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Pan Celtic Folly | Part 5: Not all bikes were created equal - which one to use, and what components?

Chris Davis, 31st May 2019

What bike to ride? A delicious question for any cyclist, as we get to ponder all the beautiful machines that we could use.

First the material. I’ve ridden some great carbon bikes in the past (my favourite being a V95, a Welsh brand from the late 90s – whatever happened to them?).

But, for me, too uncomfortable for the arduous ride ahead and I want to get back to basics with something metal. Enigma specialise in titanium, and I’ve always loved riding our range of titanium bikes as they seem to straddle the best of carbon (light and stiff) with the best of a good steel bike (zingy and comfortable).

But, I’m going steel all the way. In part because my puny legs don’t put out much power, so comfort is everything to me when contemplating 12 hours in the saddle for up to 14 days. In the past I had wondered what all the fuss was about with steel bikes, as I only experienced a harsh and unresponsive ride on my cheap steel steeds. It was only recently, after joining Enigma and riding a proper steel bike – one with a really good steel tube set – did I realise that what I had experienced to date was bikes made of scaffolding poles. My steel Enigma Elite is buttery smooth over long distance.

So, as we contemplated launching our new steel adventure bike, the Endeavour, I knew that was the baby for me. Comfortable geometry, but still responsive, and a good steel tube set. We’d hoped to have mine made up in time for the Bristol Bespoked Handmade Bike show with a bit of a celebration paint job. However, we’ve been really busy in the workshop, so hopefully we get it all done by early June. I’ll get a photo of mine up them, but meanwhile a sneak look at our Endeavour which we launched at Bespoked a few weeks back and also an image of the geometry for mine (52cm).

Our New Endeavour which launched at this year’s Bespoked show.

And here is the Endeavour that I’ll ride …. Work in progress ….

The geo on my 52cm Endeavour …..

I’ll contemplate the components in another posting. We’ve had some great customer adventure bike builds recently, so we’ll definitely be combing our learning from these with some additional ideas the guys at Enigma have on the perfect adventure mix. They’ve forgotten more than I’ll ever know, so I’m open to ideas!