A Gravel "Forever Frame" Made With Some of the Most Precious Metal Around? Yes, Please!

The world has recently seen a massive wave of gravel cycling, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down in any way. Take the Cyclosys as the perfect example of where things are and even where they're going.
Cyclosys Full Build 9 photos
Photo: Turner Bikes / Edited by autoevolution
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Why gravel biking? Well, if you've ever had the pleasure of experiencing this style of cycling, you know there's just something special about floating around on rocks, headfirst, at 25 mph (40 kph) or more. In short, the adrenaline is what brings most riders back to this style again and again.

Well, one team that's taking a crack at this type of two-wheeler is none other than Turner Bicycles, the one and the same that's been around since 1994. However, there's something different about the Cyclosys that is today's object of discussion. For a couple of years now, Turner has been focusing all their attention on nothing other than titanium frames, and the Cyclosys is no exception.

Why is this material making such a strong appearance on the cycling scene? Well, it has been used by master frame builders for years now. Still, recent advancements in the ability to manipulate this metal, and to do it for cheaper than before, are why we're seeing a massive surge in this metal's use. Then there's titanium's ability to endure just about anything life throws at you.

If you didn't know, bikes with titanium frames are often called "forever frames," and with good reason. One treated with love and care can end up surviving more than 50 years of riding. Once you couple that with the adaptability of a gravel bike's structure, we should be looking at one solid machine and one you can happily ride for years on end. Well, at least until boredom set in.

Cyclosys Full Build
Photo: Turner Bikes
Now, if you ever find yourself on Turner's website, you'll notice that they only typically sell frames crafted from titanium. Well, this seems to be the only full build they offer as standard. But how much is it going to run you? Overall, Turner sells frames priced around the $2,500 range, but a complete build with all the components that this manufacturer feels bring out the best in the Cyclosys costs $5,500 (€5,000 at current exchange rates). Yes, it's more than most of us would ever consider dropping on such a bike, but remember what you're buying.

Starting with the front of the Cyclosys, let me point out that some other top-shelf materials have made it onto the bike, mainly that carbon fiber fork. Aside from the fact that it will work wonders at absorbing vibrations taken up from the road, if you look closely, you can see cargo and pannier rack mounts integrated into its design. Since gravel bikes are often used for other styles of riding, cyclocross, and bike-packing, this feature is essential for helping you take those long rides out of town.

Come to think of it, the entire frame seems built around this idea. If you look closely at the top tube, you'll find mounts. The seat tube and down tube follow the same idea. Best of all, Turner took the time to do the same at the seat stay, meaning you can throw on a fender to keep clean, but a cargo rack too. Take a moment to imagine what the Cyclosys would look like, packed to the teeth with all the gear you need to spend a day or two out in the wild. Now imagine hopping on and riding off into the Saturday sunrise. All those mounts are welded into each tube, so take your mind off worrying about corrosion or losing your bags while performing your cycling duty of pounding over obstacles as hard as you can.

Cyclosys Full Build
Photo: Turner Bikes
As mentioned, this is the only full build I could find on Turner's website, so let's see what this manufacturer feels is best for their machine. Honestly, I wasn't surprised to see SRAM providing the drivetrain on Cyclosys. A solid Eagle XO1 is tuned to the sounds of 12 speeds and offers a range of 10-52T, with a crankset boasting a 40T chain wheel. That's enough range to climb, hit hills hard, and keep a constant pace on flats. Helping you control everything is a pair of Centerline CL brakes with 160 mm (6.3 in) rotors at the front and back.

One aspect of the Cyclosys' frame is the ability to handle an array of tire sizes. According to the manufacturer, 700x45c tires can be used, and so can 650x52c. This should help you find that riding sweet spot. However, the bike is optimized for up to 45 mm tires, so anything beyond that changes its dynamics. Oh, and if you don't like the gear I've mentioned, grab a Cyclosys frameset for $2,600 (€2,375) and go nuts with your favorite components.

So, where does this machine belong, aside from your garage? It belongs out in the woods. It belongs out on roads of all kinds. And then, it belongs in your family. Remember, a titanium bike can outlive its riders, and if that's not worth the cash, I need to find out what is.
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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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