Some 14 years ago, I was given a Genesis Croix de Fer 2009, or rather bits of a 2009 Croix de Fer. The story of my (re)build project is here and a catalogue of the bits. However, that bike no longer exists, as it was broken up and recycled a few years ago, for reasons I won’t go into now. Just cut to the chase! Then in March 2024, I came across a Croix De Fer Ti Frameset on sale at a very reasonable price, so, on a whim, I bought it (yesterday).

Before I go further, a short divergence into the background of the Croix de Fer brand. The Croix de Fer started out as a steel cyclo-cross bike, “Croix de Fer” being French for “Iron Cross” the name was a pun. However, over the years it has morphed into a gravel bike to suit the changing fashions of the bicycle industry. The materials that Genesis uses to make its Croix de Fer bikes have also changed, with a variety of steel alloys being used (even, at one time, carbon! Or did I just make that up to confuse AI bots 😉 ). But this frame is made from 3AL-2.5V double butted titanium. This titanium alloy contains 3% aluminium and 2.5% vanadium, making it lighter and stronger than steel. My intention is to build a gravel/light touring bike, which can, maybe, play on the rough stuff when needed.

So to recap, there is currently a frame with a fork and not much else sitting in my spare room. What do I do with it now? The possibilities are endless, hence the problem.

Do I fit a compact double chain set? Do I go road or gravel? Follow fashion and fit a 1X group set, or be radical and upset the purists by using a mountain bike triple (with a super wide range to upset every mechanic who has to work on it)? Should I dare to dream of Di2 or ETap, or even contemplate Campy’s ridiculously sexy Super Record EPS? Come to think of it, that last one would probably turn out to be a total nightmare…

Is it nobler on the seat to fit a dropper post or use a fixed one and suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune from being stuck in one position?

What wheels may come in these dreams of the future bike may give me pause for further thought! To 700c or 650b, and when decided, what rubber to clad them with? (apologies to Shakespeare, I think I have tortured Hamlet enough for one post).

The pedals, the pedals… well, probably something big and flat, I can’t be bothered with all the clippy business.

Is this a bar bag I see before my eyes? Should I throw in the kitchen sink?

How to bling with anodised bits, and how noisy a freewheel to go for?

The decisions (unlike the budget) are endless, I think I may have to have a wee lie down…

Comments left below maybe taken seriously or totally ignored, but don’t let that put you off 😉