Robin’s Caletti Cycles Touring Bike

Robin from Blackburn always brings the best bikes to Ranger Camp. Over the years, I’ve showcased his steeds, most notably the Santa Cruz Highball drop bar tourer. This year, since our route is mostly restricted to roads, rather than singletrack, Robin brought his Caletti touring bike, loaded with Blackburn bags. Although, calling this a touring bike undersells it entirely. As anyone with a tourer will tell you, these bikes become commuters and occasional trail shredders. Robin’s is no different. He commutes on it, sometimes taking dirt roads and bum trails home. This week, his Caletti will serve as his Ranger Camp bike and a city bike as he and I explore the streets of Bilbao after the Ranger festivities are over.

Some of my favorite details include the segmented fork with a sensible amount of braze-ons, the simple paint, and Robin’s clever hacks like that bell mount. There’s one other ingenious hack that I won’t even point out. Perhaps you’ll notice it…

Today we’re all building bikes, preparing for our 7am roll-out from Madrid, en route to our campground high in the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains…

  • dan scheie

    The retractable ID holder used to bring the water hose back in place?

    • Brian Richard Walbergh

      So dope

    • Matt

      Yes…Fly Fishing nipper/floatant zinger for the hose…smart

  • jh

    Love it. Sweet fork (paint and material), bartape, bar end shifter, bell mount, dropouts and…everything. I know nothing of bike packing, but why a large seatpack-bag as opposed to panniers on a rack? Doesn’t the high center of gravity wobble like mad on bumpy terrain and leaning the bike over? Also, wouldn’t it be better to locate the water within the triangle as opposed to on the bars? Again, I know nothing of bike packing but definitely experienced wobbles and instability while riding with some weight. Thanks for a great post.

    • Chris Kyle

      It does if you pack it wrong. Ideally, you pack a seat bag with your lightest and most compressible gear ~ down quilt and jacket. Then really crank down on the tightening straps and it’s good to go. Or get a bag like the Porcelain Rocket Albert, which is in a frame/rack and doesn’t move at all.

    • Drew

      The water is in the frame bag in the triangle. The hose is mounted onto the handlebar roll for easy access, but you can see where the hose is coming from.

  • jh

    I think I realize why the location for the seatpack. extra width of panniers could be an issue on narrow trails.

    • Also, when you push a bike up a steep dirt trail, panniers get in the way on the rear of the bike.

  • Much smaller tyres than I would have expected, but maybe the owner spend most of their time on the road. Also, battery powered lighting instead of a dynamo. A lot of interesting choices on this bike.

    • Jonathan McCurdy

      I would say that a dynamo light is a luxury opt-in rather than a touring default… I kinda agree on the tires… but only because lately 40+ seems to be the norm. However I did my first PCH tour on 35mm tires with even smoother tread than these, and I didn’t mind much.

      • Yeah, I toured on 32mm tires on the PCH and it was fine.

    • colavitos_ghost

      For me, at least, dynamo-powered lighting makes a lot more sense on a commuter bike than a touring bike. When I’m touring I’m usually either asleep or sitting at a campfire as soon as the sun goes down… But of course, to each their own!

      • I actually commuted for years on battery powered lights, before switching to a dynamo only recently when I went from a 1×10 to an IG 3 speed setup. I actually ride at night a lot, so it makes sense. But I have never done any bicycle touring or bike packing, so my opinions are based in ignorance, and I’m just very curious. But if you’re usually stopped once the sun goes down I can totally see why a dynamo wouldn’t be needed. I however would (if I was to do this sort of thing) might still have a dynamo for at least being able to recharge the light battery and my phone, just out of fear of not having that at my disposal I guess, if not using directly to power lights. I’d probably end up using something like a velogical rim dynamo that I can engage and disengage at my choosing.

        • Richard Lapierre

          Like most people I ride mosty by day. I run a son28 with a b&m luxos u and a toplight brake plus in the light are always on. I had quite a few comments from motorist and fellow cyclist on how far they starting noticing me. Specially on gray or rainny day. And I got a comment on the brakelight feature of the toplight at a stoplight of course ! and with the usb port charging my garmin at all time I really enjoy it. I find it a safety feature as much as a ” don’t think about it, always there feature”. I woudn’t go back to no dynamo set up.

          • I’m using a Sturmey Archer dynamo and running Supernova lights, so obviously not as nice as your SON, But I agree with your sentiment. I was on the fence a long time regarding a dynamo, but I wouldn’t go back.

  • Jared Jerome

    This makes me happy inside.

  • Justin Hughes

    Rear mechanical and front hydraulic.

    Cool bike. What is the “Caletti’s own dropout design”? Looks like PolyDrops and integral thread fronts.

    • Ahhhhh, you’re correct. I thought that was Caletti’s design. Thank you!

  • Mikkel Snedig Jensen

    Hydro front brake and mechanical rear.. I guess it makes sense, if he flies a lot with the bike.

    • Joshua Meissner

      How would the mechanical rear help when flying? Curious.

      • Mikkel Snedig Jensen

        Because you have to separate the fork and frame for shipping and you can’t just unhook your hydraulic brake line like a cable.

    • Robin Sansom

      This is just so that I can use a cheater brake lever and stay on the tops sometimes . . . easier when riding with one hand, etc.

  • Jonathan McCurdy

    DUDE. Love the #corporatestatus retracting lanyard cable for the Platypus bladder. I do the very same thing on my touring rig ;)

    Which bars are those? I’ve been scouting out potential dirt drops to swap out on my Vaya.

    • nice! I’m not sure what bars.

    • Robin Sansom

      Salsa Woodchipper . . . great bars

  • Keith Lee

    Can’t help but think that’s an odd place for that lower fork eyelet…what could they be used for with the disc brake in the way? Extra bent fender stay?

    • Justin Hughes

      You bend the stay (as should be done with any installation) and space the stay using aluminum barrel spacers if necessary. I’ve done this on several builds. Using a custom mounting point further up the fork really is one alternative solution but has it’s downsides too.

  • So John, is that not noticed hack the interupter style extra rear brake leaver mounted on the flat, tucked behind the handle bar bag…. OR that the fuel/toptube bag and the frame bag share the attachment straps? :D

  • Bluejaystr

    Too bad that Blackburn frame bag fits so awkwardly on that beautiful bike :/

    • Well, those frame bags are meant to be universal. They unzip and expand downward, which is why it looks awkward. Without zipping it down, it looks like other universal fit half bags.

      • krashdavage

        And tensioned is better than sloppy right?

  • rocketman

    seems like you’d want a Dynamo hub and light on a bike like this?
    Love the segmented fork and overall build of the bike. Too bad the frame bag doesn’t fit better.

    • Sure, but I don’t think he’s gotten one yet.

  • Always surprised to see so much Blackburn stuff on here. I never see it in the wild, I only see it in Blackburn advertising. The bags fit weird, they don’t have a lot of attachment points, and they’re not particularly well put-together (compared against stuff made by cottage brands in the US). Topeak makes some, Ortlieb makes some. It’s just bike stuff to me.

    It’s not that there’s anything wrong with that, but when every bike featured is a fascinating, bespoke, handmade, well-worn, customized, or special-built masterpiece, cheap one-size-fits-all bags stick out like a sore thumb.

    • Nicholas Tingey

      Framebags that don’t fit really irks me for some reason and I’m glad I am not the only one! With that said, I’ve been pretty happy with the blackburn gear I have bought. The wayside is the best multitool I have owned.

      • As a bag maker, I stand by the adage that there is no such thing as a one size fits all frame bag. Pretty much all the other bags, sure… frame bags… nope. If you’re one of the Rangers though, you have to use what they give you. Hell, if they flew me to Madrid to ride my bike, I’d use one for the trip too. Max is right though… especially as a first bag until you figure out what you want/need, it’s good place to start.

    • It’s a half frame bag that unzips and expands for when you need more room. I’ve found the standard sized half frame bags seem to fit pretty well and I like the expanding feature. It’s clever.

  • boomforeal

    bit sad to see all those braze-on’s on a touring bike going to waste

    • Ray Penrod

      Probably just packing enough for the trip intended. Why have a bunch of racks and cages on the bike when you just don’t need them for this trip?

    • Meh. He has them for when he’s using them. They’re not going to waste, they’re just not currently being used. It’s an overnighter, not a week-long tour.

  • Double duty on the frame bag mounting straps to hold on the top tube bag. Why didn’t I think of that…

  • Fredrik

    Does sram’s 11 speed TT(?) bar end shifters work well with drops. Or are these some other model?

    • Gernot Frank

      I think this is 10speed. 11TT with mtb would not work

    • colavitos_ghost

      Definitely 11-speed. It’s a Rival 1 rear derailer and an 1150-R2C shifter.


    Rad set up. Can someone tell me a bout that H-Bar bag with a hydration reservoir??? Am I seeing that right?

    • colavitos_ghost

      it is discussed elsewhere in the comments, but the hydration reservoir is in the frame bag – you can see the hose coming from it in the first pic ;)

  • JC

    What bar tape is that?

    • Blackburn bar tape. Your local dealer can order it.

  • Dio Pellon

    What’s up with that brake set up? Mechanical in the rear and hydro in the front?

    • Rider_X

      B/c a barcon is used for the rear shifter. There are no hydraulic only sram rear/right brake lever, there is however for the left/front because of all the 1-up drivetrains.