Compared to the current Bombtrack Audax, the 2018 version is a pretty bold revision. Hinting towards the changing technologies that are improving all bikes, even the touring/brevet crowd is seeing big changes in bike construction. Or at least, that’s what Bombtrack is bringing with their most recent addition.

Bombtrack Audax gets audacious 650b makeover for 2018

All photos c. Bombtrack

Bombtrack Audax gets audacious 650b makeover for 2018 Bombtrack Audax gets audacious 650b makeover for 2018

Previously, the Audax was pretty classic in its execution. The steel frame featured a straight head tube, rim brakes, quick release axles, and the bike shipped with fender clad 700c x 25mm tires.

Now, the Audax is hopping on the road plus bandwagon with a 650b x 47mm WTB horizon set up that is still designed to pound out mile after mile. More than just a wheel change, the Columbus Cromor double butted frame has been completely updated with a 1.125-1.5″ tapered head tube, thru axle dropouts, and a PF BB86 bottom bracket that’s part of a custom chainstay yoke. Bombtrack says the yoke was needed to shorten the stays while providing enough tire clearance for the fat WTB slicks.

Bombtrack Audax gets audacious 650b makeover for 2018

Along with fender mounts front and rear, the full carbon fork gains three pack mounts with flat mount brakes front and rear as well.

Bombtrack Audax gets audacious 650b makeover for 2018

Since the Audax is still being marketed as a long distance road bike, you won’t find a 1x drivetrain. Instead, the bike ships with a Shimano 105 2×11 build with a 50/34 up front and 11-28 out back. The frame is also ready for internal Di2 routing if you want to upgrade or build up a frameset.

Bombtrack Audax gets audacious 650b makeover for 2018 Bombtrack Audax gets audacious 650b makeover for 2018

To be offered in five sizes, the complete build will have a retail price of $2,529.99. Expect bikes to hit showroom floors around January, 2018.

bombtrack.com

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Volsung
Volsung
4 years ago

If that fork is available aftermarket I will have a kid and then sacrifice it in honor of Bombtrack.

jake
jake
4 years ago
Reply to  Volsung

same

Micah
4 years ago
Reply to  Volsung

Yeah! The Niner fork is currently the only alternative, and I bought one, but it seems a bit over built for most gravel+ riding.

Craig
Craig
4 years ago

Wow that’s a good looking bike.

Kernel Flickitov
Kernel Flickitov
4 years ago
Reply to  Craig

Looks fantastic until you get to the PF BB spec… Lame.

Threeringcircus
Threeringcircus
4 years ago

Yep. PF BB is a deal killer. Otherwise, awesome.

DeeKeezy
DeeKeezy
4 years ago

Uh, you guys know that the “brevet crowd” has been advocating for 650B forever, right? If I’m not mistaken, it was a popular wheel size with French randos as far back as the 1920’s…

mudrock
mudrock
4 years ago

So they ship to the US, or have dealers here? Last I checked, they didn’t.

Robin
Robin
4 years ago
Reply to  mudrock

North America Cycles is their US distributor.

Max
Max
4 years ago
Reply to  mudrock

844-622-2453

Tom in MN
Tom in MN
4 years ago

Seems like rather aggressive geometry for a long distance bike: short chainstays and low stack height. Plus a PF BB, ug.

Easily Amused
Easily Amused
4 years ago

Just hit me…through axle “dropouts” don’t actually let your wheel drop out. Along with clipping in to clipless pedals the bike world is a wonderful, confusing place.

Eric E. Strava
Eric E. Strava
4 years ago
Reply to  Easily Amused

How so? Remove the axle and lift the frame. I think the wheel will drop out just fine. Should bikes with a belt drive have beltstays instead of chainstays?

Easily Amused
Easily Amused
4 years ago
Reply to  Eric E. Strava

Probably should have said allow axle to drop out instead of wheel to drop out. Obviously you can still remove the wheel.

Jerome Roy
Jerome Roy
4 years ago

seems tight at the front derailleur/rear tire…

Marcellus
4 years ago
Reply to  Jerome Roy

Yes, the pictured bike is a sample with 410 mm chain stays. It works, but is very tight. The production bikes will have 420 mm chain stays.

dontcoast
4 years ago

Would be (positively) bomb, except the BB is way off track and might make it (negatively) bomb.

I can overlook a PF bb on an ultralight racebike; but on a steel randonneur? Come. On.

Thread it or forget it.

typevertigo
typevertigo
4 years ago

I like it.

BB86 is the least problematic of the various press-fit bottom bracket standards, from what I see, and I understand why they went with it.

The only real downside for me is the weight. 12.5 kg with no fenders is relatively heavy, but hey, it’s steel. Also, it would have been great if they swapped out the SS rear derailleur for a GS model so it can accommodate even lower gearing out of the box.

Andrew Cohen
Andrew Cohen
4 years ago

Not sure why all these new gravel bikes insist on running high trail numbers that make the damn things steer like trucks, especially with the big tires. No bueno.

Marcellus
4 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Cohen

The overall feedback from our teamriders was a not too low trail. I will do some future testing with a lower trail setup, but so far I am very happy with the overall steering geometry. I am following Jan Heines blog since 2011, I would love to do a low trail bike, but that would be a very niche bike.

Marcellus
4 years ago

Some words to the BB86 we use. I can understand that there are and have been a lot of problems with different PF bottom brackets due to tolerance issues. However, with all the BB86 equipped frames we produced, we had one single case that a creaking bottom bracket couldn’t get silenced. We replaced the frame, as we could not a rule out a manufacturing fault. A production bike like the Audax needs the wide bottom bracket shell to allow for the combination of wide tire clearance and short chainstays without sharp bends. Also the distribution of forces is much better with a BB86 shell, as the hub bearing rest right against the chainstay. We are discussing the use of a T47 bottom bracket for the future, but the biggest problem so far is the availability of OEM T47 parts. We take all feedback serious, thanks to everybody who commented on this articel.

Beau Hart
4 years ago
Reply to  Marcellus

Nice to see a manufacturer talk about why they made a decision, especially when catching flack for it. Balancing tire clearance, Q-Factor, derailleur placement, stay length, and overall rigidity is a problem with a lot of imperfect solutions. While I am not a fan of PF, I can at least see how you came to the decision.

Gertjan T.
Gertjan T.
4 years ago

What about the off road capabilities for the Audax?

Marcellus
4 years ago
Reply to  Gertjan T.

Our intented use for this bike is long distance racing with some comfort in mind. The WTB Horizon tires will work on gravel and mixed surface, if things get more muddy you might want something with more profile though. Maximum tire clearance in the rear is 47 mm, in the front you can go up to 55 mm.

Gertjan t.
Gertjan t.
4 years ago
Reply to  Marcellus

Would it be capable of doing the torino-nice rally like one of your riders did before?

John T.
John T.
4 years ago

I wouldn’t recommend any bombtrack bike to anybody. I bought the old Audax as a touring bike and it’s impossible to fit a rack on. The position of the rear mounting eyelets is right behind the brake. After trying to rig a standard Trek rack(by the only way possible; through the middle of the brake) I contacted Bombtrack for a recommendation of a rack that actually fit with their setup. They were absolutely useless. They couldn’t tell me one rack that fit their poorly designed frame and really they didn’t care.

The bike rides nice enough, but what a crappy company. I would stay away. It’s apparent they care more about making hipster bikes instead of making something functional and have terrible customer service to top it off.

xlbiking
3 years ago

I’ve been looking forward to this bike… I ride far with quite a mix of gravel and road. The PF BB scared me, I am a heavy rider (282 lbs) and had creaky BB’s before. What would be an alternative similar to this bike in the Bombtrack menu? I mean, I like their stuff!