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We test Oxford Bike Works' Expedition Lite round-the-world-ready touring bike

Overall Score
Custom touring bike service and fitting for off-the-shelf prices

Rather than being less-capable or significantly lighter than the £2120 Expedition - the 'other bike' in Oxford Bike Works' specialist touring stable, the Expedition Lite is simply specced to be more affordable.

This means that the bike we tested was fitted with a Shimano drive-train, combining a fully-loaded touring capable 44-32-22 triple Shimano crankset with a nine-speed rear cassette and strong, dependable Shimano V-brakes.

Finishing kit includes a Velo comfort saddle, Axiom rear rack, Wellgo cage flat pedals, and a pleasingly swept-back Humpert Ergotec handlebar, which can be rotated for extra height or reach adjustment.

Our bike was fitted with optional extras including Tubus Tara front pannier racks, Anatomic Bar ends and Panaracer Tourguard 26x1.75in tyres - taking up the total price to £1,679.

But underneath all this carefully chosen kit you still get the company's same hand-built Reynolds 525 frameset and hand-built wheels.

The resulting ride is simply a joy. Whether you're popping to the shops, the pub or round the world (Oxford Bike Works has brand ambassadors doing all of the above), this bike is a pleasure to pedal.

The fact that it comes together so well is not just testament to the care with which the components have been matched and chosen but to the build quality and care.

In fact, that is where the value in the Expedition Lite really resides: not only are you getting a well-specced and built bike with a hand-built frame and hand-built wheels (both arts in themselves), but a bespoke speccing and fitting service.

Every Oxford Bike Works bike comes with a full consultation, fitting and validation test ride - not to mention a one-year comfort guarantee which means that you can come back to swap out stems or handlebars free of charge.

In practice this means you get a bike that doesn't just fit you but the adventure you are planning - with the tyres, gearing and final spec to match the landscapes you aim to explore.



All our reviews are independent and unbiased. We may earn a commission when you buy from links to Amazon and other affiliates on this page.