Recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest bike shop in the world, Pearson Cycles can trace its history back more than 150 years. The unusually-named Objects in Motion is the company's third titanium offering, following on from the equally memorable Just Killing Time, and adding discs to the package.
The OiM is billed as a 'race-like' machine, but one that offers a less head-down position than a pure competition mount by virtue of a taller head tube – 155mm in the case of our small test bike. Otherwise it's a pure road bike, with a racy 73.5 degree head angle across all sizes and a back wheel that's snugged right up against the seat tube for a tight wheelbase. (About 97cm on the small.)
Pearson places a lot of emphasis on fit, saying that its geometry best reflects the needs of its customers, and that the way it varies across the sizes means virtually all riders are catered for without the need for actual custom frames.
Clearances are quite tight
Our test bike sported a rather swanky build based around Shimano hydraulic brakes and Ultegra Di2 shifting kit, along with Reynolds Assault carbon clinchers. At just shy of £5,000 ($7,644 / AU$10,622 at time of writing – Pearson will ship internationally), it's not for the faint of wallet, but Pearson will build any spec you like, with a frame costing £2,000.
Said frame looks an awful lot like every other high-zoot titanium chassis you've laid eyes on, and that's no bad thing because it's very pretty indeed. There are no wacky shapes or gimmicky flourishes to the tubing, but everything ties together very neatly, from the tastefully tapered head tube to the neatly manipulated chainstays.
Welds are visible but tidy, and the routing for the Di2 wires and hydraulic brake hoses is fully internal, with the latter actually passing through the leg of the full carbon fork on its way to the front caliper. Home mechanics might look askance at this, but there's no denying that it makes for some very clean lines. The only aesthetic blemish was the slight battle-scarring on the white-wrapped seatstay – it looks good out of the box, but it's quite vulnerable to damage.
Despite the discs and the position, this is very much a road bike, one with no gravel pretensions. (Pearson makes no bones about this, citing scepticism of recent trends and pointing out that in a year's worth of testing on all surfaces, the need for a 'gravel-specific' machine did not arise.)
A pretty racy titanium road bike with disc brakes – a very 21st century mashup
Indeed on the wide Reynolds rims, a 25mm Continental GP4000S II measures roughly 27mm across, and that's about as much tyre as will fit, particularly out back where the front derailleur clamp is on the verge of a truly intimate relationship with the rear wheel. The OiM is also not a winter bike – Pearson has other offerings to fulfil that role – so there's no provision for mudguards (fenders, if you're a curious US reader).
You might be wondering then what the point of this thing is, and after riding it we've decided that it's simply to be an exceptionally fine long-distance bicycle. It delivers on the promises and clichés of titanium in a way that many ostensibly similar bikes do not and it handles properly, its racy DNA evident.
Although it's fitted with a stout 31.6mm alloy seatpost, the ride is sublimely smooth, perfect for putting in the miles on the neglected road surfaces that litter the British Isles.
It has that mythic titanium spring to it as well, to which the Reynolds wheels are a perfect complement. With discs on braking duty, carbon clinchers' usual drawbacks don't apply, so you can enjoy the generous tyre volume, aero wizardy and stiff precision that the rims offer without a care in the world.
The frame supplies the fizz and verve, while the wheels add edge, with enough rubber wrapped around them to make sure things never get too edgy. If sprinting out of corners in criteriums is your thing, this probably shouldn't be your first choice, there are stiffer and more aggressive bikes out there. As a place to sit for a day however, it's positively delightful.