J Guillem Ti

Evening all, I’m in the market for a Ti new road bike, UK 4 seasons, crappy lanes. Have seen a J Guillem Orient 22 in the flesh, stunning frame and willing to pull the trigger but for a distinct lack of reviews, that I can find?
Any of you lovely people with first hand experience of the brand out there please?

FWIW, there’s a ‘road.cc’ ‘review’ of an Orient that claims it’s a good bike but is extremely stiff and uncomfortable on less than perfect roads. but as always, YMMV.

The owner of that brand founded and ran the brand Van Nicholas who also sold titanium frames. Those were made in mainland China in a factory that he at least partially owned. Saying that they had quality problems would be an euphemism.
Yes I know guys who still ride one of those frames after ten years, but there were also a shocking number of frames which broke very early. I even witnessed some coming with cracks right out of the box. Their titanium stems and seat posts quite often broke, ouch!

It’s not only dangerous the brand was also not consistent in their warranty service. Sometimes they - including Jan Willem, the boss, himself - argued that it was the customer’s fault.

Maybe it all changed for the better after he had sold the Van Nicholas brand and then not long after started this new brand. But I’m skeptical.

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What about Pilot Cycles?

Side-question: why go for a Dutch brand while there are so many builders in the UK? Or is it because of the smooth shapes of the Orient?

Thanks Sean, I saw that but think it’s of the pre 22 model? Can’t see much current reviews

Hi Jack, long lead times, and a lot of what I like is di2 only, I’m after mechanical and threaded bb.

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Helpful, I will keep looking

How odd: I’m also UK based, and was looking at one of their frames this week. I found Southfork Racing extremely helpful, and was quite close to pulling the trigger, but the collective wisdom from asking around was to be a bit wary, so I’m still on the fence. Incidentally, Southfork weighed a 54cm Orient frameset for me. Including integrated headset, derailleur hangers and seatclamp, it was barely under 2kg, which was a bit of an eyebrow raiser.

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Is that weight so bad? A frame is easily 1550-1650 grammes if not more in that size. And a fork 400-450 grammes. Than you already have 2kg. If that 2kg is even including headset and seatclamp, then that’s far from bad. Yes, you have lighter Ti frames, if you are prepared to pay for it.

Ive binned the idea, Laverack are close to me so will pop and have a look. The search is part of the fun, right?

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Agreed. I think only a top of the range Litespeed Ti frame would be significantly lighter.

I built a 2.5kg All City disc steel frameset to 9kg with everything including metal mudguards and 32mm tyres so a 8kg Ti road bike is definitely achievable and I bet would ride like a dream.

I highly recommend the Enigma frames. local to you, wide variety of options, the quality of the core series made in china is satisfactory, mechanical shifting, threaded bbs… this year we built a few of them in the shop I work at and they are great. easily built and maintained, all the customers praise the ride feel, the people behind the brand are great to work with. it really checks all the boxes .) boss of mine rides the signature tier roadbike for two or three years and he loves it.

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The only pity with Enigma is the 31.6 seatpost. But then again, nothing that cannot be solved with a good carbon post. Fi. a Canyon S25 VCLS 2.0 CF 30.9 with a shim.

Or a good bikefit, right tire pressure and/or comfort oriented saddle (new 3D printed stuff works wonders). Heard that seatpost is really comfy but tends to make noise from time to time when dirt gets inside. But it’s not rocket science to keep it clean & coated with paste. Boss rides with a top tier vision carbon post, we had one built with the enve post and several aluminium posts on gravel frames and lack of rear compliance or any remarks on harsh ride were never mentioned.

Sorry, I should have been clearer; there’s no fork in that weight. It’s actually almost identical in weight to my steel Donhou. And while I completely agree that weight is an overrated metric, one does raise an eyebrow when a ti frame weighs the same as a not-especially-light steel one.

I’ve looked at Enigma. There was a big hoo-ha not so long ago on one of the UK forums about a disputed warranty claim, and the guy concerned really went to town in terms of slagging them off. He’s still got a satirical ebay listing, actually: Enigma titanium bicycle frame: broken, unrideable, intriguing | eBay

I’ve never heard of any other problems with Enigma, and I think the complainer came out of the whole exchange looking worse - but maybe worth mentioning. Some ti frames just do seem to crack, mind you: a mate of mine had a Paradigm, which looked lovely, and he liked it, but it cracked within a few months. He got a refund pretty hassle free, iirc.

I’ve got a bit of a ti itch (for a fast cruiser and 200-300km audax bike), but when a Mason Definition comes up within a few mm of my custom fit numbers, is very nicely finished, takes mudguards and a rack and has ready-made dynamo routing, and costs £1300, it’s quite hard to spend more than double that…

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Ok, then it’s heavy. My frame, which you can consider a size small, has simple straight gauge tubing and came in around 1620gr.

Mind that a lot of steel frames easily go over 2kg, even up to 2,2-2,3kg.

Yep, that one is hard to pass by. It is pricey for alloy and it does not have the Ti looks, but specs and reviews are so good…

FWIW I’m very happy with my Enigma Etape with mechanical 105. Had it about 18 months now and zero issues. No complaints from me about the seat post although I have swapped the stock Enigma saddle which I didn’t like.

As with steel, Ti tubing is available in a variety of diameters and wall thicknesses. A good builder can (and if for a custom frame, should) utilize those options to suit the customer depending their weight, stature, style of riding, and intended use for the bike. 2kg for a bare Ti frame is heavy, my Kent Eriksen frame weighs ~1.5 kg for the bare frame and the whole bike comes in at 8.1kg. It’s effectively a 62 cm ctc and has way oversized main tube diameters (but I haven’t a clue about the wall thicknesses)