Pace 129 review vs Swift

A blatant title to draw in traffic, hey whats the point in writing this sh1t if no one reads it.  Me and Singelspeed Dave went for a long mucky ride me on the Singular Swift stand in frame and him on the Pace RC129 which he has been using for a few months. his build is very classy, using Paces colour matched forks in Morris cream, and all the finishing kit in polished alloy it looks superb.

Our first batch of deep mud from motorbike abused trail had both bikes clearances tested. No problem up front from the rigid forks on both bikes, the swift has a lovely mud shelf cross brace between the chain stays while the mud just falls through on the open Pace. The swift gains marks back on the  seat-stays, tons of space there, a nice gap on the 2.1 tyres.  The RC129’s swoopy hourglass tubes look superb when following, but they tuck in close to the tyre. Winter use will certainly strip of the paint there as it cleans the tyre of mud and gravel. You could use the slideouts to drag the wheel back 12mm if using gears, but this would ruin the shortish chain stay length possible at 437mm (range 443mm +/- 6mm)

No Shelf – mud only on chainstays
Shelf collects mud and forces it into cogs

Daves Medium frame is recommended for riders up to 6 foot, and you have to say the frame looks compact compared to most garden gate looking 29er’s, giving way more stand over height.  The 600mm Top tube length is ample to use a 70mm stem. the important angles are head tube at a nippy 71.5 deg with 73,5 deg seat tube.

A word about the Swift frame, it’s no Pegasus both angles at 72 should work for me and it’s a nice ride but I just find it too firm and the initial impression when riding it for the first time in a while is how tall the front end appears. I’ve messed around with different seat posts and stems with no answer. Put it this way, it’s not staying in the quiver.

Pace 129 classic chrome stay
Classic Chrome and sldeouts

Having briefly ridden the RC129 before, I was keen to give it a good test. It was an ideal chance to compare as me and Dave seem to be exactly the same dimensions.  We sized them up trying to work out the minute differences, The Pace noticeably putting the rider further forward over the BB and being much shorter at the rear as the Swift has 450mm chain stays.

Riding we swopped after nailing sections of different trails and then swapped back to re-compare. First time on the Pace for me was on a downhill fast man-made bermed section. The initial reaction was strange, I seemed to have to put way more steering input into leaning over, I was so confused that we measured our handlebar widths, which were identical. there’s no doubt the Pace has quick steering, but you don’t really steer on berms anyway, this seemed to indicate the higher riding position of the swift. Being further off the ground meant less body lean than the more compact Pace…I think.

This seemed to be confirmed in a race through a tight FNSS  section of wooded singletrack I have ridden many times. The Rc129 was lightning quick dancing through the trees, considering I was on a bike I had ridden for about 30 minutes it was ace. I flew through there drifting the Racing Ralphs with ease, it felt so good. So much so that at the end I waited quite a while for Dave and even questioned if he had fallen off.

What was it about this bike that made it feel so right, so comfortable compared to the fellow steel framed Swift. Could it just be down to the design; the swoopy tubes and the  quality 853 Reynolds tubing. There’s a section of rocky track that wears me down regularly, I was keen to compare here and was so amazed at the two bikes differences. we swapped several times and both convinced ourselves it must be down to the tyres. the swift had the carbon Niner fork, which feels great on the Pegasus, so it had to be. We swapped wheels on both bikes, no difference! I then let some air out of the Swifts front tyre convinced it must be that  (found out afterwards it was down to 19PSI) still no appreciable difference.

In a nutshell I didn’t want to give the Pace back, it just felt so right. it sure condemned the Swift, it’s just not for me. No doubt the medium RC129 frame with a 70mm stem felt like it had been made around me. It confirms that 71-72 deg seat tubes angles suit me. It was a joy to ride, climbs well, corners telepathically at times and looks classical. It’s a shame it only has room for one bottle and I’m still not a fan of the rear brake and gear cable routing, but those could be changed, it’s only steel.

The swift is heavy, but the Pace RC129 is certainly no light weight coming in at 2.62 KG. That’s a whopping 1Kg (2,2 lbs) heavier than the Pegasus, but if you want things to last…
Thing is though it’s not a true race bike,  that’s a whopping double the weight of  a carbon Giant XTC O model. Which at a claimed 1300g frame with angles of 71 head 72.5 seat and a chain stay of 17.3 (439.4) and TT 23.4 (594) definitely needs a test ride. This could be the one, but then it could be a stiff as dodo and feel as dead. The search goes on.

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8 thoughts on “Pace 129 review vs Swift

  1. For my first 29ER I think I got lucky . I am glad waited all that time for it now . Is the pace heavier than the swift .

  2. JP – My Bro’ has a Pace RC129 which I have yet to ride – quite looking forward to a go based on your comments. I agree that after the Pegasus the Swift doesn’t inspire me like I remember it did before I slung a leg over the Pegasus…

    @Temptation: If the Highball had a EBB it’d be perfect

  3. Well, they say there’s gotta be a first for everything, and Jack I think you’re the first to have any strongly negative words about the Swift! However I’m really struggling to see what could have made it that different – slightly taller front end and seat tube? Bit heavier? Marginally (depending where you had the ebb) longer seat stays? Seems odd to me. Anyhow, if you’ve got the chance to drop me a mail I’d appreciate any further insight you might have.

    Best,

    Sam

    1. I’m not clever enough to know why me and the swift just didn’t get on, Sam! Boy I tried, and I’ve hardly ever sold a bike I’ve owned, but this ones now sold on.
      It might have something to do with me being a life long full suspension rider. I like sitting down and spinning and Even single speed go for twiddly gears. Hardtails Have never done anything for me, I always feel like I’m being battered by them unless running big gears and supporting your weight additionally on your legs. The pegasus which was a revelation is a hard act to follow

  4. DUDE!!!
    I spent almost a decade getting over the fact that I’d never own a Pace RC200 (that weird boxy frame got me every time!) and now, after reading this, I’m back to square one but with the RC129 – ahhh crap.
    It looks amazing too.
    Thanks for ruining my life!
    Cheers, Gairy.

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