Spin Spitfire MK II review

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£3500

The Spitfire aims for comfort and speed and succeeds in both

BikeRadar verdict

80.0 out of 5 stars

"Stunning, but you pay a high price for exclusivity and an upmarket finish"

Sunday, August 21, 2011 7.00am By

Spin are a new name in titanium bikes, but they have big ambitions. The founder of Spin Cycle Works, Drew Gill, has ridden titanium bikes for 20 years, without finding one he was 100 percent happy with. So he decided to build his own. The Spitfire is that bike. Or rather, bikes. The MkII tested here is aimed at the fast sportive rider. The MkIII promises greater stiffness and is more suitable for racing. And in case you’re wondering, the MkI is no longer made.

Did somebody say titanium bikes are understated? Maybe most are, but the Spin Spitfire MkII isn't the bike to choose for hiding in the bunch. With its bright red anodised parts, RAF roundel and bold blue graphics, the Spitfire doesn’t exactly melt into the background.

The quality of the finish gives some indication as to why the Spitfire costs more than the competition. Welds are as neat as we’ve seen, the head badge is machined, not stuck on, and there’s a neat Spin logo on the brake bridge. The chain pip is a neat touch, and we love the way the rear mudguard mounts are almost hidden so as not to spoil the clean lines, although it’s odd that there are no eyelets for front mudguards on the fork.

You can buy the frame, fork, headset, stem, bar and seatpost as a bundle for £2150. Complete build packages are available, too. Our build comes in at £3500, with a Rotor Agilis chainset, Spin’s own aero clincher wheels and a SRAM Apex groupset. That’s a serious spec sheet and it delivers a serious ride. The lightweight wheels make the Spitfire eager to accelerate, helped by the Schwalbe Ultremo ZX tyres – these are about as good as racing clincher tyres get, with low rolling resistance and confident grip.

You soon find yourself pushing the Spitfire just that bit harder, staying off the brakes that little bit longer and leaning the bike just a few degrees further. This might not be an out-and-out race bike, but if you aim for a gold medal in sportives then you’ll find the Spin a willing ally. In fact, for riders who prefer a more measured pace, it’s almost too sharp. Despite the racy character the Spitfire is comfortable enough to ride hard all day – the carbon bar is actually a little flexy for a sprint finish, but it stops rough roads from beating up your arms and shoulders.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.

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Specification

Name:
Spitfire Mark II (11)
Brand:
Spin
Price:
£3500

Description:
Schwalbe ultremo ZX 700x23 tyres
Bottom Bracket:
Rotor external alloy, sealed cartridge
Brakes:
SRAM Apex forged alloy dual-pivot
Cassette:
SRAM pG 1050 11-26 10spd
Chain:
YBN 10spd
Cranks:
Rotor Agilis 50/34 oval compact, 172.5mm arms
Fork:
All carbon, 11/8in steerer
Frame Material:
3AL/2.5V titanium, 6AL/4V dropouts, non-replaceable gear hanger.
Front Derailleur:
SRAM Apex 31.8mm clamp-on front
Front Wheel Weight:
975
Handlebar:
Spin carbon shallow anatomic, 42cm c-c oversized
Head Angle:
74.5
Headset Type:
Spindustrial 6AL/4V Ti aheadset cups, sealed cartridges
Rear Derailleur:
SRAM Apex short cage
Rear Wheel Weight:
1424
Rims:
Spin Speed aluminium, DT spokes, 20 radial front, 24 2-cross rear
Saddle:
Fizik padded leather, hollow stainless rails
Seat Angle:
74.5
Seatpost:
Spin Ti zero offset, 27.2x400mm, twin-bolt clamp
Shifters:
SRAM Apex Double Tap
Stem:
Spin titanium, 12.5cm, 1 1/8in x oversized
Weight (kg):
7.72
Weight (lb):
17
Bottom Bracket Height (cm):
28
Chainstays (cm):
40.5
Seat Tube (cm):
53
Standover Height (cm):
81.5
Top Tube (cm):
56.5
Wheelbase (cm):
100

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