No. 22 Bicycle Company, a small-batch builder of titanium frames and bikes, is expanding its operation with veteran builders from the recently shuttered Saratoga/Serotta operation. With Scott Hock, Frank Cenchitz, Caleb Sesselman and Bill McDonald, the new crew brings a combined 53 years of titanium building experience to the table.
Mike Smith and Bryce Gracey launched No. 22 in 2012 to fill what they saw as a hole in the titanium market. "We saw some of the large brands at the mid-level of the titanium market offering bikes that were well built, but weren't really pushing the envelope in terms of ride quality or finishing details," Smith told BikeRadar. "At the other end of the market, we saw boutique custom builders doing incredible things: experimenting with more challenging finishes — such as paint or anodizing, instead of the typical down tube stickers — really well-tuned and thought-out tubing, and great attention to detail. Trouble is, these frames are priced in the stratosphere: they're beautifully made, but $5,000 to $8,000 for a frame didn't strike us as good value."
No. 22 pays close attention to detail in its titanium frames
No. 22's frames, by contrast, start at about US$2,499 (£1,500), with complete bikes like an Ultegra-equipped Great Divide going for US$4,499 (£2,700).
"We are building our brand around offering world-class levels of ride quality, finishing quality and attention to detail, but at reasonable prices," added Smith. "We build our frames in small production runs and sell them from inventory, which brings our production costs down and eliminates the months-long wait of many other boutique builders."
With the added manpower, No. 22 is hoping to top 200 frames this year across a three-bike lineup (road, track and a forthcoming disc-only cyclocross bike).
For now, the bikes are offered in stock geometry (five sizes, 52-60cm), but a custom program is planned. For parts, the bikes are all built to a customer's preferences and budget.
The bikes are sold direct and through shops, via Stage Race Distribution in the US distributor and VAM Performance in the UK.
No. 22 makes its frames in small batches but a complete custom build option will be available soon