London-based Donhou Bicycles has just launched the latest steel frame in its Signature Series, the DSS4 which has been thoroughly race tested throughout 2017 at the hands of the Kibosh race team. Made from Columbus tubing with a focus on racing, the frameset will set you back £1,795 and complete bikes will start at £4,380.
To recap, the Signature Series is Donhou’s stock offering, with just three sizes to choose from, ideal for cyclists that don’t feel they need customised geometry but do want to buy a frame from one of the most exciting builders currently working in the UK as part of a revitalised custom framebuilding scene. However, we've since learned that Donhou will now offer custom geometry if those three sizes don't work for you. There's a full list of upgrade options and you can fully personalise the paint finish.
road.cc previously tested the DDS1, a disc-equipped steel bike made from Reynolds 853 tubing. We summed it up as a “fabulous bike with sparkling ride and handling.” You can read that review here.
The new DSS4 has been designed for racing and is available in a choice of rim or disc brake flavours. British Cycling has decided it’s okay with disc brakes in amateur races and it’ll be interesting to see what the uptake is in 2018.
It’s made from Columbus HSS tubing with oversized and profiled tube shapes, with a focus on providing a stiff and responsive ride. Up front is a Columbus Futura carbon fibre fork plugged into a tapered head tube. The frame has been chemically treated internally and finished with stainless braze ons and bosses.
The Signature Series differs from Donhou’s full bespoke bikes in being offered in just three sizes, which helps to keep the prices down compared to the full bespoke offerings and reduce the waiting time if you’re in the market for a new steel frame. You have a choice of three frame sizes, 54, 56 and 58cm, you can see the full geo chart on the website.
It is, however, offering a choice of paint finishes. Donhou has a knack for producing stunning bikes (the special Grinduro creation springs to mind) and this new DDS4 is no different. You can pair any base colour from a choice of 12 with a single logo colour, or opt for the TL Black Top grey and black scheme pictured at the top of this article.
If you want something a bit special, Donhou can work with any inspiration you might have and create a unique paint job. Sadly it can’t offer the James Hunt’s Marlboro Mclaren inspired Kibosh race team finish.
The rim brake frameset costs £1,795 and the disc version is £1,925. Prices include the frame, fork, headset and axles on the disc frame. There is a list of options including stainless steel head badges, Di2 routing, a 3rd bottle cage mount, mudguard eyelets and more. Even rack mounts if you want them!
A full build is available with £4,380 getting you a Shimano Ultegra groupset, Ritchey finishing kit and wheels and Conti tyres. There are upgrade options aplenty including Dura-Ace, Chris King and Enve parts. Complete bikes will have rider-tuned crank length, stem length, bar width and gear ratios.
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.