This is a very old project in the workshop for some TLC, and a new steel fork. Lugged gravel / allroad frames are rare, and it takes careful lug selection and manipulation with the high fork A/C for such use, but it’s possible, these are super high quality Llewellyn sloping format lugs, which make the work a real pleasure.
Giving it a quite unique optic for the category. lugs give clear graphic lines to work with colour and detailing. This project started more as an allroad project but from the tyres you see its looking more gravel today which shows how with long term logic a frame has longevity to adapt to rider expectations. With a new steel fork with rack bosses it will evolve into a light all road backpacking rig, with the addition of a Tailfin rack system at the rear, and a few other component tweaks.
Though the tubes are not so oversize as many gravel frames I build, this over/oversize lugged layout is a very capable frame with a Reynolds 853 main frame and Columbus Zona rear stays. I took it for a quick spin the other evening and was refreshed how intuitive and springy the ride feels. It’s also a pleasure for me to see how a bike evolves with the owners riding style, and feel the steel fork will better suit the frame especially in its new role.
I have another lugged gravel project coming up and love the heritage look with a thoroughly modern ride quality, it feels emotionally harmonious with the spirit of bike packing, which is as old as cycling.