Burls Titanium review£2,019.00

No compromise high-end fixie

BikeRadar score4/5

A dedicated fixie frame with no rear brake provision, this is a fast, lively street warrior and a would make a true track weapon.

Harwich-based Burls gets its titanium frames from the same Russian shops that have supplied Omega and Colnago in the past.

Ride & handling: fast-handling thoroughbred

Out on the road the first thing you notice is the weight, or lack of it. This is a really, really light bike. Built up as we tested it, the Burls barely troubled the scales, registering just 15.6lb without pedals, easily the lightest of the fixies we’ve tested recently.

This makes for a pretty lively ride, and the tight frame, stiff fork and lightweight wheels gave us some sketchy moments, especially when descending.

It’s a bike that senses your fear, but the directness and superb transfer of power make it great fun in traffic, and it would make a fantastic courier machine.

It would certainly look at home on the velodrome too with all the extraneous equipment taken off and we’re sure it’d be a hoot on the track – the sharp responses and quick acceleration would have you picking your way through the field in no time.

You’d want to fit a bigger ratio than the 44/17 ours was running, as it felt undergeared. It didn’t struggle too much even on steep hills but spun out much too easily on the flat.

In spite of that, the Burls feels like the thoroughbred it is. This is one ride that takes a little while to tame, but its class rewards you in the end.

Frame: straightforward fixie-only

You couldn't ask for a more understated titanium frame.

This isn’t a singlespeed frame. There’s no brake drilling at the back, nor does Burls recommend that you take your Black & Decker to the brake bridge. That’s its only significant limitation, though.

Equipment: nicely specced with some quality finishing kit

Since it’s not possible to fit a rear brake, it isn’t sensible (or legal) to ride the Burls with a freewheel. It’s very much a track machine that you can ride on the road – there are no compromises here.

Ours was built up with a mix-and-match selection of quality componentry, including Cane Creek Volos track wheels, Time Millennium fork, FSA bar and stem and a Stronglight crankset.

The total cost for a spec similar to this would be a shade over £2000. You’d have to really love fixed riding to spend that much, and you could easily finish a complete bike for a lot less.

Wheels: light, but they’re tubulars

The Cane Creek wheels are light and pretty stiff, but we'd rather have clinchers with a bit more rubber than the tubular tyres fitted here.

This article was published by BikeRadar, the world's leading source of bike reviews, gear reviews, riding advice and route information
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