also fit the project's overall budget. To this end, we custom-built the wheels with an SP dynamo front hub, Novatec sealed bearing rear hub, Alex rims and silver DT butted spokes. A set of tan wall Panaracer tyres completed the look.
To continue the traditional aesthetic, we picked silver SKS guards and a Tubus rack, as well as a polished alloy Thomson stem and Soma handlebars. (These are two of the very few good-quality silver combinations which are still available.)
To finish the style off, we couldn't go past Brooks handlebar tape and a matching saddle. They added the perfect touch to a very beautiful high-performance commuting bike, with the added benefit of matching the Panaracer's sidewalls very nicely.