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Donhou launches DSS2 gravel bike

Jordan Gibbons
13 Oct 2015

The new DSS2 from Donhou has rack mounts, mudguard mounts, clearance for 35c tyres and is disc brake compatible.

We think it’s fair to say that gravel bikes are the current media darling. With mudguards, racks, 30mm tyres and disc brakes they’ve even taken on a new moniker of ‘adventure bike’. We’ve been riding the Specialized Diverge a lot lately, and love it, and while we haven’t taken it on much gravel we have been on a few adventures.

Tom Donhou has been making custom bikes for a few years now and he’s noticed a pattern in the requests people make. Mudguards – check, Racks – check, big tyres – check, disc brakes – check. It just so happens they’re all the features of a gravel bike, so Tom put them all together to add a new frame to his Signature Series: the DSS2.

To test it out Tom took friend, and photographer, George Marshall to Iceland to sample the local terrain and give the bike a thorough test.

The duo travelled unsupported through hostile terrain, facing the driving rain, glacial river crossings, bare lava tracks and fierce windstorms.

Iceland DSS2 touring

For three days the guys made their way along a single, empty gravel road as they crossed the lifeless, grey desert. They made it out the other side, 100% happy with the adaptability and performance of the machine – production began as soon as they got home.

Of the new bike, Donhou founder Tom Donhou said: "The DSS2 is the second in the Signature Steel series. We set the standard high with the DSS1 and the DSS2 needed to continue what we had started. We're really pleased with where the DSS2 can take you; it's a total pleasure to ride and truly takes the Signature Steel series onto new pages.

“[Iceland] was truly bleak, other worldly, there was nothing but rocks for hundreds of miles. The only living thing we saw the whole time was a single crow, which squawked at us then flew away, to where I have no idea. The bikes stood up to the task though, and we managed to come out the other side totally confident in the capability and adaptability to all types of terrain and weather conditions.”

We’re going to be getting one in fairly soon, so we’ll offer a closer look then. In the meantime, the full spec (including UK pricing) is below you can find more info on the Donhou website.

Full spec':

Frame

- Reynolds 853 tubing

- Handcrafted in the UK

- Relaxed road geometry tuned for gravel and touring

- 1x and 2x gear compatible

- Stainless dropout faces, braze-ons and hardware

- Mechanical or hydraulic disc compatible

- Wound Up Gravel fork

- Rack mounts

- Up to 35c tyres, 28c with mudguards

- Good Vibes paint 

Bike

- Shimano Ultegra mechanical groupset

- TRP Spyre SLC disc callipers (hydraulic available)

- Chris King NoThreadset headset

- Fizik Cyrano R3 handlebar

- Thomson Elite seatpost and X4 stem

- Fizik Ardea Versus saddle

- Hope/Pacenti SL25 handbuilt wheels

- Hope QR skewers

- Continental Grand Sport Race 28c tyres

- Finished with stainless hardware and brass barrel adjusters

The DSS2 is available as a frameset or a complete build, in standard frame sizes (54, 56 or 58cm).

Complete bike (mechanical disc brake) – £3,785

Complete bike (hydraulic disc brakes) – £3,965

Frameset only – £1,995

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