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My Cube Gravel Amateur

In a past life this was a "Cross Race". I'm not cross, and I don't race anymore, so a name change was in order, along with a host of other changes.

This bike has been through a lot. It's been raced through horrible northern cyclocross courses year after year. It's been used as a commuter. It's been an adventure bike, exploring the coast paths of Cornwall, caked in sand and salt. Every time it's come back fighting, like a boxer who just doesn't know when to quit. I owed it a new lease of life after all it had given me, and I wanted to challenge myself.

Bristol is awash with fantastic graffiti. The things some people can do with cans of spray paint will blow your mind, and I'd seen somewhere some incredible anaglyph text, reminiscent of the old red/blue 3D films of the 50s, so after stripping the frame back to the bare metal and priming I set to work.

This is easily the most intricate paint job I've ever done. Each piece of text and each logo involved three separate stencils, each perfectly positioned to create the desired effect. This was after laying down the fades on the toptube and the inside of the forks and masking off with needle-fine geometric masks.

I'm not often given over to pride, but I am genuinely proud of the paint on this bike. To complement, a few new parts were added. Notably some custom wheels with contrast nipples around the valve and red/blue bitex hubs, and some extremely wide Ritchey Venturemax bars. The grips divide opinion, but regardless they are a great boost to an already ergonomically positive handlebar. Lastly a stem, engraved with a modification of the Litany Against Fear from Dune. A reminder to go for the scary stuff sometimes.

And now, to take it down some more filthy byways.

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