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What was our design brief?
To create a versatile road bike, suitable for a wide range of riding conditions. The bike should be supremely comfortable, but should also be able to cover long distances efficiently. The geometry should provide nimble handling and a classic road bike feel, but offer enough stability to carry loads confidently. It should be produced in a large range of sizes to suit most adult riders, and it should feature the latest technology available to last for many years to come.
How has this been achieved?
The Etape has been one of our most popular models since Enigma began in 2006, in both rim and disc brake format. During that time much has changed; tyres have got bigger, disk brakes became common place, traditional touring and audax has evolved with the ultra endurance ‘bike packing’ style becoming popular. We redesigned the Etape during 2017, and took the decision to offer it as a disc brake only model. We feel disc brakes make total sense on this style of bike, not just for the extra braking performance but also the increased tyre clearance and ease of fitting mudguards. We produced the original Etape in a limited range of sizes, but when the time came to update the model we wanted to make it suitable for a much larger range of riders, including women and those at the extreme ends of our usual size range.
Though it was simple for us to make the bike in the range of sizes we needed, we realised that using the same tubing across the size range resulted in a bike that had very different ride characteristics for different size riders. To combat this we looked at tailoring the tubing to the frame size; we were able to select tube diameters that increased with the frame size, meaning a small frame with a 50kg rider can experience the same beautifully smooth ride as a 100kg rider on a large frame. This has the added advantage of keeping the frame weight to a minimum across the size range.
The ultra smooth, endurance focussed ride uses smaller tubes than our other models. We chose a tapered headtube that better matches the thinner tubes than our usual 44mm one, resulting in a supremely elegant package.
Tyre choice has evolved rapidly over the past few years, with larger volume 28mm rubber now considered the standard for road riding. It was important to us that the Etape was able to comfortably fit a 28mm tyre with a mudguard, be ‘future proof’ for further increases, but also not lose the classic road bike look by having huge gaps around the wheels. We settled on having the clearance optimised for a 28mm + mudguard, but with enough room to also fit a 32mm. If you remove the mudguards there’s enough room for a 35mm tyre which adds further versatility to the bike making it capable of light off road/gravel riding.
It was important that the Etape is suitable for riding across four seasons and all conditions, so a proper mudguard mount was essential. We considered a second pannier mount as the Etape is well suited to touring, but didn’t want to spoil the look of the bike too much with additional braze-ons. Touring has evolved over the last few years from the traditional front and rear pannier set up, to the lighter weight ‘bike packing’ style, so we felt the additional mount was unnecessary. The Etape comes with one eyelet inline with the stay, which is rated to take a 10kg load on a rack. If you plan to carry more weight we can add a second mount to the dropout, rated to 20kg.
Cable routing is another area we considered carefully. For the style of riding the Etape is intended for; where you may end up a long way from a bike shop, we felt that keeping the cables external for ease of maintenance was the best solution. The main cable run attaches underneath the downtube, out of sight for a neat and tidy solution. The cable guides bolt in place and can be adapted for 1x, 2x or electronic groupsets.
Who is it for?
The Etape suits almost all road riding styles, and is intended for riders that are focussed on endurance, long distance comfort and all season versatility. It can cover a huge range of conditions such as club runs, audax, endurance racing, touring, light gravel, winter training, commuting, and more. It sits in our core range between the Evoke and Escape, the Evoke leaning more toward fast road use without the versatility of the Etape, the Escape more for off-road with increased tyre clearance and relaxed geometry.
Ultegra R8000 Specification
- Frame Etape 3al 2.5v
- Frame finish Hand Brushed
- Logos Satin Bead
- Seat Collar Enigma Alloy
- Carbon Spacers 3x 10 1 x 5
- Fork C-SIX AX-DSC
- Headset Enigma Omega A-83
- Stem Enigma Alloy Stem
- Handlebar (O-O or C-C!!) Enigma 6061 Alloy Compact Handlebar
- Saddle Enigma Ellipse
- Seatpost C-Six Carbon 31.6
- Rims Hunt 4 Season Gravel Disc - Thru Axle
- Tyres Panaracer Gravel King 700x32c
- Tubes Conti
- Chainset Shimano Ultegra R8000 172.5mm 34/50t
- BB Shimano BBR60B
- STI Shimano Ultegra ST-R8020
- Rear mech Shimano Ultegra RDR8000GS
- Brake calipers Shimano Ultegra BR-R8070 flat mount
- Brake Rotors SM-RT800 140 & 160 Shimano
- Cassette Shimano Ultegra CSHG800 34t
- F Mech Shimano Ultegra FDR8000
- Chain Shimano CN-HG601
- Tape Enigma embossed
Frame Technical Information
- Material 3al 2.5v titanium
- Frame Weight TBC
- Bottom bracket 68mm British Thread
- Seat tube (internal) 31.6mm
- Seat tube (external) 34.9mm
- Front derailleur attachment 34.9 band on
- Headset 41.0mm 45/45 upper bearing | 52mm 45/45 lower bearing
- Dropout arrangement 12x142
- Maximum tyre clearance 32c
- Brake type Disc - Flat Mount
- Extras Eyelets for rack & mudguard fittings
- Cable Routing Suitable for Mechanical, DI2, EPS and ETAP