Friday, 6 December 2013

Five Reasons Why My Bike Is Best

Picking up your new dream bike is a serious matter, evidently.

#1 I know who made it

A nice young chap called Joe, as a matter of fact. I say "chap" but of course I mean "welding ninja". Titanium framed bikes are relatively scarce partly because to get the bits to stick together you need to weld them while they're bathed in argon gas. A job for the intern? I think not. Joe works at Enigma, a specialist bike manufacturer in Sussex. Without getting too farmers' market-y and artisanal about it I am very attracted to the romantic notion of the expert bike builder. Joe is the one in the grey hoodie in the photo. The other guys - whose names escape me, cut the tubes and finished the bike. Chapeau to them all. Apologies for the garish purple test saddle by the way - the real one will be black.

Creators and new owner, all doing well

#2 It cannot be harmed by conventional weapons

Titanium is good for bike construction because it's light and strong. In recent years, carbon fibre has become de rigeur because it's even lighter. But it's not stronger. I know people whose chainstays have snapped and whose top tubes have cracked. Screw that. Titanium, let's not forget, also gets used to armour plate things. It lasts practically for ever, and it doesn't rust. 

#3  It Is Shiny Like a 1960s Fighter Jet

Because it doesn't rust, you don't need to paint a titanium frame. Thus while everyone else is doing the dull black thing, or the gaudy graphics thing (is there a less impressive field of graphic design than bike frames? Yes, cricket bats, but anyway) you can flaunt the difference of your machine by showing off the naked metal.

Shiny. Not flashy.

# 4 It is unique

Unlike the M14s in Full Metal Jacket ("there are many others like it but this is mine"), there actually aren't many, or any, others like it. The frame was designed to my measurements by another ninja at Enigma - Mark.

#5 It has a Chris King headset

I love a specialist. Chris King make wheel hubs and they make headsets. Theirs are the best. Why? Aaaaah not quite sure (smooth and durable I think). Everyone says they're the best, anyway. And they look really smart. Turns out they do headsets in titanium. Soooooold.

My bike: it's the best.