Stanforth Kibo: a retro mountain bike you can use every day

A new British-built cycle as home on the road as it is in a disused quarry...

This bike looks… sort of old-fashioned
It’s supposed to. The Kibo is inspired by the heritage of the early days of off-road cycling, which essentially means it looks like a mountain bike from of the latter half of the last century. Check out that Brooks saddle, for instance. Maker Stanforth says it’s a lot like the bikes that took Richard and Nicholas Crane up and down a whole lot of mountains in the 1980s – including Kilimanjaro.

Why mention Kilimanjaro?
Because (a) it’s really high and (b) it gives the Kibo its name. “Kibo” is the peak summit of Kilimanjaro, you see.

And the Crane brothers?
Richard and Nicholas Crane are British explorers and writers that broke a bunch of world records on bikes in all sorts of odd places. In the 1980s, their feats helped demonstrate the abilities of off-road bicycles. Also, you might recognise Nicholas Crane as the gangly guy from BBC’s Coast and Map Man programmes.

More after the break...

Right. So basically this is like a bike from the 80s. NEXT!
Not so fast. It just looks a lot like one. The Kibo, which is built by hand, comes with a Shimano Deore drive train, Genetic CX Cantilever brakes and Sturmey Archer thumb-shifters, plus a fully rigid Reynolds 631 steel frame. All lovely – and very modern – gear.

And it’s just for off-road use?
Nope. While it’s certainly equipped for epic journeys over rough terrain (there are also three bottle cages and front and rear pannier racks, should you want to take a lot of stuff with you), Stanforth recognises that you’re more often in need of a bike that can run you to the office or the shops than up the nearest peak. So it’s been designed “as much for the daily commute as for all terrain global touring”.

So how much will this all-rounder set me back?
Stanforth has set the RRP for the Kibo at £1,595. But if that’s out of your price range, we suggest keeping an eye on the company’s site – the Kibo is its first bike, but more will undoubtedly follow.

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