Burls steel and titanium custom built bicycles

Join Burls on FacebookFollow Burls on TwitterConnect with Burls on Linked In
Julian Greaves Road Titanium bike

Well, I’ve done several hundred winter miles on the bike now so I thought I’d better write a review.

After riding my 15 year old hardtail for the past 5 years as a road and commuting bike I thought it was about time to treat myself to a new machine.  Although my hardtail was kitted out with narrow slicks it was very harsh, rattly ride and geared way too low – but I had become very attached to the bike over the years.

I’d heard about the Shimano Alfine internal geared hubs and I quite liked the idea of a low maintenance and faff-free bike.  The On-One Pompetamine seemed to fit the bill although they weren’t as flexible as I’d hoped for in terms of customising all the components if buying a complete bike.  So I decided to source the components from wherever I could and just buy the frame.  Unfortunately, the frame size I needed was out of stock and after waiting week after week it became clear that I was going to be lucky to get one.  By this time I had all of the bike bits except for the frame, but being an unusual bike I wasn’t going to be able to find an off-the-shelf frame that would accommodate an Alfine 11 hub, 29 inch wheels, a narrow chainline and disc brakes.  That’s when I decided I treat myself a bit more and go for a custom made frame.  After some research I approached Justin and made some initial enquiries.

I’m so glad I did.  The whole experience was great from start to finish.  To get the ball rolling I forwarded some geometry details (based on a Pompetamine bike I’d already tried) to Justin and he rapidly returned some drawings.  I made a few tweaks to certain dimensions which, in hindsight, I’m particularly glad I did.  I had a general idea of what I was trying to achieve but I wanted some reassurance that I was approaching things in the right way.  Justin offers some expert advice and can talk you through the pros and cons of your options.  Now, I won’t say that I wasn’t really worried that the frame I’d commissioned Justin to create was not going to be compatible with all my components (or me, for that matter) – because I was, after all, correspondence was purely by email or over the phone.  However, the frame was ready sooner than I’d anticipated and on receipt I was pretty pleased that everything fitted together perfectly as planned.

The finished bike is everything I’d hoped for; fast, great handling, smooth, shock absorbing, quiet, faff-free, fairly light (I managed to get it down to just under 10kg – which isn’t bad if you’ve ever felt the weight of one of these hubs) and unique.  It really is a beautifully crafted and perfectly aligned frame.
There are a couple of downsides; nobody can hear me coming (I might have to get a bell!) and I won’t leave it locked up in public.

The gear range worked out well – pretty much the same as an average road bike with a compact chainset (albeit it with 11 gears instead of 13/14). From a practical point of view (and after a couple of mid-ride punctures), I think the eccentric bottom bracket works much better than horizontal dropouts.

I can’t wait for Springtime to come along.

Thanks for the excellent frame and customer service Justin.

Hmm, I wonder if I can get another bike past my partner?

Bike detail pictures
Bike detail pictures
Bike detail pictures
Bike detail pictures
Bike detail pictures

 

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional

 

 

 

 

Enter Burls Online Shop