Up until a couple of weeks ago this frame and fork had been perched for several months on the window ledge in my office and it had been pestering me daily by looking at me and saying “Dom, seriously, when the hell are you going to build me into a full bike? I’m just gathering dust here, Im not a bloody ornament”. I’d look back at the whispering frameset and say “wait patiently my metal friend, as one day soon i will build you up into a fine steed adorned with the most durable, timeless and quality parts that I can find”. The frame looked back at me through his bottle boss eyes and said “Alright my bald bearded friend, you’d better build me up real soon though or Ill find a new man to ride me (not in a gay way.....I don't think?)”.
At this point you’re thinking, this Dom guy really needs to get out his design office, he thinks a frame is talking to him and he’s even talking back to it. Well if this was a frame constructed from Aluminium, Titanium or carbon (the off cuts of dead seal pups mixed with the bones of dead witches) then I would be certainly going mad, but this particular frame and fork are constructed from Reynolds 853 and therefore they have heart and soul and lots of it!!!
The moral of the story is that steel frames just have something special about them, you can get attached to them in a way that you can’t with any other material. They age beautifully and are both timeless and durable. Think carefully about what you actually need from a bike and steel ticks lots of boxes.
I’ve been riding a standard Equilibrium 20 for nearly 2 years and I’ve done a huge amount of miles on it, it has been a fantastic companion on some great epic adventures including Lands End to Joan O’Groats in 5 days, London to Birmingham and back, London to Brighton and back, Tour of Flanders and many commutes and pub runs into town to see mates. Over the last few months I’ve worked silly hours, the work has continuously piled up, deadlines have loomed on a regular basis and the stresses of running a bike brand have meant there has been less time for riding. So in the new year I will step it up again, I will put in the miles, I will get strong, I will challenge myself and do something damn right stupid but I’ll feel better for it, I always do, it gives clear perspective, it teaches that life is precious and that simple pleasures are always better. The Equilibrium is a true journeyman’s bike, it will carry you as far as you dare to go.
So from the new year this is to be my companion, a beautiful 853 Equilibrium frame with the exact same geometry and tube profiles as my trusty Equilibrium 20. To go with it I had a lugged Reynolds 853 fork made by our factory, it is light, comfortable and beautiful and it will last an age.
The good news for all of you is that the Equilibrium 853 frame and matching 853 lugged fork will be in stock and available from early March priced at £749.99
It will be in a very special limited edition paint job which we will unveil at our in-house trade event ‘Icebike’, the product will go live on our website on the same day.
BOTTOM LINE: GOOD STEEL DESERVES GOOD STEEL.
My own spec is as follows (no carbon to be seen, not one bit):
- Drive: Ultegra
- Pro Vibe 7S alloy stem, bars, post
- Thomson seat clamp
- King headset and Ceramic BB.
- King R45 hubs laced to R465 double eyelet rims, DT comp spokes.
- San Marco Regal saddle.
- San Marco Raw leather tape (will last for a good few years and gets more lovely as it wears).
Big thanks to the legend Steve Goodwin for building my wheels and Mark at Evolution for doing me a stonking price on the King bits, a Christmas gift to myself.