Ventus Custom Cycles, based in Ames, Iowa, was founded in 2006 by builder Mark Kargol. Ventus began as a custom frame painting venture, but soon grew to include hand-built frames, such as this beautifully lugged gravel bike.

Ventus Custom Cycles displayed this steel lugged, carbon tubed gravel racer at NAHBS 2013 © Jesse Pisel

Ventus Custom Cycles displayed this steel lugged, carbon tubed gravel racer at NAHBS 2013 © Jesse Pisel

This Ventus is built from carbon tubing and hand-crafted stainless steel lugs, and features internal cable routing, integrated seat mast, and seat stays that bolt into the seat tube and slider dropout, which allows for easy single-speed conversion. Kargol stated that the 44mm headtube and slightly longer-than-cross rake and chainstays were to accommodate the longer distance gravel rides

The bolt-in seat stays allow Kargol to modify the frame geometry slightly without having to completely revise the lugs © Jesse Pisel

The bolt-in seat stays allow Kargol to modify the frame geometry slightly without having to completely revise the lugs © Jesse Pisel

 

The carbon tubes are painted in a gradient that moves from light in the center to dark at the lugs, but it is the lugs themselves that deserve the most attention. Ventus is the Latin word for wind, and each stainless steel lug is carved in a wing-like pattern to underscore this name.

The intricate lugs have a wind theme, in honor of the company name, Ventus © Jesse Pisel

The intricate lugs have a wind theme, in honor of the company name, Ventus © Jesse Pisel

The frame is outfitted with a Wound Up Carbon Team X Disc Fork, Hayes CX-5 mechanical disc brakes, Campagnolo Chorus 11 drivetrain, and DT Swiss hubs laced to Rol Wheels CX28 rims, running Michelen Cyclcorss Mud 2 tires (700x30c).

A Chorus 11 drivetrain helps move the bike, while Hayes CX-5 disc brakes help stop © Jesse Pisel

A Chorus 11 drivetrain helps move the bike, while Hayes CX-5 disc brakes help stop © Jesse Pisel

Keep up with our continuous stream of all the custom cyclocross bikes by connecting with our NAHBS 2013 page as we bring you reports, photos and videos from the Denver show.