I kicked off the bikes of 2022 with my most ridden bike, the Tumbleweed Stargazer. You can read about that bike here. Today I am sharing the other bikes of 2022. A few had large rolls. A few played supporting roles. I also drop a few hints about the bikes that will play larger roles in 2023!
Note: Click on any image in each set to view larger and move to slideshow mode.
Knolly Cache – Had I done a list last year, the Knolly Cache would have been on that list for sure. Truthfully if you based my personal bike quiver pecking order on mileage alone, the Knolly Cache would have been on top of both 2021 and 2022 lists. It’s a darn fine bicycle.
Shortly after I quit Q, I bought this bike used off of Facebook Marketplace. I thought it was an interesting bike. I also have always wanted a Knolly. I met Noel, the founder of Knolly, a number of years ago when my friend Paul walked him through Dirt Demo in Las Vegas. Noel was walking an early prototype of his 4×4 suspension through the demo. Noel was so nice and his design was both smart and really well sorted. I was intrigued by the design and have followed Knolly ever since. BTW – I still want one of his full suspension bikes!
As mentioned, this bike popped up on Facebook Marketplace. It was my size based on the geometry charts and I bought it. At that time, I hadn’t read any reviews. I just liked the bike, thought it might be fun and was simply not a bike I would expect to see on my MN roads. Honestly, I expected this bike to be temporary as I began the process to get a truly special, one off custom bike. Thanks to the booming bike business at that time and a series of thing out of my control, the custom bike kept getting pushed further out and Knolly really became my main bike. It also has special meaning to me as it is the bike I rode in the 2022 edition of Midsouth, my first gravel race/ride in years. That was an important check box on my personal goals list.
The things I really like about the Knolly Cache are the uniqueness and the chameleon like nature of the frame set and design. It is a gravel bike designed by a true enginerd. I can run it with big tires or skinny tires. You can ride some MN two track & trail one day and chunky gravel the next. You can throw on some light wheels and smooth tires and smash out miles of MN hero gravel. It’s low and long (things I like). But I got a lot of miles on this bike. It may come back in 2023 as one of my key bikes as well as I am scheming the next build and potentially making some significant changes. I do wish it had a more versatile fork with some water bottle mounts. It is also a bit stiff at times. But I love it and I love that I may never see another on my local roads.
IBIS Ripley – The funny thing about this bike is that I have ridden his bike a lot, but I have almost no pictures of it. Not entirely sure what that signifies, but the reality is that I just loved to ride this bike. At home on my trails, I often rode this bike in-between my gravel rides for recovery. I find my body responds differently to mountain biking and that I was recovering better than just riding gravel. The bike is light. It has all the bells and whistles. It flat out rips. I am happy to say I have ridden it enough over the last year that it needs some serious work and rebuilding this winter. This bike will continue to be my main mountain bike in 2023 and likely beyond. It is in my opinion, a perfect bike for how I ride. I just hope to ride it in more places in 2023.
Wilde Rambler – This sorta happened by accident. I saw a prototype back at Mid South and I loved it. What stood out to me was the svelte 1 1/8” steerer tube along with a carbon fork that also looked just right and had the right visual weight with the smaller diameter 1 1/8” head tube. It just had the right look about it with the svelte steel tubes. So when Wilde listed a few prototypes for sale, I jumped and bought one. I built it using some parts I had and from the Knolly. I had intended to bring this bike to Colorado as my main pavement and gravel steed but that changed when I made plans to ride some sections of the Tour Divide. But over the course of the last few months of gravel riding here in MN, I rode this bike quite a lot and really like the more aggressive riding position and performance of this bike. It isn’t fully clear how this bike fits my long term plan and bike quiver, but for now, I am just going to keep riding it.
Surly Wednesday Fat Bike – This may be the last fatbike I buy. It just works. I also dont’ want to spend money on another fatback as this one just does the job really well. It is essentially a trail bike that just so happens to have fat tires. I will continue to tweak and modify the components, but right now it is the right combination of both high end and sensible part spec that just works and will continue to work for a very long time. As we turn over the year to 2023, this will be a main bike I use to keep my bike fitness moving forward and riding in between my cross fit work out classes this winter.
Now…A sneak peek at what I expect to be one of my main rides in 2023, the Breadwinner B-Road. I am not going to write much about this bike here. I rode it only a few hundred miles before the snow flew here in MN. I have pedaled it on pavement, gravel, mud, slush, and snow already. I guess that is a good break-in. I have a few things to work through before I really talk much about this amazing bike.
2023 will bring some really interesting and amazing bikes. All these bikes are steel and in 2023 you will see some of that titanium wonder material creep into the quiver. Stay tuned!