Reportage

Cari’s Elephant NFE is a Do It All Basket Bike

We’ve featured Cari’s Elephant National Forest Explorer before, back in 2016, and yet every time it pops up in our social media here at the Radavist, people request an updated feature…

This bike was originally a drop bar, 2x setup, but after a tour we did a few years back, we switched it up to a 1x setup with SRAM GX and Jones H Bars. The resulting riding position is more upright, more comfortable, and way more stable for riding dirt roads. Up until recently this was the bike Cari would ride singletrack with me on and since we just got her a mountain bike, I wanted to showcase this build’s versatilty prior to having Cari pen some thoughts about her new mountain bike.

The first order of business is that beautiful Sim Works Potluck rack, to which we attached a Wald basket to and a Porcelain Rocket / Monkey Wrench Cycles bag holds up permanent residence with the basket. The Jones bar and Ergon grip combination eliminated hand pain immediately.

A commuter bike really benefits from a dynamo setup and with Cari riding all over town with this bike, I really wanted her to be safe. A rebuilt front wheel, with a SON hub, powers the Supernova front and rear lights. We’ll eventually switch to a Sinewave Beacon for some extra brightness. The biggest difference she noticed when riding at night here in Santa Fe, versus in Los Angeles is just how dark the bike paths are here.

We swapped on the Ultradynamico Rosé race tires on the Blunt SS wheelset when we moved to Santa Fe. The tread pattern offers up traction on singletrack without excessive rolling resistance. You should hear these tires on the bike path! They sound like a buttery-smooth Japanese saw.

She keeps her cellphone in the Yanco bag on the left and snacks in the Oveja Negra bag on the right. The Monkey Wrench Cycles basket bag is the perfect size for grocery runs and a u-lock with a cable.

The backbone of this updated build is the 1x drivetrain, which really simplified the shifting for her. The 1x system is way easier for her to shift, without worrying about riding cross-chained and the 50t rear gives her plenty of gearing to spin up hills. We kept the original crank and paired it with a 44RN chainring.

This bike looks so damn good. On each ride, it gets compliments. I love seeing the beausage form over the years and am still thrilled that this bike checks all her boxes. I will say however, it’s time to give it a nice and thorough cleaning!

I know there’s a big fanbase for the Elephant NFE, so if you have one, post it up in the comments.