When the wet season hit us in Portland, the first thing I did was hang up my road bike. The lack of clearance for full fenders and *gasp* rim brakes made changing over to my 29″ mountain bike a no-brainer. Ideally though, I’d build up a do-it-all road bike. While not the most frugal option, the Waypoint from Ren Cycles is on a short list for a chassis to build on.
Is it a gravel bike, commuter and touring machine? Yes. Good for long road rides? Yep. Could you race cross on it? Pretty sure you could.
Titanium makes a lot of sense to me, and having owned a ti bike in the past, I’m a huge fan. Titanium features the compliant ride of steel frames but without the weight, but unlike the lighter weight carbon option, a raw ti frame will look amazing as long as you own it, regardless of how often you slap a u-lock on it.
Although it’s arguable how bike-friendly Portland really is, the reality is that it’s easy to get around by bike, provided you know the routes. For a non-road bike racer like myself, a bike like the Waypoint makes a lot of sense; with basic maintenance it could function for years, while serving a variety of needs.
About Ren Cycles
Ren Cycles is a small, Portland based company that specializes in titanium road, cross and gravel bikes. Designed and engineered in Portland, the frames are imported in small batch production runs.
Ren Cycles is the brand owned by Ti Cycles Fabrication. Whereas Ti Cycles focuses on custom, one-off builds and small production runs fabricated here in Portland, Ren Cycles models are sourced from factories overseas.
Intrigued by the Way Point, we dug into the details. Is it a gravel bike, all road bike, cross bike? And what the hell is the difference anyway? Ren Cycles offers two models in similar categories, but one is designated as a cross bike and the other, the Omen, a gravel/ city bike.
FEATURES (via Ren Cycles)
- Headtube: 44mm
- Seatpost Size: 31.6mm (dropper post compatible!)
- Bottom Bracket: BSA English 68mm
- Brake Mount: Low Disc
- Di2 ready internal construction
- Replaceable titanium derailleur hanger
- Black anodized barrel adjusters
- Alloy seat post collar
- 5-year warranty
Some interesting things we noticed about this build:
- No carbon. Except cranks
- Lots of local goods, made in the US. (other than frame)
- Paul cable disc brakes
- Gevenalle Shifters – simple and bombproof
- Thomson bars and stem
What’s the dif between CX and Gravel?
This seems to vary quite a bit depending on whom you’re talking to, but for the most part differences are in the bottom bracket height, wheel base and chain stay length. The stays are half a centimeter longer and the wheelbase is a centimeter longer as well, which should add stability. It also has a much lower bottom bracket height so pavement cornering is improved.
The head tube is also centimeter longer, so the bar height should be more comfortable on long rides.
The Waypoint Gravel/ Commuter starts at $1,895.00 frame only. Check out the Waypoint at RenCycles.com