Popong Anchores’ mile-munching titanium Loue custom road bike

Regular readers know that I have a soft spot for titanium bicycles.

Popong Anchores and his custom Loue bike are front and center in this photo.
Photo credit: JC Peralta
Photo credit: JC Peralta

Manila Coffee Cycling Club‘s resident endurance cyclist Julito “Popong” Anchores showed up at one of our rides recently aboard this brushed titanium beauty, with Singaporean firm Loue Bicycles‘ logo on its head tube and downtube. A regular on the Philippine randonneuring scene, he is no stranger to long, long hours on the saddle.

Popong’s front wheel is laced to a Shutter Precision (SP) PD-8 front dynamo hub.
Photo credit: JC Peralta.
The Sinewave Cycles Beacon front light is slung underneath the Garmin head unit mount.
You can also see a USB type A cable port dangling off the head tube.
Photo credit: JC Peralta.

A titanium bicycle is uncommon by itself, but Popong’s steed sets itself apart with a full dynamo-powered lighting setup. The Taiwanese Shutter Precision (SP) PD-8 dynamo front hub generates electricity while riding and sends it to a Sinewave Cycles Beacon front light. Popong says this light can alternate between 400 and 700 lumens, which is a very usable amount. The Beacon also has an integrated USB charging circuit – ideal for charging power banks while riding.

Photo credit: JC Peralta

Leather saddles are prized by many randonneurs due to the hammock-like construction acting as natural suspension. In a country of Brooks saddles, Popong’s perch is a Selle Anatomica unit from the US. While it may look unconventional, he took this bike on its maiden voyage the day before our ride – a 193-kilometer jaunt from Bulacan to La Union.

Photo credit: JC Peralta

A Campagnolo Super Record 11-speed transmission transfers power to the ground via Alto carbon wheels shod in Continental Gatorskin tires. The cranks wear Rotor Q-rings with slight ovalization – almost imperceptible until you see Popong pedal along.

Photo credit: JC Peralta

Braking duties come courtesy of Ashima 160 mm rotors and TRP HyRd cable-actuated hydraulic brake calipers. As the HyRd design restricts the hydraulics to the caliper bodies only, these are a great middle-ground option for long-distance riders that prize the field serviceability of a brake cable. They’re also the best solution I can think of for travel bikes, such as Ritchey’s Break-Away, or any bike built with S&S frame couplers.

Photo credit: JC Peralta

One final quirk of Popong’s bike is this long strip of Velcro stuck on the top tube. He explained that this was for mounting a top tube “bento box” bag. He was not a fan of such bags swaying about while he was riding, so the Velcro on the top tube helps quell the excess motion – a really neat idea. Such an arrangement is ideal for really long tours, as it provides easy access to food or other items you need close at hand.

As it stands, this steed is Popong’s weapon of choice for the 2019 Paris-Brest-Paris 1200 km mega-randonnee, to be run in August.

Photo credit: JC Peralta
Popong Anchores astride his custom Loue.
Photo credit: JC Peralta

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