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