By Michael Barry
Photography by Walter Lai

Over the last year I’ve ridden my Mariposa cyclocross bike on varied terrain and on virtually every surface: from singletrack to gravel to fireroads in the high Pyrenees to Kawartha bog to Toronto’s potholed city streets. This is the bike I now ride most, as it is versatile, comfortable and quick. When I first built up the bike, I used a carbon disc fork to keep the weight down as I planned on jumping on and off and carrying it up muddy slopes.

More recently, I’ve been riding the bike on longer trips deep in to the countryside, often on rough roads. The Ritchey cyclocross carbon disc fork wasn’t ideal for carrying bags as there are no eyelets for low–rider carriers or a front carrier/bag support. As a result, I built a steel disc fork with custom Mariposa carriers. The fork was made with slightly more rake than the carbon fork so the bike handles well with a heavier load. The carriers were made in our workshop with lightweight aviation tubing, and like all Mariposa carriers are unique as they were made to fit the bike without need of clamps or fittings.

Steel disc fork with a front carrier and low riders

Ritchey cyclocross carbon disc fork

The forks can easily be swapped depending on the type of riding I’ll be doing (it is a ten minute job as all that is required is removal of the front disc brake). Like the fork, I’ll change the tires depending on the terrain: for proper cyclocross riding in dry conditions I’ll use Continental SpeedCross tires while for longer rides on gravel, tarmac or dirt fire roads I’ll use Compass Barlow Pass 38 mm tires.

This is a bike I can comfortably ride all day without feeling any aches and pains and one I can thrash across grass fields or single track for an hour or two before work. It’s fast and comfy.

In the Mariposa workshop we can build most road bikes and cyclocross bikes to take both a steel and carbon fork, making the bike comfortable and functional for most conditions and terrain.

Frame: Columbus tubing with long point lugs
Forks: Ritchey Cross WCS Carbon Disc 1-1/8″ & a custom steel handbuilt Mariposa disc fork
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Di2 RD-9070
Front Derailleur: Shimano Di2 FD-9070
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace FC-9000 172.5 50/34
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-9000 11-28
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-HG900-11
BB: Shimano Dura-Ace BB9000
Levers: Shimano Hydraulic ST-R785
Rotor Disc Brake: Shimano SM-RT99 160mm
Headset: Ritchey WCS 1 1/8” Threadless
Stem: PRO VIBE 7S OS 130mm -10 degree
Handlebar: PRO VIBE 7S OS 42 C-C
Seatpost: PRO VIBE
Wheels: Shimano WH-RX830
Tires: Compass Barlow Pass 700 x 38 or Continental Speedcross, depending upon terrain
Bottle Cages: Octto Carbon
Ribbon: Fi’zik Tape
Pedals: Dura-Ace PD-9000 Carbon SPD-SL Pedals (Left & Right) w/SM-SH12 Cleat
Saddle: Fi’zik Aliante R1
Carriers: Front bag support and low riders fitted on the custom steel disc fork.

With low rider carriers heavy loads can be carried without compromising bike handling