Planet X XLS build - winter road / summer gravel

Fatal Swan

Senior Retro Guru
Just completed my winter project (pics when I bought it and after rebuilding it). I've been trying to rationalise the number of bikes I can realistically justify keeping. Alongside a decent summer road bike and an MTB I wanted to solve all other possible needs in a single bike:

  • a winter bike for the road
  • very occasional commuter (20 miles and back).
  • a light off-road/long-range bike for the summer (a 'gravel bike' you might say, though I don't like the term)
  • something to put on the turbo trainer.

Oh, and I hate riding heavy bikes, so it had to be light enough to make me want to ride it...

What I've ended up with is a Planet X XLS that had been resprayed (very professionally, though not in a very interesting colour!), which had Juin Tech R1 cable-actuated hydro brakes, 1 x 11 drivertrain and tubular CX wheels. I ended up pretty much replacing everything but the brakes. (I had full hydro brakes in mind but the expense and lack of shifter options put me off.)

The main extravagance was the wheels, a new set of sub-1500g Novatec CXDs bought new for about £300. I was planning on SRAM, though not Red - but I got lucky on ebay with excellent mechs and shifters for well under the going rate. New ITM carbon bars were about £35 from CRC and weight about 180g. Nice stem, pedals saddle and seatpost I had left over from other projects. In its winter road setup the tyres are 32mm Vittoria Zaffiro Pro which I've had really good experiences with before in slimmer sizes (and they're £13 each from Merlin!) - I'd hoped to get some Grand Prix Four Seasons though at the cheapest they're £60 more than the Zaffiros, plus I've found the Zaffiros fit on every rim I've used them on by hand, which is useful. Compressionless Jagwire housing to get the most out of the brakes. Finally, new silver decals to replace the strange generic white ones that were on it. I still have to replace the gold Ti skewers.

The weight all in is now 7.9kg / 17.5lbs, which is probably pretty good for a bike of this type:

Planet X XLS (Large / 57cm) with carbon tapered fork
Novatec CXD wheelset
Vittoria Zaffiro IV Pro folding 32mm / Maxxis Welterweight tubes
Ultegra 6800 50/34 chainset & BB
PC1091 10 speed chain
Shimano XT 11-32t M771 cassette
Juin Tech Mechanical-Hydraulic Brakes / Avid HS1 160mm rotors / Jagwire Pro Kevlar compressionless housing
SRAM Red 10 speed DoubleTap shifters
Sram Red 10 speed 34.9 front / SRAM Red WiFli rear
Easton EC90 31.6 seatpost
GUB carbon saddle
Syntace F109 Stem, 110mm
ITM Volo Carbon bar 42cm
Easton Pinline bar tape
Look Keo Carbon pedals

Photos when I bought it, and after completion


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