It’s no secret that Portland, Oregon is ground zero for the Northwest ‘cross scene, so any Portland based brand worth its jig better make a good ‘cross bike. Sage Titanium isn’t actually Portland based, it’s in Beaverton a few miles West of Portland, and it may not actually have a frame jig since Sage Ti bikes are made by Lynskey in Tennessee, but it sure does have a ‘cross bike – the Sage PDXCX.
Sage owner Dave Rosen was a supply chain demand planner for big business prior to 2012, when he started Sage Titanium, so you can be sure of one thing when you buy a Sage – Dave will not keep you waiting years for your bike. That’s one of the reasons he chose to have Lynskey manufacture his designs. He wanted quick delivery times and to put the customer first.
The PDXCX obviously does all the things titanium and Lysnkey manufacturing are known for, it’s a beautifully executed frame out of material that not just rides like a magic carpet but will last a lifetime. But as a ‘cross bike, it has a design philosophy rooted in years of Northwest ‘cross with little touches only a dedicated ‘cross fanatic could design.
The PDXCX is not just tailor made for ‘cross, its tailor made for Portland ‘cross – tight, technical and more than likely muddy, very muddy. With just a 60mm bottom bracket drop and 72.75degree head tube angle on our 58cm test bike, it has an old world Flandrian tall bottom bracket and steep front end for razor sharp reaction on twisting circuits. Compare this to the slacker head tube and 69mm bottom bracket drop on a Sage Barlow gravel bike and it’s clear that Dave Rosen is not trying to make a multi-purpose ‘cross/gravel/adventure bike. The PDXCX is a ‘cross bike, but since it’s designed for ridiculous Oregon mud, it does have big clearance, meaning you can run up to a 40mm tire in the bike. Don’t tell Dave Rosen this, but the PDXCX can do gravel just fine if necessary.
Rosen has also dialed in each tube shape and tube diameter to coax the maximum out of titanium’s properties. An ovalized down tube and top tube mate to a 44mm oversized head tube to provide the spot on handling an aggressive ‘cross race craves. Big ‘Breezer’ style dropouts provide enough real estate to keep the chain stays robust all the way to the through-axle for a stiff platform under power.
Putting the customer first means more than reliable delivery times and beautiful bikes, it means giving riders lots of options. On Sage Titanium’s site you can order a frame, a frame and fork or a full bike with any Shimano or SRAM group. You can get an ENVE CX fork or a TRP fork with fender mounts, 3T or ENVE cockpit, ENVE, Reynolds or HED wheels and even decal colors and specific gearing choices. One of our favorite features is Sage’s patented Cable Clip System top tube routing set up. It means no matter what system you choose – 1x, 2x mechanical or electronic – you’ll never have empty, wasted cable guides cluttering up your frame.
Our test Sage PDXCX test bike came built with a Shimano Ultegra group, 3T cockpit and HED Ardennes + wheels. With that build the bike costs $6980 and weighs 19.4lb/8.83kg. For just the PDXCX frame alone, Sage charges $2900, with an ENVE CX fork it’s $3652. Look for a review in the pages of PELOTON soon and for more from Sage check out sagetitanium.com.