Much like the custom automobile space, every custom bike is somebody's dream build. But that doesn't mean they're cut from the same cloth. Some folks go for the supercar theme, clad with 3D printed titanium, carbon fiber designed by aerospace engineers, and bass-boat paint jobs. Others may want more of a Baja Bug, an outlandish overlander with equal attention given to aesthetics and the ability to conquer adverse terrain. This T-Lab R3 Omni is more like something made to do a Cannonball Run: A super-charged daily driver, built to haul ass and cover ground while remaining under the radar.
Aaron initially came to us for a fitting, with a new frame in mind and a build kit already selected. We love to help spec customers bikes, but Aaron had a clear vision for the application of this bike and we think his build executes that perfectly. The design brief here was a road bike that would be durable, versatile and pragmatic, and there isn't a cycling product that better embodies that ethos than Shimano's venerable 11-speed system. Aaron opted for Dura-Ace mechanical controls and crankset paired with a GRX 1-by derailleur and wide-range cassette for refined feel and rugged reliability. This theme carries over to the wheels, with a high spoke count alloy wheel and dynamo front hub providing bombproof dependability and battery-free lighting.
Choosing a frame to reflect these attributes was simple--it had to be titanium. The corrosion resistance, easy-to-clean finish and outstanding fatigue strength make titanium a great choice for a frame meant to be ridden hard day in and day out. T-lab takes titanium fabrication to another level, intricately shaping their tubes to dial in a distinct ride quality. Their R3 Omni platform was the perfect match to Aaron's intentions--a road bike meant to eat up the miles with enough composure to deal with unexpected turbulence and the occasional gravel road.
There's custom, and then there's custom. In this case, dynamo cable routing was an off-menu request that needed some ingenuity to be done in house. Geoff was able to add a pair of ports to the bike's top tube, and cleverly modified the fork's fender mounts to accommodate the cables. This one is certainly solidified as a true Savile Road Special!