Mathias Scherer has been building titanium bikes under the Mawis name in Kleinblittersdorf, Germany for 11 years now. His work first came to my attention at the Bespoked handmade bicycle show, where he normally exhibits a small selection of the 35 or so bicycles that he produces each year.
Given that Bespoked 2020 did not happen, I thought it was a good time to catch up with Scherer and showcase a couple of his recent builds.
Whether it’s a bespoke titanium hardtail, fixed gear or road build, there are a couple of elements that every Mawis bike has in common. The first and most obvious is that it’ll be crafted from titanium, Scherer doesn’t work with any other material. Second, all Mawis Bikes are clean to look at, often with neat integration and details from an obsessive mind.
When you consider Scherer’s background in mechanical engineering – and more specifically the research and development of motorcycle components – then the attention to detail shown in his builds definitely makes sense. As a dedicated cyclist himself and former bike shop employee, he understands a lot more than simply what it takes to build a good bicycle.
Mawis fast commuter build
Weight was an important consideration, but this build was never going to go without what its owner considered essential for commuting, full-length mudguards and dynamo lighting.
As with all Mawis builds, the frame is designed via a consultation process whereby Scherer combines a customer’s desires and preferences with their unique biometric data.
The frame is then built from Ti2Al2.5V tubes and welding is completed using Ti6Al4V ELI wire and argon 5.0 shielding gas. “Certainly there are cheaper, but currently not better [ways to assemble a frame],” Scherer explains.
Standing out against the finish of the titanium tubes is anodised gold badging, including the owner’s name at the top tube.
The carbon-fibre mudguards used on this bike were initially produced by Swarf Cycles, but the designs and tooling have since been purchased by Scherer and a friend.
These lovely components now go by the name Deux Copain or ‘two mates’, and if you ask really nicely then they’re still available on a rather exclusive basis, albeit with a long lead time.
One component that stands out as unusual on a build of this kind is the official Shimano Dura-Ace power meter crankset. The owner rates power meters as an invaluable way of pacing efforts during big rides and the time-trial events he plans to race on this bike. There’s definitely a certain irony about this mass produced component being the most difficult part of the build to source.
The deep section carbon wheels were built by German firm True Bike Components and combine Aera 46mm/56mm rims with Sapim CX-Ray spokes. The rear wheel uses a DT 240 hub while the front is laced to a SON dynamo hub that’s used to power a SON Edelux II front light and diminutive rear unit from the same brand.
Despite the fork being intended for dynamo use, Scherer had to modify it to get the full internal routing he desired for this build. Concealing the wiring for the light and the hydraulic hose for the front brake turned out not to be a straightforward task and took three hours of work.
Finishing kit for the 8.4kg build mostly comes from German lightweight specialists Schmolke.
Mawis gravel build
Dropped chainstays, a short head tube and relaxed geometry all add up to a thoroughly modern gravel bike shape. Look closer and you’ll notice exceptionally neat welds proudly on display.
Scherer produced the fork for this bike himself as a component that would close the gap between a carbon-fibre fork and the segmented five-piece designs often seen on rugged adventure bikes.
The elegant outcome uses a 3D printed crown and features internal routing options for dynamo lighting and hydraulic brake lines. “The biggest challenge was to wrap up a functional setup into an aesthetically pleasing package,” says Scherer.
Rotor Uno remains the world’s only 13-speed hydraulically-actuated groupset, it’s about as exclusive as drivetrains get and thus was an obvious choice for this build. The Uno levers are plumbed into C21 calipers from German company Trickstuff because, well… Rotor’s Magura sourced parts would’ve been too predictable.
It’s hard to imagine a crankset that would suit this build better than the exotic Cane Creek Eewings titanium, which is paired to an AbsoluteBLACK chainring.
The wheelset was built by True Bike Components and features 700c Velocity Aileron rims laced to ceramic Chris King hubs in ‘Bourbon’. Matching those, but contrasting with the rest of the build, are 38mm tan-walled Barlow Pass tyres from Rene Herse.
Once again, the finishing kit uses several parts from lightweight component specialist Schmolke but combines them with a seatpost and stem by Scherer himself.
Mawis bikes pricing and availability
You can keep up with the latest from Mawis Bikes over on Instagram (caution: contains regular #weldporn).
Any enquiries should be directed straight to the Mawis Bikes website.