Home
Mountain bike meets adventure bike with the full-suspension Ranger

A company we’ve never heard of before, APRO, has shocked attendees of the Taipei International Cycle Show this week with the unveiling of its all-new Ranger full-suspension gravel bike. 

APRO Ranger 2.jpg

APRO Ranger 2.jpg

Blurring the line between road and mountain bikes more than most, the Ranger comprises a short linkage rear suspension assembly in unison with an upside down suspension fork. Is it just a full-suspension mountain bike with drop handlebars? And what would John Tomac make of it all?

- 16 of the best 2017 gravel & adventure bikes 

We don’t have specific details on how much travel the bike offers front and rear yet, but we’d hazard a guess it’s somewhere between 30 and 60mm. The bike sports a new X-Fusion upside down suspension fork and rear shock unit, both featuring adjustment knobs to presumably allow the limited suspension travel to be locked out.

APRO Ranger 6.jpg

APRO Ranger 6.jpg

The bike is built around 650b (or 27.5” in mountain bike speak) wheels with clearance for up to 2.0in tyres. The big volume tyres will also contribute to the vibration damping qualities of the bike as well. While only just revealed and details are scare, it’s already bagged an award in the IF World Design Guide. 

- Is Fox about to release an Adventure Cross suspension fork?

APRO Ranger 4.jpg

APRO Ranger 4.jpg

Is suspension the big area of development for the next generation of gravel and adventure bikes? We've already had the Cannondale Slate, more of a Road Plus bike than a dedicated gravel bike, and Fox is close to launching a suspension fork for the gravel market. And let's not forget the distinctive Lauf Grit fork too.

But a full-suspension adventure bike, is there a demand for it? Adding suspension to road bikes isn't new of course, Bianchi has been down this path, but with the latest developments in mountain bike suspension now would be a good time for revisiting the idea of adding suspension to road/gravel/adventure bikes. Whether people want or need suspension on a gravel/adventure bike is another matter entirely, but it looks like we're set to see more attempts to do this in the future.

- First look: Lauf Grit fork + Tech Q+A founder Benedikt Skúlason

APRO Ranger 9.jpg

APRO Ranger 9.jpg

The Ranger is a completely new concept for a gravel bike, which has a full suspension system; through its miniaturized suspension system and 2-inch tires, it reduces vibration and brings maximum riding comfort when traveling on gravel roads. Furthermore, the road bike gear ratio preserves the joy of speed and pedaling efficiency even through intermediate cross-country paths and jumps. The Ranger provides longer rides under various road conditions, allowing you to have more fun on your trips.

APRO Ranger 5.jpg

APRO Ranger 5.jpg

We’ll have more details once our correspondent in Taiwan fires over some more details...

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.

13 comments

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet [1075 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes

Looks nice but surely we're at the point where you just get an MTB if it really is full suspension territory?

Ok, I've seen some dude on Youtube ripping up the trails on a cyclocross bike but his skill level was pro-level, so most of us won't be able to do that sort of thing with drop bars.

This said.......it does look nice.....

Avatar
Morat [258 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

Well, someone was always going to do it!

It looks like a good idea to me, but I guess it all depends on how it rolls on the road - which is probably more to do with tyres than anything else.

Avatar
RobD [409 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

It looks better than I thought it might have done, not sure there's many places near me that would call for one of these (that wouldn't need a full on mountainbike anyway) but good to see people experimenting with the concept.

Avatar
VonPinkhoffen [37 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

Just needs plus sized tyres now - 27.5x3.0! 

Avatar
Danger Dicko [281 posts] 3 months ago
4 likes

They were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.

Avatar
wycombewheeler [1072 posts] 3 months ago
7 likes
RobD wrote:

It looks better than I thought it might have done, not sure there's many places near me that would call for one of these (that wouldn't need a full on mountainbike anyway) but good to see people experimenting with the concept.

 

half of the roads 'maintained' by my local authority would call for one of these.

 

 2

Avatar
derek n clive [250 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

Just needs some extra spacers, an electric assist and some aero fat bike tyres and you've got the ultimate endurance/sportive bike.

Avatar
VanGoghsEar [1 post] 3 months ago
7 likes

Can't wait till they innovate flat bars!

Avatar
therevokid [1010 posts] 3 months ago
2 likes
wycombewheeler wrote:

half of the roads 'maintained' by my local authority would call for one of these.

 

Half the roads in Avon need 160mm travel enduro sleds !!!!

Avatar
ktache [524 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

I do like upside down forks.  Always wanted the Marzocchi RACs.

Avatar
TypeVertigo [348 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

My question is how heavy is this rig? I think past a certain weight (13 kg maybe), perhaps it's better to just go the full-suspension XC MTB route.

Seems like they've done their homework on the short-travel suspension components, though. From an armchair engineering standpoint, it's pretty impressive to my eyes. Just not sure how many people are up for the added complexity of maintaining bearings in the linkages and the inevitable suspension servicing after X number of hours.

Avatar
DaveE128 [860 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

I think this looks great. For even non-technical MTB I massively prefer a full suspension bike for long rides due to reduced fatigue.

For non-technical terrain the drop bars are fine.

I wonder how this would be for an attempt on the South Downs Double record? (http://www.southdownsdouble.net/) I'd struggle with the gearing, but then I'm nowhere near fit enough to manage the double, let alone a record!

Probably also good for routes like The Ridgeway.

The fork travel looks excessive in the photos with the white background, but in the other photos it looks more normal. Wonder if it's adjustable on the fly or by internal swapping bits around?

I'd also like to know the weight. They should be able to make it significantly lighter than many XC MTBs as it just isn't suitable for such extreme terrain (by virtue of the bars).

Agree with the comments that the state of maintenance of lots of UK roads actually make this kind of bike quite desirable.

Avatar
Clunkymonkey [1 post] 3 months ago
1 like

Nice paint. But what's the point. Full day mountain bikes are out there and will be more versatile. Or am I not "with it" ????