Chad Swanson, longtime friend of the shop and fellow S&M teammate, recently had us build him a new cross bike. However the term “cross bike” might be a slight misnomer, as I see Chad’s new bike as more of a futuristic race machine, a “Blade Runner” if you will. For those that need a quick refresher – “Blade Runners” are a covert group of police officers in charge with tracking down and retiring replicants. Though it might be a stretch, Swanson’s new whip is sort of a covert operative in its own right, on the forefront of cyclocross technology – retiring older technologies with ease, efficiency, and powerful braking.
Overdrawn metaphors aside, Chad and his wife Anna live out in the gorge, and the majority of Chad’s rides are on the amazing gravel forest service roads that abound in that area. A cross bike is an unbeatable tool for the mix of rugged on and off-road terrain – and Foundry’s Auger disc frameset is a shining example of the versatility that a good cross bike offers. Stiff, light, and disc ready, with svelte fender eyelets to boot – the Auger frame is a jack of all trades. To maximize braking potential, Chad opted to go with TRP’s new hydraulic disc brake system designed for standard road levers. TRP’s “Parabox” is one of the first widely available options for those looking to get the braking performance they’re used to on their mountain bikes – on skinnier tired bikes. A neat pair of master cylinders is hidden beneath the stem, and is actuated by the cable pull of standard road brake levers, thus allowing the user to employ their old levers as well as inline brake levers if so desired. The rest of the bike is rounded out with a race ready mixture of Shimano 10-spd pieces, and some Chinese carbon tubular rims thrown in for good measure.
All in all – Swanson’s new custom Foundry Auger, aka the “Blade Runner”, employs some of the newer technologies that will gradually retire the era of cantilevers and perhaps even mechanical disc brakes on cross bikes. But more importantly, Chad has set himself up with a bike that will handle the steep gravel grades around his home with ease, all the while tearing up the local cyclocross scene.
If any of this piques your interest, give us a call or drop by the shop, as custom projects such as Chad’s “Blade Runner” are one of our specialties.