These are the parts used as intended. No sketchy stuff.
GROUP SET: SRAM Rival AXS
Selecting the groupset was straightforward. Having owned Red Etap 11 and a Red/Force Wide AXS mixed 12-speed setup, I was familiar with SRAM components' strengths and challenges. SRAM's reliability, ease of use, and low running cost made the choice even more obvious. Rival AXS costs half as much as the next cheapest option, 12-speed Ultegra Di2. Even when including power meter options, it's still half the price of the next cheapest option, SRAM Force AXS. Although it's a one-sided power meter, it's sufficient for my needs. This build has a budget, and saving $2000 USD on the groupset helps keep it close to the $5000 USD mark.
FORK: 3T Fundi
Finding the right fork was challenging, but the 3T Fundi met my two criteria: it had the right offset (50mm) to make my geometry work and allowed internal routing through its open steerer tube to fork leg design. It was also the only aero fork readily available on the aftermarket. Although I'm building a round tube bike, I know that the fork and bars make up a significant portion of a bike's frontal area.
This fork has some unique features: it has an odd shape that supposedly minimizes frontal area for aero benefits, and a 355mm axle to crown. This allows for a 100mm vs. 80mm head tube, increasing the weld area and minimizing/eliminating overlapping welds.
HANDLEBAR: Enve SES Aero
I wanted ultra-narrow bars, so I reached out to Wattshop, but they didn't have any available. The Lamba X-Wing Bar was also not available for sale outside the EU. The next narrowest option was the ENVE SES Aero bar, with the 40mm version measuring 35mm at the hoods for a very aero position. This also provides more width in the drops when needed.
SADDLE: Fizik Antares Vs. Evo Adaptive R1
This is a personal choice, as I love the Antares Vs. Evo saddle. I found a great deal on the Adaptive version, which I've been using on my gravel bike for nearly a year. There's no reason not to use it again.
WHEELS: Ascent Polaris
These 69mm deep, 35mm wide wheels are optimized for handling crosswinds over outright speed. They follow the same principle as the Hunt Limitless 60 wheels, going wide to create a shape that stalls at a wide yaw angle. The Ascent Polaris wheels are more stable, in my experience, than Hunt Limitless 60 despite being deeper, and even more stable than the 50mm deep Light Bicycle WR50/Berd spoke wheels on my gravel bike.
Although heavier (1715g out of the box, 1698g after ratchet swap and re-tape, 2775g fully dressed), they feel fast and are optimized for 28mm-30mm tires. They seem as fast as most 60mm wheels, but I will eventually test them using an aerometer. They use easy-to-maintain hubs and Sapim CX-Ray spokes, making them the perfect wheels to pair with this build: a bike with a different trade-off meets a wheel with a different trade-off.