We didn't come back from Icebike empty handed - there was a new Equlibrium 853 frame stowed away in the boot of Mat's van, And to give it a run out I'm going to get it built up in time for the Barry's Bristol Ball Buster 214km Audax in a couple of weeks. So if you're coming to that, check it out in the flesh.
It's getting a full Audax build cause I'm hoping to also use it for the 400km Brevet Cymru, which will be my first 400km ride, in May. Here's how it's shaping up so far...
Headset: Spin Bling Ti - very nice Titanium unit, the frame deserves nothing less really...
Bars and stem: Zipp Service Course SL - These are in for testing, and the short and shallow profile of the bars should give some comfy hand positions for long hours in the saddle. They're pretty light, too. The 110mm stem might be a bit short though, we'll see.
Wheels: handbuilt Mavic Open Pro on SP-PV8 dynohub/Halo Spin Master Pro - These are the wheels I've been running on the Jamis Quest for a few months and they've been on my own Equlibrium too. They'll be running a Supernova E3 Pro lighting system, and that funny looking spacer on the top of the stem is a Supernova Plug USB port that also runs from the hub, perfect for topping up your phone or Garmin on the go.
Tyres: Panaracer RiBMo 700x28c - The RiBMo is one of my favourite heavy duty tyres. They're super-resistant to punctures but at 365g an end they're a good bit lighter than some of the other options. They roll well and they're comfy too.
Mudguards: PDW Full Metal - again, these are in for testing so this is a good opportunity. They're an interesting design that can be fitted to bikes without eyelets, although obviously that's not a problem here.
Rack: Tortec Velocity - a nice low-profile unit that suits the frame well. The Equilibrium doesn't have rack mounts so I'm using a Salsa rack collar as the top mount. You can't fit a rack-top bag to the Velocity because the platform isn't wide enough, but I figure I'll probably use a pannier for the 400km
Seatpost and saddle: The seatpost is a Bontrager carbon one that's from the parts drawer. The Charge spoon is my favourite saddle but I think I might need a different colour one for this build...
That just leaves the transmission and we're good to go! Since I'm under no illusions about my climbing ability or the amount of hills on the Brevet Cymru, I'm thinking 105 triple might be the most pragmatic option. When it's finished, and I've put some miles into it, we'll get reviewing!
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.