Bombtrack Bicycle Co. is a small bike company based in Cologne, Germany. They have gained an almost cult following with some benchmark adventurous bikepacking and gravel bikes and have become known for their functional design savvy that bike explorers who spend a lot of time in the saddle will appreciate. Steering clear of hype and over the top advertising, they instead rely on a dedicated band of riders and creators (the Bombtrack ‘family’) to get the message out.
The Bombtrack Beyond 2 is the expedition wagon of the Bombtrack lineup. Based on the popular and well tested Beyond model, the Beyond 2 ups the ante through the addition of expedition-ready parts and accessories – namely a dynamo lighting system with high performance Supernova lights, and steel porteur rack.
Frame & fork
Being built to take the abuses of long distance adventuring, the Beyond 2 is ‘keeping it real’ with a full steel frame and fork. No-nonsense 4130 Chromoly steel is dependable and with a good balance between weight and the compliance that gives steel its comfortable ride characteristics.
The frame is decked out with ample mounting points for bags, bottles and racks with triple cage mounts on the forks, 3 bottle cage mounts (one under the downtube), top tube mount for a... top-tube bag (surprise, surprise), front and rear rack mounts and mounting points for fenders.
While there is internal routing for dynamo cables (a smart move, as these lightweight wires definitely benefit from extra protection), brake and gear cables have full length housing and are externally routed. This is a practical solution that works great for this type of bike. Dealing with a broken internally routed gear cable in the middle of a storm on a high plateau would NOT make for good times!
Thru-axles and a tapered headtube keep the bike on point with modern standards while the ‘root beer’ paint finish with attractive orange flashes is nicely subtle for a bit of style without being shouty. Five sizes are available, with the larger 3 sizes running 29” and the smaller two, 27.5” wheelsets, which retains the balance and geometry of the bike by scaling it to the rider. Again, a thoughtful design decision.
The Beyond 2 stands tall - a high front end and long steerer tube makes for a comfortable long range cockpit and provides ample room for a humongous framebag, although this would need to be a custom made affair to take best advantage of that expansive frame triangle.
The bike comes with a front ‘porteur’ style rack as standard - a nice touch with real adventuring in mind. These wide format racks have gathered many fans lately as a support for a rando style bag - easier to access than a handlebar roll with oodles of volume, ideal for longer tours or on your daily commuter rig. It’s common to see these bigger front racks used in conjunction with more ‘standard’ bikepacking seatpacks which is likely the reason Bombtrack didn’t spec a rear rack as standard.
Bombtrack have opted for a sensible and reliable drivechain in the form of SRAM’s Apex rear derailleur and drop bar shifter in a 1X setup. Gear range is decent enough with a 36t ring up front and an 11-42t standard HG splined cassette in the rear, making for readily available replacements when the time comes. For truly loaded touring in mountainous landscapes you might be looking for another low gear - dropping the front ring to 34 would be the easiest way, but if you wanted to go more ‘trad’, the Beyond 2 will happily run a double chainset and front derailleur too.
Stopping duties are taken care of by TRP Spyre C cable disc brakes, again a sensible choice for a bike that may find itself in some far flung places. Remedying a broken hydraulic brake in the back of beyond is likely impossible, whereas a cable brake fix is within reach of your travel toolkit. While cable brakes don’t have the grunt of hydraulics, these are worthy bits of kit with good feel and power, although very long descents may tire the fingers! Crucially, they are a dual piston design - easy to adjust on the fly.
The Beyond 2 rolls on a tough set of WTB rims, shod in Panaracer Gravel King tyres in a terrain-smoothing 50c width. It’s a great combo and the Gravel King’s tread pattern works very well across a wide range of surfaces - the sort of mixed conditions you’ll encounter on a tour. The small block design keeps up to speed on the tarmac while providing enough bite to keep things rubber-side-down on the trail.
The rear hub is Bombtrack’s own, while the front hub is a KT dynamo hub. This neat bit of tech powers front and rear Supernova (another German manufacturer) dynamo lights. Dynamo technology has come a long way in recent years and modern hub dynamo systems are efficient with little drag. The rider will be expending 3W of input energy to power the lights (which are always on, unless you unplug the cable). Not a high price to pay - you won’t notice the extra. The light set is plenty bright for general use (the rear is very visible from a long distance, even in daytime).
You may still want to add a ‘booster’ light for technical riding in the dark. The dynamo hub can also be used to charge devices, such as a phone, GPS or battery charging, (although this will require a USB converter such as the Sinewave Revolution or Reactor) - a fantastic addition for autonomous adventuring.
As you would expect from a frame and fork of good quality steel, the ride is comfortable with the frame material, seatpost and wide tyres working in unison to deliver the cush needed for days that might involve more pedalling than not pedalling.
It’s stable, mannered, but certainly not stale. More like an old school rigid mountain bike in its capabilities. In short, fun times to be had!
The angled stem (you can flip it if you want to get more aero, but hey, this is not a race bike!), combined with the radically flared but not-too-wide (30 degree) gravel drops give plenty of positions, from upright uphill grinding to a decent tuck on the downs, and plenty more options in between the two.
The Beyond 2 is a solid performer. If you are planning a long distance loaded adventure by bike, the Beyond 2 would make a fine companion, with practical, well thought out features that would be easy to live with in remote locales. It's great ride manners will keep you happy over the long haul. It also makes for a fantastic day to day vehicle, with its built-in lighting and carrying capacity.
Other Bombtrack models
Bombtrack has an ever growing range of models, all slanted towards adventurous riding, from plus-tyred mountain bikes, through gravel and cyclocross to all-road.
Not all models make it to New Zealand, but the most popular bikes here in NZ are the steel Hook EXT and carbon Hook EXT-C - gravel bikes with an appetite for rough trails, the Beyond 2 discussed here, and the Beyond+ ADV, a sure footed plus-tyred bikepacking mountain bike.
Where to buy Bombtrack bikes in New Zealand
The Beyond 2 retails for $3990 and can be found here at goodrotations.co - your dedicated online bikepacking outfitter, based in Wanaka. If you are quick you might pick one up at the winter discount price of $3389!
If you are looking for a worthy adventure or bikepacking bicycle and all the gear to go with it, don't miss Bombtrack bikes at Good Rotations.