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Stanton Switchpath Ti review

5 Jul 2022
Verdict:

A gravel bike from the rough side of the tracks, mountain bike specialist Stanton’s first gravel bike is pure fun

Cyclist Rating: 
For 
Comfortable and stable ride, Sharp handling, Fit for bikepacking, Suitable for British off-road riding
Against 
Currently frameset-only, Not the fastest gravel bike on tarmac

The Stanton Switchpath Ti is the British mountain bike brand’s first gravel bike.

Built with a triple butted 3AL 2.5V titanium alloy frame, the Switchpath takes inspiration from Stanton’s MTB background with a geometry not far from a classic hardtail setup.

It’s currently available as frameset-only for £2,429 – or £2,649 with a titanium fork – and is soon to be joined in the range by a steel build, making it a premium option when you include the rest of the build, but it’s a rewarding ride that makes technical riding easy without sacrificing much speed on smoother surfaces.



Stanton Switchpath Ti development

Perspective, says Collins Dictionary, is ‘a particular way of thinking about something, especially one that is influenced by your beliefs or experiences’.

The majority of gravel bikes featured by Cyclist have come from manufacturers that specialise in making road bikes, and as a result those gravel bikes are highly influenced by the lessons learned from years of honing and refining road bikes.

By contrast, the Stanton Switchpath Ti comes from a British company that, until now, has only ever made mountain bikes.

While this is Stanton’s first foray into the world of gravel, that doesn’t mean drop bars have simply been plopped on a mountain bike frame.

‘We looked for a niche that would best suit us,’ says Dan Stanton, whose name is on the down tube. ‘It’s something that bridges the gap between a solid cross-country mountain bike and a gravel bike but it’s still on the gravel side of things.

Stanton Switchpath Ti geometry

It’s good to go bikepacking on, or for doing a distance that has a lot more road and paths on it, rather than just ripping random pieces of singletrack. But the Switchpath can also handle singletrack really nicely.’

That last point is probably because Stanton didn’t have to go too far out of his comfort zone in terms of geometry. ‘A lot of gravel bikes have got an old-school XC mountain bike geometry anyway, so it was just tweaking that,’ he says.

For a size 55.5cm frame, that results in relatively long 440mm chainstays and 1,060mm wheelbase, paired with a slack 70° head tube angle and lengthy trail to maximise stability.

Stanton Switchpath Ti frameset

To add to that, as those shiny tubes suggest, this is a titanium frame. All Stanton bikes come in steel and titanium models and Stanton says the latter is well suited to off-road riding.

‘It has a naturally higher elasticity,’ he says. ‘With titanium you’re trying to design stiffness into the material for better cornering.

The Switchpath Ti has triple-butted tubing – we’re running down to 0.5mm wall thickness through the centre of the top tube and down tube. That really helps absorb trail buzz.

‘All of my frames have custom-drawn seat tubes too, so rather than being plain gauge like most companies, the butted profile thins to 0.7mm through the centre of the tube. The stays are thin-walled as well, so they can flex as you’re riding.’

While this build has a carbon fork, Stanton also offers a titanium option.

It’s adaptable too. The 31.6mm seat tube diameter means you could swap out the seatpost for an internally routed dropper post, and there’s room for 700c × 47mm tyres or up to 50mm with 650b.

It’s also able to accommodate either 1× or 2× chainsets and, thanks to the custom dropouts, can also be run as a singlespeed.

Riding the Stanton Switchpath Ti

While I must admit a lifelong bias towards titanium ever since Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue – the show’s greatest incarnation – featured a titanium ranger, I found the Switchpath Ti was a joy.

Despite Stanton’s claims that it’s more gravel than XC, it is certainly at the gnarlier end of the gravel spectrum, and I found the bike to be most at home on technical singletrack.

The stability and ease of handling was a real confidence-booster on treacherous descents, and corners were taken at speed without a care in the world.

I barrelled over the larger roots and rocks that I’d normally skirt around, and hunted down the rougher trails that best suited the Switchpath’s skillset. More than any other gravel bike I’ve ridden, this feels like a gateway drug to all-out mountain biking.

I wasn’t exactly flying when it came to smooth tarmac, but the ride was comfortable thanks to those 47mm tyres and I felt like I could keep up a decent pace for long periods without too much energy being lost to rolling resistance. Even uphill it felt nimble enough, despite its 9.8kg overall weight.

Stanton Switchpath Ti verdict

Although my initial emphasis on ‘perspective’ is dangerous considering the word also refers to two people’s potentially differing view of the exact same thing, I think Stanton’s approach is a real success.

Mountain bike customers will be at home on the Switchpath without feeling like they have crossed over into a different tribe. And for the road purists, it will look and feel familiar enough, while offering an invitation to explore exciting new territory.

Pick of the kit


Maap × PAM tee, £50, maap.cc

This active T-shirt from Aussie cycling brand Maap and fashion brand Perks & Mini feels like the compromise this bike deserves.

Traditional road cyclists will scorn the lack of a classic jersey, but I’m probably one of the first – if not the only – to wear Lycra bibshorts on a Stanton bike.

It’s fit for on and off-bike wear, having been made with Drirelease fabric that is sweat-wicking and quick-drying, and the long fit offers enough cover over the small of the back when bent forward in the riding position, but without getting in the way or looking too long off the bike.

Stanton Switchpath Ti alternatives…

Cannondale Topstone Carbon Lefty 1

For the full MTB/gravel crossover, Cannondale’s Topstone Carbon Lefty 1 (£7,500) features a suspension fork with 30mm travel and Kingpin rear suspension system as well as 650b wheels.

Moots Routt 45

Moots Routt 45 (£5,800 frameset) is the American manufacturer’s gravelliest bike, with space for up to 50mm tyres and slack geometry for handling technical terrain.


Stanton Switchpath Ti spec

Frame Stanton Switchpath Ti
Groupset   Shimano GRX 815
Brakes Hope RX4+ brakes5
Chainset Hope RX chainset
Cassette Shimano GRX 815
Bars Salsa Cowchipper°
Stem Salsa Guide
Seatpost Salsa Guide
Saddle Selle Italia Q-bik
Wheels Hope 20Five rims on Hope RS4 hubs, Terravail Cannonball 47mm tyre
Weight 9.8kg (size 55.5)
Contact stantonbikes.com

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews

Price: 
£2,429 (frameset as tested)