Paul Budnitz started a ti bike building company five years ago to construct something a bit different. What has developed over time are a series of swoopy, double-toptube frames with belt-drives and internally geared hubs. His newest bike – the Model Ø (or Zero) – takes the lessons he’s learned on city cruisers and mountain bikes and applies it to a fast-moving bike for longer commutes or even more dedicated road riding.
The new Budnitz Model Ø was two years in the making, as their designers worked to produce the fastest and most advanced bike in their catalog. Budnitz bikes use a twin-toptube design with a small weld connection at the seattube that allows the frame to flex in a unique way (much like Trek’s IsoCoupler) and gives a very smooth feel at the saddle. They received a lot of feedback from customers who wanted a fast bike with that same smooth ride, and so the new Model Ø was born.
The bike begins with a handmade titanium frame and then builds to suit each customer starting with a carbon fork, a Gates Carbon belt drive, and a Di2 Alfine 11 speed hub. A Rohloff 14 speed option is also available. Tire-wise the Model Ø comes spec’d with 35mm Schwalbe Marathon Racers, but you can even swap in a set of knobby cross tires like Racing Ralphs for a bit more of a fast off-road adventure. The Model Ø get new-for-Budnitz geometry as well, with a shorter wheelbase and more road-oriented handling. It uses a tall tapered headtube and pairs with Enve fork and cockpit for rigid and predictable steering.
Like all of his bikes, the Model Ø comes with a 100-mile no-questions-asked trial, so try and make sure you are happy when you buy. His frames and custom made components are also guaranteed for 100 years (not sure if that is to the original purchaser, or who will be handling claims in a century, whatever…), so we guess that is just a nod to confidence in their product and a willingness to stand behind what they make.
The Model Zero is available in four stock sizes for $6750 for the complete build. They can also be painted-to-order in a wide range of standard solid colors for a $500 upcharge (nicely leaving the stays exposed ti.) Quantities are said to be limited, so hop on if you are looking for a smooth alternative ride for everything from morning road commutes to weekend gravel adventures.