Carbon tubing, titanium connectors and extensive customization options. When we were told about the Bastion Road Disc our ears pricked up: with a staggering price tag of € 7,000 for just the frameset our expectations were huge… and off we went to find out whether the exclusive Australian racing-beast is worth its money.
It takes more than just one ingenious mind to come up with such an exciting bike concept. And that’s exactly how Bastion was born. When the Toyota plant in Melbourne James, Benjamin and Dean worked at closed down, the three men put their visions together and started an exciting journey in search of the perfect racing machine. The concept is nothing short of awesome: instead of using a frame made entirely from carbon, the Bastion Road Disc relies on 3D-printed titanium-joints to connect the tubing. Since the titanium joints are printed individually customers can choose to either use one of the existing templates or supply their own geometry design. Once the geometry is sorted they can choose the thickness of the material to achieve the right balance between comfort and stiffness in “regular”, “stiff” or “extra stiff” frame configuration.
The individualisation options don’t end here tough: customers can decide which colour they want the titanium connectors to be (elegant black chrome or reserved matt silver) and also choose the colour of their fork. Even the logos on the frame and fork come in three options: gold, silver and black. And of course there is also a paint-to-sample option available for all the options above.
Once they’ve decided on the optimal configuration, Bastion customers will receive an engineering report with all the details regarding geometry and colour scheme. The report will also include a detailed description of the handling characteristics the bike is expected to have and several graphs comparing the customised geometry with other pre-existing designs. The report also warns customers of possible drawbacks such as a strong toe overlap. This allows you to check all of the construction details carefully before placing your order – a dream for custom-bike enthusiasts.
The spec of the Bastion Road Disc (test bike)
Just by looking at our test bike you can tell it belongs to ex pro Christian Meier, the proud owner of one of Europe’s most exciting bike hubs “The Service Course” in Girona. This reflects on the spec of his bike (our test rig) since each Bastion owner is responsible for the customisation of their own frameset. The elegant ENVE components are combined with a Shimano Dura Ace and classy details such as the Arundel bottle holders.
Frame Bastion Road Disc
Stem ENVE Road Stem 11 cm
Handlebar ENVE Road Handlebar 42 cm
Saddle Fabric Scoop Race Flat
Drivetrain Shimano Dura Ace Di2 9170
Brakes Shimano Dura Ace R9170
Rotors TRP-14 Standard Rotor 140 mm
Wheels ENVE SES 4.5 AR Disc
Hub Chris King R45 CL
Tires Conti Grand Prix 4000 II 25mm
Bottle holder Arundel Mandible
Weight 7.3 kg (test bike)
Price about € 15,000 (test bike)
Test Bastion Road Disc – how does our 15 Grand Australian ride?
Our test bike in size 52 has a very sporty geometry. The long top tube (460 mm from the tip of the saddle to the steering tube), the high saddle-to-bar drop (86 mm) and the steep head-angle (72,8° ) are clearly saying: race! The “stiff“ configuration of our test bike is more than enough for a small frame size considering you could also get an “extra stiff” version. Since our 65kg test-rider described the configuration of our test bike as “damn stiff”, we would recommend a “regular” frame to all light riders with a more relaxed riding style.
The moment you swing your leg over the saddle you realise that the Bastion is only interested in one thing: speed! The stiff bottom bracket and the fast wheels provide for an outstanding acceleration. With its aggressive, stretched riding position and the 55 m- deep ENVE rims the Bastion feels at home on long high-speed sections without showing any signs of susceptibility to side winds.
Especially light riders will find the frame extremely stiff, which is why you can feel the vibration of every single pebble right through the tip of your toes. That’s where the ENVE cockpit and its excellent balance of self-damping properties and stiffness comes in handy, providing at least a hint of comfort on the front end. The 25 mm Continental Grand Prix 4000 II tires also add a little comfort.
When riding uphill the Bastion feels very nimble, efficiently translating every watt into propulsion. The Bastion doesn’t like being rocked up the hill gently, it wants you to kick it up the mountain. Still you have to be vigilant and focused at all times, relaxing is no option. Even small steering inputs initiate razor-sharp movements, some malicious tongues even claim it’s “nervous”.
But if you handle it with expertise you’ll be rewarded: together with the stretched riding position and the light weight the Bastion is a true uphill-missile that will give you a true speed-rush.
The Bastion feels very responsive on descents and – if you’re experienced enough – you can even let it loose. Just always remember you’re sitting on top of a wild racing horse. The bike follows each steering impulse quickly and with clinical precision but its super-stiff frame won’t allow you to relax your body at any point – this can be quite strenuous in the long run. Our test bike in its configuration is not a bike for everyday rides.
Our only criticism goes to the TRP brake-rotors. Aesthetically they’re a bit more understated than Shimano disks but their lack of braking power seriously affects their performance.
If we were to compare the Bastion Road Disc to a car, the car would be a Porsche 930 Turbo. Both require extreme levels of concentration, offer zero comfort but will ultimately reward you with a super direct handling and a great boost of adrenaline. The Bastion combines state-of-the-art technologies with superb craftsmanship and an exclusive look – just like the Porsche. Christian’s frame-configuration isn’t an option for everyday rides, but if you really want it you can get the bike made to measure and to your very own specifications – provided you can spare the change for such a unique specimen. € 7,000 for a frameset? Foolishness can be so sweet!
poor braking power
For more information head to bastion-cycles.com
Words: Noah Haxel Photos: Robin Schmitt, Noah Haxel