There's no doubt Retrotec's Funduro is a quality machine. Curt Inglis builds frames one at a time and his craftsmanship is easy to recognize, with lines from carefully bent tubes that flow uninterrupted from front to back, top to bottom.
The CNC machine work of the mostly California parts is clearly visible on the stem, brake levers and cranks, and a lot of the accessories all sport the same anodized blue finish. The Funduro looks unique because it is.
Coincidentally, the steel framed and completely devoid of carbon Funduro arrived the same day as an everything carbon and XTR-clad full-sus wonderbike. The contrast between the two machines was astonishing.
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Retrotec Funduro specs
- Custom chromoly frame
- X-Fusion McQueen fork
- SRAM GX 11-speed drivetrain
- Paul Components Klamper mechanical disc brakes and Love levers
- Velocity Blunt 35 rims / White Industries hubs / WTB Ranger 27.5 x 3.0in tires
- 13.4kg / 29.54lbs with two King bottle cages — actual weight
Smooth up to a point
Riding the Funduro back to back with other test bikes really emphasized how differently this bike wanted to be ridden. At up to 7/10 of full speed, everything from climbing to spinning to descending was easy and sure-footed.
Sure, the overall bike weight was noticeable, especially at the wheels, but the ride was so quiet and smooth, it was fun on all sorts of terrain.
Despite the noticeable rolling weight, the low tread WTB Ranger tires held momentum and absolutely nullified tiny trail imperfections.
The entire bike was incredibly smooth up to a point. It displayed a bit of give on the small stuff with the whole system of steel tubing, low-pressure plus tires and decent suspension fork coming together.
But as speeds increased and heavier, more intentional inputs were put into the bike, the vagueness of the plus-size tires and the damped ride began to detract from the fun.
Jumping, manualing and tossing the bike into corners took more effort, and holding a line through rock gardens and rooty sections required more rider attention.
There was a distinct point where riding the Funduro went from an effortless cruise through the woods to feeling like a handful. Putting a knobbier front tire on would likely settle down some of the cornering vagueness but for the high-speed action through rough stuff a longer rear end is needed.
I know it's blasphemy to wish for longer chainstays, but with the Funduro's relaxed seat angle there's simply too much weight over the rear end while climbing, resulting in the front end wanting to come up.
And when descending, the short rear-end bounces the bike a bit much. Luckily being a full custom bike, Inglis can surely accommodate your needs and requests.
The American build kit
The build quality is high for all parts, and the CNC chiseling on the anodized parts is a classy touch. To my eye, it's refreshing to see angular lines instead of the now commonly swoopy forged and carbon bits.
The Paul Klamper disc brakes were a bit of mixed bag. While they maintained consistency for the most part I found the braking action to be quite grabby with not a load of power. Modulation was a bit on/off and they squeaked on my dusty trails, not a full-on tortured turkey squeal like Avids, but they do squeak a bit as the pads contact the rotor.
The iconic Paul Love Levers were a treat. They maintained their reach and bite point settings, and my index fingers matched the hook and width of the end happily. Plus there was no discernible flex at the lever or clamp.
The White Industries M30 crankset might look old school, but proved to be stiff and worry free. The narrow/wide White Industries TSR chainring held the chain without error and the bottom bracket spun creak and friction free.
The rolling stock was equally impressive, the Velocity Blunt 35 rims rolled straight and shrugged off some not-so-clean lines, and while the White Industries XMR hubs didn't have the fastest engagement they did have some impressively smooth-rolling bearings inside.
Retrotec Funduro bottom line
This is a bike for people that have an avocado and a beer in their riding pack. The type of rider who stashes beers or a flask in the woods.
Going full tilt on it takes a lot of skill, but that's not what it's meant for, it's for looking good, cruising around, and quietly proclaiming that you've been riding long enough to know what you want from a bike and are ready to commit to a lifetime frame.
The build on this Funduro takes that ethos a step further by showing that American-made products are important to you.