Press releases announcing new bikes aren’t exactly a rare sight in the Cycling Weekly inbox, so it can take something special to stand out from the crowd. Something like the new Reactor bike from No.22 Bicycle Company, a top tier titanium race bike that hits the scales at a featherweight 5.9kg.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there are surely very few people who can help but be enticed by the polished look of a titanium frame such as the Dolan Titanium ADX or No.22's own Great Divide. However, the No.22 Reactor is not just a piece of art, with the American company pulling out all the stops to deliver the lightest titanium from possible without compromising on ride quality.
This focus is perhaps most obvious at the rear end of the Reactor, where oversized chainstays should aid stiffness and power transfer, while the seatstays are exceptionally thin, only 13mm, helping to maintain the smooth ride that titanium is traditionally renowned for, while also shedding a few grams.
The same priorities are seen up front, with the No.22 Reactor featuring a new head tube with an external taper to trim a few grams, while the titanium head tube badge found on other No.22 bikes has been replaced by an engraved version.
>>>Bike test: Aluminium, steel, carbon, or titanium
In line with most other top-end titanium bikes, the Reactor features a carbon seatpost that should soak up rough road surfaces without compromising stiffness. However what sets this bike apart is that the seatpost is held in place by titanium lugs and topped with a titanium seat mast, again saving a few grams and providing, according to No.22, a “more carefully tuned” ride quality.
The 5.9kg build seen here was the model on display at NAHBS (the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show), and, as you would expect, features some of the lightest component choices currently on the market.
Topping the bill are the Reynolds 46 wheels, 968g featherweight tubulars with a matching price-tag that will cause your accountant a few headaches, an eye-watering £3600. Similar priorities are on show with the rest of the finishing kit, with the 130g Fabric ALM LTD saddle, 185g 3T Aerotundo Ltd aero-profile handlebars, and 120g 3T Arx Team stem all pushing the Reactor towards that 5.9kg weight.
The groupset is the latest iteration of Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, which for the first time is lighter than its mechanical brother. However there are also a few alterations to reduce the weight further, with a Cannondale SiSL2 Hollowgram chainset and EECycleworks brakes, which are direct mount at the front.
Onto the delicate issue of pricing, and although UK prices have yet to be confirmed, safe to say this build is not going to come cheap. The frameset is retailing for $3,999 (approximately £2675) in the United States, with the addition of fork, stem, handlebars and headset bringing the price up to $5199 (£3475). As for the 5.9kg build seen here, we’ve been doing some back of the envelope calculations and reckon this can’t be far shy of £10,000.
Contact UK distributors VAM Performance for more details.
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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.