Rather like Marmite, the bikes made by Sabbath Cycles tend to elicit strong reaction. When we spoke to the founder Greg Roche, who, along with his brother and materials engineer Dr Iain, has been designing and building titanium bikes only since 2007, he was at pains to point out that the characteristic ‘s’ shaped tubes aren’t there just to be different.
According to Roche, “The question we ask is how to increase the weld surface without decreasing the strength of the join.” And he points to the junction of the downtube and headtube of the flagship Silk Emperor model to show how by joining together at a less acute angle there is more metal-to-metal contact. Something that would only be of limited value, bearing in mind the crazy-thin gauge of material used, if they didn’t heat-treat the frame after welding.
“It adds another very expensive process but builds a better frame, all things considered,” says Roche.
Having started out with just himself and his brother as engineering consultant, the little company has doubled its sales every year and now has eight staff who perform all duties down to hand-building the wheels that go out on complete bikes.
The latest development is the Silk Route tourer to complement the existing September Audax model, what Roche sees as an important category as the market for these utilitarian bikes grows. Price is £2,199.
Plus, the new SRAM ‘Apex’ component set has opened the opportunity to offer a couple of lower priced bikes based on the existing ‘September’ Audax and ‘Silk Road’ road race frames. Price is £1,750 for either.