The cycling world is all-in with the growing number of offerings for all-road and gravel riding opportunities. Bikes are becoming more suitable to handle any type of terrain or circumstance we throw their way.
Finding and maximizing every aerodynamic advantage now plays second fiddle to having one bike that is an all-in-one solution to many riding applications.
So, what about a bike for the traveling cyclist?
There is no bigger buzz kill than being charged exorbitant baggage fees by airlines so Atlanta-base company NDVR crafted a clever solution. A titanium gravel travel bike.
The team behind NDVR is made of riders just like me and you, that is to say, they wanted to explore and ride any road or trail they come across while out traveling.
Do the frames look familiar? NDVR is Made in the USA through a collaboration with custom-frame manufacturer, Lynskey Titanium.
They only have one frame model, the Alpha, which comes in five sizes XS - XL and uses the Ritchey Breakaway hybrid coupling system. Following the initial set up, which for me required the help of the local mobile mechanic, assembly and disassembly was easy.
Only a few bolts needed fastening, one at the seat and top tube junction and the second at the downtube in front of the bottom bracket.
This bike is well suited to meet the growing demand for those with gravel riding on their mind and the frame is equally at home riding on trails or on pavement. It came with Reynolds road wheels and tires but has enough clearance to work with 40mm tires.
The frame is surprisingly stiff and I rode with confidence no matter the surface or the situation. It is enough bike when rubbing elbows on group road rides, can match accelerations in and out of corners in a crit, and handles all of the wrenching that comes with in and out of the saddle riding on climbs.
It passed the test of maneuvering through a muddy cross race this winter and I’ve got plans for a few gravel races on it later this Spring.
Disc brakes not only allow for wider tire clearance but greater confidence for stopping when hitting the trails and riding through wet and slippery conditions.
The major benefit was avoiding those pesky airline fees. Once broken down, the bike in it’s case fits within the 62 inch airline baggage parameters.
Of the four times I flew with the bike, I was only questioned once about what was in the case. In that case, I told them it was bike parts, they measured twice, and had no choice but to treat it like any other bag.
It felt like a win each time, having likely dished out thousands of dollars in bike fees through the years.
To find out more about NDVR check out their website.