Is it gravel or mountain?

An Odd Bird Indeed

When Shimano contacted 10 frame builders to offer the opportunity to build a frame around the release of their recently launched GRX Limited components, each of the builders responded with an emphatic “yes!” And true to the nature of the gravel bike’s intended components, all the bikes that were built ran with drop bars. Well, all of them except one.

Although best known for his jaw-droppingly beautiful titanium road and gravel bikes, Mosaic founder Aaron Barcheck broke from the drop-bar mold this time to take advantage of Shimano offering GRX-branded under-the-bar shifters to go along with the rest of the component kit, which is special by virtue of a polished finish. The GRX components were originally released in 2019 and brought dirt-specific technology to the skinny-tire community. The Limited parts are based on the same 11-speed drivetrain and disc brakes, just now with the retro-like facelift.

Don’t be fooled. The under-the-bar GRX shifters are simply re-branded mountain bike parts.


In reality, the GRX-branded levers and shifter are already found in Shimano’s mountain bike catalog; for this release, they just received the gravel-friendly naming to fill out the family line. As one Shimano tech reminded us, for true mountain bike needs, Shimano’s dedicated mountain bike parts, with an emphasis on lower gearing, would still be the ideal choice for hardcore off-road riding. Still, Aaron’s 700c wheel/flat-handlebar hybrid had a unique look to it and was just another reminder of how the different categories of off-road riding can come together to create a beautiful bike.

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