SwiftCarbon previewed at the Taipei Cycle Show a new joint collaboration with AX-Lightness. Made in Germany, the ultralight SCULP road frame boasts a legitimate sub-700g weight and it will eventually also be offered in fully custom versions – for a price, of course.
Swift’s new SCULP is a prototypical German machine built with Swedish Textreme fabrics into an all-business design that stresses function over form. Aside from the nominally trapezoidal down tube, the frame primarily uses roundish profiles throughout with smooth tube transitions and enormous cross-sections across the down tube and chain stays to boost the bike’s stiffness-to-weight ratio.
Profiles are slimmed down significantly through the upper half of the frame, however, so we anticipate the SCULP will still ride well.
Bearing seats are molded directly into the bottom bracket shell and tapered head tube, the dropouts and front derailleur tab are carbon fiber, and cabling will be convertible for mechanical or electronic use. Actual weight for a full painted medium-sized frame is just 680g including the cable hardware and rear derailleur hanger.
SwiftCarbon showed off its new ultralight sculp road bike, built by ax-lightness and displayed here with a high-end build kit to yield a 4.49kg (9.90lb) finished package: James Huang/Future Publishing
However, that sort of performance on the scale will also make your wallet quite a bit lighter, too, as Swift estimates that the SCULP frame will cost about US$7,000 (£4,200) with a 3T Rigida LTD fork. Swift even plans to offer an ultrahigh-end “450S” complete build solely using parts manufactured within 450km of AX-Lightness’s Bavarian headquarters – including lots of AX-Lightness parts, of course.
Woven layers of carbon fiber are used in key areas: James Huang/Future Publishing
A similar machine on display at the Swift booth weighed a staggering 4.49kg (9.90lb, without pedals) but Swift estimates such a rig will command around US$17,000 (£10,000).
The extra-wide bottom bracket features bearing seats that are molded directly into the shell: James Huang/Future Publishing
As if that weren’t enough, Swift also plans to offer the SCULP in fully custom geometry for an as-yet-undetermined upcharge – quite astounding given that it’s a modular monocoque design and not a tube-to-tube chassis that’s more readily adjusted. Swift principal Mark Blewett says this is possible only because AX-Lightness is building the SCULP frame with aluminum instead of steel tooling, which doesn’t last as long but is less expensive to produce in single quantities.
The SCULP will be available some time around August this year.