Bikes & Set Ups: Geir Åsmund Myge Hansen – Stribe Cycles - Juno
Gravel Union On
15 July 2021
Stribe Cycles might not be a brand that gravel riders outside of their home country of Norway have heard of, but when we were sent a link to some images of their Juno gravel bike, built to an impeccable standard by Gravel Union reader Geir Åsmund Myge Hansen, we wanted to know more.
Geir introduced his Stribe Cycles Juno by saying “This is my dream build, and it actually turned out even better than I hoped for. I was a bit worried that it was going to be too much titanium/titanium colour, but I think it turned out great. It rides like a dream, being set up like an aggressive road racer but being both stable and nimble. It’s also extremely comfortable compared to my aluminium road bike. Building it without electronic gearing or power meter also keeps alive the ideal that the bike is a simple machine, not needing to be plugged in even if I’m going out for long rides - even though I know that this is not a real-world problem. My frame was actually from their first ever production batch of frames.”
With the age of 40 fast approaching, I had an excellent excuse to use the n+1 principle and increase the size of my bike stable. I already owned a road bike and had rebuilt an MTB with drop bars, so a proper gravel bike quickly appeared on top of the list. I wanted a fast and comfortable bike with geometry on the not-too-sluggish side, 700c wheels, room for minimum 40 mm tyres and a classic look with straight tubes and non-dropped seatstays or chainstays. Being responsible for The Graveling Circus, I thought I had a decent overview of the gravel scene, but when all of a sudden, a brand-new Norwegian titanium gravel bike appeared on Instagram, I was sold! The first prototype from Stribe Cycles was a road bike, but it eventually it evolved into a fast gravel bike, called the Juno and that ticked all the boxes.
The Juno is a classic looking titanium frame. It is specced with a tapered carbon fork, spot-on geometry, is ready for either mechanical or Di2 set-ups, has a 44 mm headtube, 68 mm BSA BB, flat mount brake mounts, 43 mm maximum tire clearance, internal cable routing and 12 mm thru-axle front and rear. In addition, I really liked the look with a finish split between polished and bead blasted titanium.
Having a short torso and long arms, I went size S - one size down from the one recommended on their five-size offering, as I wanted the bike to be on the racier side. I had already built a few bikes before, so I wanted to do this one myself as well. In total, it took about ten months from ordering the frame to finishing the build, which is not too bad taking into consideration that this was in the middle of the Corona virus situation.
When configuring the bike build, I already had a few things set. I wanted to run a mechanical Shimano groupset ( no electronics for me, thanks), mid-height carbon wheels, and I wanted a “complete” look with seatpost, fork and stem matching the frame, but critically without the cable salad often associated with mechanical drivetrains. I was hoping to use a 1x11 Shimano GRX groupset, but because of part shortage resulting from the Corona virus situation, the shifters and brake callipers had to be changed to Dura-Ace. The seatpost is the titanium offering from Thomson, and it is topped off with a padded saddle from Berk Composites.
The cockpit consists of a 11 cm Pro LT stem, with an out-front computer mount from F3 Cycling, and the handlebars are 40 cm Pro Vibe Aero Alloy with Pro Sport Control tape. The wheels are DT Swiss GRC 1400 Spline set up with CX tubes from Tubolito and Ultradynamico Cava JFF 700c X 42 tyres. The rotors are Shimano XTR 160 mm both front and rear, the cassette is 11-42 Shimano XT and the pedals are Shimano XTR with the shorter spindle to compensate for the larger Q factor of the crankset. The crankset is Cane Creek eeWings with a 42-tooth chainring from Wolf Tooth Components. The bottom bracket and headset are from Cane Creek, with a top cap from Wolf Tooth Components.
The finished bike turned out even better than I could dream of. The bike is set up rather aggressively with a -17 degrees stem, but it still feels stable yet nimble, and the ride quality is silky smooth over rough gravel and bad tarmac. When it comes to looks, I think I achieved the complete look I was aiming for. The seatpost matches the polished finish at the rear end of the frame, while the fork, stem and top cap are painted to match the bead blasted front. The titanium grey theme is also continued on the wheel decals and stripe on the computer mount. The cables are routed internally through both the handlebars and frame, and the cables are gathered in heat shrink tubing from handlebars to frame.
In addition to the cat logo on the headtube, which is made by masking off that area during the bead blasting process, my favourite part of this build is the Cane Creek eeWings crankset. I have been craving this crankset since I first laid my eyes on it, and it looks even better in real life. Matching the crankset with bottom bracket and headset from Cane Creek also gave the bike its name The Hellbender. I will also have to mention the saddle from Berk Composites. This was their padded offering all the way back from 2015, even before the model got its name Lupina, and it has been with me on numerous builds and configurations ever since.
Geir finished his email to us by saying that he doesn’t have any tie-in/link with Stribe Cycles but wanted us to mention how impressed he was by their service!