Justin goes about his business in an utterly professional and personal way. The entire process right from our initial contact right through to post delivery advice was exemplary. First of all, Justin looked up the geometry of my old road bike on the Internet, and asked me what changes, if any, needed making. I sent photos of me on a static trainer on that bike, and after discussing my need for a more upright position, Justin tweaked his the geometry, and sent the design through for my approval. I paid a small deposit, and a few weeks later my frame arrived.
After opening the well-packed box, the first thing I noticed was just how light the frame was. I'll be honest, the weight benefits of titanium isn't the main reason I bought the frame (I wanted the tensile strength and ride comfort because I'm a big lad) but I couldn't being bowled over by it's weight.
The second thing I noticed was the craftsmanship - I didn't have the Russians pegged as master frame builders. I've had some nice frames (a Pace RC200, a Cannondale 3.0 Series, and a handbuilt Geliano Columbus Aelle) and I've played with some nice frames (including a Klein Attitude) and the welding on this frame is second to none. The welds are all neat and tiny, and the dropouts and bosses are all perfectly aligned.
When building the bike up, I chose components that would be strong rather than light, to withstand my 19 stone! The wheels are Mavic CXP33s with straight gauge spokes, 25mm tires, heavyweight FSA bars, stem and seatpin, and a whole bunch of shiny Campag stuff (no Shimano here!). Even with this choice of components, it's a sub 19lb bike. With the kind of lightweight components this frame deserves, it would easily be a 16-17lb race machine!
When I took the frame out for the first time, I found immediately an extremely lively, twitchy ride. It took a while to get used to it, but once I began to understand the bike, it became a joy. A good analogy would be going from driving front wheel drive cars all your life and then getting into a rear wheel drive car it feels strange to begin with, but once you get used to it you realise this is how a car is meant to drive. Same with the Burls, it just feels right. Stomping on the pedals out of the saddle doesn't seem to overtly flex the bottom bracket area, as some would have you believe of titanium, and the power transfer into the wheels is stunning acceleration is incredible even with a 19 stone bloke pedalling!
I did have a shortlist of titanium frame builders, but Justin came up trumps
in every department. I love my bike, and I find myself wishing for the weekend
to come so I can ride some more. It's not a product, like you would buy from
a mass produced manufacturer, it's a handcrafted piece of art that just happens
to go like stink. Thanks, Justin.
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