Silver and Gold.
Make it all silver and gold.
It’s not often we get to go all out with a project like this one, but the best part of this project is the fact that this bike is no trophy. This isn’t a piece of art for the wall. This bike will see parts of the country very few riders have been.
Howard is no foreigner to adventure. He’s crossed the country a couple times and logged countless touring miles in shorter trips in the course of his lifetime. It’s been a pleasure to work with him on this. Our initial meeting was sometime last summer. He and his brother-in-law, Brian, rolled up to NCC in full touring mode. We always stop the show to greet touring riders, and when we asked him where he was headed, he said, “Here”. They had ridden from Madison just to see the shop and maybe test ride a Jeff Jones. That was a fun day.
Months later, he emailed me and said he was ready to start talking about the project. He came equipped with a spreadsheet and a page full of questions for me. It was a blast. We went down the list of ideas, components, concepts, and preferences. It was fascinating to be on that end of the questions. Usually, I’m the one with the spreadsheets and the questions.
He and Brian visited a couple times this winter. Brian had done his own research and picked up a couple bikes himself, one for mountain touring and one for winter sanity (fatbike). As Howard took definitive steps towards this project, I let him take my Jones home with him for a couple weeks to fine tune his expectations for the build.
As we compiled the spec, the common themes were “invincible” and “stunning”. Every part of this is one or the other or both. What else could you expect out of a bike with Titanium and Diamond in the name.
We were excited to see the timing work out for us to include some of the freshest 29plus components on the market. We had originally spec’d a different rim for build, from a vendor we had hitherto trusted in this category, but Jeff Jones himself convinced us to give the WTB Scraper rims a try. They proved to be perfect. They fall into the “invincible” category here. The new Bontrager Chupacabra tires will still warm when they came in. The obvious solutions came to mind when it came to certain parts: Chris King headset and rear hub, Thomson stem, Salsa Ti Regulator post, King Kages in titanium, and the most apropos chain on the market.
This was a unique opportunity for us and we’re thankful for it. It has been a fun winter of cool builds and new customers. We’re very excited to the community come out of hibernation soon, though.
Enjoy the full gallery of this precious metals build on our Flickr page here.