Sonder is the bike brand of Alpkit, the outdoor clothing, camping and bikepacking specialist, and it has just launched its first road bike. It’s called the Colibri and features a full carbon construction with disc brakes and space for 28mm tyres, and will cost £899 for the frameset with full builds starting from £1,649.
What they have designed is a road bike intended to appeal to cyclists interested in long distance rides and covering big distances, and the crop of long-distance races like the Transcontinental Race, Indian Pacific Wheel Race the Pan American Highway. It retains the adventurous spirit that was present in the Sonder Camino titanium adventure bike I rode back in 2015.
The frame is made from Toray T700 carbon and is designed for disc brakes with thru-axles. It has space for up to 28mm tyres and the seatstays have obviously been designed to provide as smooth a ride as possible, whilst the oversized chainstays, bottom bracket and downtube deliver measuring lateral stiffness. There’s a matching full carbon fork with a tapered head tube, and all cables are internally routed.
There are four sizes (small to XL) and the medium has a 393mm reach and 553mm stack, 998mm wheelbase, 552mm top tube, 73-degree head angle and 415mm chainstays.
As I wrote at the top of the article, the frameset will cost £899, and there are three complete builds priced from £1,659 up to £2,199. The cheapest complete build is specced with a SRAM Rival 22 groupset with TRP mechanical disc brakes and Vittoria Rubino G+ Isotech 28mm tyres on Love Mud Orbit rims.
Producing the new bike in carbon offers weight savings just not possible with titanium or aluminium, and for continent-crossing bikepacking adventures at pace does call for a reasonably lightweight build. The carbon road market is a crowded one though, but Sonder looks to have priced the new bike very competitively, and it enjoys good brand loyalty. We'll look to get one in for review to see how it rides. More details at www.alpkit.com/sonder/sonder-colibri
To test the bike the company enlisted a young man called Luke, put him on a plane to Norway with a brief to go on a bikepacking adventure. That he did, and you can watch a short film of the fun he had in the video below.
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.