Ocean Air Rambler

Ocean Air Rambler

Have you ever thought about why you actually like cycling so much? Do you like the flying feeling, or the culture? Perhaps the attraction is the promise of escape. But you don’t have to embark on a world tour to feel like you’re getting away from it all.

Just riding a short way out of town for camp-style coffee at dawn can fill you an enormous sense of wellbeing, which hopefully inspires you to travel further afield. And that’ll be an accomplished mission for California’s Ocean Air Cycles.

Ocean Air Rambler

Robert Perks gave up driving to work years ago but, as all of us have done at some stage, wondered how he can find the time to be outside on a bike more. Eureka! One morning he simply packed his camp stove and enamel cup into his basket and rode to the nearest park.

Ocean Air Rambler

There’s quite a few coffee and camping gear nerds out there who have compiled a comprehensive series of lightweight and innovative coffee kits, many of which are sold in the Ocean Air Cycles webstore, along with a superb collection of neckerchiefs, bandannas, bike racks and leather goods.

Ocean Air Rambler

The most important accessory for #coffeeoutside, however, is a bicycle, but Robert has that covered also. He’s teamed up with another local Portlandian, Zen Bike Fabrication, on the Rambler: one third tourer, one third randonneur, one third porteur.

Ocean Air Rambler

Constructed from 4130 cromoly tubes, The Rambler is available in American Blue, Orange Soda and Sunflower. It comes with the elegant and powerful Paul Racer brakes, internal wiring for the lights and a Columbine Quickchainger, allowing wheel changes without having to touch the chain.

For more inspiration, read the #coffeeoutside article in Issue 4 of the excellently edited magazine of adventure cycling: Bunyan Velo. The Rambler is available through the Ocean Air Cycles website and Blue Lug in Japan.

Ocean Air Rambler

  • KG

    I believe Rob is from Ventura, CA, actually. Just FYI

    • Cycle EXIF Editor

      Thanks guys. Got my wires crossed. It’s late. Have updated. Sorry!

  • rob@oceanaircycles.com

    Thanks for the coverage – The Rambler frame sets are fabricated and coated in Portland. THe OAC business, final assembly and all that are based out of Ventura, Ca

    Rob @ Oceanaircycles.com

  • True. These are made in Portland, and Portland loves em, but we don’t want to take anything away from Ventura’s own.

  • jeremynorth

    Not a bicycle, more a catalogue of parts on wheels. Very messy.

    • yikesbikes

      Boo. This bike is awesome.

      • jeremynorth

        Just look at the transmission train. You would never put TT gear levers on this bike, nor such an extreme crankset and rear cassette combo.

        I like the concept but not its conception. There are many better ‘porteur’ bikes on this blog

        If you go to ocean air cycles website, you can see that this bike is just all of their expensive bits put on one frame.

        • Barcon-type levers were used on bikes like this, and on road bikes with drop bars, for decades before those shifters were migrated to TT bars, son. Before modern TT bars existed.

          And the wide 2×10 setup is found on plenty of modern bikes, including many rando bikes (and two of my own bikes). It works wonderfully, especially in hilly terrain.

          • jeremynorth

            Drop bars yes but with these, they are a liability. You’ll either damage the levers or your legs. These levers are commonly called TT levers now, I was using that name as a description.

            I like most of the parts (all except the grips that is), just not all on the same bike

            It still looks like a rolling catalogue.

          • Dainius

            totally agree,of being total mass and rolling hanger of the parts.

          • Barcons are used all the time on upright bars. Take a look at the Staff Bikes page at Rivendell. Probably a third of the 40 or so bikes there are so configured. Those are highly experienced professionals who ride the heck out of their machines, city and countryside, road and trail. Note that Grant Petersen, one of the most influential bike designers of his era and leader of that particular pack, has both of his bikes set up with upright bars and barcons.

            The Riv folks are known for valuing reliability, utility, and safety. That real-world experience trumps supposition and conjecture. It is a workable and time-tested configuration.

          • jeremynorth

            I’m sure you are right, but there’s a difference between a manufacturers showpiece bicycle and a bunch of pictures of rat bikes.
            I’ll bet there are some who would put roof-racks on their Rolls Royces too.

          • Some people actually ride their bikes.

        • yikesbikes

          I think what you meant to say is “I would never put TT levers on this bike”

          I still don’t see an issue with this build, but to each his own.

          • jeremynorth

            That’s what I should have written! Still it’s been fun defending my opinion 🙂

        • What? really? seriously? The bike is a class act, it’s a solid rider and fun cycle! A good deal of the items made in the USA. I think you’re looking at the particular sample pictured but overall, you can do anything with this set up and enjoy! The heart of a bike is handling in a frameset. The geometry and handling are certainly top notch as is the quality of the frameset.

          • jeremynorth

            You are right, I’m commenting on this particular bike, and saying how it could be better for me.

            There are elements I do like of course ; the frame, for example.

            I have a european sensibility, which is why it doesn’t ‘float my boat’

  • My only criticism is of the Rivendell-inspired cloth-and-hemp grips. Get some real grips. I like the WTB ones: cheap, highly effective, don’t move if installed with AquaNet hairspray, and don’t get slimy/cold when it rains.

    • jeremynorth

      I agree with you about the grips, they are a mess.

    • Andrew Dalton

      Grips instead of tape causes issues with routing the shifter cable/housing.

  • James Moore

    don’t care too much for the colour scheme, but other than that, i really quite like this bicycle. i especially love the white industries vbc crankset.

  • Good to see Rob getting some exposure! True class act bike and guy!

  • why do all these factories, most of them in china, label their parts with a stupid phantasy name? I work in the industry and I know you can get these parts with no name or any name you want and if you do not ask for it, the factory prints their name or logo onto it. mostly it’s a word, someone in the factory assumes, makes the ordinary part “a cool part” in usa but has zero clue what it means.
    I hate it.

  • Mark Reimer

    Not sure what is throwing some of the guys off here, but I LOVE this bike, even the grips! A catalogue on wheels? Every bike could be described that way. I don’t see anything wrong with building a bike up with a nice collection of US-made parts like this one has been. If the comment was intended to suggest the parts were spec’d to pull attention away from the frame, I’d have to disagree again. But to each their own. Well done OAC!

    • Absolutely. The grips are a quibble. The bike is beautiful and looks like a total kick in the pants to ride.