Last year, we posted Petor’s Shop Visit to UK-based Sturdy Cycles, and to supplement that coverage, we’re re-visiting their Fiadh disc all road bike, shot in a studio environment. These bikes blend modern tech with very subtle and classic proportions. Read on below for words by Tom Sturdy and more photos of these stunning 3D printed assemblage frames!
“If I had to have just one bike”… This is very much what I had in mind when I developed this model. Fiadh (pronounced fee-ah) is a Gaelic name meaning ‘wild’ or ‘free’. The bike is a versatile road bike that is focused on the pure joy of being out on two wheels at any opportunity. It’s a capable race bike that is not shy of fast pace. It is light and responsive but, with generous tyre clearance (up to a measured 35mm tyre on a 700c rim), is equally at home a little further from the beaten track.
The development of this model has brought together a number of simultaneous projects that have given me unrivalled design freedom to truly optimise a bike for its intended rider. It is unashamedly the very best bike that I can make.
The frame is manufactured using my unique combination of drawn tubing welded to 3d printed junctions (each frame having its own individual set). This creates a structure that blends the efficiency of a monocoque chassis with the inherent qualities of titanium and the ability to fine tune both the geometry and structural performance of each frame.
It’s also paired with a custom titanium fork that also takes advantage of additive manufacturing. A fork is a surprisingly complex structure that sees a huge variation in stress along its length. Additive manufacturing allows me to create a highly optimised structure to respond appropriately to these stresses creating a metal fork with sophisticated geometry and topology, that is competitive with the weight of a composite fork and can be fine-tuned for a given application. It also means that I can fully control tyre clearance, fork geometry, axle standards, brake formats, fender compatibility, etc.
A custom stem offers an additional design variable when dialing in geometry to a given rider and when matched with the fork allows electronic groupsets to have fully integrated cable routing without the need to oversize the head tube or stem of the bike. This build is very much a 4 seasons bike and so a light bracket was incorporated into the removable computer mount that is held captive by the stem.
The full titanium crankset allows for custom crank lengths which has become a common request these days as well as offering improved frame clearance without increasing q-factor to eke out the best possible tyre clearance without restricting geometry.
This frame in particular has actually been through the wringer a bit and has served as a test mule subjected to both lab and real world testing before being smartened up once I was happy with everything. It is a relatively long frame for a road bike with the vehicle handling dialed in for use with 32mm measured tyres which has been my go-to tyre size for road use. Throughout the various lockdowns of 2020 it has been used more and more on un-made/broken (aka ‘british’) roads and whilst I wouldn’t describe it as a gravel bike I have had a lot of fun on it with slightly larger tyres.
As pictured the bike weighs 7.35kg and when kitted out with pedals and titanium fenders to match (not pictured) still comes in at just a shade over 8kg.