We’ve seen some terrific titanium rolling about recently. Take TRed’s titanium superbike or the Turner Nitrous Hardtail; two exquisite-looking titanium bikes from last week alone. This week, we’ve stumbled across more drool-worthy titanium in the form of the Sturdy Cycles Fiadh; a British-made bespoke titanium road bike with 3D-printed fork, stem, cranks and seat-post. Let’s dig a little deeper.
Sturdy Cycles Fiadh Titanium Road Bike
“If I had to have just one bike”… This was on founder Tom Sturdy’s mind when he created the Fiadh. Pronounced fee-ah, Fiadh is a Gaelic name meaning ‘wild’ or ‘free’. This titanium road bike rolls on 700c rims with generous tyre clearance up to 35mm.
“It is unashamedly the very best bike that I can make” – Tom Sturdy
The frame is manufactured using a unique combination of drawn tubing welded to 3D printed junctions. Tom says this creates a structure that blends the efficiency of a monocoque chassis with the inherent qualities of titanium. It leaves him with the ability to fine tune both the geometry and structural performance of each frame.
As Sturdy Cycles are a bespoke frame builder, the Fiadh has no defined geometry, though Tom says it is a relatively long frame for a road bike with the vehicle handling dialed in for use with 32mm tyres.
Tom’s use of additive manufacturing is what really allows him to deliver a true bespoke service. A proprietary fork, stem, crankset and seat post are all of his own design, with the majority of the components made in Derbyshire by Metron Additive.
The Fiadh’s custom titanium fork has an optimised structure to deal with the huge variation in stresses that are seen along its length. Tom says 3D printing the fork allows him to create a fork with the necessary sophisticated geometry and topology that is still competitive with the weight of composite forks. Of course, it also gives him the freedom to fully control tyre clearance, axle standards, brake formats, and fender compatibility.
The Fiadh’s custom titanium road bike stem offers an additional design variable for dialing in geometry to fit a given rider. When matched with the custom fork, cabling for electronic group sets can be fully integrated without the need for an over-sized head tube.
Sturdy Cycles also offer titanium crank sets made via additive manufacturing methods. This allows Tom to offer custom crank lengths and improved frame clearance without affecting q-factor.
Who’s behind Sturdy Cycles?
In the UK, many an aerospace engineer has been lost to the art of frame building, including Joe McEwan of Starling Cycles and Adrian Bedford of Swarf Cycles. While those guys dabble in steel, ex-aerospace engineer Tom Sturdy of Frome, Somerset, deals only in titanium. As the founder and sole employee Tom is Sturdy Cycles.
Tom also holds a masters degree in sports biomechanics. He started building bicycle frames to feed his curiosity about the relationship between a rider’s biomechanics and the bike itself. As such, there’s no wonder he has gone down the path of bespoke frame building.
Tom’s use of additive manufacturing started about five years ago when he looked into it to help him streamline aspects of the production process. It is now fully embedded into every stage of the process enabling Sturdy Cycles to offer highly optimised one-off products.
Going forward, Tom will offer the proprietary 3D-printed titanium components across the entire range of ‘models’, including the Cilla drop bar adventure bike and the Tara hardtail mountain bike.
Pricing & Availability
The Sturdy Cycles Fiadh titanium road bike starts at £8,000. The Cilla drop bar adventure bike and Tara hardtail MTB start from $5,500 and £4,500, respectively.