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November 18, 2017
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  • Sunny Ape

    What a superbly integrated seat mount. Some very nice photography too.

    • Luke Bartlett

      P-Town is a marvelous backdrop!

      • Sunny Ape

        Especially when the lights are on :)

  • Sascha

    Interestingly a lot of those early Colnago Bititan frames would eventually crack…

    • I’m not certain, but that issue might have been related to the challenges of welding Grade 5 ti.

      • Sascha

        Agree…I remember the grade of titanium being used wasn’t consistent with the bicycle industry standard being used by Merlin or Litespeed etc at the time.

      • Sascha

        The titanium used was 5.6A1/3.6V.

    • winkybiker

      That’s a pity. Those things are awesome. I saw one pressed into duty as a light tourer a few years back. I offered the guy to buy it on the spot, but no dice :(.

      • Sascha

        Apparently they would crack near the down tubes intersection at the bottom bracket.

        • I think a big part of the problem with Bititan frame was related to the size of the double down tubes. Using two smaller diameter tubes and not one lager tube was a lessen leant.

      • Morten Reippuert Knudsen

        Not as awsone as a merlin

        • winkybiker

          Awesome for a different reason.

          • Morten Reippuert Knudsen

            A Merlin CR or TR wont ever crack :-)

            Best Titanium frame out there, even 11 years after its inception: Straight gauge tubes, perfectly tuned by Tom Kellog himself and in the 1050-1250 g range depending on size, compact/traditional or 3/2.5 vs 6/4 alloys. The craftmanship from the combined AMBG factory floor (Merlin/litepseed) wont ever be surpased in an off the peg frame – the CR was and is the pinacle of TI frames.

            I dont think the latest Litespeeds exeeds the CR as they are using butted tubes, 6/4 alloys rolled/welded vs. drawn 3/2.5 tubes, integrated headsets, presfit BB’s – and a 44mm/tapered headtube is not really needed in a steel/ti frames – it just addeds weight (just ask Tom ritchey).

            Tom Kellog/Spectrum can (and stil does) the same CR/TR frame as custum design though produced by Seven and therefore not an off the peg product.
            When AMBG/Litespeed stopped OEM production Spectrum and others had to turn to either Lynskey or smaller shops like Seven, IF or Dean if they wanted a quality that surpases Taiwan, Russian or Chinese Ti frames. The Lynskey’s and Lynskey OEM products out there are inferior in both design and assembly compared to the OEM work from AMBG – or true Merlin/Litespeeds.

            The only reaon i bught a new (titanium) frame last year was i wanted disc brakes and room for up to 45mm (vs 29mm) tyres, a taler head tube, slightly longer wheelbase and less steep angles for bikepacking and offroad adventures. My CR is still the dream frame for road.
            I was close to getting the Litespeed T5G last year but the non BSA BB was a turn off. So i got a custum rig from Taiwan with Rikilau tubes, decent quality but no way near a Merlin with 3/2.5 MTS2 and advanced shaping… Actually also checked out options from Witison but i decided for something marginally cheaper.

            • winkybiker

              Exactly. The Colnagos were flawed (apparently – I have no personal experience) but they remain an interesting experiment. I’d love to have one, even if I never rode it much.

              I’m having a disc-braked Ti gravel/winter/commuter built by Sam at Naked. I’m heading over next weekend for the fitting.


    • Ginny Quid

      If it had to do anything with the welding or titanium used, the other models would have had the same problem, which is not the case. Vitas and Ernesto had a long lasting partnership during which a couple of dozens models and thousands, rather than hundreds, frames were built – Monotitan, Ovaltitan, Ovalmaster, CT1 to name a few. Vitas used to build frames for many other brands as well and non of them had problems. Bititan had a design issue – they used 0.9mm thick tubes for the smaller-than-usual double downtube. Later on the issue was resolved by using thicker downtubes on Master BiTitan.

  • marc

    Matt, do you know the reason for the ‘lugs’ on the seat tube? Surely not all just aesthetics, as it just adds unnecessary weight?

    • Sorry, I don’t know much about the reasoning but it does give Wittson the option to swap out the Ti tube for carbon fibre, if requested. They are short lengths though, so the extra weight isn’t really something to complain about. If you’re serious about chasing grams then you’d be looking at a composite frame instead.

      • marc

        yeah fair enough – the carbon seat tube option probably explains it. Cheers.
        I have a ti roadie frame myself (from Russia) and love it. No doubt this one would be just as good. Looks like great workmanship.

      • Lyrebird_Cycles

        I know you said you don’t know much about the reasoning but I’m going to ask anyway: is the seat tube bonded into the two “sleeves”?

        If so that may give us a clue as to the reasoning behind it: the metal / epoxy / metal interfaces will transmit vibration in a manner very different from welded metal / metal interfaces. That they’ve chosen to do this on the seat tube, which has such a large influence on ride quality, may be an additional clue.

        • The seat tube is bonded into the frame, as you’ve suggested Mark, however I’m told the decision to use sleeves was to add strength. If it happens to have an effect on vibrations, then that’s a happy accident.

          • Warwick Gresswell

            I’m going to go the high road and say that the ‘primary’ reason IN THEIR MIND is strength. However, if this was the only reason, then why weld the rest of the bike? And also, the seat tube is one of the least loaded members in the structure. So there’s questions here either ‘lost in translation’, or worse, the ‘strength’ comment is just marketing fluff.

    • Hi Marc, I am a brand ambassador for Wittson in Australia. The reason for the lugs on the Suppresio with the ISP is for added strength/durability . If you go to http://wittson.com and then “customer build project” you can see images of the Suppresio with a traditional seat post. Regards Shane

  • Velt

    Thanks for the review Matt, I’d have never known about this builder otherwise. *Adds to list for upcoming milestone birthday*

    • Hi Velt, I am a brand ambassador for Wittson in Australia. I will have a 54 and 56 Suppresio available test rides in Sydney if this helps. Regards Shane

      • Velt

        Thanks Shane, Unfortunately I live westside, but I’ll keep it in mind.

  • Il_falcone

    Are those drop outs really made by Paragon? I doubt it. Paragon does not offer drop outs that are welded together, do they? And why would you want to try to “reinforce” one of their DOs by applying a fillet weld? Having seen quite a lot of those frames made by the Russian company Rapid the article is referring to many of them had that kind of clearly welded together drop out which, sorry, always looked like a cheap copy.
    So maybe Wittson is using a Paragon hanger but not the DO.
    Typical for them has also always been this “aura” of some mm width close to the welding seams nicely captured in your photos, Matt, which you don’t see on US-made titanium frames. I always wondered what’s the reason for this and why they don’t manage to do without it as it doesn’t create the kind of jewlery-like look buyers of high end ti frames are looking for.

    • I don’t have the frame any longer so I can’t take a closer look at the reinforcement you’re referring to. As for that “aura” you’re referring to, I’d noticed the same thing on this and other Wittson frames. It doesn’t have any of the colour to suggest an oxide has formed, so I have to wonder if it’s simply a matter of the amount of finishing the frame gets.

    • Velt

      Is the ‘aura’ the weld smoothing that is charged extra for in the options?

    • The dropout in the photo is an inhouse developed one which was required due to supply issues with the round Paragon ones last year. Paragon DO’s are definitely an option. Regards Shane

  • Marcus

    Good review – I’ve had my Wittson Suppresio for 18 months now, and agree with all points. It is stunning to ride, very smooth and best at driving on and on at an even pace. My other bike is an S-Works Tarmac, and compared to that the Suppresio does give up some stiffness, but not enough that it would bother you in most situations. I’d race with the Tarmac any day, but for any other ride the Suppresio is always a great option. For a Ti frame, it is a complete bargain with impeccable workmanship and top quality finishing. Highly recommended!

  • Les

    Great photos

  • Stephan Boesser

    Beautiful frame, weird build. Campagnolo groupset with Pro (Shimano brand) finishing kit. Would have used Deda or 3T parts. The night shots with the illuminated city in the background are awesome.

  • George Darroch

    A thing of beauty.

  • Not that it matters much, but the frame appears to be quite heavy for a size S, no? That’s ~2.3kg for frame with fittings, fork and the seatpost. Also, 7.5kg for a size S without cages and pedals is quite something considering the build..


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