2015's hottest disc-equipped road bikes

Disc brake road bike revolution rolls on with Specialized, Trek, Giant, Cannondale, Scott, Genesis, Saracen, Felt and many more brands

by David Arthur @davearthur   February 4, 2015  

equilibrium-disc-ltd

Unless you’ve had your head in the sand for the past year or two, you’ll know there’s a bit of a trend for disc-equipped road bikes going on at the moment. Well, it's more than a trend really, this is a new direction for the manufacturers and most of them have been quick to release a disc-equipped road bike.

Until now most of the disc brake development has been on endurance and sportive bikes like the Specialized Roubaix because they’re not generally used for racing - with the exception of the Spring Classics - and the common consensus is that these sorts of bikes, and the types of riding they’re used for, are well suited to the benefits of disc brakes. The longer wheelbases and chainstays also remove the chainline issues that can occur on race bikes.

Why disc brakes at all? The promised benefits are great modulation and more power, no fade in the wet, rims that don’t wear out, less maintenance and longer lasting brake pads. On the other hand, disc brakes are currently heavier than rim brakes and there are some concerns about their impact on the aerodynamics, though these are likely technological challenges that will be overcome with more development. We polled some industry insiders and they offer some interesting thoughts on whether disc brakes are a good thing for road bikes.

Here's a roundup of some of the newest road bikes with disc brakes currently available.

Race bikes

Specialized Tarmac Disc £4,500 - £8,000

The Tarmac Disc is one of the few race-ready bikes designed with disc brakes. It has the same short chainstays as the regular Tarmac and uses a specially designed hub that places the freehub further inboard to resolve the chainline issues that can occur with a wider axle and short chainstays - which is why most disc road bikes feature longer chainstays. It’s a novel solution and one that could be adopted by other manufacturers when they start getting to grips with putting disc brakes on race bikes. Have a read of our review here.

Buy it here

De Rosa Idol Disc £2,999 - £3,699

Italian company De Rosa have updated their Idol and will now offer a disc brake version for those that want it. The full carbon frame and fork has fully internal cable and hose routing to keep the lines clean, and sticks with conventional axles at both ends.

Buy it here

Focus Cayo Disc from £1,999

Germany company Focus unveiled the new Cayo Disc a little while ago. The Cayo sits under the Izalco MAX in their range, and has been updated with discs for 2015. With a claimed 880g frame weight, Focus reckon it’s the lightest disc-ready carbon frame currently available.

Now, there’s a bit of debate about what axles these new disc road bikes should be using. Many are sticking with conventional quick release axles, but some are borrowing the thru-axle technology from mountain bikes, lifting the same standards from the knobbly tyre world.

Focus, however, have developed what they reckon is a more suitable thru-axle standard for road bikes. They call it Rapid Axle Technology (RAT) and it involves a T-Pin that turns 90 degrees and engages with a stopper, and the lever closes. It’s pretty simple to operate.

Why have a thru axle, or thru-bolt axle, in the first place? Well, it increases stiffness and security which, given the forces acting on one side of the frame from the disc brakes, seems like a sensible solution. They've long been a feature on mountain bikes and our guess is we are going to see plenty more of them on disc-equipped bikes of all sorts.

More info

CAAD 10 SRAM Rival Disc £1,799

There is no sign of an Evo Disc yet, but Cannondale have released the CAAD 10 Disc. The CAAD 10 is one special bike: a lightweight aluminium frame with a great balance of stiffness and weight that makes it a credible rival to any carbon frame. Cannondale have made a few changes to fit disc brakes, new internal cable and hose routing, a new rear triangle and same existing main tubes, and a new carbon fork.

Buy it here

Cielo Road Racer Disc £2,399.99 (frameset)

US company Cielo, from the same people who make Chris King headsets and hubs, have launched two new Road Racer frames, and one of them is built around disc brakes. They’ve used a custom-drawn steel frame with a 44mm head tube and PressFit 30 bottom bracket and Di2 compatibility.

More info

Colnago V1-r Disc £TBC

The Colnago V1-r Disc isn't quite available yet, being launched late last year. It's based on the regular V1-r that we reviewed with the same aero shaped tube profiles. Colnago have developed a new fork with a thru-axle that is in the final stages of development, and uses a 15mm diamater hollow axle. It uses a regular quick release rear axle.  You can read the review of the regular V1-r which this bike is based on here.

More info

Endurance/sportive bikes

The majority of disc-equipped road bikes being produced at the moment are sportive/endurance bikes. Why? These aren't bikes being bought to be raced, so they can be free of the restraints of the UCI's rulebook, nd because the bikes have longer wheelbases (and chainstays), there are no chainline issues with the wider rear axles that disc-equipped road bikes have to accomodate the disc rotor.

Giant Defy Disc £1,199 - £7,999

This is one of the most recent disc road bike launches, and given the sheer size of the company, one of the most significant. Giant haven’t just dipped their toe here, they’ve fully committed to disc brakes, overhauling the entire carbon Defy range with disc brakes a central design feature. The only non-disc offerings will be the aluminium models. Read the review of the Defy Advanced SL 0 here.

More info

Trek Domane Disc £1,600 - £6,000

Trek have shown their disc brake cards by releasing the Domane Disc a few months ago. The Domane, if you need reminding, is their go-to endurance and sportive model, and raced successfully by the likes of Fabian Cancellara in the early season Classics. Trek have adopted thru-axle technology on the Domane Disc, yet the axles can be converted back to regular quick releases if you want.

Trek will offer two models - a £1,600 Domane 4.0 and top-level £6,000 Domane 6.9. We’d expect them to expand the range next year. Visually the frame is the same as the regular Domane, but they’ve developed a new fork and modified the carbon layup in the rear triangle and, of course, added post mounts for the disc brakes.

Buy it here

Cannondale Synapse Disc £849 - £6,499

 

Cannondale dabbled with disc brakes on their new Synapse last year with a couple of models, but for 2015 they’re positively jumping in with both feet with a full range of carbon Synapse disc-equipped bikes. In fact, it’s a case of spot the caliper bike in the range; there really aren’t that many. We've reviewed the £2,699 Synapse Ultegra Disc here.

Buy it here

Saracen Avro £1,799

Unashamedly a mountain bike company, Saracen do produce some smart city and road bikes, and the new Avro is a really interesting package. It’s a full carbon-fibre frame and fork and uses thru-axles at both ends, as you would expect of a brand with roots in the off-road market.

More info

Scott Solace Disc £2,599

 

Scott have unveiled their intentions to offer a disc version of the Solace endurance road bike they first launched this time last year. The disc model uses the same basic carbon-fibre frame with a tall head tube and short top tube, and uses thru-axles.

Find out more

Felt Z4 Disc £2,099

 

Coming very soon from Felt is a Z4 Disc, which the company sneakily unleashed via Instagram last week. We’ll have to wait until Eurobike before we get to see the new bike in the flesh. They have used the regular sportive/endurance Z4 as the basis and added disc brakes. It does appear they’ve stuck with conventional axles and not gone for thru-axles.

Find out more

Colnago CX Zero £3,495

Another company using their designated endurance/sportive bike as a platform for a disc-equipped road bike is Colnago, alhough they first offered disc brakes on the race-ready C59 two years ago. The C59 is set to be replaced by the new C60 Disc very soon. For now their main disc offering is the CX Zero. Read our review.

Buy it here

Rose Xeon CDX from £1,876.88

For 2015 Rose have updated their road disc lineup with the Xeon Disc. They’ve used the Xeon Team endurance frame, released last year, as the platform for the new disc bike so you get the same geometry with a focus on long distance comfort. That means a taller head tube, longer wheelbase and shorter top tube.

Rose do a tidy line of mountain bikes and they’ve looked to them for the thru-axles on the new Xeon CDX - 15mm at the front and 10mm rear, with 135mm rear wheel spacing. Frame weight is a claimed 1,080g. All gear cables and hydraulic hoses for the disc brakes are routed internally, including through the fork, which makes it a very clean looking bike.

Buy it here

Kona Esatto £1,199 - £1,599

Kona’s Esatto has been revamped and it now boasts disc brakes, while retaining the same endurance geometry of the previous model, a one-off titanium frame launched last year. The disc frame is manufactured from Scandium 69 and will be offered at two prices, £1,199 and £1,599.

Buy it here

Orbea Avant from £1,099

The Avant, launched at Eurobike last year, was one of the most interesting new bikes because it offered the sort of versatility uncommon on carbon road bikes. It can take disc or regular caliper rim brakes, mechanical or electronic groupsets, and it has space for big tyres and even mudguard mounts.

Find out more

Raleigh Revenio Disc £1,150

British company Raleigh are steadily building a good reputation for well designed road bikes and they’re now turning their attention to road bikes with disc brakes. One highlight is the Revenio Disc using an aluminium frame, a more relaxed geometry than their race bikes, and space for 25mm tyres.

Buy it here

Lapierre Sensium 500 Disc £2,999

The new Sensium 500 Disc is based on Lapierre's regular Sensium, a bike for endurance and sportive cycling, but adds disc brakes - the first such offering from the French company.

Lapierre say they have modified the carbon fibre layup on the disc Sensium with an alteration to the resin (the glue that bonds the carbon fibres together) by using using one with a higher heat resistance, supposedly to cope with the high heat levels a disc brake has the potential to produce. We’ve not heard of any other company doing this.

Find out more

Audax/versatile do-everything bikes

Sabbath September Disc £2,799

Blending a titanium Audax frame with all the mudguard and rack mounts you would ever want, this is a properly versatile bike ready for just about any sort of riding, with the beefy cabron fork providing plenty of front-end stiffness. Disc brakes on this sort of versatile do-everything bike make a lot of sense - the lack of maintenance and long brake pad life go well with the sort of distance riding these touring bikes are made for.

Find out more

GT Grade £650 - £2,500

The Grade is one of the new breed of bike that blurs the traditional lines between a road bike, cyclo-cross bike and touring bike, and takes elements of each. The Grade is billed as a bike that can be used for any of those disciplines, or all three at the same time. With big tyre clearance, relaxed geometry and rack and mudguard mounts, this is a bike that can do just about everything. If you have space for just one bike, and want one without limitations, this could be the choice for you.

Buy it here

Genesis Equilibrium Disc £1,099 - £2,899

Genesis Bikes are going all in with disc brakes, producing an entire range of Equilibrium Disc bikes for 2015, up from one model last year. They’re using steel for most of the models and at the top there is a titanium model. Genesis have had to develop their own carbon fibre fork, with clearance for 28mm tyres, to suit the requirements of the Equilibrium.

Buy it here

36 user comments

Latest 30 commentsNewest firstBest ratedAll

There are offerings from Kinesis and Mason Cycles still to come too.

posted by Jonny_Trousers [178 posts]
4th February 2015 - 13:26

1 Like

Can you split this into proper bikes, gravel bikes and spesh roubaix types?

posted by georgee [154 posts]
4th February 2015 - 15:03

0 Likes

Did anybody had any experience with Silverback bikes especially the model Space 1?

posted by andreascy [1 posts]
4th February 2015 - 15:18

0 Likes

Specilized have done a Roubaix Disc for the last couple of years. They want £8000 for the top end S-Works. I had a 2015 one built up using the Frame and Wheels Module with Dura-Ace Di2 and R785. It wasn't cheap but came to a good bit less than what Specilized want for the pre-built version.

sworks 2015 - Copy.jpg

posted by watlina [26 posts]
4th February 2015 - 15:39

0 Likes

watlina wrote:
Specilized have done a Roubaix Disc for the last couple of years. They want £8000 for the top end S-Works. I had a 2015 one built up using the Frame and Wheels Module with Dura-Ace Di2 and R785. It wasn't cheap but came to a good bit less than what Specilized want for the pre-built version.

Lovely looking bike. Setup nicely for comfort.

posted by CXR94Di2 [377 posts]
4th February 2015 - 16:27

0 Likes

Ugh, that Rose. Barf.

pedalpowerDC's picture

posted by pedalpowerDC [280 posts]
4th February 2015 - 16:55

0 Likes

The handlebar set up on the rose xeon is simply a personal set up. All handlebars of that style can be adjusted for your own set up. (my comment is in reply to a earlier comment).

posted by billyman [136 posts]
4th February 2015 - 16:57

0 Likes

Is it just me, or is that CAAD 10 a really nice, and tempting, bike.

posted by bjeato [22 posts]
4th February 2015 - 17:00

0 Likes

If the CAAD 10 came with tubeless ready wheels i would buy it in a flash. Lovely bike - light, fast, stiff and handles brillianty. Would be perfect for crits if you were allowed to race discs

I have the GT Grade Carbon 105. great bike. It is a bit weighty, but then again it is not trying to be a race bike. The 11 speed 105 set up, with semi compact chainrings and wide ranging cassette, works amazingly well (although a normal compact set up would work better off road). So much fun being able to tear it up off road on a bike that really does work well on the road.
Not much difference in weight to the Synapse Disc and more comfortable (in my opinion) and certainly more flexible. Plus it comes with tubeless ready wheels. Great bike.

posted by paulrattew [59 posts]
4th February 2015 - 17:29

1 Like

Strange use of the word lovely.

None of these bikes are race bikes as disc brakes are not passed for racing by the UCI and
hence any road races run by BC.

posted by DeanF316 [129 posts]
4th February 2015 - 20:19

0 Likes

Expensive commuter bikes.

posted by IanW1968 [225 posts]
4th February 2015 - 22:45

0 Likes

IanW1968 wrote:
Expensive commuter bikes.

Where ?

fukawitribe's picture

posted by fukawitribe [797 posts]
4th February 2015 - 23:08

0 Likes

DeanF316 wrote:
Strange use of the word lovely.

Each to their own

DeanF316 wrote:
None of these bikes are race bikes as disc brakes are not passed for racing by the UCI and
hence any road races run by BC.

I think you mean 'none of these are eligible to enter UCI sanctioned road races' rather than none of them can be used in any races - that be fair to say ?

fukawitribe's picture

posted by fukawitribe [797 posts]
4th February 2015 - 23:16

3 Likes

Most of those are really ugly... What about a Argonaut?

FerrisBFW's picture

posted by FerrisBFW [3 posts]
4th February 2015 - 23:23

0 Likes

CXR94Di2 wrote:
Lovely looking bike. Setup nicely for comfort.

Yes there are times when I want to be flat out but I'm not a racer and at 47 I'm never going to be one. For me 90% of the riding I do is 50-70mile rides with mates at the weekend. It handles and stops great but still has the comfort that means I can get off at the end of ride and not feel like I've had a good kicking.

posted by watlina [26 posts]
5th February 2015 - 0:56

0 Likes

this article is dated February 4, 2015, and is not really new. it was published maybe last year.

See the Domane description for example, it says 2 models are offered for MY2015. In fact, there are more than 2 NOW.

Come one road.cc, please be professional.

JumboJuice's picture

posted by JumboJuice [12 posts]
5th February 2015 - 3:45

0 Likes

A Focus in there! have they bought advertising space?

Steve Jones

posted by Tiffin15 [25 posts]
5th February 2015 - 14:16

1 Like

Tiffin15 wrote:
A Focus in there! have they bought advertising space?

I could bang the drum about Focus, given my three bikes are all the but for VFM I simply do not think there is much better (did look at Canyon) and the RAT is great if you are into disc brakes.

posted by ianrobo [503 posts]
5th February 2015 - 15:07

0 Likes

Would love to see a review of the De Rosa Idol. Not much info or reviews online for either version of that bike (All I've come across is a pretty substance-free Guardian review for the non-disc version).

posted by 80paddyb [3 posts]
6th February 2015 - 12:38

1 Like

Beware the few top end manufactures who have just lobbed discs on without improving the frames (just the forks doesn't count).

Surely the real future of disc breaks is when frames and wheels are improved by them actually being on the bike. Seems like that's only just happening this year.

Well done to the manufactures who have built frames up from scratch around the breaks. It can only get better from here.

Road & CX in Mongolia. Where we're going... we don't need roads.

Ian Allardyce's picture

posted by Ian Allardyce [37 posts]
12th February 2015 - 15:18

0 Likes

Ian Allardyce wrote:
Beware the few top end manufactures who have just lobbed discs on without improving the frames (just the forks doesn't count).

I have no idea, but i'd wager that most, if not all, the 'top end manufatures' would at least have run it through FEA before the discs being 'lobbed .. on'. Even if that were true i'm not sure what particular perils might lurk unseen - the peak torque in real usage is going to be pretty much the same as it's limited by the tyres, and the point of application has typically moved from part way down the seat stays (which are getting skinnier and skinnier) to towards the end of the chain stays (which are somewhat more robust). You might be able to finesse things a bit but i'd doubt there's much in the way of a major rework required.

Ian Allardyce wrote:
Surely the real future of disc breaks is when frames and wheels are improved by them actually being on the bike. Seems like that's only just happening this year.

Not sure I follow....

PS. Not sure whether it's a result of predictive texting or not, but I wonder if it's possible to have a non-trivial number of comments to an article like this without going on about 'breaks'.

fukawitribe's picture

posted by fukawitribe [797 posts]
12th February 2015 - 16:12

0 Likes

IanW1968 wrote:
Expensive commuter bikes.

Twat.

posted by rjfrussell [72 posts]
13th February 2015 - 22:19

2 Likes

I'm still waiting for a campag equipped Bianchi with discs before I think about it

posted by Chrisc [145 posts]
15th February 2015 - 23:07

1 Like

watlina wrote:
Specilized have done a Roubaix Disc for the last couple of years. They want £8000 for the top end S-Works. I had a 2015 one built up using the Frame and Wheels Module with Dura-Ace Di2 and R785. It wasn't cheap but came to a good bit less than what Specilized want for the pre-built version.

Specialized have also done a Secteur Disc model for at least a couple of years. Fantastic looking bike (to me at least), very comfortable on longer rides and just inside the bike2work value limit. It always seems to get ignored in these "road bike with discs" type articles yet has been around for some time!

posted by shutuplegz [7 posts]
16th February 2015 - 13:05

0 Likes

Quite a few others in the do it all Swiss knife mode. Not as racy, but much more capable of going everywhere. I like both the Raleigh Willard and Tamland, and the Diamondback Haanjo, but none of these have hydros or frameset sales. The Pinnacle Arkose 4 seems the best all arounder to me. http://m.evanscycles.com/products/pinnacle/arkose-four-2015-adventure-ro...

posted by shawnriffhard [7 posts]
3rd March 2015 - 23:55

1 Like

watlina wrote:
Specilized have done a Roubaix Disc for the last couple of years. They want £8000 for the top end S-Works. I had a 2015 one built up using the Frame and Wheels Module with Dura-Ace Di2 and R785. It wasn't cheap but came to a good bit less than what Specilized want for the pre-built version.

I did the exact same thing. Less expensive and spec'd exactly the way I wanted.

posted by Craig P [3 posts]
25th March 2015 - 23:30

0 Likes

Call my a bluff old traditionalist but I just don't think discs look right on a road bike. I do like the De Rosa, but it would look far nicer with standard brakes.

posted by pagik [5 posts]
25th March 2015 - 23:33

0 Likes

I wish it was easy to get the weights of these bikes.
The discs are adding a bit to the totals.

The Genesis Equili... comes in at 10.31 kg

Will look for the others.

Rooster123

posted by Rooster123 [7 posts]
26th March 2015 - 9:51

0 Likes

fukawitribe wrote:
IanW1968 wrote:
Expensive commuter bikes.

Where ?

I've seen some very expensive road bikes on CS7. Not surprisingly as it feeds the wealthy SW London suburbs through to the city.

But it is very rewarding when you see several grands worth of carbon being ridden in full kit at 8am, get dropped by some kid on an 80's Peugeot steel framed beater.

posted by bikebot [1055 posts]
26th March 2015 - 10:12

2 Likes

Probably going to wait until the requirements / standards are sorted out. Give it a year or two in UCI road races before committing ££££ on a new bike / frame, wheels and groupset.

posted by bgw [11 posts]
23rd April 2015 - 13:14

0 Likes