My Airnimal: Mark’s Joey Folding Gravel-Camper-Commuter

Blog feature

This is the first in our new series on custom Airnimals, kicking off with our new Product Manager, Mark’s new Joey.

I joined Airnimal in August 2023 as the new Product Manager, working across both Airnimal and sister brand Circe at our base in Cambridge. While I’ve owned a Circe Helios cargo tandem for a number of years and worked with Airnimal Joeys I had never owned one.

I’m a keen bike camper – both on and offroad, particularly enjoying multimodal routes joining via trains. In the summer I also entered the world of packrafting, purchasing a raft and taking a canoe course, with the goal of dipping my toes into bikerafting.

Packrafting uses small inflatable rafts that can be carried in a backpack. Bikerafting combines this with bikepacking with riders stripping back their kit to the minimum to accommodate a packraft while touring, allowing for river and lake exploration.

Dismantling and packing a bike on the front of a packraft is a precarious business. This is where the Airnimal Joey steps in. With small 24inch (or 26inch) wheels, a quick first fold and utilising the Joey Rack to hold the front wheel, the bike fits neatly and (quickly) at the front of the raft.

On speaking with colleagues, I’m not the first to make this realisation with a number of customers out in the world with Joeys strapped to packrafts.

In terms of spec, I knew I needed 507 wheels for wider tyres, choosing lightweight Schwalbe Billy Bonkers tan wall tyres in the biggest size I could fit in the frame for light gravel and commuting.

Parts are largely a mix of bits I already had – crankset, full handlebar/stem and 105 shifter combo – but complemented by some nice and useful parts for touring and commuting.

For gearing I’m running an 11sp GRX clutch rear mech with my 5800 105 shifters, with a wide 11-42T cassette and a Hope 44T retainer front ring. This gives a nice low 24inch gear very suitable for loaded riding.
I’m particularly pleased with the SP dynamo setup with the relatively new Supernova DY M99 Pro front light with high beam function for offroading and fast road riding that kicks out 1000 lumens. While pricey, it comes well reviewed and has already made commutes with snippets of offroad an absolute boon, while the low beam function doesn’t dazzle other riders (or drivers).

Other highlights include the front and rear 24 inch-specific racks for plenty of luggage and a nice Hope rear rub. I’m experimenting with luggage options for bikepacking – potentially with some micro panniers in the future.

As Product Manager it’s been a great exercise in getting lots of miles in on the bike in various roles, allowing me to work through options on cargo carrying, and I can see the bike forming a test bed for future parts and accessories.

If you’d like a custom Airnimal get in touch!


FrameJoey 54cm
ForkCro mo with disc mounts
CranksetShimano FC-RS500 w/Hope 44T ring
Bottom bracketShimano
BrakesFront – Avid BB7 Disc/Rear – Avid BB7 Disc
Brake leverN/A
Shift leverShimano 105 5800-11sp
Front derailleurN/A
Rear DerailleurShimano GRX 812
CassetteShimano 11-42  11sp
Front hubSP PL-8X Dynamo w/QR adaptor
Rear hubHope Pro 5 QR
RimAirnimal black disc 32h
TyreSchwalbe Billy Bonkers (tan)
HandlebarFSA Omega 44cm
StemRitchey WCS C260 120mm
Steerer extenderQ/R black
SaddlesMadison Sport
SeatpostTelescopic black
Rear shockN/A
Gear range (inches)24-96 inches
PedalsShimano PD-EH500

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