Eye­ing up Big Brother


Urban Cyclist - - Agenda - www.broth­er­cy­cles.co.uk

The rather slick ‘stone green’ frame that rather beau­ti­fully dec­o­rates these pages is the lat­est ad­ven­ture frame from Brother Cy­cles, a UK on­line-only brand formed by broth­ers Will and James Brother in 2010. As is the way with this bur­geon­ing sec­tor of the mar­ket, the Big Bro’s been de­signed with ver­sa­til­ity in mind, en­sur­ing it should be equally as com­fort­able con­sum­ing com­muter miles as run­ning rough shod over trails. The Lon­don-de­signed, Tai­wanese-man­u­fac­tured dou­ble-butted 4130 alu­minium frame­set is matched to a rigid fork that, while un­for­giv­ing, will en­sure lightning-fast han­dling to ne­go­ti­ate the most er­ratic traf­fic. That pre­dicted swift­ness of han­dling’s height­ened by the ge­om­e­try and, in par­tic­u­lar, that 71° head an­gle. The pay­back is of­ten a ride that’s less sta­ble at high speeds so we sug­gest the Big Bro will be more at home over longer so­journs that wan­der off-road, es­pe­cially if it’s built around a set of plump, tube­less rub­ber. We say ‘if’ as the Big Bro’s frame­set only and hits the tills at £499. When it comes to fit­ting hoops, it’s de­signed around 29 x 2.4in tyres but, at least up­front, we reckon it could eas­ily ab­sorb 29 x 2.8in ver­sions. The tour­ing DNA ex­presses it­self through the mul­ti­tude of bosses and braze-ons that adorn the frame, giv­ing it a cac­tus-like sil­hou­ette. So if you want to run a fully racked up, mud­guard-equipped bike that’s dressed with enough bot­tles to sup­ply a pelo­ton, this is for you. Our Big Bro’s a bike-pack­ing friendly 1x11 build with a gen­er­ously spread 11-42 cas­sette, squishy sil­i­cone grips and fast-rolling Sch­walbe Rac­ing Ralph rub­ber. Brother’s known for pro­duc­ing de­li­ciously toned bi­cy­cles and the Big Bro is no ex­cep­tion. How­ever, should you be look­ing for some­thing a lit­tle more in­tro­verted, the frame­set is also avail­able in ‘stealth black’.

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