We first tested the Cairn Adventure 1.0 quite early in its life, when the e-gravel bike was something of a rarity. Now, there is quite a choice of bikes across the market, with many of the mainstream brands having an e-gravel offering. So where does that leave the relatively small UK brand Cairn – part of the Rider Firm that also owns Hunt Wheels – can its updated Cairn Adventure V2 offer something new to the potential electric gravel customer?
When we tested it, we wished for an ‘adventure spec’ as well as the existing spec, and our call has been answered: the Cairn Adventure V2 comes in two versions – one with 700Cx38 tyres, and one with 650×2.25in up front and 2.1in at the back. The 700C version comes with new Hunt e-Gravel Disc wheels, specific to the Cairn, and carbon seatpost, while the 650B option comes with a 80mm dropper post with drop bar remote. The 650B option also comes with flared Cairn Adventure bars, which are slightly wider than the Ritcheys fitted to the 700C model, and are proportionately sized across the frame sizes.
Both models now come with Shimano GRX groupsets, which should give the more powerful braking we’d wished for after our review of the Adventure 1.0. Another addition we hadn’t thought of adding, but the folks at Cairn have: the handle on the thru-axle has a bottle opener built in to it.
The overall ride position geometry remains the same, but changes have been made to the frame to give neater cable routing, more standover clearance and greater compliance for comfort. As part of that, the chainstay bridge has been removed, but in its place there is a removable mount for a mudguard if you want to fit one.
The ‘Black Pepper’ update to the Fazua motor system means that the controls are now positioned in the top tube. In addition, you can now connect to most computers, allowing you to use the motor’s sensors as a dual sided power meter. Cairn has used this connectivity to create a bike specific tune which they think will help you get the most out of your bike, but you can always reset it using the app should you wish.
If you still don’t have enough range from a single battery, with the Cairn battery keg and cage you can carry an extra with you – a spare weighs 1kg.
How would you use a Cairn Adventure V2? To get to work the fun way, or to extend other adventures? Climber Steve McClure shows how he’s been using his:
Both the 650B and 700C model of the Cairn Adventure V2 cost £2989 – making them competitively priced against other e-gravel bikes available now – and are available to pre order from Cairn Cycles.
To learn more about why the bike was created, check out our video bike check of the original Cairn Adventure 1.0: