Snowdon is a new brand to the flourishing bike market and is the brainchild of Bristol-based Tim Snowdon. Snowdon’s debut is a result of collaborating with titanium specialist Enigma Cycles. Enigma is a master of ti and steel, so it’s a wise choice for what transpires to be a damn impressive bike. Snowdon’s input boiled down to research and design.
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The first thing you notice is the welding talent of the Enigma artisans with some of the neatest TIG welds we’ve ever seen. Okay, that’s a lie — the first thing you notice is that relaxed geometry. Why the compact frame? It’s all down to comfort, which is heightened by the extra-long seatpost that flexes slightly to cope with urban bumps. Those bullhorn-style bars also aim to add comfort, which explains their width. Like the seatpost, this extra length increases flex for more comfort, albeit they’re a touch wide for our palate.
The final comfort shot in the arm derives from the Schwalbe Pro One tyres. Snowdon ensured the frame could accommodate 28mm rubber, the extra volume these tyres can cope with again cranking up its rideable feel. Tubeless means maintenance shouldn’t be an issue.
But it’s not all about comfort. Speed is delivered via large, hourglass-shaped chainstays that increase lateral rigidity, which was certainly noticeable on steep climbs. That speed also emanates from its weight of around 8kg, which is kept down by a single crankset upfront. Like the tubeless, this also raises the maintenance-free stakes, as does the external routing, which is tidily flush to the frame.
The groupset is 11-speed – a mix of SRAM’s Force and X1 – and works as you’d expect: crisp, reliable shifting, every time. Braking’s delivered by Shimano, offering the minor purist gripe of mixing groupset parts from the two biking behemoths. Not a biggy but, as it should be, every detail’s under scrutiny in a bike of this price.
Our test model came with bosses for bottle cages but not for mudguards / fenders or pannier racks. As this is very much a lively city bike — although Snowdon assures us it’s equally at home in sportives – this is something you might consider if choosing a Paradox.