At a very reasonable price for a titanium Audax bike, the Sunday September is comfortable and sure, but its understated looks mean it might just be too subtle for its own good.
The Sunday September is made of straight gauge titanium and according to Sunday’s Greg Rooche, is aimed at the “fast audax/sportivist/all-round” rider.
The version we tested, with largely Campag Veloce kit, comes in at a friendly-for-titanium price of £1499.
Ride & handling: titanium for comfort
Titanium has a reputation for giving a ‘softer’ ride than steel, and you can see why with this bike. It’s comfortable, and great for bombing along over poorer surfaces and rough-stuff.
A lot of the miles were done on the Sunday, some of it on Sundays but, sadly, none of it in September. Sustrans’ canal towpaths proved a good testing ground for titanium and even with narrow 23mm tyres ﬁtted the ride was extremely comfortable, and there were no doubts about its handling on the numerous rougher sections.
On the road the ride feels soft, in great contrast to the zing and the zest of the Hewitt and the extreme stiffness of the Roberts. Likewise, over some of the Bath area’s less bike-friendly road surfaces the Sunday performed well.
Frame: tidy & understated
The brushed titanium frame is light, but this is offset by a fairly hefty fork.
The frame has a very understated matt titanium ﬁnish – achieved by glass blasting – and similarly low-key green graphics. Weld quality is tidy but not quite as neat as some.
The rear end has a keyhole proﬁle and has rack mounts, so the September could easily double up for light touring duties. The titanium alloy used is the very common 3Al/2.5V blend which has aluminium and vanadium in the mix to increase strength.
The dropouts are made from the tougher 6Al/4V titanium alloy.
The down tube and seat tube are oversized, and the down tube has an oval proﬁle as it enters the bottom bracket and head tube.
Equipment: surprisingly poor brakes only fly in Campagnolo/FSA ointment
The 10-speed Campagnolo Veloce groupset and FSA kit performs well, but the Campagnolo brakes are noticeably – and surprisingly – less impressive than the Shimano brakes on other similar bikes.
The slick dual compound Stelvio Plus tyres proved tough performers too, their SmartGuard puncture protection system living up to its reputation.
Wheels: dependable Mavics
Mavic’s Aksium wheels proved decent all-round performers.
It’s unusual to see pre-built wheels on an Audax bike – other bikes we tested alongside the Sunday had custom wheels of one flavour or another.
The 20-spoke Aksium Races are the sort of wheels to be found on budget race bikes, but they have a good reputation. While you might want to upgrade them later, they won’t let you down.