A lightweight top-end titanium frame that uses a novel construction method, £2,999 frame only
There’s nothing like a challenge to focus the mind, especially when it’s a challenge you’ve set yourself, which is exactly what Lynskey has done with the R450. Falling into its top-end Pro Series range, the R450 has been designed and constructed to take on the carbon race bike world.
Down and top tubes are made using sheets of 6/4 titanium, which is then folded into diamond shapes and machine-welded along the seams. This new material and construction method, according to Lynskey, has allowed them to create a very light frame, thanks to thin side walls, but the diamond-shaped tubing also makes it very stable under tensional load in the three axes; up and down, forwards and backwards, left and right. In theory, this means that the characteristic flex and compliance of a titanium frame has been greatly reduced.
Other firsts for Lynskey are the use of a tapered 1 1/8in to 1 1/2in head tube and Press Fit 30 bottom bracket. While the former gains steering and other associated benefits, one can’t help but notice how good this looks at the front end of the bike.
The enlarged bottom bracket junction is significant when compared to Lynskey’s previous top-end frame, the R440, and again this should assist in the stiffness numbers. Although we may argue the whys and wherefores of oversized BBs compared to standard, purely based on a metal fabrication process, the bigger weld footprint will make the junction stronger and stiffer.
With race geometry and 25c tyre clearance, the stiff and lightweight claims all point to a performance steed. In the case of our test bike, when this is coupled with a custom paintjob, the outcome is very easy on the eye. But with every yin there’s a yang, and in this case it’s the starting frame-only price tag of £2,999. However, you do get an American handmade frame, which is likely to outlive most racing careers — calculate cost per ride and it’s a positive bargain.