While the world of carbon continues to advance to lighter, stiffer and more aerodynamic frames, it can be the classic looking bikes that catch your eye. You’d be forgiven for not having heard of Sonnet. They only launched in January.
“Inspired by the legendary, Italian, pro-road racing machines of yesteryear, the Sonnet MK.I boasts traditional competitive geometry and timeless looks, combined with all the necessary technical upgrades and carefully considered modern components” says Sonnet, a bold claim indeed.
Their aim is to build affordable artisan bikes, with the same level of craftsmanship as custom builds. Casey, the founder, isn't a frame builder. He's like the conductor of an orchestra. He's bringing together expertise in frame and wheel building, and then collaborates with various artists to create some stunning bikes.
Currently, they have 2 bikes in the range, the MK.I Road Bike and the MK.II Track Bike. Prices are £2,899 for the Road and £2,499 for the Track. This can be altered through a different spec choice but you have to email them to enquire.
Price-wise, these aren't the cheapest. The Pashley Clubman comes in at under a grand. The Condor Classico Pista frame also sneaks under the £1000 mark. Both are hand made in the UK.
Frame-only prices are £1,599/£1,649 for MK.I Road stock/custom and £1,449/£1,499 for MK.II Track. Compare this to the Saffron frame that we reviewed and it's quite a good price. The saffron costs £400 more, the savings being made as the Sonnet frames are "made by a family of frame builders based in Europe, but assembled and tested here in the UK".
The frameset on the MK.I Road is made from Lugged Columbus SL Niobium/Spirit tubing with a Columbus SL 1" threaded curved fork. This is available in a range of very nice colours, the one pictured being the Ruby Red.
The MK.I Road is decked out is some lovely kit. A full Campagnolo Potenza groupset and hand built wheels from Harry Rowland wrapped in Veltoflex Master 25 tyres complement the classic aesthetic.
The Potenza groupset looks perfect on a bike like this. The chrome finish coupled with crisp 11speed shifting gives the best of classic and modern technology.
The MK.II Track is made with the same lugged tubing, but it features horizontal dropouts for the fixed gear rear wheel. It is again built with hand built Harry Rowland wheels, Campagnolo brakes and TRP levers.
Tyres are a harder wearing Continental Gatorskin 25 which should help keep grip in the rear wheel and stop punctures during winter riding or commuting.
Lead times are currently only 4-6 weeks and there are options to have a frame only or custom frame option.
Head over to sonnet.cc to find out more.
Son of a Marathon runner, Nephew of a National 24hr Champion, the racing genetics have completely passed him by. Liam spends his time plodding his way through cyclocross races, very busy not winning. As an advocate for perfectly clean chains, he can be found cleaning his bike instead of training. A shop mechanic, Liam has many helpful skills, such as being able to identify 'cross tubs by the tread pattern alone. If you bump into him, he'll probably be eating.