The Warrior Rides: Rogers Bespoke Ronin

The Warrior Rides: Rogers Bespoke Ronin

In a charity shop about 25 years ago, I picked up Robert Shea’s Shiké novels, one of the most epic samurai novels you could ever read. I’ve read them both many times over the years and have thus developed a deep interest in the culture of feudal Japan.

When Adelaide’s Rogers Bespoke released images of his Rōnin stock series of frames, it was no wonder that I was entranced — even more so as they are the product of an Aussie builder. They are the perfect embodiment of the spirit of the roaming warrior.

The Warrior Rides: Rogers Bespoke Ronin

The hills around Adelaide are ideal terrain for Grand Touring, and it’s with good reason that the UCI hosts the first leg of the road circuit there — the Tour Down Under. In fact, that’s where I first met JR of Rogers Bespoke, back in 2014.

The Warrior Rides: Rogers Bespoke Ronin

Out the front of Treadly, Adelaide’s best Local Bike Shop, I photographed one of JR’s first bikes, and we’ve been honoured to feature a few more since then. His new Rōnin has to be one of my favorites, however, for both looks and purpose.

The Warrior Rides: Rogers Bespoke Ronin

Rogers Bespoke is, like many in the industry, a one-person shop, and the Rōnin came about in an effort to offer a handmade frame at a fraction of the time — and, therefore, money — that a full custom frame normally would.

The Warrior Rides: Rogers Bespoke Ronin

“The Rōnin itself came about,” JR tells us, “as I was in the need of a new road frame. In considering what I wanted in a bike for myself I quickly realized that there were limited road frames for larger clearance tires.

“Plenty of fast handling road frames that would fit 25s and plenty of slow-handling gravel bikes that would fit 30s. What I was after was a frame that would handle well as a road frame, but would fit at least 28s. So the Rōnin was conceived.”

The Warrior Rides: Rogers Bespoke Ronin

JR builds them from a mix of Columbus tubing: Life tubes are used for the main triangle and Zona tubes for the chainstays. A local turner is proudly contracted to produce the head tubes, while the dropouts are American-made by Paragon Machine Works.

The Warrior Rides: Rogers Bespoke Ronin

The tubes are mitered and fillet brazed by hand, and are offered as a frameset with forks and a Chris King headset, as a rolling chassis with a Hunt Aero Race wheelset or as a complete bike spec’d with SRAM Force 22, Hunt wheels and a ZIPP Course SL cockpit.

The Warrior Rides: Rogers Bespoke Ronin

Of course, custom geometry is available, above the standard angles, and there are seven seasonal colors available, applied with 2pak automotive paint. We’ve been looking for a bike made locally for Australian conditions and the Rōnin is it.

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The Warrior Rides: Rogers Bespoke Ronin