Posted by Logan Watts
Nordest Cycles, a bike company based in the Canary Islands and best known for its long and slack Bardino hardtail, recently added a brand new bike to its lineup. The Nordest Sardinha borrows a similar geometric sensibility from the Bardino, but adds plus tires, a rigid chromoly fork, and tons of mounts, making it a great option for bikepacking. As for its name, Nordest delved way back into their Nordeste (northeast Portugal) heritage and the ancient Almocreve merchants who once carried and sold sardinhas (sardines), traveling from village to village on saddlebag-laden pack animals.
- Angles (M/L): 67° Headtube, 74° Seattube
- Stack/Reach: 617mm/460mm
- BB Drop/Chainstay: 60mm/430mm
- Bottom Bracket: Threaded standard
- Hub specs: 148x12mm rear / 110x15mm front
- Max tire size: 27.5 x 3.0″ / 29 x 2.6″
- Price: 392€ (frame), 508€ (frame/fork)
The Nordest Sardinha features a Taiwanese-made, double-butted CRMO 4130 frame with clearance for 27.5 x 3.0″ or 29 x 2.6″ tires. It’s available in three sizes, S, M/L, and L, fitting riders from 168-193cm (5’6″-6’4″). The frame gets a threaded bottom bracket, 44mm head tube for a straight or tapered steerer, and a welded plate chainstay yoke to allow for plenty of tire and chainring clearance. It also has triple bottle mounts on both the top and bottom of the down tube, as well as a pair on the seat tube. Nordest sells the Sardinha as a frame only or as a “kit” that includes a matching rigid chromoly fork and headset. Both come in yellow with blue and red fish-themed graphical icons and phrases such as “Base Camp” and “Vital Support.”
All that said, it wasn’t the Sardinha’s clever name or whimsical paint job that caught my eye. Instead, it was its geometry. Upon first glance, the Sardinha looks long and slack. Looking closer, the M/L frame has a the exact stack height and reach as my Timberjack Ti. And, according to specs, the Sardinha has a 1.5° slacker head tube angle and a 0.5° steeper seat tube. Both of these numbers push this bike in a direction that’s been gaining steam amongst a few outspoken bikepackers—long top tube, steep seat tube, and slack head tube—a geometry that can climb well and remain confident during tricky descents.
The Nordest Sardinha is available at a special sale price until tomorrow. You can get the frame only for €391.74*–to be paired with a 100/120mm suspension fork–or as a Sardinha Kit for €507.44*, which includes a Cane Creek 40 headset and a matching yellow fork. The BOOST 110mm rigid fork is engineered specifically for the Nordest Sardinha frame and is compatible with any frame designed around a 100mm travel fork. Boasting three-pack bottle mounts, rack mounts, and an included QR 15×110 thru-axle, the Sardinha fork has a straight 1.125″ steerer tube and can accommodate up to a 29 x 3.0″ tire. Nordest claims the M/L frame weights 2450g with another 1180g for the fork. *Price will depend on VAT requirements as they pertain to your country.
“Enjoy every pedal, to discover the landscape and the people that the trip offers us, to contemplate the stars in some remote place, and the next morning to roll up the sleeping bag and continue the adventure.” – Nordest’s philosophy behind the Sardinha