by Greg Evans
At last years North American Handmade Bicycle Show, No.22, a bike manufacturer out of Johnstown, New York, won the award for “Best Cyclocross Bike” with its Broken Arrow model. Since then, the company has been hard at work bringing several new bikes to the market, one of which is the Drifter all-road/gravel bike.
For those familiar with the periodic table, it should come as no surprise that No.22 utilizes titanium for frame construction, as 22 is Ti’s periodic number. For the rest of us, we’ll have to rely on the bike’s matte metal finish to cue us in to the fact that it’s constructed from this illustrious material.
I met with Bryce Gracey, one of the company’s two founders, while on site at the Sacramento Convention Center. After he gave me a brief rundown on the bike, I took the Drifter away from the noisy showroom to a spot outside so I could shoot a few photos.
The Drifter, as with all of No.22’s bikes, is constructed using aerospace grade titanium tubing. Each of the stock sizes—ranging from 50cm up to 60cm in increments of 2cm—features size-specific tubing to offer optimal ride qualities for every frame, regardless of size.
The frame also uses No.22’s new cast titanium dropout, which was built around the 142×12 Syntace X-12 thru-axle. Note that thru-axles are no longer an add-on like we saw with the Broken Arrow, but instead come as standard equipment. Other unique features include a T47 bottom bracket, a machined Ti head badge, flat-mount brake caliper compatibility and internal routing for the rear hydraulic line and E-Tube wires (while the internal hydraulic routing is standard, the internal Di2 routing is a $125.00 USD option).
The frame is presented in a matte finish similar to the finish achieved on many handmade Ti bikes. However, No.22 has taken things a step further, skipping the vinyl plotter and paint booth in favor of anodized graphics. The high-polish anodization process is done in-house, and compliments the frame in a way that I found to be subtle from a distance, yet striking upon closer inspection.
Another new feature to the No.22 lineup that is showcased on this bike is the new No.22 carbon fork. The custom-painted fork has flat-mount compatibility and internal brake line routing, and comes standard with a 100x15mm thru-axle. The fork makes use of a tapered steerer tube, as it was designed around 44mm head tube that is found across the No.22 bike range.
The build features a Shimano drivetrain, consisting of Ultegra 6870 Di2 components. The 50/34 compact gearing alludes to the idea that this bike was designed with long days on the back-roads in mind. The rear derailleur is controlled by an E-Tube wire that makes a clean entrance into the down tube, and an even stealthier exit from the end of the chainstay. The rear hydraulic line enters the down tube about a centimeter away from the E-Tube entry point, and the two have been thoughtfully joined with heat shrink.
The cockpit is comprised of 3T Team Stealth components, including the Ionic 0 seatpost, the ARX II stem and the Ergonova bar. The stem stays clear of Shimano rubber bands thanks to a headset spacer that is integrated with a junction-box mount.
Stopping power is delivered by a set of Shimano’s 105 level flat mount road calipers that were introduced last year. The calipers clamp down on a set of RT-99 Freeza rotors. The bike rolls on Schwalbe’s new 700x38c G-One rubber, a choice that adds some extra give to the smooth ride quality that Ti bikes are known for. The tires are fitted to a set of 24-spoke Reynolds ATR wheels, and the build is finished off with a Chris King headset and a Fabric Swoop saddle.
As of this posting, the Drifter is not yet listed on the No.22 site. However, they have informed us that a frameset will retail for $3,499.00 USD. This price includes the Drifter frame, the new No.22 carbon fork, a Chris King headset and thru-axles front and rear.
No.22 Drifter Spec Highlights:
Frame: No.22 Drifter, 3Al/2.5V titanium
Fork: No.22 carbon with tapered steerer, 100×12 thru-axle and flat mount compatibility
Headset: Chris King InSet 7
Bottom Bracket: Enduro T47
Shifter/Brake Levers: Shimano R785
Brake Calipers: Shimano BR-RS505 flat mount
Rotors: Shimano RT-99
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra 6870 Di2
Front Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra 6870 Di2
Crankset: Shimano 6800
Chainrings: Shimano 50/34t
Stem: 3T ARX II Team Stealth
Handlebar: 3T Ergonova Team Stealth
Seatpost: 3T Ionic 0 Team Stealth
Saddle: Fabric Scoop
Wheels: Reynolds ATR
Tires: Schwalbe G-One
More info: 22bicycles.com
No.22 Drifter Slideshow: