Kent Eriksen was a free spirit who took off on his bike to travel the country after high school. After wandering for 7 years he founded his bike shop in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and in 1978 began building custom frames. Most likely, you've heard of his previous custom frame building brand, Moots, which began in his small shop and has grown into one of the most well know titanium bike brands today. He’s an inductee in the Marin Museum of Bicycling Hall of Fame. His current venture, Kent Eriksen Cycles, builds custom bikes, which are made to order for each customer.
The custom road bike I tested was maybe slightly too big for me, but I still spent plenty of time on it and got to know it pretty intimately. It features an incredible build with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 drivetrain that shifts flawlessly, and lightning fast.
The ENVE SES 3.4 wheels are beautiful, stiff, and responsive. They're the perfect depth for aerodynamics without feeling cumbersome in the wind or heavy on climbs.
The Chris King hubs provide extra bling and produce that beautiful loud click that I love.
They are perfectly matched to a green Chris King headset. The logos look good in green as well, but I was slightly disappointed that they were stick-on decals rather than painted or laser etched.
The frame is matte with a sandblasted finish, and it features an ENVE stem and fork, which are painted grey to match the titanium finish. It's all topped with a Kent Eriksen Titanium seatpost with green saddle rail clamps.
The most immediate thing I noticed when I got on the bike was the rear end. It feels rock solid when you apply the power, springing forward with immediate speed. Despite being made of titanium, this Kent Eriksen definitely feels exceptionally stiff, just like a true race bike. This is mostly thanks to the chainstays being massive, coming in at over 1 inch thick at their widest point. The Eriksen is also impressively light (for a metal bike) at 16.5 lbs, which you can feel when accelerating out of turns and climbing.
The geometry is racy, with lower and steep front end. The handling is quick, almost verging on twitchy, perfect for fast corners and picking your way through a packed group of riders. It’s a bike that wouldn’t feel out of place at a fast crit race. I think it could take on any carbon road bike and, with the right pair of legs, come out on top. There’s no denying that this is simply a very fast bike.
The biggest difference between the Kent Eriksen and a high-end carbon race bike is that I could conceivably see the Kent Eriksen lasting forever. It's durable and resistant to corrosion. It will also hold its value better. But even more so, I think there's just something about a metal bike that's simply beautiful to behold. If I wanted the last bike I ever buy to be something I could smash KOMs and duke it out with other fast riders on, then the Kent Eriksen is the bike.
Bruce is a writer, a rider, and not much else. He loves getting his bikes dirty, trying new tech, and riding tough trails that make him suffer for hours at a time.