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First Look: Bowman Cycles launch redesigned Palace R aluminium frameset for 2017

New tubeset yields 150g weight saving and more refined ride

So impressed were we with Bowman’s debut frame the Palace two years ago that it scooped the coveted Frameset of the Year 2014 award. Time marches on, and for 2017 the frame has been completely redesigned with an all-new tubeset contributing to a 150g weight saving.

Bowman founder Neil Webb has just sent us the first photos of the new frame and we just had to share them with you. Here's what Neil has to say about the new frame.

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“Learning from what made the first Palace great, we’ve refined small details, totally revised the whole tube-set and the Palace is reborn – we give you: The Palace R,” says the company.

- Review: Bowman Palace frame and fork

If you're not familiar with Bowman Cycles, the company is based in Kent and was launched two years by Neil Webb, who has a wealth of experience in the bicycle industry. He's focused on building smartly designed and competitively priced frames, with a range that covers everything from road race to all-road to cyclocross.

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With the new Palace R, Bowman has smartly retained the geometry from the original Palace, a good thing because the handling was one of the highlights. Other than that, it’s a complete redesign. Everything has changed: every tube, every wall thickness. It's been refined in every area. The big result is a whopping 150g weight drop; a 58cm now frame comes in at a claimed 1,170g. That's very light for aluminium and will give many carbon frames something to worry about.

The Palace R is made out of 6069-T6 triple butted aluminium. The wall thicknesses have been reduced too. As well as contributing to the lower weight, this improves the ride, which is described by the company as being more refined than the original Palace. There is a brand new forged head tube, asymmetric stays and a FlareSquare seat tube, which is tapered from round at the top to square at the bottom bracket. This is intended to increase stiffness in around the bottom bracket and allows the tube walls to be thinner. The seat tube still takes a 27.2mm seatpost.

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- 11 of the best 2016 aluminium road bikes

Flat oval seat stays lend the frame extra comfort over the old model, while triangular asymmetric chainstays retain stiffness for power transfer. Bowman has moved from a pressfit to a threaded external bottom bracket for easier installation and maintenance. Mechanical cable routing is external still, but removable bosses allow the fitting of electronic shifting.  Other small changes include a new braze-on front mech mount.

The new Palace R frameset costs £650 and pre-order is available now on Bowman's website. The company is aiming to have production frames delivered in December. Colour choice includes Black/Jade or a very bold Green. There are six frame sizes from 50 to 60cm.

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Nice, don't you think? We'll be riding this new bike in 2017 and we're keen to see how the redesign impacts the performance of the new Palace R. More info at the Bowman Cycles website.

And that's not all. Be sure to check out the new Layhams stainless steel bike the company has also developed. 

David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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Yogic Cyclist | 7 years ago

Does anyone know if these frames come with a warranty? can't see anything on the website and they have not responded to my email.



trohos | 7 years ago

I'm fun of good alu bikes. This bike Looks, very good but with external cables especially in the top tube (paint damage) i'll consider twice if someday i'll buy one.

drosco | 7 years ago
1 like

Props to Bowman for making such a desirable frame for a price us mortals can afford.

cyclisto | 7 years ago

I like the design, weight and the sensible price. I would like though a top rube internal cable routing. The paintjob is nice for a race bike but dull commuters like me would prefer a single color scheme with more subtle graphics. But I guess the company's Foots Cray is more oriented towards commuting. The Foots Cray in turn would be benefited from a more upright riding position (I don't know if it comes with an uncut steerer tube) and more fender options.

FatBoyW | 7 years ago

Looks awesome, reminds me of the early principia framesets which I loved and they were so light!

cant get the link to the stainless to work, I just hope it's a good bonus from work this year!


StraelGuy | 7 years ago

Agreed, it's one of the things I love about my steel winter bike, a proper threaded B/B. The silence is bliss.

barbarus | 7 years ago
1 like

Yes, slightly rapha, why not "conceived in Kent"?

Joking aside, it's between this and an aithein for my next bike. The non press fit bb might just edge it for the palace. Looks fast.

Valbrona | 7 years ago

Do not ever buy a frame carrying the words 'tested in the Garden of England'.

That is so Rapha.

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