Cairn Cycles say their new E-Adventure Rival could be the perfect electric gravel bike

The Cairn Cycles E-Adventure Rival
Cairn Cycles is part of the Rider Firm stable of brands that includes Hunt Wheels, Privateer Bikes and Dissent 133 (Image credit: Cairn Cycles)

Cairn Cycles is an adventure-focused e-bike company based in West Sussex, UK, and is also part of the Rider Firm stable of brands that includes Hunt Wheels, Privateer Bikes and Dissent 133. Cairn Cycles launched the latest addition to their award-winning electric gravel bike range, the E-Adventure Rival. The brand says that the Rival borrows the rider-focused frame updates from their limited-edition Campagnolo-equipped Rambler build, with the new bike featuring a SRAM Rival 1x12 drivetrain and a brand-new colorway. 

Close up on the Cairn Cycles E-Adventure Rival front end

The E-Adventure Rival features a slacker 70-degree headtube angle (Image credit: Cairn Cycles)

Designed by riders for riders, Cairn say the E-Adventure frame has the best gravel frame geometry designed to offer comfort, control, and confidence, over any terrain and any distance. Cairn says their new generation of E-Adventure frames feature a slacker 70-degree headtube angle paired with a steeper 74-degree seat tube angle also aimed to improve climbing traction. Constructed from 6061-T6 aluminum for a low weight, it comes in at 14.3 kg on a medium, complete with battery and drive unit. 

The Cairn Cycles E-Adventure Rival

The Cairn weighs in at a fairly decent 14.3 kg  (Image credit: Cairn Cycles)

Tire clearance is up to 45mm, which gives riders plenty of options when selecting their best gravel tires of choice and there are also plenty of mounting points for bikepacking bags. The fork uses a specific carbon layup to quiet the road and trail chatter, to improve the overall comfort of the bike. Cairn adds that the E-Adventure geometry makes it suspension-fork-ready with a 30-40mm travel and 40-45mm offset being the brand's recommendation. Importantly, they have even designed a bottle opener into the rear thru-axle lever to assist in cracking open those post-adventure recovery beverages.

The Cairn Cycles E-Adventure Rival and Vittoria Terreno Dry tires

Vittoria Terreno Dry are the tires supplied with the Cairn Cycles E-Adventure Rival  (Image credit: Cairn Cycles)

The feature-packed setup continues with the Fazua Ride 50 drive system selected for its lightweight, ease of use, and efficient, natural-feeling pedaling support. The German-built system puts out 55Nm of torque, and offers three assistance levels, Breeze, River and Rocket. The brand says these assistance modes will give riders control over range, pace and riding style, and easily controlled by a top tube mounted remote. The system also only adds 4.6 kg to the overall weight of the bike, and the Fazua Ride 50 drive system is claimed to give around 120km of range.

Close up on the Cairn Cycles E-Adventure Rival remote

The Cairn Cycles E-Adventure Rival has a handy top tube mounted remote (Image credit: Cairn Cycles)

As you would expect, Hunt supply the wheelset with their special Hunt X Cairn E-Gravel Disc wheels developed specifically for the Cairn E-Adventure Rambler. The Hunt wheel has a steel axle and increased pawl contact area for a longer-lasting hub. The wide 25mm internal Gravel X Wide rims offer a better tire profile allowing riders to run lower pressures, increasing your traction and comfort. Like all Hunt wheels, they are tubeless-ready and backed by the excellent support team at Hunt. The wheels come wrapped with the tubeless-ready, triple compound Vittoria Terreno Dry tires, and the E-Adventure Rival is completed with an alloy finishing kit.

Pricing, availability and spec

The Cairn E-Adventure Rival is available in sizes from small to XL and is available to preorder now at Cairn Cycles priced at $4,366 / £3,489 / €4,069. However, Cairn currently has a launch discount of £700 available, which takes the Cairn E-Adventure Rival down to an attractive $3,466 / £2,789 / €3,252. Bikes are expected to ship around the end of September. Check out Cairncycles.com for more information.

The Cairn Cycles E-Adventure Rival side on view

The Cairn Cycles E-Adventure Rival is available to order for late September delivery (Image credit: Cairn Cycles)
  • Frame: 6061-T6 alloy with Top Tube integrated Fazua touch remote
  • Fork: Full Carbon 
  • Wheels: Hunt 4 Season Gravel X-Wide rim, HUNT E-Gravel Hub, Pillar Triple Butted Spokes
  • Tires: Vittoria Terreno Dry 700x38c
  • Handlebar: Ritchey RL1 Balquiano - 42cm Width, Drop 118mm,
  • Stem: Cairn Adventure 6061-T6 XS/S/M 70mm, L/XL 90mm
  • Crankset: Miranda Delta Alloy w/44t Spider XS/S 165mm, M/L 170mm, XL 175mm
  • Cassette: Sunrace CSMS8 11-42t
  • Shifters: SRAM Rival 11-Speed
  • Rear Mech: SRAM Rival Long Cage 11-Speed
  • Brakes: SRAM Rival Hydraulic Brake Levers
  • Rotors: SRAM Centreline 160mm
  • Saddle: DDK Cairn
  • Seatpost: Cairn 6061 Alloy 27.2mm
  • Weight: 14.3kg Medium w/Motor and Battery
  • Price: Launch Offer $3,466 / £2,789 / €3,252
Paul Brett
Staff writer

Based in Edinburgh, Paul Brett is a staff writer for BikePerfect.com. He has been an avid cyclist for as long as he can remember, initially catching the mountain biking bug in the 1990s, and raced mountain bikes for over a decade before injury cut short a glittering career. He’s since developed an obsession for gravel riding and recently has dabbled in the dark art of cyclocross. A fan of the idea of bikepacking he has occasionally got involved and has ridden routes like the North Coast 500, Scotland and the Via Francigena (Pilgrim Route), Italy.


Current rides: Marin Alpine Trail 2, Ribble 725, Cube Stereo 160

Height: 175cm