Our Reader’s Rig of the week comes from Eva in Seattle, who shares her self-made Liberation Fabrication titanium ATB, complete with a lovely set of matching bags from Rogue Panda and Swift Industries. Learn more about Eva, her recent experience on the Dark Divide 300, and her Rivendell-inspired bike here…

Words by Eva Kloiber, photos by Eva Kloiber and Sierra Jessup

I’m Eva, and I’m originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan (native land of the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi, Shawnee, and Wendat people) and currently live in Seattle, Washington (native land of the Suquamish, Muckleshoot, Duwamish, Stillaguamish, and Coast Salish people), but am moving back east to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (native land of the Shawnee and Osage people) in September.

Liberation Fabrication
  • Liberation Fabrication, Eva Kloiber
  • Liberation Fabrication, Eva Kloiber
  • Liberation Fabrication, Eva Kloiber

I’ve been working as an electrical engineer for about a decade and have been building frames on nights and weekends for the past year or so, but I’m hoping to transition to framebuilding at least part-time in the near future. I love all kinds of cycling, whether it’s commuting to work every day, riding challening MTB trails, or adventurous bikepacking. I came into cycling as a passion relatively late as an adult and have much more experience with mountain sports like rock climbing, backcountry skiing, and alpinism. These mountain pursuits shape how I view cycling and help drive me to push the limits of what I can accomplish on a bike.

I believe bicycles are a necessary tool for moving our society toward a more sustainable future and can be instrumental in empowering both personal and collective liberation.

  • Liberation Fabrication
  • Liberation Fabrication

This bike’s design started with a twinge of envy I felt looking at all the tall folks who could fit Rivendell bikes with a second top tube and the realization that I could use that seed of envy to make something truly unique. I appreciate the comfort-centric design philosophy of Rivendell but also enjoy using more “modern” components like hydraulic disc brakes, carbon forks/stems/seatposts/rims, threadless stems, and 1x drivetrains on my builds, so I decided to combine the two elements. This frame is designed around a relatively long reach (420mm) and extremely long chainstays (510mm), which lend a very stable ride. I’m affectionately calling it the “Who Woulda Thunqapillar.”

Liberation Fabrication, Eva Kloiber

The titanium frame construction means that the front triangle is not overly stiff with three tubes, and the rear end is able to flex a substantial amount without fatiguing. The flex and length of the rear end mean that seated climbing (I’m a spinner, not a masher) feels incredibly planted, and long, chunky downhills don’t feel so fatiguing. I built it with a road Q-factor and an MTB drivetrain in mind to take advantage of the best of both worlds. The bars are wide for control in tricky terrain and offer myriad hand positions for long days in the saddle. The Hope Tech 3/X2 pairing minimizes caliper weight while allowing for easy one-finger brake control and great modulation.

  • Liberation Fabrication
  • Liberation Fabrication

During the fabrication of this frame, I was invited to pre-ride the Dark Divide 300 route that Ben at Evergreen Gravel Racing is putting together. I knew I wanted to make a “mountain touring” frame, but having a specific route in mind helped me dial in design choices such as gear ratio and water-hauling ability. We ended up riding about 80% of the as-planned route over four days. It was an absolutely brutal, incredibly beautiful, and ultimately very rewarding experience. There’s no better shakedown for a build than 300+ miles, 30,000 feet of climbing, and several miles of hiking in the snow. I can’t wait to see what the folks racing it next year think!

  • Frame Self-made Liberation Fabrication, titanium
  • Fork Rodeo Labs Spork 3.0
  • Rims Eastern Wheelworks Carbo
  • Hubs SON 28 (front) / Onyx Vesper (rear)
  • Tires Continental Cross King 27.5 x 2.2″ (front) / Continental Race King 27.5 x 2.2″ (rear)
  • Handlebars Rivendell Tosco 65cm
  • Headset Wolf Tooth Premium ZS44 (top) / EC44 (bottom)
  • Crankset White Industries R30, silver
  • Chainring White Industries MR30 TSR 1x, 34T
  • Pedals MKS Solution
  • Cassette Microshift 11-speed 11-46T
  • Derailleur Shimano SLX 11-speed RD-M7000-11-GS
  • Brakes Hope Tech 3 levers, Hope X2 calipers
  • Shifter(s) Shimano XT 11-speed SL-M8000-IR
  • Saddle SQLab 611 Ergowave Active 2.1, 15cm
  • Seatpost Easton EC70 27.2mm, 0mm setback
  • Stem ENVE 130mm -6º
  • Front bags Swift Zeitgeist
  • Frame bags Rogue Panda Custom
  • Rear bags Swift Zeitgeist
  • Accessory bags 2x Swift Gibby stem bags, 1x Swift Moxie TT bag, 1x Swift Anchor hip pack
  • Light SON Edelux II
  • Other accessories 2x King Manything Cage (Ti), 1x King Cage (stainless), custom front bag support

Sean at Eastern Wheelworks built these wheels up for me, and they’re absolutely fantastic! This is my first wheelset with an Onyx hub and it’s so pleasant to be silently coasting through the backcountry listening to the birds instead of ratchets and pawls buzzing at my feet. I designed around the Seattle-based Swift bags. I’ve previously used more minimalist bikepacking bag systems but find those compromise ease of access and expandability. I went a bit maximalist with this bag assortment and never regretted it, especially when resupplying in town.

Liberation Fabrication, Eva Kloiber

The custom lower framebag was a total surprise, I won it as a Bikepacking Collective giveaway right after finishing welding the frame, and Rogue Panda was able to get it fabricated before my first trip. It’s the perfect size for stashing heavier gear like electronics while leaving the upper half of the main triangle open for water storage.

Due to my imminent cross-country move, I’m not currently accepting orders for custom frames. Stay tuned for the re-opening of Liberation Fabrication this winter. I was recently announced as a recipient of the SRAM x Philadelphia Bike Expo scholarship and am cooking up something special for PBE. I hope to see you all at the show!

You can keep up with Eva and her work on Instagram @liberationfab.

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