Bristol Bicycles’ Expedition is a UK-designed, Far East-manufactured tourer at a bargain price. What’s the catch?
Well, it’s a heavyweight beast, but all the kit is well-thought out by the designers – so the non-glamorous parts, such as the bottom bracket and chain, have been upgraded.
The riding position is upright and the saddle and bar are near-enough level; a stress-free position for touring and heavily laden commuting.
The frame has reinforcing gussets under the top and down tubes, while the classic touring triple chainset and 8-speed cassette give you the low gears that touring can necessitate and small gaps between gears.
Both the hand-trued wheels and 35mm Schwalbe tyres major on toughness and the Expedition’s 14kg weight includes a 25kg capacity rack. Different components, tyres up to 50mm wide and even dynamo lights are options.
The Sora mechanical disc brakes are okay without being inspiring, and if you’re in the back of beyond they’ll be easier to fix than hydraulic brakes – which are an option.
I wasn’t a fan of the handlebar’s narrow clamping diameter, but future models will have the cantilever/V-brake brake bosses removed.
Bristol Bicycles supplied two of its Expedition bikes to riders who rode from the UK to Bangkok, and the bikes proved to be up to the job, safely making the 10,000km trek to Bangkok, which is a testament to the bike’s toughness.
|Brakes||Shimano Sora mechanical discs|
|Cassette||Shimano Alivio 11-3|
|Chain||Shimano Deore LX HG71|
|Front derailleur||Shimano Claris R2030|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano Altus M310|
|Saddle||Unisex comfort saddle|
|Tyres||35mm Schwalbe Spicer|
|Wheels||36-spoke, hand tensioned, Quando hubs|