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

Distributor Brian Rourke Cycles 01782 835368

Price £695 frameset

Frame Reynolds 853 ProTeam

Fork Dedacciai Black Rain

Size range Custom

Weight 9.96kg/21.95lb

Groupset Shimano 105

Deviations Bontrager chainset, Campag CT Record front mech

Alterations None

Gear ratios 50/36 with 13/25

Wheels Mavic Aksium Race

Tyres Vittoria Open Race Corsa

Bars ITM Pro 260

Stem ITM Forged Lite Lux

Seatpost Deda Metal Stick

Saddle Specialized Alias