We test a motley crew of six machines with not a carbon frame in sight
Carbon is ubiquitous but it’s not for everyone. We banish the material in favour of an eclectic bunch of metal frames
Carbon makes the world a better place, right? It makes things lighter, it looks stealthy and futuristic, indeed there isn’t a widget that couldn’t be improved with a little bit of the black stuff. Life would be terribly dull if we stamped out variety entirely, however, and this month we’re banishing carbon completely, or rather, we’re banishing it as a frame material – forks get a pass on this one.
We’ve all observed the renaissance that metal bikes have been experiencing in recent years, and this month we’ve got six bikes from four different countries, every one with a metal frame. At one end of the scale, club-run stalwart Ribble supplies a familiar aluminium model with the latest in affordable groupsets, while home crowd favourite Genesis serves up a retro steel delight, the most recent take on the popular Equilibrium.
We usually expect something pretty mainstream from American giant Specialized, but the Allez DSW on test is a left-field choice that uses aluminium in a novel way. From Focus and Dolan come two machines with a wintery flavour – the alloy Paralane AL and the titanium ADX – two very different ways to achieve similar goals. And finally, because every test needs an outlier, the Curve Belgie Spirit is true luxury titanium, with the price tag and spec to match.
With such diversity, this is not a clinical analysis of the relative merits and failings of these six bikes, but rather an exploration of the seemingly limitless ways one might achieve two-wheeled nirvana without being entirely predictable about it. This is not a rejection of our beloved carbon, more a love letter to its weird, hot cousins.
We’re reducing our carbon footprint with our mix of metal machines