DSS3 CX/GRAVEL MACHINE AVAILABLE NOW – HEAD TO THE DSS3 PAGE FOR ALL THE INFO.

Nov 22.17 – DSS3 CX/GRAVEL MACHINE NOW AVAILABLE

Designed with the UK cross season and the needs of a racer in mind, the DSS3 is a thoroughbred CX offering that pushes the boundaries of what is achievable in steel. Giving you the confidence and ride quality only a finely crafted steel machine can, the DSS3 is designed to be pushed hard right out the other side of your comfort zone.

Available in two “tunes”, the CX and Gravel tune. The Gravel tune takes the DSS3’s hardiness as a CX racer and delivers it with geometry finely tuned for fast gravel riding and bike packing. Longer wheelbase, tweaked front end geometry and a lower bottom bracket lets you have all the features of the DSS3 in a package designed for long days in the saddle.

Whether its racing in you local cross race, a hard thrash on a frosty morning before work, or a long, hot and dusty 160km over testing Moroccan gravel, the DSS3 will be right there smoothing the trail and carving the turns.

For all the info head to the DSS3 page here.

Nov 16.17 – DSS3 First Look

If you want to get a sneak peak of this innovative award winning CX machine before we launch later in the week, come and say hi at Rapha Spitalfields on Monday evening. We’ll be there from 6.30pm-9pm on November 20th with a preview of the bike.

We’ll have the component parts including the 3D printed lug and custom formed 853 top tube as well as some of the development work, so you can see what goes into the design and development of such a frame. There will be a small presentation discussing the technology and design process around 7pm.

Oct 02.17 – DSS2 Review

“Fast and responsive on the road and inspires confidence off road… For those looking to own a truly unique, bike for life you cannot go wrong with a DSS2.”

The Headset Press took one of our DSS2 hand built steel all road machines for test earlier in the year. Taking it on the Rapha Prestige and a bike packing trip along the West Country Way, we can safely say they spent some quality time with it and of course were won by its charm and ability…

Read the full review here.

October 19.17 – Splatter refurb’

Richards bike came back in for a refurb’ and we’re super happy how this one turned out. A new paint scheme and added stainless dropout faces turns this into a whole new bike for Richard. Check out the original finish here in raw with a clear coat, it’s now quite a contrast!

Sept. 20.17. – Tom’s Custom City Bike

Tom came to us with a specific goal. He was after a custom town bike that would accommodate his hip troubles – which have historically caused him pain while riding other bikes.

We started with Reynolds 835 steel tubing and built the frame around Tom’s precise positioning specifications. The frame is equipped with Paragon rockers and features custom racks, forks and stem, not to mention the custom-formed double bend bars to give the bike the short and high reach required to take all the pressure off Tom’s hips.

The belt-driven Shimano Alfine gearing is paired with Middleburn cranks. Paul Klamper mechanical disc brakes, hubs and seat post complete the unique package, designed to help Tom enjoy his riding around town, not to mention stand out on his striking new machine.

  

Sept 06.17 – DSS2 Cyclades

On trails formed from age old donkey tracks, passing ancient farmland and tiny white washed churches, there comes a timelessness not often felt. Surrounded by azure seas, the terrain is steep and rocky and the incredible island views are earned. We took our own adventure worn DSS2 to the Cycladic islands for some further bike/owner bonding and more incredible adventures. Man, I love this bike!

Aug 08.17 – Grinduro Race Report

When we got a call asking if we’d be up for building and racing a bike at the first ever Grinduro Scotland we jumped at it. There’s something really cool about building a bike for a specific purpose and when it’s a race it’s even more exciting. You ever seen that scene from Days of Thunder where Harry is in the barn talking to the race car? Well thats basically the dream.

Grinduro is a unique event in that it is a kind of combined gravel race/ride that takes its inspiration from an MTB style enduro event. Essentially it’s a 60 mile ride over various terrain; gravel, fire roads, single track and tarmac with 4 timed sections along the way. The timed sections only counting towards your final place. It’s a great concept and with food, music and beers its kind of like a mini festival too.

On arrival on the Isle of Arran and the Grinduro venue we were met by a grand Scotsman playing the bag pipes in the rain. The rain didn’t stop until Sunday when the race was over and everyone was headed home. It was something we all somehow reluctantly grew to enjoy by the end of 60 miles of it through forest, over hills and down glens. 

Tent up, it was through to registration and the exhibition hall and to see what the other builders had come up with. Yes there was a little mini custom bike show there, with a handful of select custom frame builders, all of us going head to head, not only on judging of the bikes, but we would actually be racing them too.

Dropping the bike off, while it sat on its plinth, it was time for some beers and food and a little bit of bench racing. At the event there was a lot of talk about which bike would be more suitable and as the weather changed for the worse this subject became more and more important. With 3 flat out gravel sections and 1 tech’ single track downhill, which with the weather worsening was going to be more a case of getting down with the least mistakes, I still felt that a dedicated gravel machine was the right choice, for the timed sections at least. A lot of people were calling a hard tail MTB as the weapon of choice however.

When it came to race day, the rain was still pouring and there was something really satisfying about pulling a bike off a plinth and taking it out for a severe thrashing in appalling conditions. The bike rode great. Running the Clement MSO 40’s soft on the awesome Zipp Firecrest wheels meant the bike flew over the gravel up the first long climb stage. Although coming down the tech DH stage I was definitely under tired, with the shallow tight tread of the tires not giving me much to cut into the loam and mud. In the atrocious weather my brakes had started to fade by this time too, but I dropped my saddle and hung, had a couple of slip off’s getting offline trying to pass people, but couldn’t complain for the conditions. After a lunch break there were two more stages, a fast fire road decent and steep punchy climb. Plus some amazing cliff top single track between stages.

I only saw the results for the top 35 but think I bagged 6th fastest over the tech’ stage, and would be interested to see how many CX/Gravel bikes were in front, it was proper MTB territory through there!  All in at the end of the day I finished 10th overall and 4th in my category, frustratingly only 7 secs behind 3rd!

It was such a cool event, getting to race and hang out on the same ride, then party in the evening too. Sure Scotland delivered some of its famous weather when we were all hoping for a break, but it only bought everyone closer together. Thanks to Giro, Columbus Tubing, SRAM, ZIPP, Clement Tyres, Fabric, the Grinduro family, the Bicycle Academy, all the frame builders  and everyone else who we met and partied with over the weekend. Good beers, good bro’s, good racing!

Photography – Russell Burton, with bike photo by Satchel Cronk.

Aug. 8.17 – Grinduro DSS3

Grinduro is a unique kind of bike race, a combination of gravel grinding and mountain bike enduro over one loop made up of a mix of surfaces. It is also a celebration of the best things about cycling, as much about the party as the ride with food, art, live music, and a whole host of handmade bikes.

We were invited by Grinduro to build a custom bike and exhibit it at the event, and then to compete in the race. We knew we’d need a machine which could cope with fast gravel sections, punchy climbs, a technical downhill section, and a very real chance of inclement Scottish weather. So we took our DSS3 CX racer and tweaked it to suit the gravel style of racing required at Grinduro. We dropped in the Columbus Futura Gravel fork, increased the tyre size, and made some adjustments to the frame.

The DSS3 frame is built around a 3D-printed seat lug which allows the seat stays to splay wider apart for greater tyre clearance and also allows us to increase stiffness and shouldering comfort by using the custom-formed ovalized top tube. The frame also features a 44mm head tube, thru-axle dropouts and flat mount disc mounts.

For the design, we took the fun-loving spirit of the event and splattered the frame with it. Essentially, it’s a flame job, but using actual paint drips rather than flames for a punk rock vibe. We basically just employed minimal masking and went wild with a paint brush! Ultimately, the splatter paint did a great job of hiding the dirt following a wet and muddy event.

Equipped with Zipp Firecrest tubeless disc wheels, wide Clement MSO 40c tyres and SRAM Force1 groupset, this is a fast-rolling and reliable racer ready for everything but the wettest descents.

Zipp Service Course finishing kit and Fabric saddle round off the bike and serve to sustain comfort over the tough 60 mile Grinduro route.

It was a dream to ride on the day. Though the conditions were wet and muddy, the weather helped build camaraderie and turned it into a brilliantly exciting event.

   

July. 26.17 – Callum’s audax weapon

It takes a special sort of cyclist to ride audaxes. It’s fair to say the long, solo rides between checkpoints, frequently exceeding 300km in length and often on terrible semi off-road surfaces, are not everyone’s cup of tea.

When Callum asked us to create him an audax bike, we knew that stability and durability would be crucial in meeting the demands of these brutal endurance missions.

The frame is built with Columbus XCR tubing and the geometric paintjob, which has that weird, almost optical illusion-style, was inspired by artist Bridget Riley.

We took the buzz dot design and went with exposed stainless for the oval features, to add more noise to the design as Riley might have done. Red highlights were added to pick out the Chris King components and the design was incorporated in the matching mudguards. Finally, to add the real personal touch, we hid Callum’s children’s names within the design.

Equipped with flat mount disc brakes, an ENVE GRD Fork with integrated mudguard and Swarf carbon rear fender to match, this frame is ready for the toughest terrain Callum can find.

The Chris King R45 hubs, headset and bottom bracket come together to ensure a fast-rolling and smooth ride. For sharp and reliable shifting, the bike is equipped with Shimano Ultegra Di2 which, paired with the disc brakes, offers great control and confidence.

We finished up the bike with Fizik finishing kit, and Callum’s chosen Brooks Cambium saddle – hopefully that’ll keep him comfortable on those very long days on the road.

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