Eyeing up Big Brother
THEY SPENT THEIR EARLY YEARS RESTORING BIKES... NOW THEY’RE CREATING VINTAGE BIKES OF THEIR OWN
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’.