"Welding the Ride" - Review BIXXIS pathos titanium
„So you have never ridden a titanium frame?“ Dorianos face shows the hint of a smirk. He knows I will be in for a surprise. After waiting for about 30 years, I finally decided to treat myself to a titanium roadbike for my 50th birthday. Why did it have to be titanium? In the early days of my riding titanium was the mystic material you had heard of but never seen or touched. Unprecedented quality; warm, grey beauty, unequalled performance … at least then. After some research, I made my choice to visit BIXXIS.
Doriano de Rosa and his daughter Martina have teamed up to create a powerful and elaborate two person micro business near Milano, producing steel and titanium road frames and complete bikes: BIXXIS “Biciclette Italiane per il XXI Secolo“ meaning
“Italian Bicycles for the twenty-first (XXI) century“: a somewhat paradox claim for a steel/titanium business. I like that. Doriano and Martina show passion and commitment, spending 12 or more hours a day producing the best possible custom frames on demand.
We are standing in a spacious workshop, as tidy and clean as you have always wanted your own to be. Frames, tubes, parts, tools, machines constitute a perfect framebuilder universe. Doriano takes his time in explaining his history and philosophy. Formerly part of the famous and traditional DeRosa company, he has been welding frames for over 40 years now. There were days when he had to move out of his childhood bed for Eddy Merckx when the cannibal visited his father in search of another winner frame. But times have changed and the focus of a large roadbike brand such as DeRosa has shifted to carbon and far east production. So Doriano made a choice and created his own brand.
Doriano does not need a lot of measurements: leg, collarbone, arm. That’s it. Taking these numbers is a serious ritual. Martina records the data meticulously while asking questions about riding style, distances, conditions. I suspect, Doriano has taken his measurement much earlier: with his amount of expertise, he can judge on a rider by shaking his hand, looking him in the eye and examining his calf (I was wearing shorts, it was very hot). Nonetheless we talk about proportions, tube lengths, angles and minimum sloping with the passion of the passionate. Doriano will send a geometry suggestion shortly after our visit. Of course, you can submit your measurements, too.
BIXXIS does classic frames with or without sloping. The welding is exquisite, even to me as a non-expert. Doriano has established his own welding style and even some special tricks to come up with an even better balance of power transmission, reliability and comfort. Some of the workshop machines he uses date from the 1980ies but have been updated with modern electronics by himself. Somehow a metaphor for the BIXXIS Idea. There is a great variety of paint options and decals to choose from. Customising at its best. I opt for minimum decals, aiming to show as much of the pure material as possible.
My friend and equally skilled as well as critical mechanic Max was quite pleased with the frame quality. He would have said otherwise. Sometimes he rejects parts, not this time. Actually, he seemed quite thrilled. For me, a very important proof of quality. What parts to choose? I decided to give my BIXXIS a modern vintage appeal, to combine titanium, leather and carbon parts. A style quite common among recent titanium road bikes.
So finally, it is about the ride. When do you know that a road bike fits you? When you forget about fitting while riding it. Actually, when you tend to forget about the bike at all. The ride consequently is only motion and sound, a forward state of mind. This is when you really connect with your machine. BIXXIS pathos moulds into that picture, all the junctions of body and bike just fit and make you want to ride your bike even longer.
I have been on my BIXXIS for almost a year now. I have ridden it in hot and cold, wet and dry, hilly and flat, competitive and relaxed. It is a great companion under all of these circumstances. Reliable, durable, smooth, responsive. It was completely covered in ice, experienced some serious gravel, has taken journeys with the saddlebag but most of the time I take it out for regular mid to long distance rides. And yes: there is this special flex you can feel when tackling the cobbles or other rough roads. I feel a lot of confidence in my bike and sometimes I have the impression my bike does likewise. Especially when going down a mountain, since I am not a great descender. But my BIXXIS leads the way.
Be prepared to talk about such a bike: More than once it turned heads of young and old riding alongside, it appeals to the vintage crowds as well as racing folks. Probably it is among the most irrational buys and build-ups you can go for. But this is what it is all about in a serious relationship: the heart does not calculate; passion and numbers do not relate. Eventually, the good ride is all that counts.
- BIXXIS pathos titanium frame,
- Chris King oversize headset,
- Pergoretti Faltz fork
- Custom Decals
- Campagnolo Athena Carbon groupset
- King Titanium bottle cage
- DT Swiss oxic wheels
- Continental classic 25mm tires
- 3T ergonova team stealth handlebars
- Cinelli leather bar tape
- Selle italia SLR leather saddle
- Kocmo seat clamp
- Garmin vector 3 powermeter pedals
Total weight (for those who need to know): 7.75 kg without pedals
Visit http://bixxis.com for more information.