The Orient is J.Guillem’s do-a-bit-of-everything road bike. With the geometry of an endurance bike and the ride qualities of a race machine, this titanium beauty has left me with a real quandary. I couldn’t live with its comfort levels longterm even though it is such a great bike to ride, which got me thinking – is the Orient at fault or is it the UK’s roads? When describing the Orient on its website, one of the first things J.Guillem mentions is, ‘J.Guillem’s trademark stiff, lightweight and durable tubing.’ So it’s no surprise that this bike behaves like it does. For a bike of its kind it is brutally stiff. At times it’s just downright uncomfortable, and that’s coming from me – someone who’ll take performance over comfort every time and actually prefers being battered around a bit for that feeling of a fast ride. You feel everything, every single little ripple and stone in the road, unless you are on the smoothest of recently resurfaced A roads or a race track, and it can become tiring to each and every contact point. You don’t get the characteristic titanium softness; it lacks that vibration damping smo...