Titanium Gravel Grinder


Frame: ACME CAM Titanium
Fork: Bearclaw
Drivetrain: SRAM Force Mullet AXS
Wheels: South Industries



with SRAM Mullet

The ACME CAM a bike that at first did not make sense to me with its road bike geometry and large 29er wheels. “Just trust me and give it a try, it will all make sense” the words of Raoul de Jongh, bike designer and ACME founding member. And so having never even sat on the bike I decided to drop the CAM in the deep-end. I headed to the unforgiving Tankwa Karoo desert for a 140km recce ride of the upcoming Tanqua Karoo Bicyle race, the perfect testing ground. Sitting around the fire the night before the ride we each started to pull our bikes to prepare for the next days adventure. I will never forget the look on the guys faces when I pulled out this beautiful raw Titanium bike with its rather large tyres. Immediately the comments started “What you planning on doing with that tractor?” or “That look good for going downhill” etc but like the saying goes, do not judge a book but its cover. On the road just after 0430 we found ourselves riding in total silence through one of the most majestic and inspiring places to ride a bicycle, it was going to be a good day.

Back to the CAM, without exaggerating it took all of about 2km before everything that Raoul was trying to tell me made sense. Riding through deep sandy sections of road I literally felt like I was floating. The larger tyres effortlessly managing to keep me upright and moving forward. My ride buddies on their 40-44mm tyres already cursing the road conditions, only 138km to go. Reaching the infamous Tankwa corrugations the CAM proved its ability in absorbing the impacts with ease allowing the rider to maintain that ever important momentum. It should be mentioned at this stage that the CAM has surprisingly agile handling feeling sharp and responsive in the trying conditions. By this stage, all comments from around the previous nights campfire had been forgotten and were instead replaced with “that bike is insane, the way you float over everything, we just cant keep up” (numerous requests to swap bikes were denied). Thats when I realised is what makes this bike special. Yes it looks like a path crushing tank and in many ways it is but it is the manner in which it achieves this that is so impressive. It almost seems effortless, it’s clear that it all starts with that beautiful raw titanium frame, with its well thought out geometry and subtle logos, absorbing buzz and the large volume wheels absorbing the rest. Like the saying goes “comfort=speed” and that could not be more true with the ACME CAM.
Throw in industry standard specifications including T47 threaded BB, external cables, multiple frame and fork mounting options and 27.5 cm seat post and the result is an extremely comfortable and responsive ride that will get you from A to B onto Z. Quite possibly one of the best bicycles I have ever ridden.
CAM frame-sets now available as well as full builds (depending on parts availability)
Discover more about ACME bikes