Lynskey R230 £3700

US-made all-rounder with a competitive leaning

BikeRadar score 3.5/5

Lynskey has an extremely long history with titanium – the Lynskey family founded Litespeed, subsequently selling it and a while later starting again under their own name. Lynskey makes an enormous range of Ti frames, all built in Tennessee, with 14 different models just in the road category. The R230 falls into the Sport series, aimed at club riders and occasional racers.

  • Highs: Good value for US-made frame, fast responses
  • Lows: Not that light for the money
  • Buy if: You want a fast, race-ready US titanium bike with lots of heritage

The R230’s main triangle is particularly stout, with oversized tubes everywhere. The down tube is ovalized vertically at the head tube and horizontally at the bottom bracket to distribute material effectively. At the back, the seatstays are chunky but with a gentle arc intended to reduce road vibrations, running down to neat socket-style dropouts complete with a replaceable gear hanger.

Lynskey has chosen to position the minimalist gear cable stops on the head tube rather than the more conventional down tube location. Welding the stops to the thick-walled head tube rather than the thin down tube makes sense structurally, but the position does force slightly tighter curves in the cables especially on small frame sizes or with short stems. Rivnut bottle bosses reduce welding to the down tube too.

With a generously sloped top tube, the R230 is a bigger bike than it looks – the top tube is long for its size, yielding a stretched, low riding position despite the relatively tall head tube. Lynskey uses an insert in its seat tubes to take a conventional 27.2mm seatpost, with the smaller post diameter introducing an extra line of bump-absorbing defence between you and the road. The R230 is available in seven different sizes for spot-on fit for almost everyone. This is a real benefit of welded metal frames – it’s much easier for manufacturers to produce lots of sizes compared with carbon.

Frameset prices start at £1600/US$2634/AUS$4800. We tested a rather fine build using a full Shimano 105 groupset; other parts included impressive DT Swiss RR1450 wheels – they’re very light, reasonably stiff and liven up the ride.

As titanium bikes go, the R230 is definitely towards the racier end of the spectrum, as we’d expected. The girthsome tubes make for a stout chassis that’s ready to take anything you can throw at it, while the stout front end cuts twist during hard efforts despite the conventional untapered steerer. The long cockpit makes for a powerful, aggressive riding position, while the short back end keeps things nimble for a bit of cut and thrust.

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

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