Burls steel and titanium custom built bicycles

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titanium 29er bike

I first came across Justin's titanium frames at the Cycle Show in Earl's Court in 2010. He had a road bike on display with a teardrop down tube and curved seat stays; a really beautiful bike.

A few months later, I was lucky enough to be able to test ride a custom mountain bike frame that Justin had built for Clee-Cycles.

I rode it on the Dyfi Winter Warm Up, in sub-zero temperatures. The ground was frozen solid, but the bike rode great; it was light, agile and really damped out the trail buzz. That was enough to start me thinking about building a custom titanium hardtail.

I live in Surrey and when I'm not racing, I ride a fully-rigid singlespeed for fun (an On One Inbred back then). With the advent of 29ers, I'd spent a lot of time considering the advantages that a titanium 29er might offer over my steel 26er. I spent a bit of time reading up on it, checking out 29er geometries and eventually put together a rough design, which I sent to Justin.

Justin knows his stuff and understood what I was trying, and quickly turned my ideas into a practical frame design. After a couple of iterations - I changed my mind a lot - we had a really nice design that I was very happy with.

A few weeks later the frame arrived and it was exactly what I was hoping for. I couldn't fault it; the tube profiling worked well, the welds were clean and tidy and the decals complimented the simple brushed finish. I had Andy from Clee Cycles build the bike up for me, using a mixture of Chris King and KCNC components.

The result is fantastic.

I've had the bike for a few months now and have ridden it on all my local trails, as well as some of the Welsh trail centres. This bike absolutely flies. I loved my Inbred, but this is something else.

It's hard to say whether it's the titanium frame, the big 29" wheels or the light build - more than likely it's a combination of all three - but for a rigid singlespeed it's fast and composed. Singletrack is a blast; it feels really stable, but the big wheels haven't slowed down the handling much.

Descending on my inbred, I was limited by the bone shaking, which would eventually cause me to loose vision.

But now I'm only reaching for the brakes when I get the fear. But I'm most impressed with the way this bike climbs, especially on the steep loose stuff; it rarely looses traction and I'm cleaning technical climbs that I didn't think possible on a singlespeed before.

For a totally custom, high quality titanium frame, built by someone who knows what he's talking about, Burls frames are fantastic value for money - definitely recommended.

titanium 29er
Bike detail pictures
Bike detail pictures
Bike detail pictures
Bike detail pictures
Bike detail pictures

 

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