Saddle Sore – Reviews, Rides & Rablings – Cycling Blog

Choosing a New Bike

It’s a learning curve buying the right bike. I thought the Tripster ATR was going to be my bike for life but I’m clearly still on the curve. I’m on the hunt for a replacement bike for life. Here is why:

Sizing: Despite initially feeling fine I now feel overstretched and that the frame is a little long. Having had a bike fit, it shows my arms are short in relation to my legs which makes sense of my overstretched feeling; I bought the 60cm frame soley based on my height.

Gearing: I struggle on loose terrain ascents. I needed to stand to put the power down which then took the weight on the rear wheel and it would slip and spin, I need lower gearing so I can sit spin the pedals.

Braking: The TRP HY-RD cable actuated hydraulic caliper brakes are great when fresh and perfectly setup, but after a while they can lose their fully hydraulic feel and wont have a graduated application; they will start to grab like a mechanical set.

New bike: Everybody loves a new bike.

Frame/fork must haves:

  • Titanium – I love the ‘can do’ attitude of titanium
  • 3rd bottle boss set – I want space for a 3rd bottle, or a single bottle if the other 2 are obstructed by a frame bag
  • Disc specific – Rim brakes have no interest to me
  • Mounts for rack and mudguards – I will definetly want mudguards at some point
  • Cleareance for wide 650b tyres – Along with lower gearing I hope wider 650b tyres will give better performance on loose terrain
  • Better sizing than current 60cm – The main reason for going for a new frame rather than just upgrading the ATR

Frame/fork would likes:

  • Internal routing (almost in the ‘must haves’) – I want to clear the top tube of the clutter and bib tight snagging opportunities
  • Thru axle – They seem like a good idea but not a deal breaker
  • Flat mount for calipers – Again the seem like a good idea but not that important
  • Toptube bar mount

Component must haves:

  • Lower gearing than 50/34 11-32 can give – For the loose terrain ascents mentioned above
  • Hydraulic disc brakes – Now they are widely available on drop shifters why wouldn’t you, plus the HY-RD performance above

Component would likes:

  • Hub dynamos – Expensive but would be so nice not to worry about batteries on long rides
  • Thinking about tubeless – They seem like a good idea but I’m a bit scared about being stranded if the worst happens.

Component Contenders:

Starting a little back to front, there is only one real option for my gearing and braking at the moment but luckily it seems ideal; SRAM Force 1x. A 10-42 cassette and a choice of easily changed chain rings from 38 to 50 (in increments of 2) will give ample range. And they are available with hydraulic braking so that’s a desicion made.

SRAM Force 1 Groupset

SRAM Force 1 Groupset – this but with the wide range Mini Cluster cassette.

Frame/Fork Contenders:

There is only one frame (that I can find) that meets all my ‘must have’ criteria, but first, here are some near misses:

I really lust for this bike but it’s missing 1 thing…titanium.

Kinesis Tripster ATR v2
I love my current ATR v1, but their sizing is too restrictive and they followed this lead with the v2.

Sonder Camino Ti
Sizing again is the issue for me here, that and the ‘would like’ of internal routing missing. A great little well priced bike.

Going Custom
I did contact a couple of places about producing a frame with everything I wanted but no one was very forth coming; I guess they were busy with easier jobs and not that interested.

Other contenders – dismissed for one reason or another but may be helpful if you’re looking for a similar bike: Curve GMX and CXR, Litespeed T5 Gravel, and Moots Routt 45.

And the winner is…

The ‘winner’ by meeting all must-have and would-like criteria (bar the toptube bag mounts) is, the as yet, unavailable Mason BokehTi. So unavailable, it doesn’t currently have it’s own webpage – most of what you’ll see on the link is about the aluminium version. Now all I need to do is beg, borrow or steal some cash…quite a lot of cash.


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