Enigma is a UK based manufacturer best known for their high-end titanium bikes. They build custom made frames in the UK, or for lower cost supply frames, made to Enigma specs, direct from their Chinese factory. Now Enigma bikes are available in Australia from Sydney-based British Imports and their growing number of bicycle retailers. We took the Enigma Echo for a spin.
A compact frame design with slightly oversized tubing gives the Enigma Echo a contemporary look. Its nine-degree sloping top tube exposes a longish seatpost which adds to the inherent comfort of the ti frame on rough roads.
Titanium tubing has been difficult to shape until recently, and so many older titanium bikes featured plain straight gauge sections. New forming processes mean manufacturers can now manipulate the metal more effectively and deliver better results in terms of weight and performance.
Enigma makes good use of these improved techniques. The Echo’s double-butted down tube is slightly taller at the head tube to moderate vertical deflection in the front end, and wider at the bottom bracket to enhance lateral stiffness in the rear. I found the resulting ride quite impressive; suppler than most carbon frames, and while noticeably firmer than other ti bikes, it still has that very appealing ability to dampen the vibration of rough roads. The Echo feels solid on the road, accelerating smartly out of corners and coupled with the stiff, Enigma branded fork, delivers direct and reliable steering.
Titanium is extremely hard and the satin bead-blasted finish of our test bike is even harder so it will resist scratching and look new almost indefinitely. The optional super-glam, mirror finish will attract a price premium and fingerprints, but it’s sure to turn heads.
Enigma aims the Echo at the higher performance end of the spectrum of serious social riders and hit the mark with a light, comfortable and competitive bike. This bike is a strong contender for individualistic riders who want an alternative to ‘cookie cutter carbon’ without sacrificing much in speed or weight.
Frame: 3AL-2.5V titanium with CNC 6AL4V head tube
Fork: Enigma Electron (K3 Carbon Monocoque)
Handlebar: Enigma Oversized Handlebars (7075 triple butted)
Stem: Enigma 3k Carbon Matrix
Seatpost: Enigma Carbon 31.6mm
Saddle: Enigma Ellipse Saddle (Ti rails)
Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace 11-25
Bottom Bracket: Shimano Ultegra 6700
Wheels: Fulcrum Racing 1
Tyres: Continental Grand Prix 700 x 24 Folding
Weight: 7.29 kilos
RRP: As tested $8,199
Distributed by British Imports www.britishimports.com.au