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Check out Burls’ eye-catching new titanium road bike

Essex based titanium bike specialist debuts new model with disc brakes and internal routing, available off the peg or in a custom geometry

Britain’s Burls Bicycles is introducing a new titanium road bike with disc brakes and internal routing, and it looks very, very cool. You can buy it off the peg or in a full-custom geometry, so let’s get into the details…

If you don’t know about Burls Bicycles, it’s a small family business that specialises in custom-built titanium, headed up by Justin Burls and based in Essex – Harwich, to be exact, hence the coastal pictures here.  Way back in 2009, Shaun Audane spent an afternoon visiting for Check out that story for a taste of how things are done there. 

Burls Road Bike 2.jpg

The new road bike (none of Burls' bikes have a name as such, because they have always been custom built) follows recent trends in coming with hoses and cables (if there are any) that run through the head tube and from there into the fork and the rest of the frame, so there’s nothing to be seen externally.

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The head tube blends beautifully into the top tube, while the junction with the down tube integrates with the fork crown. Out back, you get dropped seatstays and 412mm chainstays.

The frame is built around a cast titanium head tube, bottom bracket shell, and dropouts. Underneath the BB, there’s a neat access door to access cable routing in that area. 

The disc brakes are flat mount – nothing unusual there – and the frame takes a 142x12mm thru axle, which is pretty much standard. The fork that slots in upfront can be carbon, or you can go for a titanium upgrade.

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Burls says that it caters for all gear formats: fully wireless (like you get with SRAM eTap AXS, for example), semi-wireless (like Shimano’s latest Di2 systems), or mechanical. 

The bike pictured here is a size medium with a 555mm effective top tube and a 155mm head tube. The seat tube angle is 73.3° and the head tube angle is 72.5°, so we’re talking about a geometry that’s designed to put you into an efficient, fast ride position.

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Burls is offering the bike in three sizes initially, but you can have it in a full-custom geometry if you like, to perfectly fit sir or madam. Full custom has been Burls’ bread and butter format for the last 15 years, so you’re in safe hands if you go down this route. Even if you go for an off-the-peg geometry, the frame will be built to order for you with a lead time that’s currently around eight weeks. 

The price of the frame, carbon fork and headset is £2,950.

The bike in our pics is built up with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 semi-wireless groupset, and many of the other components are from Deda, including a Superbox carbon stem that allows for the fully integrated cable routing mentioned above. The Superzero handlebar is carbon too, while the Deda Zero100 seatpost is aluminium alloy.

The Burls carbon wheels have 40mm-deep rims and are fitted with Schwalbe One tyres (there is space for about 32mm front and 35mm rear, depending on tyre brand). Burls says that future wheels will be built around Hope hubs. Speaking of Hope, the threaded bottom bracket shell houses a T-47 BB from the Yorkshire brand.

How much are you looking at for a complete build? Prices will vary according to the spec you choose, of course, but a bike similar to the one here would set you back about £6,000. 

Burls Road Bike 9.jpg

We’re trying to persuade Burls to lend us this bike for review. We’re currently arm-twisting and we might move on to a Chinese burn if required. We’ll let you know how we get on.

If you like the sound of Burls and are impressed by what you see here, the company offers full-custom builds in various titanium frame types, which you can see on its Facebook page

Check out loads more Bikes at Bedtime here.

Find out more about Burls

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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Sriracha | 4 months ago

And that's the downside of marriage, not being able to pluck up the courage to broach the subject of buying one of these!

mark1a replied to Sriracha | 4 months ago

Sriracha wrote:

And that's the downside of marriage, not being able to pluck up the courage to broach the subject of buying one of these!

Just get it and when you're rumbled, you can say "What this old thing? Had it for years."

ktache replied to mark1a | 4 months ago
1 like

Got it in the sale!

BadgerBeaver | 4 months ago
1 like

According to Companies House, Burls is a dissolved company as of December 2023. Let's hope this is a new venture or that he's still trading via Torus Bicycles. 

Surreyrider replied to BadgerBeaver | 4 months ago

Oh dear cos this is a nice looking bike.

burlsbicycles replied to BadgerBeaver | 4 months ago

As you may or may not be aware, the bicycle trade generally, and especially the upper end of it, has been on its knees for the last couple of years, with numerous bike related shops and brands sadly going out of business, in stark contrast to the few years before, where bikes seemed to be in huge demand. We have been fortunate as a very small family business, in as much as we have minimal overheads, and everything we sell is to order, and so we have been trying to keep those overheads that we do have, to an absolute minimum, one of which being accountancy costs, and so for now at least, we have reverted back to operating as sole traders; predictably, as soon as we made this move, orders have picked up, and things are looking much brighter again. 

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