New Zealand-based bike brand Chapter2 has launched a new gravel and adventure bike inspired by the country’s “rugged landscape” called the AO, with a carbon fibre frame and fork and clearance for 700x42 and 650bx47 wheels.
The new bike has been 18 months in development and is the company’s first foray into the hugely popular gravel and adventure category. The name AO means earth in Maori in case you were wondering.
Chapter2 has designed a clean looking carbon frame and fork with the necessary wide tyre clearance for a bike intended to be ridden over a wide variety of surfaces. It also says it’s right at home on the road with 25 to 30mm wide slick tyres as well.
To ensure it can accommodate a breadth of tyre and wheel configurations, the company has developed adjustable dropouts that allow the chainstay length to be adjusted by up to 15mm in 7.5mm increments. The changes alter the handling from relaxed to faster, allowing the customer to adapt the bike to suit different riding styles or requirements.
Versatility is a word that goes hand in hand with gravel bikes and it’s a bit reason they have become so popular. Everything from gravel racing to commuting is possible on the new AO with five bottle mounts, rack, mudguard and bento eyelets adorn the new frame. There’s also a choice of 1x or 2x drivetrains and the company has designed its own chain guide for the former. You can also fit a dropper post.
The frame and fork have been constructed from a blend of Toray T700 and T800 carbon fibre with 3k uni-directional carbon used in the head tube and bottom bracket to add additional stiffness. Claimed frame weight is 1,040g for a size medium and 427g for the fork with an uncut steerer tube.
One detail we can appreciate is the external threaded bottom bracket along with with 12mm thru-axles, flat mount brakes and internal cable routing.
The new AO is available in five sizes and is shipping now, with a frameset costing £2,499.00. We’ll confirm all prices as soon as we get them. More at www.chapter2bikes.com
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.