Spotlight - equipment views and reviews from the AK team
By Dan Thompson
17, Mar, 2017
New bikes and a look back at the last 12 months,
Its hard to believe but Sonder Bikes is now over a year old.
When we wheeled our first 3 bikes into the Bike Show at London’s Excel Arena in February 2016 we knew we had some nice bikes, they looked great and rode really well but what would people think of them?
We worked with bike design expert Brant Richards to ensure we got everything right and got the bikes we wanted to ride.
We started with 3 bikes, The Camino Ti, Transmitter and Broken Road. Other bikes quickly followed these. The Vir Fortis carbon Fatbike and Cahoot Titanium Tandem came soon after.
Whilst setting up Sonder we brought in our own ‘Bike Guru’.
Neil previously worked with Brant and certainly knows his way around a bike – and a spanner, and a torque wrench too...
Neil set about building customer bikes and has built all the bikes we’ve sold so far here in the workshop at Alpkit Towers. Next he started on developing some ideas we had for other bikes, and working closely with our factory partners in the Far East more bikes soon arrived.
The Camino AL came first, it matched the geometry of the super popular Camino Ti but with a more affordable aluminium tubeset. After the success of that bike he started work on an all new bike: the Frontier was born.
All the while this was going on Neil and the rest of the Alpkit team were busy riding prototype products and frames. See, Neil is a pretty handy bike rider too and grew up riding the trails around Sheffield, particularly in the early days of the now famous Grenoside and Wharncliffe.
One bike that got special attention was the Carbon version of the Transmitter. Like most of us Neil loved the ride of the aluminium bike and wanted to see what was possible with Carbon...
So, samples arrived, got ridden, hard, and then tweaked and ridden some more... so the Transmitter got longer, lower and stayed just as slack...
So when production bikes finally arrived and we saw the awesome bright blue and green paintjobs we sent Neil, Marketing man Dan and our in house photographer Matt along to try and keep up with him on his home trails... .