Want to carry a chainsaw, Jagermeister and a BBQ on your ride? Portus Cycles’ steel utility bike is for you!

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Looking for a way to raise the bar on the #coffeeoutside movement? Searching for the ultimate utility vehicle for your trail building ambitions? Well, we might have found the perfect bike for you. Except to call it a bike would probably be doing it a disservice, because it’s a whole lot more than that. Born from the mind of Alex Clauss of Portus Cycles, this mean green utility machine made its way over from Germany for last weekend’s Bespoked show in Bristol, where it sat proudly on display at The Bicycle Academy booth.

Portus Cycles is a small and relatively young brand that offers fully custom-made bicycles made entirely of steel, with each and every one either TIG-welded or fillet brazed by Clauss. Having gone through a frame building course with The Bicycle Academy back in 2013, Clauss – much like Adeline O’Moreau of Mercredi Bikes, and Burf & Tam of BTR Fabrications – went on to hone his skills and establish his very own frame building company. He builds road bikes, cyclocross bikes, utility bikes and mountain bikes under the Portus name, and more recently he developed a sweet single pivot full suspension frame called the ICB2.0. In addition to building bikes for customers, Clauss also offers his own frame building workshops, so you can learn how to build your own frame over five days.

Somewhere in amongst all that, Clauss finds the time to work on projects like this: the ‘Long Karl’.

portus cycles intend fork pinion gearbox bbq stove utility e-mtb emtb
So many niches in one bicycle.

Using a similar TIG-welded front end as the Portus Krowd Karl steel hardtail, the Long Karl is otherwise completely different in every way. It’s a long wheelbase utility bike, designed for carrying trail tools, a gas stove, and all the necessities for a trailside BBQ party. To stabilise the load, the custom frame features an extended rear end that measures 780mm from the centre of the bottom bracket to the rear axle, which was the longest that Clauss’ frame jig would allow him to go. So probably not the best bike for pulling wheelies on. The frame is built around a Pinion gearbox, and it features a 26in front wheel along with a special 140mm travel upside-down fork from Intend.

Out back is a 20in rear wheel that’s wrapped with a fat 2.5in tyre. At the centre of the rear wheel is a Go SwissDrive rear hub that delivers up to 500 watts of power and 45 Nm of torque for helping push the loaded Long Karl up the climbs. There are so many custom features throughout that it’s hard to list them all, so let’s just look at some pictures instead eh?

portus cycles intend fork pinion gearbox bbq stove utility e-mtb emtb
Like other Portus Cycles bikes, the Long Karl is built around a Pinion gearbox with steel tubing.
portus cycles intend fork pinion gearbox bbq stove utility e-mtb emtb
Not actually the motor – that’s a chainsaw for trail building duties.
portus cycles intend fork pinion gearbox bbq stove utility e-mtb emtb
Need to feed your hungry trail building crew? Forget the packet noodles…
portus cycles intend fork pinion gearbox bbq stove utility e-mtb emtb
Just park your bike…
portus cycles intend fork pinion gearbox bbq stove utility e-mtb emtb
…and fire up the grill!
portus cycles intend fork pinion gearbox bbq stove utility e-mtb emtb
The Portus Long Karl gets custom built-in jerry cans instead of panniers, complete with a gas stove and coffee percolator for keeping the trail crew fuelled.
portus cycles intend fork pinion gearbox bbq stove utility e-mtb emtb
Proper army-spec this is.
portus cycles intend fork pinion gearbox bbq stove utility e-mtb emtb
There’s your hub motor, with 45Nm of torque available for getting the BBQ and all the snags up the mountain.
portus cycles intend fork pinion gearbox bbq stove utility e-mtb emtb
The motor’s battery is tucked neatly inside the other jerry can.
portus cycles intend fork pinion gearbox bbq stove utility e-mtb emtb
Pinion gearbox controls as well as the levers for the powerful Magura brakes needed to slow down all the booze and food.
portus cycles intend fork pinion gearbox bbq stove utility e-mtb emtb
Made in Germany, the Intend Edge upside fork was made especially by one of Alex Clauss’ friends, Cornelius Kapfinger. It’s been fitted to the Long Karl for now, but Clauss has other plans for this fork…
portus cycles intend fork pinion gearbox bbq stove utility e-mtb emtb
It looks like Kashima, but it ain’t. Pretty convincing though eh?
portus cycles intend fork pinion gearbox bbq stove utility e-mtb emtb
Seriously, the machining detail on this Intend Edge fork is insane!
portus cycles intend fork pinion gearbox bbq stove utility e-mtb emtb
The Portus Long Karl was enough to get Nigel Page’s attention at Bespoked.

Digging the vibe that Alex Clauss is laying down with his custom Portus Long Karl? Then check out the Portus Cycles website and his Instagram feed to see more glorious handmade bikes.

Want to see some of the other highlights from Bespoked? Then have a gander at our highlights reel to see some of the most stunning mountain bikes from the show!

Comments (5)

  1. Now, if you rig it up so the chainsaw could assist on climbs……..

  2. Not entirely sure about the proximity of the toolbox BBQ and petrol can for the chainsaw!

  3. Gotta love the dropper post addition. For when you need to take your BBQ & chainsaw for a run down the local black trails!

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