First Look: Sonder Camino Al Rival1 Hydraulic Gravel Bike

by Amanda Wishart 10

The Sonder Camino Al is designed to be a capable, tough and nippy adventure bike for big days out exploring. This one has arrived at Singletrack Towers to be tested on our local trails.

A bright glossy paint job on a very neat frame with plenty of bottle bosses, space for frame packs and cockpit accessories. To compliment the eye-catching frame, tan wall tyres and adventure bars finish it off. Let’s take a closer look at this particular model.

There are eight build options in the 2020 Sonder Camino range, and this one sits comfortably in the middle of the pack with an aluminium frame and carbon blade fork, a good balance of affordability, durability and comfort. Sonder reckons that the long wheel base, extended head tube and geometry promotes an upright riding position for all-day comfort.

Love Mud Bomber flared aluminium drop bars are specced for adventure riding on and off road, the wider position designed to giving you extra stability and precision on rough terrain, which I measure at 59cm at the widest point.

The SRAM Rival1 groupset promises to deliver smooth shifting and a good gear range of 1 x 11, with a 11 – 42t cassette. Hydraulic disc brakes should give confidence and reliability across various terrains and riding conditions.

The Love Mud Abode saddle is a high density foam padded seat over a plastic base designed to offer both durability and comfort. Paired with a Love Mud Membar seatpost at 27.2mm, 400mm.

A full build comes with 42mm all weather gravel tyres on Sonder Nova 700c rims, but the frame has clearance for  700c x 50mm or 650b x 2.1” for those wanting added traction and comfort on bumpier terrain.

Sonder Camino Al Rival1 Hydraulic Spec List

  • Frame // Camino Al Frame [V3]
  • Fork // Camino Al Forks [V3]
  • Headset // FSA Orbit C-40-ACB Headset / 7.8mm Spacer
  • Seat Clamp // Love Mud Gromit / 31.8mm
  • Rotors // Avid Centreline Rotor / 160mm
  • Rear Mech // SRAM Rival Rear Derailleur / 1 / Long
  • Rear Shifter // SRAM Rival 22 Shifters / Hydraulic / Right / Flat
  • Chainset // SRAM Rival 1 Crankset GXP / 172.5mm / 40
  • Bottom Bracket // SRAM GXP Bottom Bracket / Standard
  • Chain // SRAM PC1110 Chain / 118 Links
  • Cassette // SRAM PG1130 Cassette / 11 / 11-42
  • Stem // Love Mud Storc 31.8mm / 80mm
  • Seatpost // Love Mud Membar / 27.2mm / 400mm
  • Saddle // Love Mud Abode / Black
  • Tape/Grips // Love Mud Reels / Black
  • Handlebar // Love Mud Bomber
  • Wheels // Love Mud Nova 700c Wheelset / Shimano
  • Front & Rear Tyre // WTB Resolute / Comp / 700 / 42
  • Tubes // WTB Inner Tube / 700 / 28-38
  • Frame only weight // S: 1.9 kg; M: 2.0 kg; L: 2.0 kg; XL: 2.1 kg

I plan to give this a good Lockdown-friendly thrashing over the rough roads and gravel moor top roads out my door. But what do you think of it? Like the colour? Would you prefer ‘normal’ drop bars? Does it seem like a good choice for someone new to the gravel market?


Comments (10)

    Thank god it comes in two other colours. As that blue is horrific

    I think it’s gorgeous!

    Looks great. I would highly recommend a gravel bike, mine has been a life saver during the lockdown. A great commuter bike and also fantastic for exploring the local forest tracks.

    I have a Genesis CDA 10 which I love and it has standard drop bars with a width of 440mm. I tend to ride mostly with my hands on the hoods and I totally get the extra width/flare of the Love Mud bars giving more confidence on technical descents (hands on the drops, backside up in the air never looks graceful but has to be done). However most of my day to day riding on it isn’t “gnarly” and I can’t see how those Love Mud bars will be as comfortable in an upright position. Obviously you won’t have anything to compare it to if this is your first ‘gravel’ bike but I’ll be interested to see what you make of the flared bars.

    Love the colour. Same as my 1988 Saracen Trekker!

    I have one had it for 5-6 moths its great just makes road riding more fun you can just explore all the little bits of track and bridleway creating a whole load of extra local routes.

    I had the same Saracen Trekker! With U-brakes front and rear.
    On my tourer, I have some Salsa bars, with a much less pronounced flare, which are very comfy for general roads and tracks.

    Yeah I really fancy one of these. Would be an amazing just do anything bike. Family rides, shopping, commuting exploring. It’d be a great bike to take on holiday too just to do some local riding when you don’t know what you’re going to find.

    I keep looking at these… and the Genesis Vagabond. Can’t decide which way to go for something more useful on the road than a big bouncy MTB, but still capable of going off exporing the tracks and trails of wherever we land looking for interesting new photography locations.

    I’ve got an older version of this bike and absolutely love it. Daily commute of 20 miles each way… No problem. Touring across the Alps last year… Again, no problem. Exploring fire roads and twin tracks, also no problem. I only really get my flat bar hardtail out when going really off grid, but that’s as much to do with tyre width/grip than anything else.

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