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December 15, 2017
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  • Adam Fuller

    Very nice bike. Two questions.
    1. What’s the bottom bracket?
    2. What were the mistakes Matt saved you from?

    • If I recall rightly, it was a Wheels Manufacturing conversion bb to suit the PF30 shell. No.22 suggested this one over Praxis because it steps down in the middle to make it easier to run the Di2 wires, and I agree. As for mistakes, at one point Nic was ready to pull the trigger on a set of Chris King hubs that were on sale until I pointed out that they weren’t 11-speed compatible.

      • Craig

        Hey Matt I reakon that heat shrink tube would have looked much better in clear… ;-). A bit ‘dogs Balls’ in an otherwise nice build.

        • Yeah, you’re right. Nic and I agonised over that part of the bike. I didn’t have any clear tubing, and even if I did, the Di2 lead would have remained visible, which seemed like it would defeat the effort. In the end, we decided to try out short section of black and Nic was satisfied with the effect. I think the cleanest look would involve swapping out the cables for something in black. If Nic ever decides to get himself an Enve cockpit, then we can take another look at the cables.

    • Nic Hanson

      Thanks Adam
      1. The bottom bracket is PF30 with a Wheels MFG BB Shimano conversion kit.
      2. Matt’s advice was invaluable throughout the build. The main mistake he saved me from? I almost bought some Chris King hubs until he pointed out they were only 10 speed.

      • DC Ti-Rider

        I bought a pair of Chris King hubs and it is 11sp. My only problem is that I switched from SRAM Red to Campy 11sp Record group. So, I had to buy the hub conversion kit in order to run the Campy cassette. I know I could have avoided the conversion kit and used a Shimano 11sp cassette, but I couldn’t do it…

  • David Bonnett

    Nicely done! I love my carbon bikes for racing and climbing but my go-to wheels for cruising around town is my Lightspeed Tuscany with a flat bar and flats. Titanium makes for a beautiful ride and classic lines.

  • Boaz

    I own a Great Divide and could not say a bad word about it. When fully built it costs about the same as a Specialized of similar Spec and I know which bike id rather have.

    • Shirleylgrasty4

      ?my .friend’s mate Is getting 98$. HOURLY. on the internet.”….two days ago new McLaren. F1 bought after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a days ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn. More right Here!!b577????? http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsPoint/GetPaid/98$hourly…. .?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:?2:::::!!b577…

  • Mark Blackwell

    I love the way custom builds can combine with Di2, like this one. Such a clean result to have one wire going into the downtube and one coming out of the seatstay (and I guess another coming out somewhere near the front derailleur). With SRAM wireless we can go one better, but this is very neat and tidy all the same. Maybe it will make up for the ugliness of disc brakes, which my next roadie will certainly have!

    The only thing I don’t like (and I’m being verrry picky!), is the rear dropouts. Almost looks like the wheel isn’t properly seated.

    • Lyrebird_Cycles

      Funny, my reaction was the oposite: I **hate** Wright / breezer / hooded dropouts, to the extent that I simply will not use them. I saw these and thought “that’s much better”

  • Darren Spina

    Very nice bike Nic. I can relate to your experience as I have a 3yr old custom Seven Axiom XL with Dura Ace Di2. Last year I bought a set of Craftworx Ultima wheels (H Son Archetype rims) which I am v happy with. My bike is finished in bare TI like yours & they look v similar. Steve Hogg from Pedal Pushers in Sydney designed a “do everything” frame for me which has worked out great. Steve is an agent for Seven in the US and he oversaw the whole process which made it v easy for me. I wholehearted agree it’s important to get an expert involved. I see it as a lifetime frame esp. as I’ll probably be divorced if I buy another road bike ? . MTB’s are a different story….Keep enjoying your lovely bike.

    • Nic Hanson

      Thanks Darren,
      I can relate to ‘I’ll probably be divorced if I buy another bike’ I’m hoping my misses doesn’t read as far as ….(but there’s always room for one more in the shed).

  • Chris

    Hot damn that’s gorgeous. Lovely light and location for the shoot, too.

  • Winky

    You lost me with “I didn’t want any of the titanium bikes coming out of Asia — I wanted some craftsmanship”. What twaddle. Some might even say it’s offensive – not me – it takes MUCH more than that for me to take offence. I just think you’re narrow minded and wrong.

    • Nic Hanson

      Your call if you want to roll the dice with a cheap Chinese build. I’ve had some quality issues with Chinese manufacture in the business I run.
      I simply wasn’t prepared to gamble with my bike frame. Craftsmanship, value and quality were import and I found all three in No. 22.

      • Craig

        And yet your happy to roll with Asian made forks, stem, handle bar, rims, group set etc.
        Bit of a silly comment all the same tho.
        However I do believe that the Yanks do Ti frames better than anyone.
        Nice bike!

        • Nic Hanson

          OK fair call.

          • Sean Doyle

            Not to pile on in any way but chosen carefully the quality coming out of Asia is 2nd to none. I’ve seen some incredibly dodgy stuff out of ‘manufacturing leaders’ such as North america and Europe. It’s the same as anything now. Do as much research as possible. Having said that No.22 make a great product.

            • Second to none? Really? That’s an incredibly bold claim that requires some evidence I think.

              • Sean Doyle

                …..and there in lies the problem with claiming that products coming out of say North America or anywhere for that matter, are better. What are the metrics? What validation is there to say this product X is best? There is nothing! Most of it is just marketing from builders using proper construction methods for the material and sometimes years of frame building experience or in some case not much at all. There is an envelope that as a builder you need to fabricate your frames in with materials, fabrication processes and geometry.

                As I said, chosen carefully, there are builders in Asia producing frames that are every bit as good as any of the highly regarded builders out of Europe or the US. That they don’t have the magical name on the down tube of say Strong or Legend does not mean they are any less of a product.

                • Not to beat an extremely dead horse, but that’s most emphatically not what you said. You said “…the quality coming out of Asia is 2nd to none.” That’s an unsupportable blanket comment.

                  If you actually mean ‘Asian builders can be every bit as good as builders from other countries’ then I would agree. To a point. There’s absolutely no point pretending that the Asian manufacturing space as a majority didn’t make its name by producing cheaper and inferior quality items copied from the west – specifically America – because that’s exactly how the vast majority of Asian manufacturing did make its name and did learn the skills of mass production.

                  Asian manufacturing may no longer be synonymous with lower quality, but historically it has been.

                  I would argue that it’s easier to find a high-quality custom builder who is happy to work with individuals located in the US or EU etc. than it is to do the same in Asia. What needs to be understood is that the majority of Asian manufacturing is geared towards mass production (note: I’m not saying inferior production, just mass production) and not artisanal, bespoke production. That’s not to say that simply because something is made by hand in the US (for example) it’s going to be better than a mass produced item (from anywhere) – simply making by hand doesn’t automatically confer superior quality just as mass producing doesn’t automatically confer inferiority. But your chances of finding a quality, small run shop that produces very high quality items and will happily deal in single unit orders decrease in Asia simply due to the mass production-centric nature of the space.

                  Can you buy a $1400 AUD Ti frame from China that will ride well, be well made and last? Yes, of course. Will it be made from Grade 9, Cold Worked – Stress Relived Ti? Perhaps. Will it be double drawn butted or CNC triple butted? Probably not. Will it be seamless tubing? Maybe. Can I go to Moots or Firefly or Mosaic or Number 22 etc. and get all of these things as a given (along with all the other expectations – T47 BB implementation, mixed Ti – both 6/4 and 3/2.5 implementation, bi-axial bi-ovalization etc., etc.) yes, yes I can. Will I get a true lifetime warranty? Yes, yes I will.

                  People pay more for US Ti frames because it’s hard to go wrong, they don’t have to worry and, perhaps they’re swayed by marketing or snob value.

                  I’ve owned Moots and other Ti brands. I currently sell Number 22 bikes. I work with a guy who rides an Asian made Ti frame and he absolutely loves it.

                  The point is: good stuff comes out of Asia, but you’ll more easily get good stuff (and more features that actually matter to the ride) out of the US.

                  This may change (and I hope it does), but that’s the way it is at the moment.

                  • Sean Doyle

                    No. Go back and see what I said in that first comment…..”Not to pile on in any way but chosen carefully the quality coming out of Asia is 2nd to none.” I was careful not to make the blanket statement you said I have.

                    Agree with everything else you have said. :-)

                    • So you did – my, don’t I feel sheepish! Apologies, disregard that part of my response. The rest pretty much stands – it’s just that we in Australia never really hear of any of the artisanal Asian manufacturers, which is a real shame. I mean, they must be out there – Japan has an incredibly deep history of metalurgy and hand crafted excellence (but then, Japan is a little different to a lot of other Asian countries in its history as it relates to manufacturing). I’d really love to hear if anyone has any recommendation of truly excellent makers coming out of the region – it never hurts to broaden the old knowledge base after all!

                    • Sean Doyle

                      All good mate. I am prone to making grandiose statements at times.

                      As you have pointed out there are some world class manufacturing in Asia and there is a lot of crap as well. There certainly are some custom builders in that region but for the most part they are working with steel. As you said Asia has geared itself towards catering more for production runs rather than bespoke customs. I know there are a few fabricators that will sell a custom frame in Ti but they also don’t have that personal touch that working with a boutique brand or lone frame builder as they are still more of a production shop.

                      If I was a customer who didn’t know much about what goes on in the background of frame building other than what’s shown in the glossy pictures on FB and Insta then I’d be looking at the names that are most prominent. All the names you suggested and a few more. They have the history and the reputation and when spending a lot of money you want to be sure.

      • Detlef Jumpertz

        I’ve got 2 Ti bikes made from a Taiwanese manufacturer, I can’t fault the craftsmanship and that includes the welding job, which was better than some of the European Ti bikes I looked at. Sweet ride(s) indeed.

      • takethattakethat

        lol so you just got into the sport, push no watts, spend a fortune on a bike for performance upgrades you will never be able to even come close to realize yet you are bad mouthing companies that produce 99% of the bikes in the pro peloton

        • Nic Hanson

          and how’d you know the watts I’m pushing?

          • Chris

            Well your Strava profile is a good place to start. Grats on the 4th overall this arvo.

            • Nic Hanson

              Thanks Chris, the Great Divide bagged me 5 KOM’s this month. We push on OK with all those ‘expensive performance upgrades’

        • The ‘fortune’ he spent probably equated to the same price as an s-works Tarmac. Meh. Not exactly chump change, but also not a fortune. And I know which I’d rather ride.

      • winkybiker

        Well, you said you didn’t want ANY of the bikes coming out of Asia. The follow suggests that you feel no bikes in Asia are made with craftsmanship. Seems a bit of a blanket view. But I get it that you can perhaps control the process better with a local builder. If I was getting a Ti frame made I’d likely go withe Sam Whittingham’s Naked Bicycles on Quadra. They make nice stuff. About the same price as yours.

        Guy who parks next to me in the bike locker at work has new Ti bike. I asked him about a while back and he said he had it made in China to his own custom design. I checked it out again this morning and the welding craftsmanship and finish is every bit as good as the photos of your bike suggest. I’d say even better than the slightly blobby DT/HT weld on yours. Can’t speak for the alignment and geometry per se, but he’s happy with it. Anecdotes. Where would we be without them.

        • Nic Hanson

          I’m sorry I haven’t been clear about my thoughts on this. I have no problem with bikes or related products coming out of Asia. I’m sure there are many skilled and reputable builders of titanium bikes.
          It’s just on my search I didn’t come across any that stood out. Of the ones I did find opinions were very mixed. I simply didn’t want to take the gamble with an unknown brand.
          It may be useful for those considering a Ti frame if anyone has recommendations of Chinese builders worth considering.

          • Sean parker

            No one begrudges your bike, which is great, or your personal choice of frame builder, which you are happy with, but your comments on Asian sourced frames in the article are offensive. To state that you didn’t want an Asian ti frame because ‘I wanted some craftsmanship’ might be inferred as a comment on Asian craftsmanship in general. I hope, for your reputation, that no one inferred it to be a comment on Asians.

            Perhaps the original article should be edited to adequately explain your position on Asian craftsmanship, which appears,from your comments in the forum, to be that you could find no information on boutique Ti frames from Asia – not that you doubt the craftsmanship of Asians in general. Precision of language is important in these articles and innocent comments can be easily misinterpreted if poorly explained. CT editors ought to have caught this.

            BTW fine Asian Ti frames do exist, they are in Taiwan, which is not mainland China and is also the home of the world’s best mass produced frame craftsmanship.

  • Simon Gamble

    I’ve just built a new custom bike with Ultegra Di2 and it’s simply the best. It leaves mechanical for dead.

  • Craig

    I like it!
    It looks like a 56cm frame, any idea what the frame alone weighed…just curious.
    Whilst I paid about the same for my Moots RSL when the Au$ was still good they are now over $7000 au (frame only) so this represents good value for an American made Ti frame

    • Nic Hanson

      It’s a 54cm frame. Not sure of the frame weight alone. Matt might know.

      • Sorry, I didn’t stop to weight the frame, just hooked straight into the build.

      • Why not call one of the three Australian dealers and ask them how much the frames weigh? Dealers are located in NSW, WA and VIC.

      • Simon Shoebridge

        @nic_hanson:disqus if you dont mind me asking what height are you Nic? I am considering this bike and am going for the 56cm frame. Also, what were your motivations behind the 3T and ENVE cockpit mix rather than say full 3T or full ENVE? Beautiful bike, thanks!

        • Nic Hanson

          Thanks Simon,
          I’m 182cm but have a long torso and short legs so went with a 54 frame and is a good fit.
          I will go full Enve at some point. It’s currently just 3T stem and bars. I bought them long before the frame and other components.
          I’d prefer it all matched but not too phased about it.

          • Simon Shoebridge

            And what advice would you have for the bottom bracket – they are now running a T47 BB – did you require an adapter? Are there any groupsets that I can’t consider? I’m considering SRAM Force or Shimano Ultegra mech with full ENVE cockpit. Thanks @nic_hanson:disqus

            • No, all you need do is specify the BB manufacturer you want (Enduro, Chris King etc.) and the groupset you’re intending to use and either the retailer or Number 22 (if you’re going direct, but given that retailers will sell you the same thing for the same price and you’d have a local point of contact in case of warranty issues, I’ve no idea why you’d go direct) will supply the correct bb to suit.

    • Sean Doyle

      Just a question purely in the interest of the conversation. Why does the weight matter?

      • Craig

        It doesn’t Sean I ask purely for my own interest

        • Sean Doyle

          Haha. No worries at all. Secretly I did wonder myself. I would hazard a guess it’s around 1500-1600 grams. The last lugged road frame I built for myself was just on 1700 grams from memory. It is a touch smaller than this bike.

          • Lyrebird_Cycles

            1500-1600 would be a little heavy for a Ti in 54 cm, even if straight gauge,. The No 22 website says these are built with butted tubes so I’d expect around 1300g in that size. For reference I had a 58.5 cm straight gauge Ti frame built in the US for experimental purposes, it weighed a little over 1500 g before I “butted” the tubing and about 1400 g after.

            • That sounds right, Mark. The wheels weighed near 1,500g, Ultegra Di2 comes in at ~2,400g, so that leaves less than 4kg to be shared by the rest of the bike.

            • You’d be almost spot on. And yes – triple CNC butted.

  • Andy Logan

    Nice bike, I too am looking at a Ti build, looking for something that is a bit more of a everyday rider than my Propel. This now goes into the list as brands to consider.

  • Stephen

    What are the fancy cables?

    • Craig

      Alligators I think?

      • Stephen


      • Nic Hanson

        Yep, they’re Alligators

  • Mike Williams

    Good choice of 22 Bicycles to build a Ti frame. They took on the frame builders from Serotta after it closed down and it shows in the build. I have a Serotta Ti frame and I am always impressed on how good the welds look compared to the other Ti frames on the market.

  • valiumct

    Nice ride. I, too, took the plunge on Ti last year. Continually impressed with the ride quality; I’m more refreshed after 100 miles on my firefly than I was after 60-70 on my carbon bike. Sure, tires/wheels have a bit to do with it, but the Ti is so supple, yet still responsive. I rented a new Emonda S3 in Florida a few weeks ago. I felt every crack, seam, and pavement flaw stiffly transmitted to my spine and sit bones on that bike. Riding that in FL was worse than my Ti bike in Connecticut, even though the FL roads are FAR smoother/better.

    Enjoy the bike!

  • blimit

    Sweet build. Agree that etched beats stickers, US beats Chinese Ti (just ask Audax guys how many ChinTi frames crack). But any Ti fan should also checkout Lynskey as an quivalent frame is nearly $1K cheaper! See Pezcycling’s visit to their factory: http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/tech-n-spec/lynskey-factory-tour/#.VtETMeZK9Xg

  • brad_s

    Nice work, a great looking bike and an interesting build. Difficult to imagine any other combination of lighting/setting that might’ve done more justice to this bike too; the photos are tremendous. Chapeau!

  • Just a heads-up on this: the AU pricing is a little off (exchange rate vagaries I guess), and there are local dealers, so test rides are an option. Dealers are located in NSW, WA and VIC. VIC has had a dealer for over a year now.

    • Nic Hanson

      The WA dealer only hooked up with No.22 in October after I’d pulled the trigger the month before. Great news they’re becoming more widely available here and will be available to test ride.

      • Yeah, I see they’re pretty recent – still, good to see that there’s representation over your way (and Cycles Bespoke are a great bunch, with some lovely brands – Legend and Parlee – yes please). Congratulations on a beautiful bike, I’m positive you’re going to get years of that Ti feel out of it.

      • Nice top cap by the way – sweet detail.

  • Avuncular

    I’m not one for Ti, nothing against it but it just looks a bit industrial and perhaps too clinical for mine. It does however make for a resilient travel bike. Nevertheless a nicely proportioned bike with some fine details. I’m not sold on the 44mm HT nor the Ultegra chainset but these are my personal tastes. Enjoy it.

  • Nic Hanson

    To Nic Hanson, good article and a great looking bike.
    On a more personal note – Nic Hanson. Really?
    From Nic Hanson

  • krashdavage

    Beautiful bike Nic and spot on build Matt. One question, might just be the photos. The rear axle in the dropout.. looks like the vertical dropout slot is very shallow. Particularly in contrast with what looks like quite a bit of rear dropout real estate. It doesn’t look anywhere near centre of dropout (not that I’m saying it should be I’m no frame designer. But it doesn’t look quite right to my eye. Or was the wheel not installed correctly? Surely not!?

  • overthehill

    Very nice bike, well done. Enve cockpit if you want to be fussy :) I looked at No22 3 years ago when I was researching Ti but ended up with a VN Aquilo. Have loved it ever since, the ride quality is something you remember well after each ride. Long live Ti!

  • Todd!

    Only one problem mate… you can’t actually ride that bike. It is too dangerous with no pedals.

    Geez there is some crap talked on here. Haha! Enjoy the ride. Well done on making it yours. I love the pictures too….

  • gekiuma

    Nic, thanks for the thorough review. I’m trying to decide between a Great Divide and a Moots Vamoots CR, how did the GD compare to the Vamoots in ride quality and handling? I have local Moots dealer but no No 22 dealer locally

    • Nic Hanson

      Sorry for the late reply gekiuma. It’s been a while since I took the Vamoots for a spin.
      It was the first Ti bike I rode and I knew immediately that Ti was for me.
      I’d say the ride quality is comparable both silky smooth and awesome bikes.
      I don’t think either option would disappoint. I just preferred the aesthetics of No.22.

      I asked Mike at No. 22 the same question at the time:

      The Vamoots CR is an unquestionably great bike, and I’m glad you had a chance to try one out. In terms of geometry and ride quality it is broadly comparable to the Great Divide. A few key differences between the Great Divide and the Vamoots: we use a slightly larger down tube and a much larger (44mm) head tube on the Great Divide in order to add some stiffness under power and when leaned over in corners. The Vamoots CR uses straight-walled tubing, while we butt our tubing in house in order to offset some of the weight of the larger tubes we spec, and to keep the ride smooth and comfortable in keeping with Titanium’s promise.

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