Unbound Gravel is just days away and as expected there’s the usual flurry of exciting and interesting new products related to the booming gravel scene. Shimano has unveiled a
new GRX wheelset but perhaps piquing wider interest is the mention of a new limited edition groupset – GRX Limited.
In the simplest sense, GRX Limited is the usual
11-speed GRX 800-series mechanical groupset with a brushed or polished silver finish wherever possible. Shimano has produced the limited edition groups in 1x, 2x and flat-bar variants.
And while the sound of a silver polished GRX groupset may get even the most hardcore of Campagnolo mechanical fans salivating (or crying?), its availability is sadly far more limited than you may have hoped. Shimano has only produced “several thousand” groups, with select members of the custom bike builder scene getting first dibs, and a few left-overs expected to land on the shelves of a small handful of US-based retailers. GRX Limited, yes it is.
With such exclusivity, Shimano has collaborated with a number of prolific custom bike builders for an exhibition at this year’s Unbound Gravel event. This gallery – which may be the closest some of us get to the new limited-release groupset – takes a look at ten stunning custom gravel bikes that are each well worth a share.
First off the rank is this delicious candy apple red Enigma. Hailing from Hailsham, United Kingdom, Enigma’s creations are always spectacular.
A beautifully painted-to-match PRO cockpit.
The rear end of this titanium frameset is polished to match the limited release groupset.
Another angle of that rich handlebar and stem.
Fender mounts provided.
This paintwork is impressively rich in colour.
The folks at Firefly Bicycles are masters of titanium.
Boston, Massachusetts-based Firefly chose to build its showbike around the 2×11 version of Shimano’s GRX Limited group. Look past your reflection in your crank and you may see some of the impeccable detail that this frame offers, such as the external butting that reinforces the seat tube bidon cage bolts, and the made-by-Firefly direct-mount rear derailleur hanger.
Firefly is among a growing number of custom builders using 3D-printed titanium dropouts.
Another American master of titanium – Seven. This is Seven’s Evergreen S gravel bike, a straight-gauge offering built to take a beating.
The multiple tones of grey and silver just work.
Flat-mount disc tabs present unique challenges to titanium builders because the intense heat can dramatic warping when the tabs are welded on to the dropout. Seven’s solution is to use a separate part made of machined aluminum that bolts on to the plate-style titanium dropout.
Another angle of the Seven.
Speedvagen needs little introduction.
The use of an integrated seatpost is a signature feature of the Portland, Oregon-based builder.
Shimano’s GRX Limited groups feature silver lever blades on the dropbar shifters.
That paint! It shouldn’t be a surprise given it’s something Speedvagen is well known for.
More wild paint on this steel beauty.
Perhaps best known for its aluminium crit frames, Low Bicycles has put together this gravel racer.
A closer look at the 1x version of Shimano’s GRX Limited group.
Is it even a gravel bike if the bars aren’t flared? (Correct answer: run what you want).
As seen with the smoothed welds and shielded rear dropout, Low’s bikes are full of little details that are rarely found on more mainstream aluminium offerings.
This Terlingua Steel from Chumba is built to be somewhat of an all-rounder.
Another photo of a crank you probably can’t buy.
Chumba recently added tapered machined head tubes to its gravel bikes.
Chumba frames are made in Austin, Texas.
Often a crowd favourite, Rob English is displaying a bike at Unbound Gravel, too.
A custom steel truss fork sits on the front of this creation from English.
English chose the 2x version of GRX Limited for this build. Also note those twin-tube chainstays, English’s way of squeezing those chainrings and fat tires into such a confined area.
Wow Rob, those are some strange looking rim brakes!
Of all ten bikes in this gallery, this one travelled the furthest. Angel Cycle Works is a titanium frame builder from A Coruña, Galicia, Spain.
A chainstay yoke is used to help drop the driveside chainstay and squeeze the tyre clearance to its limit.
This bike has the hoses and rear derailleur housing routed through the headset.
Angel Cycle Works has packed a surprisingly amount of detail into this gravel racer. The asymmetrical chainstays, shielded dropouts, and internal cable routing all work together for a clean-yet-modern look.
A bright and traditionally shaped steel creation from Mariposa Bicycles.
Mariposa Bicycles have been making steel frames in Toronto, Canada for more than 50 years.
This is how the new GRX Limited group looks on a metallic blue, red, yellow, green, pink, baby blue, and purple frame.
Mosaic decided to make use of the Shimano’s flat bar version of the GRX Limited group. This sure is one nice flavel bike.
A handlebar from PRO’s mountain bike range meets a gravel-labelled set of brake levers from Shimano’s mountain bike range.
The paint fade on the fork is just lovely.
Welds that spark joy from the Boulder-based titanium specialists.