Curve Belgie Spirit review

All-road titanium from Down Under

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5

Our review

If you can swing it, the Belgie Spirit is a delight
Buy if, You want a premium all-roader and you’ve got the cash to spec it right
Pros: Delightful ride, customisable
Cons: It’s not cheap!
Skip to view product specifications

The Curve Belgie Spirit (we’re not totally convinced about the name, but it sounds less ridiculous in an Australian accent) is a titanium ‘all-roader’ — which is to say an adventurous road bike with reasonably large clearances and an eye on comfort.

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Although I tested a complete bike, Curve is a custom brand, and so the spec is entirely up to you. A frame alone costs AU$2,799 Australian (approx £1,667), while a frameset that includes the Curve carbon disc fork, a headset, a titanium seatpost and seat clamp, and thru-axles costs AU$3,599 (£2,143).

The wheels are anchored by thru-axles at both ends and mine came shod with winter Continental 28mm rubber

Extra mounts for mudguards, racks or additional bottle cages can be added for a small charge. Curve even offers paint options, if the raw look isn’t to your liking.

The frame is bold and sturdy looking, with an assertive ‘Red Bull can’-style head-tube with a large external lower headset cup (Chris King, naturally — there are no half measures here) to accept the tapered carbon fork.

The standout feature when viewed in profile is the way the ‘Compound Curve’ seatstays take a wide approach to the cowled rear dropouts before heading straight down to meet them. As well as creating extra clearance for the rear brake caliper inside the frame, this is designed to add spring to the back end.

There’s an argument for making an adventure bike as easy to work on as possible, and Curve keeps things utilitarian with fully external cables and brake hoses, as well as a threaded bottom bracket shell.

The ride lives up to ti stereotypes by being impressively compliant and springy
The ride lives up to ti stereotypes by being impressively compliant and springy
Robert Smith / Immediate Media

My test bike sported the sort of dream spec we’d all opt for given the chance: Shimano’s RS685 hydraulic levers, Dura-Ace shifting components and Curve CC 24 disc carbon clinchers.

The wheels are anchored by thru-axles at both ends and mine came shod with winter Continental 28mm rubber. (There’s room for anything up to a 32 according to Curve.)

The Belgie Spirit’s ride is classic titanium — it really lives up to the stereotype by being impressively compliant and pleasingly springy. We took it along lumpy canal/river paths and potholed lanes and found it delightful throughout. The stiff Curve wheels are a great complement to the frame, adding a little edge and keeping things precise without compromising the bike’s floaty ride.

With 374mm of reach and 574mm of stack (including the headset) on our size 54 bike, the Belgie Spirit is very much an endurance machine and it excels in this role. It’s moderately stiff laterally without being obnoxious, but more importantly, the combination of ride quality and liveliness is extremely well judged. It won’t batter you on poor road surfaces, but it never feels dull or sluggish.

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The Belgie Spirit isn’t stunningly light (most metal bikes with discs aren’t) and it isn’t ground breaking in its design, it’s just a really likeable, fun-to-ride example of its type.

Product Specifications

Product

Name Belgie Spirit
Brand Curve Cycling

Available Sizes 47cm 50cm 52cm 54cm 56cm 58cm 61cm 64cm
Rear Wheel Weight 1620
Wheelbase (cm) 101
Top Tube (cm) 54
Standover Height (cm) 78.5
Seat Tube (cm) 46
Chainstays (cm) 42
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 27
Wheelset Curve carbon clinchers, DT Swiss 350 hubs
Weight (kg) 8.8
Trail 6.4
Stem ARX II Pro
Shifters Shimano Dura-Ace
Seatpost Curve titanium
Seat Angle 73.5
Saddle Oval
Rear Tyre Continental Grand Prix 4 Season 700x28mm
Bottom Bracket Hollowtech II
Rear Derailleur Shimano Dura-Ace
Headset Type Chris King
Head Angle 72
Handlebar 3T Ergonova Pro
Front Wheel Weight 1260
Front Tyre Continental Grand Prix 4 Season 700x28mm
Front Derailleur Shimano Dura-Ace
Frame Material Belgie Spirit titanium
Fork Offset 4.5
Fork Carbon
Cranks Shimano Dura-Ace 172.5mm, 50/34
Chain Shimano
Cassette Shimano Ultegra 11-28
Brakes Shimano RS805 hydraulic disc
Frame size tested 54cm