Cache Steel bike check: a do-it-all machine

Posted by Noel Buckley on

Cache Steel Check

Rider: Maggie Livelsberger

Hometown: Erie, PA

IG: @large_marge03

Height: 5’2’’


Knolly model and size: Cache Steel in 49.5 (limestone)

How does the bike fit you? It fits like it was made for me. It’s hard to find small bikes that feel comfortable no matter the type of riding and I have found it in my Cache.


Build spec

GRX 600 crankset and brakes

Wolf tooth 40t chainring  (1x with 40 x 11-42)

Sunrace MX8 11sp 11-42 cassette

Spinergy GX 700c wheels

Wren Ultralight stem- 60mm

Easton EA70x 42mm bar

Lizard Skins 3.2mm bar tape

FSA K-light Carbon seatpost

Specialized Power Expert with Mimic saddle with carbon rails

Special features with my build

I rode the bike as a 2x with an 11-40 cassette until I broke my collarbone and in order to keep riding, I changed it to a 1x with an 11-42 cassette so I no longer had to shift with my left arm. To spice up the personal factor, I chose wolftooth purple for the spacers, seatpost collar and purple Mucoff valve stems, and some fun stickers from two of my favorite riding partners.

It took me a while to dial in my cockpit preference. I tried an 80mm, 70mm and 60mm stem before settling into the 60mm using the stock Easton bars until I found a wider carbon bar with a slightly lower drop. I will be setting that up over the weekend. The wide bars also allow more room for bikepacking gear. 

Why do you like your new ride?

This bike is my jack of all trades, do-it- all machine, and I adore it. I have done everything from day to day commuting, 200 mile mixed surface rides, multi day bikepacking trips and gnarly gravel races. The geometry allows me to change from a more upright riding position preferable for touring and long days in the saddle, to a more aggressive position by adjusting the stem height. I love the longer reach for comfort on technical downhills and I have enough standover height that even with larger tires and rough surfaces, I never worry about stepping off the bike. It’s not often that a short rider can find a small bike that can run wider 700c tires and not have any toe overlap. It seems no matter what I throw at it, it handles like no other bike I’ve ever ridden. It is an absolute blast.

My favourite place to ride: 

Anything with gnarly gravel, which around here means snowmobile and ATV trails.  As for local trails and roads, the Allegheny National Forest is a blast for adventure rides. Pennsylvania gravel is pretty damn great.

Intended use (where do you plan to take this bike/ride in 2022): 

I have more gravel races and adventure rides planned for 2022 including riding it as a single speed for the Coast 2 Coast 210 mile gravel race in Michigan, a multiday bikepacking race in the fall, and The Rust Belt Gravel Series (Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia)... all of which will be 100+ mile races.  Plus there will be plenty more races, rides and trips added through the year, and this bike will be my go-to in every one of them.

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