Rambler SL Is the "All-Arounder" Gravel Crusher We Didn't Know We Want or Need

I recently received an e-mail from a bicycle manufacturer showing off their newest addition to the family. Well, it's such a proper machine that I couldn't help but bring it to light. This is the story of Wilde Bikes and their all-around rock muncher, the Rambler SL.
Rambler SL 14 photos
Photo: Wilde Bikes/Edited by autoevolution
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Let's face it; bikes are much like cars and motorcycles because each is designed for a particular driving or riding style. But, occasionally, a manufacturer does the unthinkable and creates a machine designed to excel in as many, if not all, terrains available. This is the sort of thinking that sparked Wilde Bikes Rambler SL.

What does this mean for folks like you and me? It implies a bicycle designed to ride around town, to a café, to work, and come the weekend; you can load it up with gear and cargo bags and ride into the sunset, only to return home two days later, unable to walk right. Nonetheless, some limits do exist, but we'll discover those along the way.

For starters, Wilde crafted the Rambler from one of their two favorite materials. This time, it isn’t titanium but double-butted CrMo shaped with Wilde's proprietary TLC (Tough, Light, Compliant) technique. The result is a frame that only weighs 5 lbs (2.3 kg) for a medium size. Once you factor in the carbon fiber front fork that only weighs 470 g, you’re looking at a frameset designed to tame the roughest roads and trails for under 6 lbs and a price of $1,500 (€1,400 at current exchange rates), of which, nearly $500 is just the fork.

Then there's the geometry Wilde puts into place. For the Rambler, we're looking at "Gravel race geometry with all-day comfort as the priority." This means a head tube angle ranging from 70.5 to 72 degrees, depending on the size of the bike, 438 mm chain stays, and a seat tube angle of 73.5 degrees on all except for the small frame.

Rambler SL
Photo: Wilde Bikes
As for what you can do with it, that's where Wilde's expertise comes in. An important aspect to note is tire clearance. Why? Well, in this cycling style, tire size is the difference between cruising comfortably or being in utter pain. Not to mention the level of contact you have with the ground. In the Rambler's case, 700C x 2.2 in or 650b x 2.3 in tires can be thrown on.

Now, you can buy the frameset I described above, but in truth, very few of us have a shop in our living room with our favorite drivetrains, brakes, and tools. So, Wilde does offer two complete builds. Suppose you call upon their powers for a completed Rambler SL. In that case, you're looking at one of two stock options, either an SRAM Rival AXS or Shimano GRX. Wirelessly controlled shifting, anyone? If you do want something else on your Rambler, Wilde also allows you to customize your dream machine. You just have to give them a call to do so.

All that sounds pretty dang good if you ask me, even just the frame at $1,500, but there's more here than meets the eye. Anyone that's spent more time in the saddle than an hour or two knows how important it is to have all the necessary refreshments on hand to keep going. God forbid you run out of water, pull over for ten minutes, and then your muscles just say, "No!"

Rambler SL
Photo: Wilde Bikes
Wilde integrates countless mounts all over the frame to keep you on your CrMo steed for as long as possible. Some of these mounts are for fenders to keep you clean while riding after rain, and some are for water bottles. However, a few are for features like a cargo rack and tube-destined cargo bags, and even the fork has some cargo-carrying possibilities.

While I couldn't find any images of what a fully decked-out Rambler may look like, just picture a cargo bag on the handlebars, two more bags on each side of the fork, a triangle pouch hanging off the top tube, and two water bottles underneath. And that's not with any pannier racks. If you throw those in, too, you're looking at a do-it-all machine that may weigh as much as you. Don't worry; this bugger is rated up to 240 lbs (109 kg), the fork's weight limit.

Take all that and try and picture what your life may be like. If you're looking for some movement in your life, this might be the answer for you. If you're a veteran rider, this may also be the answer for you. No matter how you look at it, if you're not a downhill racing champion in need of a full-suspension demon, the Rambler is a bike you need to consider for yourself, even if that entails riding around in an urban jungle, grabbing some groceries, and mixing the OJ with an off-road trail on your way home.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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