English Cycles 5.8kg carbon and steel superbike

A close look at the latest wonderful creation from Oregon-based frame builder Rob English

by David Arthur   October 3, 2013  

Remember the stunning Naked time trial bike from Oregon-based frame builder Rob English last year? Well, Rob is back with an even more striking build, this time the V3.1 built for customer Irvin and dubbed by Rob as the 'Tron' bike.

Rob has got a way with frame building that has seen him pick up the much coveted Best of Show award at the 2013 North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS), and that flair for creativity is expressed beautifully in this latest creation. It's a stunning bike don't you think?

The frame is a marriage of True Temper steel tubes, including a discontinued S3 aero down tube, and carbon tubes from Enve. The use of carbon has allowed the weight of the complete bike to tip the scales at a shockingly low 5.8kg (13lb). Just the carbon seatstays alone, the first time Rob has used them, saved 40g compared to equivalent steel tubes. The skinny carbon seatstays finish in a neat steel wishbone assembly that flows into the steel top tube.

There’s some lovely details. Just look at that head tube for example. The carbon is on display at the head tube and seat tube, with the integrated seat mast capped with Rob's own custom seat clamp.  The carbon head tube, seat tube and seatstays are bonded into the steel tubes, with a small titanium pin through each joint. The fork is a 235g THM Scapula painted to match the frame, work which was carried out by Colorworks.

The build is nothing short of top draw either - you couldn't really deck out such a frame with nothing but the best could you now. A Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 groupset - the battery concealed inside the seat tube - is complemented by a carbon fibre THM Clavicula M3 chainset with Praxis chainrings and Zero Gravity brake calipers. The crankset, an updated version released earlier this year, a modular design that works with any chainring configuration or bottom bracket standard. The crank arms weigh just 344g and a double spider (there’s a choice of spiders for different chainring combinations) is 39g. In other words, seriously light.

The build is finished with a custom English stem weighing 122g with an integrated mounting boss for the Di2 control box. Wheels are Enve SES 3.4 carbon tubulars.

Check out www.englishcycles.com for more

33 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

This really is the future, lugged carbon bikes, if the weak points on carbon bikes are the joints, get rid....brilliant, also would be much easier to repair a damaged tube, take it out, glue a new one in.

How sexy would this look in polished Ti

posted by jason.timothy.jones [303 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 9:32

21 Likes

That is a nice bicycle.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1358 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 9:34

17 Likes

I dribbled...

Asolare

posted by Goldfever4 [168 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 9:50

19 Likes

jason.timothy.jones wrote:
This really is the future, lugged carbon bikes, if the weak points on carbon bikes are the joints, get rid....brilliant, also would be much easier to repair a damaged tube, take it out, glue a new one in.

How sexy would this look in polished Ti

you couldn't take out a tube without being able to dissolve the glue from the inside, plus you'd have to take out at least one other undamaged tube to get any damaged one out so I doubt that is the intention.

nice loooking thing though.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [861 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 9:52

18 Likes

Lovely looking bike, but one criticism, why the Union flag on the down tube? Surely the St George flag would have been more appropriate? English NOT British?

posted by shearer27 [12 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 9:57

23 Likes

shearer27 wrote:
Lovely looking bike, but one criticism, why the Union flag on the down tube? Surely the St George flag would have been more appropriate? English NOT British?

He's based in the states - none of them would 'get' it.

G-bitch's picture

posted by G-bitch [310 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 10:20

23 Likes

That is one beautiful machine. Love True Temper tubing and back 'in the day' I raced a Raleigh USA built MTB with TT tubing.. very nice

posted by Roberj4 [197 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 10:29

21 Likes

Cool One day....

posted by UnflappableEd [11 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 10:47

20 Likes

It looks like a kiddy bike with the seat jacked up & the stem canted upwards so that Dad can ride it.

Grizzerly

posted by Grizzerly [125 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 11:02

19 Likes

Quote:
A Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 groupset - the battery concealed inside the seat tube

Isn't that it under the stem? Looks fugly.

posted by qwerky [139 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 11:06

23 Likes

It must have taken a lot of effort to find brakes & chainset that look even uglier and more clunky than the standard Shimano.

Grizzerly

posted by Grizzerly [125 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 11:09

26 Likes

it's got blue on it, it would be better and faster (even when stationary) if red used. Nice bit of kit though.

mt

posted by timothy [32 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 11:31

26 Likes

qwerky wrote:
Quote:
A Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 groupset - the battery concealed inside the seat tube

Isn't that it under the stem? Looks fugly.

That isn't the battery, that's the control box for the Di2 groupset, and hides the USB charge point

David Arthur's picture

posted by David Arthur [1613 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 11:51

24 Likes

I love those English bikes, he's done some superb builds. True craftsman.

posted by crazy-legs [537 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 12:00

21 Likes

It's a horrible looking bicycle. Grotesque.

With such a severely sloping top tube, it looks more like a BMX frame with big wheels somehow jammed in. Ridiculous. Road bikes are not supposed to look like this.

I'm off to puke my guts up. Sick

posted by Doper [41 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 12:14

23 Likes

Doper wrote:
It's a horrible looking bicycle. Grotesque.

With such a severely sloping top tube, it looks more like a BMX frame with big wheels somehow jammed in. Ridiculous. Road bikes are not supposed to look like this.

I'm off to puke my guts up. Sick

I wouldnt go that far but, I would have foregone a bit of weightloss to have the head tube longer so no cheap spacers and maybe a bit more length on the seat tube. The main thing is that its presumably a custom bike to someones spec and if thats what he asked for so be it. I do hate those cable outers though! And the blue, too 'I love Sky'. But, I am very jealous, its a nice bit of kit me thinks! Better off with manual gears too fwiw, still jealous though Smile

Ah, but that was then

posted by Pitstone Peddler [104 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 12:44

21 Likes

jason.timothy.jones wrote:
This really is the future, lugged carbon bikes, …

It _was_ the future in 1984 Wink

ALAN corsa super carbonio NOS

posted by ped [168 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 12:46

23 Likes

Phwoooooooar!

posted by MarcMyWords [69 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 13:13

19 Likes

As well as phwooooar... Look at the angle of the seat tube!? Mad. Really like this.

posted by MarcMyWords [69 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 13:15

23 Likes

Wow, lovely looking bit of kit that.

jimmythecuckoo's picture

posted by jimmythecuckoo [1279 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 13:19

26 Likes

Lush innit Big Grin

posted by gareth2510 [139 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 13:45

19 Likes

Lugged carbon's pretty common from smaller frame builders who don't have the money to build proper molds for aero designs. And, for some reason, Colnago, as Wiggle Honda ride a design using just round tubes lugged.

posted by Al__S [591 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 14:32

21 Likes

Can't argue with the craftsmanship, but can anyone really justify what must be a 5 figure sum on a bike? If you are a pro, fine (but they don't pay for their bikes, so forget that). On something like this you really need the legs to back it up (and pray that some bruiser on a Halfords MTB doesn't come past you - you'd never live it down).

Pastaman

posted by pastaman [220 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 15:54

19 Likes

Why have the legs to back it up? Ride what you like, if you can. I'm no longer party to that snobbery. I wasn't "allowed" to have a disc wheel until I'd gone sub hour for a 25 on a road bike, back in't day. Balls to that!

It is very lovely. Fit for purpose: LIGHT.

www.vulpine.cc
@aslongasicycle
@vulpinecc

aslongasicycle's picture

posted by aslongasicycle [309 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 15:59

21 Likes

pastaman wrote:
Can't argue with the craftsmanship, but can anyone really justify what must be a 5 figure sum on a bike? If you are a pro, fine (but they don't pay for their bikes, so forget that). On something like this you really need the legs to back it up (and pray that some bruiser on a Halfords MTB doesn't come past you - you'd never live it down).

Well, I can think of two ways to look at that:

1. Why do they have to justify it? It's their money. If they want to spend it on a bicycle then why not?

2. They justify it simply by appreciating it. It doesnt mean they have to ride it faster than anyone else - if they enjoy it more than something else they'd do with the money, then surely it is 'justified'...

posted by step-hent [694 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 16:33

23 Likes

For the record, I think it looks awesome. From what English owners say, I'd guess it rides beautifully too. Bravo to another piece of bike-building artistry!

posted by step-hent [694 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 16:36

19 Likes

Wow. I don't even like weenie-bikes but that is stunning.

So many great bikes and builders in that area of the US. Rob English consistently makes me stop and stare and want a custom bike that I really don't need. Or just to move to Oregon, there must be something in the water. Amazing work.

posted by james-o [204 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 21:00

24 Likes

pastaman wrote:
Can't argue with the craftsmanship, but can anyone really justify what must be a 5 figure sum on a bike?

If you're rich enough to have this built, you're long past being bothered about "justifying" your purchases to anyone.

posted by Al__S [591 posts]
3rd October 2013 - 21:30

25 Likes

Why is it on the small ring?

posted by red snapper [7 posts]
4th October 2013 - 1:16

19 Likes

I can't quite believe that wishbone...would take a few rides to feel confident it wasn't going to collapse. Nice job though.

posted by Ad Hynkel [50 posts]
5th October 2013 - 19:46

27 Likes
<