As a huge fan of Serotta bikes, we were thrilled to have the chance to put together a David Kirk build belonging to our good friend Deborah.

Credit : David Kirk
Kirk Frameworks are best known for their ride quality, workmanship and design. The curved Terraplane seat stays are best known as a signature of David Kirk's works. A result from his years of development at Serotta where he was awarded a patent for designing a road bike suspension (better known as DKS) which was the main feature of the Serotta Hors Categorie road bikes back when they were in production.
Credit : David Kirk

Deborah ordered the Onesto from Kirk Frameworks and we caught up with her on her story behind getting a new bike and the rationale behind the build.

CPS : Holla Deborah, can you share with us why did you go for a steel bike as your N+1? 

Deborah : I have been riding a gravel steel bike from AllCity for about 3 years and I really enjoy riding steel bike for that springy ride quality. However as I am no longer riding gravel much, I wanted to build another steel bike but for road riding instead.

CPS : Sounds like a love for steel, could you share with us the decision behind getting a David Kirk frame compared to other steel framebuilders?

Deborah : I got to learn about David Kirk and its background thanks to a friend (named Azmi) who also showed me several lightweight steel bikes from online sources (ie weighing around 6-7kg). I was sold once I saw Kirk, very beautiful made by hand framesets.

The model I chose was ONESTO, 100% stainless steel and I opted for the terraplane seat stays and fillet brazing. As described by Kirk himself, since ONESTO means ‘honest’ in Italian and it already looks stunning on its own 100% stainless and silver with the fillet brazing, I did not opt for any paint. I wanted my new bike to be versatile and this model was great as it can also fit up to 35mm tyres.

CPS : A brilliant choice. Was there a reason why you had decided to build it up in what seems to be a timeless build?
Deborah : My direction was to have a customised lightweight steel bike, mechanical rim brake version. Reasons being
  1. Whenever I speak to people about steel bike, they would comment that steel bike is heavy. Hence I wanted to show them that is not true. Steel bike can definitely be light and regardless of weight, steel bike has a great ride quality
  2. I am quite old school in the sense that I enjoy mechanical and traditional stuff from the past. I love the look of rim brake steel bike and mechanical shifter is top priority. Even though I have another bike with electronic shifter, I actually dislike the idea of charging things for a bicycle (the people in the past didnt have to, it’s simpler, more carefree).

I was very particular in getting most of the components in silver especially the crankset, to match the bike. I wanted the frameset to be the focus and as such did not want the components to outshine it.

It was definitely a fun project because I really had to compare the price points and weight of the limited options in silver. I managed to pick the ones that fit the aesthetic I’m looking for, and also ok for my pocket at the end. To give the bike some colour, I chose Berk saddle and bar tape in Cognac brown.
I also have to thank Built Wheels for the recommendation from the rim to the spokes etc, and eventually the well tuned wheelsets.

The final build weighs around 7.6kg with components from Darimo that helped to shed some weight as well.
CPS : Is the Onesto a custom geometry? What kind of ride were you after?
Deborah : I went to Choonwei from Fitskuul for my geometry for the Onesto. He is always my go to fitter for the best fit and he did up my Prova Speciale as well.  This time round, I was looking for a geometry that gives a more snappy ride, but not to the extend of being aggressive/aero.
What I always appreciate from Choonwei, is that he does not just give his recommendation and called it a job done. He would always take time to explain how the different figure in a geometry would have an effect for how the bike rides. For example, how a slight adjustment on the saddle position would impact the power transfer. So far, the ride is indeed snappy and very comfortable.

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Frameset  David Kirk Onesto
Headset White Industries
Wheelset Farsport Kaze to Extralite with Sapim CX Ray
Tyres Continental GP5000
Groupset Shimano Dura Ace 9000 Mechanical
Bottom Bracket C-Bear
Stem Darimo IX2
Seatpost Darimo T1 Loop
Handlebar Darimo Elipse
Saddle Berk Lupina Padded
Grips Berk
Cages Arundel Stainless Steel
Misc Sim Works x Nissen Brake and Shifter Housing


June 16, 2024 — Sherwin Ng

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