Bike bones

And just like that the long wait was over – the UPS delivery guy was at my gate.

The last couple of weeks settling into the new winter training routine has distracted me nicely, but the excitement returned when I heard the van pull up outside.

Immediately I was struck by how light the package was, but that was nothing to how ridiculously little the frame weighed when unpacked. The look and feel is metal, but close your eyes and the titanium evaporates leaving you holding nothing but air.

Every bit of research I’ve done suggest that the weak spot, if there is one, in a frame is the quality of the welding. I am no expert, but to my untrained eye the quality of Justin Burl’s russian frame makers looks pretty darned good – even and tidy welds all around. Time will tell, but so far I’m very impressed.

Also packed into the box were the USE Alien titanium seatpost, Ortlieb bar bag for essential supplies on those long audax days and nights, and most importantly the Kinesis DC07 front forks. I’d not come across the Kinesis brand until Justin recommended them to me, but they feel reassuring solid without being overly heavy. Importantly, they have discrete mudguard eyelets behind the drop outs, not something you’d ever use on local fun rides and day races but vital for staying dry on long all-weather endurance events.

The last major piece of the jigsaw is the Ultegra groupset. I lucked out on this and got an absolute bargain at the Argus expo a few weeks back.

Hopefully all these parts will come together nicely next Monday on build day, and by this time next week I’ll have words and pictures to post from the build up and inaugural ride.

I may also have decided on the new bike’s name by then – there’s a few candidates floating around in my mind, but I don’t think she can really be named until we’ve connected on that first ride.

All photographs by author.

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