It has been a big week for spotting new and improved bikes and here are some of the highlights that we saw at The Bike Place dealer show at Silverstone…
Italy’s Fondriest have a new performance bike in the TF4. The frame is made from 24 ton Toray carbon fibre – even the dropouts are carbon – and Fondriest claim a weight of 990g for the medium model. You can consider anything under the kilo mark pretty damn light. The wavy Reflex fork that fits into the tapered head tube is 395g, according to Fondriest.
The TF4 comes in an aggressive geometry as befits a racy bike like this. The medium model, for example, has a 54.5cm effective top tube, a 14.5cm head tube, and 73/73.5° frame angles.
Fondriest have made the TF4 to take direct mount brakes, the rear one sitting behind the bottom bracket rather than up on the seatstays, and it’s compatible with both mechanical and electronic groupsets.
The frame has a distinctive look to it with an arcing top tube and seatstays that wrap around the seat tube. We guess you’re either going to love or hate the looks.
Although not cheap, the TF4 becomes Fondriest’s most accessible full-on race bike (it’s all relative; Fondriest don’t do budget bikes) with frames costing from £1,299. You can get a complete bike with a largely Shimano 105 groupset for £1,800.
We’re hassling the guys www.impactct.co.uk to send us a sample for testing here on road.cc so standby for that over the coming weeks.
This is the Cielo Cyclocross Racer Disc from Chris King – best known for headsets that last forever, bottom brackets, hubs and, um, coffee tampers.
The frame is steel, handbuilt in Portland, Oregon, with a 44mm taper compatible head tube, and that’s an Enve Cross Disc carbon-fibre fork plugged in up front. It spins on a headset from Chris King, of course – an InSet I7 with a 1 1/2in lower external cup.
The geometry is performance orientated. The medium model comes with a 55cm top tube, a 12.25cm head tube, and 72/73° frame angles. The bottom bracket height is 28.15cm.
The frameset (frame, fork and headset) will set you back £2,399. The price is the same if you go for the non-disc version.
Chris King and Cielo are both available in the UK via www.evolutionimports.co.uk.
We told you a couple of weeks ago that GT have dropped the prices of their GTS road bikes. This is the top-level bike in the range, the GTS Elite, which is now priced at £999.99.
It’s built around a hydroformed alloy frame with tidy-looking welds, with a carbon legged/aluminium steerer fork fitted. The shifters and mechs are Shimano 105 and you get an FSA Gossamer Compact chainset, Tektro R340 brake calipers, and Shimano R501 wheels.
The S in GTS stands for ‘sportive’ and this is a bike that has been designed in the UK for the UK market. That’s why you get enough clearance for fitting mudguards, although the guards fitted to this bike don’t come as part of the package.
We don’t pretend to know much about BMX here at road.cc but this GT Carbon Speed Series bike caught our eye largely on the basis that it’s carbon. Even we know there aren’t too many carbon BMX bikes about. This one has been put together by Clive Gosling at GT’s UK distributor.
The frame comes with a tapered steerer, the wheels are made up of Chris King hubs, Ringlé rims and titanium spokes, and that’s a mountain bike chainset on there. The complete bike weighs about 15.5lb and costs around £3,000. And now we’d better move on before you realise that we’re hopelessly out of our depth talking about BMX. Back to road-going machines...
Roux offer a range of bikes that look like excellent value for money, on paper at least.
There’s a lot going on with the flat-barred Carbon Drive A8 (£999.99), for example. The frame is made from custom-profiled 7005 aluminium, which isn’t too unusual, but it’s built up with a Shimano 8-speed Alfine hub gear, which is less common, and it’s driven by a Gates carbon/Kevlar belt rather than a chain, so there’s nothing to go rusty if the bike gets wet.
The Tektro Draco 2 hydraulic disc brakes should be good news in bad weather too, being less affected by water than rim brakes. With large 37mm Continental Contact Kevlar Guard tyres and dual density grips, we can see the Carbon Drive A8 being very popular with all-weather commuters when stock arrives in March.
The Carbon Drive G8 (£879.99) is also Gates belt driven but the big differences here are that you get a Shimano Nexus 8-speed hub with a twist-grip control and a Suntour Swing fork. That unusual looking fork offers 25mm of travel up front.
The Roux Vector R8 is another interesting option in that it’s a disc brake equipped road bike priced at just £699.99. The frame is multi-butted 7005 aluminium and the disc brakes in question are Tektro Lyras. This one comes with 8-speed Shimano Claris gearing, a compact (50/34-tooth) chainset, and 25mm tyres.
The final model from the range that grabbed our attention was the Vercors C9 (£1,499). Unlike the other Roux bikes here, this one is built around a carbon-fibre monocoque frame and the fork is carbon too, including the tapered steerer.
Roux build it up with a Shimano 105 groupset and an FSA Gossamer chainset although the frame is Di2 compatible so you could always make the switch to electronic shifting at some time in the future if you like. The wheels are Shimano R501s with Schwalbe Lugano 25mm tyres that feature a Kevlar Guard to help avoid punctures.
For more info on Roux bikes go to www.2x2worldwide.com.
If you’re after a bike for multi-modal journeys, the Bickerton Junction 1909 Country looks like it has a lot to offer. Junction is the name that Bickerton give to all of their 20in wheel bikes, while Country denotes derailleur gears as opposed to a hub gear option.
The frame is made from custom alloy and, as you can see, there’s a hinge in the middle of the central beam for folding it. There’s a single stay reaching out at the back, rather than separate seatstays and chainstays, and the fork on this model is alloy.
The 1909 Country is the top-level offering in Bickerton’s Junction range with Shimano Claris STI levers and a Sora rear mech. The FSA Vero chainset is 55-tooth and it’s matched to a wide-ranging 11-32-tooth cassette.
Mudguards with stainless steel fittings come as standard across the Junction range and that’s a Brooks Champion B17 leather saddle on there with copper rivets and plated rails – for a touch of class.
The Junction bikes fold down to 34cm x 85cm x 65cm and this Junction 1909 model weighs a claimed 11.5kg, so it’s easy enough to carry in Bickerton’s Transit bag which comes as part of the package here.
For more info go to www.2x2worldwide.com.
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.