Spotlight: Cycles J. Bryant NFD bikepacking bike

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Portland-based framebuilder Joshua Bryant has been building road and touring frames for years, but with the recent explosion of interest in off-road adventures he was inspired to try something new. The NFD was designed specifically for ultralight, rackless touring, and though it started its gestation as a 29er, Bryant tweaked the design to also accommodate the new crop of 27.5+ wheels and tires.

Tested on countless backroads across the Pacific Northwest, Bryant is now offering the NFD as a limited-production model in two sizes, with the frame, fork, headset and Porcelain Rocket frame bag included. A third, smaller size is in the works as well.

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If you’re wondering, NFD stands for National Forest Development, named for the back roads traversing both the Cascades and beyond where Bryant loves to ride. And while this model is brown like the National Forest signage, the production model will be the same minty green found on countless U.S. Forest Service vehicles.

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The steel frame is mated to a matching, non-suspension corrected steel fork. The main triangle has a high top tube, so the standover is a bit higher than what you’d expect on a mountain bike, but it means there is plenty of room for the frame bag, which attaches to the top tube and down tube via hidden bolts, resulting in a stable fit and clean look. The fork also has the triple mounts for cargo cages as well as a second set of standard bottle mounts. There’s also a set of standard rack mounts out back if you want to carry even more stuff.

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To keep things durable and simple, Bryant built this prototype with a Shimano Alfine drivetrain, though the production models will have a derailleur hanger to work with any 135mm disc rear hub. The bottom bracket shell is a PF30, which allows Bryant to run a BEER eccentric adapter to tension the chain on the Alfine build.

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The wheels use Velocity Dually rims paired with Vee Rubber’s 27.5×3.25 tires, one of the few in the new “mid-fat” size that are currently available. The front wheel has a dynamo hub powering a Busch and Muller Luxos U headlight, which has become the go-to light for bikepacking due to its ability to charge USB devices. The frame and fork are built for quick release hubs but Bryant said he can use thru-axles if a customer requests it.

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Bryant has pre-sold all but one of the initial production run at a special $1,375 price, so if you’re interested you better get in touch with him before the price goes up.

UPDATE: All the pre-ordered frames are now sold!

 

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