First look: Sabbath Cycles 2013
Sabbath Cycles are back with an all titanium bike range this year
Sabbath Cycles is a British manufacturer exclusively focused on the design and production of titanium road bikes. The brand started life in 2006 and was the brainchild of Greg Roche, a racer with 15 years of experience, who along with his brother, who has a PhD in materials and engineering design, set out to design their own bike range.
The all-titanium range covers racing, sportives, Audax and touring. The Silk Route and September are both designed with touring, Audax and winter training in mind - the Silk Route aimed at the more touring end of that spectrum, while the September fills the the all-rounder slot. The Aspire is an entry-level road bike, the Silk Road is a sportive bike and the Monday’s Child and Nirvana are built for performance. All their bikes come with various build and custom options so you can tailor your chosen steed more closely to your riding requirements and budget.
We’ve ridden their top-end Mondays Child, a racy affair concerned with speed and stiffness. It impressed Mat when he reviewed it back in 2010.
The Silk Route is the full-on tourer in the range, it'll haul up to 35Kg and has such well thought out touches as extra heel clearance so you don't catch your heels on the panniers when you are carrying loads. Touring bikes need to be stiff - if you're riding long distances fully loaded you want as much of your input as possible translated in to forward momentum; stable - you really don't want any surprises when descending or cornering at speed when the bike is fully laden; and comfortable touring is supposed to be fun after all.
Stiffness is taken care of with a beefed up plain guage 3AL/2.5V frame with an over-sized ovalised down tube and a slightly ovalised top tube as well. That extra stiffeness also helps stability too reckon Sabbath eliminating the risk of high speed wobbles and giving you a stable pedalling platform. Frame geometry too is also about adding stability with slacker head angles, ranging from 71 to 72 degrees and seat angles also slackening slightly from 74 to 73 degrees as you go up the sizes. Comfort is taken care of with oodles of room for high volume tyres - up to 38mm, oh yeah and the frame being titanium should help here too you'd have thought. A complete 2013 Silk Route will set you back between £1899 and £2199.
The September is made from 3AL/2.5V straight gauge tubes with 0.9mm walls, with an ovalised downtube. Geometry is a bit slacker to contribute to a stable and comfortable ride, with a relaxed head angle and longer seat stays to give loads of tyre and mudguard clearance. You also get pannier mounts for load lugging - up to 25Kg. It’s available in seven sizes from 47.5 to 58cm. Price for a complete bike ranges from £1999 to £2799 depnding on your choice of build.
The Aspire is Sabbath's newest model, introduced last year. It’s their most affordable offering coming in at between £1649 and £1799 for a complete bike and has a 3AL/2.5V straight gauge tubeset, the same as the September. Geometry is based on their existing Silk Road model for all-purpose road riding; fast enough for racing, stable and comfortable for all day sportive events.
The Silk Road (main image) has an all-new frame design for 2013. There's plenty of tube profiling going on, with an ovalised and bi-ovalised down tube, ovalised seat tube where it meets the bottom bracket shell, and ovalised and concave seatstays. The main tubes are double butted to reduce weight and give a higher quality ride. Dropouts are CNC-machined from tough 6AL/4V titanium, with a replaceable mech hanger. As mentioned it shares its geometry with the Aspire where it differs are those fancy tube profiles and those 6AL/4V dropouts.
Discrete mudguard mounts are tucked inside the seat stays and there's just enough clearance to fit 'guards with a 24mm tyre. So you could run mudguards through the winter and whip them off for the summer, and as winter isn't going to leave it's mark on a Ti frame (and it if does you can simply polish it out) that seems like a sound strategy to us. Prices range from £1899 to £2999 - again, depending on your choice of build kit.
Sabbath's flagship model, the Monday’s Child has the unique outwardly bent seatstays and curved down tube that makes it standout. It’s made from double butted 3AL/2.5V titanium, with the wall thickness down to 0.7mm at its thinnest. The head tube is CNC-machined from a single billet of 6AL/4V titanium with an integrated headset. The top tube has been given a triangular profile which Sabbath claim helps the frame withstand torsional loads better.
The down tube has a bi-ovalised profile and the seatstays are also ovalised horizontally. It’s aimed at performance and racers so has a compact race geometry, the short head tube being a key feature - it's 15.5cm on the 56cm size frame. As you'd imagine all that extra metallurgical tech comes with a slightly saltier price tag £2799 to £4499
Sabbath's 2013 range will be available in selected bike shops. Check out www.sabbathbicycles.co.uk for more details.