First look at the redesigned Sonder Camino
Sonder recently released a new version of its renowned gravel bike, the Camino. Redesigned for 2022, the new Camino includes several design changes and a variety of additional frame features. According to Alpkit, these upgrades make the bike quicker, more stable, and nimbler. Its design is based on a 50mm to 70mm stem for every frame size from S to XL. As a result, riders of all sizes benefit from precise, quick handling and a fast, competent ride.
Although advertised as a gravel bike, it is quite versatile, making it ideal for a wide range of applications. The Sonder Camino is designed for smooth adventures in your backyard and rugged escapades further afield. It combines the spirit of a tough, lively gravel bike with a functional traveler’s road manners and practicality. It provides a superior riding experience by being agile and comfortable on the road while yet having the power to explore off-road tracks.
In 2020, the Sonder Camino AL Rival1 received an Editor’s Choice award from Singletrack Magazine. The most noticeable difference between the new Camino and its predecessor is a two-degree decrease in head angle to lengthen the bike’s wheelbase. Subsequently, making it more stable at slower speeds and more capable in challenging terrain. By pushing the front wheel forward, toe overlap is also minimized.
In addition to the slacker head angle, the bike also sees larger shifts in reach measurement across sizes. The reach has expanded by 10mm in sizes small and medium and by 20mm in sizes large and extra-large. All bikes are optimized for usage with 50mm to 80mm stems, providing responsive steering. The progressive geometry provides riders with a super-comfortable riding position in the bike’s center for the ideal center of gravity.
The slack head angle, long wheelbase, and tall headtube provide a little more upright riding stance, as well as a flex in all the right places to take away any roughness from the surface under you. Even with standard tires inflated to full pressure, the bike remains comfortable, predictable, and easy to ride.
Neil Sutton, Alpkit’s frame designer, acknowledged that he had always felt too much weight over the front, especially when quickly cornering on loose ground. In previous bike versions, the front end was always the first to overload and break traction.
It has a slew of mounts, including ones on the fork legs and both sides of the down tube. The AL model is made of 6061 alloy, which allows it to be lightweight and easier to maneuver. The flattened tube surrounding the drive-side chainstay’s connection to the bottom bracket enables the use of a 2x crankset and road-sized chainrings. The short chainstays make it agile in corners, and the slackened head angle allows you to turn on and off-road confidently.
The Camino is also equipped with fittings for mudguards and a rear pannier rack, so putting the Camino to work as a commuter bike shouldn’t be a problem. The frame is outfitted with externally routed cables entirely enclosed from shifter to derailleur to prevent mud and filth out of the wires for longer, smoother functioning.
The Camino is as capable on your favorite off-road trail as it is on the highway, with tire clearance of up to 700c x 50mm or 650b x 2.2″ for greater grip and comfort on bumpier terrain.
The new Camino is designed for when the road transitions into a trail and the bridleway becomes a single track. Whether you’re rediscovering your backyard, exploring a new wild trail, or traveling the countryside’s dusty roads, you cannot go wrong with the Camino. It strikes the perfect balance between price and capability.