The bike industry generally loves a bit of rigid classification, labelling for marketing shorthand. It’s useful to have a vocabulary to indicate what a bike is for, both to help sell it, and to help choose it. Sometimes though, it’s limiting: cutting off the broad scope of possibility that is the bicycle. Recently, Bikepacking.com wrote a piece about All Terrain Bicycles, a response to feeling a name was needed for the vague zone somewhere in the gravel/mtb/offroad thingy milieu. That’s a long way of saying that that’s what Jim’s bike is. An ATB, for bouncing down the back lanes and byways, the magical green lanes of the UK’s agricultural past.
Jim wanted an upright position to deal with some body issues, he wanted dynamo lights, mudguards and off road tyre clearances. We use 650b wheels with 2.3″ tyres to balance B-road zip with off road grip. The geometry is a relaxed and stable, with a long wheelbase for comfort and control when combined with the short stem and swept bars. We ended up in a place that I think shares some approaches and ideas of Cleland cycles, which is a fun link back to UK cycling history.
Throughout the bike I made twin band details, on the head tube, stem and stay braces, matching the twin plate fork crown.
A key part of this build turned out to be the mudguards. Jim had the idea for some guards that would give protection from debris and a bit of water spray, without the dangerous length of normal guards. We envisaged mudguards like on an old scrambler. I hammered the mudguards from aluminium plate, and then bent up some chromo stays to mount them to with leather washers. The result is some wide, stiff and rattle free guards. I love the matte hammered finish, and it’s cool to make something with such utility that can’t be bought off the shelf.
Jim chose this amazing greeny yellow “curry yellow” that just POPS on a sunny spring day. I’m stoked on this one for sure. It’s an ATB I guess, and I dig it!