Construction and Features
Looks are subjective, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Contour is a bloody good looking bike. I’m a sucker for a steel frame, which probably helps; there's something about the simplicity and skinniness of the steel tubes, and I always like a straight line from the dropout to the head tube through the rear stays and top tube. It just looks right. It’s well proportioned and elegant to my eyes.
The level of workmanship is very high, the frame is extraordinarily nicely made and packed with lovely details, showing a clear passion by Adrian for producing the finest possible product. The frame is TIG-welded, using Reynolds 853 for the down tube and top tube, and Reynolds 631 for the head tube and seat tube, while Dedacciai 25CrMo4 and 4130 CrMo plain gauge tubing are used for the chainstays and seatstays. The main pivot and linkage are made from aluminum and all the pivot hardware is stainless steel with 5mm hex bolts.
Steel is of course known for its natural flex, which is one of the reasons why it’s still a popular choice for making bikes in the face of lighter and stiffer alternatives. Swarf has utilised this flex in the seat stays, flattened slightly along their length, to allow a small degree of vertical flex which eradicates the necessity for a dropout pivot, thus saving weight, cost and complexity.
There are lots of sensible details. The bottom bracket is threaded and all cable routing is external apart from the stealth dropper port. The 44mm head tube is reinforced and the seat tube slot faces forward to minimize the ingress of mud. The rear dropout on this test bike is old-school 142x12mm, but production bikes will feature the wider 148x12mm Boost configuration, and there’s clearance for a 2.5” tire. The IS brake mount accommodates up to a 180mm disc rotor and up front, it’s designed around 1x only with a 32 or 34t chainring recommended. Frame weight is a claimed 3.2kg (7.0lb) without a shock.
And most importantly of all in this era of hydration pack less riding, there’s space for one water bottle inside the main triangle.