The Hook EXT, along with the rest of Bombtrack’s bikes, is incredibly pragmatic and that’s exactly what I like about it. The Hook has room for 700x45c or 650×2.1” tires depending on how rugged you want to ride. This bike definitely blurs the lines between a cross bike and a mountain bike. Stuck into the double-butted frame are all the bolt holes you’d want for rear racks, fork racks, and plenty of room for water bottle cages, or a frame bag, whatever floats your boat. The hydro disk brakes that come on the EXT are a definite confidence booster when descending mountainsides miles away from humanity.
Co-Motion has kept the world traveler in mind when building their bikes. Some of their bikes feature a break apart frame and internally geared hubs or bottom bracket mounted gear boxes. For more information on the Pinion Gearbox, check out our first thoughts here. The cables on the breakaway bikes also come with easily detachable mounts and are easy to assemble again without having to adjust your gears.
I was blown away when I saw that a high-end Italian road bike company had built a legitimately good gravel/adventure bike. The Chro-moly steel frame itself piqued my interest featuring internal welds for a clean professional look on the outside. The Jaroon came with a solid, reliable SRAM Rival, 11speed build for $2,549 at about 23lbs.The frame comes with a carbon fork and rear rack mounts, plenty of tire clearance, and disk brakes.
I found their aluminum Jaroon frame build to be impressive as well. The bike comes with Shimano Tiagra which genuinely feels really good. Mid and entry level components are getting so good now that it’s easy to get into a great bike at a low price point.
The Co-Op ARD 1.X is REI’s answer to what their customers are looking for. REI has axed Novara and completely rebranded to introduce the ARD and DRT lines. The ARD line stands for All Road and with the clearance offered on these frames, I’d have to agree. I think this is a good move for REI whose members are more of the outdoorsy type with a sense of adventure. That’s why REI has come out with an aluminum and carbon frame road bike with large tire clearance and mounting points for racks and fenders. The ARD goes after a lower price point than the handbuilt steel frame bikes but uses reliable components like Shimano 105, which is just so good these days.
The Rawland All-Road Enduro Ravn looks like an excellent post-apocalyptic-take-you-across-the-world bike. At Interbike this bike was wearing the WTB 47c Horizon tires with room to spare. These guys know their material science and treat the handmade steel frames for the best ride quality. They’ve got all the important mounts, including the underside of the downtube, and an in-house front rack for brevets or randonneuring. They may look like fairly simple bikes but some impressive engineering went into making these frames. This bike is no featherweight but you’ll probably never need to buy a frame again. I’d love to load this bike up and take it for a spin across all of the mountains.
The Ritchey Ascent is another breakaway, world-traveler all terrain bike. The Ascent is one of many bikes made by Ritchey with travel in mind. There’s enough room in the thru axle frame for 650×2.1” tires or 700x40c tires. Of course with any travel anywhere bike, they have full mounts for fenders and racks, including on the CrMo fork. The derailleurs, and rear brake are all connected via removable cable connections so you can easily take apart, and reassemble while traveling. Ritchey uses bar end friction shifters to help reduce the amount of things that could break on this bike and I think that’s a good move for the market they’re trying for. The seatpost is used as a connecting point at the top of the frame and a small bracket similar to a front derailleur mount is used on the bottom to hold the frame together. From an engineering standpoint, I’m curious about the fatigue points these create, but I’m sure they’ll last well. I think it’s a pretty cool bike to take around the world with you.
The Sand County touring and adventure bike by Advocate Cycles is pretty high on my list for a go-to end-of-the-world or fin-du-mond if you will, scenario bike. This bike comes with 29 threaded mounting holes, or so I’m told. I didn’t count them.
This bike comes with Tiagra 3×10 and mechanical disk brakes. Possibly one of my favorite features of this bike is the ability to run your dynamo wires up through the fork instead of having to wrap around the outside. This bike can run downtube shifters if you’re old school like that. Advocate is a brand I can get behind and this bike will take you places.
The Four Corners Elite proves that Marin has been paying attention to the direction that cycling is going. Their line of bikes feature Cro-moly frames with wide clearance for 45c tires, clean paint jobs, and mounts for fenders and racks. The thru-axles front and rear help to keep a nice stiff frame.
The Addict Gravel 10 is definitely oriented more toward gravel races with the carbon frame and SRAM Hydro Force 11-speed components. The frame has slightly more clearance than their standard CX bike for larger tires. There’s plenty of room for bike bags but you won’t find any rack mounts on this carbon speed machine.
I was surprised to see such a prominent track bike frame company break into the adventure market with the Bootleg. They’ve done their research and seem to know what’s important on touring/adventure bikes.
Cinelli put spare spoke mounts on the chainstay of their rim brake frame, rack mounts on the seat stays, and rack mounts on the fork. They’ve gone with full external routing for easy maintenance and bar end friction shifters for a seriously reliable build.
While most companies have moved towards disk brake frames, the Bootleg comes with a cantilever setup which is simple to maintain and easy to find replacement parts or jerry-rig if you have to.