Ashton Lambie, the individual pursuit world champion and world record holder, had never raced a mountain bike. Affinity Cycles had produced a number of track products including the chainring Lambie used to set his world record, but it had never made a mountain bike.
This year, Affinity made a titanium cross-country frame for Lambie, who raced it at the Life Time Grand Prix’s opening round at the Sea Otter Classic, his first-ever XC race.
Jason Gallacher founded Affinity Cycles as a track- and messenger-focused brand in New York a decade ago, and got to know Lambie as he got his start in track racing.
“His first year coming out, he made a splash, and he and I just hit it off, early on,” Gallacher said. “Then he went off and started doing incredible things, but we always kept in touch.”
“He called me and said he was taking a break from track racing, which, given his position at the top of the world — it actually seems very Ashton — but it was very wild,” Gallacher said. “When he asked for a mountain bike frame — he is as much a mountain biker as Affinity is a mountain bike company — but we went for it. I’m the type of person who just jumps on opportunity. Since we’re a small brand, I’m able to pivot, and we went from concept to sample in three months. The expectation with the Life Time Grand Prix is that he’s there to have fun and to pivot, and I’m all about that, keeping it fresh.”
Lambie said he’s been “absolutely loving the bike.”
“I’ve been exploring all sorts of trails around Houston, and getting some incredible miles on it. It’s comfy on- and off-road, and super nimble around the tight singletrack along Houston’s bayous,” he said. “I’ve got the full build-out from the SRAM family, including the RockShox SID Ultimate fork, Eagle X01 groupset, and Zipp 3ZeroMoto wheels.”
Check out the gallery below for a closer look, and more of Lambie’s thoughts on the bike, which he had put together in California right before the Fuego 80K.
Lambie is racing Wild Horse Gravel this weekend on yet another special bike. Check back this weekend for a gallery and details on that.
Sea Otter was a real test for me and the bike as well,” Lambie said. “It came together with the help of a local shop, Bicycle Speed Shop, which has some incredible mechanics. So I didn’t have much time on the bike, but for my first-ever MTB race, it went about as well as I could’ve hoped!”
Lambie finished 56th of 71 finishers, putting him last in the overall standings for the Life Time Grand Prix.
To be fair, it’s my first real-deal mountain bike, but man it’s a blast,” Lambie said. “I haven’t gotten into anything where I felt like I wanted a full-sus yet, the curvy seatstays add enough to take the edge off, and it really feels like it accelerates and responds well.”
Gallacher is working with a titanium specialist in China to build the frame, and said future editions will not have openings for the drivetrain cables or wires, as a limited edition run will be made for SRAM’s wireless groups.
Ever seen a seatstay like this?
A T47 bottom bracket and Garmin Rally power-meter pedals for Lambie.
“I think the bike has a good rugged look,” Gallacher said. “The next iteration will have a different yoke for crank clearance.”
Gallacher is also experimenting with different anodization options.
Branding is minimal, with just the head tube badge flying the Affinity flag. The down tube is kept clean.
Gallacher hopes to have a limited run of the bikes — tentatively called the Ti GP as a nod to Lambie’s Grand Prix pursuit — out by the end of the year for sale.