Sonder bum parts


Loving the Sonder Camino ti but the stock Saddle and seatpost for me is the weak point so far.

 

Love Brooks but dont really want leather on the ti gravel bike so today I ordered a Cambium C15 saddle in mud happy black.

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review to follow – the ones I have read have been pretty outstanding

Wednesday night Riding


As I am working full time on this TV show it means daytime weekday rides aren’t happening so I have gotten into the habit of Wednesday Night Rides, Thursday and Friday a.m. swims and thursday pm 5-a-side footie. Then as much as i can cram into the other days of the weekend or nights.

So tonight out on the canal to Dumbarton and took a detour up the Kilpatrick hills

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there are some seriously steep hills – this one makes me use the bottom of my 1×11 SRAM gears – that 50chainring to 36tooth large cassette ….

i am not sure the mapping on Strava is accurate – it feels like a steady 18-20% hill – that false flat before the very steep isn’t there – it is just all steep.

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Went over the back to the reservoir – its over flint forestry road then suddenly the rear tyre felt softer. Sidewall had a slight tear and sealant was oozing out. Luckily with a shake it sealed again and I put some more air into the tyre.

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And then retraced my route. Pretty impressed with this bike and abilities so far. Sonder Camino ti gravel bike ….

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Running Dynamo hub driving USE Exposure Revo light – trying to link up battery recharge with the port out but not sure it works – more experimentation required.

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and the view looking down from the top of the wee hill is very pretty too

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Radavist top 10 bikes of 2015


i love this site their picks are mostly esoteric and custom but definately  of the bike porn variety

 

2015 was an amazing year for the Radavist. Not only in terms of traffic, or stats, but in terms of content. We take pride in the site, the rides we record, products we feature and yes, the bicycles we document. This year was huge in terms of the places we traveled to and the people we met along the way. With people and places come Beautiful Bicycles and a lot of work!

Without rambling on too much, here’s a list of the Top 10 of 2015 ranked by traffic and social media chatter, from highest down…

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01 – the Speedvagen Urban Racer

This bike was the most controversial post on the Radavist this year… who thought people took riding bikes so seriously?

The Speedvagen Urban Racer. How can I even begin here? These bikes are… uh. Well, they’re kinda completely ridiculous. They’re not a traditional commuter bike, a cruiser, or a touring bike. They’re not meant to be loaded down with gear, or to be casually ridden around a park. Like a cafe racer of the bicycle world, these rigs are stripped down machines, meant to be ridden like a rocket… on 27.5 wheels and 43mm tires. Skids anyone?”

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02 – Benedict’s Romantical Clockwork Bikes Dirt Droop 29’r

2015 was the year of the UltraRomance and ya know what? The cycling industry needs more souls like Benedict.

“Benedict, aka Poppi, aka @UltraRomance is a wild one. One that cannot be tamed by modern ideologies, or technologies for that matter. His Clockwork Bikes frame is a time capsule of the old days of yore when men would gather or hunt for their food in the woods. Even when something appears to be modern, it’s executed in a way that harkens back to the early days of klunking. Disc brakes? He slices fresh mushrooms on them and truthfully, he only uses them to stop for a tanning session. The throwback version of the narrow wide chaingrings is just a “narrow narrow” ring. An outer “bash guard” ring pressed up against an inner ring with a spare “rabbit” personal massager holding it in place. Even his “marsh mud” tubeless setup is pulled from nature. Literally…”

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03 – the Elephant Bikes National Forest Explorer with Gevenalle Shifting

Clearly we’re seeing a trend here with dirt-drop tourers. I wish I hadn’t sent this bad boy back to Washington!

“The Elephant Bikes NFE is alive. A beautifully-elegant specimen of the bicycle that dances with you on the climbs and lets you really lean into it while descending. While clearly its intent is to be a back country tourer, inspiring you to explore National Forests, we here in Austin, Texas have no such place nearby, so I took to exploring our local trails, State Parks and swimming holes.”

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04 – Paul’s Black Cat Monster Cross

Even I was amazed at how much traction this monster cross got in the muddy world of the cycling community. It’s easy to see why!

“When Paul Component owner Paul Price started to “make it big” he told himself that he wanted to order a bike each year from a NorCal frame builder. Retrotec, Rock Lobster, Sycip, etc, etc. At the time there were a handful of builders and for a few years he kept to his yearly deposit.

Then he got busy, the framebuilding industry grew and technology changed. For a few years he focused on the company and put his frame builder promise on hold. He then came back around to his promise and at the Sacramento NAHBS, picked up this Black Cat monster cross from Todd. Soon it became his staple bike. Like many custom frames, Paul had an idea for this bike that surrounded a specific component or part.”

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05 – Rusty n Dusty Rat Rod Titanium Firefly Disc All Road

This one broke my savings account, luckily I had disc brakes and my hands weren’t sore after the fact.

“Cycling is an experience that should continue to mature overtime. I’m weary of people who stand firm in their ideologies, rest on laurels and refuse to embrace the “new,” especially when it comes to riding bikes. Look, it’s not that hard to have fun. Opinions can change with experience, its normal. Embrace it.

You see, I knew I wanted a Firefly. I kind of felt like that brand and my own brand have grown together over the years. When Jamie, Tyler and Kevin started the company, it had a breath of energy, creativity and their final products all expressed experimentation. Those guys can make anyone a dream bike but deciding what kind of bike is a challenge. Part of my apprehension was not only where I felt like cycling’s technology was heading, but where my own riding would be taking me over the next few years.”

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06 – The Black Cat Bicycles Operation Thunder Monkey 29r MTB

Black Cat was the only builder to get two hits on the top 10 list. I wonder why? Oh yeah, his bikes are amazing!

“Todd from Black Cat Bicycles knows a thing or two about mountain bikes. Living in Santa Cruz provides a more than ideal testing ground for everything related to dirt. Over the years, he’s dialed in the geometry on his hardtails and recently, this process culminated in what he’s dubbed the Thunder Monkey.

A few months back, Todd emailed me asking if I wanted to review a production bike he was making. His description was right up my alley “slack and low 29r with a tight rear end.” Some time passed and this incredible frame showed up at Mellow Johnny’s to be built up with various SRAM and RockShox products. “

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07 – Tyler’s Icarus All-Road Disc

All-road, endurance road, whatever it is, just don’t call it a ‘cross bike.

“It’s not a cross bike, it’s a road bike with clearances for bigger tires. Sure it uses an ENVE disc cross fork, but the bottom bracket drop, chainstay length and angles are more in line with what many would categorize as a road bike. A road bike that likes to gobble up rugged and rutted roads.

The Bruce Gordon Rock n Road tires were the starting point for Ian at Icarus Frames to build Tyler his new all-road machine. He wanted hydro disc brakes and road gearing, which he may or may not swap out in the forthcoming months for a clutch and a wider range cassette. With a burnt orange paint and subtle Icarus branding on the downtube, Tyler’s bike has a confident stance without being overly gaudy. Keep it clean with the paint and get it nice and dirty… “

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08 – the Hunter Cycles Bushmaster

This bike was hands down my favorite to document of the year. Just look at it! But don’t get too close to the Hunter Cycles Bushmaster…

“Holy shit. Where do I even begin here? First off, we just saw where Rick Hunter builds his frames in Bonny Doon, just outside of Santa Cruz so we have context. Second off, the name of this bike is one of the deadliest vipers on Earth, the Bushmaster. These snakes are capable of multiple strikes in milliseconds and will deliver a fatal amount of venom without blinking an eye *snakes don’t have eyelids.*

Multiple strikes, multiple gears. No, wait. This is a singlespeed, right? Look again.”

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09 – Whitney’s 20/20 Cycle’s Kalakala

This bike, like its owner, has quite the story!

“Whitney’s 20/20 Cycle Kalakala is purpose built and can be configured to handle just about any bicycle tour you could imagine. Complete with DFL Stitchworks bags. This bike has never had a place to call home, Whitney has been riding it around the world for the last couple years and with that in mind I had no question about its ability to make it over the mountains I call home and to the Southern California High Desert that I love. Since photographing this bike it’s changed only ever so slightly with the addition of one more National Park badge to the fender, Joshua Tree.”

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Photo by Eric Baumann

10 – Imshi Cycles with a Di2 Road

New builders talking about their bikes and documenting them in an unprecedented manner. No wonder this Imshi Cycles shook the internet!

“Just over a year ago I began a multi-month frame building “class” with Bryan Hollingsworth (Royal H). He taught me the basics of brazing and then we set to work building myself a frame, one night a week kinda deal over at his shop. I had a jig already so I was able to do all the filing/fit up/lug carving at home, then bring stuff in to braze with Bryan. At the same time, I also had the privilege of having a friend in Mr. Nao Tomii, who showed me my way around a fillet. Between the two of these guys, I had some of the best guidance you can imagine for both lug/fillet frame construction. They taught me everything I know…”

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Honorable Non-Framebuilder Born Beasts

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01 – the Salsa Cycles Cutthroat Tour Divide Bike

“Salsa perfected what is arguably their best “all-road”, dirt-tourer: the Cutthroat.
This bike was an exercise in both engineering of materials and design features for the ever-increasing, high demand sport of “adventure touring and racing.” For starters, it’s a completely new carbon fiber frame design, with each tube having a unique profile. The rear triangle utilizes a Class 5 Vibration Reduction System like the Warbird. What does that mean? All you need to know is that supposedly the stays, in combination with the thru-axle creates a “spring like” feel on rough surfaces. The seat stays are long and narrow, while the chain stays are wide and flat. This gives compliance when needed.”

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02 – the Cannondale Slate Force CX1 All-Road Bike

“Since relocating to Los Angeles, a land with endless dirt in both the fireroad and track variety, my preferences have shifted a lot in terms of what I want a bike to take on. Capabilities are often grown in the industry piecemeal, then once and a while, a bike comes along that asks a question: what if?

The Cannondale Slate is a what if bike. What if 650b or 27.5″ wheels with a 42mm tire makes more sense for “all-road” riding? What if a damn Lefty shock with just the right amount of travel can instill confidence in new riders while offering an added fun bonus to experienced athletes?”

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03 – Ted King’s Cannondale SuperSix Six Six SRAM Mountain Magic Shifting Road Bike

Ted King is technically still a pro, until January 1st but yesterday the two of us took off on a ride into the ANF. The last time Ted got to experience Highway 2 was in a peloton during the Amgen Tour of California, which as Ted so gracefully put it, was very, very painful. Luckily pain wasn’t on our agenda yesterday. Instead, we took a super casual pedal up to Mount Wilson and back down to Mount Disappointment. ”

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04 – Erik’s Sparkle Abyss: the Custom Skid Sled

“If a beast were to crawl its way out of the Abyss, only to find itself mutated into a two-wheeled, human-powered machine, it might look like this thing. When I first saw it in person, with the Supernova light dangling from the stem, I was reminded of a Deep Sea Anglerfish. A fish that spends its life in complete darkness, only illuminating its path with a luminescent organ called the esca at the tip of a modified dorsal ray. Could that be this bike’s spirit animal?

Erik works at the big, bad S. He’s a designer for the AWOL and other excursion-oriented bicycles. He made this bike as a special project for his plans on taking on the SF-area’s Super Brevet Series. Initially, he wanted a bike that would fit a 45mm slick 700c tire, with a tighter geometry than the AWOL and a tapered headtube, mated to a carbon fork. He spec’d the main tubes from a stock AWOL with the geometry more like a cross bike, milled a head tube to spec and used a Secteur fork for its rack attachments. While the AWOL is a dedicated touring bike, this is closer to a light-tourer or randonneur. So, in short, this is a one-off custom, made in the USA bike that gave Erik the ability to test out a few concepts.”

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Thanks to all of the frame builders out there, putting out exceptional work and the customers who keep those men and women in business. Keep rockin, y’all!

Sonder Camino ti – first ride review


Sonder Camino titanium gravel bike


Now I grew up in South Africa and the word sonder is Afrikaans for ‘without’ but this bike is definitely ‘with’

I pedal home today with a new bike came into the flat changed and went out for a first shakedown ride on the bike – these on my quick impressions after just 30 km

Very quickly I came to think that this bike might be one of those fabled you can do it all bikes. I went down the canal which is gravely with occasional small potholes on to cobbles and then later on into singletrack path weaving through the forest – the bike seem to handle everything with aplomb 


My only niggle was perhaps that the seatpost or saddle was not as comfortable as it could be but still good for the price point. I will be changing out the seatpost for something made of titanium or perhaps something like the Ritchey flexlogic and the saddle well that’s always down to the user and I have a preference for Ritchey WCS or specialised ronin

The bike is quick very quick even on this first exploratory ride I seem to have come home and found out that on Strava I have a King of the Mountain on one section over cobbles – Paris Roubaix might be a walk in the park


The discs brakes mechanicals from avid – I’ve not used avid mechanicals before they seem to do very good job of slowing the bike with excellent modulation when braking, the tires are WTB nano 40 mm tires and the seem to be quite progressive in grip and feedback. This was in the dry and this review is just the 1st (one hour ride) review and shouldn’t really be taking for a long-term review but so far I am completely stoked by the ride of this bike. 


Brandt Richards who is also been behind some of on-one’s bikes in the past seems to have finally nailed it – this is everything I wanted it to be perhaps more than I hoped and definitely a lot lot better than I ever expected it would be

I came home and looked in my cupboard to see four other bikes standing there looking slightly forlorn.

Alpkit give the bike a 10 year guarantee which is amazing considering it’s the first bike that they are doing. this bike is built so beautifully the weld is excellent and everything seems to be is put together as well as any of my Lynskey bikes
Now if only work and kids didn’t get in the way of me doing another ride tomorrow but I will post further reviews once I have a few hundred miles in on this bike

It has arrived 


New ti bride has arrived in the office


It is a thing of beauty ….. Nice welds


But I am out to a gig tonight so it has to stay in my office whilst I go out to wait for my date …. Meanwhile everyone else is enjoying the sun

Camino ti


Taken the plunge on a new bike finally after a bit of toing and froing with various companies trying to get the build I wanted. Well alpkit Sonder bikes have finally risen above the rest and got my pennies. i am getting the front wheel build up with a dyno hub and will use my USE Revo light for adventures.

The Camino Ti, a mix of a cyclocross, gravel, and road bike. The Camino seems to be designed for an adventure, when you don’t know what to expect of the road ahead. Designed for even longer tours, the drop bar bike can take on rough roads and rugged paths with its all-day, long wheelbase stability and a more comfortable upright position.

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Sonder specs the Camino with flared bars for flexible riding positions and less stress on the back, no matter the terrain. They see the bike as a mountain biker’s road bike. As we can attest, it’s nice to have a bike that can handle the rough stuff when its rider has the uncontrollable urge to venture down every dirt track that a smooth asphalt road crosses.

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The 3/2.5 titanium Camino again builds up with wide, flattened tubing to balance stiffness and comfort, and gets a disc brake only build. It does however stick with standard quick release axles, and an external headset (although still a 44mm headtube for a tapered steerer.) In a bit more of wheel flexibility, the frame gets clearance for both 650b x 48mm or 700c x 44mm tires.

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The Camino is also offered in 4 sizes as a couple of SRAM builds with hydro brakes, as well as a standalone frameset. The frame and full carbon monocoque fork sell for £1000. A Rival1 build adds just £500, while the Force1 completes the build options

Robot Bike Co


Seen at Fort William World Cup – this innovative company  doing ti and Carbon bikes. 3D printed ti lugs ……

Only one model at the moment but sure to grow

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R160

The R160 is Robot Bike Co’s first frame, and whilst it may be our only one at present, this could well be the only bike you need. With aggressive geometry and 160mm of travel the R160 thrives in steep and technical terrain, yet at the same time it is equally at home on climbs and all day epics. The unique DW6 suspension system plays a key part in this versatility. The progressive leverage ratio provides the suppleness you need for grip at the start of the travel, support in the middle, and a bottomless feeling at the end for when you’re really pushing things, perfect no matter what situation you find yourself in. Of course alongside grip and composure you also want a frame that pedals well, and once again the DW6 design won’t leave you wanting, the R160 is as efficient as they come.

We believe that 27.5” wheels are the perfect partner for a bike of this nature as they offer great speed whilst crucially still being able to handle the sort of thrashing that they are likely to encounter on the R160. You’ll also find a 12x142mm rear axle for maximum compatibility purposes, and a proper threaded bottom bracket (no creaking here!). Talking of threads, apart from the bottom bracket ones you won’t find a single thread anywhere else on the titanium parts of the frame. We’ve seen too many frames written off by damaged threads, so all of ours are easily replaceable should that ever be required.

You can learn more about the technical details of the unique engineering that has gone into the R160 if you head to our tech section (needs link), but all that effort would be worthless if the frame didn’t fit you perfectly, and that’s why we believe a custom fit is so important. Once we have your measurements we will provide you with our recommend geometry. That recommendation will be based upon what we believe provides the ultimate blend of speed, fun, stability and agility. If you have different priorities/requirements then for a small extra charge we are more than happy to discuss these with you and work out what is best for you in order to create something truly bespoke, but we believe that the vast majority of riders will love our suggested geometry as much as we do.

Did some filming of them which will feature in a future Adventure show on BBC scotland

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