Most likely it's the best bike for me, perhaps a 50th present to myself next year?
Customer's name is Offa Thegrid (is that real?)
anyway, here's the text:
A bike for all seasons?
The Enigma Element is a hand made steel framed bike built by Mark Reilly of Enigma, one of the best custom frame builders left in the UK. The frame is made of a Columbus Lite triple butted tubeset and is custom made to suit the buyer. It is sold as a cyclocross bike and I bought mine to do a mix of lightweight touring on variable terrain from tarmac to rough tracks being sick of the poor performance of the mountain bike when doing large distances on the road.
The bike was built up with a Campagnolo Athena compact groupset, hand built wheels (DT rims and Ambrosio hubs), Cane Creek SCX-5 brakes, Thompson Elite seatpost and Enigma Saddle. It weighed in at just under 20lbs but a lot could be shaved off this if you can afford the investment. I think a diet is a cheaper option...
So how did the bike ride? I was really surprised at the quality of the ride and the difference that a custom fit made. Having ridden the bike over 800 miles so far, including two multi-day tours, a 100 mile sportive and the London to Brighton 2011 bike ride I have to say that the bike has lived up to its promise in all respects. The build quality of the frame is superb and the bike is the lightest and most responsive I have ever ridden - you really can't beat the 'feel of steel' that you get from a bike like this one. The Campagnolo groupset has been excellent and the brakes have been surprisingly good bearing in mind they are cantilevers - just shows how well they are set up. The bike has had many admiring glances over the past few months and everyone wants to try it out.
So to sum up:
Good points - versatile and able to cope with all terrains, responsive and exciting ride with just the right degree of stiffness. A sure and stable ride on the descents and eats up the hills.
Bad points - none
Would I recommend? Without hesitation. Service from Enigma was excellent throughout and the bike was well worth the wait needed for a custom build.
I am not connected with Enigma in any way other than as a satisfied customer.