A great starter bike…


I didn’t see many reviews for this bike when I was making my decision on Bikes Direct so I’m going to post my thoughts in order to better help anyone who might decide to purchase this as their beginner fixed gear.  I was looking for something in the $300-$500 price range. It has been a really long time since I’ve ridden a bike (about 10 years) but last year, I decided to bike to school instead of drive in order save some gas and incorporate cardio into my daily routine.  I didn’t realize how expensive bikes have become!  I figure that they’ve always been this expensive and I’ve just been accustomed to bikes from bargain stores as a kid.

The Gravity Swift2 AL with a carbon fork retails for $309 at Bikes Direct which is a very good price for a brand new beginners bike.  It’s extremely light coming in at only 16 lbs, I can carry this on my shoulder over difficult terrain all day if needed.  Because of its aluminum construction, the bike is extremely bumpy and very twitchy on the road.  The carbon fork helps ease out some of the vibrations, but due to the poor seat that came with it, my butt was in a constant state of soreness and my thighs got numb after rides that lasted more than 40 minutes.  Aluminum bikes can be very unforgiving and absorb very little of the shocks from the road compared to a smoother steel bicycle. It took quite a bit of getting use to on the school commute as the ride was always very jarring over less than ideal urban pavement.  75% of the commuting road on North Tryon does not possess bicycle lanes.

The components are bare basics and cheap.  The crank and pedals creak quite a bit when mashing up hills but never did anything actually break or come loose.  It’s a good bike, just rough around the edges.  The Alex R500 rims that come on the bike are decent and not that heavy.  The tires that come with the bike are garbage though, I got 2 flats in the first week and decided to upgrade to a pair of Bontrager R1’s for slightly better protection and eventually a pair of Continental GP4000s which gave even more protection along with a slightly smoother ride.  The top tube slopes down so you don’t get that classic track bike geometry, aesthetically, the Gravity Swift isn’t the prettiest bike on the planet compared to its Mercier Kilo TT and Windsor Hour counterparts.

Being a mere hobby bicyclist and not knowing too much about bicycles in general, I was ready to keep this bicycle for a couple years.  I enjoyed its clean black paint, the fact that I didn’t have to worry about rust due to its aluminum frame, and its outright speed.  This bike can easily pick of some very good speed on the straights and downhill.  With a 46/16 gear ratio, it’s perfect for the level ground, easy enough to climb hills and won’t spin out too quickly on the descents.  But mainly it picks up speed because it’s so damn light!  I just wish the crank and arms were stronger such that it didn’t flex when under stress.



Sadly, my Gravity Swift2 was stolen after I decided to take the bus and lock in a sketchy part of town during a snow storm.  The next day I went back and the bike was gone 😦  That taught me to get a stronger U-lock instead and to also look into nicer bikes in existence 😉  Stay tuned for my newest bicycle…