Ben Smith got to grips with the Swift Attack G2, and liked it so much he didn't want to give it back
Fresh out of South Africa, Swift Carbon is a relative newbie to the world of bicycle production, having only been around since 2008.
Looking at the smooth lines and classy finish of this Attack G2 — the company’s top-end sportive-ready, ride all day frameset — you’d swear it had been around a lot longer.
The Swift Attack G2 is available as a frameset for £1,300 or as a range of complete builds starting at £1,750 for a Shimano 105 equipped bike, up to £3,999.99 for Dura-Ace. Here we have the Shimano Ultegra-equipped machine priced at a penny under £2k.
Finished in subtle, classy, matt carbon with blue highlights, the Attack is certainly a looker; even with the mid-range components fitted here it still looks a million dollars.
The frame is made from a blend of Toray and Mitsubishi Rayon carbon and, while it shares angles with Swift’s racier Hypervox, it has a slightly more upright position suited to more relaxed days in the saddle.
The spine of the bike, running from the head tube through the down tube, BB and chainstays is suitably burly and oversized for maximum stiffness and pedalling efficiency and it’s coupled with an ovalised top tube and svelte seatstays to add some vertical compliance and comfort into the ride.
The frame has neat internal routing and an accessible port near the BB to aid routing through that area — a nice touch that takes the sting out of a potentially awkward job.
A full Shimano Ultegra groupset, Mavic’s Ksyrium Elite wheels shod with 25mm Yksion Pro tyres and Zipp Service Course finishing kit is all good stuff and for the price represents excellent value for money.
The gears shift faultlessly, the brakes are powerful and progressive and the wheels are tyres are good quality kit that may not look super-flash but perform well, ditto the Zipp Service Course shallow-drop handlebar, stem and seatpost.
Swift specifies a spindly 27.2mm seatpost for a little extra flex and some added comfort over the rough stuff and it certainly helps take the sting out of the bumps.
The spec lists a Charge Scoop Elite saddle but this bike came fitted with a Fizik Ardea, which was comfortable enough but I found the broad nose caused a little bit of chafing on longer rides.
This bike is designed for long days in the saddle and ridden as such it excels. It has an extremely comfortable, almost magic-carpet-like ride, with small road imperfections almost totally smoothed out.
Compared to a full-on racing bike it has a noticeably softer feel, and while power transfer is good it lacks the urgency and immediacy of a racier machine. That’s not to say it feels sluggish in any way — it’s more akin to a GT car than a racetrack refugee.
The handling has a similar, almost relaxed, feel. Smooth, sweeping corners are its forte. Again, a race bike might react with a bit more urgency than the Swift Attack G2 which may be of benefit in the tight confines of a criterium, but when you’re out on the open road the Swift is a very relaxing and confidence-inspiring place to be.
The Swift comes with a full Shimano Ultegra groupset
Given the quality of the frame, the fact this bike comes with a full Ultegra groupset plus good quality wheels and finishing kit is pretty amazing.
Sure, you may be able to get slightly better spec for the money from direct-sales brands such as Canyon but for a bike you can buy from a shop, value for money is very good; nothing needs replacing or upgrading.
A classy looker and a great performer is how I would summarise the Swift Attack G2. It is as comfortable an all-day sportive machine as you will find for the money and comes with a solid specification that puts no-nonsense performance before flashy labels. I really enjoyed riding it and felt fresher after long rides than I had any right to given my current lack of fitness. Much as I’ve praised the bike for its comfort and relaxed ride characteristics, it has also held it’s own on the cut-and-thrust of a Cycling Weekly lunchtime ride, as close as it came to being raced. It may not have the immediacy of response that stiffer, sharper race bikes have but it’s no slouch either and can be sprinted up short hills and take on the dash for the 30mph sign with the best of them. As a £2k do-it-all bike this is one of the best.