Periodic element number 22 holds a far more special place in the hearts of the owners of the No.22 Bicycle Company than number five ever could. We’ll spare the non-chemistry nerds out there a quick google search by telling you outright that element 22 is titanium. The Canadian-based company has found a home last year with frame builders in Upstate New York, and released road (the Great Divide) and track (the Little Wing) frames in 2013.
A year later, we spotted a quasi-prototype of a titanium cyclocross build labeled “Broken Arrow.” No.22 hasn’t released the full details of the pricing, claimed weight, or availability, but we were able to find out the direction No.22 is planning to take with the rig from their sponsored elite rider, Wilis Johnson.
We found the name, Broken Arrow, to be an interesting choice, and likely an allusion to the western adventure of the James Stuart film over the other possibility of the renegade nuclear missile of the later John Travolta film, although both could work.
Johnson has been riding the Broken Arrow throughout the UCI races across New England, including the KMC Cyclo-Cross Festival and most recently at Cycle-Smart International, and he will be providing the company feedback on the current geometry and build. The frame is crafted from 3Al-2.5V CWSR (Cold Worked, Stress Relieved) titanium, focusing on balancing durability and light-weight.
Johnson’s Broken Arrow is built on par with No.22’s Great Divide with a few minor differences. He uses SRAM’s CX1 with HydroR disc brakes instead of the Shimano Ultegra 6800 of the road build. The Great Divide, for reference, comes in at $4,799 complete with Pacenti SL23 rims and in-house branded hubs; Johnson told us that his full road build was only a touch above 16 pounds.
The other key difference is that Johnson’s Broken Arrow uses Rolf Prima VCX Disc wheels rather than the Pacentis described above, although these are a set that he borrowed. He assured us that the full build would at least be using the No22 branded hubs. Otherwise the road and cyclocross builds are comparable with a Thomson Masterpiece seatpost, a Thomson stem and handlebars, an Enve 2.0 fork, a Fizik Arione R3 Braided Rails saddle and a Chris King Inset 8 headset.
The company opted for a threaded bottom bracket instead of the BB30 they use on the Great Divide, and Johnson completes his build with Time Atac pedals. Because one of the company’s major objectives with the Great Divide is to subdue the bumps and chatter of rough road terrain, it should be interesting to see how this translates to their cyclocross models out on the course.
Most striking of all is the company’s choice in subtle but gorgeous finish. Johnson’s frame includes polished titanium graphics, which include the name of the bike and his rider name on the top tube, although for a nominal price with relationship to the build, a buyer can also choose a high-polished blue anodized finish for a little more of a pop on their frame.
No.22 Broken Arrow, the Wilis Johnson build, specs:
Frame: No. 22 3Al-2.5V CWSR titanium
Fork: Enve 2.0 carbon disc, tapered steerer
Headset: Chris King Inset 8
Shifters: SRAM CX1
Front derailleur: None
Rear derailleur: SRAM Force 11 (w/ clutch)
Crankset: SRAM CX1
Cassette: SRAM CX1
Brakes: SRAM Force HydroR
Stem: Thomson Elite
Handlebars: Thomson Road Carbon
Seatpost: Thomson Masterpiece
Saddle: Fizik Arione R3 Braided Rails
Wheels: Rolf Prima VCX Disc
For more information: 22bicycles.com
For a video showcasing the new build, check out Greg Addo’s YouTube production: