Readers’ Rig: Nathan’s Niner ‘Gravel Bike’

Readers’ Rig: Does Nathan own a gravel bike that you can ride on the road? Or is it a road bike that you can ride on gravel? It doesn’t really matter, as his Niner is a fine looking steed, built for comfort entirely to Nathan’s own spec.

Name: Nathan Beach.
Location: Gresham Oregon.
Frame: 2016 Niner BSB9 RDO.
Group: Campagnolo Record.
Handlebar/Stem: Cinelli Neo Morphe/Thomson X2.
Wheels: Fast Carbon alloy rims, I-9 rear hub. Laced for me custom by Mark Lipchick of Eugene. This is my second set of his wheels. Both pairs arrived lighter than expected. While I don’t have that many miles on this set yet, but the first has been on my commuter for three years now. A bike that previously was eating wheels about every six months. Not a single issue or true. Highly recommended.
Pedals: Shimano XT.
Saddle: SQ lab 611 Hans Rey edition.
Other: Hope four pitson Brakes, blue.
The color scheme turned out so pleasing to me. Initially I had hoped for something reminiscent of Celeste green to work with. I wound up with something in homage to my favorite racer, Alexandre Vinokourov, and my favorite team: the classic Yeti team of the nineties.
Weight: 19.06 dry weight.

When did you buy it?
Bought the frame three years ago, pieced the parts together over time after that. Final build this spring accomplished by Lifecycle Bikeshop out of Eugene OR. I cannot say enough about how well those guys take care of me. And the final few details would never have happened without them.

What made you choose this bike?
I wanted a road bike with disks, before that had become ubiquitous. I also wanted greater comfort than previous, so greater tire width was a factor. Yet I still wanted light and racy. While this seems to now be what many would call a “gravel bike” I dreamed up before that was a thing. This is my bike, a sweeter road bike than any I have previously owned, as well as a nicer mountain bike than what my heroes of youth ever got to ride.

Have you done any modifications/additions to it?
It was entirely my spec. The contact points in particular I am very proud of. The Neo morphe bars have such an array of positions and shapes, and the SQ lab saddle is heaven. First saddle I have started buying for all my other bikes!

How many miles/kilometers do you do a year?
3000-5000 miles.

What do you love about this bike?
Fast, agile, stable, sexy, gorgeous. Makes me a better rider, and motivates me to ride more!

Favorite riding areas?
Powell’s Butte.

Top riding experience on your bike?
Every time.

Future upgrades?
Might get Hope Rotors to match the brakes. Carbon fiber rims, just cause.

Last words:
While I loved the creative process of speccing this myself, and I could not be more proud, I doubt I will do so again. There were several last minute snags in the build that left me totally out of my depth. Covid had just hit and supplies chains were chaotic. Zack Smucz and Justin Bezelj at Lifecycle in Eugene managed to work some kind of magic. Next time I plan to involve them in the process from the start. Next up is a rig for the trails nearby at Sandy Ridge. My hardtail ain’t gonna cut it!

Thanks to Nathan for sharing his ride with us. Got a bike that you walk into the room just to stare at? Well, how about sharing it with fellow PEZ fans and getting it featured in Readers’ Rigs so we can all stare at it! Send us a Readers’ Rigs submission direct to and your bike could be featured in all its glory here on the pages of PEZ.

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