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Landrace Tupelo frameset

9
£2,795.00

VERDICT:

9
10
Beautifully made and thought-through frameset that should fit perfectly and last a lifetime
Beautifully made
Bike fit included, for an excellent fit
Titanium frames don't come cheap
Weight: 
1,900g
road.cc Recommends

This product has been selected to feature in road.cc recommends. That means it's not just scored well, but we think it stands out as special. Go to road.cc recommends

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From epic multi-day bikepacking trips to smooth tarmac cruises, the Landrace Tupelo effortlessly adapts to every adventure with reliable performance and comfort. With a ride quality that excels both on the road and off, this titanium frameset is an excellent companion for adventure-hungry cyclists seeking a bike for a lifetime – especially as you get a custom fit as part of the package.

Want a bike that'll last forever? Check out our guide to the best titanium road bikes.

> Buy now: Landrace Tupelo frameset for £2,795 from Cyclefit

Landrace was set up by London-based bike shop/bike fitting studio Cyclefit's Julian Wall and Phil Cavell, the outcome of their decades-long experience in bike fitting and designing thousands of custom bikes for their clients. The Tupelo is their first model.

After seeing thousands of people on ill-fitting bikes, Julian and Phil decided to do things a little differently. You can buy just the frameset and build it up yourself, but each Landrace sale includes a full bike fit. If you want a complete build (Landrace also makes wheels), Julian and Phil ensure that not only is the frame the right size for you but also that the components match your riding style.

The ride

This is the first review bike I've ever had fitted for me, and it's of course had an impact on how easy it has been to focus on the bike itself, as I didn't have to spend a handful of rides stopping to adjust something.

The bike has been with me through a multi-day bikepacking trip, as well as countless miles around my local lanes. And it has, quite effectively, convinced me of its abilities. Paired with some carbon Landrace wheels and high-end components, it feels responsive yet stable, with the relatively slack head angle of 71 degrees paired with the fork's 47mm rake keeping the steering calm even at higher speeds.

2023 Landrace Tupelo all-road bike-16.jpg

Its taller-in-height but shorter-in-length geometry suited me very well. It feels good in terms of comfort, even for consecutive long days on the saddle; when I took it for my three-day-long bikepacking trip, I kept thinking it's what it excels in.

If I had to choose one word to describe the ride feel of the Tupelo, it'd be reliable. This covers the whole bike, from its frame geometry to the components, which all made the bike feel familiar from the get-go. Even when I took it on fast off-road descents loaded with bikepacking gear, I didn't clutch the handlebar anxiously, because it was easy to trust the bike. With smaller bikes especially, this is definitely not always the case, as they can feel 'off' one way or another – either they're twitchy at high speeds or the overall geometry just never feels quite right despite tweaking the components.

The titanium frame does also add to the comfort levels of this bike – it feels much softer in terms of any road vibration than a pure alloy bike, though it doesn't quite feel as smooth on the vibration damping as a carbon frame.

Weighing 9.1kg overall (full build but without pedals), the bike is also relatively light and certainly never felt heavy to ride (the frameset alone has a claimed weight of 1,900g).

It's not a race bike – nor is it made to be, unless your plan is to do ultra-races, which I think it'd be quite good at. It lacks the snappiness of a very light carbon bike. It's reactive and effective on accelerations, but it's not a sprinting machine – though I think part of that is down to the gearing of my specific model as well.

Because I was intending to do some multi-discipline riding with the Tupelo, Julian equipped it with a 'mullet' setup – a mix of road and off-road gearing – pairing a 38-tooth chainring with a 10-52T wide-range cassette. As good as this setup was for my all-road adventures, on pure road rides it was a bit overkill, and a narrower cassette would have meant smaller jumps between the sprockets.

2023 Landrace Tupelo all-road bike-14.jpg

That said, the gearing was good for me generally; if this was my own bike I'd likely swap the chainring to a 40 or even 42T if I knew there was a lot of tarmac road involved, but on steep gravel climbs the wide gear ratio was excellent, and I was able to spin up hills that I might otherwise have had to walk.

Taller and shorter

All-road bikes are rather difficult to define, and often don't perform equally well on the road and off. That's exactly what Cyclefit has set to change with Landrace, with Julian and Phil starting off by saying they 'don't like the way a lot of gravel bikes ride on the road'.

With Landrace, they've addressed this by making the chainstay and back end of the Tupelo shorter than on every other mixed-terrain bike. The chainstay is 425mm across the smaller sizes, while the XL and XXL get 430mm instead.

2023 Landrace Tupelo all-road bike-13.jpg

There are six sizes available, ranging from S/51 to XXL/61, and I tested the smallest, the S/51cm. This has a top tube length of 513mm, a relatively slack 71-degree head angle and a 75-degree seat angle.

The reach is 365mm and the stack 555mm – so it's quite tall, and short, compared with others; it's definitely different to, for example, the Ribble Gravel Ti I've been riding alongside the Tupelo. However, the Tupelo features a nicely dropped bottom bracket, which adds to the planted ride feel of the frame.

2023 Landrace Tupelo all-road bike-1.jpg

The frame is made of butted 3Al/2V titanium and is paired with a carbon Columbus Futura Gravel Disc fork.

Its aesthetics are very understated, as is often the case with titanium frames. Titanium doesn't take paint well, which is why the frames are left raw and the welds on show. Any scratches can also be buffed away, which is great for a bike like the Tupelo, getting bashed about on all sorts of trails and roads.

2023 Landrace Tupelo all-road bike-12.jpg

The Tupelo is very neatly welded together and comes with super-pleasingly formed dropouts and bottom bracket area, and a customised seat clamp (and headset cap).

2023 Landrace Tupelo all-road bike-10.jpg

It's equipped with an extra bottle cage on the down tube as well as the usual two, and mudguard mounts, and has clearance for 35mm tyres (32mm with mudguards).

2023 Landrace Tupelo all-road bike-7.jpg

Test build

The Tupelo can be bought as a frame only or as a complete build in various configurations. Although this review focuses on the frameset, it'd be impossible to review it without components.

My test bike was equipped with a SRAM Force XPLR AXS 1x groupset, with a 38-tooth chainring up front and a 10-52T mountain bike cassette at the back with a SRAM Eagle GX derailleur.

The cranks are 155m long and from Rotor – this was part of an experiment for me to try out a very short crank length.

2023 Landrace Tupelo all-road bike-8.jpg

The bike rolled on Landrace GRV 700C Hope RS4 Gravel wheels, which, as the name suggests, have Hope hubs. The 38mm-deep rims are made of carbon and each wheel has 28 spokes.

They were wrapped in 35mm-wide all-road Hutchinson Overide tyres (maxing out the clearance), which I've already praised in another review.

2023 Landrace Tupelo all-road bike-11.jpg

The finishing kit was mostly Deda: a Gravel100 handlebar, Deda seatpost and Zero stem, along with a Specialized Power Mimic saddle (a choice of mine).

2023 Landrace Tupelo all-road bike-6.jpg

The price of the full build came to about £6,400.

Though I'm not really reviewing the fully built bike here, I will say that the components on my test bike were excellent, from the Hutchinson tyres to the Deda finishing kit, and the smooth SRAM AXS system.

2023 Landrace Tupelo all-road bike-15.jpg

Value and conclusion

I definitely took the Tupelo beyond "all-road" territory: across rivers and tick-filled ferny bushes, to rough and smooth tarmac and everything in between. From the beginning, it felt like my own bike. Part of that was because it fitted me perfectly – and part of it was because it is a beautifully made bike. I also appreciate the fact that one per cent of Landrace sales are donated to environmental trusts and charities – and each bike comes with a bag of wildflower seeds (you can sprinkle them anywhere while riding).

You might be asking, is this an expensive frame, then? Titanium frames vary in price, but generally, you're looking at more than £2,000 – and in some cases a lot more.

The All-City Cosmic Stallion Titanium Frameset, for example, is £3,500, while the Mason Bokeh Ti is £3,700.

So compared with some it looks pretty good value, though the Enigma Escape MK2 (which we tested in 2020) is a little less at £2,677, and the Van Nicholas Rowtag is quite a bit cheaper at £2,070.

Overall, I think Cyclefit has perfected the all-road concept with the Tupelo. It's reliable and stable but not sluggish at all when you want to go a little faster. The titanium frame is going to last you a lifetime, and if you are not fussed about super high-speed road rides then this really is a bike that can serve a range of cyclists on adventures of all kinds. And as a bonus, it is a bike that is fitted for you.

Verdict

Beautifully made and thought-through frameset that should fit perfectly and last a lifetime

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Landrace Tupelo frameset

Size tested: S

Frameset

Tell us what the frameset is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Contents: Frame, Fork, Titanium seat clamp, headset, spare rear hanger (no stem).

Frame Spec

Frame - 3AL-2V Titanium in Cyclefit geometry, 142 x 12mm axle

Fork - Columbus Futura Gravel Disc Fork, 12mm axle, mudguard mounts

Internal headset - Deda Elementi 1 1/8" - 1 1/4"

Seatpost diameter - 27.2mm

Frame weight - 1900 grams

State the frame and fork material and method of construction

Landrace says: "The Tupelo can be used for general road riding, fitness, endurance, commuting, its up to you; the frame will take tyres up to 35mm wide so it can be used for gravel riding too, or if you like riding in inclement weather mudguards can be fitted with up to a 32mm tyre. You can pretty much take this bike anywhere.

1% of LANDRACE sales are donated to trusts and charities fighting to save our planet, to help sustain the beautiful places that we all choose to ride in.

Free 'On the Verge Mix' Wildflower seed packet with every order!"

Overall rating for frameset
 
10/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

Very neat.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

My size S/51 bike has a top tube length of 513 and with a relatively slack 71-degree head angle and 75-degree seat angle, the bike feels good in terms of comfort, and the head angle paired with 47mm rake keeps the steering calm even at higher speeds.

All the Tupelo frames have been made with Cyclefit geometry, the result of decades of bike-fitting.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

The bike's geometry is a wee bit taller in height and shorter in length than some brands' similar bikes, but this suited me and I think the general target audience very well.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

The bike feels very comfortable to ride. The titanium frame, paired with slightly wider all-road tyres, offers great comfort and the geometry is great for a relaxed yet effective riding position.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

The bike feels stiff yet compliant. My test frame was small, so stiffness is expected, but this was not negatively affecting the bike's ride comfort.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

The bike feels efficient, and there's no unnecessary flex where you don't want it.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?

No.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? Neutral.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

The handling is very stable and neutral. It feels solidly planted on high-speed descents.

The frame feels effective and stiff and reacts well – although the 155mm cranks make super sharp accelerations harder.

Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
6/10

It's more tortoise than hare.

Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
10/10

The geometry lends itself well to high-speed stability and the bike feels very planted.

Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
10/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
10/10

The bike is very stable and confidence inspiring.

Rate the bike for climbing:
 
8/10

Effective, and with the wide gear ratio even steep climbs were easy.

How did the build components work with the frame? Was there anything you would have changed?

Because I was to do some multi-discipline riding with the Tupelo, Julian equipped it with a 'mullet' mix of road and mountain bike gearing: a 38-tooth chainring up front and a 10-52T mountain bike cassette at the back.

As good as this was for my all-road adventures, on pure road rides it was a bit overkill; even though the SRAM AXS system is smooth, the jumps between sprockets would be smaller with something a little more compact. That said, it was a good setup for me, and if this were my own bike I'd likely swap the front chainring to a 40 or even 42T when I knew there's a lot of tarmac road ahead. And on steep gravel climbs the wide gear ratio was excellent and I was spinning up hills that I'd otherwise have walked.

Your summary

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?

Titanium frames vary in price, but generally, you're looking at more than £2,000 for one. There are more expensive options such as the All-City Cosmic Stallion Titanium Frameset is £3,500 and the Mason Bokeh Ti £3,700 – but some are similarly priced to the Tupelo, such as the Enigma Escape MK2 at £2,677, while some are a fair bit cheaper – the Van Nicholas Rowtag at £2,070.

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes

Would you consider buying the bike? Yes

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
10/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
5/10

Use this box to explain your overall score

I think it's excellent – reliable and stable but not sluggish at all when you want to go a little faster. The titanium frame should last you a lifetime and if you are not fussed about super high-speed road rides, it'll serve for a range of adventures. Plus, an included bike fit guarantees that it'll fit you.

Overall rating: 9/10

About the tester

Age: 30  Height: 164cm  Weight: 52kg

I usually ride: Specialized Tarmac Sl6  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 5-10 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: cyclo cross, commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb, Ultra-distances

Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops. 

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4 comments

Avatar
willno | 3 posts | 1 month ago
0 likes

35mm tyres max? 
that's a shame....

Avatar
Suvi Loponen replied to willno | 5 posts | 1 month ago
1 like

There is a gravel version of this bike coming in the near future, with clearance for 50mm! 

Avatar
Doctor Darabuka | 40 posts | 1 month ago
0 likes

Rack mounts?  Top tube mounts?

Avatar
Suvi Loponen replied to Doctor Darabuka | 5 posts | 1 month ago
1 like

Hello! There are neither on this model, but Cyclefit is working on a gravel version of the frame incorporating more mounting points.

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