Building up a No.22 Aurora is always a treat. Seeing how the integrated stem connects neatly with the frame, admiring up close the exquisite welding and the seamless melding of titanium and carbon imbues the whole process with extra gravitas. It's meditative, fulfilling, and just plain satisfying, as the video we made of the process shows. Watch a few minutes, and you'll see what we mean.
We also love the intricately designed 3D-printed elements of the frame, from the stem to the dropouts and seat mast topper. As even a casual observer of No.22 will know, these parts don't just serve a mechanical purpose; they're also an innate part of the overall aesthetic. Like the silhouette of a Porsche or a Rolex Oyster case, No.22’s design language denotes the brand. In the world of bikes, that's an astonishing achievement.
And we haven't even got to the frame's Cerakote finish option, shown here in the brand's 'Cobalt' colorway. As No. 22's Bryce Gracey explained in an AC journal post timed to coincide with the launch of the Aurora, "Cerakote is 1/20th the weight of paint, with very little height differential when it's mated up to anodized areas of the frame. And because it's a ceramic coating, it doesn't require the same clear coat treatment as paint, preserving the natural beauty of the anodized titanium in the process." Gorgeous and game-changing. We'll take it.
It's also a design that takes a drivetrain. Campy, SRAM, Shimano - it all hangs well. In this instance, the build called for Shimano's Di2 Dura-Ace group throughout, with the exception of our signature Ceramicspeed OSPW rear derailleur and bottom bracket upgrades, of course. Dual-sided power metering via Stages Gen 3 cranks completes the drivetrain. We also waxed the chain to within an inch of its life, but that almost goes without saying these days.
Our in-house team whipped up the wheels for this build. These AC-custom creations sport Enve's understated SES 4.5 model laced with Sapim CX-Ray spokes, mated to Chris King R45 hubs with ceramic bearings.
Originally conceptualized for the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix through Enve's partnership with Team Dimension Data and now updated (from AR to SES), the Enve 4.5's deliver top-shelf aero performance, stability, and comfort over virtually any road surface. We shod them with Pirelli's P Zero Race TLR SL tires, which feature a lighter casing than the brand's TLR model and a slick tread pattern. Pirelli states that the TLR SL is its fastest and best-performing tubeless-ready road cycling tire; nothing we've experienced so far would dispute that.
Turning to touchpoints of another sort, we installed Enve Road bars wrapped in Fizik Tempo tape and set atop No.22's gorgeous seat topper an S-Works Power Arc saddle.
To wrap up the build, we upgraded almost every bolt that wasn't, with a titanium counterpart. And in a similar vein, installed matching No.22 titanium bottle cages.
THE BUILD SPEC
- Frame: No.22 Aurora titanium frameset with custom geometry and integrated titanium stem
- Drivetrain: Shimano Di2 Dura-Ace complete with Stages Cycling dual-sided power meters and a CeramicSpeed OSPW pulley wheel system
- Chain: Shimano XTR, waxed
- Bottom Bracket: Ceramicspeed
- Wheels: Enve SES 4.5 with Sapim CX-Ray spokes and Chris King R45D hubs, with ceramic bearings
- Tires: Pirelli P Zero TLR SL with Oragne Seal sealant
- Cockpit: Enve Road Compact handlebar, wrapped with Fizik Tempo tape
- Ephemera: Better Bolts titanium upgrades throughout. No.22 3D-printed coumputer mount