Pretorius are a small British brand just off Shoreditch High Street in London, who have been around since about 2008. We’ve already reviewed their Outeniqua titanium road bike, now we’re taking a look at the Outeniqua Disc, which has been adapted for disc brakes, a growing trend in the road bike market at the moment.
The frame also takes mudguards, which in itself isn’t anything special, there are plenty of titanium road bikes that take mudguards. Pretorius however have attempted to retain the performance of their regular road bike without compromising the handling and agility in making the necessary modifications for mudguards.
Where you can see evidence of this is in the geometry: it’s quite short in the wheelbase, and just 5mm longer than their regular Outeniqua frame. On paper it looks like a disc-equipped titanium race bike with mudguard capabilities then.
At the heart of the bike is a 3Al/2.5V double butted titanium frame with an oversized 44mm head tube, which can accommodate any fork standard. Pretorius offer it with a Enve 1 1/8in-1/5in carbon road disc fork as part of the £2,299 frameset package we’re reviewing here.
We see a lot of titanium frames through the road.cc office, and this one is a really nice example. The mix of paint and raw titanium is a very pleasing finish and one of the better looking titanium bikes I think we’ve had in to test for a while. It’s very well finished too, very neat welds and nicely proportioned tube sizes. The down tube, seat tube and top tube are sufficiently oversized so not be overshadowed by the enormous head tube and chunky Enve fork.
Gear cables are slung under the down tube and the rear brake cable follows the same path, so it’s all clean and clutter free at the top tube. The seat stays, small in diameter, bow out at the rear axle to provide clearance for the disc caliper, which is mounted on the chainstay.
The geometry for this M size frame features a 54cm top tube, 14.2cm head tube, 980mm wheelbase and 73 degree head tube angle and 73.5 seat tube angle, so you can see it’s quite a racy proposition. However, considering they offer custom geometry you could easily reign it in if you wanted a taller head tube or longer wheelbase for extra stability. If you prefer reach and stack figures, they are 375mm and 555mm respectively.
If none of the six offered sizes fit you, or just prefer custom, Pretorius will for £2,900 do you a custom frame so you can specify the exact geometry. They also allow you to tailor the tubeset to meet your riding demands, as well as custom paint and finishing options if you want to make it really stand out from the crowd.
Pretorius mainly offer frames but they’ll build a bike to any specification you want. They sent in this suitably blinged bike for us to test, with a Campagnolo Chorus 11-speed mechanical groupset paired with TRP Hy/Rd hydraulic disc brakes.
We’ve reviewed these brakes previously and found them to offer good power and modulation, and because they work with regular cable brake levers, they can easily be fitted to most disc-ready frames without having to buy a complete new groupset. They’re more than a good stepping stone to a full hydraulic brakeset, they’re good in their own right.
We find 140mm rotors at both wheels, bolted to fancy Chris King hubs laced to H Plus Son semi deep section rims. They’re fitted with 25mm wide Continental Grand Prix 4000S tyres, a good choice for this bike. Rarely seen Deda 35mm handlebars and matching stem provide extra front end stiffness, and the Selle Italia SLR saddle is perched atop a Deda carbon seatpost.
The price for this full build, if you wanted to replicate it, is in the region of £4,600. Wondering what it weighs? On the road.cc scales it’s 8.49kg (18.71lb). That’s pretty good for a titanium frame with disc brakes we reckon.
Pretorius describe the Outeniqua Disc on their website as “our ultimate all weather machine,” and with a mudguard-ready titanium frame, we’re inclined to agree. With the famous ride quality and durability of titanium and the reliability and low maintenance of disc brakes, this looks the sort of bike you could happily ride all year, winter with 'guards and summer with a sportive number on the bars. Watch out for our full review to see if the Outeniqua Disc lives up to its potential.
Talking of titanium frames with disc brakes, we've just reviewed the Sabbath September Disc, but that's more of a touring bike with a noticeably longer wheelbase, and with rack mounts it's a bit more versatile and less racy. At the other end of the scale, and switching to carbon fibre for the frame material, there's the Colnago CX-Zero and Orbea Avant, two similarly pitched performance road bikes with disc brakes. And both similar money to this complete Outeniqua Disc.
More at http://pretoriusbikes.com/
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.