Penhale Bicycle Co. Gypsy steel adventure, tourer

Small brand goes big with all manner of affordable, steel adventure bikes

Gravel Sea Otter Classic
The Gypsy is made from Japanese cromoly and is designed as a versatile adventure bike that can run 700c or 29er tires.

The Gypsy is made from Japanese cromoly and is designed as a versatile adventure bike that can run 700c or 29er tires (click to enlarge).

Andy Holmes has 14 years of experience in the bike industry including a 9 year stint as a Product Manager at Felt Bicycles. For the last 3 years, Holmes has developed his own brand called the Penhale Bicycle Co. leveraging his knowledge of product and brand development along with his connections both here in the States and overseas. As such, Penhale is a small company that specializes in frames that are versatile adventure bikes. Their offerings include a mountain bike frame, a gravel grinder and a touring rig all made from Japanese steel (cromoly or Tange Prestige).

Highlighted here is the Gypsy, a bike that blurs the line between a traditional touring bike and a mountain bike. It can be fitted with 700x45c tires or up to 29×2.0″ MTB tires. The Penhale Bicycle Co. currently only sells framesets that include a matching fork and seatpost clamp. The Gypsy frame is made from custom butted Japanese cromoly and has enough braze-ons to mount racks and fenders and a staggering 5 water bottles (if a front rack is not used)! It is sturdy enough to run fully loaded for a multi-day adventure or it can be packed light and fast for an overnighter.

Count 'em! That is a total of five water bottles.

Count ‘em! That is a total of five water bottles (click to enlarge).

Versatility is really the name of the game when it comes to this bike. Holmes explains, “While we designed the Gypsy as an adventure touring machine, it’s at home riding city streets, commuting to work, weekend club rides and hey, stick some 50mm MTB tires and ride your local MTB trails… but wherever you ride it – just ride it as a bike and have an adventure!”

Penhale Gypsy frame specifications
  • Full custom butted Japanese 4130 cromoly frame, that’s minimally formed and ovalized to provide a comfortable yet stiff frame, that tracks well on road or off, loaded or not. XL frame weight – 5.1lbs
  • Braze-on mounts on the frame to carry 3 x full size water bottles, rear pannier rack mounts.
  • Custom designed chromoly fork that features custom rack/lowrider bosses plus the option to mount 2 water bottles if racks are not installed. IS type brake mount tabs with reverse forged dropouts (reversed to resist axle slippage from brake forces)
  • Fully rustproof ED coated under paint. Frames delivered with fully chased BBs, head tubes and seat tubes. Includes custom 30mm seat collar.
  • Traditional 1 1/8th chromoly head tube, for a standard 1 1/8th headset, machined, relieved and reinforced. Custom forged dropout design, with “swappable” dropouts to accept either a traditional 135mm for use with widest possible choice of hubs, or swapped to accept any of the newer 142mm x 12mm through axle hubs with the optional dropouts. The forged mount disc brake tab located inside rear triangle for strength and stiffness. This dropout and disc brake mount design is used on all disc equipped Penhale Bicycle Co. models, B’stard, Scruffian, Gypsy and Vagabond.
  • Down tube routing for the rear brake cable/hose guides and traditional cable stops for serviceability and precise shifting.
  • Forged 68mm bottom bracket shell, compatible with road or MTB cranks – max ring sizes MTB 28/38/50, Road 34/52
  • 27.2mm I/D seat tube, for traditional seat post compatibility, 30mm seat collar (included with frame) 28.6mm F/D clamp dia.
A close-up of the Penhale Gypsy's rear end and head tube junction.

A close-up of the Penhale Gypsy’s rear end and head tube junction (click to enlarge).

The Penhale Gypsy is available in four sizes (SM, MD, LG, XL) and comes in a raw, nickel finish. Frames are available now (via the Penhale Bicycle Co. website) and retail price is $599.

Penhale Gypsy - geometry

For more information visit www.penhalebicycleco.com.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato enjoys riding local Portolla Valley roads. Besides being an avid cyclist, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.


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