J.Laverack J.ACK Ti Disc review£4,635.00

Classy Ti J.ack of all trades

BikeRadar score4/5

J.Laverack is a new British company. Its opening gambit, the J.ACK Ti Disc, aims to be a four-season bike for all surfaces.

Not only is the frame the first thing you notice on seeing the J.ACK, we’ve barely taken our eyes off of it since. For a frame to outclass Dura-Ace is unusual, but then nothing about this bike is run of the mill.

Related: J.ACK titanium road bike by J.Laverack – first look

Stunning finish

That beautifully finished frame is made from customised 3Al/2.5V titanium. The stout head tube, housing a steerer that’s tapered for increased stiffness, is fronted by a choice of two head badges. The tubes are on the chunky side of slender, and round except for the top tube’s flattened underside.

Widely set chainstays and downswept seatstays meet at sturdy dropouts, the frame takes 28mm rubber with mudguards, 32mm without, and mudguard, rack or Di2 fittings are available at no extra cost. The welding is stunning, and so neat it’s almost invisible in places. The cables benefit from full-length outer casings, passing through internal channels with immaculately smoothed edges.

The j.ack has pin-neat welding, internal cable routing and a frame material that could well outlast the rider: the j.ack has pin-neat welding, internal cable routing and a frame material that could well outlast the rider
The j.ack has pin-neat welding, internal cable routing and a frame material that could well outlast the rider: the j.ack has pin-neat welding, internal cable routing and a frame material that could well outlast the rider

The J.ACK has pin-neat welding, internal cable routing and a frame material that could well outlast the rider

With Hope, ENVE, Whisky and Brooks, there were no kit shortcuts, but custom options are available. Brooks’ Cambium C15 saddle won’t be to everyone’s taste, but its firm, supportive ride grew on us.

We’d swap the cable-operated Spyre discs for hydraulics. The TRPs performed faultlessly, but well-set-up hydraulics would complement the classy build, offer more consistent feel and reduced maintenance.

Surprisingly stiff and punchy

Titanium frames have a reputation for comfort and durability, if not for lateral stiffness. Well, this J.ACK smashes that preconception, as the forgiving ride hustles along with a true sense of urgency.

Where some titanium conforms and flows, this frame is more direct, punchy even. It’s not a hard ride, and after 60 hilly miles we still felt fresh, but if you want to go hard the J.ACK is game.

The j.ack frame can accommodate 32mm tyres but it pairs this with a pretty sharp, direct and punchy ride: the j.ack frame can accommodate 32mm tyres but it pairs this with a pretty sharp, direct and punchy ride
The j.ack frame can accommodate 32mm tyres but it pairs this with a pretty sharp, direct and punchy ride: the j.ack frame can accommodate 32mm tyres but it pairs this with a pretty sharp, direct and punchy ride

The J.ACK frame can accommodate 32mm tyres but it pairs this with a pretty sharp, direct and punchy ride

Stan’s Grail rims are 24mm wide and 20mm internally, stretching the 25mm Schwalbe One Tubeless tyres to almost 28mm. It’s a willing combination – pretty quick, but hugely robust.

You could fit lighter wheels, but might lose some of the bike’s all-round ability, as it makes a fantastic all-road mount, devouring corners, romping over short climbs and composed over gravel.

The frame costs £1500 (about $2,295 / AU$3,190 at time of writing – J Laverack ships internationally), or £1800 / $2,755 / AU$3,825 with the Whisky fork. Titanium will never be a budget option, but the metal’s durability – and the frame’s quality – helps to justify the cost.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

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