Solace Cycles: Born in the Adirondacks

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Located on the eastern edge of the Adirondacks in upstate New York, Solace Cycles designs bikes that are purpose built for the geography and terrain of the region. We stopped by their testing grounds at Otis Mountain for a quick look at their entire lineup, including the OM-1, OM-2P, and their most recent OM-3 prototype…

What started as a typical pop-in visit quickly evolved into an evening at a local music festival, conversations with the owners (and ambassadors) of Solace Cycles, and a greater appreciation for the people that keep small towns afloat. Solace Cycles isn’t in the business of making money. Jeff Allott was quick to admit that. The bikes are a reflection of the Adirondacks, and his way to promote both the sport and the zone that he loves. As Solace puts its, “The people of the region are tough and independent, they work hard and they play hard. It is also a tough place to make a living—five hours north of New York City and an hour south of the Canadian border. So while we set about making unique, practical and purpose-built bicycle solutions, there is also a strong focus on helping to build a sustainable community in the process.”

Solace Cycles Bikes
  • Solace Cycles Bikes
  • Solace Cycles Bikes
  • Solace Cycles Bikes

Aside from designing bikes, Jeff and business partner Courtney Fair, have several different projects on the go. Jeff has been running an old-time ski hill just outside of Elizabethtown, NY. Otis Mountain is now the venue for the annual Otis Mountain Get Down music festival that his sons organize. The two share a collaborative space in Westport, NY that is home to Courtney’s furniture business, Solace Cycles, and a never-ending rotation of completely unrelated local projects.

Solace Cycles was officially launched in 2017 and is at the forefront of adventure cycling in upstate New York, with strong ties to local mountain bike events, The Adirondack Trail Ride (TATR), and local makers. More specifically, Solace works with Davis Carver of Carver Bikes, acting as a liaison with their partners in China. Vicious Cycles of New Paltz, NY fabricated and painted Solace’s first steel frames, and although there is talk of not offering steel going forward, they hope to use Vicious for paint and graphics on the titanium and aluminum frames. The new OM-3 that I rode was made by Frank the Welder in Bellows Falls, VT—production aluminum models will continue being made by Frank. Moving forward, we can expect a new model from Solace Cycles by next year, but between starting up a local bike ranch—complete with lodging and amenities—and pushing for a local microbrewery in town, both Jeff and Courtney certainly have their hands full.

I spent Saturday evening at the Otis Mountain Get Down festival, which deserves a story of its own, and got out for a quick ride on Solace’s latest prototype, the OM-3, which I’ve shared my thoughts on below. I also got to check out their OM-1 and Pinion-equipped OM-2P. Find photos of each below, alongside a bit about each bike…

Solace Cycles OM-3

Dirt roads & gravel / starting at $3,700

The recently announced OM-3 is Solace’s “dirt road, drop bar slayer.” It’s designed around a slack front end, short chain stays, and will be available in both titanium and alloy. The alloy model, similar to the prototype I tested, will be made in New York state while the titanium frames are manufactured overseas. Although my ride was brief, and the frame a touch small, the OM-3 definitely has the characteristics of a lightweight, nimble gravel bike that will interest a lot of folks.

Solace Cycles OM-3
  • Solace Cycles OM-3
  • Solace Cycles OM-3
  • Solace Cycles OM-3

The prototype I rode was outfitted with 700x40c Terrene Elwood tires, an externally routed Thomson dropper post, and a 1×11 SRAM Force drivetrain. The OM-3 has extremely short chainstays, ranging from 415-435mm thanks to the same rocker rear dropouts that are specced on the OM-2P. With a 71° head tube angle and 72.5° seat tube angle, the OM-3 is designed to handle anything from paved backroads to loose descents and service roads. The final version will be kitted out with mounts for racks, fenders, and cargo cages. Solace still has a few small details to work out before listing build kits and pricing, so the photos you see below do not completely represent the final OM-3. We’ll make sure to update everyone when that info becomes available.

  • Frame Material: Aluminum / Double Butted 4130 Cro-Moly steel / Titanium
  • Tire Clearance: 700c x 45mm / 650b x 50mm
  • Price: $3,700+ USD
  • Manufacture’s Details: SolaceCycles.com
  • Solace Cycles OM-3
  • Solace Cycles OM-3
  • Solace Cycles OM-3
  • Solace Cycles OM-3
  • Solace Cycles OM-3

Solace Cycles OM-2P

Touring & Bikepacking / starting at $4,280

Designed around a Pinion internal geared drivetrain, the Solace OM-2P is built for trouble-free exploration. As Solace explains “this drive system answers the call for a single speed chainline and a maintenance free drivetrain suited to muddy and winter conditions, while adding nearly 200% range of a traditional 1x drivetrain.” Compatible with both 27.5 x 3.0″ and 29 x 2.6″ tires, the OM-2P is available in 3A/2.5V titanium, aluminum, or Double Butted 4130 Cro-Moly steel. The frame features numerous braze-ons for cages, cargo, and bags, including three-pack cargo cage mounts on both seat stays. The geometry of the OM-2P is close to that of the more trail-oriented OM-1, but slightly more upright for long-distance tours and cruising trails.

Solace Cycles OM-2P
  • Solace Cycles OM-2P
  • Solace Cycles OM-2P
  • Solace Cycles OM-2P

Solace currently has two different complete build kits listed for the OM-2P online. The Base will set you back $4,280 and includes a Niner Boost RDO Carbon fork, Pinion C-Line gearbox, Industry Nine Enduro S wheels, Magura Trail Sport brakes, and a selection of OneUP and Thomson components. The Select build, listed at $5,650, is an upgraded version of the Base, adding in a Salsa Firestarter 110 Carbon fork, Industry Nine BC 360 wheels, and some higher-end carbon components. You can also purchase the frame only for $1,600 to build up your own, or work with Solace to put together a completely custom build.

  • Frame Material: Aluminum / Double Butted 4130 Cro-Moly steel / Titanium
  • Tire Clearance: 27.5 x 3.0″ / 29 x 2.6″
  • Price: $4,280+ USD
  • Manufacture’s Details: SolaceCycles.com
  • Solace Cycles OM-2P
  • Solace Cycles OM-2P
  • Solace Cycles OM-2P
  • Solace Cycles OM-2P
  • Solace Cycles OM-2P

Solace Cycles OM-1

Do-it-all hardtail / starting at $3,750

The OM-1 was Solace Cycles’ first bike, and continues to be a popular option for those seeking big climbs and technical descents. The OM-1 features a slack 65.5° head tube angle, short chain stays (410-430mm), and a curvy frame that accommodates either 27.5 x 3.0″ or 29 x 2.6″ tires. Better yet, the OM-1 is designed around either a 130mm or 160mm travel fork, allowing riders to tune it to match their riding style. Just like all of Solace’s frames, the OM-1 is outfitted with main triangle braze-ons for a bolt-on frame bag, down tube mounts, and dropper post compatibility. The OM-1 I photographed below is a size small, so keep that in mind before criticizing the size of the main triangle.

Solace Cycles OM-1
  • Solace Cycles OM-1
  • Solace Cycles OM-1

Just like the OM-2P, the OM-1 has two complete build options listed online. The Base is built around a SRAM GX Eagle 12-Speed drivetrain, MRP Ribbon fork, Magura MT Trail Sport brakes, and Industry Nine Enduro S wheels. The Select sees an upgraded drivetrain, running SRAM XX1 Eagle 12-Speed, plus Industry Nine BC 360 wheels, Magura MT7 HC brakes, and a Thomson dropper post, bars, and stem. A OM-1 frame will set you back $1,400, and just like the other models, custom builds are available as well.

  • Frame Material: Aluminum / Double Butted 4130 Cro-Moly steel / Titanium
  • Tire Clearance: 27.5 x 3.0″ / 29 x 2.6″
  • Price: $3,750+ USD
  • Manufacture’s Details: SolaceCycles.com
  • Solace Cycles Om-1
  • solace-cycles-om-1
  • solace-cycles-om-1

Wrap Up

Jeff and Courtney are busy folks, and it’s pretty clear they like it that way. Solace Cycles, although quite new, seems to have the ability to create quite the following. I think it comes back to their devotion to the region, community, and just being genuinely nice people. I’m sure riders of New York state are stoked to have a local manufacturer to support, and if you’re living nearby, it’s worth your time to pay Solace Cycles a visit and get out for a test ride. Stay tuned for more coverage of the finalized Solace OM-3, and whatever they get up to next.

Also, for those unfamiliar with The Adirondack Trail Ride (TATR), I stopped by the grand depart on Friday and put together an article about all the riders. Check it out here.

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