|I'll admit, it's a cool head badge.|
(photo from pocket-lint.com)
Actually, I'd say it's a lot more style than substance. Amidst all the pretentious-sounding prose there's really not a lot of actual, useful info given. Like, where are the frames made? Are they actually being built in Britain, or farmed out to the same Taiwanese factories that make a lot of other vintage-style, designer-labeled frames? (I'm guessing the latter). I checked out the company's About Us page and found lots more Rapha-esque marketing hype that talks a lot more about style and fashion than actually riding bikes.
That's right - be a salmon. Ride against traffic.
|That's a modern seat lug without a doubt. Not Nervex.|
Man, somebody did a job on that seat post, didn't they?
(photo from pocket-lint.com)
The listed specs seem a bit off to me. For one thing, the claim is that the frames are built with Nervex lugs. They certainly aren't any of the better-known ornate lugs that Nervex was known for, though there were some more plain models made -- but the big question is where would anybody get an adequate supply of Nervex lugs for a production run of modern bikes? The lugs have been out of production for decades. If I had to guess, I'd say that somebody in the marketing department (probably somebody raised in the era of welded aluminum and molded carbon fiber frames) has heard people talk about vintage steel bikes with Nervex lugs, and came to the conclusion that any classic lugged bike had "Nervex lugs" so that's what they called 'em.
There are only two sizes available - which means that many people would have an awfully hard time fitting the bike properly. Be ready to break out those extra long, extra tall stems and seatposts. Here's the size chart:
Of course, I'm all for lugged steel frames, and head badges, Brooks saddles - and many other elements that a bike like this brings, but I could really do without the pretensions. By the way, BikeRadar calls the bike "the perfect accompaniment for any self-respecting cycling snob." That alone kind of caps it off for me.
The Ted Baker specials, with their copper plating (to match the rivets in the Brooks saddle!), their leather bar wrap, supposedly Nervex (but probably not) lugs, and their pretentious marketing are set to retail for $1995, direct from Quella, or from the Ted Baker store in London. No American dollar pricing is given, but the current exchange rate puts it at a little over $3000. Not horrible, but for that kind of money, if I wanted a modern-but-classic bit of British steel framebuilding, I'd probably check out Mercian cycles and get a truly handbuilt bike made to my specs and measurements.
So, am I being a Snob by reacting negatively to this overly style-conscious attempt to market a "modern classic" bike? Or am I an Anti-Snob reacting against a bike obviously being marketed to overly style-conscious bike snobs? That just might be tougher than the Riddle of the Sphinx.