Choosing between the No. 22 Great Divide, Aurora and Drifter

A common question we receive is how to narrow down the choices between the No. 22 Great Divide, Drifter and the Aurora. Of course, we carry a handful of other models for varying surfaces - like off-roading beyond gravel, and on the track - but the overlap between these three are greater than any others in our lineup.

When recommending a bike, we build out an archetype based on what surfaces the bike will be ridden on, and just how aggressive your rides are.

Read answers to your eight most frequently-asked questions about No. 22 bikes.

Great Divide

Conceptually, the Great Divide is the anchor of our lineup. It was the first bike we designed. The Great Divide is a crisp-handling, quick-climbing bike that's fun to ride with a tad less razor-sharpness that comes with our pure racing bike, the Reactor. It's wonderfully stable when descending and cornering at speed, and it's ride quality is slightly more comfortable, being a less race-oriented bike.

Plus, there’s a final degree of on-road ‘sharpness’ in the Great Divide that is tough to match with a more broadly focused bike like the Drifter. Early in the Great Divide's life we found that some Great Divide owners were running ever larger tires for off-road terrain, which is in part how the Drifter was born. Fat tires are fun, but we didn't want to lose the wonderful on-road crispness of the Great Divide to accommodate super-wide tires, so we created a new model (the Drifter) to satisfy those needs.

Every Great Divide includes:

- Fully butted tubeset, butted in-house by CNC

- 44mm oversized head tube for tapered carbon forks

- Brushed and blasted frame graphics, with no decals or stickers

- 10-year warranty against manufacturing defects

- T47 threaded oversized bottom bracket shell

- Full carbon No. 22 fork designed specifically for our frames

- Generous clearance for 28mm tires (rim brake) or 30mm tires (disc)

Ideal for: a road cyclist who wants a fun and snappy ride for long fondos and fast group rides with a perfect mix of responsiveness and comfort.

Drifter

The Drifter is No. 22's most versatile bike, and picks up where the Great Divide leaves off. While the Great Divide has a paved-road appropriate amount of tire clearance, the Drifter will take up to a 40mm tire. The Drifter lets you do a bit of everything, and is the jack-of-all-trades in the No. 22 lineup, offering comfort on gravel, dirt and even light singletrack (if you so choose) while being a very capable road machine.

It has all-road geometry, being taller in the front-end relative to the Great Divide for smooth and controlled handling on challenging, rougher (and loosely-packed) surfaces like washboard gravel.

Every Drifter includes:

- Fully butted tubeset, butted in-house by CNC

- 44mm oversized head tube for tapered carbon forks

- Brushed and blasted frame graphics, with no decals or stickers

- 10-year warranty against manufacturing defects

- T47 threaded oversized bottom bracket shell

- Full carbon No. 22 fork designed specifically for our frames

- Generous clearance for 40mm tires

- Thru axles front and rear

Ideal for: a cyclist who rides a substantial amount on gravel or broken roads and wants an all-around, versatile on- and off-road machine with stellar handling.

Aurora

The Aurora was born out of the race-oriented Reactor and features the confidence and handling of the Great Divide, but mixes in the Reactor's technology. And while it takes the ethos of the Great Divide, the Aurora includes all of No. 22's latest technologies: bonded carbon construction mixed with titanium, a tapered head tube with a CNC engraved badge and a seatmast topper made from cast titanium. Not to mention the Aurora looks stunning, and will garner looks and remarks on your group rides.

Overall, the Aurora and Great Divide share similar geometry in terms of handling, so they also share much of the same mission. The Aurora is slightly stiffer under power relative to the Great Divide, approaching the stiffness of the Reactor, but keeps all the compliance and comfort of the Great Divide. The integrated headset and seat mast also help a complete Aurora build to weigh less than an otherwise identical Great Divide would.

Every Aurora includes:

- Fully butted tubeset, butted in-house by CNC

- Tapered head tube for 44/49mm integrated headsets

- Brushed and blasted frame graphics, with no decals or stickers

- 10-year warranty against manufacturing defects

- T47 threaded oversized bottom bracket shell

- Full carbon No. 22 fork designed specifically for our frames

- Generous clearance for 30mm tires

Ideal for: a road cyclist who wants a bike packed with No. 22's latest technology, that's a bit stiffer and a hair more aggressive than the Great Divide without sacrificing comfort.

For complete details on these three models, check out the Aurora, Great Divide and Drifter product pages.

3 comments

  • Eric: thanks for checking us out at NAHBS, and glad this post helped clarify. The butting and tube profiles are different between the Aurora and Great Divide, with a bit more drivetrain stiffness in the Aurora.

    Abu Bakar: we offer our forks and stems in your choice of three colours (black, navy and burgundy), but we don’t offer paint on the carbon seat mast.

    Michael Smith
  • can I have the aurora with carbon seat tube and fork same color? can I choose the color that I want?

    Abu Bakar Sutan Taharudin
  • Good post – I asked this question at NAHBS and got a vague answer.

    Given the very similar geometries, are the differences between Aurora and Great Divide due to butting? There are the two models I’m interested in.

    Eric Hancock

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