For those riders who value the ride quality, durability and sheer aesthetics of a titanium frame, the Esker Lorax Ti provides a worthy alternative to the current options dominating the best gravel bike space.
Designed to optimise the benefits of titanium construction, Esker’s engineers chose double-butted, cold-shaped 3al/2.5v titanium for the Lorax Ti. Not only does the titanium tube set look terrific, but it's lighter than any comparable metal frame in steel or aluminium, with the promise of superior vibration damping and longevity.
Targeted at gravel riders who appreciate all things boutique, the Lorax Ti features neutral geometry and several clever frame details to enable bikepacking adventure. Riders who wish to load up on bike bags and gear for self-supported adventure riding can use three pack mounts threaded atop and below the downtube. In addition, there are rear triangle racks and fender mounts.
Big tyres have become a standard in gravel biking, to allow enhanced terrain absorption. Esker’s Lorax Ti has a rear triangle with adequate clearance for 700 x 50c tyres, which should accommodate the largest gravel tread tyres riders desire, without any mud-clearance issues.
The Lorax Ti has standardised 142mm hub spacing, which is adjustable with Esker’s clever Portage dropouts, combining movable plates and 12mm of horizontal axle movement. Befitting of a titanium frame, the rear machining, where seat- and chainstays meet, is a work of fabrication art.
Gravel bikers keen on running a dropper seatpost will find a wide selection of options, thanks to the Lorax Ti’s 31.6mm seat post size. To keep the overall build aesthetic elegant, Esker’s provided internal cable routing for one of the best dropper posts.
Gravel bikes roll along dusty or muddy terrain and to prevent dreaded bottom bracket creak, due to environmental contaminants, there’s a 68mm threaded bottom bracket shell.
But what about geometry? Esker offers the Lorax Ti in five sizes, numbered corresponding with an S1-S5 designation, instead of the traditional XS-XL sizing spectrum. Chainstay length is fixed for all sizes, at 440mm, while the head angle varies from 69.5-degrees (S1) to 71-degrees (S2/3) and 71.5-degrees (S4/5).
The Lorax Ti is optimised for 400mm forks, with Esker recommending Enve’s Adventure or the Whisky No 9 MCX rigid options. Lorax Ti riders can also opt for the latest short-travel suspension forks with 60mm of travel, such as MRP’s Baxter or the Fox 32 Taper Cast.
By implication, titanium gravel bike buyers are custom bike builders, and Esker is marketing its Lorax Ti as a frame-only option for $2300. It might not be cheap, but a titanium frame's workmanship, detailing and longevity will be enjoyed long after the price is paid – and forgotten.
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