Featured User Review: Lynskey R230 Road Bike

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Featured User Review: Lynskey R230 Road Bike
by SpacerX

Price: $1750.00 at Lynskey Performance
Overall Rating: 5 of 5
Value Rating: 5 of 5

Bike Setup:
I built the Foe Hammer in February 2010 with SRAM Red, IRD B2 Bars, Fizik Antares saddle (most comfortable lightweight saddle EVER), USE Alien post, Ritchey stem & pedals, Nokon cables & housing, and some wheels I built up with DA hubs, CXP-33 rims, and 28/28 DT Ti-MMC spokes. Complete bike weighs 16 pounds.

The quality and precision of the frame were obvious, and the build up was fun and hassle-free, notwithstanding the additional step of bonding the alloy insert into the steerer of the fork. And, BTW, for anyone who’s had trouble with Nokon cables & housing, I have only one thing to say: installation fail. I have over 20,000 miles of trouble-free operation on Nokon cables/housing on several road and a couple mountain bikes.

Favorite Ride:
USAF Academy Loop; Rockrimmon-Woodmen Loop; Pikes Peak Highway

Summary:
Lynskey R230 — “Glamdring, the Foe Hammer”

I purchased a clearance-priced 2009 R230 direct from Lynskey in November 2009, along with a GS-10 fork. Jack Kopeski guided me through the process. He demonstrated a superb level of personal attention, courtesy, and professionalism seldom seen nowadays — I cannot recommend him more highly. The GS-10 fork, BTW, was a no-charge upgrade (~$90 value over the standard CS-10) as a gesture of military appreciation — these guys are a class act!

Over the past 25 years, I’ve owned & ridden all types and manner of frames & materials, and I’ve always gravitated back to visceral feel of steel and titanium. This is the first butted Ti frame I’ve owned, and it proves A.C.Clarke correct — magic can be had from technology.


So far, in eleven months, I’ve logged over 6500 miles on the Hammer. This bike climbs, descends, handles, accelerates, and flies like a forged, finely-crafted, precise, lethal weapon. This amazing bicycle handled the climb up America’s Mountain (Inaugural Pikes Peak Highway Climb, 29 Aug 10) with finesses and aplomb — all the way up to 14110 feet. You really get a sense for the magical qualities of Lynskey’s titanium artwork on an epic ride like that, straight up a mountain. Spring 2011 will see me returning to the racing scene for the first time in several years, and this is the only bike I’ll use — it’s definitely a “do everything” bike.

Excepting perhaps some of the most expensive crabon fribé frames with special inserts and exotic lay-up schedules, you will NOT find a more comfortable road racing frame that you can ride all day, fly up mountains, and dive-bomb corners with abandon.

Subject to the possibility of some future calamity, this will likely be the last road frame I’ll ever purchase… It will still be rolling along, going strong, long after I’m gone.
Strengths:
In addition to what I mentioned already:

  • 1. Compact geometry — the frame feels like it disappears beneath you in a turn. I also like Lynskey’s use of tall head tubes (145mm on size M). The front end feels really buttoned-down and sturdy, and I don’t like headset spacers.
  • 2. Little details, like excellent bottle cage boss locations, perfect weld seams, protected rear dropouts, and the shamrock on top of the rear brake bridge.
  • 3. I really like the Alpha-Q design, using a bonded alloy insert and a standard star-nut in the steerer, versus a compression plug. It may be a few grams heavier, but the interface with the stem feels stronger, stiffer, and more positive.
  • 4. Made in USA. Nuff said.
  • 5. Lifetime warranty. This bike is bombproof.
  • 6. The aesthetic is “all business” — all function, no fat, no nonsense, no flash, no paint to chip. The understated appearance of the bare metal says, “Warrior.” The radiused seat stays, contributing to the tight rear triangle and all-day comfort, also add a fluid, elegant character to bike’s profile. The brushed finish is classy without being overdone or pretentious, and it looks cool even when grimy. I use WD-40 to clean it.

Weaknesses:
A couple very minor issues:

  • 1. Not a big fan of the barrel adjusters on the head tube. If I were using standard housing, the bends from bars to stops might be a little tight. Also, the adjusters need spring tensioners — the front derailleur adjuster tends to loosen the cable when not in the big ring.
  • 2. I’m also seeing some premature corrosion on the head badge. The badge took one too many bug strikes, methinks.

Similar Products Used:
1986 Raleigh Gran Course
1988 Klein Quantum Race
1995 Excel Sports Macalu Pro Ti Road (Litespeed Catalyst)
2001 Spicer Road Al
2006 Flyte SRS-1 Carbon Road
2009 Soma Smoothie Road

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About the author: Thien Dinh

Thien Dinh gained most his cycling knowledge the old fashioned way, by immersing himself in the sport. From 2007 to early 2013, Thien served as RoadBikeReview Site Manager, riding daily while putting various cycling products through its paces. A native of California, Thien also enjoys tinkering with photography and discovering new music.


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  • weltyed says:

    nice review. maybe someday i will be able to get a Ti bike…

    how did you like your flyte? i love my flyte cross frame and wish they were still operational.

  • Scott Lawley says:

    I just received my R230 frame and edge fork, and I am looking forward to completing the build. A couple of comments on your post:

    You said that you used CXP-33 rims. I thought that was a magic model, and yet the picture depicts Reynolds wheels. I see other discrepancies which leads me to believe that the photo is not your bike but that fromlynskey or some other person.

    As I am about to embark on a bike building mission, it would be helpful to know what you went through in selecting the components for your bike. What lead you to each brand and model choice?

    After having built up your bike, what would you do differently?

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