Found: Custom Stiff Yet Comfortable Titanium Road Bike from Cysco Cycles

Cysco custom titanium road bike with oversized downtube to be stiff yet compliant

Cysco Cycles is a small custom titanium bicycle builder based in Chatanooga, TN, that was founded in 2009 by Richie Moore.

We’ve covered plenty of their sweet builds at past NAHBS (2010, 2011), and while they’re mostly remembered for their twisted square tubes, that’s not all they do.

This particular bike was built for Cysco employee Chris Williams’ father, who wanted a stiff bike that was still comfortable enough for all day spins. The stiffness is handled by a massive 2″ ovalized downtube that all but swallows the BB30 bottom bracket shell. Up front, it uses a 44mm headtube to accommodate a tapered fork.

To make it comfy beyond ti’s inherently sweet ride, they used swooping seatstays for a bit of compliance. More pics and details below…

Cysco custom titanium road bike with oversized downtube to be stiff yet compliant

The paint was done using a layer of clear powder coat on the raw titanium. The paint was applied over that, then a layer of protective clear coat over the whole frame. That last layer gives it a bit of depth, which helps highlight the welds, too.

Cysco custom titanium road bike with oversized downtube to be stiff yet compliant

It has one of their new full titanium stems. This one’s a 120mm and weighed in around 158g.

Cysco custom titanium road bike with oversized downtube to be stiff yet compliant

The complete bike came in around 17lbs flat. Chris admits the larger diameter downtube adds a bit of weight, and the ENVE Smart 6.7 deep aero wheels certainly aren’t the lightest either. But they’re fast! The rest of the build is 2013 SRAM Force with a refinished Moots seatpost the customer already had, ENVE fork and Ritchey Pro handlebar.

Cysco custom titanium road bike with oversized downtube to be stiff yet compliant

You might notice the standard external cable routing. Chris says they can do internal routing, but they try to steer customers away from it in most cases. Why? Because to do it properly, they’d need to run a tube inside the frame, which adds quite a bit of weight. He said just cutting a hole in thin walled ti tubes borders on dangerous.

While we won’t be seeing these guys at NAHBS, they will be showing off the goods at the SE Bike Expo in Conyers, GA at the end of February.


Meta - 01/14/13 - 2:14pm

A very unfortunate looking bike, Ti frames with fat tubes are terrible looking. Baum, Moots, Firefly make incredibly stiff bike with elegance in mind.

Hungry4Shht - 01/14/13 - 2:22pm

Meta, I think you’re being quite harsh. This is a purpose-built bike. Sure big tubes aren’t for everyone but kudos to a company that is building what they want, for what their customers are asking for and not adhering to an aesthetic for aesthetic’s sake.

Mindless - 01/14/13 - 2:37pm

Stiff yet comfortable?

But is it flickable? Vertically flexible but laterally stiff? Climbs like a goat?

Most important: Is it buzzword compliant?

Michael - 01/14/13 - 2:39pm

Another sweet bike by Richie. He’s been putting out some awesome stuff lately. Wouldn’t sell my Cysco mountian bike for anything.

BFA - 01/14/13 - 2:45pm

Hey what stem was used there?

jay - 01/14/13 - 2:51pm

what %, and please be exact, is it laterally stiff yet vertically compliant?

Ajax - 01/14/13 - 3:13pm

Hey. Wait a minute. Chattanooga, TN? Isn’t this a rebadged Litespeed?

Nathan - 01/14/13 - 3:27pm

Definitely not a rebadged Litespeed. The two are only related in proximity to Chattanooga and choice of materials.

Larry - 01/14/13 - 3:57pm

Its not a rebranded bike. Ive been to the shop and had a bike built. Solid bike

Freder - 01/14/13 - 5:04pm

I wish the down tube was skinny so I could love this bike….

MissedThePoint - 01/14/13 - 6:29pm

So it’s stiff yet compliant, but is it also lightweight, durable, affordable, and good looking?

Topmounter - 01/14/13 - 7:03pm

@MissedThePoint – By “good looking”, do you mean “the colorway is rad”?

carl - 01/14/13 - 8:24pm

+1 to the external cables.

Bryan - 01/14/13 - 8:47pm

@Ajax, you mean a re-badged Lynskey? I think Ritchie used to work for Lynskey.

Cysco will make my next hardtail (if I ever have the scratch).

Pat Mahoney - 01/14/13 - 8:53pm

Richie Moore perfected his Hand Made in the USA Frame Building craft at Litespeed & Lynskey over about a 14 year span between the two… Now, for the last 4 years, he’s been putting his expertise to work building Custom Bikes one at a time for the discriminating cyclists who are lucky enough to throw a leg over one of the Cysco Cycles Custom Creations!

Nash - 01/15/13 - 5:31am

What is the point of protective clear coat on a Ti frame? This will look horrible after a few years. Should have used stickers and left it raw.

Tarmuck - 01/15/13 - 7:21am

GT Bicycles Edge Ti
Nuff said

kurti_sc - 01/15/13 - 1:27pm

@BFA, I can’t believe no one took a guess for you. The stem looks like a custom welded stem from Cysco. But the style, it looks like a welded replication of an older ICON stem. I like it. It looks straightforward and well thought out.

Tyler (Editor) - 01/15/13 - 2:52pm

BFA – read the bit under the third photo.

Roger - 01/15/13 - 6:22pm

We already have Cisco and Sysco did we really need Cysco?

R Waters - 01/16/13 - 4:55pm

Met Richie last week after a cold wet mtn bike ride near Chattanooga. He was riding one of his new creations. Extremely nice guy and you could tell by looking at the quality of his bike he is the real deal!

AndyP - 01/18/13 - 11:43am


You forgot ugly……………… That down tube just looks wrong.

Terry - 01/21/13 - 8:05pm

I don’t mind the fat tubes but the decals look like a**.

Terry - 01/21/13 - 8:06pm

This frame costs as much as a Moots so it better be some pretty special welding.

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