Bombtrack Beyond 1
Sizes: XS, S, M, L (tested), XL
Tester: Stephen Haynes
Weight: 210 lbs.
Inseam: 30 in.
Sizes: XS, S, M, L (tested), XL
Top Tube: 23.2”
Head Tube: 7”
BB Height: 11.5”
Weight: 27.5 lbs.
without pedals, specs based on size tested
What does adventure mean to you? Is it something on the order of an epic 1,000+ mile excursion through some tropical rainforest? Or maybe you’d settle for a 15-mile out-and-back bikepacking overnighter? I’m bringing it up because whether you spell adventure with a capital “A” or not is moot; it’s all about the pleasure derived from your experience(s), right?
The German-based Bombtrack Bikes Beyond 1 offers a classic steel frame style with an elegant and well-designed modern aesthetic, making it both a pleasure to look at and a pleasure to ride.
Available in two colorways, the Beyond 1 offers an array of standard features, from the five bottle cage mounts to its split drive-side chainstay (allowing the use of belt drives). Of course, there are fender mounts as well, and plenty of clearance fore and aft to keep the tires big while keeping unwanted overspray to a minimum.
The Beyond 1 also features 100 mm and 120 mm front and rear thru axles (respectively), making it easy to chop and change with other modern makes and (non-boost) models of wheels. Small sizes of the Beyond 1 come equipped with 27.5 inch wheels, keeping the geometry (relatively) true through the size run as well.
This modern classic wouldn’t be complete without disc brakes provided, in this case, by mechanical TRP Spyre Cs, mounted to SRAM Apex double tap lever/shifters. WTB ST i19 tubeless rims wrapped with WTB Nano 29×2.1 tires round out the package and harken back to mountain biking beginnings.
My primary reason for wanting to test the Beyond 1 was to liven up our municipal parks. There is an old adage that says something to the effect of, “If you’re bored or discontent with your local trails, try a different bike,” and with the number of high-performance test bikes we get rolling through the office, our local trails are often not up to the challenge of challenging us.
That’s not to say that we’re professionals either — we’re not — but with modern wünderbikes taking the sting out of everything, we tend to seek out unfamiliar trails to challenge the bikes and our own abilities at the same time.
In this case, however, our local trails have been transformed into minefields of mayhem, making every rock, root and rut perilous with potential disaster, and also a whole lot of fun. With almost bang-on classic NORBA geometry, the Beyond 1 handles all of my favorite haunts with a rigid zestiness. Or to put it a different way, contrary to taking your road bike on the occasional timid off-road excursion, this bike actually handles like a bike built for doing things off-road.
Also, unlike most of my mountain bike experiences, when the trail stops and the pavement or doubletrack starts, the Beyond 1 really comes into its own. The road aspects of the geometry shine through and add a little giddy-up to proceedings. The wide mountain drop bars offer the most insatiable rider myriad hand positions, and the overall stance can be interpreted as either aggressive or relaxed, depending upon how hard the pilot wants to push. Meaning, you can get into the drops and hammer, or relax in any one of the multiple top-of-the-bar combinations and casually stroll around.
I’ve enjoyed my time aboard the Beyond 1 and could see adding it to my stable, dreaming of excursions through far-flung locales, yet content to use it as an antidote to the boredom of derivative local trails. I tend to stick to lowercase adventures, but this bike would be a willing participant in any capital ideas you may have.