Wilde's Steel Rambler Is Tuned and Affordable Gravel Goodness: Feel the Off-Road Burn

For some, bicycles are so much more than just a means of transportation; they're a way of life. But, finding a bike that can handle as many types of terrains and settings as possible takes a lot of work. Well, in the spirit we find some footing, let's see what the Rambler gravel machine can do and why you need to consider it if you're in the market for a do-it-all two-wheeler.
Rambler 9 photos
Photo: Wilde Bikes / Edited by autoevolution
Rambler (Variation)Rambler ForkRamblerRambler (Variation)RamblerRambler FrameRambler DrivetrainRambler
Folks, the bicycle you see in the gallery may look like it was built during the 70s and 80s, but in fact, it's as fresh and modern as a bicycle can be, minus a motor and battery pack. Why bring it to light? Well, aside from the fact that Wilde Bikes, the brains behind this trinket, consider this their peak and most desirable gravel two-wheeler to come off their assembly lines, it's also one hell of an "All-Arounder," destined for just about any terrain and riding you can think of.

Now, the name Wilde Bikes may sound familiar to you. If it does, it may be because you're into cycling or you keep up with the news we post on autoevolution. If it doesn't, then this piece on the Rambler should spark your interest in this brand and the "production" bicycles they crank out. Why did I choose to bring the word 'production' to light? Because this means that Wilde Bikes can offer the public a bicycle that's as inexpensive as possible.

However, a few other traits set Wilde apart from other crews, and part of the story has to do with the sort of building material used to craft their machines. In the case of the Rambler, steel is used, in particular, CrMo (Chromoly), double-butted, handmade, durable, and rather light too. A medium size frame weighs just 5 lbs (2.3 kg). Once a steel fork is thrown on, Wilde sells framesets for as low as $1,200 (€1,100 at current exchange rates), but complete builds do exist, and that's what we'll focus on today; the most expensive stands at a solid $3,600 (€3,400) and includes a Rival AXS drivetrain.

Rambler Frame
Photo: Wilde Bikes
First, let's look at how the Rambler presents itself. I'm talking about features like a 70.5 to 72-degree head tube angle, a 73.5-degree seat tube angle, a tall stack, and even the slightly raised BB. What does all this mean for riders? It means a bike that comes across as rather relaxed but not so much as to take away the feeling of a road bike. This is essential if you also use a bike for day-to-day use. We also need to consider the "chatter-absorbing" chainstays and steel fork found at the front.

Now, suppose you remember the article I covered on the Rambler SL. In that case, you also know that Wilde manufactures carbon fiber forks. However, the manufacturer chose a different kind of fork, a steel one, for this version. Because this fork is a tad longer than the carbon one, it helps raise the BB a bit, offering precious clearance in turns and the ability to mess around with crankarm length.

That's not the end of things either. As I explored the frame and fork design, I couldn't help but notice that Wilde added countless cargo mounts all over the Rambler. What does this mean for anyone looking to outride their last session? It means carrying precious cargo such as tools and repair kits, food, water, and even gear for camping out overnight somewhere. In short, it's a long-distance rider.

Photo: Wilde Bikes
But there's an important factor to consider if you're ever planning on taking such long treks, wheels, and tires. That said, the Rambler is designed to offer the possibility of mounting two different tire sizes, 700c X 50 mm or 650b X 2.2 in. In short, you might feel like you're riding an MTB with those 650b tires and coasting over any surface with the 700c ones. That's pretty dang good clearance if you ask me.

Overall, Wilde offers three complete builds, tuned with either 1X or 2X drivetrains, and as mentioned, the most expensive is the Rival AXS setup. A Shimano GRX and SRAM Apex are also part of your choices. Considering the least expensive cruises in for a cool $2,300 (€2,150), it appears as though there's a setup for everyone.

Now, take all that you've just read, select your favorite drivetrain, and what do you have? Simply put, one of the freshest, budget-friendly, and most tuned gravel two-wheelers I've seen in some time. Actually, it's so much more than that. You can use this puppy to make it to work during the week and carry groceries home from the store. After work, you can hit some local singletracks, and once the weekend arrives, it's a whole 'nother story.

This is when you can take those long treks and burn all the extra calories you managed to put on during the week. All the while, the Rambler will be there beside you, carrying your goods and performing to the standards Wilde is known for. A bicycle to consider if you're in the market for a gravel wonder.
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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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