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Looking for your dream spec titanium bike at off-the-shelf prices? Gloria's got you covered

We meet up with Gloria Cycling founder Carlos Ramirez who explains how he is able to provide premium titanium bikes at surprisingly affordable prices

For many cyclists, owning a titanium bike is the ultimate dream. There's the fabled ride quality that makes them ideal big ride bikes, the durability of the material and it's versatility which makes it ideal for bikes that can cover a lot of riding bases without compromise, and the fact that it just looks great – scratches and scuffs can be buffed out so a Ti frames retain their new bike good looks for a lifetime.

What's not to like? Well, the problem is, many Ti bikes come with price tags that make them no more than a fantasy. 

However, one man is on a mission to change that.

Carlos Ramirez is the founder and owner of Gloria Cycling, a dedicated titanium bike brand that offers frames from £929 and full builds from £2,399. 

Carlos came to the UK to study for an MBA but his first real taste of business came about during the height of the Covid pandemic. During lockdown, Carlos began selling other manufacturers’ bikes and offering workshop services from home. Then, in 2021, he decided to take this venture a step further and opened a bike shop in Fulham.

“What I started to realise was that other brands spent a lot of time and money on marketing. The more that I researched, the more I came to understand why products were being sold at such high prices in the UK,” Carlos says. 

Carlos believed there was an opening in the market for great value titanium bikes. Starting with very small batches – 20 frames at a time – he began selling his own independently-sourced, Gloria-branded frames. The initial runs were hugely successful and, now relocated to cycling hub, The Archive, in Crawley, he is keen to push Gloria even further into the consciousness of discerning UK cyclists. 

“The idea behind Gloria is to bring a high-quality product at a more affordable price,” Carlos says. 

“I can do that by having a very lean structure. By not spending huge amounts of money on marketing and just focusing on the product – and by keeping a fairly narrow offering in terms of the range of frames that we offer – we can manage things on a small scale, take care of the resources that we have, and pass savings onto the consumer. 

“We don’t offer discounts every three months like some brands. We do have promotions but we aim to offer a fair price all the time. I want to make sure our customers are paying the right amount of money for the product they receive, not paying a premium now and in five months finding the same bike with 30% off just because the colours have changed or management needs to drive more sales.”

Gloria Titanium Bikes

The bikes

So what is the Gloria range of titanium bikes? We’ll go through the individual options in a moment but, first, it’s important to point out some key details. All Gloria bikes are made from 3Al-2.5V (grade 9) titanium butted pipes and come compatible with both mechanical and electronic groupsets. They also feature standard frame components such as BSA bottom brackets and 44mm cup headsets. And, keeping up with current trends, all Gloria bikes come equipped with a Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH) as standard.

The All-Road – frame from £949, full builds from £2399

Gloria All-Road

“I chose to focus on titanium bikes because they offer a more forgiving ride, they are very robust, and you can potentially do more things with the same frame – which is a direction that the market is heading in more and more,” Carlos says.

“With the All-Road, you can have a fast ride when you’re out with your cycling club, but you can also change wheels to do a gravel ride. It fits the old idea of a bike that can do almost everything – club riding, road riding, gravel riding – without really having any compromises. 

Now we also see this developing into bikepacking and cycle touring, where a metal frame just makes perfect sense. 

“A metal frame should be able to give you a life-long bike and the great thing about titanium – if you get it raw and don’t paint it – is that it looks beautiful. All you need to do is fit some new bar tape and it almost feels like you’ve got a new bike. Or, in five years’ time, you can upgrade the groupset and you’ve got a new bike.

“We see people changing bikes quite often, in some cases because of crashes where you just don’t know if the carbon is compromised. In those kinds of situations, if you use your bike a great deal, then a metal bike makes a lot of sense. So with the All-Road we’re trying to bring a little bit of sustainability to the sport and we’re trying to encourage a greater attachment between riders and their bikes.”

The FKTI – frame from £929

Gloria Cycling FKTI

The second addition to the Gloria stable is the FKTI – or ‘Fastest Known Titanium Bike’ – a bike that offers something a little different to the All-Road.

“I believe the idea of gravel bikes in the UK is a bit of a marketing trick. If we head off road in the UK, it tends to be on single trails or muddy paths – not the romantic kind of Strade Bianche events that gravel bikes are supposedly designed for. It’s tougher, it’s muddier, it’s slippery,” Carlos says. 

“As soon as you start to do gravel, I think people generally find they want to do even more off-road. Eventually, gravel bikes reach a maximum – you need more clearance on the tyres or more mounts, or greater suspension and a more upright position to deal with even tougher terrain.

“So, to that end, the FKTI is basically a do-it-all XC bike. Although it is potentially aggressive enough to be an all-mountain bike, we wanted it to have a good feeling on the road, so that it will also suit people going on cycling adventures and bikepacking. You can go everywhere on this bike. You can fit this bike with a flat bar or a drop bar, a rigid fork or a suspension fork. You can play with it but ultimately it’s a frame that’s designed to tackle gravel riding, UK-style. 

“For me, this bike offers an efficient way to go from gravel to further off-road, to full off-road adventures. You can explore whatever routes you want without worry.”

The All-World – frame from £1750

The most recent addition to the Gloria range is the All-World, which is something of a rarity in the Ti bike world in that it is a titanium bike that can be broken down to fit into a small suitcase.

“The All-World is a breakaway frame that is made to order. That means there is some lead time when it comes to production, but it’s the perfect option for anyone who's always traveling but wants to have all the luxury of titanium,” Carlos says. 

“Ultimately, our goal at Gloria is to inspire travel, break routines, and encourage exploration. The All-World is the ideal machine for doing just that.”

Gloria Cycling frame detail

Build options

While Carlos is happy to sell Gloria’s products as frame-only options, he is also able to provide full-build options where a customer’s imagination is the only restraint.

“Titanium bike customers are very specific and these aren’t the first bikes that they have bought. I can see that we are now getting a lot of maturing Covid cyclists: people who took up the sport during lockdown; who have progressed from the bike they already owned onto their first dedicated road bike; then onto a fancier road bike; and now they’re moving towards custom bikes or custom builds,” Carlos says.

“When it comes to what builds we offer, the quick answer is: we can fit anything you like to our frames. If a customer comes in with a specific request, we can build it. But we do have popular build options, with parts that we already have in the shop, such as mechanical Shimano 105 and Shimano wheels. These are very well priced and easy for us to put together. 

“Even then, a lot of our bikes leave with at least some sort of customisation, such as choice of brakes, inline or setback seatposts, choice of cassette or crank length. So I’m very happy for the build process to begin with a one-to-one conversation with the customer. We aim to be direct-to-consumer, but with a soul.”

To find out more, visit https://gloriacycling.com

Gloria Cycling frame detail

 

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10 comments

Avatar
PpPete | 1 month ago
0 likes

In the market for something like the All-Road but looking at the pics on their website carefully it appears to be all external cable routing ?   Not necessarily a bad thing but I'd prefer the cleaner look of a semi internal arrangement - ports in the downtube rather that cable stops.   I binned off the idea of a Spa Cycles Elan 2 on that basis... and Spa are a known quantity....

 

Avatar
Terry Hutt | 2 months ago
1 like

Great article, but I'd need to know where the frames are coming from. There are some good Ti frame builders in the US and UK, but I doubt he's using them.

I agree that Ti is the best frame material for most riders, but I'd rather spend the extra money and know my bike was made by Lynskey or Moots.

Avatar
chippiebikenewbie replied to Terry Hutt | 2 months ago
0 likes

Their bike frames are manufactured in China. It says to the highest possible standards

Avatar
Gloria Cycling replied to Terry Hutt | 2 months ago
0 likes

Hey Terry,

Thanks a lot for your feedback! Just to give you a bit of background, we actually started with a small batch produced in the US, and at that time, Lynskey was our manufacturing partner. We even still have a couple road frames from that batch, size 56. However, as we explored various manufacturing options and the necessity for design freedom, we discovered a factory that could fulfill all the specifications our product needed. Hope this clarifies things for you, and if you have any more questions, just let us know up. Oh, and did we mention we offer a lifetime warranty? 

Cheers from the Gloria Team!

Avatar
Sriracha | 2 months ago
0 likes

Where are the frames made? Who supplies them? And what is Gloria adding to the experience?

Avatar
don simon fbpe replied to Sriracha | 2 months ago
0 likes

A warranty?

EDIT: Bike fit?

Bike build?

Bulk buying discounts?

Avatar
Gloria Cycling replied to Sriracha | 2 months ago
0 likes

Hi there,

Just to share, our frames are made in China. I think what really distinguishes us, especially when you compare us to other UK-based brands, is how we're able to bring value to our customers. There seems to be this gap in the market for people who are after premium titanium products without the premium price tag. We're definitely open to custom-building bikes, focusing on the specific parts and component sizes you're looking for. 

Cheers!

Avatar
cyclisto | 2 months ago
2 likes

Glad to see anything that much cheaper than other offers.

Glad to see efforts to try using standarized components like the Universal Derailleur Hanger.

Good work.

Avatar
Gloria Cycling replied to cyclisto | 2 months ago
0 likes

Many thanks for your comment! 

Cheers,

Gloria Team

Avatar
Secret_squirrel | 2 months ago
0 likes

Wow stunningly good prices for F+F package.

Would like to see a comparison test between PX Tempest (designed by Mark Reilly) and the AllRoad.  Tempest is 1099 frame but no forks.

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