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Review: Bombtrack Munroe AL vs Cargo – A Comparison of All-Purpose City Bikes

The Latest Bikes from Bombtrack: Meet the Munroe AL & Munroe Cargo

The two newest bikes from Bombtrack for 2021 share a name and similar urban utility vehicle intent, but the aluminum Munroe AL & Munroe Cargo couldn’t be much further apart.

Introducing the 2021 Bombtrack Munroe AL

Let’s jump back from that reverse mullet cargo bike and start with the more normal looking Munroe AL. This bike is a little bit of everything that Bombtrack does best… mixing gravel, touring, and trail riding into one simple package. The call it an urban bike, but it could just as easily be described as a flat bar gravel bike, or a modern fully rigid 90’s mountain bike reborn.

AL urban bike – Tech details & pricing

The multi-purpose Munroe AL is meant to be a simple commuter, with capabilities to go further. It gets a lightweight triple-butted 6061 alloy frame & matching 6061 unicrown fork, and builds in that versatility with 3-pack cage mount on the downtube, standard seattube cage mount, 3-pack anything cage mounts on the fork, rear rack mounts, plus full front & rear fender mounts. It sticks with simple standards like a 68mm BSA threaded bottom bracket, 27.2mm seatpost, straight 1 1/8″ steerer, fully external cable routing, QR axles, but also gets flat mount brake tabs & internal fork dynamo routing. It’s designed around 650b gravel tires for the perfect balance of grip & comfort, with room for up to a 650x50mm tire or 38mm on larger diameter 700c wheels. Bombtrack builds the $1200 / 1000€ Munroe AL up with a 1x 8-speed MicroShift drivetrain (34T x 11-34), Shimano M200 hydraulic disc brakes, and house brand finishing kit topped off with WTB ST i21 tubeless rims & fast rolling Kenda Kwick tires for city life. A 500€ frameset is also available in limited quantities in some markets. The bike comes in three frame sizes with 70.5° head angles, 440mm chainstays, generally a shorter & more upright riding fit, positioning the bike between Bombtrack’s fast gravel & more adventure touring bikes.

Bombtrack Munroe AL – Riding Impressions

We Review rode the flatbar urban gravel Munroe AL with 47mm WTB Sendero knobbies, which really highlighted how much fun a simple bike can be. At 10.65kg (23.5lb) without pedals, it’s meant to be durable over being a lightweight. That said, evoking 90’s rigid mountain biking vibes, the Munroe AL is a reminder of how much fun trail riding on a quick handling by can be. And that even with these skinny 1.85″ tires, modern 27.5″ wheels just roll better than old 26″ mountain bikes used to. The Munroe AL isn’t going to make you get rid of your enduro bike. But if you are looking for a bike to zip around town, maybe mount a rear rack or some bikepacking bags for running errands & picking up groceries, this is a bike that will encourage you to take some shortcuts through the forest on the way, and maybe hunt out some gravel backroad on the way home.

Introducing the 2021 Bombtrack Munroe Cargo

Back to Bombtrack’s new mixed-wheel freight bike monster, the Munroe Cargo leans a different direction in the hunt for utility. As a modern reworking of a cycle truck, Bombtrack updates the rear end with a bigger 27.5″/650b mountain bike rear wheel, while the front sticks with a 20″ wheel, yet with massive tire clearance. Along the same lines as the Munroe AL, this Munroe Cargo is built to do they daily hauling, but still fit bigger tires to head off-road to play in some dirt & gravel too.

Cargo urban bike – Tech details & pricing

Standout features of the Munroe Cargo bike include those mixed-size wheels – room for up to a 27.5×2.2″ tire out back and huge 20×2.5″ tire up front. The idea of course is to allow room for the low-slung, heavy duty front rack which bolts onto the side of the 30cm/foot long headtube, keeping the weight of up to a 30kg/66lb load low to maintain controllable handling without the need for an extra-long wheelbase. Is it a coincidence that a crate of German beer fits perfectly on this rack? Yeah, no… that’s by design from Bombtrack’s Cologne, Germany HQ. The Munroe Cargo frame & fork are welded from hydroformed 6061 aluminum, with a double top tube and 12mm thru-axles to manage the heavier loads this bike expects. With that big removable front rack, it doesn’t need quite as many braze-ons, but still gets a downtube bottle mount and tabs for full-coverage fenders front & rear. It also features a 68mm threaded BB, 27.2mm seatpost, straight 1 1/8″ steerer, fully external cable routing, and split center stand to keep a heavy bike safely parked as you load & unload. Bombtrack builds the single-size $1500 / 1300€ Munroe Cargo up with a 2×9-speed MicroShift drivetrain with hill-crawling 36/22T x 11-36 gearing, Shimano M200 hydraulic disc brakes, and house brand 24mm internal double wall rims laced up with 36 spokes for heavier loads. Again Bombtrack spec’s durable semi-slick 2.2″ Kenda Kwick rear & 2.3″ Kenda Kranium tires, but knobbies open up your hauls to looser terrain, too. Plus, Again a surprisingly affordable 530€ frameset may be available if you can get your hands on one.

Bombtrack Munroe Cargo – Riding Impressions

We Review rode the reverse mullet urban gravel Munroe Cargo bike on much less challenging terrain, but did play around with the difference in handling with a loaded or unloaded front rack. At 14.63kg (32.2lb) empty with pedals, you’ll be happy about that low gearing when it’s time to haul a full load up the hills. Sit and spin for the win… It is a surprisingly spry ride. I won’t get into the actual geometry, because I really don’t have any idea what I’m talking about when it comes to cargo bike geo. But unloaded, it was fun to zip around on loose gravel. And a friend took it for some inappropriately technical and long gravel & trail riding, only complaining after of his empty beer crate making a ton of noise rattling as he bounced along (and of the fact that it was empty.) The Munroe Cargo is definitely a stiff ride. Built (overbuilt?) to manage heavy hauling, you’d definitely want to keep pressure in these wide tires as low as possible when you aren’t carrying much. Then pump back up when you are going to load up. Loaded, it is only slightly harder to steer, and never felt like it was going to flop over out of control. But the biggest difficulty I had was mental, getting over the idea that when you turn the bars, the rack and load keeps pointing forward. And with the tiny front wheel, the turning radius is sharp, so I had to relearn a bit, especially at slow speeds. That said, the bike is super maneuverable. And while I couldn’t really justify a full cargo bike because I don’t have space for it where I live & work in the city, I think I could manage to make room for a Munroe Cargo… and definitely would swap in some mountain bike knobbies to get it nice & muddy like an idiot over the weekend.

Final Thoughts on the Bombtrack Munroe AL & Munroe Cargo

Both the Munroe AL and Munroe Cargo from Bombtrack offer unique riding experiences and versatile capabilities. The Munroe AL is perfect for urban commuting and gravel adventures, while the Munroe Cargo excels in hauling heavy loads and tackling off-road terrain. Whether you’re looking for a fun and fast ride or a practical cargo bike, Bombtrack has you covered. Share your thoughts on these bikes in the comments below or share this article with your friends!

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