Singular Swift

singularswift-600x449

Yes, it’s another 29in wheel bike. But for a change, it wasn’t sent from a manufacturer eager to get themselves into this subset of a niche before the boat left, but a bike we wanted to look at because it actually looked ‘right’.

singularswift

Singular Swift
Price: £400 Frame and fork and Phil Wood EBB
From: www.singularcycles.com
Tested: Four months

Yes, it’s another 29in wheel bike. But for a change, it wasn’t sent from a manufacturer eager to get themselves into this subset of a niche before the boat left, but a bike we wanted to look at because it actually looked ‘right’.

Singular is a small company in the now familiar ‘one man in a (figurative) shed with a factory in the Far East’ mould – a model that works well for On One and Cotic and Sam Alison, Mr Singular, is a very handy rider too, as I found out while trying to follow him at last year’s Singlespeed Worlds. The 29er Swift comes in geared or ‘mainly singlespeed’ versions (because it has an eccentric bottom bracket, but still has a rear derailleur hanger). This is the version I had, mainly because it comes in a sweet sonic blue colour. I set it up as a 1×9 – mainly because singlespeeds are impractical where I live and because 90% of 29er riders run their bikes singlespeed in an act of further self-ghettoisation. It’s no wonder big wheels are having a hard time becoming accepted in the UK.

Anyway, a single 32T Spot ring and guard and an 11-34 block has meant no getting off on any trails and perhaps three chain-droppings, despite not running a chain device or front mech, in the four months I’ve
ridden the Singular.

We’re going to have to go through the standard 29er pros and cons again, but here goes:

Yes, it rolls well over stuff, it steers quicker than you think it might (and Sam’s done a good job on the geometry ensuring it’ll work well rigid or with an 80mm 29er fork). Yes it takes a while to accelerate and long flat bits are tedious too as you have to kick the bike back up to speed. No, it’s not light, weighing in at 27.5lbs, but it climbs without fuss or wandery madness. And yes, you’ll have a hard time finding inner tubes for it, though tyres and wheels are getting easier to find.

However, it’s coped with trails that other riders have thought they needed their big suspension bikes for and the elegant looking rigid forks have done a fine job at absorbing the bumps that the big wheels and tyres missed.

It’s the most ‘right’ looking 29er we’ve ever had in the office and it’s the only one that’s tempted non-converts to ride. Sam admits that riders under 5ft 7in won’t appreciate bigger wheels and therefore doesn’t offer a small size.

There are other bikes and frames around from other folk and the Swift is neither the cheapest, nor the lightest. But in the four months we’ve had it here, it’s been ridden loads and liked by far more riders than we thought. There’s not much we can add to that really.

Overall: If you’re a little to loads taller than your mates and you fancy a steel hardtail with a lot of character, check out the Singular. And did we mention the cute aluminium Swift head badge?
Chipps

Categorised as:

Bikes

Tagged with: