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Dream Bike Quiver: Rare bike brands

By Spencer Powlison

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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.

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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.

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