Words by Road.cc – November 29, 2016
Rutland-based J.Laverack launched about 18 months ago with its debut model a titanium disc-equipped four-seasons road bike. Its second release, the R J.ACK, is a more conventional design, a rim-braked bike with an aggressive geometry designed for racing and fast riding.
The new R J.ACK features a 3Al/2.5V titanium frame with double butted tubes in the front triangle, a tapered head tube with a Gryphon head badge up front and a threaded bottom bracket down below – a press fit bottom bracket can be specced. There are some shared features with the original J.ACK such as the tapered and squashed top tube and the fully internal cable routing. Each frame is finished with bead blasted graphics with a unique frame number on each. Suffice to say, it’s beautifully made with smooth welds and the graphics are nicely understated. This Dura-Ace/Hunt/Enve build kit certainly does the frame a lot of favours.
The frame features the sort of geometry you’d expect on a race bike, or a bike designed for very sporty riding at least, but the company is providing the choice or race or classic geometry so you can choose how extreme the fit is. It also offers custom geometry if you want things a bit more bespoke. Eight sizes from 48 to 62cm are provided. J.Laverack fits the frame with an Enve 2.0 carbon fibre fork.
While it’s designed around rim brakes rather than the disc brakes of the original J.ACK, the frame still has clearance for up to 28mm tyres but there’s probably space for wider depending on rim and tyre combinations, and you can also spec mudguard and rack mounts if you wanted to increase its suitability to year-round British cycling.
The R J.ACK is available in five builds starting from £3,550. The pictured bike is the R J.ACK III with Shimano’s new Dura-Ace 9100 mechanical groupset, and in the standard build, it costs £5,975 with Hunt 38Carbon Wide Aero wheels. Our bike has optional Hunt 50Carbon Wide Aero wheels for an extra £200.
All bikes are specced with a Brooks Cambium C13 saddle and Enve carbon fibre handlebars, stem and seatpost (though the test bike has a PRO carbon handlebar). Other optional extras include the company’s own titanium bottle cages, costing £35 apiece.
Other build options include buying the frame for £1,750 or the frame and fork for £2,180 and building it up with your own equipment.
So we’ve got the above bike in for test and there’ll be a full review here very soon. If you’re in the market for a titanium road bike, there are numerous choices but be warned that titanium does still hold a premium over other metals like steel and aluminium. Titanium is notoriously a difficult material to work with and this has always kept the price high, but titanium frames are much more affordable than they were ten years ago.