Bikes - Road
Look are best known for their market-leading clipless pedals but the French company also packs plenty more innovation into their range of carbon frames. The 585 Optimum is a frame and forks package that’s built for speed but also with a real focus on comfort. It’s got ‘sportive machine’ written all over it (no, don’t be silly – that's a metaphor).
At a time when most manufacturers were moving from metal to carbon fibre for their top-end frames, Sabbath came into the market producing high-quality titanium bikes. The UK brand – originally called Sunday Bicycles before a swift name change for legal reasons – certainly seem to have found their niche and, after some major growth over the last four years, their bikes are now available through Evans Cycles as well as a network of other dealers. The Mondays Child – along with the Silk Road Pro – is their top road race model…
Felt's AR3 is one of the new breed of road bikes that combines a light weight with genuinely impressive aerodynamics to create a fast, sparkling ride.
Remember back in ye olden days? Back when all this was still fields? You had lightweight bikes, and you had aerodynamic bikes, but you didn’t have lightweight aerodynamic bikes. Felt combined the two in 2008 with the introduction of the AR range.
The snappily titled Cube Litening Super HPC Di2 – we’ll just call in the Cube, if that’s alright with you – is one of those bikes that’ll have even non-biking mates whistling through their teeth and asking how much it weighs, how much it costs, and whether they can have a go. The answers are 15.2lb (6.92kg), £5900, and no. It’s a full carbon race bike that comes fitted with top of the range everything, including Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting, and it goes like stink.
With cycling in the UK being on the increase thanks to climbing fuel prices and the government’s bike to work scheme the £1000 mark for bikes is getting pretty crowded. What, if anything can the Wilier bring to the party with their Lavaredo?
Verenti sounds like a boutique Italian brand that you should have heard of… but haven't. You wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that they had a string of Giro d'Italia victories to their name back in the 1950s… but they didn’t. Verenti is actually the new in-house bike brand from online retail maestros Wiggle – and they’re based in Portsmouth, which is nowhere near the Med.
Like beer and sausages, Red Bull bikes (no relation) are big in their German homeland. And while we don’t really like to talk about German efficiency – it’s such a cliché, after all – we’re going to anyway, because that’s what the Pro SL is all about. You’ve only got to take a quick look over the frame to realize that…
To be fair, the way the Equilibrium looks you could forgive it if it was an absolute pig to ride. You could ride to your local cafe, sit and have a coffee and just look at it. It really is a beauty to look at in that understated retro classic way that only the British can do. Thankfully it rides like a dream so you can spend as much time on it as looking at it.
What do you know about Comtat? Not a whole lot, we’re guessing. It’s a new London-based brand that sources carbon frames from the Far East and builds them up in the UK at competitive prices. As with Planet-X and Ribble, for example, you can either decide on the spec yourself from a wide selection of parts on offer, or go for a complete bike option.
Charge bikes are arguably the coolest bike brand out of the UK at the minute offering an infectious mix of exciting design, excellent marketing and the West countries finest riders to boot. The Juicer Mid is the more affordable version in the Charge classic road portfolio. Coming in at a Cyclescheme-friendly £950 for 23lbs of steel with a Tiagra groupset it might be hard to see why this bike is so appealing, however as I found it was love at first ride. Actually it happened before I had finished setting it up.