Andy from component manufacturers Clee Cycles has hooked up with UK frame-builder Justin Burls to produce Torus titanium frames in both 29er and 27.5in wheel sizes. The superlight 650b version, available for £980, has just arrived at BikeRadar HQ for testing.
A race influence is visible in the Torus’ classic cross-country 71- and 73-degree head and seat angles, as well as the very long top tube for a 17in bike. With trail awareness in mind, the bottom bracket has been dropped low, so when you’re riding you aren’t perched high above the bigger wheels.
A 44mm head tube also gives compatibility with conventional straight steerer forks, or tapered forks if you use a Cane Creek XX-style external lower race. There’s a thick plate-reinforcing triangle welded into the angle between the high insertion down tube and the head tube, too.
The titanium tubing is plain gauge rather than butted, but it’s still relatively light at a claimed 1.52kg (3.35lb). The cowled dropouts and curved stay bridges look good, and welding is neat throughout. There are currently only two sizes available, but a small is on the way.
The welds are clean and tidy, and the bridge adds strength:Simon Greenacre/Future Publishing
Clean and tidy welds
On our test bike, parts from superlight component specialists KCNC play a big part in getting the complete bike weight under 9kg (20lb). Narrow Q factor, straight arm K3 cranks are matched with a DH ring with deep reversible teeth that works equally well in a 1×10 cross country setup, especially when matched to a clutch-equipped SRAM X9 Type 2 mech upgraded with KCNC anodised jockey wheels, all of which are controlled by a Grip Shift via alloy segmented alligator cables.
The rear cassette is also a superlight KCNC piece, with titanium cogs on an alloy carrier. The same company provide the minimalist seat collar and 3mm ti bolted stem. The flat bar is a bulged and swept titanium affair by Torus, as is the long seatpost. At the front is a White Brothers Loop fork.
The tiny flashes of red all over the bike are evidence of the care that’s gone into putting it together:Simon Greenacre/Future Publishing
Tiny flashes of red all over the bike show attention to detail
The hubs are by American Classic, with the 650b rims being Stan’s ZTR Crests and wearing lightweight Schwalbe tyres, all of which are brought to a halt by Hope Race X2 brakes with KCNC Razor discs.