An aero road bike for those who appreciate the art of custom
- Fully customised design journey
- Unique made-to-measure geometry
- Fast, precise and ready-to-race
- Exclusivity comes at a price
- Not as well known as the established brands
With so many established bike companies dominating the market, it takes a lot to make an impression. Ask Surrey Hills-based British boutique brand, WyndyMilla. What started out as a passion project between founders Henry Furniss and Nasima Siddiqui has since grown into one of the country's foremost custom bike brands.
WyndyMilla has been designing bikes and mastering the art of custom paintwork for just under a decade, the result of which has found favour among cyclists who prefer the modern twist and exclusivity offered by its bespoke, made-to-measure bike-building philosophy over the copy-and-paste designs of the establishment.
Only recently however has the brand begun to make a significant impact on the local front, thanks to the recent overhaul of one of its most popular bikes, the Saw Doctor. Handmade in Italy, using custom geometry measurements and components, the Saw Doctor is WyndyMilla's take on the modern aero road bike and it's a polarising creation, to say the least.
Design and geometry
The Saw Doctor was designed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software to optimise its aerodynamic proficiency and wind-cheating form. As a result, it very much follows the approach seen on most aero bikes with dropped seatstays, kammtail airfoils and a fully integrated cockpit rounding off the geometry. But there's a lot more to its design blueprint than merely the aero treatment.
Everything about the Saw Doctor is bespoke and, as such, no two bikes are the same. The build quality is exceptional and everything from the shut lines to the level of finishing is on par with - if not better than - many of the established brands. Each frame is built to spec from the ground up near Venice, Italy and constructed from Toray high-modulus carbon fibre. The company's made-to-measure ethos ensures it's perfectly matched to its owner using physical data captured from a personal bike fit.
Where the Saw Doctor really excels is in the customising department. It's here where you can tailor the visual intensity of the bike to your heart's desire, which is carried out in WyndyMilla's in-house WM Paintworks studio.
This particular Saw Doctor belongs to founder Henry Furniss. While its aesthetic may not appeal to everyone, closer inspection reveals a truly exquisite design and paint job. While monochromatic at first glance the 'Excalibur' paint - a metallic, pearlescent hue which flips and gleams in the sun like the sword after which it's named - contrasts the raw carbon weave adding a sense of vivid fluidity to the package.
Components and build
The majority of Saw Doctor customers are going to want to trick it out in the very latest and greatest componentry. And while that's a very personal thing, the Saw Doctor can accommodate any groupset, bottom bracket type (threaded shells included) and cable routing option owing to the way it's manufactured. In fact, according to Furniss, "each frame is created from scratch and, without the constraints of a mould, there isn't much we can't do." It all comes down to personal preference.
This particular model is built around Shimano's fabled Dura-Ace Di2 R9170 groupset and braking setup which helps it perform just as fast as it looks. In fact, everything you see here is top-drawer Shimano stock - even the wheels. Deep-dish and aggressive in appearance the Dura-Ace C60 wheels are wrapped in 25C Continental Competition tubular tyres which adds to the bike's racy cues.
The finishing kit comprises an integrated Ursus bar/stem combo, a d-shaped seatpost, and includes Fabric's ergonomic 'knurl' bar tape and ALM Ultimate Shadow saddle, Elite Vico Carbon bottle cages and a 3D-printed RaceWare Wahoo mount.
Ride, handling and performance
Henry's setup is very similar to mine in that only a couple of tweaks to the seat height and saddle setback were needed to get it spot on with my measurements. After a couple of hundred kilometres, it's clear that this bike isn't just a showpiece. It certainly feels as fast and as lively as expected, returning sublime levels of feedback through the tubular tyres and appreciably stiff carbon underpinnings.
The sensation of speed is further accentuated by the ultra-sleek-sounding Shimano Dura-Ace C60 wheels which slice through the air like blades, returning an even deeper, rhythmic whoosh when attacking out of the saddle. Of course, this wheel/tyre setup does affect the ride quality which can become a little jarring depending on the road surface and what pressures you prefer. Henry did include a set of Shimano C40 wheels paired with 28C Continental GP5000 tubeless rubber in the test if things were to get a bit too abrasive for everyday riding. But they didn't.
How did the C60s behave in the wind? Well - the wheels naturally have a propensity to move around a bit when things get breezy but the bike tracks accurately and requires very little in the way of correction to keep things on the straight and narrow.
Tipping the scales at 7.2kg the Saw Doctor is relatively light for an aero bike and can hold its own on the climbs, but it's more at home on the straights and descents where the full breadth of its talents can be put to use. Like all aero bikes, the Saw Doctor manages to maintain speed and carry momentum with ease - it devours rolling terrain but it's not just in the straight-line stakes where it excels. It's an absolute hoot in a sinuous environment thanks to its trusting front end and huge reserves of lateral grip.
As expected the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset performs flawlessly, offering lightning-quick shifts and near-perfect stopping power through the easy-to-modulate hydraulic disc brakes.
So why would you buy a bike like the WyndyMilla Saw Doctor when there's more pedigreed, race-proven options on the market? One word: exclusivity.
Only 80 of these models are made every year. Add to that the tailored built-to-spec geometry and fully bespoke visual effects offered by the WM Paintworks wizards and there isn't anything that can really compete at this level.
The WyndyMilla Saw Doctor goes against the establishment relying on its left-field non-conformist ethos to attract those who dare to be different.
All this comes at a premium though, a fact that's reliant on just how far you're willing to go in terms of component choice and build specification. The Saw Doctor can be purchased as a customised frameset (rim or disc) ranging in price from £4,325 to £4,680.
- Temperature: 12-18 degrees
- Wind: Calm
- Road surface: Moist
- Route: Rolling hills
- Mileage: 313km
Specifications: WyndyMilla Saw Doctor Dura-Ace Di2
- Price: From £4,325 (frameset)
- Frame: Toray high-modulus carbon
- Size: Custom made-to-measure geometry, large
- Weight: 7.2kg
- Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9170
- Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 53/39, 11-28T cassette
- Wheels: Shimano C60 disc (set 1), Shimano C40 disc (set 2)
- Tyres: Continental Competition 25C tubular, Continental GP5000 28C tubeless
- Brakes: Shimano Dura-Ace hydraulic
- Bar/stem: Ursus integrated bar and stem
- Seatpost: Ursus
- Saddle: Fabric ALM Ultimate Shadow
- Computer mount: RaceWare, 3D-printed