That’s really nice looking. Looks like a really good adventure rig.
I think yes… I built last year a bike with a custom made in Italy titanium frame and mechanical rim brake dura ace.
The frame has my name laser etched, so it will definitely be mine forever!
3 things speaks against an Athos as a forever and travel bike:
Internal cable routing.
Can’t retrofit S&S couplers
There is always the Seven Redsky XX but thats even more expensive than Atheos - i can live with 29mm tyres over 33mm.
My forever bikes usually last about 3-4 years.
Realized that it just isn’t a thing for me. I have learned that the shiny new object holds to much power over me.
Forever bikes are harder to keep forever depending when you get them.
If you’d bought a lovely ti frame in 2000 you’d get a good 15+ years before a major jump in technology (discs) so can easily keep it running and upgrading components. Likewise MTB had a long period when geo and wheel size had stabilised so a long forever bike would work.
The last few years has seen shifts to 27.5 and 29er plus a dramatic geo change for MTB, and shifts to discs for all types of road bikes. Once this is done forever bikes are a lot more forever.
A big part of the “forever bike,” though, is surely being happy with the tech as it is at a certain point, and not wanting to care about latest fads any more; some forever bikes out there might have downtube shifters, toe clips and only clearance for 23c tires, but it makes the owner happy even though he doesn’t want to cold spread the rear spacing and has to make do with 7 speeds.
So changes like a slacker head tube, bigger wheel size, different braking system might all be improvements on what went before, there’s always going to be someone who settles for less than that.
Oh, I agree in some parts, things like aero handlebars or mega short/long cranks or 1x seem like trends you’d be able to not worry about but the new wheel sizes for MTB haven’t made 26inch tyres totally untenable but for performance parts, it’s pretty hard going.
The geo really did make a big difference going from a 2005 full sus to a 2016 one, and a 2016 bike is looking pretty dated now too. When I got my 2005 Kona it was a forever plan but the changes in 15 years were radical.
I think my ali gravel/adventure bike is close to a forever thing, not because it’s my dream frame (although it is lovely and fun) but it can take as wide tyres as you could foresee for the road without becoming an MTB, it runs discs which I’m not going away from, it uses standard shaped bit like seat posts and BSA threaded BB so won’t be difficult to keep running. There would have to be some really big changes in geo/wheels/drivetrain to replace it.
I thought about the idea but in the end it’s a bit silly. If I race it or push the envelope, crashes are always a possibility, and frames do fatigue (particularly metal) and break eventually. As time goes on, the bikes are getting better, anyway, so it makes no sense to be stuck at any point and declare that this is perfection.
Love my CF aero race bike and my steel gravel bike, but neither are going to last forever, the bikes in five or ten years will be even better, and I wouldn’t want to deprive myself of new bike day for the rest of my life anyway.
What was one of your forever bikes that turned out not to be a forever bike?
I think it may be useful to point out that “Forever bike” doesn’t necessarily equate to “Best bike” in terms of measurable dimensions or performance
I never planned to have a forever bike. Kept building, riding, selling, loving the change. Then I built a titanium (No. 22). It’s not a fast racer, but I just love everything about it. So I’ve inadvertantly turned into a long-term monogomist. I guess the original question starting this thread could be the age-old question, “How do know you’re with the one?”, and answer, “you just do”.
To actually answer your question in this third reply, yes, of course you can own and maintain a “forever” bike–it simply takes a bit of planning and preparation. I have a circa 2000 carbon Giant MCM SE, and though the frame actually has disc mounts, I got rid of the disc brakes, and changed the shock fork to a straight carbon, switched the bars to an aftermarket integrated carbon version–all of which are easy to source even now. The hard things are high quality 26 inch wheels, and some of the mechanicals.
This is where the planning and preparation come in–I have an extra set (or more) of all the parts that may perish at some point, including wheels, shifters, brake calipers, gears, and so forth–so, I’ll always be able to keep it running, regardless of whatever the current industry standards are. I do the same for my road bikes (where I am enjoying the bliss of 10 speed, mechanicals (no “e”), sans disc, etc.)
Often happens once you own a well designed titanium frame.
Buy a new groupset every 10th year and spend your money on über smooth tyres, nice clothes and bike trips.
I went the opposite direction. I thought I was ready for the “forever bike”. Got it. Loved it. Then my cycling interests changed and I sold it to get a different bike!
So I guess, the moral for me was, does it make you feel a special kind of feeling to have a bike “forever”? Go for it. Otherwise, don’t sacrifice what you’re riding for nothing. Ride what makes you happy.
A ‘forever’ bike is not a feature of the product, but a state of mind, a relationship.
My ‘forever’ bike is a 1990 Trek steel MTB that I bought at university, repainted, built up from scratch with all new components in 2006. It is versatile, completely uninteresting to thieves, and a great bike for rainy day commuting / lugging groceries and kids around.
When I got my gravel bike in 2019, it was originally to replace this one. But I just can’t do it. It holds too many memories.
And it is awesome to have a bike that you don’t have to baby. If I am attending to the kids in the trailer and it falls over, scratching the frame, I don’t even blink an eye.
It’s still possible to buy cantilever brakes which were made obsolete by v-brakes more than 20 years ago, so I think rim brake users are fine.
Octalink and ISIS bottom bracket standards is another story, but we can still find those too.
Speaking of the RedSky series by Seven, here is my Honey Midurance. It essentially the non-custom RedSky S (straight guage tubes). I think this bike will stay with me for a long time.
Despite being made from stock geometry, I’d say this bike fits me as if it were custom. The frame is about 3.3 lbs, but super solid with the 1" chainstays. I haven’t yet run 32mm tires on it yet since I keep fenders on it with this configuration (28mm tires).
I really wish it had a straight 1 1/8" steer tube, because the oversize head tube and fork are really more stiff than they need to be. In the long term I would have a hard time getting that fork replaced. However, I’d gladly pay to have a custom steel fork made for it. The other annoying thing about all Mid-reach brakes (as far as I know) is that they are best mated to a normal pull brake lever. With my TRP RG 957 brakes, you must use Shimano SLR, Campy or Sram brake levers. I tried Super SLR levers and the braking power became very poor. I imagine the same would be true with Super-SLR EV levers. Braking power is very good I must add.
1" chainstays makes all the difference on TI bikes, my Merlin also has 1" - my dirt cheap Chinese CX TI has 3/4. It fels like nothings happening when climbing, where as the now 15y old Merlin climbs like a rocket on par with modern carbon bikes.
As for the headtube i can only agree, Tapered can be too stiff. My CX has a tapered TRP CX fork. Its great for riding acrobatic trails in the forrest but on long paved days my hands are getting numb even with 40mm tires. My Merlin with a 1 1/8 fork is just smooth on 25-28mm…
You’d might consider a 1 1/8 fork and a different lower headset. I’ve considered replacing my tapered TRP with a 1 1/8 Ritchey.
Indeed on my similar Kinesis I have RG 957 brakes, and they are perfectly fine with Sram 10 speed levers.
You just need (well for looks only) to turn this front DA quick-release around
Good eye. I’ve been putting my front skewer lever on the right hand side since the late 90’s when my Manitou SX’s damper dial wouldn’t be adjustable with the QR lever on the left side. I also realized that when I am removing the wheel, I prefer to use my right hand anyways, for both front and rear. When I pivot my body to remove one wheel and must remove the other one, the lever will be accessed with my right hand.