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Wittson Custom Cycles

Matthew Butterman

Saturday 01 April 2017

Wittson Custom Ti Cycles offers new road racing disc brake frameset

Wittson Custom Ti Cycles, the builders from the Baltic republic of Lithuania, introduce the Illuminati, a new road racing frameset that fits disc brakes.

Wittson Custom Ti Cycles offers new road racing disc brake frameset
Photo: Wittson Custom Cycles

The boys from the Baltic, Lithuanian father and son team Wittson Custom Cycles, introduce the Illuminati, a road racing frameset built for disc brakes from Wittson's material of choice, titanium.

By introducing the Illuminati just before their appearance at British handmade show Bespoked, Wittson have addressed the elephant in the room: the use of disc brakes in mass-start road racing. Never afraid of innovation, but with an aesthetic respect for European tradition, framebuilder Mindaugas Zukauskas writes in a March 30 press release that the launch of the Illuminati offers the same sense of rebirth that the coming of spring promises.

"For our family, this is just as exciting as the first sunny spring rides in Lithuania," says Zukauskas.

The presence of many of Europe's finest craft frame builders at Bespoked in Bristol, UK offers the perfect moment for Wittson to launch the Illuminati, which builds on the earlier innovation of their Suppresio disc brake frameset.

"As you might know, we are an artisan workshop specialising in custom titanium frames. Yet, we have been building our flagman Suppresio disc version for about 3 years now. Due to the flood of inquiries at last year's shows, NAHBS in Sacramento and Bespoked in Bristol, we decided to work on a new disc specific road race project. Disc brakes create new stress areas, therefore we decided to take a blank page and work on this new project from scratch. Specifically for this project we decided to source new shaped and butted over-sized titanium tubing so that we could build the stiffest titanium disc frame on the market. The biggest challenge was sourcing new Grade 9 titanium shaped tubes that aren't welded from sheets," says Zukauskas. 

All photos courtesy Wittson Custom Cycles

The Illuminati is built in super compact geometry with shallow seat stays that add stiffness and create a triangular look that provides the inspiration for its name. To add even more stiffness, Wittson build the Illuminati with a conical 1.5" head tube, PressFit 30 bottom bracket, DT Swiss thru axle dropouts and new road disc standard with flat mounts. The effect of disc brakes on the overall cycling experience is profound, Zukauskas claims.

"Overall, disc brakes will give you added control to corner so you will hit the best possible apex, ride and descend with more speed. So, if you are searching for something that will work best on winding mountain roads with hairpin bends, or wet conditions, and would like to take it to your next travel destination, whether it might be the Alps, Pyrenees, Rockies, etc., this is definitely something to consider."

As with any of Wittson's offerings, the Illuminati can be customized with special geometry, clearance for wider tires, routing for electronic shift systems, and many other unique design parameters.

Complete Specs:

      - road race disc geometry


      - over-sized conical internally butted head tube for 1.5" fork


      - diamond hydro-formed top tube


      - over-sized double butted down tube


      - double butted seat tube


      - shallow hydro-formed seat stays


      - Illuminati brake bridge


      - hydro-formed chain stays


      - integrated brake cable routing


      - integrated shifting cable routing


      - PressFit 30 bottom bracket


      - flat disc mount


      - made in USA PARAGON dropouts compatible with both DT Swiss 142 x 12mm and SHIMANO 142 x 12mm hangers


      - DT Swiss 142 x 12mm thru axle removable alu hanger


      - hand-brushed finish


      - custom sandblasting


      - ti head badge


      - anodized bolts


      - weight: 1480g (size M)