This is a very interesting and innovative bike, with amazing specs and a great price tag. The Adventure 725 by the British manufacturer Ribble Cycles (in business since 1897) features a weird-looking thin Reynolds 725 tubing with a very “contemporary geometry”.
Handcrafted from steel which is renowned for offering the most compliant of rides as well as being a highly durable material due to its high tensile strength, the carefully profiled tubing also results in the lateral stiffness not being compromised.
This carefully thought out geometry also offers the maximum balance between control and long-distance, mile eating comfort (says Ribble).
The mammoth tire clearance for tires up to 2.8” on its 27.5 wheels is absolutely great for those who want to venture on sandy tracks, this is one of the widest tire options in this list.
Added versatility is given by the several mounting points for racks (that can be doubled to use bikepacking cages like the Blackburn Cargo), three bottle mounts, and fender mounts.
The 11/42T 10-speed cassette gives a great granny gear that should be able to bring you up the steepest tracks.
An innovative adventure bike great to tackle extreme roads in comfort
At the end, it comes down to your favorite choice of drive train, I tend to recommend Shimano not because they are any better but for their wide availabilty which can make the difference when looking for spares in less developed countries.
SRAM versions though, have the 1×11 system which is very trendy at the moment – Getting rid of oune derailer and one shifter reduces the chance of something going wrong, although it also decrease the maximum speed… but this is not a bike made for speed.
The different bar options cather to different styles of ride, with the Jones Loop also being among the most popular choice of handlebars among long-distance cyclists. Carbon fork reduces the overall weight of the rig, but it is certainly not as tough as a Reynolds steel fork. Carbon forks are also stiffer and less cushioned, your take.
Fork offset and chainstay length are shorter than on traditional touring bikes (check the Stanforth Kibo for example) which results in a shorter wheelbase.
This means less stability under load but more handling capabilities, that’s why the Ribble 725 Adventure is more of a bikepacking bike than a fully loaded tourer.
Although it has bosses for rear rack and front low-rider, it seems that this machine will give its best on rough tracks under relatively reduced load.
The top tube angle is very steep, making the bike more nimble and twitchy. The bike reacts faster to steering input making it prone to oversteer, which means it adds up in agility.
Another thing that makes the Adventure 725 more of a single-track animal than a roadie. The smaller diameter of 650b wheels allows you to run higher-volume tires.
Because higher-volume tires are taller than the tires you could run on a 700c wheel, the wheel and tire diameter end up being similar to a 700c wheel and road tire setup.
This means that handling characteristics and geometry are minimally affected by the wheel change, yet you gain the benefits of a higher-volume tire, that is more grip on soft surfaces like sand or snow.