As soon as I heard that Singular Cycles were doing a titanium version of their excellent Swift frameset, I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist. There’s no escaping the expense of a quality handmade titanium frame, so after a quick evaluation of the type of riding I prefer, it was time to sell the road bike to make way for something I knew would last me a long time and provide greater enjoyment.
I’ve done a few rides on it now (read as: I’ve ridden nothing else since it arrived…), and continue to be impressed by it. The handling seems sharper than the already swift Swift, and the combination of titanium frame and carbon fork give it a suppleness that belies its otherwise rigid set up. The extra traction that 29″ wheels offer over 26″ wheels makes it great for climbing, yet even when the going gets a bit technical, the spring in the frame and the capacity for the bike to maintain its line makes it very capable of clearing some challenging ascents, provided the rider can keep turning the gear over…
The build quality of the frame is superb, as you might expect, but finished off with the “photo-engraved” Singular on the downtube go give it an extra bit of class. The Phil Wood half-link EBB makes it easy to adjust the chain tension, but I can still drop the rear wheel out easily if I need to. Most importantly though is the weight. It a full 600g lighter than the Swift, which is certainly noticeable when riding. I’ve not built it to be light, per se, but sensible choices like Hope hubs, No Tubes 355 29er rims, Middleburn cranks, USE seatpost and so on contribute to a solid build without any weight penalties.
Oh, and the bars. Everyone says “those a funny looking bars…”. Well, maybe, but they do make a lot of sense. They’re inverted On-One Mary’s, which suit the higher front end of 29er frames. They also give you a very comfortable hand position/ wrist angle, with enough width not to adversely affect handling or control. I’ve tried other bar combinations, but keep coming back to these – they’re ace.