My report card below.........
This bike was always going to be a very big change for me. Previous bikes have all been full Carbon or Aluminium/Carbon combo's from big name manufacturers Pinarello and Trek. Not only had I never ridden Titanium before but this was also my first custom built frame.
Living in Asia I can access plenty of cheap Titanium frames but I just didn't trust them. The American frames are just way too expensive.
The build process was very simple. I already had a professional fit done and a decent frame drawing that just required a few suggested adjustments from Justin before placing the order. I think it was less than a month later and it was in the shop in Singapore being put together. I tried to built it with parts that would compliment the Titanium but still be competitive. Hence the Alloy Nitto bars, Campy record cranks and Ti seat post. On Justin's recommendation I found a Reynolds Ouzo Pro fork which looks great with the Reynolds wheels. Campy Chorus/Record for the rest and a Ritchey WCS stem. It's very simple and clean.
The ride quality was the biggest shock for me. The first few rides were very unusual. Firstly was the way I felt over the bike. I thought it was a real problem and I'd made a big mistake. Then I realised what it was. "I'm comfortable". I wasn't reaching forward or hunched up at the shoulders. The bike was built for me and it fit, perfectly! I get off this bike after 140k's in 30 degrees heat, 99% humidity better than I even have on anything I've ridden previously. I was astonished! The second big difference was the ride. Roads in Singapore are pretty good but I still used to feel everything in the road. I was the guy yelling at anyone on the front who didn't point out a hole because they nearly tore me in half. I just thought that was normal. Now I hardly even feel them. The ride is amazingly smooth. The only thing I can compare it to was a borrowed top of the line 90's vintage Steel Colnago I rode twice 2 years ago. Carbon and Aluminium can't compare and I can honestly say I'll never ride either again.
The performance gains have been substantial also. I put them down to a number of factors. I have much more power! The custom build has a lot to do with that. I now put power down exactly where it should be. Because I'm so comfortable I find that I'm in much better shape towards the end of a ride than I would normally be. I can't sprint to get away from a fire but even that's improved. The bike is very responsive when sprinting and climbing and I'm much more confidant it will go where I point it.
Last but not least was the exceptional customer service from Justin himself. I knew exactly what I was getting, how long it would take and he was always willing to help with some very valuable advice when needed. First Class!! I'm sure with the attention the bike has been getting and my obvious improvement in the group you'll see a few more orders from here in the not too distant future.
Thanks! Tim Ledger