Road works, heavy traffic and the odd bout of road rage – welcome to the stark reality of the German autobahns at rush hour. For desserts there’s the ever necessary, blood pressure-rising need to find a parking space. But does it have to be like this? Not if you ask us: we’ve found our own motorway – and it thrives on a titanium frame that’s way beyond any four-wheeled status symbol. Our graphic designer lives this reality:
Town, forest, autobahn
We ride for the sense of freedom that you get from being on two wheels, when your thoughts rush by as brusquely as the wind. The act of pedaling is a release from stress, so why don’t we all do it every single day? Freshly cut fields, wafts of wild garlic and dill, darting squirrels, from here you can only catch a faint glimpse of the autobahn and you realize you can barely hear it. The thought makes you smile wryly: yes, this is the right way of doing things.
After the ride it takes fewer coffees to rouse yourself once you get to work. Those minutes of exhilaration have woken you up, stirring up endorphins that see you through the morning.
The route home is even better, leaving work behind you in fumes of dust; any residual stress scatters as you pick up speed. You can stop off for a cool beer; summer is almost over but there’s lingering warmth in the air. As you pass by the gyms, you look in the windows at row upon row of machines, the stickiness of the air contained inside those walls makes you shudder. What beats a workout on two wheels? And where better to do it than in a place without cars? The forest autobahn.
Kocmo Gravel Hero
Just think of it as an S-Class coupé: the Kocmo Gravel Hero steps up to satisfy the role as the epitome of luxury for commuters. Stylish, fast, super comfortable and still able to carry some load; who would ever really argue against a titanium frame? Then there’s the forks, stem and bike rack that are also made of the same superb material. Completely resistant to corrosion and lightweight; it’s also a cert that it’ll be comfortable and great to ride. In fact, some would even go as far as to say that the specification is irrelevant – titanium bikes will always ride well.
Kocmo specced our Gravel Hero with a list of the market’s current hottest components, assuredly kitting it out with the ultimate parts for commuting. While we’re converts to intuitive and simple 1x drivetrains, the Gravel Hero’s stock SRAM Force 2×11 shifting serves the commute well, with a great gear ratio for strong quads and speed freaks. The SRAM Red brakes provide reliable anchoring, although if you’re laden down with frame bags then it might be wiser to go for 160 mm rotors. Said frame bags are loaded onto lovely Tubus Titan racks, which are so lightweight that you’ll barely notice them on faster one-day weekend jaunts. Kocmo opted for a bar that is certainly wider than your regular fare, going for a Salsa Woodchipper for increased stability and control when you’re bike-packing, be it two days or two weeks through the wilds of Sweden.
Teamed with 110 mm of drop and 26° flare angle, your initial corner is ‘damn, this will take some getting used to,’ but they’re actually really comfortable and won us over for riding off-road with luggage. We’re ready for winter commuting too – some might even say over-eager: there’s a skinny but bright Supernova light that runs on a virtually resistant-free Schmidt hub dynamo. The state-of-the-art Chris King headset rounds off the package.
The limits are essentially endless, and Kocmo’s trump card is their ability to custom build whatever you want, be it custom geometry, a different spec or the option to mount a regular seatpost.
We could be heroes
Status symbols are no longer about your possessions or your estate; it’s how you hold yourself. Sustainable, sporty, conscientious: that’s how we want to be seen. In increasingly mobile and consumer-centric urban zones, riding isn’t just good for your own wellbeing, but for the whole society. Plus, riding is quicker than transport. Cycling as the new status symbol? We’ll cheers to that.
For more information about the bike head to kocmo.de
Words: Andreas Maschke Photos: Noah Haxel