So I won this eBay auction:
...although to be honest I was the only bidder. I'd messaged the seller and asked for more photos and it looked interesting - at that price, splitting it for parts wouldn't be beyond consideration if it turned out to be a dog.
The seller bought it as part of a job lot of bikes at an auction, a bike shop's old stock and he was more interested in a couple of other bikes in the lot so eBayed this one. I picked it up last night and it's actually pretty lovely.
My question: what on earth is it?
The triple triangle made me think GT, an Edge or a Forte seem to be the names I've found, but all the photos I can find of those show they have a pierced top tube. As my photos below show, this definitely doesn't have a pierced top tube, it even appears to have a bottle cage mount on the back of the seat tube (I've waved a bottle cage at it, it would fit quite tidily just above the brakes).
I'm not sure what material it is - it's NOT magnetic but the tubes 'ping' when flicked, and those welds look very nice and tidy: might it be polished titanium? I'm not an expert on tubing so I haven't ruled out some steel alloy I'm unaware of. The forks are carbon and USA-made; the frame has no head badge, BB stamp or decal residues, the only marking I can find on the frame is on the outside of the rear driveside dropout, which has an odd shape a bit like a tall "A" lightly stamped then the numbers "729".
The seat tube bottle cage mount, the 650c wheel size and the small race-number-mount braze-on on the top tube a couple of inches back from the headtube (just about visible in my first pic, above the shifters) all make me think it was built as a time trial bike, and of course it's been built up as one, but beyond that, my limited knowledge fails me. Does anyone have any ideas?
Oh, and I'd describe the ride as "surprisingly not uncomfortable" from a quick spin around the block, I'll either adjust the base bar and ride it with these bars or change things so that I can have bar-end mounted shifters, although is there a way to do that while staying period-correct-ish?