My best 5 minutes on Google this year happened a week after I cracked my top-of-the-range Condor Leggaro carbon bike frame.
Really quite cross at having to replace my earlier investment, albeit after 10,000 kilometres of cycling, I had idlely typed in "titanium frame" and had chanced upon the excellent Justin Burls, based in Harwich.
A long and memorable telephone call to Justin was all I required to set me on course for a new titanium frame upon which I could re-use, in good Scottish fashion, bits of my
old bike including, of course, my existing Dura Ace components.
Going the Burls route would also allow me to dust off that very expensive Cyclefit geometry session that
I had done years before in order for Justin to provide me with an absolutely tailored frame.
I so enjoyed the process. Justin was very helpful, very knowledgeable and efficient. Within hours I had a set of drawings, within six weeks I had my new cycle.
I had asked
Justin to rescue anything from my Condor bike that he could usefully re-purpose and, in the end, I ’ve kept the gearset, seat and handlebars.
Listening to my riding style and
habits Justin then chose me a set of Easton SC90 carbon front forks and a wonderfully pimped-up set of American Classic Aero 430 wheels while I had specified a Chris King
headset and new Speedplay X2 cleats.
I ’ve had my Burls bike for 3 months.
It is spectacular and demonstrates exactly the degree of "soul" that I was looking for in shunning a big brand replacement for the broken
Condor in favour of a genuinely artisanal alternative.
I ‘m a great believer in the bicycle maxim that new kit is ofter "different, not necessarily better" but the frame
quality of my Burls in second to none and Justin ’s build quality and attention to detail is exceptional - so gleaming was my ancient Dura Ace when I came to pick up my
purchase that noone would have thought I had spent less than twice as much as Justin ’s final invoice on his bike.
The titanium frame is a revelation; after the King of the Downs and the Magnificat 200 within a fortnight-or-so, I ’m reasonably qualified to say the ride is silky smooth and genuinely less jarring that sitting on top of a top-end
And everyone in the peleton is interested to know about this "Burls" machine in their midst —Justin from Harwich?
Very small runs of titanium frames made near Moscow?
Such fantastic welding?
A lead time of just over a month?
2 fittings and then you ’re off?
I don ‘t believe the cost?
I ’m an obsessive amateur who has come late to the sport but I read my cycle mags and know my way around Wiggle, Evans and the Pro shops.
And I would wholeheartedly recommend the Burls experience to Anyone (Any with a capital A as I think he adds value whatever the client ’s experience base).
There was exactly the right amount of hand-holding, thoroughly fair pricing, completely reliable service and, if I hadn ’t chosen a titanium frame that will go with me to the grave, I would already be looking
forward to trogging up to Harwich for my next bike.
I have asked Justin to give interested parties my details and I will be happy to give them a similarly glowing and
Next week will see the bike do 800kms over Stages 5 to 8 of the Tour de France.
If Stage 8 takes 12 hours it won ’t be the fault of Justin ’s bike.
Do not hesitate to call
Mr Burls in Harwich.