Savannah came to the shop looking for a new Gravel/All Road frame, and absolutely fell in love with the Otso Warakin Stainless Steel. (Check out this Otso Mullet we posted last week). We built the frame up with a lot of parts that she already had, including her Sram Apex1 Drivetrain, Brooks Saddle, and the amazingly wide Towel Rack handlebar from Crust Bikes. Mounted to the Lithic front fork is a Surly 8 pack rack and basket. This thing came out as a super supple and smooth machine and the customer could not have been more stoked.
Now, settle in to hear Savannah's side of the story:
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to wander into the shop to find some freshly delivered frames — stainless steel, good tire clearance (up to 700x51!), and the promise of versatility beyond what my then-current-ride could muster. And with said then-current-ride being a Salsa Fargo, that was saying something! That day I picked up my Osto Warakin frame and some short time later, all the guts of my Fargo had been transferred over to create what is now the best bike I’ve ever ridden.
My average ride tends to be utility-focused. My bike is my commuter, my grocery getter, and my coffee and pastry retriever. It’s there to complete all tasks that are better handled with two wheels, a basket, and a saddlebag.
Any longer rides are relegated to weekend mornings, usually on pavement: Cap Trail jaunts, River Road loops, and the like. For both, I have decided that my bike of choice is one with wide, flared drops and cushy tires. The Warakin is absolutely faultless at both duties. Better than faultless — it excels at every task I’ve thrown at it and reminds me just how much I love to ride, no matter why I’m riding. I feel I’ve lost none of the utility of the Fargo but gained a whole different level of liveliness for everything I do.
My commutes are zippier, but no less comfortable because of its capable tire clearance, long wheel base, and steel frame. The longer rides I have undertaken so far have felt much better — which should perhaps not surprise me as much as it does, given that I am no longer riding a mountain bike on pavement. But even with the same groupset and tires as the Fargo, the Warakin seems more eager. Even with tired legs, it never feels like the bike is working against me; it just rolls, content to make the most of whatever power I can put down.
I feel compelled to mention something less material, but quite enticing about the Warakin — promise. Sure, any bike can be a forever bike, and most bikes have flexibility in the tasks they can perform and the configurations they can be arranged into, but this bike just oozes possibly. I could grab a faster wheelset, narrower bars and shorten its wheel base to pursue either cyclocross or road riding with it. I could throw flat bars and a dropper post on it and head for the hills. No matter what the future of my riding looks like, I’m confident this bike will do the job.
The only limitation now is my fitness and imagination.