Lynskey Monster Cross Bike – The Third Revision
Since the creation of this rig in late 2013, its subtle evolution continues as improvements in drivetrain components become available. The drivetrain has always been centered around electronic shifting – I (JOM) am a firm believer in this technology. Having ridden and raced in some appalling conditions, Shimano’s Di2 systems have proven bombproof reliable – no cables or housings to foul, and no worries about cable tension. Just don’t forget to check your battery status before you head out for a ride or race!
Brakes, on the other hand, have been a source of contention. Disc brakes are fantastic in all sorts of weather, and I certainly appreciate the simplicity and ease associated with working on mechanical disc brakes. Unfortunately, in very trying (and muddy) conditions, infiltration of mud and schmutz into my brake cable housings and the bearings / brake actuator arms themselves has led to brake failure. Nothing can keep wet Georgia red clay at bay.
For the second revision of my Lynskey Monster CX bike, I took the plunge with Shimano’s hydraulic Di2 shifters and brakes. No regrets with that upgrade, brake performance is outstanding. For the third and latest revision, I have installed Shimano’s XTR Di2 derailleurs, which were very handy in solving another problem that cropped up when I converted to 11 speed on the Lynskey. More about that HERE.
Without further ado, Revision three.
JOM’s Lynskey Monster Cross Bike – 3rd Time Lucky
Frame: Lynskey M290 29’er, Titanium 3/2.5 construction.
Fork: Niner RDO 29er, thru axle.
Headset: Cane Creek 1 1/8 to 1 1/4″.
Seatpost: Brand X titanium post, zero setback with beer can shim to prevent slippage. Shimano Di2 battery is housed inside.
Saddle: Fizik Arione.
Wheelset: American Classic Race 29’er – read the Gravel Cyclist review HERE.
Tyres: Specialized Renegade 1.8″ or Schwalbe Furious Fred 2.0″, configured tubeless.
Handlebars: Kestrel EMS, 42cm centre to centre.
Stem: Syntace Flat Force, 66mm.
Shifters: Shimano R785 Di2 Hydraulic Road with SM-EW90-B 5 port Junction A box and Di2 remote climbing shifter.
Derailleurs: Shimano XTR Di2 M9050 front derailleur, XTR Di2 M9050 rear derailleur.
Crankset: Shimano XTR M970 10-speed with 42 / 28 chainrings.
Bottom Bracket: Hawk Racing external – read the Gravel Cyclist review HERE.
Pedals: Shimano XTR.
Cassette: SRAM 1170 11-26 or 11-36 11 speed.
Brakes: Shimano BR-RS785 Hydraulic calipers with Shimano XT 160mm Ice-Tech Rotors.
Bottle Cages: King Cage Titanium.
More about the Bike
- The Gravel Cyclist crew rolls exclusively on American Classic wheelsets (our 2015 / 2016 wheel sponsor), primarily the MTB Race 29’er. This wheelset works great for MTB, Gravel or CX use, and tips the scales at sub-1500 grams.
- The bike tips the scales at about 20.5lbs, which is light considering there are absolutely no weight weenie parts anywhere. Gravel cycling and racing = durability should be the highest priority.
- The improved brakes and bigger tires (tyres) provide confidence on gnarly gravel road descents.