Bikes of the Bunch: Donhou Signature Steel DSS1

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You might recognise the name Donhou Bikes from the “100mph Bike” they built a while back; a bike with a 104-tooth chainring. Well, Donhou is now also producing a handcrafted stock model called the Signature Steel. We spoke with Donhou Bicycles founder Tom Donhou, and the proud owner of a Signature Steel, David Ollerhead, about the bike and how it rides.

For Tom Donhou the Signature Steel DSS1 represents a new direction for Donhou Bicycles and it’s a development he’s very excited about.

“We love working with our customers on the custom builds and both us and the customer get a lot out of creating these truly one-of-a-kind bikes. But I really wanted a Donhou ‘product’, something that is all Donhou, a bike exactly how we want it, a ‘signature’ build.”

The development of the Signature Steel was also motivated by the wait times on the company’s custom builds.

“With such a long wait for custom builds we also wanted to be to able to make Donhou a little more accessible. With the DSS1 if we have your size in stock you can ride one away custom built with the component package of your choice within two weeks.”

We asked Signature Steel owner David Ollerhead what attracted him to the bike:

“I have to say it was the incredible paint that sold it to me — so shallow I know! I have been admiring the custom builds for some time. The problem is I’m very impatient and a-year-plus wait on a custom build doesn’t work for me. When the Signature Steel was launched I seized my opportunity.”

David came to the Signature Steel having ridden many carbon bikes and was intrigued to see how it rode.

“It’s not as light as my carbon [and] it has disc brakes that I’d never ridden before. It all just comes together into this incredible bike — it’s super comfortable, handles with real confidence, and still packs a punch when you want it to.

“I recently took a trip to the Alps and although I’d planned to take the carbon, it ended up getting left in the shed. I grabbed the Donhou and was so glad I did — it ate up the miles and with all that descending the discs came into their own.”

The bike is spec-ed as follows:

  • Tubing – Reynolds 853 Pro Team
  • Headtube – 44mm custom machined
  • Bottom bracket – 68mm BSA
  • Front derailleur hanger – stainless braze-on
  • Dropouts – Donhou with stainless steel faces
  • Disc mount – post style
  • Fork – ENVE 2.0 1 1/4″ tapered disc road fork
  • Wheels – Chris King R45 disc/Sapim CX Rays/H+Son Archtypes
  • Tyres – Continental Grand Prix 4 Season (25c)
  • Groupset – Ultegra cable (electronic version available)
  • Disc Callipers – Avid BB7 SL
  • Rotors – Avid 140mm
  • Cockpit – Fizik Cyrano R3
  • Seat post – Fizik R3
  • Seat – Fizik Arione R5

The frameset price is £2,295 (AUD$4,160) with ENVE 2.0 disc road fork and Chris King Inset 8 headset.

For more information about the Donhou Signature Steel, visit the Donhou Bicycles website. Click here to see more about the 100mph Bike.

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