autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 
"Specimen" FF-697 Is a One-of-a-Kind Titanium Bike With a Price Tag To Match Its Abilities
The world of cycling is a big place and one that's responsible for a limitless array of designs and ideas. For some people, the bicycle is more than just a mobility device; it's a way of life.

"Specimen" FF-697 Is a One-of-a-Kind Titanium Bike With a Price Tag To Match Its Abilities

FF-697 Build ProcessFF-697 Build ProcessFF-697 Build ProcessFF-697 Build ProcessFF-697 With BagsFF-697 With BagsFF-697 With BagsFF-697 CassetteFF-697 RackFF-697 CrankFF-697 ForkFF-697FF-697FF-697
To showcase just how much you can achieve with a bicycle, I've decided to bring to light a bike known simply as the FF-697. I don't know about you, but to me, that's the sort of name that you may find in a laboratory, you know, like specimen FF-697.

Firefly Bicycles, the crew behind the 697, was started in 2011 with a simple goal: to do things their way. In an interview with Enve, Kevin Wolfson, one of the founders of Firefly, states, "The goal was to build the types of bikes that we wanted to build, in the way we wanted to build them. For us, that meant being a smaller company, making high-end, completely custom frames, always focusing really closely on understanding the needs of each customer."

Now, a critical aspect of Firefly's work is that they build bikes with a base material known to even outlive its owners, titanium. You guessed it, every single tube used to produce the frame is created using the famed metal, and if you look closely at the welds, it should give you some idea of the level of precision this crew puts into their machines. The 697 is no different.

As we continue to explore just what this bike is built to achieve, here's something you need to know: Firefly builds custom bikes. This means that if you want a complete machine, you will choose every single component that goes into it. The same holds true if you're going to buy just a frame too. What does this mean for possible future owners of a 697?

Well, it means you'll have to dish out at least $4,700 (€4,451 at current exchange rates) for just a frame. How much is a full bike going to run you? Anywhere from $6,500 (€6,155) to $10,000 (€9,470) or more. And these aren't just some numbers off the top of my head, either. They're posted right there on the manufacturer's website for all the world to see. Furthermore, this crew even carries out e-bike conversions on most of the frames they build, and those start at around $8,900 (€8,428).

There is no information on Firefly's website regarding details of the 697 you see here; it stands as a guidepost to what's possible. Looking at the bike as a whole, I can't help but shake off the effect that was given to the tubes. The ends are polished titanium, while the centers are painted matte black, acting as one of the best visual contrasts I've seen in a long time. A matte black fork completes that effect, but do check out the metallic blue highlight. The red tone of the leather used for the saddle and grips also seem to fit right into the color pallet, too, for lack of a better word, mouthwatering.

Finally, I started this article by mentioning that people use bicycles for more than just getting from point A to point B. Well, this couldn't be more true for the 697. Whoever owns this bike, you know it's seen some insane journeys. The tires, up to 700x45 and 650bx53 sizes, and the handlebars are a couple of clear signs it's made to be ridden far. With a pair of gravel rubbers, whoo!

The front of the bike doesn't feature any cargo-carrying abilities except a handlebar-mounted bag. At the rear, all that changes. With the ability to attach a rack to the frame, the 697 is transformed into a ready and able bike-packing trinket. The multiple water bottles also hint at how this bike is meant to be ridden.

Beyond that, I'm not going to try to make out every single feature on this bike because that's sheer insanity. But I will point out that you, too, can own a bike that's ready to do more than just your average trinket. Sure, you'll pay a little more, but it looks like yours, too, will end up being one-of-a-kind. Not to mention possibly passing it down to your kids.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories