Watch: Review of the No. 22 Aurora
A titanium all-road dream machine
Titanium’s low-density, high-strength, durability and corrosion-resistance make it an excellent material for constructing bikes. When I took my first pedal strokes on the No. 22 Aurora, I noticed the comfortable and compliant ride quality masterfully achieved with the metal. Combined with the carbon fibre seatmast, the frame is fast, stiff in the right places and responsive.
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No. 22 is named after titanium’s atomic number. The company was founded in 2012 by Canadians Mike Smith and Bryce Gracey. Since 2014, the frames have been hand built at No. 22’s Johnstown, NY facility.
The Aurora is best described as an all-road performance bike. The butted tubing and tapered head tube all work together to channel power into the pedals. The titanium gives the frame a playful liveliness during hard efforts while the materials compliance makes long rides a real pleasure. The carbon seatmast is esthetically a nice contrast to the titanium. The composite material helps the bike achieve a lighter weight while offering a comfortable ride, which the frame’s thin seatstays enhance even further.
The lowered bottom bracket (75 mm of drop on a size 54), long head tube, wide wheelbase and carefully considered angles provide confident handling and exceptional stability in and out of the saddle. The steering is tame and predictable providing me with the confidence to push my limits on tight switchbacks, through rough corners and on uneven gravel roads.
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The frame has beautiful detailing throughout. From the sun burst on the top tube, the elegant tapered head tube, the gorgeous seat stay bridge, and the subtle but stylish graphics found across the bike. The craftsmanship is impeccable with attention to the finest details like the flawless welds and gorgeous seat post topper.
The bike was kitted out with Campagnolo’s brand new H11 hydraulic disc groupset. The Ergo Power shifters feel extremely solid in my hands. The carbon brake levers provide powerful braking, excellent modulation and confidence to scrub speed in all conditions. The disc brakes mounted cleanly onto the frame without any spacers and complimented the quality ride of the frame.
Super Record derailleurs provided precision shifting across the compact 50/54 H11 crankset and 11-29 casstte. The setup suited the way I wanted to ride the bike allowing me to tackle steep climbs and rough roads where speeds are generally slower. That however never held me back from going fast and using the full range of the gearing to hammer when the wind was at my back or close a gap on a speedy group ride.
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Campagnolo Bora One 35 DH wheels look stunning while also being light, smooth rolling and really get up to speed quickly. Mounted with 30 mm tires this bike is ready to tackle any road.
Finishing kit on the bike included an Easton cockpit with carbon handlebars and an alloy stem. The Fabric scoop race flat saddle is a quality perch for the backside and looks great a top the seatpost topper.
At a shade under 8 kg, this Aurora may not make weight weenies giddy but it offers so much more in other areas. It masterfully rides the line between adventure ride and speed machine.