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Dream Bike Quiver: Rare bike brands

By Spencer Powlison


Imagine stepping into a garage, checking out a quiver of beautiful bikes, and not recognizing a single brand. That's what this Dream Quiver is all about. While we all know that Specialized, Giant, or Trek bikes will be trouble-free, it's fun to branch out and be a little different.

So, while Bruce went budget with last week's Dream Quiver and went baller with the Dream Quiver before that, I'm going eclectic on this one.


Moser Leader AX

Road: Francesco Moser Leader AX - $1,906.99

In keeping with the quirky approach to this quiver, I have unconventional opinions on road bikes. I just don't like modern ones. Forget aero, give me classic. This bike delivers: Steel, Italian, tied to a legend of the sport. Francesco Moser the man was not a prolific grand tour winner, but he did win the 1984 Giro d'Italia thanks to, shall we say, a home-field advantage. "The Sheriff" was less a climber and more an ace time trialist and classics rider. He was a world champion, world hour record holder, and three-time Paris-Roubaix winner.

If that isn't enough to inspire you to ride a wonderful steel frame equipped with Campagnolo Record components, I don't know what is.

Panorama bike

Gravel: Panorama Cycles Katahdin V1 - $3,199.99

The more I read about Panorama, the more I like this Canadian bike brand. It's been building a range of bikes since 2010. Panorama aims to make versatile machines for exploring the backcountry, a counterpoint to cycling's N+1 tendencies. (Sorry folks, that's what the Dream Quiver is all about!) Plus, Panorama is committed to sustainability as the first carbon-neutral certified bike brand and a member of 1% For the Planet.

As for the Katahdin itself, it has a carbon fiber frame, no-nonsense SRAM Apex 1 drivetrain, and some tough WTB alloy wheels for rough roads.

Esker Rowl

MTB: Esker Rowl R3 - $5,926.99

It's hard to come by capable full-suspension mountain bikes from small companies, but Esker checks all those boxes. It's remarkable how polished their bikes are, given that the Montana company only has seven people on staff. Like Panorama, Esker is giving back with ride scholarships and fundraisers for Montana-based trails organizations.

As you might have noticed, I started this section by emphasizing the word "capable," and I have to say this 140mm-travel bike looks to be just that. Esker has its own suspension platform called Orion Dynamics. This is a variation of the proven dual-link suspension philosophy found on bikes with DW-Link and VPP designs. Carbon frame, full Shimano XT parts, Industry Nine wheels — yup, this'll do.

Ragley Mmmbop

MTB hardtail: Ragley Mmmbop - $3,778.99

Now it comes full-circle — I'm weird about road bikes and also weird about mountain bikes. I still love a hardtail for some rides. Based in the UK since 2008, Ragley only sells hardtails. It offers seven (seven!) different takes on the classic mountain bike frame. Who knew something so simple could have so many options?!

The Mmmbob is a slack shred sled made from aluminum to keep things stiff and durable. How slack? Slacker than that Esker at 63.75-degrees for the head tube! This bike might be a wildcard, but it could end up as the best part of this quiver.

Total cost: $14,812.96

So, turns out it's expensive to be different. Four bikes for $15-grand is a little steep. The good thing is, your entire quiver doesn't have to be rare, bespoke bikes. Sometimes it's more fun to have just one oddball. In my own personal, real life quiver, that bike is a Pegoretti road bike (see, I told you I like 'em old-school!).

How about you, what rare brands would you love to have in your bike quiver? Let me know in the comments.

Shop used bikes


  • Still own a bike built by Francisco Cuevas a Barcelona born builder that made gorgeous steel frames his shop in Astoria Queens, NY

    Henry Mayorga on

  • Am I wrong to want a Moots gravel crusher to go along with my YBB??

    +1 on the Gios… always wanted one back in my early roadie days

    John Lane on

  • I would add appleman and mandaric bikes to the mix.

    Jonathan on

  • Tommasini and Mercier come to mind.

    Bill Bagby on

  • How about a vintage Panasonic? Remember those magnesium frames?


  • People seem to wonder about my 2010 BMC Racemaster George Hincapie edition. Stars and Stripes paint scheme. Or my Guerciotti G35!

    Michael Munshower on

  • How about the rare and well vetted Mountain Shadow?

    Dave Powlison on

  • The bike I would love for my quiver is a light blue Gios Torino steel road bike from about 1980. It would be equipped with Campy Nuovo Record components, box (not aero) rims and clincher tires.

    Mark W Hopkins on

  • So many high quality non-mainstream bikes available today.

    Alex on

  • I love my paletti reparto corse
    With 7400 dura-ace group set

    Samuel Elkins on

  • As mentioned in the above list, I have an affinity for a good hardtail mtb. My choice for this bike would be the Independent Fabrication steel single speed hardtail. Amazing craftsmanship and their paint jobs are second to none.

    Don Pennington on

  • Call me when you have an Argon18 by Marinoni with steel frame/fork with Columbus tubing then we talk.

    Alex Cortez on

  • Beautiful Moser! Now if you could find one in a 61 cm I’d be all set.

    Jeff on

  • I have a new C4 Joker!! That’s not your typical bike that is seen

    Kevin Lagan on

  • Any interest in an Ibis Bow-Ti designed by Castellanos. Ti mt. bike. Scott Nichols has one and would never sell his. One sold on ebay for $8250 but you can have mine for less. Tricked out with Ibis Ti stem and Moots Ti seatpost.

    Steven w Lefkowitz on

  • How about a Cervelo Super Prodigy, the last steel bike chosen as one of the team bikes at the TDF.

    Bill Hardin on

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