In this week’s Reader’s Rig, we check out Ronen Chernyak’s custom 29er, hand built in Israel by Ari Rosenzweig of Ari Cycles. Find complete details on the bike and its origin story here…

My name is Ronen Chernyak and I’m currently living in Tel Aviv, Israel, where I work part-time at OneBikeStudio (come by if you’re ever visiting, it’s well worth a visit) while studying. I used to be a fixed gear nut a long time ago, and turned into a full-on roadie in recent years. I have a passion for photography, and I do a lot of it while on the bike. One of the reasons I’m so excited about discovering bikepacking and off-road riding is that it opens up a whole new world of photographic opportunities.

Most of my time on and off the saddle is spent with my partner Adi, and we recently did our first trip abroad to Girona, Spain, with the bikes and had an amazing time. We’re now planning a bikepacking trip to France this coming spring.

Ronen Chernyak, Ari Cycles, Ari Rosenzweig

The bike was built by Ari Rosenzweig, who runs Ari Cycles. He’s a master in his craftsmanship and an amazing person as a whole to work with. He mostly specializes in titanium frames, but does steel as well. And as of right now, he’s the only frame builder in Israel.

We first met Ari when we were looking for a bike for Adi, who is relatively short, and so we had a hard time finding a readymade frame for her. We decided to go custom, and we fell in love with Ari’s work when we visited his workshop. So began the long saga of designing, building, and choosing the parts for her bike. Since I’m the slightly more bike savvy one between the two of us, the whole process and interaction around the building of the frame was done mostly between me and Ari, with few notes here and there from Adi before each final approval. Thus, I found myself loving the whole build process just as I did riding the final product in the end. As you can guess, after we were done with Adi’s bike, I knew I had to get one for myself as well, since having a custom steel mountain bike was already a dream of mine.

  • Ronen Chernyak, Ari Cycles, Ari Rosenzweig
  • Ronen Chernyak, Ari Cycles, Ari Rosenzweig
  • Ronen Chernyak, Ari Cycles, Ari Rosenzweig
  • Frame Custom Steel Hardtail 29 inch built by Ari Cycles
  • Fork RockShox SID RL Solo Air 27.5+/29 Inch Tapered Fork
  • Rims Nextie M33 28H
  • Hubs Chris King ISO B 110×15 (front) / Chris King ISO B 148×12 (rear)
  • Tires Onza Canis 29×2.25
  • Handlebar Salsa
  • Crankset Shimano (8000-B1) XT Boost with Wolf Tooth 34T chainring
  • Cassette Shimano XT 11-46
  • Derailleur(s) Shimano XTR M9000
  • Brakes Shimano (8000) XT
  • Shifter(s) Shimano XTR M9000
  • Saddle Brooks Cambium C15 All Weather
  • Front Bag(s) Yanco Handlebar Bag
  • Frame Bag(s) Oveja Negra 1/2 Pack Frame Bag (large)
  • Rear Bag(s) Apidura Saddle bag Mid-size

My mountain bike was built up as a dedicated bikepacking rig, hence the relatively big wheelbase for optimal stability when packed with gear and overall handling, as well the option of using 27.5+ tires if the terrain dictates so. However, since I do a lot of racing on the road scene, the bike was meant to be flexible enough to participate in XC racing events, so it still has some “racy” elements in its geometry, and the riding position is somewhat more aggressive than what you would expect on a dedicated bikepacking bike. Still, the bike handles beautifully in all situations and it’s a dream to ride.

  • Ronen Chernyak, Ari Cycles, Ari Rosenzweig
  • Ronen Chernyak, Ari Cycles, Ari Rosenzweig

The tubes are a mixture of True Temper Platinium, Reynolds 853, and Dedacciai. The drop outs and bottom bracket shell are from Paragon Machine Works, and the paint was done by paint master Farhoud Farhoud.

The geometry is slightly progressive, with a slack head angle, steep seat tube, shortish chain stays, long front center, and low bottom bracket. It’s made for a 100mm travel fork and the stack is relatively low. The tubes are light but strong enough for loaded touring, and there’s enough tire clearance for 27.5 x 2.8 tires.

Find Ronen on Instagram @ronenchernyak.

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