We put the Swift Carbon Ultravox Ti through months of testing, and here's what we found

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 9

Swift Ultravox Ti

Pros:

  • Top level frame
  • Smooth, responsive cornering
  • Comfortable, all-round ride
  • Great groupset

Cons:

  • Wheels not at the same level as frame
  • Tyres detract from confident cornering
  • Frame deserves a higher spec

Product:

Swift Carbon Ultravox Ti

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£3,600.00

Latest Deal

Loading

Set up eight years by former pro Mark Blewett, Swift is not your typical bike brand, with Blewett based in his South African homeland while the company is not ashamed to have its headquarters in the Chinese city of Xiamen. But despite its relative youth, Swift has already begun to make waves in the pro ranks, with this being the bike of choice of NFTO last year, while the partnership with Aussie Pro Continental team Drapac Pro Cycling now in its second season.

Pre-test first impressions

At first glance the Swift Carbon Ultravox Ti gives the impression of being an out-and-out racer. But while the stunning range topper from the China-based company has all the good looks and fast ride of a top end race bike, there’s more to it than first meets the eye.

Frame

Swift Ultravox

The Swift Ultravox is fresh out of the box at Cycling Weekly

TI stands for ‘Team Issue’ as this is the same frame used by Swift-supported pro teams like those mentioned above.

The frame is where Swift really specialises and is by far the standout feature of this bike. A Mitsubishi-Rayon and Toray carbon-fibre weave has been used to make sure the Ultravox TI is stiff, light and strong, and it’s fair to say this is exactly what Swift has achieved.

The box-shaped tubes help to reduce flex and the stiff head tube gives this bike a feeling of agility along with a sense that every watt of power is being transferred effectively. The slim seatstays counter this rigidity nicely, providing enough comfort to allow you to ride this bike for long periods.

A quick look at the bike’s geometry and straight top tube certainly doesn’t imply comfort, but I couldn’t find any reason why, with the right set-up, this couldn’t be a frame as well-suited to all-day endurance rides as it is for an hour-long criterium.

Specification

Swift Ultravox Crank

A good set up for all types of road riding

While it’s available as a frame-only option as well, allowing you to fully customise your ride, the Shimano Ultegra Di2 build featured here is hard to beat.

There’s little left to say that you haven’t already heard about Di2, with its smooth and reliable shifting well documented. Happily there are no deviations from Ultegra, meaning you get the excellent brakes together with a mid-compact 52/36 chainset and an 11-28t cassette.

The Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels are a reliable choice, but don’t live up to the high standard of the frame. I had no issues with them, and they proved reliable across varying terrains, but I’d certainly look at upgrades to make the most of this machine.

Swift Ultravox tyre

Mavic tyres and wheels complete the build

The wheels came shod with the latest version of Mavic’s own Yksion tyres, and while the grip seems to have been improved I’d change them too.

>>> Buyer’s guide to road bike tyres

Other than that, the aluminium 3T bars and stem are a neat choice and do the job nicely, while the 3T carbon seatpost offers extra comfort. I was pleased to see the bike adorned with a Fizik Antares saddle, a personal favourite of mine and one that should suit most riders.

Riding

Swift Ultravox graphic

This is a machine which has been designed to be a great all-rounder

Having never ridden a Swift bike before and heard little about them, I didn’t really know what to expect from the Ultravox TI’s ride.

The first thing I noticed, particularly jumping onto the Ultravox from a lower spec bike, is just how stiff and how much power was transferred directly into speed as I pushed on the pedals. In straight lines, this bike felt just as smooth and quick as any aero-specific road bike I’ve ridden.

Swift Ultravox Brakes

Ultegra brakes should deliver close to perfect performance

But the real joy in this bike is its responsiveness through corners. Swooping around bends on descents and the flat felt natural to this bike. There was no twitchiness or nervousness about taking corners at speed and I felt in my element descending on it.

That said, I felt the Mavic tyres detracted from the confident cornering and it was a relief to get a more trusted set of rubber on to allow myself to really open this bike up on the descents.

>>> Winter road bike tyres

At 7.97kg, while not the lightest of bikes in this price bracket (bear in mind that this was a size 59 with bottle cages, pedals and a Garmin mount), the Ultravox TI still felt great on the climbs and can hold its own against its competitors.

Value

Swift Ultravox UCI

Swift has already begun to make waves in the pro ranks

With the frame starting at £2,300, only high-end parts are going to do it justice.

The specification level of our test bike felt like reasonable value, considering the performance and quality of the frame, and Ultegra Di2 is probably the level you’d expect were you to shell out over £3.5k.

The Mavic Ksyriums are below par at this price point though, and really need to be upgraded to get the most out of this bike. However, as training wheels they are a solid and reliable choice.

Head over to the Cycleworks website for more.

Verdict

I managed to get a lot of miles in on the Ultravox TI and it became a bike I just loved to ride. The frame is certainly one of the best around and aside from the slightly disappointing wheels, this bike manages to present both performance and comfort in one package. If you’re looking for a machine to take on any kind of event or terrain, or even to build up to your dream bike, then it’s hard to look past what Swift is offering with the Ultravox TI

Details

Miles ridden:1,144
Sizes Available:2XS-XL
Size tested:59 (XL)
Weight:7.97kg
Colours Available:Carbon (as tested), Blue, Magenta
Frame:T800, T1000, and M40 high modulus carbon fibre
Fork:SwiftCarbon 1-1/8in to 1.5in
Shifters:Shimano Ultegra Di2
Front Derailleur:Shimano Ultegra Di2
Rear Derailleur:Shimano Ultegra Di2
Chainset:Shimano Ultegra, 52/36t
Cassette:Shimano Ultegra 11-28t
Chain:Shimano Ultegra
Brakes:Shimano Ultegra
Stem:3T
Handlebars:3T
Seatpost:3T
Saddle:Fizik Antares
Wheels:Mavic Ksyrium Elite
Tyres:Mavic Yksion, 25mm
Contact:www.cycleworks.co.uk
  • simon

    Ti means Team issue, although it’s a slight nod to the mech hanger which is Ti

  • Andrew Bairsto

    I think you should grow up.

  • Viagro2

    It’d be nice to see manufacturers be a bit more adventurous with their colour schemes. It looks like all the other frames on the market regardless of the tech.

  • Burbanite

    I see what you did there. Very well played.

  • TheBear

    Also comes in Cyan, Magenta, NFTO and Drapac…

  • bsurfside

    I somehow fail to see American irrelevance, in terms of spending it is probably ahead of everyone else,Americans pick up a latest gadget or latest trend pronto. It is true that as far as cycling or anything else American heads are askew,but they spend, spend and spend. I ride my steel bike and when they look at me riding their $16 500.00 Colnagos or you name it barely moving and giving me dirty looks

  • Caleb Hulsey

    Love mine! My teammates and I all race on the Ultra-Vox TI. I’m more confident on it than my EVO HI MOD, and its more stiff in my opinion. With race wheels Im well under the UCI limit

    Austin, TX

  • Chris Campbell

    This means nothing to me.

  • Crydda

    I have no idea if the bike is any good or not, so I won’t try to comment on that, but why would anybody choose such a dull and boring paint (or lack of it) job?

  • Steve

    America is an irrelevance. This is a cycling website, and the world does not care about America.

  • sepat B18C

    i am riding on the entry level ‘Attack” and found that the frame is quite good for a budget rider like me. Ultravox could be my next frame if budget permits,,

  • C. Michas

    Hi just to add my two cents. I live in Idaho in the U.S. and frequently ride 2.0-2.5k meter mountains and my Swift Ultravox Ti climbs like a dream. I’ve spec’d mine with 25mm Continental tires and haven’t had an issue with comfort since. I completely concur with your downhilling assessment. I’ve owned several carbon bikes before this including a Tarmac, Domane, Venge, Casati, Ridley Helium, and Raleigh and this is by far the best bike I’ve owned. I am running the new 6800 with HED wheels and couldn’t be more pleased.