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Enigma Echelon review

15 Apr 2017
Verdict:

A British-designed and welded frameset that's a superb advert for titanium

Cyclist Rating: 
Price: 
£2,150 frameset, £4,199 as built
For 
Excellent road feel yet still comfortable • Responsive, swift climber • Subtle but impressive finish
Against 
No mudguard or rack mounts • No internal cable option • Wider tyres would improve comfort

A brief glance at the Enigma Echelon tells you that this is a bike with a lot of traditional features. From the geometry to the straight tubing, the very smart external gear cable routing to the rim brake callipers and mechanical gears, it has the look of a classic road bike.

The Echelon is the newest addition to Enigma’s range and part of its Signature series, which means it is not only designed in Britain, but also cut, mitred and double-pass welded in Enigma’s own workshop in Hailsham, East Sussex. The welding is beautiful with neat, equal fish-scale welds that show the quality.

The geometry on the Echelon is on the racey side, making a lower, more aggressive ride position possible, with the tighter head angle giving faster steering.

The 44mm head tube is something more common on mountain bikes, but ensures all fork steerer tube sizes can be catered for as well as increasing front end stiffness.

Component choice is in keeping with the style of the bike. Finishing kit is mostly own-brand Enigma components that are perfectly functional with fairly wide bars that add comfort and a comfortable saddle.

The Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels feel light and despite the 25mm Mavic Yksion tyres looking narrower than the claimed width, the ride quality is very special indeed, consistently providing a smooth, comfortable experience.

While it can’t match the best out there for ultimate comfort, it beats them on the stiffness, weight and speed stakes, and compared to almost all other bikes on the market could genuinely be classed as a ‘magic-carpet ride’.

The Ultegra 6800 mechanical groupset is flawless and although the external cable routing is neat, it will mean an upgrade to an electronic groupset wouldn’t be as aesthetically pleasing with no internal cable option.

The Echelon is a joy to ride both uphill and down. Its relatively low weight and responsive ride helping on the inclines and the smooth, fast and direct steering making it a blast to descend on. As a bike for those who love the traditional style, the Echelon is hard to beat.

Ratings

Frame 10/10; Components 9/10; Wheels 9/10; The ride 9/10

Verdict: A British-designed and welded frameset that delivers a smooth and comfortable ride without compromising the feeling of speed. A superb advert for titanium.

Spec

Frame 3AL 2.5V double-butted titanium
Groupset Shimano Ultegra 6800
Brakes Shimano Ultegra 6800
Chainset Shimano Ultegra 6800, 50/34
Cassette Shimano Ultegra, 11-28
Bars Enigma
Stem Enigma
Seatpost Enigma Carbon
Saddle Enigma
Wheels Mavic Ksyrium Elite
Weight 7.9kg (54cm)
Contact enigmabikes.com

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