MATT’S SONDER BROKEN ROAD SRAM NX1£1,899
Does Alpkit’s adventure bike answer the why of Ti?
Sonder’s Broken Road is the bike equivalent of sriracha (a versatile sauce that goes well with pretty much anything!). The titanium frame is a standout platform for longdistance rides and multi-day trips. It’s extremely versatile, feeling at home fitted with a suspension fork and flat handlebar but also with a rigid or leafsprung fork and extreme ‘alt’ bar. The spring in the Ti frame helps you grind up the hills and sucks up trail chatter on the downs. I love the naked metal finish, which has the added bonus of not looking scratched or worn despite the best attempts of abrasive frame-bag straps and webbing.
Titanium doesn’t come cheap and should be seen as an investment. That said, the frame is a bargain for £1,249 and its Boost rear spacing, three sets of bottle mounts and comfy yet playful geometry mean it’s well future-proofed. Another £650 gets you the complete bike I’ve been riding, which comes ready to roll with a SRAM NX1 transmission, Rockshox Reba fork and plus-size wheels from in-house brand Love Mud. This is a well-thought-out spec, although if you start to get serious about bikepacking, you’ll likely want to find some weight savings.
My upgrading started with the almost heretical decision to ditch the suspension fork and go fully rigid. Niner’s Boost RDO Carbon fork shaved over 1kg off the weight of the bike, with the squish of the Sonder’s plus-size tyres stopping things getting too uncomfortable. Another tidy weight saving came in the unconventional form of Ritchey’s throwback Bullmoose bar/ stem combo. This tips the scales at a measly 280g and offers huge comfort, thanks to the bar section’s nine-degree backsweep.
If I was looking for a bike to take me on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure or tackle years of long-distance slogging, I wouldn’t hesitate to invest in a Broken Road. I’m finding it hard to think of any bike that’s worked so well for me with such a variety of different components while still delivering huge comfort and massive smiles on epic rides. www.alpkit.com