Titanium Croix de Fer, Enigma Etape or Mason Resolution?

footloose crow

Über Member
Location
Cornwall. UK
I know these threads come up all the time but I am genuinely interested in anyone who has owned or used these bikes and can give me some insights. If you don't get bored reading this ......

Currently I have an aluminium Cube Attain. It's fine. It goes uphill and down and along but I have some cash from an investment and I would like another bike. I know its shallow and here I am with a developed world problem instead of fretting about the environment or politics or world hunger. I also know (Buddhist stuff) that wanting something simply creates suffering and the best way not to suffer is to not 'want'.

But I do want another bike. For hilly back lanes in Cornwall, NCN tracks, gravel roads, Audax and maybe light touring. 90/10 roads to tracks and nothing too muddy or steep. Just tracks that get me to the next bit of road. I like to do between 50 and 100k on a ride. Audax 200-400k.

I don't want to go slowly. I can't go fast cos I am old but something that can cover the ground and doesn't make me feel useless going uphill. So under 10kg and closer to 9kg would be good. Comfort, all day comfort, ability to cover the ground, stability rather than flightiness but not numb or boring to ride. Reliabilty is important, I am hard on bikes - tend to fall off them. I like to run tyres about 30-32mm. I cycle all year. I like discs. I will destroy a carbon bike quite quickly and I don't like the way they look. Sorry.

I guess if this bike existed, it would already sell in huge numbers. This is what all the old guys want isn't it? So its a compromise.

I will probably buy a frame, use my existing Mavic Allroads and specify carbon bar and seat post and Ultegra with maybe 48/32 chainring. LBS will build it.

Initial thoughts and concerns:

Croix de Fer Ti
. Is it too heavy? Is it too gravel oriented? Will I curse it going uphill and watching my Strava times get longer (yes I am that shallow/competitive) ?

Etape. Old design now, still current? Cope with trails? Not too boring? There are far fewer opinions and reviews on it. Faster bike?

Resolution. It looks lovely... will I ruin it? Chip the paint? Too good for winter roads? Reviewers love it (Road;CC, Bike radar etc) but what do real people think?

Test rides! I know, I know...I need to ride them and make up my mind. I find that hard. Nowhere locally has a Ti CdF I can try but I have had 15 minutes on the only steel CdF in Cornwall or Devon. It seemed alright, planted, steady, well built..didn't get a hill to try it out on though. We have to visit relatives in Sussex later this month so I have booked test rides with Mason and Enigma. I have always found testing cars that I can't get enough out of test rides but maybe this time I will.

Mainly I don't want to be slower than my Cube is now, I want to be comfortable all day and I want to be able to cycle carelessly without fearing catastrophe.

The Cube is already looking old after a year. The LBS says it isn't really the right bike for me after they repacked the wheel bearings for the second time, replaced the derailleur hanger for the second time and straightened the original wheels again - and pointed towards the CdF.

So what do you collectively know about these bikes? ( have also considered Kinesis Tripster and GTD ( can't find anywhere within a 150 miles with a demo) , Fairlight Strael (no test rides possible right now) and Reilly Spectre/ Gradient. Not impressed with Spa Ti bikes and geometry wrong for me on Sabbaths. Don't like Ribble Ti either. Alpkit Colibri looks OK but can't test ride it. I don't have good reasons for these prejudices...I like my shortlist and I don't want to start a lot of cross threads about other bikes. Just these ones).

Thank you in advance....if anyone has got this far. Be gentle with me.
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Why is the geometry wrong on the Sabbath AR1 (I have one and am pretty crocked!)
I enjoyed testing the Etape but they were in the middle of development and it was simply beyond my justifiable budget.

I was very taken with the very lovely J.Guillem Orient but it’s maybe a bit too roadbike for you (and lacked rack mounts which put me off, again a bit pricy too)
 
OP
footloose crow

footloose crow

Über Member
Location
Cornwall. UK
Why is the geometry wrong on the Sabbath AR1 (I have one and am pretty crocked!)
I enjoyed testing the Etape but they were in the middle of development and it was simply beyond my justifiable budget.

I was very taken with the very lovely J.Guillem Orient but it’s maybe a bit too roadbike for you (and lacked rack mounts which put me off, again a bit pricy too)
I have been prompted by your reply to look at the AR1 in more detail and maybe I was hasty - thought I was Large but seem to be Medium. So geometry is prob OK. Read your thread on your purchase. Not sure when I can get to Harrogate to see one and try one but will add it to my longer shortlist. Thank you Vickster.
 

wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
FWIW my steel CdF is about 10-15% slower than my CFRP road bike on-road; I think most of this is down to worse aero from the more upright position and higher rolling resistance from the 35mm slicks. It is heavier (about 12.5kg v. 9.5kg) but this is a minimal difference relative to total system mass, will only really matter on the hills and I think contributes minimally to the difference in speed between the two bikes.

Unfortunately for what you want I think you're going to have to accept some loss of speed. The necessary fat tyres will rob some, while going for something with more aggressive geometry / tweaking that of the CdF might negate some of the aero disadvantages, but will probably manifest as a lack of comfort on rougher terrain.

End of the day it's not all about speed though and while quicker is always nicer I rarely (never..?) get back from a ride on the gravel bike wishing I'd done it quicker; the additional versatility more than compensates. I can't comment on all the bikes you mention but I love my CdF and losing another Kg or so in the form of the Ti model should only make it more enjoyable to ride.

Good luck whichever way you go :smile:
 
I would reduce your choice to the Enigma and Mason. After test riding them you can then decide if you want to then pursue other options.
Cannot make comment on either of these bikes specifically as I do not have direct experience. However, I do have an Enigma model no longer available. It is now near 10 years old. Every time I ride it, yes every time, I come back feeling good. Yes, I’m biased but I feel if you get ANY Ti bike that fits you, you will be very happy. I love mine!
As for your specific concerns re the Etape: what difference does it matter that it is not ‘current’? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I’m sure it would cope with trails, easily discovered when you test ride it. Boring? It will never ever be boring!!
Good luck and have fun testing.
 

bitsandbobs

Senior Member
One issue with the Mason is that it is 1st gen. Both the Bokeh and Definition are now on 2nd gen. I'd ask Mason to see if they have a 2nd gen in the pipeline as it might then be worth waiting. Excellent looking bikes (v important) and great customer service.
 

flake99please

We all scream for ice cream
Location
Edinburgh
Current Ti CdF owner (2016 model). I have upgraded the wheels from stock, as they were too heavy. I have also upgraded the brakes and shifters very recently (GRX-810). With a Brooks saddle fitted its now my ‘go to’ bike. It’s been a labour of love (and money) to get this bike exactly as I wanted a Ti bike to be.
 
OP
footloose crow

footloose crow

Über Member
Location
Cornwall. UK
FWIW my steel CdF is about 10-15% slower than my CFRP road bike on-road; I think most of this is down to worse aero from the more upright position and higher rolling resistance from the 35mm slicks. It is heavier (about 12.5kg v. 9.5kg) but this is a minimal difference relative to total system mass, will only really matter on the hills and I think contributes minimally to the difference in speed between the two bikes.

Unfortunately for what you want I think you're going to have to accept some loss of speed. The necessary fat tyres will rob some, while going for something with more aggressive geometry / tweaking that of the CdF might negate some of the aero disadvantages, but will probably manifest as a lack of comfort on rougher terrain.

End of the day it's not all about speed though and while quicker is always nicer I rarely (never..?) get back from a ride on the gravel bike wishing I'd done it quicker; the additional versatility more than compensates. I can't comment on all the bikes you mention but I love my CdF and losing another Kg or so in the form of the Ti model should only make it more enjoyable to ride.

Good luck whichever way you go :smile:
There are a lot of hills in Cornwall. I am always going up or down, like being stuck in a game of snakes and ladders, so the overall weight could be an issue. Useful data on the relative speeds though. It confirms what I suspected. I really like the look and feel of the CdF though. Maybe I need more than two bikes....! I read your thread on the CdF and it was incredibly useful. There is an argument for consumer reviews of bikes on this site, rather than reading 'professional' reviewers.
 
OP
footloose crow

footloose crow

Über Member
Location
Cornwall. UK
One issue with the Mason is that it is 1st gen. Both the Bokeh and Definition are now on 2nd gen. I'd ask Mason to see if they have a 2nd gen in the pipeline as it might then be worth waiting. Excellent looking bikes (v important) and great customer service.
Resolution 2 now on market. Wider clearances and through axles. Same geo as Definition 2.
 
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