In 1984, Nick and Richard Crane climbed aboard two Saracen mountain bikes for their ascent of Kenya’s Mount Kilimanjaro, a journey which inspired Simon Stanforth to found Stanforth bikes. Yesterday, Simon launched a new model in his range of touring bikes, the Stanforth Conway.
Adventure cycling runs through Simon’s blood: His father was one of the owners of Saracen, and the same great British spirit of exploration that carried the Crane brothers to the top of Kilimanjaro is embedded in the DNA of Stanforth Bikes.
To commemorate the Cranes’ journey, Simon named the first model ‘Kibo’, after Kilimanjaro’s peak. launching a 26″ long wheelbase touring MTB in an ever-expanding market of wheel sizes was a bold move, but so are the trips that the bike is designed for.
Stanforth Bikes are handmade by some of Britain’s most established and experienced frame builders from Reynolds tubing and are no-nonsense machines designed specifically for continental crossings. The new Conway model is a collaboration with someone who knows what that sort of riding involves.
Sean Conway cycled around the world in 2012 — he’s also sailed the 700 mile route from Lands End to John O’Groats beating a world record, ran 1011 miles from John O’Groats in 44 days, kayaked down the Thames for 7 days, and walked from his Mum’s house in Cheltenham to London, a distance of 115 miles.
Developing the new bike was his latest adventure, but he and Simon have created a fast-paced 700c adventure road bike for events such as The Transcontinental Race and it’s built with the same integrity as the other Stanforth models.
It’s a fillet brazed Reynolds 853 frame and forks, with all the bosses for bottles, racks and fenders that you could want, with tyre clearances for up to 43c with guards (or 650bx2.0″). A couple of component configurations are available, such as the Shimano 105 and Ultegra mix with TRP Spyre disc brakes.
A Tiagra or complete Ultegra ensemble is also an option, while the cockpit consists of Nitto drop bars, topped off with a Brooks Cambium C17 saddle. The frame and forks are double-powder coated in two shades: Bahama Gold or Ash Green.
Just like the other models, customization is also available, after discussion with Simon, whether it be geometry or extra braze-ons. Whisky’s No7 CX QR carbon disc fork can be selected, or even Dura Ace bar-end shifters if you’re that way inclined.
If you’ve got a long distance endurance event planned, have dreamed of doing so, or even whether you’re after a bike to commute upon that can also take you across the country, there’s no denying the Stanforth Conway’s capability.
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