MATT’S SONDER BRO­KEN ROAD SRAM NX1£1,899

Does Alp­kit’s ad­ven­ture bike an­swer the why of Ti?

Mountain Biking UK - - LONG-TERM RIDES -

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

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