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Donhou Bicycles Signature Steel DSS1 disc-equipped frameset launched

Renowned custom frame builder launches Signature Series of stock frames

Highly regarded framebuilding company Donhou Bicycles has now launched a ‘Signature Steel’ series of stock frames. An idea first floated at the Bespoked Handbuilt show earlier this year, Donhou will offer this DSS1 Reynolds 853 disc-equipped frame in three sizes costing £2,295.

Each of Donhou’s regular creations are bespoke frames crafted for individual requirements, but founder Tom Donhou felt there was an opportunity to offer a series of stock frames for those cyclists wanting a Donhou frame but perhaps not requiring the custom treatment. And though numbers will still be limited, the waiting time should be a fair bit shorter than the long waiting list for a custom Donhou frame, which currently stands at about one year.

“We love building custom frames and realising peoples dream bikes for them, but there has always been something else we've wanted to do, something that is Donhou through and through, something that is our truly our own,” says Tom Donhou. “That something has taken form as the 'Signature Steel' series.”

The first model in the Signature Steel series is the DSS1, a performance disc braked road bike. The frame is constructed from Reynolds 853 Pro Team tubing and will be TIG welded, rather than fillet brazed which the custom frames are. The frame is compatible with mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes and has option for a Di2 groupset.

The geometry will be stock too, with three sizes offered, 54, 56 and 58cm. The frame features a 44mm head tube and clearance for 28mm tyres. Claimed weight for a 56cm frame and fork is 2.37kg (5.22lb).

The paint finish will be stock too, a stunning deep granite grey with a pink to lime pearl fade on the down tube -  I’d buy the frame just for this paint job alone. And each frame will wear a Signature Steel head badge. 

Price with an Enve Road Disc carbon fork and includes a Chris King Inset 8 headset is £2,295. That includes a 5-year warranty. Complete builds will also be available to order.

Donhou has been influenced by the many custom frames built over the years and distilled them into this one creation, and disc brakes are a key feature.

“A few years ago we were ahead of the curve when we introduced disc brakes onto one of the Rapha Continental builds, and all that we've learnt from that project and the many disc road builds we've built since feeds into this,” says Donhou.

“Built for the purpose of all day road riding, this bike is comfortable and forgiving but very importantly remains a lot of fun to ride. It's quick yet stable, comfortable yet punchy, it will take the edge off that punishing climb and will blow your mind coming down… All the important factors that add up for an amazing ride.”

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David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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