| November 28 2022
SWI Thrama, the masterpiece according to Paolo Bettini
The multiple world and Olympic champion recounts the last six months on the saddle of a frame he considers as a masterpiece of design and performance.
Autumn, late afternoon.
Paolo Bettini's house is a terrace overlooking olive groves soaked in the setting sun that turns the hills golden. Over there, between the blue of the sky and the sea the islands can be glimpsed. Elba is clearly visible, as on all fine weather days.
Paolo has just returned from a bike ride on his roads around Cecina: La California, Bibbona, Bolgheri, Casale Marittimo, Querceto. Relentless climbs and descents in an area dotted with enchanting old villages, wild woods and solitary places where you can reflect and dream. It was almost natural that a racer born and bred here, amidst steep ramps and short leg-breaking ascents, would turn into a great champion of the classics. Whether he would go on to become one of the greatest ever, that is another matter entirely.
"Six months riding this bike," Paolo begins, "and by now I'm convinced that the Swi monocoque frame is something completely outside commercial logic."
Then he leans it against the porch and looks to the sea. Performance and beauty are two things that go hand in hand, as someone who is used to setting off as a tenor would: accurate, clean, straight to the point.
With Swi, however, it's a different story; he himself tells us how the clean lines of its design and the herringbone woven carbon literally captured his heart.
How did you feel when you first got on Thrama?
"I knew immediately that I was dealing with something different. At first I was very curious to see and then try this bike, because my friends at SWI had told me a lot about its innovative technical features such as the 'real' monocoque, the UD carbon processed with TPT technology.
But it's one thing to hear about it, quite another to try it out on the road. I've ridden a lot of bikes in my career and I didn't think there could still be something that surprised me like this.”
What's so special about it?
"Certainly, it is a product of excellence, an object that has been perfectly conceived down to the smallest technical and aesthetic details. But one of its greatest qualities is undoubtedly the technology with which it’s built. As a rider I know only too well that the back and the neck are the weakest places, and with Thrama I can ride for up to six hours without feeling any discomfort in the most critical places. And that’s thanks to the real monocoque and UD carbon, which make the vibrations slide away and discharge them to the ground, thus preventing fatigue. Great, isn't it?"
However, it's often said that a comfortable bike is not as fast, is that true?
"No, it isn’t. That's the beauty. It is what makes this bike extraordinary.
Thrama is as extremely comfortable as it is incredibly high-performance.
This makes it a perfect and incredibly versatile bike, for those who are looking for performance in competitions, even the very long ones like ultracycling, but also for those - like me- who want a very high-end bike to have fun with friends."
What do you think of its aesthetics?
"Essential lines, minimal aesthetics: the point is that this is not just a bike. You don't buy a SWI simply to have a bike. Thrama is a jewel that stays with you for life, something to keep in your living room and enjoy even when stationary, like you do with a painting hanging on the wall."
This is how Paolo Bettini looks at it, in this sun that is about to set and illuminate, as if by magic, the little golden stars on the frame that remind him of the never-ending emotions of his career as a true champion. Relaxed in his favourite armchair, he contemplates his Thrama as he would contemplate a sunset, a sunrise, or any other piece of art.
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