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8bar’s new steel Pankow touring bike strikes a versatile balance between everyday functionality and all-terrain capability. A steel touring bike is certainly nothing new, but 8bar’s Pankow looks to mix all the best of modern adventure-ready bikepacking gravel bikes with the classics of loaded world tours – all at a super affordable price!
8bar Pankow steel gravel & road tourer
c. 8bar, photos by Stefan Haehnel
The new 8bar Pankow is a low-cost reinterpretation of the classic touring bike. Technically there’s nothing super revolutionary here, or at least not many tech details that you can’t find on some modern gravel bikes or even a few modern touring bikes. But in a frame that costs just 400€ and is almost infinitely customizable from frame to framesets to complete dropbar or flat bar builds – there really isn’t a lot that this bike cannot do.
8bar calls it “a true pack mule”. But it’s really a lot more than that because of how easily 8bar’s online customizer lets you pick and choose solid, affordable & functional components, or even go down the road of custom paint too.
Road touring, city commuting, or gravel adventures
8bar made a name for themselves by evolving low-cost cool urban fixies into more functional city bikes. And then leveraging that versatility into affordable road, gravel & adventure bikepacking bikes. Now they’re taking it to a next-level with this affordable touring bike that balances 50/50 on and off-road with happy medium relaxed geometry between road & gravel.
The Pankow’s steel frame comes in 3 stock sizes (S-L) and can be built up with no less than 6 different stock handlebars. Pick from a simple low-rise flat bar or a bikepacking riser bar with a loop out front. Or go drop bar with a classic road bar, a slightly relaxed all-road bar, a flared gravel bar, or a flared bikepacking gravel drop bar with a loop out front. Plus, in any configuration you pick your choice of stem length (from 60-120mm) so you can perfectly dial in the fit and position on the bike for whatever type of riding you have in mind.
Make it a long-distance road touring bike with racks, fenders, and premium dynamo lighting with USB device recharging. Set an upright position with a flat bar, fenders, basic dynamo-powered city lighting, and a small porteur-style ‘pizza rack’ up front as an everyday commuter. Or go full backcountry off-road adventure with fatter tires, flared dropbars, and Redshift suspension stem & seatpost.
The Pankow steel opts for simple proven tech, the kind that you can find replacements for worldwide when you are out on tour. That gets you a durable 2700g double-butted chromoly steel frame with a reinforced headtube gusset that you can pair to either a 1200g lugged crown steel fork or a 750g sculpted alloy fork your be excused for thinking was carbon.
gravel commuter touring bike, photo by Stefan Haehnel, disc brake QR drop out” />
Everything gets IS-mount mechanical disc brakes, classically external cables, and full rack & fender mounts front & rear – with reinforced mounts to haul up to 25kg of gear on your racks.
The frame features a 135mm QR rear end straight 44mm headtube for 1 1/8 or tapered forks/headsets, a 68mm BSA threaded bottom bracket, 27.2mm seatpost with integrated binder, and 1x (up to 46T) or 2x (up to 50/34T compact) drivetrains.
The frame has 2 regular bottle cage mount in the main triangle… plus an extra 3-pack inside at the top of the downtube, a cage mount under the downtube at the BB, and a toptube bag mount. Both forks feature 12mm thru-axles, the steel forks adding bottle cage mounts on their legs, too.
Tire clearance is pretty big in gravel territory – up to 700c x 50mm or 650b x 2.1″, or even slightly wider up front with the steel fork. In any case, your all-terrain adventure shouldn’t be limited by tire choice.
8bar Pankow – Pricing, options & availability
Can I just reiterate how many possibilities you have here? The only thing you won’t build the 8bar Pankow into is a lightweight racer. This is definitely more of a heavyweight globetrotter. The customization options are nearly endless.
The 400€ frame itself comes in two stock colors – semi-matte black or metallic Chameleon green – or for 200€ more any custom RAL color you want. Adding a fork is another 150€, either in lugged steel or more curvy aluminum – with a 100€ custom color option there t00.
8bar Pankow affordable steel gravel commuter touring bike, photo by Stefan Haehnel,
Complete dropbar road builds start around 1603€ with 2×10 GRX. A more premium gravel bikepacking build with GRX 1×11 will run 2150€. Basic flat bar commuter builds start around 1373€ with a GRX 1×10 setup. But really the build customization is entirely up to you.
8bar builds up all the Pankows in Germany, so it shouldn’t take too long to get your bike ready or have it ready to pick up in person in their Berlin showroom.