Last week Enigma, the British company that specialises in titanium and steel road bikes, shared a picture of its updated Etape, and I just had to find out more and share it with you all here.
The Etape is a long-running model in the company’s range. I remember testing one back in 2008 and it was a bike I was very impressed with. It's a really nice choice if you want a comfortable yet fast long distance bike for year-round, but especially winter training plus light touring and Audaxes.
To keep abreast of the changing tastes in the road cycling market, Enigma has updated the Etape. It’s now only available with disc brakes - the old Etape rim brake bike has been replaced by the new Evolve if you aren’t interested in disc brakes.
The new Etape, as well as being available only with disc brakes, has increased tyre clearance so it’ll now take up to 32mm tyres with mudguards fitted, and 35mm tyres if you strip away the ‘guards. That gives the new Etape extra scope to be hauled into use a light gravel bike if you fit a suitable tyre, of which there’s a growing choice now available.
The updated bike adopts the latest disc standards, so it’s 12mm thru-axles front and rear with flat mount calipers. Enigma has steered clear of internal cable routing in favour of running the cables and hoses along the underside of the downtube. The new all-carbon fork does have internal routing for the front brake hose, however, as well as dynamo routing which is a good addition to a bike like this. Pressfit haters rejoice, there’s a classic threaded bottom bracket down at the bottom of the frame.
Of course, there are full mudguard and rack mounts, and there are three bottle cage bosses too. The head tube is tapered and the 3AL/2.5V titanium tubeset is size-specific with each frame size tailored to the demands of different rider heights and weights. That’s something we’re seeing a lot more with high-end carbon race frames but is less common on metal bikes.
Taking of sizes, there’s a wide range from 52 to 60cm and Enigma tells us the average frame weight is 1,500g, which is certainly respectable for a titanium frame. As well as those stock sizes, the company can offer full custom sizing, bespoke fittings and a personalised finish via its own paint shop.
The frame will cost £1,699 and the frame and fork £2,087, while complete bikes will start from £3,499 with Shimano 105 rising to £3,999 with Ultegra, including Hunt 4 Season wheels. Frames come with a 10-year warranty. Stock is expected to arrive in February so head over to www.enigmabikes.com if you’re interested.
“The new Etape is more than just a road bike. Whilst the geometry is focused on road use, retaining the sharp handling and responsive ride our frames are famous for, generous tyre clearance, rack and mudguards mounts, combined with a compliant, size specific tube set, create a bike that is suitable for a huge range of riding styles and conditions,” explains Enigma.
That increased tyre clearance certainly gives the new Etape wider scope for mixing up road and off-road riding. And there are obvious parallels with the Kinesis GF_Ti Disc, both providing titanium frames, carbon forks, disc brakes and generous tyre clearance, and are similarly priced.
It looks good, and we’ll hopefully be getting a bike in for review soon so we can see how it performs. Stay tuned for that.
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.