Written by Steve Turner.
The simple, yet classic design of the Stanforth Kibo hides a robust, custom built bike created to handle the stresses of touring, mountain and street cycling.
What they say: Designed with simplicity, strength and durability in mind, the Kibo meets the needs for expedition touring in the back of beyond, as well as for everyday urban cycling.
What it is: The first bike from new UK firm Stanforth Bikes, the Kibo is billed as the definition of versatile, with eyes on riders wanting to tour, commute and have a little off road adventure thrown in. A tall ask, especially for a first-time build, but after taking it to the tarmac I’m quietly surprised about how the bike glides given its chunky look. The Rigida Sputniks rims and Shimano Deore hubs are unspectacular but stable pieces of kit that help create a flawlessly smooth experience, while the Shimano Deore transmission, with its all terrain 27 gear set-up, provides enough options to push me along with the best of the street specials. Off-road the bike is equally as fun, with its robust build, Genetic cantilever brakes and solid yet supple Continental Retro Ride Reflex tires creating a stability that vanquishes any doubts about its ability to handle the more extreme terrains. A big part of what makes this machine so enjoyable is the little touches, such as the Brooks expedition saddle and the Nitto riser stem. This is the attention to detail that is required for a custom build company that is looking to go the distance and not cash in, and Stanforth should be acknowledged for its ambition. While specialists will no doubt want something a little more focused, its hard to fault the craftmanship and level of thought that has gone into creating this bike. I’d be more than happy to add the Kibo to the armoury.
Who it’s good for: Riders with a specific style will probably would opt for kit thats a more suited to their needs, but if you want a handcrafted piece of kit that will pander to your varying cycling needs while giving you a number of cycling options, then this is for you.