Chris Besnia’s Goodday “Rufous”
In our first video Rider and Rig, Neil catches up with Chris Besnia of Goodday Bike Works in Colorado to get the lowdown on the Rufous, a beautiful handbuilt rando-inspired gravel bike with a truss fork. Chris walks us through why he built it, gives an overview of the components, and shares his packing list for a recent overnighter…
Because of their propensity to attack feeders—as well as other hummingbirds—the Rufous hummingbird is considered one of the feistiest hummingbirds in North America. They are also one of the most wide-ranging, traveling up to 4,000 miles annually in migration from Alaska to Mexico and back. With this bird as framebuilder Chris Besnia’s muse, he set out to build a capable, cross-category bike that would excel on gravel. The Goodday Rufous was born. Check out the video below, then scroll down for build details and a photo gallery. And if you missed it, find our Field Trip visit to Goodday + Curiosity in the related content grid at the bottom of the post.
Words by Chris Besnia
The Rufous is fully fillet-brazed with a mixture of double-butted Columbus, Life, and MAX Chromoly. Weighing in at 23.8 pounds, the Rufous is equally at home in a paceline, on a chunky dirt road, or fully loaded for multi-day dirt and pavement exploration.
The specs on this bike are based on my long legs and wingspan in contrast to my short torso. The headtube angle is 71 degrees, and it has a 74-degree seat tube angle and 55cm top-tube length. I wanted a super comfy ride, but I didn’t want it to look ridiculous with a bunch of spacers, so I went with a 205mm head tube. For a super stable and stiff front end that could carry extra weight, I built an integrated 90mm fork/stem combo truss fork with 0-degree rise. For the steeper headtube angle, I went with a 60mm offset on the fork so the bike would feel more balanced and capable on gravel and rough terrain when I’m fully loaded. Also, with a more compact geometry, drafting is easy in a paceline. To maximize my triangle size, I went with a 55cm top tube length, which also makes it so I can go with a shorter stem for more control off road. The seat tube length is on the short side for my inseam, but I wanted to have a longer titanium seatpost, which makes for a super comfy ride as Ti flexes more than steel. The triple triangle adds stiffness and negates the need for extra braces. I went with the shortest chainstays possible (420mm) for a 48mm tire. When I stand up it rockets!
Find the full build parts list below. The custom Curiosity Bike Bags are fully integrated with bolt-in top tube bosses. The frame pack is made out of a waterproof hibiscus print vinyl-backed canvas. The bento bag is reused from my old mountain bike and is gray with an orange embroidery sun.
- Wheels ENVE AM Rims, DT Swiss 240 hubs
- Tires Ultradynamico Mars Rosé (front), CAVA (rear)
- Crankset Shimano GRX, 40t chainring, 170mm arms
- Derailleur Shimano XTR 11-speed
- Shifter Microshift XLE
- Cassette SRAM 10-42t
- Handlebar Thomson Aero
- Headset Cane creek 110
- Brakes TRP HY/RD mech/hydro, 160mm rotors
- Saddle Brooks C15
- Seatpost Custom Goodday Titanium with EDGE seat clamp guts
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