Titanium. People are going crazy for it right now. We take a look at the Belgie Ti Classic, one of the latest offerings from Melbourne based Curve.
Nice lines, beautifully finished, the Belgie Ti Classic is designed to be ridden just about anywhere.
Words - Glen O'Rourke Images - Andrew Clifforth
Curve promise to deliver ‘products that go beyond the honey moon period and continue performing’. With this in mind, Curve has sent us their freshly developed Belgie Ti Classic.
The guys at Curve tell me that the bike was inspired by their Wednesday morning ‘Belgie’ ride. The ride takes a bunch from inner Melbourne along back roads, laneways, back alleys, gravel paths, dirt roads and a couple of little sections of single track all at full intensity. We’ve joined the Belgie a few times and it has left us smiling all day long.
The Belgie is a ride for robust and tough bikes. The Belgie Ti Classic shines when it comes to this sort of riding, it’s tough, fast, smooth and looks the business when you’re at the coffee shop post ride.
When I first laid eyes on the Curve Belgie Ti Classic I thought, what a great looking bike! I have always wanted to ride a titanium race bike and the Belgie is one of the best looking machines on the market.
The craftsmanship of the welds really is a work of art - what bikes used to look like in the good old days. Titanium frames last a lifetime and the paint job is simple and purposeful. The bike looks fast, so couldn’t wait to get it on the road.
First ride out I wanted to really test the Belgie, so included some sprints and a few short sharp hills. The first thing you notice about this bike is how stiff it feels, while at the same time providing a really comfortable ride. It had me smiling like a Cheshire cat even as the rain came down in buckets - Melbourne winter has been unrelenting.
The bike is so quiet and just glides over rough dead roads - it feels like it just wants to go. Even on wet sketchy roads it felt silky smooth. The front end of the bike feels really light when accelerating out of the saddle.
Power to the pedals is transferred really nicely and each downward stroke feels like no power is lost. The Belgie really feels like it sticks to the road and after a few rides I could really throw it into corners. It felt like it was on rails even in wet conditions.
This is a bike that you can easily train on for hours and still feel comfortable. Dirt roads not a problem, nasty weather and dead roads and the bike comes into its own.
The Belgie Ti Classic frame is beautifully put together. It’s obvious that the guys have spent time and energy getting this part right. The welds are excellent and overall frame finish really has to be seen to be appreciated. There’s no radical new design on the Belgie, it has been designed to have a fairly timeless look. With titanium frames expected to last many years we’d say it’s a frame that won’t look dated anytime soon.
The Ti Classic is currently built for mechanical groupsets only and there’s no internal cabling options. This bike has been designed to be easy to fix on the go so finding spare hangers and other frame hardware should not be an issue.
Groupset choice is a personal thing. Our Belgie was was fitted with Campagnolo Chorus 11 speed, that for me felt clunky. The shifting does make a very reassuring noise through the frame, but there really is no going back after Di2.
We also found the cabling on the front end of the test machine disappointing, not a massive issue but to see such a beautiful bike with long cables all over the front just didn’t do the it justice.
This brings us back to the frame. We’d love to see a Di2 specific option and internal cabling options for those that wanted it.
The Curve wheelset really is a great match to the titanium frame; they make the whole package feel like a racing bike without it feeling harsh or twitchy.
They look the business and I would be keen to test them in some criterium races over summer, my instinct says they would be suited to racing fast around corners, perfect! Cross winds are not an issue and they handled the same as my own narrow section rims in windy conditions.
What I want in a bike is that it feels fast without compromising comfort. The Curve delivers this in spades. I want one........with Di2 please!!
- Small – 51.5
- Medium - 54
- Large – 56.5
- Extra Large - 59
$2,299 – Frame Only – Turnaround is pretty good with a 6 to 8 week order to delivery timeframe.
Curve has partnered with some top end bike shops that can help you put together your dream build.
WHERE TO BUY
Head to Curve Cycling - curvecycling.com.au
Note - The Curve Belgie Ti is now also available in a Di2 version, speak with the guys at Curve for more information.
- Frame spec for building your Belgie Frame -
- 3AL 2.5V Titanium
- External cable routing - We opted for Down tube cable routing for gears.
- Central Top Tube brake cable for easy LH/RH cable routing.
- Replaceable frame hardware - barrel adjusters and bb cable guides are easily sourced.
- Threaded 68mm BSA bottom bracket.
- Custom machined 44mm head-tube. Press-In cup - type head set helps eliminate unwanted creaks.
- Hard wearing, easily refreshed raw Ti finish. Our standard finish is the two-tone, brushed/bead blasted finish with the asymmetric Curve artwork. Paint is an optional extra.
- Replaceable hanger.
- Tyre clearance - up to 700 x 28