Engineered Bikes is from Bristol, just a few minutes ride from BikeRadar HQ, in fact, and the firm makes bespoke bikes in steel and aluminium.
Like every bespoke builder, the Engineered focus is on delivering your dream bike, perfectly fit for purpose and precisely custom fitted. Where the brand stands out from the herd a little is in its successful balance of high-performance soul and crisp aesthetic, thanks to frame designer David and graphic artist Adrian. The frames are designed in the UK and built in Italy.
All-seasons steel steed
The Gezel is Engineered's ‘road endurance’ platform: a premium steel frame built for all weathers and routes. Disc brakes are the default but cantis are offered too and you can go with standard sizing or either of two levels of custom geometry at extra cost. Since this demo bike was built, stiffness-boosting thru-axles are now available front and rear.
The SRAM Force group on our test ride suited us well
The tubeset is custom-drawn Dedacciai Zero XL steel (Columbus XCR stainless is an option) and it’s built into a frameset that can do pretty much anything. Our test bike weighed in at just 8.2kg, so it’s very happy on big climbs or being ridden fast, yet it has the toughness, stability and clearances to take on gravel roads, cobbles or indeed a city’s back streets.
Engineered tells us that its name means ‘journeyman or companion’ in old Dutch and, indeed, the 1,028mm wheelbase and 72-degree head angle are fairly relaxed. However, it only takes a few pedal strokes to appreciate that the Gezel is a companion that’s keen to set a brisk pace rather than simply stroll for hours.
A hint of the racy
The frame is stiff and responsive, accelerating eagerly and rewarding your efforts uphill. The steering is lively and engaging, and the Gezel will whip around corners with vigour. It isn’t quite a race bike but you can certainly feel the influence. Engineered claims to have designed the Gezel for people who also ride race bikes and want to keep some of that spark in their more versatile bike. We think they nailed it – whatever else it may be, this is certainly a fun ride.
That said, it also has the stability and comfort to feel relaxed when you want to cruise. Our test bike came with venerable Continental 4 Seasons rubber in 28mm width. There’s room for 32s but it’s already so smooth on 28s at 90psi, while still rolling quickly, that we only think it would be necessary if you’re planning to hit some unsealed roads.
There's room for up to 32c rubber
The build is, of course, entirely up to you so we won’t dwell on it long. The SRAM Force groupset on our test ride suits the Gezel – light, modern, crisp – and the hydraulic disc brakes are by far the best we’ve used. The Halo wheels ride well, but in this tester's opinion at least graphics like these belong on a mountain bike and spoil the looks a bit.
The Gezel is the most fun and engaging bike of such versatility that I’ve ridden, and it combines that admirable skill set with bespoke handmade craft and just the right kind of exclusivity.