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Near $2K Free Ranger Could Be the Budget Carbon Fiber Gravel Bike of Your Dreams
One of the hottest sectors of cycling at this time is gravel biking. With that in mind, I've decided to visit On-One, a cycle manufacturer from the U.K. with a knack for building some fantastic machines for more than just a budget price.

Near $2K Free Ranger Could Be the Budget Carbon Fiber Gravel Bike of Your Dreams

Free Ranger Gravel BikeFree Ranger Rear BrakeFree Ranger Front BrakeFree Ranger FrameFree Ranger SeatFree Ranger DrivetrainFree Ranger CockpitFree RangerFree Ranger ForkFree Ranger FrameFree RangerFree Ranger
Ladies and gentlemen, the bike we'll be looking at today is known as the Free Ranger, a gravel destroying machine with a build and components that leave very little room for profit for its manufacturer. Nonetheless, that's all good news for potential buyers.

If you've never heard of On-One, they're a bicycle and component manufacturer that's been putting out bikes for quite the years now. Their parent company, Planet X, has been in this industry for more than thirty years, and all that knowledge is thrown into Free Ranger.

Now, I mentioned that this machine comes in on a budget, and while 1,700 GBP (2,240 USD at current exchange rates) may not be the budget you have for your next bike, there are a few reasons you should consider this trinket just in case.

Overall, On-One uses nothing more than carbon fiber to build the frame you see. Yes, carbon fiber for a price this low is possible. This is possible because the manufacturer is using T700 Toray carbon fiber, but the "lightweight Japanese" kind. If you're questioning the validity of T700 carbon, don't because even more well-known manufacturers are still using this material to build frames. As for the fork, it's completed from the same stuff.

Since gravel bikes rarely feature a suspension system, the only component you'll rely on for vibration attenuation are the tires, in this case, a pair of Panaracer Comet with 38x700c dimensions. However, Free Ranger is suitable for tires up to 48x700c. Then you've got the fact that the carbon will be reducing some of those vibrations.

The following vital aspect to pop into view is the drivetrain. This is another reason why I feel that the manufacturer isn't making too much profit from your transaction; Sram is the team providing this system.

At the center of the bike, a Sram Rival 1 GXP crankset with 42T moves a PC1110 chain around a PG1130 cassette with 11-42T. Shifting is then controlled by a Rival 1 long cage derailleur. All that is then geared to the sounds of only 11 speeds, perfect for giving you a proper boost no matter if gravel or asphalt is ridden.

Since the parent company, Planet X, is also a component manufacturer, you would expect more in-house gear, like they normally do with their other bikes. However, Free Ranger does include very few Planet X components; most of what you'll find is Selcof, providing the seat post, handlebar, seat clamp, and a few others. To ensure you can go the distance with this machine, On-One also includes countless mounts on the frame to make this gravel monster a decent bikepacking buddy.

To get an idea of what to expect if you buy a Free Ranger, let's take a look at some of the geometry. For a medium bike, you're looking at a seat tube angle of 73 degrees, a head tube angle of 71.5 degrees, and a reach of 376 mm (14.8 in). In all, for a medium-size bike, around 9.4 kg (20.7 lbs) is all you'll be riding around on. That's already much lighter than most gravel bikes on the market.

Personally, I have but one curiosity now, how the heck this sucker feels on a rocky road with the occasional bigger bumps. Nonetheless, if you're looking for a carbon fiber gravel bike for a budget, Free Ranger is one machine to consider. What about you? Would you dish out a tad over $2,200 for this bike?

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.


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