We reviewed the Fearless Vulture back in April and were rather taken with it. Not only does it ride well but it is great value too. Our short test period really wasn’t long enough to do it justice. Needless to say, we wanted to spend some more time on it, so we persuaded Tim at Fearless to let us have a frameset to build up and use for a longer test period.
This size 54 Vulture comes in a rather cool looking ‘quicksand’ colour which blends in rather well with our sun scorched fields right now. We’ll be taking it bikepacking in Wales very soon and suspect it might stand out a little more against the slate and scree background of Snowdonia.
Ison Distribution very kindly provided us with a range of their new Genetic Bike Components finishing kit. The rest of the build came from the ADVNTR parts bin.
Of particular interest to adventure types are the Genetic Drove Bars which, at £29.99, are a relatively cheap set of flared handlebars. We’ve tried a few other entry level flared bars, but none of them have quite hit the spot. These 440mm Drove bars however, feel just right with a 16° flare and a sensible 130mm drop. The Genetic STV saddle is also worth noting for being completely invisible during our rides. As far as saddles go, this is a ‘good thing’.
Knowing how cyclists think, particularly when trying something new, we feel it is quite likely that ‘gravel curious’ folk will build their new bike using components from a donor road or mountain bike first, adding newer components as they become more accustomed to the discipline. To replicate this scenario, we rummaged around in our parts bin and emerged with Shimano XTR M9000 cranks and rear mech, plus a pair of Shimano 105 shifters to complement the goodies from Genetic.
The 105 shifter and XTR mech played nicely together thanks to the Wolftooth Components Tanpan, which we tested here. Hooked up to a 34t chainring and a Sunrace Components 11-42 cassette out back, our Vulture should have no excuses when it comes to climbing.
Rolling and Stopping
Braking is taken care of by TRP Spyre dual sided mechanical disc brakes and 160mm rotors. Of all the cable disc brakes I have tested, the Spyres have always been the best. They don’t have the stopping power of hydraulic discs but, with a little time and patience, can be set up to generate more than enough braking power to bring you to a halt.
Travel by gravel calls for tough wheels. The 21mm internal diameter Halo Wheels Vapour GXC wheels are not just tough, at 1,805g the pair, they’re not a bad weight either. The Supadrive freehub makes more than enough angry buzzy noises to alert anyone that this Vulture is swooping in for the kill.
Finishing off the build, and to fully militarise this Vulture for battle, is Genetic’s Camo bar tape. And no matter how big or small a cycling adventure we’ll be going on, somewhere to stash loot is always useful. The Miss Grape Internode frame bag fits snugly and is the perfect place to stash camera kit, tools and even beer.
Read on for the full build specification…
Fearless Bikes are available exclusively through their website at: www.fearlessbikes.com
To find out more about Genetic Bike Components and Halo Wheels, visit Ison Distribution to locate your nearest retailer.
Last modified: 18th July 2018