FIRST RIDE: BRIAN ROURKE CUSTOM BUILD

Rourke custom

There's something very pleasing about riding a good, solid winter bike, especially when it fits as well as this one.

Hand built with Reynolds 853 ProTeam tubing, it?s also slightly higher spec than is strictly needed for a winter hack, but this increases the bike?s versatility. 853 is Reynolds? second ranking tubeset (after 953) and as such means this bike could be used for virtually anything from racing (minus the mudguards) to touring (with mudguards back on and a rack thrown in for good measure).

The equipment used is swapped straight over from a previous winter bike, and although it?s getting on a bit, it doesn?t detract at all from the ride. The frame came with a set of Dedacciai Black Rain carbon forks with extra clearance and mudguard eyelets, but they

still ride as well as a set of race-specific forks.

A custom-built frame made from a range-topping tubeset is always going to ride well and this ?Rourkie? is no different. It offers the comfort of the heavier steel framesets but with all the zip and responsiveness you?d get from a mid-range carbon frame.

The ride is further helped by the position and balance that only a perfectly fitting bike provides. But it?s no great surprise that a custom bike fits perfectly. Not only that, getting sized up by Brian Rourke is half the fun when done over a cup of tea in the bar above his shop.

Brian Rourke custom build

DistributorBrian Rourke Cycles 01782 835368

Price£695 frameset

FrameReynolds 853 ProTeam

ForkDedacciai Black Rain

Size rangeCustom

Weight9.96kg/21.95lb

GroupsetShimano 105

DeviationsBontrager chainset, Campag CT Record front mech

AlterationsNone

Gear ratios50/36 with 13/25

WheelsMavic Aksium Race

TyresVittoria Open Race Corsa

BarsITM Pro 260

StemITM Forged Lite Lux

SeatpostDeda Metal Stick

SaddleSpecialized Alias

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Simon Richardson
Magazine editor

Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling 1989 when watching the Tour de France on Channel 4, started racing in 1995 and in 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium. During his time at CW (and Cycle Sport magazine) he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He became the 130-year-old magazine's 13th editor in 2015.