Before there were 29ers, Gravel Grinders, Monster Cross bikes… we made what we called a road bike with fat 700c tires. It was made in August of 1988 and it had the first generation of 700c x 43mm Rock ‘n Road Tires that where made by Cheng Shin that turned into Maxxis. Until the middle of last year it was the only Lugged Rock ‘n Road in existence. Then I made another Lugged Rock ‘n Road for myself for a Show in North Carolina. That means that every 26 years I make myself a Lugged Rock ‘n Road. So I am due for a new one when I’m 92.
I would not build anything different for modern gravel grinder geometry wise, except for the parts, and a sloping tube. That bike has an early Deore XT group with Bio Pace chain rings, with 6 speed cassette. It has Nitto bars, that I slightly flared on the drops, (I will not do that again, not recommended). If I put modern parts on it, it would ride just like the current Gravel Grinders, although the bike is from 1988.
A Brief History of Rock 'n Road
Video by : Nick Haig-Arack
The paint job was the only four-color powder job I’ve ever done at the shop. It was done by Sean Walling who now is Soul Craft Bicycles
It was made from a variety of tubing, it has a Columbus SP Seat Tube and Down Tube. A Columbus SL Top Tube, 1cm Chain Stays and Tange Prestige Fork Blades and Seat Stays. It is a 72º Head Angle, with a 73º Seat Angle, 58cm Top Tube, 43 cm Chain Stay, 7cm of drop, and 5.0cm of Rake. The Lugs were stamped steel lugs from Japan, for early Lugged Mountain Bikes, with a 1.125 inch Top Tube, and an 1.25 Down Tube. I copied the Salsa stem, and made the stem to go with it. Probably, because I was sharing a shop with Salsa Cycles at that time.