Swift Carbon RS-1 Ultravox review

Racing delight

Our rating 
4.5 out of 5 star rating 4.5
GBP £5,300.00 RRP | USD $8,327.00

Our review

Fast race bike with outstanding handling and sprinting performance
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Swift Carbon are a young brand that only arrived in the UK this year. The Ultravox is the frontrunner of their range, and we got our hands on one early. It’s a bike that’s made for racing, with ultra-high modulus Toray T800, T1000 and Mitsubishi MR40 carbon fibres in a unidirectional matte finish.

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Ride and handling: A rare mix of superb handling and supreme speed

The immediate and lasting impression from the Ultravox is how settled it feels. Make no mistake, this is a fast bike, as some new Strava KOMs and best route times attest. But it doesn’t make a fuss about it.

The wheels are deep enough to give an aero benefit yet weigh just 1,349g (tested). That’s super-light for mid-depth clinchers, so they spin up quickly. They also give outstanding braking power. They could be a bit stiffer but so could most wheels, especially at this weight.

We also ran the Swift on some super-stiff Reynolds RZR wheels, which really let the frame shine. The strength in the BB and head tube is immense and it feels great when you attack a short hill at full gas. This rigidity and the low weight of 6.86kg (with power meter, no pedals) means longer hills are also a pleasure. The thin seatstays provide good comfort, too.

The real standout quality, though, is the handling. The Ultravox has a poise and grace seldom found in a bike so rapid, tracking a chosen line or pulling tighter at will. There’s nothing obviously special in the geometry but there is in the ride.

Swift carbon rs-1 ultravox: swift carbon rs-1 ultravox
Jesse Wild

Frame and equipment: Maximum size, maximum stiffness

Swift’s Glide Tech internal moulding process ensures the highest possible compaction of the carbon layers. The head tube, down tube, chainstays and shell around the press-fit 30 bottom bracket are all huge, for top stiffness – Swift claim very high ratings of 250N/mm at the BB and 130N/mm for the head tube. 

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The Ultravox comes with SRAM Red, Ritchey WCS finishing kit and either Shimano RS20 wheels (for £4,400) or Swift’s own Trillium R40 carbon clinchers, as on our bike. The frameset is also available separately for £2,150. For us to get this test bike early it had to come without a crankset or saddle, hence the Rotor 3D+/Power2Max/Q-Ring set-up and Fizik Arione.

Product Specifications

Product

Name RS-1 Ultravox (12)
Brand Swift Carbon

Description Schwalbe Ultremo tyres
Brakes SRAM Red
Cranks SRAM Red, 53/39
Fork Swift Carbon RS-1 Ultravox
Frame Material Swift Carbon RS-1 Ultravox
Front Derailleur SRAM Red
Handlebar Ritchey WCS Logic
Rear Derailleur SRAM Red
Rims Swift Carbon Trillium 40mm carbon clincher
Saddle Swift Adrenaline
Seatpost Ritchey WCS Logic
Shifters SRAM Red
Stem Ritchey WCS Logic
Weight (kg) 6.86
Weight (lb) 15.1