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Bombtrack Beyond XPD touring bike review

6 Nov 2018
Verdict:

A great-value tourer that's ready for adventure straight out of the box

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£2,200

Aimed at riders looking to go long-distance trekking far from the beaten track, Bombtrack’s Beyond XPD comes fully equipped.

With its loading capacity taken care of by expedition-grade Tubus racks, it then adds alloy fenders, a Shutter Precision dynamo hub and Supernova lights to round off a wishlist build.

Based around a steel frame with through-axle fixings and internal dynamo wiring, it promises to be equal parts wild and practical.

Buy the Bombtrack Beyond XPD touring bike from Cycle Store

The frame

Made of Columbus Cromor tubing, the Bombtrack’s frame is properly modern. Compact and low-slung, every tube has been worked, with variable profiles across the length of most.

Featuring bolt-through axle compatible dropouts, these delicately cast pieces also accommodate an adjustable flat-mount brake fixing on one side while the opposite number is split in order to allow riders to fit a hub gear and belt drive.

A common enough feature, unlike other designs we’ve seen the Beyond XPD’s dropout is secured by a number of small 3mm countersunk bolts.

With both pedalling force and the weight of rider and bags bearing down on this point, we would have preferred something beefier.

Bolted into the surprisingly short head tube, the Beyond’s straight blade fork tapers to the dropouts, likely in search of some extra flexibility.

Dotted along its length, both front and side, are mounts for every kind of rack, bottle, or holster.

In keeping with its practical nature, the cables on both it and the frame remain external for easy fitting and adjustment, except for the more fragile ones powering the lighting.

Groupset

Geared towards loaded touring, the Bombtrack comes with a diminutive double chainset with 42-tooth and 28-tooth chainrings to let you crawl up even the steepest hills.

Paired to an 11-36 cassette, the two combine to give a huge range. The groupset itself is Sram’s entry-level Apex groupset.

With 10 cogs, it gives away one to its rivals, although this is far from the end of the world.

More importantly, the GX rear derailleur still features a clutch mechanism to stop the chain rattling around when the going gets choppy.

TRP’s Spyre-C brakes are adequate without dazzling, although their performance is boosted by a mountain bike-sized 180mm rotor at the front. 

Finishing kit

The Bombtrack’s super-wide and radically flared handlebars define its front end.

Allowing the rider to easily cover the drops for prolonged periods, they also provide tons of leverage along with space to accommodate a bar bag.

Held in place by a stubby little stem, this ensures that reaching the brake hoods is also easy. The saddle is a comfy if unremarkable and moderately squishy number.

Coming fully equipped, the bike’s front and rear Tubus racks are both light and near indestructible.

The lighting is similarly high quality while having the mudguards pre-fitted saves several hours spent fiddling and swearing.

Wheels

Built using WTB’s double-wall i19 rims and employing 32 spokes, the wheels have the feeling of being bombproof.

Wide and tubeless-ready, they support the bike’s broad tyres well. Unlike the rims, the Kenda Kwick Journey tyres can’t be set up tubeless.

A tough puncture-resistant option, they’ve enough tread to deal with broken up roads, but not quite enough bite to use aggressively off the tarmac.

Too weighty to feel properly fast they still roll easily enough, in a steamroller kind of way.

With the lights drawing power from a front dynamo this adds a couple of hundred grams of extra weight, but little in the way of increased resistance.

First impressions

Ready to head straight from the bike shop and off around the world, the Beyond XPD comes pre-fitted with everything you need.

Unsurprisingly, this makes it a bit heavier. With a radically compact design, its low top tube makes swinging a leg over easy, even when loaded.

Once on, big tyres fitted to quality, lightweight rims mean it’s pretty easy to get going, and nice to swoop about on, while relaxed geometry and a decent stretch between the wheels make it both steady and comfortable.

On the road

With a long wheelbase, mega-wide bars, and tons of stand-over, the Beyond XPD is a bit of a supertanker.

Incredibly stable, at 71° its head angle is better for carving turns than cutting them, which is just as well once it’s loaded up with gear.

Despite feeling very solid, it propels itself forward readily, thanks to the easy gearing and large, slick tyres.

These smother most lumps in the tarmac before they even get a chance to reach the frame.

Its forgiving nature, and the long span of seatpost sticking out of it, then finish off any that might have snuck through.

With a virtually continuous centre tread, the tyres are great on-road but will want changing before you hit the trails – something the rest of the bike’s spec makes it easily capable of.

Despite the short head tube, an upturned stem and broad bars keep your chest open and your head up. The result is undeviating and stately progress.

It’s worth noting that for shorter riders, smaller frame sizes come with 650B wheels to help keep everything in proportion and handling consistent.

Handling

For a fully-equipped steel touring bike, the XPD is light. But these things are relative. Once loaded up it’s hard to tell.

Certainly, it makes its way very smoothly, perhaps due to its fairly thin-walled front end.

With an oversized down tube, tapered head tube, and 12mm through-axles, it’s also extremely stable across the length of its sizable wheelbase.

All things considered, it feels as if little will stand in the way of the Beyond XPD, and if you do decide to crash your way across rougher terrain, it’s unlikely to get squirmy.

The kit on the Bombtrack is serious stuff too. The Shutter Precision hub dynamo and very bright Supernova lights would set you back over £200 alone, the Tubus racks about the same.

The mudguards would cost around £30 aftermarket. Having them all come fitted, wired and ready to roll is also a boon.

Never worrying about batteries and knowing you’re visible and will be able to see ahead is a lovely feeling, as is not finding yourself or your kit soaked.

Taking up a chunk of the budget, the slightly basic Sram Apex gearing might be the trade-off.

Still, with a massive range of well-tailored ratios it’s perfectly acceptable stuff. 


RATINGS

Frame: Traditional steel tubing in a compact modern design. 7/10 
Components: Loads of top-quality extras are included in the price. 9/10 
Wheels: Wide lightweight rims and fat, tough tubeless tyres. 8/10 
The ride: Easy to get going and makes stately progress. 7/10 

Verdict: A great-value tourer that's ready for adventure straight out of the box.  

Buy the Bombtrack Beyond XPD touring bike from Cycle Store

Geometry

                                     
Size M
Weight 13.6kg
Top Tube (TT) 550mm
Seat Tube (ST) 475mm
Stack (S) 600mm
Reach (R) 380mm
Chainstays (C) 455mm
Head Angle (HA) 71 degrees
Seat Angle (SA) 74 degrees
Wheelbase (WB) 1065mm
BB drop (BB) 69mm

Spec

Bombtrack Beyond XPD
Frame Columbus double butted, 4130 fork
Groupset Sram Apex, 10-speed
Brakes TRP Spyre-C mechanical discs
Chainset Sram X5, 42/28
Cassette Sram PG-1020, 11-36
Bars Bombtrack Beyond Travel
Stem Bombtrack, +17 degrees
Wheels Bombtrack thru-axle hubs, WTBi19 rims, Kenda Kwick Journey 42mm tyres
Saddle Bombtrack Origin
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