Burls steel and titanium custom built bicycles

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I live in the New Forest... it's mostly flat and the ground has a fair cover of sand, mud and a mixture of the two. It's so flat that gears are luxuries that don't take kindly to the plentiful sandy mud.. so I have a need, a need for Single Speed!

Many of my mates have converted their geared bikes using Singulators or old Derailleurs to tension the chain. It seemed to me that this goes against the whole Single Speed ethos of simplicity. After some deliberation I sold my then current geared winter bike and bought an On-One Inbred. Not a bad bike, especially for the money, but over the last two seasons of breakages and servicing I have learnt how to make a better one! My criteria for building this new bike was first and foremost reliability, followed secondly by light weight. Lastly, if there was a colour choice in the component I chose the red one!

Actually some of the components have come off the old On-One, as they were better replacements than the original On-One build. Namely the wheels and cranks. The original cranks on the On-One were simply not up to the rigours of single speed use of a 90kg rider. The bottom bracket failed within a month and the crank arms were forever coming loose. The wheels had been upgraded and had made a good improvement to the On-One and are still fairly new.

The frame

I love titanium... my wedding ring is titanium! It has the highest strength to weight ratio of any elementary metal. Titanium bikes are well known to have a fantastic ride quality. I searched for companies on the web and got a quote from and American company to custom build a frame, but the cost was prohibitive. I then found Burls. Justin Burls is a 'Yes' man. Everything I wanted I could have. The price is extremely competitive and the reviews I read are all good. The website looked good and I just trusted Justin would do a good job... he didn't disappoint! The quality is fantastic and its weld for bolt exactly what I wanted.

The spec is very much based on the On-One as I know I like that. At 5'10" I am right between On-One frame sizes though, so I started by calculating my in between size. The On-One frame is slightly on the long side, so I further reduced the length by 9mm. The BB height of the On-One is high and I wanted the option of running suspension forks in the future, so I dropped the BB height by half inch. The track fork ends on the On-One are not ideal... it's just a pain aligning the rear wheel so the disk brake doesn't rub, so Eccentric BB and standard drop outs were specified. Just to keep it clean and simple, the only lugs fitted are the ones needed... Rear brake hose lugs under the top tube and seat stay and mounts for the Crud Guard. No Derailleur mount and no bottle mounts.

The build

  • Fork Nuke Proof Carbon
  • Bar Titec H Bar
  • Grips Salsa (ODI) lock on
  • Stem Race Face Deus XC
  • Headset Hope
  • Seatpost Nuke Proof A better value copy of a Thompson Elite
  • Clamp Salsa
  • Saddle Charge Spoon with leather and Ti rails
  • Peddles DMR V12 Magnesium
  • Brakes Hope Tech X2 Braided Hose 183mm front 160mm rear
  • Rear Cog Surly 16t (machined)
  • Chain KMC Z610HX, the only chain I have found that doesn't need adjusting every ride!
  • Cranks Shimano XT with Salsa Alloy Chainring 32t
  • BB Hope Ceramic
  • Front Wheel Mavic Crossmax SLR
  • Rear Hub Hope Pro 2 Single Speed converted to QR
  • Rear Rim Mavic 819
  • Rear Spokes DT Swiss double butted
  • Tyres Bontrager Jones XR Team tubeless with Bontrager Super Juice
  • Weight just under 20 lb

The ride

It's early days yet, but the Ti frame rides just like they say, very stiff and responsive, yet an uncanny compliance over rough ground. This really is a very fast and well mannered bike.

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

 

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