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Kinoko Cycles celebrate store opening with custom painted Independent Fabrication Gravel Royale

Look at this lovely Independent Fabrication Gravel Royale. I’m sure you’ll agree, it's a cool looking bike. It’s a new model from Indy Fab and is the result of a collaboration with Kinoko Cycles, formerly Tokyo Fixed, who this week moved across London to a much bigger store in Soho.

They wanted to do something to celebrate the launch of the new store at 10 Golden Square and this seems an entirely splendid way of going about it. It certainly grabbed my attention. Kinoko Cycles have a slick new aesthetic, complete with new logos and identifying colours, which are married to the slender steel tubes of the Gravel Royale beautifully. It’s the first one we’ve seen in the UK.

Think of merging a road bike and a cyclo-cross bike with disc brakes and you're generally along the right lines with the Gravel Royale. Gravel racing is all the rage over in the States, where they have hundreds of miles of gravel tracks and in places you can ride almost entirely on such tracks. We don’t really have the same gravel road scene over here, but maybe it’s just a matter of time. We’re always on the lookout for something different, aren’t we?

Indy Fab have been making this sort of bike for a while - they get many requests for such a bike. So they decided to properly answer the demand and make a model out of it. The frame will take fatter tyres to give extra comfort and vibration absorption on the rougher surfaces, and disc brake mounts. Discs seem to be a recurring fixture on most of these gravel racing rigs, and it does make sense for such bikes. There’s the extra stopping power and you’re more likely to ding a rim out of true. Plus, riding in inhospitable conditions is where discs really come into their own.

The frame has neatly hidden mudguard mounts, thru-axles, disc brakes and a solid steel fork. They’ve built it with Bontrager mountain bike 29in wheels  and lightly treaded Bonty tyres that should see it fly on the dirt, gravel and roads alike. A Shimano 105 black groupset matches the frame nicely, as does the Bontrager carbon stem and Thomson seatpost.

Check it out at Kinoko's new store and website (www.kinokocycles.com) they're currently taking orders if you want something similar.

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

14 comments

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 3 years ago
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Woof!

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crikey [1252 posts] 3 years ago
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The power of marketing...

It's a cross bike except the cable guides are in the same place they would be on a road bike, but we're going to call it a 'Gravel Racer', because calling it a tourer would put off the fashionistas.

I suppose we should be grateful that cycling in general has developed to the extent that this kind of cool niche product can be sold...

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dicktate [11 posts] 3 years ago
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crikey wrote:

I suppose we should be grateful that cycling in general has developed to the extent that this kind of cool niche product can be sold...

This sort of bike has been selling well for years. I've had a Salsa Vaya as a winter bike / XC hacker / bloody-good-giggle bike for at least 4 years now and it's fantastic!  4

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betweenbikes [20 posts] 3 years ago
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i foooking well love that...perfect for shitty british roads

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antonio [1124 posts] 3 years ago
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'We don’t really have the same gravel road scene over here, but maybe it’s just a matter of time.'

I like this, the state of our crumbling potholed roads says it could be sooner than we think!

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Nzlucas [123 posts] 3 years ago
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drool.... Pretty much like my Croix de Fer but nicer....

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monty dog [457 posts] 3 years ago
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It's a nice bike, but just run by me why you'd want not enough clearance in case you encountered some typical UK conditions?

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bikeandy61 [532 posts] 3 years ago
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Yes lovely and just what our roads need.

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Al__S [1024 posts] 3 years ago
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other than taking on the potholes, we don't tend to have "gravel" roads- non tarmaced tracks tend to be mud/dirt/grass/rocks

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farrell [1950 posts] 3 years ago
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monty dog wrote:

It's a nice bike, but just run by me why you'd want not enough clearance in case you encountered some typical UK conditions?

I don't follow, the article says it has mudguard mounts so I assume there would be clearance for them, or have I completely misunderstood what you are saying?

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step-hent [722 posts] 3 years ago
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Al__S wrote:

other than taking on the potholes, we don't tend to have "gravel" roads- non tarmaced tracks tend to be mud/dirt/grass/rocks

I guess the closest we have would be the fire roads on forestry commission land, and disused railways. In the dry, they're pretty much like riding gravel roads, and not a million miles off even in the wet.

I quite like the bike - but I'd never use one. Still, it's nice to see more specialist machines being developed using the best of available tech from different disciplines.

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andyspaceman [244 posts] 3 years ago
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It's nice, but having that many headset spacers on a custom frame begs a few questions. Whoever did the measuring-up needs sorting out.

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bikeylikey [204 posts] 3 years ago
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andyspaceman wrote:

It's nice, but having that many headset spacers on a custom frame begs a few questions. Whoever did the measuring-up needs sorting out.

I agree. It doesn't look at all right to me. The head tube should be at least 20mm longer. That would give a better slope to the top tube as well as reducing the number of spacers and reducing pressure on the headset, important on bike for rough surfaces. It looks like someone's making do with the wrong frame by putting in a stack of spacers.

Also, it doesn't say what kind of steel tubing it is, or how much it's likely to cost. Grumble groan gripe...where's me slippers...

Oh, and while I'm at it, I don't need a new bike just because there's the odd pothole here and there. I generally ride round them.

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rix [123 posts] 3 years ago
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I'm in love!  8