steel fillet brazed Burls Designer select road bike built from
Columbus mix. The bike was built for me by Justin Burls about
9 years ago and has been used regularly all year round for training
and racing, and despite receiving little maintanence and some
may say plenty of abuse has survived and performed beyond my
expectations despite my weight when fully fit of 16 stone.
Despite it's age, it still feels as good as it did when it was
new, If the current steel forks were replaced with a nice light
pair of full carbon forks, and a mid level pair of race wheels,
it would weigh in at around the 18 lbs mark, not bad for an
old steel bike!
Having had the same bike for so long, I decided it was tme to
try something different, and when Justin mentioned he was about
to start offering hand built titanium bikes, I thought this
was a good opportunity to try one. I figured that if a Burls
titanium lasted as well as a Burls steel frame, which in theory
it should last indefinitely, then I can't go far wrong. I have
to admit I was doubtful as to how welll titanium rides, especially
for a heavier relatively strong rider, I'd heard stories of
some of the earlier titanium frames having very flexible bottom
brackets and generally not riding well.
My shiny new Burls titanium road bike arrived about 4 weeks
after I put in my order, fully built up with 2007 Campagnolo
Centaur groupset, Neutron wheels and Reynolds ouzo pro forks
with matching bars and stem. The thing I noticed immediately
before even jumping on my new bike and riding it was despite
being a very large frame and being fitted with only a mid range
groupset, it felt surprisingly light, in fact it weighs in at
not much over 17 lbs.
On riding the bike my concerns of the bottom bracket swinging
from side to side on every pedal stroke were dispelled immediately,
I tend to push very large gears, even on climbs, and so it came
as a pleasant surprise to me that the effort from my pedal strokes
went stright into moving the bike forwards as opposed to flexing
the frame from side to side, and after a few miles it became
apparent that my new bike is lighter , faster and stiffer than
I could possibly have hoped!