We caught up with Sam from Singular cycles at the London Bike Show and he was duly proud of his new road bike, the Osprey. Singular has built up an impressive reputation in a short time in the MTB market with some well-thought-out niche machines, and has already partly crossed over to the road scene with the Peregrine. Now Singular is looking to extend the tarmac range with the Osprey, a traditional steel-framed roadster.
Traditional is mostly the watchword here. Although the frames are designed by an Australian and made in Taiwan, the Osprey feels every bit the British gentleman's companion and will certainly fit right in on the lanes of Blighty. You get some proper old school geometry with a horizontal top tube and a standard 1" headset for that nice quill stem you've still got knocking around in the parts drawer. The frameset is lugged construction, the tubing a custom drawn, triple butted, heat treated 4130 cromoly steel.
The tubing is made in the same factory as some branded tubesets you've heard of, and Sam's adamant that in terms of quality it's indistinguishable. Save for a few early forks (they were a bit light) Singular has had no frame failures at all from over 700 bikes sold. The Osprey is designed to run mudguards with clearance enough for a 32mm tyre, so we're thinking Audax and nice long leisure rides; it's much too nice for winter.
There's a few tweaks yet before the first production run will be hitting these shores. The cable stops will be heading south to the down tube so that you can run down tube shifters if you prefer to, certainly they'll look the part. Sam is adding rack mounts to the seat stays too; the Osprey isn't designed as a big load carrier but it'd be happy with a bit of credit card touring.
The display model was sporting chromed dropouts and chainstay, and while that may be a limited option on the final run it does add considerably to the cost of the frame. Frame and fork should weigh in at about £500, and you'll have to add a couple of hundred to that if you fancy chrome details and Singular decides to do a run. The first run will be a hundred or so depending on demand, if you fancy getting your name down for one then head over to www.singularcycles.com and let them know. The first bikes will be over here in a couple of months.
There's also a Titanium road frame in the offing, the sample didn't quite arrive in time for the show but it's not far off. It'll be a much more race-oriented machine than the Osprey with a semi-compact geometry and like the Pegasus MTB frame it'll be built to order in batches. You'll have to wait about 6 weeks for your frame but the plus side of the small batch approach is that each frame can be customised to a certain degree. You'll be able to specify the BB shell and cable routing, for example, or add another set of bottle bosses if you're the thirsty type. When we have more details of the Titanium bike we'll let you know.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.