Singular Swift initial thoughts

It took about three months to get all the parts together but it’s finally built up and ready to ride, actually I‘ve taken it out twice now. The second time was up on the South Downs near Brighton so I got to test it out on some hills too. This is the only 29er I’ve ridden for more than a few minutes so I can only really compare it to my 26in Cannondale M600 rigid SS. As far as that goes it’s better in every way, but a tiny bit heavier. The biggest difference is obviously the wheel size, it doesn’t do much for the big bumps, they still chuck me around seeing as it’s a rigid but it’s really smooth over small bumps and there’s next to no vibration due to the steel frame and soft tires. The next biggest difference is ride position, I don’t know whether it’s just this one or all 29ers but it seems really well planted and the bigger wheels make it feel a load more confidence inspiring. The Swift feels more roomy than any large sized bike I’ve ridden before, even now I’ve got the 90mm stem on there. The short stem and wide 690mm 10degree sweep flat bars make the steering nicely fast yet controllable. I’m not sure if I’m getting more power from the 180mm cranks but they do feel like they’re giving a smoother pedal turn with my long legs. The Swift is easier on the climbs than I was expecting with a direct power transfer and good acceleration. It rolls and maintains speed very well too, people say 29in wheels give more momentum and the Maxxis Ardent tires roll well so it’s nice to see it lives up to that. Right now I’m thinking I may be spending a lot more time on this bike than I had planned….

Frame - Singular Swift SS (large)
Fork - Singular rigid
Tires - Maxxis Ardent 2.25 (around 20psi)
Tubes - Bontrager
Rims - Mavic TN719
Hubs - Sun Ringle Disc Jockey
Brakes - 2009 Magura Julie’s
Cranks - Truvativ Stylo 180mm
Pedals - Shimano DX flat
Chain - Sram PC-1 Nickel
Cog - Surly 18T with DMR spacers
Headset - Crank Brothers Cobalt C
Stem - Syncros FL 90mm white grunge
Handlebars - Syncros AM Flat Top 690mm
Grips - Ergon GP1 Leichtbau
Saddle - SDG Bel-Air
Seat post - borrowed from my Slayer

Any negatives?
The Crank Brothers headset is the only one. At the moment if I tighten the star nut enough to stop the fork rattling the headset feels stiff and makes a sound like the bearings are dry. If I undo the star nut just enough for the headset to feel free and be silent it makes the fork loose enough to rattle quite a lot on rough sections. When I do tighten the star nut up enough to hold the fork properly it’s still nowhere near as tight as I have it on any of my other bikes so I’m going to let the bike shop take a look at that. Also the lower seal is ridiculously loose and actually dropped off the crown race a couple of times so I’m not overly impressed with my first CB product yet.


Dan Gerous said...

Crank Brothers make nice pedals that work the best but lack the bombproofness of Shimanos... but I have not been too impressed by every other products from the company. Cranks: nah, wheels: nah, tools: nah too soft metal so they strip quickly and strip bolts... They should stick with pedals and try to improve their durability and make them require less maintenance maybe?

LordOnOne said...

Yep, CB has some neat products and great ideas but nearly all of them need some form of perfecting, be it tweaking the profile of their flat pedals or using better seals on their seat post(and most of their other products).

Paul Petch said...

I'm officially a CB hater after everything i've owned of theirs has fallen apart through normal use.

Its a shame that their products are deigned for looks rather than operation isn't it? I mean how hard is it to find a middle line.....robust and functional but good looking too?

In a nut shell- CB stuff is shit.

BreViVelo said...

hey- nice ride, looks large -how tall are you, how is the standover? CB's seem to favour bling over function a little bit, but they always produce nice stuff, and some good innovations

LordOnOne said...

I’m 6’4”…so on the taller side for a large. It must be said the Swift is the biggest feeling size large bike I’ve ridden though. Standover is fine for me, but it’s not the best bike in that respect.