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Fine-looking, slim-tubed, steel lugged road bike for anyone looking for a modern bike with classic looks

We were all ooohs and aaahs when we first saw the Singular Osprey at the London Bike Show in January of this year. Sam at Singular has been carving out a niche making interesting bikes, starting with the Swift 29er MTB and the Peregrine monster-cross-cum-tourer and Gryphon drop-barred 29er followed. The Osprey is Singular's take on the classic road machine: gate framed, lugged and skinny tubed, it's a real beauty.

The bike we've got to try out is the same one that you'll see pictured on the website, which is a pre-production sample but basically the finished production frame. The only difference with the production model is that you get rack as well as mudguard bosses. The frame is built from lugged, double-butted 4130 Cromoly, and will take a 28mm tyre with a mudguard. The rear brake cable is routed internally along the top tube to keep the bike looking nice and clean.

The fork features a lugged crown and it too is 4130 Cromoly. There's an option of Chromed chainstays and fork dropouts; our test bike has the shiny bits and if you want them you'll need to add £180 to the basic price of £530 for the frame and fork. The frameset is available with a threaded or threadless fork, both of which are 1" diameter.

In terms of geometry the Osprey sticks to the classical rule book, with 73/73 angles in the larger frames, steepening up the seat tube and slackening off the fork a bit in the smaller sizes. The top tube is, of course, as flat as the Norwegian after-party at the World Champs road race.

The Osprey is finished in cream and blue-grey and ours is built up with a mish-mash of silver componentry, Brooks saddle and bar tape and classic dimpled mudguards. It looks very fine indeed, and has already drawn plenty of admiring glances. The proof of this particular pudding is in the riding though, so we'll report back when we've thrashed it round the lanes a bit more...

www.singularcycles.com

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.

8 comments

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andylul [410 posts] 4 years ago
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In the words of Charlie Higson "I'm sorry, I think I've just c..."

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Rob Simmonds [251 posts] 4 years ago
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Very pretty. I see Ultegra hubs, a (Shimano) long cage mech (but only a double chainset) and presumably Ultegra shifters.

What price for complete bikes? On that lot I'd guess you're looking at what, £1300ish? Full retail is going to be a bit steep, especially compared with the Dawes Century/Clubman range.

Does look lovely though.

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STATO [501 posts] 4 years ago
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Singular dosnt really do completes (tho im sure they would if you asked), they are more about giving you a nice frame as a base for your custom build; and no-one would bother with a Dawes as a base for a custom build.

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 4 years ago
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STATO wrote:

no-one would bother with a Dawes as a base for a custom build.

i'm not sure that's entirely true, i wouldn't turn my nose up at one of these:

http://www.dawescycles.com/p-475-audax-le-frameset.aspx

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step-hent [722 posts] 4 years ago
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Oddly, those look like campag shifters but with ultegra hubs and shimano mech. Or do I actually need glass like these?  26

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Rob Simmonds [251 posts] 4 years ago
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STATO wrote:

no-one would bother with a Dawes as a base for a custom build.

Wash your mouth out boy!

dave_atkinson wrote:

i'm not sure that's entirely true, i wouldn't turn my nose up at one of these:
http://www.dawescycles.com/p-475-audax-le-frameset.aspx

Damn right! Slightly posher material (631) than the Singular for only £20 more.

StepHent - You're right, those are Campy shifters.

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dave atkinson [6223 posts] 4 years ago
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you'll note that i haven't made big play of what the bike is built up with, but concentrated on the frame and forks. There's good reasons for that, mainly that it's the frame and fork that you buy but also because the build could be described as 'esoteric'  1

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Sam Alison [25 posts] 4 years ago
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Thanks for the first thoughts Dave, look forward to hearing what you thought of the ride.

Yes, the parts selection is a little unusual, Campag 10speed shifters with Shimano derailleur across an 8 speed block. All the benefits of the price and durability of 8 speed Shimano, comfort and (my) preferred shifting with Campag brifters. more here

Rob Simmonds wrote:

i'm not sure that's entirely true, i wouldn't turn my nose up at one of these:
http://www.dawescycles.com/p-475-audax-le-frameset.aspx

Damn right! Slightly posher material (631) than the Singular for only £20 more.

The Osprey's lugs and the paint add a huge amount to the cost over the Dawes (nice as it may be), and the tubing I would say is at least comparable to 631.