Just Landed: The Enigma Elite HSS ST is a stunning steel bike that's just arrived in the Cycling Weekly office from a brand better known for its work with titanium. We take a first look at what this Anglo-Italian beauty to see what it might offer before heading out for a ride.
We have a lot of good-looking bikes come through the doors here at Cycling Weekly and it can take something a little bit different to really catch the attention of the office.
Something, for example, like Enigma Elite HSS ST.
It might seem strange to start by discussing a bike’s paintjob, but it’s difficult to know where else to start with this eye-catching orange and white design. The unique look is thanks to the work of Engima Paint Works, Enigma’s in-house paint division, which offers a range of custom and semi-custom designs, and will even spruce up your existing frame with a new look.
However, there’s much more to the Enigma Elite HSS ST than just good looks. Beneath that snazzy paintjob is a frame made of Columbus Spirit HSS triple-butted steel tubing which Enigma says is designed to make you think again about steel bicycle frames. We’ll have to wait and see whether that holds true on the road, but it’s certainly good to see steel being valued for something other than its sturdiness.
Thankfully though it’s not a case of steel all-round, and there’s a smattering of carbon-fibre in the fork and seatpost which should help to iron out rough road surfaces at the front and the rear.
The other places you can find carbon-fibre is in the Campagnolo Chorus groupset, which features carbon cranks and rear derailleur. The gearing is a pretty standard compact set up, with 50-34 rings at the front and an 11-25 cassette at the rear (although Chorus will go up to a 29 tooth sprocket if you feel the need).
However as is the case with most steel bike manufacturers, custom builds are the name of the game, and Enigma will happily equip the Elite HSS ST with whatever spec you desire.
We’ve gone for a largely Italian build to go with the Columbus steel tubing. The Chorus groupset is matched with Campagnolo Zonda wheels, medium profile numbers which sneak in underneath 1500g for the pair that look like a good set of all-rounders.
The bike is also equipped with a Fizik Arione saddle and Deda handlebar tape to complete the Italian look. In fact, attach a pair of Vittoria tyres and this Enigma Elite HSS ST would be almost entirely Italian aside from the name on the down tube, but instead we’ve got some 23mm Michelin Pro 4 Service Course tyres – great rubber nonetheless.
This build will set you back £3,390, although you can save £140 if you decide against having the seatpost and stem painted to match the frame. And if you want to put your dream bike together from the ground-up, the frame on its own is available for £1299.
We can’t wait to see if this steel machine can tempt us away from the world of carbon-fibre, so stay tuned for a full review in Cycling Weekly in the near future.
Visit the Enigma website for more details, and scroll down for more photos.