Be your own brand.

Introducing Lithuania’s Wittson Custom Titanium Cycles

Having spotted these guys over on Singletrackworld I couldn’t resist diving in further to find out more…

Vidmantas Zukauskas started Wittson because of his passion for cycling, a successful national road rider from the 70’s he moved into coaching and frame design when he retired from racing.

Wittson frames are manufactured in Russia using industry contacts that Vidmantas made during his racing career. Although he doesn’t name the factory they use he does point out that their titanium is sourced from VSMPO Titan Scandinavia in Sweden, which is reassuring given the often creative approach of Russian metallurgists.

Style wise they seem happy to tackle any type of frame as a custom job, from road bike to fat bike, although they do have a stock road and MTB frame too. They’ve also produced a frame using bonded carbon tubes with titanium lugs. Indeed, lugs do seem to be a recurring theme, check out the seat mast junction with the top tube and the interesting ‘Fat Chance’ style titanium fork.

The Bestia is their stock XC mountain bike frame which comes complete with an integrated seat mast and Chris King headset for €1789:

It's bendy and integrated - and lugged!

It’s bendy and integrated – and lugged!

Personally, I’m a big fan of the lugged seat mast, but not so keen on the bendy downtube. The Paragon dropouts are a quality touch but do look a little out of balance compared to the rest of the frame.

The biggest crime in my book though is the integrated cable runs that are drilled through the down tube at the point where it’s receiving the most stress! It’s one of the reasons Brant won’t put crud catcher mounts on his bikes. The left chainstay is similarly drilled for the brake hose – I’d be tempted to run them on the more lightly loaded top tube and seat stay (although they wouldn’t be fully integrated as they are now).

The chainstays run bridgeless which is usually OK, particularly with larger wheeled bikes, although they do look like they’ve been squashed pretty thin. It could be a potential source of fatigue failure, although the frames do come with a ‘lifetime warranty’.

It’s also specced with a BB30 bottom bracket which is fairly brave as it’s a standard that’s not really taken off yet. Although you’ve always got the option of putting adapters in for a more regular fitting. Good to see the weight quoted at a realistic 4.1lbs, it does show they’re keeping things pretty honest.

The custom version of this frame starts from €1989 but adding a few of the options available could see that rise fairly rapidly (mirror polish for €489 anyone?).

Titanium forks are always a source of interest given that few people seem to trust the material to produce a standard two bladed fork. Wittson air on the side of caution as their Ti fork hefts in a over a kilo and costs €539, one for the titanium completists perhaps?

Lugged titanium fork with tapered steerer looks pretty solid.

Lugged titanium fork with tapered steerer looks pretty solid.

It’s also available with thru-axle fittings too which is a nice touch:

Thru axle option on the forks is a nice touch.

Thru axle option on the forks is a nice touch.

Like the MTB frame the only thing that makes me a little nervous here is the brake hose guide drilled into the top of the crown lug – putting it on the unstressed cap at the top of the fork leg might have been a safer bet:

See the hose guide drilled into the crown lug? Hmmm...

See the hose guide drilled into the crown lug? Hmmm…

The Suppresio road frame shows similar signature touches as the mountain bike frame such as the seat mast lug and the integrated cable runs.  More work has gone into this frame which is reflected in its lighter weight of under 3.5lbs and higher price of €1989. It’s.. well, it’s a road frame really, although I’d probably make similar comments about the placing of the cable ports drilled into the underside of the downtube.

Suppresio road frame retails at €1989 in it's stock form

Suppresio road frame retails at €1989 in it’s stock form

More interesting is this titanium lugged frame with carbon tubes. OK, there’s not much advantage to it, you’re effectively making a titanium frame and then taking a hacksaw to it (!), but you can’t deny it looks pretty cool 🙂

Special titanium lugged bike with carbon tubes - produced for a UK customer.

Special titanium lugged bike with carbon tubes – produced for a UK customer.

This one was a one off and would cost around €2989!

Their website has just been launched and is still undergoing some updates (still a touch of ‘Lorem ipsum dolor…’ around) but do take a peek: http://www.wittson.com/ if you’d like to find out more.

Have you spotted a company that you think other people would gain inspiration from? Do drop me a line via the contacts page and let me know about them…