Just in: Tout Terrain Grande Route

A fast tourer with some quirky features

by Rob Simmonds   January 15, 2011  

Way back at the Eurobike 2009 trade show we spotted the Tout Terrain Grande Route, a disc equipped fast tourer in a similar mould to the Kona Sutra or Salsa Fargo. Well, we've finally got one in and I am the lucky chap giving it a good thrashing. It's a handsome beast but it's not just an expensive custom steel tourer, oh no. It's positively loaded with expensive bits, interesting design solutions and downright quirky touches, courtesy of designer Florian Weismann.

Chris King headset? Check. Chris King rear hub? Check. Built in USB charger port? Oh yes. Front SON hub dynamo? Yup. Brooks Swift saddle? Gotcha. Front Tubus rack? Right there. Middleburn crankset? Hell, yeah. Custom steel frame with integrated rear rack? Why yes. Customised routing for lighting? Well, seeing as you asked… Oh, and one of those head tube snagging things to stop your bars spinning into the frame in a crash, just in case. To be honest, any one of these features would be worth a review in its own right.

Tout Terrain sell the Grande Route in two flavours: Silver (with a Shimano 105 spec) and Gold (Ultegra), with optional extras on top. We have the Gold version here. The Plug charger, Brooks saddle and Chris King rear hub are all extras, bumping the price up to somewhere just south of £3,000. Are we scared of dropping it? Oh yes...

The built-in rack is sturdy but it may well be a limiting factor seeing as you can't remove it without a hacksaw. Another slightly odd choice is the tyres which are Schwalbe Ultremos in their 28c version. Mat tested the slimmer ones in October last year and said that they were a very fast, very light but rather fragile racing tyre. To us that makes them a slightly odd choice for a bike that looks set for touring and long day rides.

Observant readers may well spot that the saddle in the pics is in fact a Brooks Colt, not a Swift. That's because the Colt is also on test so we're doubling up – two products tested for the same mileage.

The most intriguing feature is perhaps the Plug, which is an after-market USB charger that drops into the front fork and powers devices from a hub dynamo. It's neatly done, but is it a solution in search of a problem? And how practical is it? We shall see.

We're hoping to put a good few hundred miles into this bike, including at least one audax and a bit of fully loaded shopping, before the distributors prise it out of our hands. We’ll give you our full report once we've finished playing.

11 user comments

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Oh, and one of those head tube snagging things to stop your bars spinning into the frame in a crash

Huh?

posted by handlebarcam [527 posts]
15th January 2011 - 11:33

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handlebarcam wrote:
Quote:
Oh, and one of those head tube snagging things to stop your bars spinning into the frame in a crash

Huh?

If you take a look at the front end picture you'll see two lugs on either side of the head tube and a black extension on one of the lower spacers. The lugs catch on the black bit and stop the bars from spinning round. I'm not entirely sure what purpose it serves but the designer is an ex downhill MTB champion, which might be a clue.

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posted by Rob Simmonds [251 posts]
15th January 2011 - 12:01

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I see, thanks. Sounds like it would stop paint scratches if you dropped or parked the thing badly, but seems unlikely to do much good in a crash. Still, a nice feature.

posted by handlebarcam [527 posts]
15th January 2011 - 13:33

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What guards are those? Slick...

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posted by alotronic [259 posts]
16th January 2011 - 0:12

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alotronic wrote:
What guards are those? Slick...

They're Curano guards. Can't say I'm impressed so far, although they're fitted a long way off the tyres.

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posted by Rob Simmonds [251 posts]
16th January 2011 - 0:41

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They're Curana C-lites like what we just tested on road.cc, by the looks of things:

http://road.cc/content/review/29385-curana-c-lite-mudguards

i quite like them when i tested them, they were fitted much closer though which then need to be as they don't have much profile. and they're a bit short.

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7313 posts]
16th January 2011 - 18:14

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dave_atkinson wrote:
They're Curana C-lites like what we just tested on road.cc, by the looks of things:

http://road.cc/content/review/29385-curana-c-lite-mudguards

i quite like them when i tested them, they were fitted much closer though which then need to be as they don't have much profile. and they're a bit short.


Ah yes, but on the Tout Terrain they're bolted to the underside of the rack, which means they hover way too far from the tyre, especially skinny race rubber like the Schwalbes.

I did say this bike was quirky!

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posted by Rob Simmonds [251 posts]
16th January 2011 - 20:26

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Would that be because there's no brake bridge?

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4134 posts]
17th January 2011 - 10:14

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1 Obviously a "stealth" bike in that it's very difficult to see it against that very confusing hedgerow background....

Couldn't a better photo have been taken?

2 No pump?

Binky

posted by davebinks [125 posts]
18th January 2011 - 19:24

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I think the USB charger would have been great to have on my End to End. Is it possible to fit this thing to any bike? Could you do a review of it on its own? A lot of phones (esp smartphones) charge by USB; so does my bike light, camera, MP3 and I think my GPS has a slot as well. T'would be exceedingly good to have bike-powered power as an option (as well as being 'green').

posted by RuthF28 [92 posts]
18th January 2011 - 23:34

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Is it possible to fit this thing to any bike? Could you do a review of it on its own?

yes. and yes.

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7313 posts]
19th January 2011 - 0:16

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