Fern are a Berlin-based duo of bike travellers and good friends, who piece together touring bikes, components and, with the help of another friend – bikepacking bags out of their workshop in Germany. Flo and Phillip have travelled across countries and continents and wanted to use their experience to create beautiful bikes that are designed to be ridden hard.
The Fern Chuck featured today has been crafted for Berliner Fahrradschau, a bicycle lifestyle fair with the latest trendy bikes, gear and technology.
Let’s Take A Close Look At This Fern Chuck Build
This Fern Chuck build is a fillet-brazed beauty that weighs in at a feathery 10.5kg (23lbs). Using Columbus steel tubing, Fern have managed to keep the weight off all while routeing the brake, gear and dynamo cables internally for that ultra clean look. The cable entry points at the headtube are particularly special, using the filler material to create a carbon-esque shape not seen on other steel builds.
Up the front is a SP dynamo hub with its lighting wire neatly tucked up into the fork leg. Closed dropouts designed around a bolt-up axle ensure the front wheel will not be going anywhere without an allen key.
The dynamo hub goes on to power a German-made Supernova E3 Triple 2 light, capable of pumping out 640 lumens of light. These lights are really impressive; they can be fully submerged in water, indefinitely – while still in operation! As Fern custom makes all of their own racks, the Supernova light is attached directly to special mounts, and the cable is hidden from view.
At the top of the fork is a pizza/porteur rack that connects off the v-brake bosses and fork crown. These racks permit a randonneur/porteur front bag which is quickly accessible while riding and is a great location for cameras, snacks and electronics.
A Gevenalle GX 11-speed thumb shifter has been paired to a Shimano XT mountain bike rear derailleur and a wide range 11-42t SRAM cassette. This is one of my favourite ways to hook up mountain bike derailleurs to road handlebars because it’s just so clean and simple. The 1x drivetrain generates a 23″ climbing gear which can be considered low enough to overcome most hills given the lightweight nature of this bike.
Fern makes a unique-looking fillet brazed stem that they’ve colour-matched with their fork and cabling. These stems are custom made to length as an option for every customer. Fern have also designed their own ‘flair’ handlebar which is a little wider than your standard road handlebar.
A rear rack is fitted to suit some specially-designed drybags – also made by Fern. Dry bags can be optionally strapped-on, providing extra luggage space without requiring a cargo cage to keep everything in check. Plus, without the bags attached, the racks look super clean on the bike.
The Gramm Tourpacking Bag Collab
The Fern guys teamed up with their friend Kristin, who makes bikepacking bags under the name Gramm Tourpacking in their workshop. The suite of bags is a matching set designed to compliment the sand-fluro finish of their bike.
With Kristin in the workshop, Fern are able to offer a unique product to the consumer: a custom bike, component AND luggage solution. This means Fern aren’t constrained by certain rack and bag dimensions and can go about designing their stuff in the best way they see fit.
As a loaded bike, the Fern Chuck looks incredible. The matching bags with their sand/fluro colourway really compliment the rest of the bike. And if you pack minimal enough, there’s ample space for water and your gear. A low-trail steering setup allows for a light and twitchy steering feel, even with the Pizza Bag filled with gear.
Should you want your own Fern Chuck / Gramm setup, you can expect to wait 12 months as a result of high demand. Fern only sells their custom racks and stems with their framesets or complete bikes.