Nerve Reynolds 953 Road Bike

This bespoke Nerve Reynolds 953 road bike is my ‘best’ bike. It’s the bike I used to race on but is essentially in hibernation for six months of the year!

Reynolds 953 Road Bike
Nerve Stainless 953

Reynolds 953 is a tubeset made by the legendary British tube manufacturer Reynolds Technology. This is the company’s flagship product and the top of their stainless steel range. If you want more information and fancy geeking out on tubesets have a peek at the Reynold’s website.

I chose stainless steel over titanium as ultimately I found titanium felt a bit too ‘sloppy’ for racing. It was exceedingly comfortable but didn’t feel as fast as carbon fibre, particularly when sprinting. This may have been due to too much ‘give’ in the frame around the bottom bracket. Conversely, I found 953 to be very stiff but without the ‘dead’ feel of aluminium and some carbon frames.

The frame was handmade by Mark Reilly of Reilly Cycleworks. Nerve was his first brand after leaving his position as Head Designer at Enigma. Mark has built an enviable reputation as one of the UK’s most experienced frame builders and has built many frames for other manufacturers. He was also co-author of the excellent ’73 Degrees’, a weighty book showcasing some of the best framebuilding talent.

Nerve became Reilly Cycle Works after a year or so and today they manufacture bespoke frames in either steel, titanium or carbon fibre.

My frame was TIG welded, which is at odds with most of the stainless steel frames being made today. Now, this is not as elegant as a fillet brazed frame. And no, it’s not as classic as lugged frame. However, TIG welding is the strongest method of joining tubes and in my opinion looks just as clean. Strength and function was the priority as this was primarily a racing bike and not a piece of art!!


The build is as follows:

  • Frame – Nerve Reynolds 953
  • Groupset – Campagnolo Chorus
  • Wheels – Campagnolo Neutron Ultra
  • Fork – Enve 2.0
  • Headset – Campagnolo Record
  • Finishing kit – Fizik R3 Cyrano
  • Saddle – Fizik Antares VS
  • Tyres – now Vittoria Corsa G+
  • Pedals – Shimano SPD-SL 105

This may have whetted your appetite for a bespoke bike. If so, head over to the framebuilders map to see if there’s one near you!

Frame and fork re-spray

Recently I stripped the bike for a full service and in the process managed to convince myself that a re-spray would be a good idea!

This is the result…

Delighted with the overall result and the little touches look great!

The work was carried out by Blue Whippet Paintworks in Stoke-on-Trent.