can only compare my new Burls Titanium road bike to my wife
when she's had her hair cut. She knows her hair looks great,
it suits her, does what she requires and makes her feel vibrant.
All Sarah wants is for my reaction to be positive without me
being prompted. It was exactly the same for me when I took my
new Burls Titanium road bike to make its road race debut.
I knew my bike looked great when I picked it. From the moment
I perched my backside on the (expensively comfortable) Fizik
Arione saddle the position felt spot on. My initial testing
sessions were carried out on the short sharp hills of the Stour
Valley. These undulations which form the Essex / Suffolk border
proved that the bike was light (16lbs.) and especially responsive
up the inclines which are at the heart of 'Constable Country'.
Straight away it was ten out of ten for ride quality and comfort.
So, on race day, just before the commissaire's pre-race talk,
I put my new bike through what will probably be its harshest
critical assessment - a chat with a very vocal group of former
club mates. "That's a fantastic looking bike you've got there"
was the first reaction I received. "All the gear and you have
actually got some idea," came the next complimentary piece of
banter. Sadly, my race fitness was not up to the standard of
my new machine. I certainly felt the benefit and responsiveness
of the bike on the climbs and when accelerating out of the corners.
It also handled beautifully on the long descent in wet conditions
(ironically a chase to regain the bunch).
My Burls semi-compact frame, as like all Burls Ti frames, is
Grade 9 titanium (TI 3Al-2.5V), an alloy which consists of 3%
aluminum, 2.5% vanadium and 94.5% titanium, which has a yield
strength similar to that of the best alloyed steels. It has
a high tensile strength (the force required to pull something
to the point where it breaks) and excellent corrosion resistance.
One particularly tall, large and unbelievably strong local rider
has put his Burls Titanium frame through eight months of severe
testing and racing, with no problems whatsoever in terms of
flexing - and has race results to match.
My frame has an oversized down tube, a diamond shaped top-tube
and curved seat stays, which help take the bumps out of the
road before they reach the more sensitive areas of my body!