When it came time to redesign our most popular frame in the Houseblend lineup, our goal was to take this solid performer to the next level. Based on its popularity and the feedback from serious amateurs and professional competitors, we choose to stick with the performance based oversize force-specific tubeset that has been the foundation for countless victories.
Andy and Nick at BikePro [Melbourne, AUS] built it up for me at the start of the year. I came from spending a few years on a Cervelo S2. My riding program consists mainly of medium distance fast riding most of which is done with a team. When I was looking at a new bike, I wanted a frame that was race-able but also something I would not be looking to dispose of within 2-3 years. I find that with carbon - cracking and failures aside - I am always chasing innovation and the 'next big thing' and feel compelled to change over and upgrade regularly. One of the beautiful things of titanium is that whilst it has sophisticated butting and tube manipulation, at its core it is still a 'classic' road bike with conventional tube junctions, traditional headset/BB/seatpost standards and a timeless silhouette without ridiculous tube and junction shaping. The traditional standards also enable you to build the bike up exactly as you like without having to resort to proprietary items. The bike becomes personal.
First impressions of the bike were immediately positive. Titanium tends to 'glide' along the road and provides an incredible ride quality. However when pushed hard initially I had a few reservations as to its out-and-out high level performance.
This is where the differences between titanium and high-end ultra-stiff carbon frames gets magnified: after coming off a stiff carbon frame a rider needs to ‘learn’ how to get the most out of titanium. This is what I have discovered:
The biggest factor here is titanium really rewards a perfect pedal stroke. On the S2 or any ultra-rigid carbon frame - your technique can be a little messy as all the energy ends up at the back wheel anyway. This is not quite the case on the R340 – but when you dial it in just right, balance the power between your legs and focus on the sweep and the upstroke as well as the downstroke, the rewards are magnificent. This is because there is a bit of ‘sway’ in the BB and not quite as much torsional resistance so any lateral imbalance is really highlighted. But when you dial it in – the ability to hold speed whilst still ‘gliding’ is fantastic.
Cadence is paramount. This is related to the previous point. Really pushing a big gear does not work. I used to push big gears on the Cervelo and when I needed to go faster or accelerate, I’d push harder. This does not work on the R340. However – by increasing cadence and spinning more – as you need to do to maintain perfect pedal stroke – this issue all but disappears. I find myself in the saddle more both during climbs and fast riding, and due to the combo of revised riding style and the inherent comfort of the Ti frame I feel a lot better at the end of the ride. Looking at Strava – this frame does not hold me back in terms of overall performance – but gives me a bike that’s damn enjoyable to ride, provides a point of difference to all the cookie-cutter bikes out there, no stress with durability and leaves me feeling fresh.
Whether it's doing the fast Beach Road rides or attacking the dead, undulating roads around the Peninsula this bike can handle it all.
Andy was great to talk to and provides very good and honest advice as well as a comprehensive fit service. Nick takes time and pride in building up the bike. From perfectly tuning in a SRAM groupset down to immaculate bar tape wrapping, all details are considered and executed.
Similar Products Used: Cervelo S2 Dura Ace
Giant TCR Advanced Ultegra
GIANT OCR ZERO Ultegra
Bike Setup: Lynskey R340 titanium Frame (M-L 56)
SRAM 2013 Force Groupset
3T Funda Pro carbon fork
Shimano Dura Ace C35 CL wheels
Zipp Service Course Bar and Stem
Thomson Elite Seatpost
Fizik Arione Saddle
Shimano Ultegra carbon pedals
Date Reviewed: March 6, 2013
Strengths: Smooth, stable and absolutely comfortable. Defintely climb very smoothly and emit very pleasing buzz sound that can even be heard from someone drafting me.
Got the bike from CRC and fitted it with Record 11, Reynold 46 wheels, Deda stem, Brooks England Bar tape and Brooks England Swallow Steel Saddle. This bike has a retro look that attracted many positive comments. Ride is silky smooth and climbs well and stable.
I have a Dogma 65.1 and Cipollini Logos for fast n furious rides but I will defintely take my R340 for my Century ride.
Date Reviewed: February 13, 2013
Strengths: It's titanium. Craftsmanship. I can beat it up and I know it won't fail me. The service at Lynskey was outstanding.
Weaknesses: I can't think of one.
I have had this bike for over a year, so I thought it was time to write a review. This is a well designed and well built bike. I have had nice carbon and steel bikes over the years, and this is without a doubt my favorite. Light and fast. When I stomp on the pedals, the bike responds. It is rock solid on fast mountain descents, and I plan on enjoying this steed for many years to come.
Stiff BB and direct power transfer
Solid front end
Beautifully built by great people
Weaknesses: Pricey, but you get what you pay for.
No more expensive than a good carbon frame.
After 1500 miles on my Cervelo S2 (Campy Chorus/Record, Zipp 101s), I decided it was time to look into titanium. The S2 is very fast but I found the ride quality to be rather brutal at 5’11” and 185lb. I was planning to wait until the whole disc brake thing blew over, but my rear end just couldn’t take it any more.
So after much research and soul searching, I decided on the Lynskey R340 and ordered one up through Don Erwin. Something of a leap of faith since I had only seen one of these bikes in passing (a Cooper?) and the reviews here kind of sound too good to be true!
As Don promised, I just received my R340 (ML/bright/etched) last week after a 2ish month wait. I built it up with a King headset/Enve 2.0 fork, Campy Super Record, Campy Shamal Ultra 2-Ways, Ritchey 4-Axis WCS Carbon UD stem and Superlogic Evolution bar, Thomson Masterpiece and Selle Italia SLR Super Flow 145mm, and Look Carbon Blade Ti pedals. Weight without cages is 16.2 pounds, which is 0.3lb LESS than my Cervelo S2.
So off I went for my first loop of Central Park. To my astonishment, the bike felt SLOW!!! Needless to say, my heart sank below the bottom bracket. But then I checked the Garmin. I was actually going rather FAST with only moderate effort (still getting used to the bike with lots of coasting and soft pedaling to feel out geometry, etc.). What the…. Turns out I had mistaken SMOOTHNESS for slowness -- I had become so used to the buzz from my Cervelo to tell me how fast I was going that the speed on the Lynskey didn’t register! This is my first time experiencing Ti, and it’s really uncanny how smooth this bike is despite a “buzzy” wheelset like the Shamals.
After the first 100 miles, I have come to appreciate not just the remarkably smooth ride, but also the stiff BB and very direct power transfer (NO flex so far!), strong climbing, and anvil-solid front end.
The R340 may not be aero but, at this point, who cares? Not me. In real life, I’m not fast enough to really take advantage of an aero bike and everything else matters to me more. I’m especially glad to have my smooth shifting and crosswind stability back.
Also the finish is perfect and the welds are great. Everything was reamed/faced perfectly with no build issues and no Ti bits in the frame. And a very loud shout out to Don for his patience with a neurotic New Yorker! Seriously top notch folks over there in Chattanooga. Class act.
The Helix is supposed to be even better, but I can’t fathom that at this point. Maybe after this whole disc brake thing blows over….
Strengths: I bought this frame used from the manager at my LBS who rode it for racing before he had kids. I had bought the R230 frame the year before to set up as a tri bike, and then wanted a road bike for the group rides. This was a perfect deal for both of us. I love the road bike set up because it corners so well and is so much more fun on shorter, hillier rides. It is nimble and responsive, but still comfortable, and feels solid when I'm screaming downhill at 45 mph. I've even taken it on some crushed granite trails around Austin with no problem. It is a bombproof bike, though the tires and tubes have taken some hits!
Weaknesses: The stickers on this one are half gone, and I know I could take them off completely, but that would make me sad.