Colorado-based Why Cycles continues to traverse the road less traveled. The updated R+ drop-bar bike boosts stiffness, improves compliance, and now carries more stuff — including your booze and banana.
It’s not easy being all things to all people. But that is the mission of the Why Cycles R+ V3. The third iteration of the brand’s do-all roadie, it’s just as much at home on the tarmac as it is carving buff singletrack. Toss in a cyclocross race or a multiweek bikepacking trip, and now you have justification to own fewer bikes by purchasing just one more.
That’s how cyclists think, right?
Why Cycles R+ V3: Versatile Roadie
Announced last week, the new R+ V3 once again breaks the all-road bicycle mold. More than just a gravel crusher, the smart geometry and updated features allow riders to create their own adventure. The bike accommodates two different wheel sizes.
Optimized for 700x40c wheels, the highly sculpted seat and chainstays fit 46c tires. For riders in need of more volume for more aggressive surfaces, the rear triangle also accepts a 2.1 tire mounted to 650b rims.
Despite the waning popularity of smaller wheels for mountain biking, a handful of brands, like Salsa Cycles, see positive gains with 650b wheels when paired to drop-bar bikes.
The extra traction, softened ride, and more nimble handling make them an excellent choice for technical terrain.
Made of 3/2.5 and 6/4 titanium, the R+ V3 proves cycling’s exotic metal is still in fashion. Prized for its lively feedback, titanium’s silky ride pairs well to long days in the saddle on mixed surfaces. To improve lateral stiffness and vertical compliance, the new V3 sports a reshaped seat tube with an oversized and ovalized joint at the bottom bracket. A subtle bend increases tire clearance and visually complements the arch of the downtube.
The most significant updates to the new frame include a 160mm flat-mount rear brake and additional accessory points on the top tube for more gear-hauling capacity. The new brake mount saves weight, reduces complexity, and bolsters the frame’s already clean aesthetic. The internally routed cables and brake lines play nice with frame bag straps and look great.
Don’t Call It a Quiver Killer
Refer to any bike as versatile, and someone will invoke the words “quiver killer.” Many riders don’t want to cull the herd and sell off extra bikes. But that doesn’t mean they can’t appreciate a platform capable of performing many tricks.
While talking with Why Cycles’ PR man, Chris Reichel, he mentioned the Why team’s shared love of the R+ V3 and its many applications. For some members of the team, it is a race-day whip. Others fit their bikes with fenders, racks, lights, and commuting essentials. It’s that flexibility which has made the R+ a fan favorite.
Available as a frame or complete bike, prices start at $2,350 for a bare frame and top out at $6,799 for the high-end SRAM Force Carbon 2x build. If you need extra squish, Why offers the R+ V3 with a Lauf Grit suspension fork. Riders keen to haul maximum kit might find the ENVE carbon fork sparse of attachment points, but it does include fender mounts.
Better Than Boutique
For many years, titanium frames of this quality were only available through bespoke frame builders and sold for an equally bespoke builder price. With his manufacturing partners in Asia, Why Cycles founder Adam Miller is able to offer similar-quality frames for hundreds of dollars less.
Its frames smack of custom-maker quality right down to the tight welds and refined details like metal-etched graphics. For the Why crew, it’s the extra touches that set the brand apart. Even taking delivery of a Why Cycles bike is a special occasion. Rather than package bikes in a cardboard box, each ships directly to the end user in an EVOC travel case. That’s better than boutique.
Christophe Noel is a freelance journalist, photographer, and general vagabond. A seeker of stories untold, he can often be found with a map in hand, lost, in the most remote corners of the globe. The founder of Clean Drink Adventures, he believes in the power of the traveler and doing good as you go.