Field Tested: Swobo Accomplice

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I’ll admit, at first glance the Swobo Accomplice seems like another simple singlespeed urban bike, and an expensive one at that. But this isn’t just another “me too” fixie high on the show and low on the go.

The Accomplice uses the same track bike-derived geometry as Swobo’s skinny-tired Sanchez model, but added enough tire clearance for 45mm tires. The double-butted chromoly frame is pleasantly stiff, with a downtube gusset for increased bash-about-ability. And, the rear dropouts are surprisingly elegant looking, with a clean look and built in axle adjusters. The wheels are high quality, with high flange cartridge bearing hubs, stainless spokes, Alex rims with machined sidewalls, and both a fixed cog and a freewheel. The tires are sturdy 42mm Kenda EuroTrek with reflective sidewalls. Other than the inexpensive headset and plastic pedals, the parts pick is top notch.

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The 41-18 gearing is a nice middle ground with for all around riding, I’d go to something lower if I was riding more dirt. But as an all around urban bike, this thing has been hard to complain about. The wide bars are great for cranking up hills, and can be easily trimmed if slipping in and out of traffic is your thing. The Accomplice laughs off potholes and poorly timed curb hops, and generally is ready for almost any adventure you might encounter on a typical day or night in the city. All that sturdiness doesn’t make for a fast feeling bike, but it certainly isn’t slow either.

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Ride quality

The steep and quick geometry was a welcome change from the more stable road bikes that seem to be all I ride lately. This probably isn’t the bike to grab if multi-mile dirt road descents are on your menu, although the wide bar makes things much easier to manage than a pair of skinny track drops.


Editor’s note: This review originally appeared in Issue #31 of Bicycle Times. To make sure you never miss a bike review, order a subscription and you’ll be ready for the everyday cycling adventure.


Two bottle mounts are a nice touch for longer days in the saddle, but the lack of fender or rack mounts on the frame may irk some riders. Swobo started including axle-mounted fender mounts with the Accomplice after I received this one, and really, if you are a rack and panniers type rider, this isn’t your bike anyway.

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Extras

The long reach Tektro brake calipers are adequate, but I wouldn’t complain about more braking power. The saddle is well padded, and most folks will find it comfortable in street clothes, I know I never touched this bike while chamois-ed up. The only issue I had was with the 3/32-inch chain and ⅛-inch fixed cog. I swapped to a ⅛-inch chain I had laying around, but Swobo or your local dealer can fix this issue if you have the same same problem.

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Parting thoughts

Swobo calls the Accomplice “Part fixie.Part fat bike. It’s your go anywhere, do anything partner in crime”. I’d replace fat bike with cyclocross bike, but the rest is an accurate way to describe this bike. From rides with my kids, to late night missions that include every back route I know, the Accomplice was my choice more often than expected, even when more expensive bikes were an option.

Vital Stats

  • Price: $700 $549
  • Weight: 26.1 pounds
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large (tested), XL

Update

The Accomplice is now also available in black, and the price has dropped to $549.

 

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Movers and Makers Vol. 1 – Christopher Igleheart

We’re excited to announce the launch of the Movers and Makers video series, a partnership with Swobo highlighting inspirational figures throughout the bike industry. Episode 1 profiles Chris Igleheart, who has been building frames since forever. Igleheart was recently hit by a car while riding his bike and Swobo helped organize a fundraiser. This footage was shot before the accident and we hear he is on the mend.

Read more about Igleheart and the Movers and Makers Series here

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