Founded in 2008 by former South African professional cyclist Mark Blewett, SwiftCarbon has made significant strides on the global stage having sponsored the Drapac Pro-Continental team from 2014-2016 and, more recently, SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling.
While SwiftCarbon was purchased by a Brazilian conglomerate in 2017, moving its headquarters and operations to Europe, the company's fundamental tenets have remained intact – exceptional ride quality and performance have always been hallmark features of the brand.
The acquisition has spawned a new-generation of bike development with the SwiftCarbon RaceVox leading the charge. While a pre-production version was shown earlier this year at the Cape Town Cycle Tour in South Africa, the bike was finally shown off to the press at Eurobike 2019 and the feedback has been impressive.
Design and geometry
In what has become a highly competitive space, it's appreciably difficult for bike manufacturers to break the mould and stand out from the masses. For SwiftCarbon, however, the aim was to create an all-rounder utilising a meld of attributes from such models as its UltraVox, Attack G2 and HyperVox – ensuring it delivers in all conditions.
On first impressions, the RaceVox is an impressive-looking machine. Like the segment leaders, it too utilises a dropped seatstay configuration which eschews the classic proportions of road bikes of yesteryear. This addition has not only improved stiffness, aerodynamic proficiency and compliance, SwiftCarbon has dialled in added levels of smoothness by tuning the carbon layup in this area.
Another noteworthy feature is the recessed downtube. Not only is this an aesthetic cue, it also doubles up as an aerodynamic solution for the front bottle cage ensuring less turbulence and better airflow around the downtube.
"We did not set out to design an 'aero bike'," said Neil Gardiner, head of brand and marketing at SwiftCarbon. "Instead, we felt that a next-generation road bike should include aero features, as long as they didn’t compromise the ride quality or handling – a category-line-blurring bike if you will. A notable example are the clean lines integrating the fork and the downtube."
While the RaceVox has not been wind-tunnel tested it was designed using Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) and offers full integration as a result with a Vision Metron 5D Integrated ACR bar/stem system. This means all the cables are tucked away and routed through the bar, stem and head tube creating a cleaner aesthetic and racier, more aero setup.
Sticking with SwiftCarbon's ideology, the RaceVox has been tuned to deliver sharp handling and a compliant ride quality. According to Gardiner, the designers and engineers spent a lot of time honing these attributes to ensure the bike is settled at speed, precise yet neutral when turning into corners and rapid on the way out. Balancing these dynamics is the tricky part but SwiftCarbon reckons it has it spot on.
Components and build
The RaceVox family spans several builds ranging from mechanical Shimano 105 and Ultegra to electronic Ultegra Di2 and headlining Dura Ace Di2 groupsets. All four variants benefit from hidden cabling with fully integrated cockpits comprising the two top-tier offerings, with the Dura Ace Di2 benefiting from a rather slick-looking Vision Metron 5D bar/stem system. Fizik Antares saddles are standard across the range: the lower three models get R5s while the Dura Ace uses a lightweight R1 Versus Evo R.
The biggest difference comes in the way of rolling stock – the only rim-brake actuated model is the RaceVox Ultegra, which utilises Vision Trimax Carbon 35 hoops. The top-of-the-range Dura Ace Di2 model gets deep-dish, wind-cheating Reynolds AR wheels measuring 58mm at the front and 62mm at the rear. Two classic colour options are available: a choice of red or blue.
Can it challenge the segment perennials?
Judging by the spec sheet, visuals and bold claims, not to mention the brand's impressive achievements and track record, the SwiftCarbon RaceVox looks an incredibly promising proposition. While we haven't had the opportunity to test it yet (there's one on the way, so check back soon), the RaceVox possesses all the hallmarks of a quality lightweight road bike (7.1kg in disc guise). It's also competitively priced and is currently being put through its paces by the SwiftCarbon Pro Cycling outfit on the world stage. Of course, for a relatively new brand, it's bereft of the lineage, tradition and huge followings that benefit its adversaries, but given the infrastructure and financial backing of the new ownership, SwiftCarbon is sure to continue its upward trajectory and rise up the ranks.
Range and pricing
- SwiftCarbon RaceVox Dura Ace Di2 - £6,290 / US$7,750 / AU$11,192 / €6,999
- SwiftCarbon RaceVox Ultegra Di2 - £4,840 / US$5,833 / AU$8,8474 / €5,299
- SwiftCarbon RaceVox Ultegra - £3,690 / US$4,512 / AU$6,555 / €4,099
- SwiftCarbon RaceVox 105 - £2,790 / US$3,411 / AU$4,955 / €3,099