Darren’s Crust Bikes Dreamer 27.5″ Dirt Tourer Prototype

These days, the options for a touring bike are plentiful, especially when tapping into the framebuilding community. Yet, many of these US-made frames will set you back thousands of dollars. For people who can’t quite drop over $2,000 on a frame, Crust Bikes offers up the Dreamer. With clearances for 2.2″ 27.5″ tires with fenders, tons of braze-ons for extra bottles, a steel fork and lightweight tubing, these Dreamer frames are made right here in Los Angeles and come in at $1,450, painted. This is not a heavy duty touring bike, it’s a lighter, zippier version of the Crust Evasion.

Having watched Darren, the builder of these frames, shred the shit out of this bike, I’m sold. Sign me up. If you’d like a Dreamer, head to Crust Bikes for more information. They’re expecting these framesets any day now.

  • Richard

    Holy tire clearance, Batman!

    This ticks all the boxes on the n+1 I have in mind. And those fillet brazes on the stem. Whoa.

  • Erik_A

    Nice option, looks like it could also run a 700x40c wheelset without messing with the geometry.

    • Yep that would work fine.

  • joshhh

    Does anyone know what details are changing between this prototype and the final versions?

    There are a few little things I might have done differently on a custom or whatever, but this is pretty fucking great for a stock frameset.

    • The final frame will have a higher rear brake bridge.

  • Dan Coppola

    I know the post is focused on the frame, but how about that stem?!? Gorgeous.

  • AdamBike99

    Damn! I fell in love with the fork immediately. I’d probably route the cables a bit differently but all of the other details are so dialed. Now I need to get “SHRED till yer DED!!” out of my head…

    • joshhh

      Agreed! This is pretty close to exactly what I would spec in a custom, save for the top tube routing, which I’d have swapped for downtube with a chainstay mounted caliper, but I’m being picky.

  • Masterchief

    Beautiful stem! But not a whole lot of eyelets at the rear dropouts for a “fully-capable touring bike”, but I guess it’s me not knowing what the mid seat stay braze-ons are for? A custom rear rack?

    • sturtlovinggood

      Could be, or for running a Nitto front rack or similar type small platform as a saddle bag support. Been seeing that a lot lately.

    • joshhh

      I’d recommend checking out the description on the Crust site. It is designed specifically for light touring/day rides, hence the only moderate amount of braze-ons.

      If you want a similar thing but fully decked-out, the Evasion would be a better option.

    • recurrecur

      I’d agree. I get that it’s a light tourer, but I’d really like to see a second eyelet on the fork end, and at least one on the dropout. I guess the lack of concern for fenders comes from it being built in CA. I does rain pretty much everywhere else.

      Great looking bike otherwise.

      • joshhh

        Crust says the bike is designed with fenders fully in mind – there appear to be eyelets on the inside of the seatstays for fenders, but it’s hard to really see them.

        • boomforeal


      • It will take fenders just fine.

  • Those Terrible 1 bar ends are sweet! Didn’t know they made those.

    • Good eye.

      • Devin Riley

        @disqus_0vngcwJeB2:disqus I’m debating between picking up one of these or the Crust Evasion. Although it won’t be my primary use for it, I’d love for it to hold up for a multi-day, mixed terrain tour. Is there really any reason why I couldn’t get away with a front rack with front panniers, a handlebar bag, frame bag, seat bag and a manything cage under the downtube and be good to tour for several days? I’ve done overnighters on a cross bike with no rack mounts and I made it work.

        • That’s usually how I tour.

        • Multi day tours suit this bike to a tea. It is what Darrien had in mind when designing and making it.

  • Ceol Mor

    Now this bike is right up my alley!

  • DaymanDaryl

    Who is this builder, Darren? When I looked into custom framebuilders in LA a few years ago, slim were dem pickins’!

  • DaymanDaryl

    What you mean midtrail geometry? The published numbers are 77mm of trail for the Small and 70mm of trail on the other sizes. Mid is, say 50-65mm, but I think this is into high trail territory, non?

    • You are correct. I thought mid was 60-70mm.

  • Draw Imagine

    Nice frameset, I wonder at this price but (I guess) Asian made what would be the weight of a frame(set) like this? Any idea John?

    • The dreamer frame is made in L.A. Not sure of the weight. I will find out for you.

    • When I picked it up – it’s an XL – I was really blown away at how light it was.

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  • b sloma

    Very cool, really like it, but — am I the only one not in love with Sram 1×11? Can you run a 2x on this?

    • Jared Jerome

      Don’t see a cable guide for front derailleur, but would be quick enough to add one.

  • Cidertowncycles

    Love the bike. The cable routing, with the sheathing crossing itself under the top tube made me throw up a little in my mouth. There’s no reason for this, other than angering my eyes.

    • There are two types of people in this world. Those who are bothered by cable routing (which is a totally fair thing to be OCD about) and those who aren’t. A lot of framebuilders I know hate building bikes up, but are not willing to pay someone to do it. I’d say Darren is more OCD about frame construction and riding, allowing little things like cable routing to slide passed his QC. That’s the beauty about production frames though, you can build them however you please. :-)

      • Jared Jerome

        I know for me the things that bug me are not the same things that bug other people. So…I hear this. I’m usually more concerned about clearances and [like you said] general construction. I have my shopmate do all the cables and wiring and things that are a bother (to be honest).

    • Erik_A

      I agree, but for a cyclocross type shoulder carry (usefull in muddy gravel races too) please keep the cables from under the top-tube

    • clas_hannes

      OCD or not, like this the cables get in the way of a frame bag. And thats not really practical, or is it?

  • KevinSF

    That stem!!

  • Jared Jerome

    This thing is pretty slick. I see there’s a 12mm SON hub now, so that could be a cool combo.

  • Keanu Reeves

    Love seeing a set of Terrible1 bar ends on a bike that isn’t mine!

  • rocketman

    nice bike and super happy to see more frames made here, but the Endpoint Hunter Gatherer seems to beat this bike hands down. And it’s low trail so handles better with a front load.

    • happycatbasket

      The best part about this is that both of these bikes have some amount of BMX raditude to them.

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    • joshhh

      I think both look great – I’m excited to hear from folks who have actually ridden either/both, which should be happening fairly soon now that this is available and the first run of the Hunter Gatherer is due in another month or so.

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  • Peter Turskovitch

    How does this compare to the romanceur??

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