This was my year of awakening to gravel biking. Living on an acreage surrounded by endless miles of gravel roads, it seemed inevitable that I’d end up embracing the category. The combination of open skies and minimal traffic were the perfect form of calm I needed for those times when life’s stresses piled up.
I started the season off primarily on the Velo Orange Polyvalent I built up last fall as a gravel/touring bike, which also happened to be my first dropbar bike. After about a month into the riding season I started feeling most comfortable on a pair of wide drop bars, which was a big change after years of riding exclusively upright alt bars. The Polyvalent is an absolute blast to ride, but my attention began to be shift toward 700C gravel bikes with carbon forks and ample clearance (think 50 mm tires) to eat up our unmaintained gravel roads.
I serendipitously stumbled across Panorama Cycles—a small Canadian bike company based out of Quebec—back in May. Their focus on backcountry cyclists and aim to protect the planet by minimizing their carbon footprint really resonated with me as someone who has long enjoyed hiking, camping and nature in general. It turned out Panorama had a rad product offering as well and I quickly fell in love with the Anticosti—a feeling I couldn’t shake. That Wasabi Green was speaking my language and the stock build kit was meticulously curated and thought out. It came in at only 21 lbs, which impressed me for a steel frame, and was far lighter than any of my other builds.
I connected with Simon and Louise at Panorama who were a pleasure to work with and answered all my questions throughout our correspondence. They helped me dial in the build kit, deviating slightly from stock, to accommodate the type of terrain we have in Manitoba. The flat prairies and minimally maintained roads lend themselves to large tires and chainrings. We stepped up the chainring from 38T to a 46T and opted for Rutland 47s over the stock 42s.
After committing to the bike, and the non-stock parts arrived, the bike was shipped and arrived a few days later. The wasabi green was even better in person than it looked online (I’m always a sucker for earth tones). After some minimal assembly (see my build reel for a little BTS), the bike was ready to ride. I was immediately struck by how responsive and peppy the bike felt. The Rival shifting is crisp and decisive compared to what I’d experienced before. The 46cm Ritchey Comp Venture Max II bars hit a sweet spot in terms of width, drop and flare, and the Bio-bend design adds some optimal hand comfort for longer rides.
After a month riding the stock build kit, I started dialing in the build a little more. I swapped out the Travail Rutland 47s in favour of some Ultradynamico ROSÉ Race 42s. I was surprised how little I noticed the 5mm difference in width between the two sets, but am guessing the extra supple nature of the Ultras are to thank for their ability to soak up the rough roads. I worked with the team over at Berthoud in France on a custom Dyneema frame bag for the build and opted for one of their Aravis Ti saddles in natural leather to add a little more personality to the build and visually tie in with the tan wall tires.
Lastly, I worked with Stefano over at Biciclista US to line up an Ingrid POP crankset for the build. If you know Ingrid, you know they make beautifully engineered CNC works of art and the CRS-POP crankset was no exception. The crankset looks right at home on any gravel bike.
I’m very pleased with the Anticosti on all fronts. It rides beautifully, looks great and comes from an innovative Canadian company who takes their responsibility to protect the planet seriously. This is a bike that has found a long-term spot in my stable.
- Frame/Fork: 2023 Panorama Cycles Anticosti with Carbon Fork
- Wheels: HUNT 4 Season Gravel X-Wide 700c
- Hubs: HUNT 4 Season 32H
- Tires: Ultradynamico ROSÉ Race 700C x 42.??
- Handlebars: Ritchey Comp VentureMax II 46cm
- Headset: FSA Orbit
- Crankset: INGRID POP Crankset
- Pedals: Crankbrothers Candy 7
- Cassette: Sunrace CSMX8 11-46T
- Derailleur(s): SRAM Rival 1
- Brakes: Yokozuna Motoko Road
- Shifter(s): SRAM Rival 1
- Saddle: Berthoud Aravis Natural
- Seatpost: Kalloy Uno SP-3DS 27.2
- Stem: Promax DA-281, 31.8mm, 6deg
- Bag(s): Custom Berthoud Dyneema Framebag
We’d like to thank all of you who submitted Readers Rides builds to be shared here at The Radavist. The response has been incredible and we have so many to share over the next few months. Feel free to submit your bike, listing details, components, and other information. You can also include a portrait of yourself with your bike and your Instagram account! Please, shoot landscape-orientation photos, not portrait. Thanks!