British outdoors experts Alpkit have a new bike brand called Sonder, and we got a first look at the new range. They already have a strong reputation for their range of off-the-shelf and bespoke handmade frame bags, and the new bikes look like an extension of those bikepacking credentials.
The UK has been limited in options for bikepacking gear, something that Alpkit recognised early on. They saw a close link with their love of the outdoors and their range of lightweight camping gear. Understanding the needs of bikepackers from a gear perspective has allowed them to go back to the drawing board and design specialised bikes with no previous design features or expectations getting in the way.
Wielding the pencil and compass is veteran bike designer Brant Richards, previously of On-One and Ragley among others. Named after the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows definition that everyone has a story, Sonder Bikes asks – what’s yours?
The first bikes will be available in November but to save you the wait we managed to get up close at Alpkits Big Shake Out Festival for a hands-on look at some of the early prototypes and builds.
The aluminium frame gets a hard-wearing gunmetal anodised finish to defend against the rigours of frame pack rub. The super-slack 65º head angle betrays a potential Jekyll-and-Hyde personality when the frame bags come off for some trail centre fun.
With four build options starting at £799 for a basic but very upgradable starting point, through to £1,749 for a SRAM GX build with Rockshox Reba, reverb dropper post and WTB Scraper wheels. The frame will also be available for £300.
Sonder Broken Road
Thru-axle hubs, dedicated 1x drivetrain and cables routed out of the way below the down tube all point to a bike that will be capable on any adventure with any load. The frame and fork will be available for £1,199, with two full builds planned at £1599 for Shimano Deore and £1,999 for SRAM’s GX groupset.
Sonder Camino Titanium
The drop bar design allows for more hand positions than a flat bar making long days in the saddle far comfier, and the titanium frame should combat the worst that rough roads can throw at you. £1,599 will get you the Shimano 105 build, while for £2,199 the full SRAM Force groupset can be yours.
Sonder Tandem Duo
Sonder Iditarod Carbon Black Fatbike
A special sneak peek at Alpkit’s new Carbon Fatty. There aren’t many details just yet as the bike was only built up at the event. Slick lines and stealth routing for brakes and drivetrain keep things simple and uncluttered. It’s built around a 1x drivetrain and is shown here with plenty of clearance for 5” tyres on 100mm rims.