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  1. The SwiftCarbon Story A lot has changed at SwiftCarbon since our last review in 2016. So before jumping into the Attack G2 Disc, here's a brief summary of the brand's recent history.Former pro racer Mark Blewett started SwiftCarbon in 2008. Setting up shop in China to be in the thick of the manufacturing and quality control process. Being South African, Blewett knew the local market and brought the brand to South Africa and in doing so built a favourable reputation. Fast forward to 2017 when SwiftCarbon underwent an ownership change during which the brand went very quiet in South Africa. Understandably leaving existing customers a little concerned about local back-up and warranties. Thankfully, the story does not end there for SwiftCarbon in South Africa. The new owners, a large Brazilian group, bring renewed investment to continue building on Blewett’s original ambitions for the SwiftCarbon brand. These plans include growing SwiftCarbon in South Africa with a new local representative, Straightline Sport, appointed to market the bikes. Predictably, the change of ownership has seen the new model release cycle slow a bit. You’ll recognise many of the bikes currently on offer from a few years back with several new disc brake options available. With a new factory and composite engineer dedicated to the SwiftCarbon bikes, these existing models are seeing carbon layup improves as each new batch is manufactured. These changes are apparently seeing weights coming down along ride quality improvements. That said, there are ambitious plans for all-new models, with a schedule for SwiftCarbon to try to release a new bike every year. And Back To The Bike. SwiftCarbon’s Attack G2 Disc I was a bit bewildered when given the choice to test the Attack G2 or the UltraVox. How do you choose? In this case, self-interest prevailed. I had owned a Swift previously, the older Attack ERA3. Shortly after buying the bike, the rim brake G2 model appeared and I had always wondered what I had missed out on with the new frame design. The short answer, a fair amount. The Full Ultegra Build Kit SwiftCarbon gave us their mid-range Full Ultegra Disc build to test which is priced at R55,000. There are also Shimano 105, Ultegra Di2, and Dura-Ace models available. The Attack G2 is available in both disc and rim brake models, starting at R30,000 with rim brakes and Shimano 105 groupset. I first rode the bike on Mavic’s Aksium wheelset then later swapped over to the specified Ksyrium Pro UST Disc. The performance and ride feel was immediately evident. The UST designation means that you’re welcome (if not encouraged) to ride them as a tubeless setup. Plus they look fantastic, especially if you like to fly under the radar with the stealth black frame that I primarily rode for this review. Endurance bikes tend to come with practical component choices such as voluminous tyres, a flexible seatpost, and even wider gear ranges. The Attack G2 Ultegra Disc, however, largely matches the parts selection found on the race-focussed UltraVox Disc Ultegra. It is worth noting that the Attack frame can accommodate up to 32mm tyres which exceeds the 28mm limit of the UltraVox. Specification FrameSwiftCarbon Full Carbon Toray T700ForkSwiftCarbon Full Carbon Toray T800HeadsetFSA Orbit C40 ACB 15mm 1”1/8-1.5HandlebarEaston EC70StemEaston EA70Bar TapeFizik Microtex SLSeatpostEaston EC70 SP Zero 300 27.2Seat clampSwiftCarbonSaddleFizik Antares R5Left ShifterShimano Ultegra ST-RS685, BR-RS805 [F]Right ShifterShimano Ultegra ST-R8020, BR-R8070 [R]Front RotorShimano Ultegra SM-RT800 SS 140mmRear RotorShimano Ultegra SM-RT800 SS 140mmFront DeraileurShimano Ultegra FD-R8000Rear DerailleurShimano Ultegra RD-R8000 11sBottom Bracket SetFSA Press Fit 30 RoadChainwheelShimano Ultegra FC-R8000 Hollowtech 2 172.5mm 52-36TChainShimano Ultegra CN-HG701-11CasseteShimano Ultegra CS-6800 11-28T 11sFront WheelMavic Ksyrium Pro UST DiscRear WheelMavic Ksyrium Pro UST DiscTyresMavic Yksion Pro UST 25TubeMavic TubePriceR55,000Claimed Weight (Medium)8.03 kgBike Weight (As Pictured)8.2 kg (Medium frame with non-specification aluminium seatpost, handlebar, and stem) Endurance Road Bike You Say? SwiftCarbon describe the Attack G2 Disc as endurance bike. If compared in isolation with Swift’s UltraVox pure race bike, there is some merit in an old school sense. But with a broader gaze of the current endurance bike market, the Attack G2’s geometry and components are more race bike than endurance cruiser. Please don’t see this as an affront on the Attack G2 Disc, it's a good bike, but its not a typical endurance bike (anymore). Attack G2 vs UltraVox: So what’s the difference? In the early days of endurance bikes, the defining geometry characteristic was a taller head tube. The Attack G2 Disc with a 172 mm versus the Ultravox at 147 mm. It is a significant 25mm difference. This raises the handlebar height and reduces the reach. The result is a riding position that is more upright that demands a shorter stretch and less upper body support from the rider. If you’re no longer race fit or not sticking to your old yoga routine, this slight change in position can be blessing for body aches. The Attack G2 Full Ultegra Disc. The UltraVox SSL Full Ultegra Disc. In most other aspects, the geometry of the Attack G2 and Ultravox are identical. The top tube lengths, seat and head tube angles, wheels base, and chainstay lengths are all the same. I have not had the privilege of riding the Ultravox but after an unscientific comparison of notes with my colleague who tested the Ultravox, it seems the ride feeling might be fairly similar. The claimed weights are also reasonably similar at the Ultegra level. A medium Attack G2 Disc is said to be 8,03 kg while the Ultravox 8kg. Looking at pricing, the Ultravox is around R10,000 more at the same component level. A Word On Pricing SwiftCarbon’s direct-to-consumer model means that you order your bike through the SwiftCarbon online store and it is delivered to you from Portugal. The local distributor, Straightline Sport, can also assist you with the ordering process.The Swift Attack G2 Disc Ultegra retails for R55,000. This price includes all shipping and South African taxes. To view the correct Rand pricing currently, you must create an account on the SwiftCarbon website and input your delivery details. SwiftCarbon explained that there is an update coming that will make pricing far more user-friendly. The Attack’s similarity to the Ultravox does have me scratching my head about which one to go for but with the Attack G2 being around R10,000 cheaper, it will certainly appeal to the more budget conscious rider. There is a fleet of demo bikes available should you wish to try before you buy online. You can complete the form here to request a test ride. Riding The Attack G2 Position the Attack G2 Disc as a slightly more comfortable performance bike rather an endurance bike and it makes a lot more sense on the road. The ride feel gives it away immediately, especially on the descents where the bike reacts to instructions sharply but with assured control. You still have to apply yourself to get the Attack on the correct line but when you do, you will be grinning. If you enjoy descending, then the disc brake edition is without doubt worth the small addition of weight. The hard deceleration that the Ultegra brakes offer before leaning into a turn is a fantastic sensation. The racey nature of the Attack G2 frame does not meant that it is without frame compliance. The skinny seatstays offer up some dampening as the forces from the rear wheel travel up to the seatpost. Always a personal opinion but this design is attractive feature of the frame. Admittedly, the impact of frame flex can be a difficult to isolate during testing but at no time did I find the rear end to be uncomfortably rigid. The overall impression of the Attack G2 is one of efficiency. Once up to speed, the Attack G2 rolls along the flats with ease. The bike reacts nimbly to surprise efforts, like maintaining contact with a surging group. While standing out of the saddle for a quick sprint or attacking a short climb the bike maintains composure without giving way under power. When it comes to climbing, the Attack G2 Disc is of reasonable weight, not being the lightest nor the heaviest in its class. Granted that SwiftCarbon (nor any one else) can cheat gravity, the Attack G2 offers climbing enthusiasm. Every stroke of the pedal is focussed on delivering power with the effect of urging you to keep pushing hard. Heading out on loops of the Cape peninsula, it was easy to forget the Attack G2 underneath you and focus on the enjoyment of riding (yes, even when the South Easter is in a foul mood). If that means attacking with your head down or simply getting out for a coffee ride, the Attack G2 is a rewarding ride. Conclusion The SwiftCarbon G2 Disc is a well-balanced bike. It is a dependable performer across the board. The Attack won't be a disappointing purchase but it does sit in a space with lots of equally pleasing competitors. The SwiftCarbon mix of pleasing looks and niche brand appeal might be enough to sway you.
  2. Founded by former professional cyclist, Mark Blewett - an English-South African who had set out to design bikes with an exceptional ride quality - the brand was purchased by a Brazilian group of companies in 2017 and has since moved its headquarters to Europe. “We see South Africa as a significant market, not just due to the brand’s heritage but also because of the impressive strength of the cycling scene here,” says SwiftCarbon’s Global Development Manager, Monica McCosh. “We are now cyclist-direct through our website and have an on-the-ground support team. Our race-winning models will also be available at various cycling events throughout the region.” Straightline Sport Director and Cape Town’s own Jarryd Haley has been appointed to head up the brand’s physical presence, marketing, sales and service operations here. “Aside from being heavily involved in the cycling community here as a business owner, distributor and athlete, he also has extensive experience with the brand, having been Sales and Marketing Manager for SwiftCarbon in South Africa,” explains McCosh. “As a `South African ́ brand, it is an honour to bring the bikes to their home and grow the footprint that we had worked hard to achieve previously. Being able to introduce the Racevox is an amazing moment as it marries together the delicate blend of cutting-edge technology, performance, aesthetics and an amazing ride quality that SwiftCarbon has become renowned for.” Beginning March 8, Swift Carbon’s bikes will be available direct to South African customers in USD with direct-to-door shipping. All orders will be placed online through the SwiftCarbon.com website. All demo tests, service and warranties will be managed by Jarryd out of Cape Town. For more information, contact Jarryd@SwiftCarbon.com.
  3. Hi hubbers, I am starting this out of desperation. I am urgently trying to buy a used Swift Ultravox frame, but am unable to test the bike or get myself to Swift in CT. I am a 191cm tall guy, and the frame is a size L. Of course this is not a definite scientific way to estimate a frame size, but it is just that, an estimate. Does anyone here ride an Ultravox and am the same height as me? What size do you run? Thanks all!
  4. Hi Guys Need some input on my indoor trainer set up. Being eyeing all the activity on Zwift activities etc and would like to enhance my current training experience if possible.. I currently have a Tacx Flow trainer which has served me well for a good few years now. It's paired with a Powertap so I am able to perform structured work outs with ease - via my Garmin. I generally just use the resistance settings of the trainer and my gearing to get into the required power zone. Is it at all possible to get a zwift / trainer road set up? I have being toying with the idea of getting a smart trainer but obviously feel that it might be overkill considering I already have the power meter? What would my options be? A cheaper smart trainer perhaps?
  5. I remember the first time I looked at a time trial bike, I mean really looked at one. I was filming an event called the Westcoast Warmwater Weekend. Paul Valstar was commentating. A bunch of kids, maybe 4 or 5 years old, had gathered around Dan Hugo's bike. Paul went over to explain that it is called a time trial bike and a bit about how it worked. As I stepped nearer, one of the kids called to his brother, "Come look here! A time-travel bike!". Click here to view the article
  6. I laughed, told Paul about it, then went to have a look at this time traveling piece of machinery. It did look fast. Futuristic. Kind of like a batmobile but made into a bike. Anyway, ever since that day, I've wanted to ride one and experience the speed, keep it there for hours and see the kilometers fly by. Unfortunately, I've never been able to justify a time trial or triathlon bike, considering that you only really get to ride them a few times a year at specific events. They are not the most comfortable bikes, not very versatile, not legal in many races. There is something very sexy about them and if you enjoy triathlon, the longer ones, then a time trial bike is something you need to experience at some stage. I plan to race an Ironman sometime and I wanted to test to see how my body holds up on a time trial bike and how much I enjoy the experience first. So I entered the 2016 Jailbreak Triathlon (the distance is roughly comparable to a 70.3 Ironman distance event). You can read my Jailbreak race report here. My next step was to secure a bike to test ride. The guys at SwiftCarbon were trusting enough to let me borrow what they call their 'mid-level time trial / triathlon bike', the Drone. They call it that because nothing about it seems entry-level, but they also have a more advanced offering called the Neurogen, which I personally think is one of the best looking bikes available. Another reason why it's called a mid-level bike I believe is because of the pedigree of the SwiftCarbon brand. They only make carbon frames. They do not dabble in cheaper materials. Their race bikes are proven weapons raced at the top level. I wonder what would happen if a new wonder material came along to supersede carbon? How long can this company name last? Anyway... If you're lucky enough to be in Cape Town and buy a bike from SwiftCarbon, you'll get the huge bonus of dealing with the guys directly at their store. It really is a personalised shopping experience. Neil and Charles have all the credentials and know the products inside out. Before leaving the store with the bike, my fit was set up on the trainer. At this stage, if you are purchasing you have the option to swap out the stem for a shorter or longer reach, you can also select from a range of saddles to find one that suits. Ok, let's start with the looks. I was pleasantly surprised when I was introduced to the Drone. I had a suspicion it was going to look entry-level compared to the awesome Neurogen. Like one of those marrying the less-attractive sister stories, but I was wrong. It has all the looks and even came in a stealthy matt black carbon finish that resembled a batmobike. Awesome! Onto the first big checkpoint, the drivetrain. On this Drone, Shimano 105 is the order of the day. In the world of mountain biking, I can sort of see how paying vastly more for top-end drivetrains is worth it but in the world of road bikes, 105 is just so good that it would take a lot to necessitate an upgrade. If value for money is a consideration, 105 is the logical choice and a reliable one at that. I did not even need to ride the bike to write that part down but I did ride it and it worked great. The Shimano 105 parts run throughout the drivetrain, except for the brake levers, which are Cane Creek's time trial specific levers. The rear caliper is hidden below the bottom bracket to add extra aerodynamic efficiency. Knowing the market, the customer, and the kind of races and terrain around Cape Town, Swift chose to spec a semi-compact crankset 52-36. I thought that was a good choice. On the bike leg of Jailbreak, there was one pretty long climb that got me into my lowest gear, and I had to climb it twice. On the faster parts of the course, I was sitting comfortably at over 50km/h at a relatively low cadence, so I thought the gearing was well thought out. Brakes, I didn't use them much but they felt better than the brakes on my current road bike so I was confident, and have nothing really to say except that the modulation on the bar-end levers was surprisingly good. The wheelset is a standard Mavic Aksium aluminium-rim wheelset with Mavic Yksium tyres. Many riders who are in the market to buy a time trial bike will already own a decent set of wheels, or will plan to upgrade at some stage. Buying wheels is like buying underwear; it's a personal item, everyone likes different shapes or sizes and you don't really pick them out for other people. So the standard clinchers are cost-savers that work very adequately until you decide to get something else or plug in your racing wheels. I actually thought they rolled very nicely and felt robust, handling the relatively rough farm roads out near Slanghoek. Talking about wheels, here you can see a bit of the attention to detail on this bike. The wheels came with 25c tyres and clearance was fine. The rear end has a standard quick-release axle but there is an option to remove an insert turning it into a horizontal dropout. Most people will not use this feature but if you are serious about aerodynamics it means that once you have set up your wheel and tyre combo, you can slide them right up to hug the frame and reduce any turbulence in that area. The Swift carbon seatpost is wide and thin, nicely aero, and has two holes at the top which allow you to adjust your saddle forward or back. It's an interesting system and worked well for me without any troubleshooting. I kept my saddle in the further back option but scooted it forward on the rails and pointed it slightly down toward the front. I'm not sure that was the best set-up for me. It was comfortable for the first 90 minutes but if I kept this bike I would definitely invest in a triathlon specific saddle. After 2 and a half hours of riding though, I did jump off the bike and run with my legs feeling fresh, so the position could not have been too far off. Up front the Drone is made up of Ritchey components, a reliable and comfortable cockpit, confidence-inspiring, without sending the overall price of the bike skyward. It's a basic but effective setup. The bars out front are relatively adjustable and the elbow-rests were minimalistic but certainly adequate in terms of comfort. Above is the 2017 Swift Drone that arrived shortly after this review was completed. In the end I had a blast on the SwiftCarbon Drone. It got me back to transition with an average speed of 32,7km/h on a course with over 1000m of ascent covering 84 kilometers. For my riding, I still find it hard to justify buying a time trial bike that will only get used a few times a year when a standard road bike will get you to the finish line as reliably. But is it faster? Yes. Quite a lot faster? I think so. And the longer the race, the bigger the time difference. Is it fun to ride? I certainly enjoyed it. If you are serious about triathlons and you've been doing the road bike with tri-bar thing, it is certainly worth taking a look at a bike like this. At R33 900, it is potentially a big step up for a reasonable price. SwiftCarbon Drone 105 specification: FRAMEToray 700FORKSwiftCarbon 700C carbon fibreGROUPSETShimano 105FINISHING KITRitchey CompWHEELSMavic AksiumHEADSETSwiftCarbon 1.1/8”-1.1/2” taperedSHIFTERSShimano Dura AceBRAKE LEVERSCane Creek Levers 200TTDERAILLEURSShimano 105CRANKSETShimano 105, 52x36BRAKESShimano 105BOTTOM BRACKETShimano 105CASSETTEShimano 105, 11-28tHANDLE BARSRitchey Comp TT BarsSTEMRitchey CompSADDLERitchey Streem V3WHEELSMavic AksiumsTYRESMavic, 700x25c YksionRETAIL PRICER 33,900.00
  7. Four years of training, preparation and sacrifice all has come to a head for three special athletes, representing South Africa, Canada and Japan, in the men’s triathlon, women’s triathlon and women’s road TT respectively. Henri Schoeman, Sarah-Anne Brault and Eri Yonamine will pilot special edition bikes – Schoeman and Brault on Hypervox aero road bikes and Yonamine a Neurogen TT bike. Henri Schoeman's Swift Hypervox.Founder Mark Blewett says, “The bike industry might be a tough business to be in, but it suddenly all feels worth it when you see such bright talents riding our bikes at the highest possible level.” Eri Yonamine's Swift NeurogenYonamine, 25, is the current Japanese National Time Trial Champion, Sarah-Anne, 26, is a former ITU Pan-Am Cup winner and 24-year-old Henri is a multiple ITU African champion and Commonwealth Games silver medalist. The designs are themed around the countries’ flags that they’ll be flying, and were hand painted in Cape Town by Jared Mahaffey of BMC. “It was a tricky job, very intricate, but of course quite an honour doing it. I hope they like them.” Sarah-Anne Brault's Swift Hypervox in the spray booth. “For any athlete building up to the Olympics, it’s tunnel vision for months, and a special frame helps lift the morale a little,” says Blewett. “When her frame arrived in Japan, Eri burst into tears, and Sarah-Anne got pretty jealous when she saw Henri’s bike, all built up and ready. I really can’t wait to see them out on the course!” Event Dates:Road TT women: August 10, 2016 Triathlon men: August 18, 2016 Triathlon women: August 20, 2016
  8. South Africa will be well represented at the Olympic Games this summer, with 137 athletes heading to Rio. But it’s not just the athletes that are Brazil-bound. South African brand SwiftCarbon will be hitting the streets too, ridden by some of the most talented athletes in the world, in the sports calendar's biggest and most important test of fitness, form and resolve. Click here to view the article
  9. The Swift Ultravox is a top end do it all carbon road bike built to perform in all aspects of road racing. SwiftCarbon is among a growing selection of manufacturers worldwide opting for the direct to consumer approach. Naturally cutting out a few links in the chain means thinner margins and a lower end cost. This enables Swift to deliver pricing on what is said to be a top end product at significantly lower pricing than most competitors. Click here to view the article
  10. Ultravox - the frame The frame carries the characteristic Swift look of a meaty squared downtube and angular finer features. What first struck me about this bike was the leaf-like seat stays meeting in a blade of carbon at the rear brake mount. In contrast, the headtube, downtube, bottom bracket, and chainstays are almost oversized providing the Ultravox with a super sturdy base infrastructure.Thanks to internal routing the clean lines and finer details of the design aren’t interrupted by a nest of cables. A cable management box is located beneath the bottom bracket to ease the task of internal routing which can be a bit of a pain for those wielding a wrench. The Ultravox is also Shimano Di2 compatible should you want to future proof or go electric out of the box. The no-nonsense headtube helps retain stiffness The squared profile through the downtube and bottom bracket is distinctively Swift. The RS-1 variant tested shares the same tooling as the Ti (Team Issue) version only differing in the carbon fibres used in the layup. The key difference comes in the added stiffness on the Ti version, but frankly, as you’ll see later, I’m not sure any more stiffness is needed. One thing which resonates from the team at Swift Carbon is that they are all about the detail. This carries right through from manufacturing to end product specification. One example of this is something called Finite Element Modelling (FEM) where they use digital models to understand how the choice and direction of carbon fibres impacts the frames response to loads. This lets them optimise various points on the frame to ensure that they exhibit the desired properties. Look behind the brand and much of this obsession with detail stems from Mark Blewett - a South African ex-pro cyclist with a background in industrial design. Based just thirty minutes from the production facility in China, Mark has been integrally involved in the development of the bikes and is able to ensure his high-quality standards are continually achieved. Mark also happened to ride from Cairo to Cape Town on an Ultravox late last year. Access panel to ease installation and maintenance of internally routed cables Specifications FrameT700/T800ForkSwiftCarbon 700C carbon fibreGroupsetShimano UltegraFinsihing KitRitchey WCS AlloyWheelsMavic Aksium ElitesHeadsetSwiftCarbon 1.1/8”-1.1/2” taperedShiftersShimano UltegraDerailleursShimano UltegraCranksetShimano UltegraBrakesShimano UltegraBottom BracketShimano UltegraCassetteShimano Ultegra, 11-28tHandlebarsRitchey WCS AlloyStemRitchey WCS AlloySeatpostRitchey WCS AlloySaddleRitchey Streem V3 WCSWheelsMavic Aksium EliteTyresMavic, 700x25c YksionPriceR38,600.00 The build / finishing kit The Ultravox RS-1 is specced by the team in Cape Town and each component has been incredibly well considered. As a result, there is nothing I would want to or need to change out of the box. Of course, you could add a race day carbon wheelset into the mix and with this in mind Swift do offer an “Ultegra Race” build with your choice of Zipp Firecrests (202, 303 or 404’s). That is of course if your wallet has a bit more appetite.The model tested was fitted with full Shimano Ultegra, a Ritchey WCS finishing kit and Mavic Aksium Elite wheels. The Shimano Ultegra groupset already has a reputation that needs no fluffing or further mention aside from the semi-compact (52-36) chainring combo which should provide an ideal range for most riders. Ultegra everywhere - the Ultravox is equipped with a full Shimano Ultegra 11speed groupset The Ultravox RS-1 is topped off with Ritchey WCS alloy bars, stem, and seat post with a Ritchey Streem V3 WCS saddle. I’ve always been a fan of Ritchey components in both function and form. Much like the Ultegra group, the WCS range offers a great mix of proven reliability, performance, and weight. Here the attention to detail from the Swift team is evident in a choice like Ritchey’s 220-degree stem which is said to create a more secure stem-handlebar interface and still shaves grams. The Mavic Aksium Elite wheels are wrapped in Mavic Yksion 700x25C tyres in line with the trend towards wider tyre widths. The Aksiums are very much an entry to mid-range wheel and although they do not quite stack up to the rest of the build, they offer incredible stiffness and great ride quality at a reasonable weight of 1735g for the pair. On the road The Ultravox’s stiffness and the immediacy of power transfer through the lower frame are evident as soon you get going. So much so that I had my doubts about comfort on longer rides. The Ultravox does have an incredibly firm ride, yet, contrary to my initial expectations, it is smooth and surprisingly forgiving. The leaf-like seat stays combined with the added tyre width help soak up most of the bumps. In testing on a selection of Cape Town’s most dubious road surfaces the ride remained comfortable and stable.Out of the saddle that feel of stiffness carries through into the meaty headtube. Every ounce of effort driven through the pedals appears to push you forwards with no observable lateral flex under heavy loads. This makes for super fast acceleration and an overwhelming sense of efficiency in each pedal stroke. The sturdy front end does mean you get a touch more feedback from the road and on longer rides you might notice a little more fatigue in the hands and arms. But for the overall ride quality and efficiency it’s a trade-off worth making and easily addressed with padded gloves or bar tape. The Ultravox felt comfortable from the outset, no doubt in part thanks to the extra attention paid by the Swift team to ensure our test model was set up just right (just as they would for a paying customer). Overall the bike has a very assured and composed feel which carries through to its handling. Often new bikes require a few ice-breaker rides, but the Swift had me confidently lunging into corners on our first outing. The handling is superb, striking a perfect balance between stability and agility. Verdict The Swift Ultravox delivers on its promise as an all round pro-level road racer. The incredibly stiff frame makes for an efficient and agile machine with a geometry that just feels right from the get go. For the more serious racer the wheels are an area with potential for upgrade, although the Mavic Aksiums will serve very nicely as a top notch everyday wheelset. Overall the intense attention to detail in the Swift Ultravox provides a package that is tough to beat on feel, performance and, thanks to their direct-to-consumer model, on price too. Going direct A visual look at SwiftCarbon's direct to consumer model.
  11. The bike features a custom tuned Fox Float Factory shock which Adriaan runs at 90 psi. Adriaan uses a Thomson seatpost and titanium saddle rails for reliability while mounting and dismounting during the race. The South Industries rims provide a wider profile than many cross-country race rims allowing Adriaan to comfortably run his Continental Race King tyres at around 18 to 20 psi. Specification List: FrameSwiftCarbon Evil TwinForkRockShox RS-1ShockFox Float FactoryRimsSouth IndustriesHubsTune King PS (Front) and Tune Kong (Rear)TyresContinental Race King ProTection 2.2HandlebarsRitchey WCS Carbon 720mmStemRitchey SuperLogic Carbon 90mmHeadsetFSABrakesSRAM Guide RSC with Avid 160mm rotorsShiftersSRAM XX1DerailleursSRAM XX1CassetteSRAM XX1CranksetSRAM Quarq XX1ChainringSRAM 34TChainSRAM XX1PedalsiSSi IISeatpostThomson EliteSaddleSpecialized Power ProBottle CaseSwiftCarbonGripssilic1
  12. Adriaan Louw is riding his trusted SwiftCarbon Evil Twin in the 2016 Absa Cape Epic. Team Contego SwiftCarbon took the opportunity to come up with a custom paint scheme. They allowed Adriaan to create his own design and enlisted the services of Bogus Designs to pull it off. Click here to view the article
  13. The Standard Bank Africa Cycle Fair took place from 23-25 October 2015 at St Stithians in Johannesburg. As the biggest showcase of the South Africa cycling industry, Bike Hub were there to cover the products on display. Last week we took a look at some of the mountain bikes from the fair. This week we take a peek at a selection of the road and cross bikes on show. Click here to view the article
  14. Bianchi Bianchi Specialissima First up is the ultra-light (and ultra-priced) Bianchi Specialissima. The Campagnolo Super Record EPS group set and Lightweight Meilenstein wheel set gave a hint that this wasn't going to be wallet-friendly in any way.The price tag, though, at around R 230 000 will leave most mere mortals more than a little light in the bank balance department. Still, a beautiful machine. It weighed in at a ridiculous 5.78kg. Bianchi L'Eroica A contender in the Best Bike in Africa competition, the Bianchi L'Eroica is a new-age steel road bike featuring a 10 speed Campagnolo Silver gruppo for that vintage look with some modern comforts. Bianchi Infinito CV Another in the line-up for Best Bike in Africa was the Bianchi Infinto CV, an all-round road bike designed to soak up the bumps of rough roads and those cobblestone stages. Giant Defy Advanced Giant's Defy range is another option in a growing "endurance" road bikes aimed to give a more comfortable ride, without losing the racy looks and performance. The ultra-thin seat stays and "D-Fuse" seat post are said to reduce vibrations from the road. BMC Crossmachine CX01 As the name says this is BMC's cyclocross machine featuring Sram Force CX1, disc brakes and a DT Swiss R23 Spline DB wheel set. Cervélo P5 Cervélo's P5 time trial bike is very obviously built for speed. Among the aero touches are a Magura hydraulic brake set made streamline thanks to the engineering minds at Cervélo. Pinarello The Pinarello Dogma F8 Disc attracted a fair bit of attention and we can see why. For those who "play" around at this price-point it's got everything you might want: Disks, Di2 and a (genuine) Dogma label. Also on display was the custom "Froomey" F8's in red or yellow. The unique paintwork features a Rhino logo, an idea spawned in a hilltop conversation between team head mechanic Gary Blem and Chris Froome. The key message of course being around the plight of Africa's Rhinos, according to Gary it also fits well with Froome's head down and charge style. Argon 18 Krypton Xroad Canadian brand, Argon 18, had a range of bikes on show, but this Krypton cross roader caught our eye. BH BH Bikes were recently re-launched in SA and the new team behind the brand locally aren't afraid of some aggressive pricing. This BH G6 Pro Ultegra Di2 was on show for the Best bike in Africa competition and at R 60 000 for a carbon aero race machine with Ultegra Di2 and carbon wheels it's a bit of a bargain. Merida REACTO TEAM-E Merida's super-aero Reacto Team-E features Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 and Fulcrum Quattro 35 carbon wheels on their Reacto CF5 ultralite frame. Surly Cross-check A cyclocross frame by design from a quick look at the tires and dirt on this Surly it's quite clear it sees little tarmac in its outings. Swift Ultravox RS1 The Ultravox RS1 aims to give a great balance of performance and value. It inherits some of the high-performance tech from the flagship Ultravox TI, but reduces the use of uber-expensive fibres to give better value without sacrificing ride quality. Dedacciai Strada Aleta Last, but not least in the line up of high end aero road bikes was the Dedacciai Strada Aleta. Complete with a Campagnolo Super Record EPS groupset, this one was a little less eye-watering at just R150 000.
  15. To break up the 10600km journey, the team will cover 300-350km per day, depending on the terrain and conditions, aiming to arrive at the foot of Table Mountain in under 34 days. Mark Beaumont (UK) holds the current record at 41 days 10 hours and 22 minutes. The project is spearheaded by Nicholas Bourne, who has himself ran across Africa, from Cape Town to Cairo, 12 years ago, breaking the world record. He raised over $300 000 for disadvantaged children and hopes to beat that this year. Interestingly, instead of the expected robust mountain bike with pannier bags set up, they’ll be riding top of the range, ultra light SwiftCarbon composite road bikes – the same bikes you see ridden in major professional races around the world. The bikes weigh well under 8kg fully set up with a bottle of water. Owner of SwiftCarbon Mark Blewett has taken on the challenge too, not only to complete the event, but also to supply the bikes, in what surely is the most gruelling field test possible. “We’re confident enough to put our bikes on the line here – this is a true reliability test. When we’re done, we know they’ll survive anything.” Mark was born in Zambia and spent much of his childhood in Kenya, so his connection with Africa runs deep, further fuelling the desire to participate. Each rider is expected to consume 15-20 litres of water and over 10 000 calories a day, which could pose a real challenge, as they’ll hardly have time to stop for lunch. The riders aim to complete the task in under 34 days, so there won’t be much time to stop for lunch. They’ll be camping along the road each night, after over nine hours of riding each day. Large scale planning is required to acquire fresh provisions for tired riders along the route. A full support team will be traveling in support of the guys, preparing food, drinks and a place to rest, making sure they can focus on the job at hand.” Blewett expects his bikes to hold out, however predicts that they’ll wear out up to 25 bike chains and 60 tyres. Brake pads? Probably none at all as they have no plans to slow down! Besides the gargantuan athletic and logistical endeavour ahead, there’s also a noble cause at play too. The Carocap team has undertaken to raise funds for the provision of 1100 bicycles, supporting the visionary work of World Bicycle Relief and Qhubeka, and also Safari Simbaz – an initiative to unearth and develop talent in underprivileged children in disadvantaged communities in Kenya. The team: Nicholas Bourne (UK) Mark Blewett (SA) David Kinjah (Kenya) David Martin (Zimbabwe) Adham Mahmoud (Egypt) Highlights of the route include: 1. Giza Pyramids & Sphinx 2. Nubian Desert 3. River Nile 4. Red Sea Coast 5. Lake Tana (Source of the Blue Nile) 6. Blue Nile Falls 7. Rift Valley 8. Mt Kenya 9. Mt Kilimanjaro 10. Victoria Falls 11. Kalahari Desert 12. Table Mountain A bit more about the bike... www.carocaprace.com www.safarisimbaz.com www.facebook.com/carocaprace www.twitter.com/CAROCAPRACE www.instagram.com/CAROCAPRACE
  16. On the 9th of October, 5 athletes from Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Egypt and the UK will depart from Cairo in the shadow of the Giza Pyramids, heading towards Cape Town. They are aiming to set a new world record – the fastest human powered crossing of the African continent. Click here to view the article
  17. The goal from the onset was a sub 2kg frame, but with unparalleled lateral stiffness. In their quest to achieve this they turned to Mitsubishi-Rayon and Toray high-modulus carbon fibre and seems to achieved their goal. With it's geometry based on the Detritovore hardtail the Evil Twin has fast and aggressive steering and handling. The frame's short headtube will help riders find a low, attacking setup without sacrificing too much or resorting to a radical setup. It is worth noting that there are 4 size options available running from XS to Large with the XS running on 27.5 wheels. A longer top tube and reach means even tall riders should be able to find a fit. To ensure the frame is marathon and multi-stage race happy Swift fitted two bottle cage mounts inside the front triangle - even on the XS although you will need to use a smaller bottle and fit a side entry bottle cage. Internal routing for a dropper seatpost shows Swift is happy for the bike to tackle some trails and single track, but all other hoses and cables run external for ease of maintenance. Added to this are replaceable thread inserts in the rear, post-mounts. The Asymmetric rear tri-angle features some twists and turns in the carbon lay-up to increase stiffness and strength where needed and reduce weight in others. The down tube / seat tube / BB junction is especially impressive and allows enough clearance for a direct mount front derailleur. Ample mud and tire clearance comes courtesy of chain- and seatstays void of bridges. From the Manufacturer: Professional riders obsess about equipment, which is exactly why we take their input so seriously. We based this bike around what pro mountain bikers consider as one of their greatest dilemmas: “Hardtail or full-sus for race day?” We want their answer to be the Evil Twin, nine times out of ten. We designed it to ride just like the Detritovore hardtail, just with the control and traction that 90mm of travel offers. When designing the kinematics, we wanted the shock rate to ensure pedalling responsiveness, plushness in mid-stroke and progressive near the bottom of the travel. It’s a true competition bike.
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