The Sonder is built for adventure, so where better to test it than on a 10-day expedition in the Himalayas.
Need to know
● Titanium hardtail promising a lightweight, supple ride
● Adjustable dropouts and acres of tyre clearance make it compatible with all three wheel sizes
● Trail geometry, combined with mounts for multiple bottle cages and racks, make it an ideal adventure bike
● Sold directly through Alpkit and comes with a 10-year warranty
If you’ve not heard of Sonder bikes, how about Alpkit? No?
Well, it’s a UK direct sales outdoors company that has recently ventured into the cycling world with the Sonder brand.
There are six bikes in the range and all are aimed at the adventurous traveller. Complementing the aluminium-framed Transmitter, there’s this, the titanium Broken Road with an impressive frame-only price tag of £799.
Complete bikes start from £1,899 with a SRAM NX groupset and RockShox Reba fork.
While the name conjures up images of trendy gravel bikes, the Broken Road is a bone fide trail hardtail, with adjustable dropouts and generous tyre clearance that allows for the use of 27.5in, 27.5 Plus, or 29in wheels.
The frame is available in four standard sizes, from small to extra large, but what’s really unique about the Sonder is that, for an additional £150, you can actually choose your own geometry and sizing.
I didn’t take advantage of that service, but at 6ft 4in tall in hindsight it would have been sensible. That way I could have added length to the reach and top tube to get a better fit.
To put the Sonder to the test, I built one up as a 29er in order to tackle Nepal’s infamous Yak Attack; a 10-day stage race held high in the Nepalese Himalayas.
It was loaded up with a massive frame bag and two water bottles — easily accommodated thanks to the traditional double diamond frame and array of mounts.
Being made from titanium, the Broken Road proved a comfortable companion, but even with the extra payload, it still came to life on epic singletrack descents.
In fact, I was both surprised and impressed at just how hard this bike could be ridden considering the 100mm suspension fork and relatively conservative geometry.
Over 10 days of bumps, cobbles and rocks, I really came to appreciate the inherent properties of titanium, most noticeably the low weight compared to steel, and the suppleness compared to aluminium.
And, considering that Sonder is such a new player in the bike industry, it really has done a great job with the Broken Road’s geometry, adaptability and pricing.