Dean Titanium has a deep history and since long time employee and welder Ari Leon has taken the reigns, we’ve seen a lot of new shapes and offerings coming out of the Boulder frame builder’s doors. After chatting with them at Interbike last year, they suggested we check out one of their new “stock” offerings, so we did!
Getting on a nice titanium bike for close to the cost of (high quality) steel was great, but Dean’s Antero cross bike has a few tricks up its sleeve… plus you can customize the frame to suit your needs…
Cross is coming… well, eventually. To increase their footprint, Dean saw a market for people wanting the benefits of a titanium frame without having to pay the custom price. Where Dean stands out though, is the fact that you can get one of their stock frames that are hand welded overseas, and customize it. Dean oversees all quality control and they stick to the same 1mm standard of alignment as they do on their boutique custom frames made in the U.S.
I was pretty excited to test the Antero as cross bikes are my typical go-to for getting around, whether over barriers, on gravel roads, or urban play grounds. Though gravel bikes are hot right now, (and Dean informed me they have one in the pipeline), I prefer the quicker handling of cross geometry as a fun all-around. Having a bit of a soft spot for titanium, I was impressed with the little things they included that you don’t usually get on a titanium race bike… especially for less than $1,200!
Although the Dean Antero is suited for racing, they did not skimp on its commuter-abilities. Fitted with more rack and fender mounts than you can shake a rack at, the Antero makes for a great year-round “cross/commuter” that you can get to work on, then return to “pro mode” and de-rack it on race day. Though a little hidden, there is a fender mount on the front-side of the seatstay bridge.
The Antero has room for up to a 40mm tire and comes with standard QR dropouts but it can be custom ordered with a thru-axle for an additional charge.
Our test bike was equipped with SRAM’s Force 1 x 11, and though I am a 1 X
12 11 devotee on the mountain bike, on a cross bike… “Anybody want to buy a front derailleur”? All joking (and controversy) aside, the bike comes with a cable stop for a front derailleur to keep everyone happy. It was in fact the only cable stop as the bike is equipped to run full external cables, (except the front brake hose through the fork leg).
The rear brake and derailleur cables are mounted along the toptube to keep them off of your shoulder should you have to harness the bike. I’m a fan of my cables taking wider and smoother curves (less bending = less friction), hence why they cross paths on the toptube.
Riding the Antero, though you can have it like you want it, the build it was sent with is pretty similar to how I would have built it – except one size up on the bar’s width. The geometry was quick and though suited to flick the bike around between the tape in a hairpin turn, it had a confidence inspiring feel about everywhere I rode it. It wasn’t as stiff and light as some of the carbon offerings out there, but the feel and liveliness were spot on with what I appreciate in a bike. I could even see it taking the place of my go-to “world’s worst maintained bike” (that got to take a well deserved break while I rode the Antero) for a similar retail price… and it’s a steel frame that was also made overseas.
The bike was shipped with TRP’s slick carbon fork ($550), with internal routing. The TRP fork is one of many options available should you want a complete build rather than just a frame. The fun part is that although the frame is a “stock” item, (no custom tubing, geometry or sizing), you have the option to customize it with several options usually only available on full custom builds. Want to make it a travel bike with S&S Couplings… Paragon Sliding dropouts… Di2 internal routing (which is free)? They can do it among many other options listed below.
The frame comes with a lifetime warranty (yes, those still exist), on defects on tubing & welds and they even offer crash replacement purchases on a case by case basis. And for what it’s worth, I am 6’1″ of proportionate build and fit perfectly on the XL sized frame with a 57.5cm TT.
Stock Frame Specs from DEAN:
- Hand built with straight gauged 3/2.5 titanium
- Hand brushed finish with etched DEAN logo option
- 44mm straight taper head tube
- S-bend seat and chainstays.
- Replaceable hanger
- BSA 68 x English bottom bracket
- Sterling Silver DEAN Headbadge = $200
- S&S Couplers Steel = $600
- S&S Couplers Titanium = $900
- S&S Accessory Kit ( tube covers, grease, wrench, compression, net ) = $175.00
- Paragon Sliders (Hooded) Steel and Titanium = $250
- Paragon Belt Drive Splitter Steel and Titanium = $50.00
- Internal Brake Cable Routing Steel = $150
- Internal Brake Cable Routing Titanium = $250
- Internal Di2 Routing = No Charge
- Front Derailleur Hanger Steel = No Charge
- Pump Peg Steel and Titanium = $25.00
- Chain Hanger Steel and Titanium = $25.00
- Fender Mounts Steel and Titanium = $50.00
- Rack Mounts Steel and Titanium = $50.00
- Lowrider Mounts Steel and Titanium = $25.00